Like any part of your house, pools occasionally have a malfunction that needs to be addressed. It’s part of the excitement of being a homeowner! With pools, leaks are the most likely and common sign of a problem. It often comes down to the same root issue: two components of the pool system not quite joining perfectly, leaving a space for water to escape. A small imperfection left for long enough will let a lot of water escape, affecting the usability of your pool and the integrity of the area nearby. Let’s cover why pool leaks are a problem, where they can happen, signs a leak is in progress, and how to repair a leak as well as prevent it from returning.
Overview of Pool Leaks
When your pool leaks, it’s a sign something’s not right, but the cause of that symptom can vary widely. Most often, it’s because of a gap or imperfection where two pieces of the pool join, leaving enough space for water to leak out. It may be a slow loss of water if the gap is small, which takes longer to notice and possibly makes it harder to find. A leak may also be related to mechanical problems, such as a pump that is not working correctly. Even the plumbing could have issues, including a broken pipe, where the water is escaping (though this is far less common). Damage to other components, such as a crack in the skimmer, may also be the reason for a leak. Consider that over time, ground moves and shifts, which leads to changes in anything on or in the soil. When this happens, your pool is exposed to possible changes in coupling, alignment, and support. The wide variety of potential leak sources is part of what makes finding a leak frustrating and time-consuming.
Maybe you’re thinking it’s a small pool leak, so you just keep topping off the water and don’t worry about it. It may not sound like a big deal, but a pool leak can pose dangers. As water escapes, it’s going somewhere outside the pool—and possibly to an area not ideal for liquid. If there are any lines or electronics nearby, water could cause damage or even pose a threat. It can also corrode structures over time. Significant water loss into the ground may lead to land drainage problems, including erosion of dirt, waterlogged ground, and shifting of nearby structures such as brick walkways or patios. Not only is a pool leak potentially dangerous, but it can be costly. Every time you refill the pool, you need to add more chemicals, which aren’t cheap. If leaking water causes damage to the area around the pool, you could end up with wildly expensive repairs to concrete, landscaping, or other parts of your yard.
Detecting a pool leak is a systematic process, as there are numerous possible contributors. First, you want to confirm there is a leak with a water level test over the course of a few days. Sometimes, evaporation makes it seem like there’s a leak, especially depending on the area or temperature. An overfilled pool will also appear to be leaking since the skimmer will naturally regulate the water level.
Once confirmed, it’s time to closely inspect every aspect of your pool. From equipment like the pump to structures like the liner and pipes, every single inch should be checked. Murphy’s law dictates that the one place you don’t look will likely be the culprit.
Nine out of ten times, a pool leaks because the space where two parts come together isn’t perfectly aligned. Instead of joining up correctly, there’s a small gap that lets water out of the pool system. This can occur in a number of parts of the pool, but the basic reasoning remains the same. One of the most frequent spots this happens is in the skimmer, where the plastic of the skimmer joins up with the concrete of the pool. It can either have been installed imperfectly or have a slight defect in its manufacturing. The misalignment may also be the result of the ground shifting over time, causing parts of the pool system to move further apart. Even a small shift in the ground can be enough to create a gap for water to leak. Water loss also occurs from the housing of pool lights and any other location in the pool where two components come together.
How to Detect a Pool Leak and Find the Source
If you’ve already done a test to measure water loss and confirmed a leak, the next step is to figure out the cause. It’s best to take a systematic approach and examine all aspects of the pool, including the structure, plumbing, and equipment. Even if you’re fairly sure you know the cause, you want to be certain and rule out the possibility of multiple leak sources. Start from the outside and visually inspect everything you can reach. Look for signs of a leak, such as puddles, wet grass, or stains, as well as obvious indicators like cracks in tile and concrete. Check around the pool equipment, including the pump and filter, to see if there are signs of a leak. When checking the skimmer, see if there are cracks in the housing or other defects. Getting inside the pool to investigate is also important. The interior walls should be checked for imperfections, as even tiny holes can lead to large water loss over time. When possible spots in the liner or fiberglass are found, a dye test can be done. This involves using a syringe to inject colored dye into the water near the leak, then watching whether the dye is pulled toward the spot. Another area to check is the underwater lights since they can also provide a place for water to escape.
The time and work required to find a leak isn’t small, even if the leak itself is. That’s why many homeowners in the Central Florida area hire Aaron’s Leak Detection to take the job off their plates. Our pool leak detection process is thorough and includes inspecting the pool from the outside and inside. Each component is closely examined so that nothing is missed, and our processes have been developed through decades of fixing pools. This not only saves you time but gives you the peace of mind that no stone is left unturned when finding the source of the problem. Aaron’s Leak Detection also has the equipment and knowledge to perform more specialized testing, including pinpointing the exact location of a plumbing leak. This allows for a more comprehensive diagnosis and a more effective solution to your pool problem.
Repairing a Pool Leak
Once you find the cause, a plan of action can be made to repair the leak. In many instances, an underwater compound can be used to seal off the leak. At Aaron’s Leak Detection, we typically find that around 90% of leaks can be solved with this type of repair. Since we’re able to do it right then and there with no pool draining required, you’re able to get back to worry-free swimming that day. On the rare chance the leak is because of a broken piece, such as a plumbing line, that requires more extensive work to repair or replace the fixture. The staff at Aaron’s Leak Detection pride themselves on honest repairs, so we’ll never upcharge you for unnecessary repairs, and we’ll help refer you on the rare occasion we can’t solve the problem.
Preventing Future Pool Leaks
Whether you are having a leak repaired or your pool is working fine, it’s important to practice regular maintenance to prevent future leaks. Most common pool leaks can be prevented or caught early through routine check-ups and care. Set a good routine of regular cleaning and testing using the right chemicals, removing debris, and checking parts of the pool regularly to help improve its lifespan. The cost of regular maintenance is far less than that of extensive repairs down the road.
If you’re constantly refilling your pool (or forgetting to), it’s time to call Aaron’s Leak Detection. Our focus is on delivering honest services to confirm your leak and get it fixed, usually within the same visit at no additional cost. We don’t work on commission, so the only goal is getting your pool in top shape for continued enjoyment and relaxation.
With nearly 20 years of experience in pool leak detection, Aaron’s has seen it all. From the common causes to the rare, there’s likely no pool leak we haven’t seen before. Spend your time on more fulfilling things—leave the pool investigations to us!
Get that leak fixed before wasting more water and time. Call us at (407) 924-9888 or submit a contact form to have your pool fixed as soon as today!