Leak Detection – How to Determine if your Pool is Leaking

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Many people question how they know when they have a leak. Depending on the region and climate in which you live, it may not be uncommon for your pool water level to vary from day to day. Environmental factors such as humidity, wind and air as well as water temperature can have an effect, causing you to lose up to 1/4 inch of water a day or about 2 inches per week.

You may have a leak if:

  • Pool has air in the plumbing system
  • Equipment loses prime
  • You see cracks
  • Pool deck is sinking or lifting
  • There are soggy spots around the pool
  • You add water more than once a week
  • Pool loses more than regular evaporation

In the heat of the summer your pool can seem to lose water faster than usual. The bucket test helps determine if the unusual rate of water loss is due to a high evaporation rate or a possible leak. Use the following steps to determine if your pool is leaking.

Test your pool for a leak with the Bucket Test

  • Bring pool water to normal level
  • Fill a 5 gallon bucket with your pool water about 3-4 inches from top
  • Place bucket on first or second step of pool (preferable the second step without immersing it).
  • With marker or electrical tape, mark the water level on the inside of bucket.
  • Shut off pump and mark pool level on outside of bucket.
  • Resume normal pump operation. Make sure auto/manual fill valve is off during test.
  • After 24 hours, compare the two levels. If the pool water (outside mark) goes down more than the inside water level, there may be a leak.

Evaporation will occur at the same rate regardless of the area of the water. A bucket will lose a quarter inch of water as fast as a swimming pool loses a quarter inch of water.

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