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    Pool Leak Detection: How To Quickly Find The Leak Yourself

    Pool leak detection is the first step to fixing what can be a very damaging and expensive problem. Here's how to quickly find and fix a leak.

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    Pool Leak Detection: How To Quickly Find The Leak Yourself

    By Matt Giovanisci | Updated: February 18, 2022

    Pool Troubleshooting / Pool Accessory Problems

    Pool leaks can occur anywhere in your pool. But before you start searching for a leak, you’ll need to rule out a few issues like evaporation or a crack in the filter system plumbing.

    Here’s a quick guide on how to find a pool leak and how to fix it yourself. You can watch the quick video below. Or keep reading for the complete pool leak detection tutorial.

    How Can You Tell Where Your Pool is Leaking?

    Before you run any tests inside your pool, you’ll need to make sure the leak isn’t happening somewhere inside your plumbing or pool equipment. Start by checking your entire filter system area. That includes your pool pump, filter, heater, chlorinator, and any O-ring or connections where you might be losing water. Luckily, these leaks are easy to access.

    However, there’s a chance there could be a leak in a part of your plumbing you can’t see. And if you have an inground swimming pool, leaks can happen in cracked piping underground. Regardless, even if you’re not sure if you have a plumbing leak, you’ll first need to test your pool to make sure that you’re not losing water to evaporation.

    Does Your Pool Have a Leak or is it Evaporation?

    The first step to pool leak detection is to determine if you’re losing water to evaporation. Then, you’ll narrow down the source of the leak. You can do this with the Bucket Test or the Ink Test.

    Pool Leak Detection: Bucket Test

    This DIY method is easy to do and you likely already have all the supplies you need:

    5-gallon plastic bucket

    Waterproof marker or duct tape

    Place and Fill the Bucket. Put your empty 5-gallon bucket in the water on the second step of your pool. Fill the bucket with water to match the pool’s water level. Use the marker or duct tape to mark this level inside the bucket.Turn Off the Pump. Turn off the recirculating pump as well as any other auto-refill device you may have.Compare Water Levels. Wait 24 hours and compare the pool water level to the level of water in the bucket. If both the pool and the bucket water have gone down but remain even, your pool is losing water due to evaporation. But if the swimming pool level is now lower than the level in the bucket, you likely have a leak.Repeat with Pump On. To narrow down the possible source of the leak, repeat the test for another 24-hour period, this time with the pump on.Compare New Results. If the water loss in the pool is greater with water circulating under pressure, the leak is most likely somewhere in your pool’s filter system or plumbing.

    By the way, if you want more help whenever you’ve got trouble with your pool, check out our easy-to-follow Pool Care Video Course.

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    Pool Leak Detection: Dye Test

    This method will help you find the exact location of the leak, but it’s a little more involved. You’ll need to purchase a leak finder dye to add directly to your pool water. It’s also handy to have some waterproof tape on hand for marking potential leaky spots in your pool.

    Check the Ground and Walls Around the Pool for Wetness. If the ground is wet where it shouldn’t be, your pool is likely leaking somewhere near that area and seeping somewhere in the ground. Keep narrowing it down as much as possible before using the leak finder dye.Turn Off the Pump and Water Features. You’ll need the water to be as still as possible before using the dye to help find the location of the leak. This will also help you detect leaks in or near the skimmer.Use the Pool Leak Detection Dye to Pinpoint the Leak. Go to the edge of the swimming pool in the area where you think the leak might be. Without touching the water, squirt the dye in the water close to the surface and the wall. If the leak is near, you will see the dye move towards the exaction location of the leak like a current.

    If you suspect your leak is at the bottom of your pool, you’ll need a pair of goggles and swim to the bottom to perform the leak finder test. But you’ll need to be as still as possible when you run the test so the dye doesn’t go everywhere.

    Leakmaster Pre-Filled Leak Finder Dye

    This pre-filled dye tester helps you find the precise location of structural pool leaks. Simply squirt the syringe into the water close to the potential problem area and the dye will flow towards the source of a leak.

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    Mark the Spot for Patching. Use waterproof tape to mark the spot where you spotted the leak detection dye moving towards. This is to help you remember where you need to patch the leak.

    Source : www.swimuniversity.com

    How To Find a Leak in an Above Ground Pool

    Here's how to find a leak in your above ground pool liner and some options for how to fix it.

    How To Find a Leak in an Above Ground Pool

    By Michael Dean

    Above ground pools are much easier and cheaper to install than inground pools. You don’t need to hire a professional to set it up, and you can easily move them to other parts of the yard. One of the significant downsides of an above ground pool is the possibility of leakage. Because the liner is generally made of thin vinyl, it can easily be punctured by sharp objects or even worn down from constant exposure to pool chemicals.

    You can easily fix pool leaks if you notice them early on, so it is important to learn the warning signs of a leak. In this article, I will go over how to find a leak in your above ground pool liner and what to do when you find one. For more tips on this topic, read my main article on pool leak detection.

    First Stop: Equipment Checks

    Some leaks may not be as apparent as others, so you can’t expect to find the area where the leak is automatically. You will need to check the pool liner and equipment thoroughly if you suspect a leak in your vinyl liner.

    When a leak is present, it won’t always appear in the vinyl liner. A tear can also occur in the pool’s pump or any piping. So check the piping and look for wetness on or around the equipment. Dry any wet areas with a towel and watch to see if it becomes wet again.

    Leaks in your pool system can be tough to detect, so you must be very diligent when checking the area. Check the pump, piping, return line, skimmer, and filter for leaks.

    How To Find Leaks in the Vinyl Liner

    If you have already carefully checked all of your pool equipment for leaks and have not detected anything, then it is time to move on to checking the liner itself. This is a more complicated task, and there are a few different methods that I would recommend for finding the location of a leak in your pool. I recommend contacting a pool professional if you are uncomfortable with the process.

    Check the Area Around the Pool

    The region around your above ground pool may signal where the leakage is happening. You may find a puddle forming under a profuse leak, or the area may be damp in a less severe leak. If you still cannot pinpoint the exact location of the leak, not to worry. I have a few easy methods that can help.

    Step one: Use a bucket to detect a leak

    Place a large bucket in the pool water about three-quarters submerged. Usually, I would place the bucket on one of the steps. Fill the bucket up so that it is even with the water level. After the bucket is filled and put in the right place, use a strip of duct tape or a permanent marker to mark the water line in the bucket. Then turn the pump off and return to the bucket after about 24 hours. If the water level of the bucket and the pool are still matching, you likely do not have a leak. But if the water level of the pool is lower than the bucket, there is a leak at the level that the water stopped draining.

    To check for a leak in the pool’s plumbing, carry out this test while the pump is running. If you notice the water level decreasing, you likely have a leak in the piping or pump.

    Step two: Use ink to find the exact area where the leak is

    Most pool stores will sell a leak detection kit with a special dye and a syringe. This is used to find the exact location of the leak so that you can patch up your pool.

    After using the bucket to detect a leak, you know the general height at which the leakage occurs. Do a lap around the pool and carefully recheck the walls for any signs of a leak. Once you think you have found it, you can break out the dye and get in the water.

    When using the leak finder, make sure you don’t disturb the water too much. The pool water needs to be very calm to be an accurate test. Squirt the dye-filled syringe toward the wall where you suspect the leak to be. If a leak is present, you will notice the dye moving towards the wall.

    I recommend doing this test a couple of times to ensure the leak is where you suspect it is.

    Once you confirm the leak is in a specific area, mark the exact location with duct tape on both sides of the pool. Doing this is important so that when you patch up the leak, you don’t fix the wrong spot.

    What To Do When You Find the Leak in Your Pool

    Once you have located the leak, you need to patch it or risk further damage to your swimming pool. Depending on the size of the leak, there are a few different methods you can use to patch up the leak.

    Waterproof Tape

    If you are dealing with a small leak, you can use tape to fix it. Using waterproof tape is the easiest and cheapest option. You will have to replace the tape occasionally, but they are super easy to apply, and they are very effective for small leaks.

    Vinyl Patches

    Vinyl patches are another super easy way to patch up holes in above ground pools. These patches simply need to be stuck onto the pool wall and then you are good to go. They generally last longer than waterproof tape because they are more durable and designed specifically to patch punctures in pools.

    Patch Kits

    Patch kits are for larger holes that are not easily fixed with waterproof tape or vinyl patches. A patch kit includes larger pieces of vinyl liner that can be shaped to a specific hole. The kits also include a waterproof vinyl adhesive. Patch kits are more complicated than the other two methods, but they are necessary for larger holes.

    Source : poolresearch.com

    Above Ground Pool Leak Detection

    How difficult is above ground pool leak detection? Leak Science can find the most complicated leaks by their above ground pool leak detection.

    Pool Company Owners

    Above Ground Pool Leak Detection

    So you think you have a leak. Well, I have good news and bad news for you. The good news is, once the leak is found, it’s usually easy to repair. The bad news is, locating a leak in an above ground pool is extremely difficult. Most leak detection companies will suggest replacing the entire liner. Fortunately, for Leak Science, above ground pool leak detection is a challenge not ignored.

    Before you call a professional, here’s what you look for:


    The first (and easiest) place to look is the pool’s equipment. Even if you feel the leak is inside of the pool, inspect the equipment first. You may be surprised.

     – Clean the equipment area. Remove any overgrown weeds surrounding the equipment, store the pool toys, and remove any piles of dead bugs. Also, be sure to have any colonies of live bugs removed from the area. – Turn on the pump. Some leaks (that have to do with equipment) will leak more when the pump is on. – Check for standing water around the equipment. – Look closely at the equipment. I mean, look closely. Have a towel handy in case you find noticeable moisture. Wipe the area dry and wait for wetness to appear. Be sure to look at all components including the hoses, fittings, and lids for drips. Look closely at the area directly underneath the pool’s pump. – Inspect the skimmer and the return. Use a dry towel again to inspect the skimmer box and the return. Take your time as some leaks can be deceiving and require patience to find.

    If you have thoroughly checked the areas listed above, it’s time for a little more complicated above ground pool leak detection.


    Finding a leak in the vinyl liner of your above ground pool is not an easy task. Sometimes there is a microscopic hole in the bottom of your pool, near your pool’s wall, or who knows. Here’s what you should do from first to last.

    1. Turn off the pump. Wait for the water to be completely still.

    2. Standing outside of the pool, inspect the pool’s bottom all the way around. Most above ground pools are set on top of the earth, and when there is a leak in the vinyl, the leaked water travels through the earth and leaves noticeable valleys or divots where it was once flat. If you do see this, it’s time to get in the pool (skip to step 4).

    3. If you don’t see anything described in #2, check the outside bottom of your pool. If need be, dig around the wall to uncover the bottom track. Remove any rocks or other debris so you can easily see excessive moisture next to the track. Note that moisture is normal excessive water is not.

    4. Before getting into your pool, clean and vacuum it. You are looking for a small hole and when there are dirt and debris everywhere, it makes it difficult. Put on some goggles and grab an applicator filled with either leak finder dye or red food coloring, and again, make sure the pool pump is off.

    5. Swim to the bottom and get up close to the bottom of your pool’s walls and floor. Look closely at those valleys and divots you saw earlier or if you see any holes. In the areas you suspect, shoot some of the dye in the area and see if the water draws it into the hole. Be very careful to not disturb the water.

    If you still haven’t found a hole, it’s time to play manta ray. Very carefully and slowly swim around the bottom of your above ground pool and search for holes. In an area, you suspect a leak, utilize the dye to confirm the leak is indeed there.

    Still haven’t found the leak? Call a professional. Even if they end up suggesting a new liner, at least you’ve gotten peace of mind in that you did everything you could before it came to that.

    Above Ground Pool Leak Detection

    If you have a pool leak in the equipment, a specialist may be able to fix the leak. It may be as easy as tightening loose components, patching up holes, or replacing broken down parts.

    As for leaks in the liner, you’re often left with two options: applying patches to the holes or replacing the liner. While some suggest sealants instead of patches, we don’t recommend that because patches have the ability to move around and stretch with your pool making it less likely to cause another leak.

    Leak Science Professionals

    Our team specializes in above ground pool leak detection. Our process is like walking into a pitch-black room the size of your backyard and feeling around for the doorknob that could be located anywhere. We rely entirely on our experience and knowledge with pools and spas, our process, equipment, and our own sense of sight and sound.

    Here, at Leak Science, we harness and utilize two things that generally makeup leak detection- technology and science. Using highly sensitive equipment we are able to find the leaks that continue to cost you money every day until they are located and repaired. Do you think your pool is leaking? Call Leak Science right away! Our top of the line equipment will detect if your pool has one simple test.

    Contact Us

    To learn more about the leak detection process, get in touch with our leak experts! Use this form to provide details about your potential leak.

    Source : www.leakscience.com

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