• How to Isolate a Pool Leak

    Isolate The Pool Leak


    Here is where this leak detection tutorial starts to get into more advanced leak detection tests. The bucket test and the dye test, along with a solid visual inspection are the first steps that most people will take to try to find a leak in your pool. When these quick and easy tests fail to locate the leak then you need to begin to break the pool down into sections in order to narrow down where the leak might be coming from. Not every part of your pool can be definitively tested for leaks - sometimes you will only know where the leak is because you have tested every other possible source for the water loss. Due to this it is very helpful for the leak detection process to begin to isolate the different parts of the pool in order to reduce the guesswork involved with finding the leak. If you can find the general location for the leak then you can focus your time and energy testing these specific locations.

    When looking at a swimming pool as a whole, you can break it down into two main components which are:

    1)The pool structure
    2)The pool plumbing system

    The structure of a swimming pool refers to the main body of the pool itself. This would include the interior surface of the pool as well as any fixtures installed into the pool. The plumbing system is everything that is located outside of the main body of the pool. Determining which of these main components is leaking will go a long way towards finding the leak in your pool.

    Determining whether the pool is leaking through the structure or through the plumbing system can be done by plugging all ports in your pool with winterization plugs. By turning off the circulation system for the pool and plugging the skimmer and return ports you can isolate the body of the pool from the plumbing system. If you have a main drain in your pool then this complicates this test as you will either need to swim down and plug off the main drain line, or do the test without plugging the main drain. With all of the pool suction and return lines plugged simply let your pool sit for 24 hours and compare the rate of water loss to that of what you lose when the ports are not plugged. If the pool loses no water with the returns and skimmer lines plugged, but does lose water once you remove these plugs, then the leak is located somewhere in the plumbing lines for your pool. If the plumbing lines for the pool are leaking then you will need to skip ahead to the section on pressure testing the plumbing system. If the pool still loses water with the returns and skimmers plugged then this means that the leak is in the structure of the pool somewhere (or it is in the main drain if you were not able to plug yours as part of this test).