If you have a location in your pool that you suspect is leaking then the first step you should take is to test the area with dye. Most pool owners do not understand how a dye test works on a swimming pool but sufficed to say that it is not a definitive test in most cases. Only in the most serious of leak situations should you be able to make a definitive judgment about the presence of a leak with a dye test.
To dye test a swimming pool the goal is to release a small amount of dye in the immediate location where a leak is suspected. In order to do this the pool circulation system must be turned off and there should be little or no wind causing movement in the pool water. You want the pool water to be as still and as calm as possible when you are doing a dye test. Even the movement of putting your arm into the water can make the results of the test hard to evaluate. So, being as still as possible you will attempt to release a steady stream of dye into the area surrounding the suspected leak. The dye will have the tendency to stay together and will float gently with the subtle motion of the water moving. If a leak is present then you will be able to see the dye actively being pulled out of the pool through the leak. Dye testing is very useful around flanges such as lights, steps, skimmers and returns where you are able to get close enough to release the dye and monitor its movement in the water. Cracks in the floor of concrete pools, or suspected leaks in the main drain of your pool (in the bottom of the deep end) are not ideal for dye testing unless you have scuba equipment which will allow you to get close enough to test these areas.
While leak detection with dye is often not definitive in terms of finding leaks, this is a great tool and an easy test that pool owners should have at their disposal. If you are ordering leak testing syringes online be sure to order a few of them. They do not go bad and you will go through them very quickly when testing the pool. As a word of caution to pool owners trying a dye test for the first time - you are very likely to be disappointed with the results. It is very difficult, and often not possible, to find a leak using only dye. Even when you do find a leak with dye you will not likely be confident enough with the test to say with certainty that you found the leak. Use the dye testers as a supplemental tool in your leak detection kit but do not expect them to be a magic beacon pointing at your pool leak unless you have a massive amount of water loss.
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