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Why Is My Pool Losing Water? How To Know If Your Pool Is Leaking

Published on 01 April, 2020

So you think that your pool is losing water. Maybe you've opened the pool this year and realized it, or maybe it's the middle of the summer and you're starting to question whether or not your pool has a leak. The first thing is to determine whether you're losing water due to evaporation or whether you've got a leak. 

Depending on a variety of factors such as your location, average temperature, and the amount of sun the pool gets per day, you'll lose a different amount of water. If your pool is in Southern Ontario, you'll lose five centimeters of water per week or approximately half a centimeter per day. What this means is that if you're losing an inch of water a day you are definitely losing water due to a leak. 

If you've determined that you're losing more water than evaporation would explain, you can do another quick test to determine for sure if you have a leak. It's called The Bucket Test. What you'll need to do is fill a bucket with water and place it on the steps of your pool. Make sure that the water in the bucket is level with the water in your pool-- the water line. Leave the bucket on the steps and check up on it periodically. If the water level of the pool drops below the water level of the bucket, you know for sure you are losing water. 

You can even further detect a leak in your pool by determining whether you have a suction-side leak, a return-side leak, or a liner leak. To determine a liner leak, plug all the holes of the pool-- your skimmer and return lines. If you're still losing water (i.e fail the bucket test) with all the holes of the pool plugged, you've got a leak in the pool liner. To determine a suction side leak, plug the return lines of the pool (leaving the skimmer hole open) and do the bucket test. If you fail the bucket test with the skimmer hole open, there's a leak at your skimmer. Another way to know if you have a skimmer-side leak is not being able to achieve prime with your pump / getting air bubbles in the pump basket. Finally, you can determine if you have a leak in your return lines by opening the return lines, closing off the skimmer line, and doing the bucket test. 

Now that you've determined you do in fact have a leak, and have determined where approximately the leak is, you can call up a leak detection and repair company to take care of things for you. Sometimes homeowners can fix a leak themselves if it's an easy to pinpoint liner leak, but oftentimes for most leaks you will need to hire a repair company to fix this for you. Make sure the company you use is knowledgeable, has proper detection equipment, and is insured in case anything happens. 

Having a leak in your pool can be a big hassle, and it's better to get it resolved than to leave it alone and risk further damage happening in your backyard. Pool leaks are unfortunate, and most often are a result of improperly closing the pool for the winter. Leaks can be reduced by hiring an experienced company to close your pool properly as well as maintaining the pool's liner throughout its lifetime.  Call or email us if you have any questions regarding your pool and we'll make sure to get things sorted for you!

Happy Swimming and Stay Safe!
Dan Stewart
DVP