We receive many phone calls from first season pool owners who are positive their swimming pool is leaking. Many times the drop of water level is due to evaporation. However, in some extreme cases, it can be an actual leak that needs to be repaired. If you do have a leak and you are not losing water due to evaporation, don’t worry because every swimming pool (including fiberglass, concrete, and vinyl) can be fixed.
As mentioned previously, many times the water level drop off is a result of evaporation. This perception of my pool is cracked vs. evaporation is not the fault of the customer, but more an unfamiliarity with evaporation and how it can affect a pool. With large pools, hot environments, and high activity, water loss can occur. Before we come out to analyze the situation and perform leak detection, we often give customers an easy test to try first before a technician is called on site. Get the facts about swimming pool leak detection
To test for water loss due to evaporation, get a large 10 gallon bucket and fill the bucket about half way with pool water. Mark the level of the water in the bucket with duct tape or with a permanent marker and do the same to the level of the water in the swimming pool. We recommend NOT using a permanent marker on your tile, a piece of duct tape should hold up. Place the bucket next to the pool in an area where it will receive the same amount of sun as the pool itself. Turn off your pumps and keep all swimmers out of your pool for at least a few days.
Anywhere from three to four days later, check on the level of evaporation of the water in the bucket compared to the level of evaporation in the swimming pool. If there is no leak, the level the water in the bucket dropped from the marked line should be comparable to the distance the water in the pool dropped from the marked line. If the levels are similar, you have nothing to worry about. If the level of the pool is much lower than the level in the bucket, your water loss is most likely due to a leak.
If this is the case, you should call a service company immediately as leaks start off small and get worse over time. Your service technician will start to look for leaks in common places such as around ladders, drains, lights, and along the tile line. If there is a leak in your pool, a qualified pool service technician will be able to find it and patch it and the procedure is usually not too expensive. Before you purchase a pool, take note of the warranty as many service calls such as cracks and leaks should be covered under your contractors warranty (if your pool is a custom in ground pool) or the manufacturer’s warranty (if you purchased a fiberglass or vinyl swimming pool).