To avoid serious water damage to your home, leaks have to be located and dealt with as soon as possible. Walls, floors and ceilings exposed to too much water can cost a pretty penny in repairs and refinishing. With the humidity reaching new heights outdoors, it’s important to keep your home free of leaks to avoid water damage as well as mold. However, homeowners with backyard swimming pools have a whole other set of plumbing to worry about. Keep on reading for more information on how to determine if your pool has a leak and what the source of the leak is before calling in the pros.
If you suspect your pool has a leak, you can perform a “Bucket Test” on your pool.
Place a 5 gallon bucket on the first step of your pool, in a swim-out, or on the top step of your ladder. Fill the bucket half-full of water and mark the water level with a piece of electrical tape on the inside of the bucket. With a second piece of electrical tape, mark the pool water level on the outside of the bucket. After 24 hours, compare the two marked measurements.
The water lost from the bucket will only be evaporation, but the water lost from the pool is evaporation, plus any other water loss. If there is a noticeable difference between the two, you can begin to locate the leak in your pool.
The World’s Worst Water Bill – A pinhole-sized leak in an in ground pool with normal pressure will hemorrhage hundreds of gallons of water in a single day. Not only is this a terrible waste of a precious commodity, but also will quickly lead to outrageous water bills.
Landscaping and Home Destruction – A serious leak in your swimming pool’s plumbing will lead to permanently damp earth around your pool. If the leak goes unfixed, your landscaping will suffer from chlorine exposure and shifting earth. If the damp earth reaches your home, your foundation could possibly shift, cracking walls and floors inside your home.
Damage to Your Pool – Aside from the leak itself, your pool is at risk for costly structural distress. Damp, shifting earth can lead to cracks in the pool and settling damage to the pool and its structure. This damage can be purely cosmetic or lead to more troublesome leaks.
If you determine that your pool is losing water, turn off the filtration system and note where the water level stops dropping to determine the cause of the leak. If the water level stops at the bottom of the skimmer opening, the leak is probably in the skimmer or filtration system (including the pipes). If the water level stops at the light, the leak is probably at the light housing. If the water level drops below the light, then there may be a leak in the drain at the bottom of the pool. If you’ve gone down this mini checklist and still suspect you have a leak, it’s time to call a professional!
Note: Many leaks are not detectable to the naked eye unless you’re using professional grade equipment.
If you suspect a leak in your pool, call a local plumbing company like Terry’s Plumbing for prompt and professional service. You can do so by filling out our contact form or by calling our 24/7 customer service line.