Your pool can be losing water and you don't even know it. Water can escape the structure a number of ways, which can turn into more damage and expenses down the road. Save yourself the hassle and check out these pointers on how to know if your pool is leaking.
Since the majority of the area is wet, it may be hard to distinguish a leak from a few splashes of water. Here are some clues that can mean you've sprung a leak:
- Deterioration: Look for signs of wear and tear around the pool. It's normal for the chlorine to change the color of the tiles and deck naturally over a long period of time. However, signs of deterioration away from the surface of the pool can indicate a problem. According to Together We Conserve, white deposits around the pipes can mean water is dripping out of them. Keep an eye on them every so often just to be safe.
- Monitor the levels: You should also take note of the amount of water in the pool. Typically, the levels of your swimming pool fluctuate because of condensation and other natural elements. But more than a small amount can be a problem. Check out the height of your water by marking the level with a pencil. If you return to your indicator after a few days to find that it's significantly lower than before, you're likely losing more water than you should. Together We Conserve pointed out that the results will be skewed if it rains during this testing period. Start over once the storm subsides.
- Bucket test: Another way home owners can see for themselves whether the pool has a leak or if it's simply evaporation is to try the bucket test. Use a 5 gallon bucket and fill it with water, it doesn't have to come from the pool. Fill it about two-thirds of the way and put the bucket on the first or second step of the pool. A good portion of the bucket should be underwater. Once again, make sure you don't swim in the pool or it doesn't rain while you're doing the bucket test otherwise the results can get skewed. Try again if either of these things happen. Now keep track of where the water in the bucket is on day one. You can use a pencil to make marks. Take note of where the water level rises to throughout the next 24 hours. Compare the mark to the current level of the water in the bucket. If there's a dramatic difference in the levels, your pool may be losing water.
How to fix the issue
If there's any indication that your pool is losing more water than it normally should, call your local pool service professional immediately. An article in Aqua Magazine stressed the importance of letting the professionals handle a leak. Leak specialist John Stinemire from Maryland shared this thoughts with the publication:
"If you take a 16-by-32 foot pool losing one inch a day, that's 320 gallons. That's a gallon about every five minutes," Stinemire explained. "That's a lot of volume, but if you were to take a gallon milk container and poked a hole in it small enough to take five minutes to empty, that's the hole I'm looking for, it's very small. You have to know what you're looking for and how to find it."
If you're out west, call Fort Worth, San Diego or Phoenix pool service professionals for help on fixing a leak. Their repairs can save you money and extensive damage in the long term. Don't wait until the leak gets out of control. Be vigilant and get it fixed.