3 Easy Swimming Pool Leak Testing Methods

Posted by Jim Riggs on Sep 30, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Pool Leak TestingDo you feel like you're having to "top off" your pool water a little too frequently lately? Do you suspect your pool has a leak, but don't want to call a service company until you're sure?

Luckily for you, diagnosing a pool leak is pretty easy! Here we've given you step-by-step instructions that will help you figure out if you have a leak at all, and if you do, identify whether the problem is in your plumbing or in your pool shell.

Just grab a bucket, some rocks or a brick, some tape or a marker, a piece of paper, and a pen and let's get started:

Use "The Bucket Test" to Determine if You Have a Pool Leak

  1. Fill a bucket with some pool water and set it on your first or second pool step. Toss in some rocks or a brick to keep the bucket in place.
  2. Mark the water level on both the inside and the outside of the bucket with either your tape or marker. Make sure the water levels are the same inside the bucket as the pool water level outside the bucket.
  3. Let the pump run for 24 hours, then check and make note of the water levels inside and outside of the bucket.
  4. Turn the pump off for 24 hours, then check and make note of the water levels inside and outside of the bucket.

After each 24 hour cycle, compare the water level outside the bucket to the water level inside the bucket. There shouldn't be any change inside the bucket, but if the water level outside the bucket has dropped, you've got a leak. Pull out your pen and paper and note the difference in inches, then move to step two.

Use "The '24 Hours ON' Test" to Determine if the Leak is in Your Pool's Plumbing

  1. Fill your pool so that the water level is mid-tile or mid-skimmer
  2. Mark the water level on the tile line or inside the skimmer shell with a piece of tape
  3. Turn off your auto fill, then turn your pool pump on
  4. Leave the pool pump running for 24 hours
  5. After 24 hours, return to the pool and observe the water level

Just like with "The Bucket Test," you're going to wait 24 hours and compare the pool's water level to the mark you made the day before. If the water level is lower, your pool plumbing may be leaking. To determine whether the leak is coming from your plumbing or the shell you'll have to conduct "The '24 Hours Off' Test," but before you do, you need to check your backwash line for leaks. Run the pump in the filter position; if you see water leaking out of that line, be sure to have your multiport valve serviced. Once you've checked the backwash line, it's time to move on to the third and final step.

Use "The '24 Hours OFF' Test" to Determine if Your Pool's Shell is Leaking

  1. Repeat steps 1-3 of "The '24 Hours On' Test"
  2. Leave the pool pump turned off for 24 hours
  3. After 24 hours, return to the pool and observe the water level

If the water level drops yet again, then your leak is likely coming from your pool shell, but if the water does NOT drop like it did after running the pool pump for 24 hours, then your leak is somewhere in the pool plumbing.

If you need help identifying or fixing a pool leak, give us a call at our SC location at (864) 676-9400 or our NC location at (828) 687-8080 and our service department can help! From spring opening to fall closing, our friendly professionals are experienced to handle all types of pool systems and will provide service to all residential and commercial accounts, just click the banner below to schedule service online!

New Call-to-action

If you enjoyed this article, please check out other posts on our blog and join us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest to see why we're the premiere pool & spa company in the southeast!

Topics: Maintenance