Finding Swimming Pool Leaks(Vinyl Liner)

If your swimming pool has a leak there are some things you as a homeowner can do to find the leak, and there are other things a professional will have to be called to do.

One option for a homeowner is the easiest to do. It may sound too easy but get yourself a face mask and take a look around. You will be surprised at how much you will be able to see. Check around the base of the wall all the way around the pool. Check around any stairs or lights. If you do find something that looks like it might be leaking, use some dye and squirt it in the area of the possible leak. If you have a “drop” test kit, use the # 5 reagent (total alkalinity test). It is dark blue in color and will be easy to see. What you will be looking for is the dye to pull into the hole. This will be confirmation that this is the leak.

Finding Swimming Pool Leaks(Vinyl Liner)

The dye will also work on your light conduit. I have found many leaks over the years in light shells. Remove the screw holding the light in place and pull the light out. Using your face mask and dye, squirt the dye into the conduit where the light cord exits the back of the shell. If this is your leak there are plugs you can buy at your local pool store, or buy some underwater epoxy putty at a hardware store and apply it around the cord pushing it into the conduit. This should be a permanent fix until you remove and replace the light.

If you are unable to find the leak in your swimming pool visually, it may be time to call a professional. Most swimming pool professionals have leak tracking equipment. With the equipment I have, I am able to find a pinhole in a swimming pool liner in a matter of minutes. It works by putting an electric charge in the water and anywhere there is a leak, the current goes to the ground. I am able to hear this through headphones, pinpoint the leak, and patch it. Only swimming pool service companies will have this equipment, not “big box” pool stores. 

One more way a swimming pool service person will be able to find a leak in your swimming pool is by pressure testing the pool’s plumbing. This involves plugging the lines in the pool and filling them with water or air, sometimes both, and by using a pressure gauge on the fill nozzle to see which lines hold pressure and which one don’t. There is listening equipment available to pinpoint a break in a line if you choose. I prefer to replace the whole line from the pump to the pool because if it broke in one spot you might repair it and it might break in another spot on the same line next week. As long as your already digging, if possible, replace the whole line.

If I’m called to a swimming pool to find a leak, the first thing I’m going to do is swim around a try to visually find the leak. Normally I will find it in a matter of minutes. This saves the customer the cost of me using my leak tracking equipment. It is very expensive to purchase, so It’s not cheap to have me use it. My suggestion is if you have a leak in your swimming pool, try to find it yourself first. Once you find it read “Patching vinyl liner swimming pools” and patch it yourself. This will save you a lot of money. If you can’t find it then call your local swimming pool service professional.

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