Skip to Content

How To Tell If Your In-ground Pool Has a Leak

Losing some water is natural for your pool due to evaporation, splashing, and backwash to your filter.

However, if you routinely have to fill more than 2 inches of water to your pool each week, you might have a leak. Depending upon its severity, there are some minor repairs that you can make on your own.

In this article, we are going to examine a few simple ways that you can detect an in-ground pool leak and how to get repair work initiated if one exists.

Pool Has a Leak

Look for Obvious Signs before Launching a Full-Investigation

There are a few considerations to make before moving beyond this first step. While these may seem a little obvious, it’s a great place to start.

Inspect equipment for Leaks

Look at the electrical lines that lead from the swimming pool's lights for moisture or leaks. If there is, call an expert to identify the location of the leakage and repair.

Trust us; you don’t want to get electrocuted.

If you see any, this is likely the source of your leak. Depending on the place of the seepage, you may be able to change a pipe yourself, or, for more intricate issues like a failing pump, you may need to have an expert service your pool's filtering system.

Check the Ground around the Pool

Even with an in-ground, this will sometimes help figure out the location of the leak. Walk around the perimeter of the pools edge and take note if you happen to slosh through any areas.

If you have tiling, papers, or deck, checking for any usual wet spots may give you clues as to the general area of a potential leak.

The Bucket Method

“The Bucket Method” of find a leak is for people who measuring things and the use of everyday household items. All you need for The Bucket Method is:

  • a 5-gallon bucket
  • a ruler
  • painter’s tape

After gathering your materials, all you need to do to determine an in-ground pool leak is this:

  1. a) Fill the 5-gallon bucket with water and set it beside your swimming pool.
  2. b) Mark the water level in the container with painter's tape.
  3. c) Mark the water level in the swimming pool with painter's tape that won't damage your liner.
  4. d) Measure the width between the water’s level and both piece of painter's tape after 24 hours.

If the difference in the swimming pool is wider than the loss in the container, the you likely have a leak on your hands. If a significant distance does not exist, the loss of water is probably from evaporation.

Look for A Leak in Your Pool with Food Coloring

If your pool has a leak apart from the electrical elements or water filtration component, you’ll need to look for a leak inside of the pool. There is a simple method of find it’s source by using food coloring.

Here is what you have to do:

  1. a) Make sure the pool is completely filled just in case the leak is fairly high. You don’t want it above the water.
  2. b) Feel the pool's flooring to see if it's soft, which may suggest that a leak exists on the pool’s floor bottom.
  3. c) If you can’t find one, get out of your pool and let the water settle to calm.
  4. d) Place several drops of food colorant in different areas around your swimming pool up until you find the leak.

What will happen is the food coloring will travel towards the filter as well as the leak. You will visually be able to see its pull on the coloring. Yes, your pool will be tinted for a day or 2, so this method works better on smaller pools.

Finally! An Excuse to Use A Grease Pencil

This is probably the easiest and most direct method of finding a leak. All you need is a grease pencil and pool skimmer:

Mark the water level of the pool by placing one end of the pool skinner at the bottom. Wait 24 hours and repeat the same process by measuring in the same part of the pool. Then measure the distance between the two marks on the skimmer.

Your pool must lose no more than 1⁄4 inch (0.6 cm) each day. Otherwise, a leak is likely the culprit of water loss.

What Should I Do If I Suspect I Still Have A Leak?

Keep in mind that the above-referenced steps don’t always reveal a major leak. If you suspect that you are losing more water than you should, then it might be time to bring in a professional pool repair company to take a look at any problems for you.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Alice Carroll

Friday 5th of June 2020

Thanks for the tip that I can simply use a bucket and some measuring tool to figure out if my pool has a leak. These past few weeks, I've been feeling like I have to keep on refilling my pool because its level seem to be getting lower after a few days. I will try to do the bucket method this weekend and would immediately call a swimming pool leak detection service once I confirm that there really is a leak.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.