It's a sad truth that owning a pool sometimes means having a leak either in the pool itself or in the plumbing and filtration system. These leaks can come in three varieties, one that draws air into the plumbing system and two that allow water to leak out of the pool, the first of these being the plumbing and the second being a leak in the pool vessel itself.
What we'll do here is tell you how to identify which kind of leak you have and how to find it's probable source - you can then post a more specific question on the forum about your leak and get better responses as to what you should do.
Air leaks are caused by a line going into the pump that is not 100% airtight. Most often it's a connection between 2 pieces of pipe or where the pipe connects to a piece of equipment, though sometimes it's a seal or plug on the pump itself. If you have air in the pump basket or are constantly seeing bubbles entering the pool while the pump is running ' something isn't fully sealed on one or more of the lines that take the water from the pool to the pump. To check any of the connections that are above ground for drawing air all you need do is dribble some water on the area and see if the bubbles in the pump lessen or stop ' if they do, you've found the leak. You can also use this technique to check the pump lid and plugs. If these are inconclusive, the problem may be below ground, but at least you'll know that and we can help you from there.
Many leaks that cause water loss are found at the equipment pad where you can see the water coming out of a connection ' if you can see the leak we can tell you how to stop it. If you can't see any drips around the filter system you can figure out if it is in the plumbing by checking the pool itself.
The body of the pool itself can become compromised, be it the liner or the shell of the pool itself but sometimes a water loosing leak in the plumbing will be buried underground and won't be evident. The way to tell if it's the pool or the plumbing is to plug all the inlets and outlets (returns, skimmers, drains, cleaner lines') ' mark the water level with a piece of tape or a pencil mark and see if the water drops in 12 - 24 hours. To keep the effects of evaporation out of this test, fill a bucket with water, mark the level of the water in the bucket, set it on the stairs and compare the water loss between the pool level and the bucket level. If the pool itself doesn't show any loss with the lines plugged, the problem is in the underground plumbing.
If the pool is still losing water while the lines are plugged, the vessel itself is somehow compromised. First look around the entire pool surface for anything that looks suspect or unusual. If you see anything you can gently squirt a little food coloring in the area and see if it gets drawn into the place you think may be the leak ' the water should be calm, don't stir up the water while squirting, you are looking to see a tendril of the color being drawn into the leak
Any leak in a pool can cause large problems and should be addressed as quickly as possible.
Because of the number of things that can cause leaks and the many different pools out there, an article telling how to deal with every one is impossible to write! However, if you follow what's been said here and post your findings on the forum, we will be able to get you to a quicker resolution of the problem and back to having not only no more leaking, but a Trouble Free Pool!
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