I have an above ground pool that has a small leak in the liner (about 1/4 inch per day or so). I know this 'could' be evaporation but it continued to leak last year after I closed and covered the pool down about 1 foot below my return then stopped. So, I know the level of the leak (I measured it and wrote it down when I opened the pool this spring). There are no lights, drains, etc so it has to be in the liner and at the level I measured.
Before topping off the pool this spring, I got in with my waders and went around the pool twice inspecting the liner 2 inches above and 2 inches below the water line. I found one spot that seemed to have some bubble when I pushed on the liner but it was hard to tell if it was from my hand in the water. I patched it anyway, just to be sure. Now that the pool is operating and clean, I am still seeing the same water loss. I do need to measure with the bucket test but I can see loss overnight so there shouldn't be much evaporation.
I've searched the forum but haven't seen a lot of detail on leak detection related to my particular situation. It is usually around lights, drains, etc. I can easily do the food coloring test by my patch and by the single seam in the side of the pool but is there any other advice on finding a tiny hole? Does it make sense to try the food coloring around the entire circumference of my 24 foot pool at the level the water leaked to last fall? I imagine the hole is a pin hole so I'm not sure how well the food coloring will work.
One last thing... it seems to leak faster with the pump off than with it on. It didn't go down as fast when I was running my pump 24/7 to get through other issues.