New Pool with leak

Hello all, I have a new pool last July and all was fine till I opened it up this past weekend. I filled the pool back to operating level cranked everything up and it worked great. I then noticed the water level dropped so I added some water then noticed it dropped again so I stopped the equipment and began reading here. I have been monitoring it with equipment off and it is now down to the bottom of skimmer within a day and half and seems to be slowing in drop level. I am currently contacting the pool guy but was wondering what steps I need to take now. Water level drops when equipment runs and doesn't run. Do I need to fill back up and plug skimmer and 2 returns and see if level drops? is there a warranty with a new pool or is this my issue now? Any help is greatly appreciated.

I also want to thank everyone here as the info helped me start up and run my pool last summer.



Active member
Aug 1, 2012
I would plug skimmer and see what the loss is. Do you have a jar or something that you can use as an evaporation gauge? We have had massive winds in Texas and my evaporation is about an inch per day. Sounds like you could have a skimmer leak though since your loss slows after it passes skimmer level.
we have had a lot of wind here lately also but I wouldn't think evaporation would take so much water. I am going to fill it back up to operating level and plug everything off as if I was closing it to see if I get a loss and if not I will then only leave skimmer plugged. I will also do the bucket test just to rule evaporation out
update.... I filled pool back above operating level and plugged returns and skimmer line as if I were closing pool, equipment off and in 8 hrs the water dropped 1 inch. thoughts? I am currently doing bucket test for evaporation but I wouldn't think 1 inch in 8hrs at night would be evaporation.

I have pool light,1 skimmer, 2 returns, and 2 drains in the deep end.

did the test last night prove its not plumbing or could the leak still be skimmer?

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
If you lost 1 inch of water at night, it's going somewhere. You may have ruled-out the suction line from the skimmer to the pump by plugging the skimmer, but perhaps there's a problem with the interior shell of the skimmer itself or how it's sealed against the pool? If not, you have to think of those items still under water. It's probably too cold to go down and check (or plug) the drains, so not much you can do there I suppose. The light fixture and returns are a possibility, so you may need to let the water lower on its own again to see where it finally stops. Or try some food coloring with everything off on a calm day to see if the coloring gets pulled into/around any of those items.

Did that pool tech ever show-up with their equipment?
the pool did drain just below the skimmer entry before I started filling it back up. There was standing water in the skimmer that never went down even after plugging it and starting refill. I did try the dye test around the skimmer/returns/ and what I could reach of the light from the deck but im not confident in my 1st attempt at dye test. in regards to the drains, we received a lot of rain in early winter to the point I had to drain the pool by pump as I had it closed and when I took cover of the pool to open there was water in it to just below skimmer where I had previously drained it in early winter. would the drains be suspect if the water level stayed where I left it?

the pool tech is coming this evening or tomorrow morning.

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
If the water eventually stopped at some point (and pump was off), I would think the drains would be ruled-out. So that's a good thing. Also sounds as though the inside of the skimmer should be okay if it's maintaining water. Very interesting. If your 2nd dye testing doesn't show anything, it may boil-down to what the tech has to say. Keep us posted. These frustrating, sneaky situations are a learning experience for us all.
yes, frustrating especially on less than a year old pool but a very good learning experience. I will keep everyone posted.

should I try running equipment and seeing if the water level drops faster or slower or did the test I did last night rule that out?

when I first started the pool up and it was running I am pretty sure I lost water at a slower pace, but I can test that again now knowing there is a leak.

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
That is interesting as well. When your pump is running, there is a potential for external water loss on the pressure side - from the pump to the filter, then to the return lines/jets. You would see that though, or perhaps see soft spots on the ground. While running, the suction side (skimmer to the front of the pump) will not lose water, it will pull-in air (while running) like drinking through a cracked straw. But when turned off, the suction side stops pulling that air in and water can slowly trickle out. But it sounded as though you had your suction side pretty-well closed off by plugging the skimmer. When everything was running, did you ever have air bubbles in the pump basket or from the return jets?
I did not see any air bubbles at the returns or air in the pump. It all looked normal to me but again I have only 3 months experience of a running pool. I am going to vacuum the pool this evening so I will closely watch the returns and pump for air bubbles.
If the pool tech doesn't find a leak with the device, what would be my next step? let the pool completely leak down to where it stops and then look at anything at that level a little above or below?

The skimmer, if the pool water is below the skimmer entry and the plug is in the skimmer and water stands in the basket area that would rule out a skimmer housing crack or leak?

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
More than likely, if your pool is anything like mine, you get more air in the system while vacuuming. :) But when you're done, purge any air out of the filter housing and watch it (pump basket and return jets) for a little while as the evening goes on. While most suction side leaks are above ground (i.e. pump basket O-ring, valves, fitting, skimmer, etc), on a rare occasion it could be in the line itself. You may not see much air get pulled-in from underground, but you never know. If nothing really obvious catches your eye this evening, then it may just boil-down to the pool tech and the equipment they have which may be valuable in this mystery.

Your pool is so new I would thing the installer would be obligated to make sure everything is fine and keep you happy for future referrals. Good luck and we'll watch your post for updates. Try to have a nice weekend. :)
Update, pool guy come and we decided to let water level drop to where it will stop and see if the light is the culprit. I have been running the pool by main drain only with skimmer shut off and it seems to loose water slower than when equipment is off and all returns and skimmer plugged.