S.Cental PA - evaporation or leak?

Stilly

LifeTime Supporter
Feb 26, 2012
123
Lancaster, PA
I am located in South Central PA and have had our pool running for about a month now. Newly installed unground, so I am a complete newbie.

It seems to me that I have had to top off the pool about once a week, sometimes more often. Is this normal? Or is it likely that we have a slow leak somewhere? I am talking about an inch or two a week. We have some splash out, so I take that into consideration. I have not been using the solar cover, in case that info is necessary. Temps have been getting cooler in the evenings, is this what causes evaporation? But how much?


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BoDarville

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 5, 2012
3,844
DFW, Texas
Hi Stilly:

Here in Texas, I top off my pool twice a week on average. The hot and mostly dry weather is a big contributor to my periodic top offs. In addition to that, I do a lot of lap swimming at a brisk pace which cause some water to spill over and / or splash against the overflow drain and down into the alley. I keep my pool operational all season, even when the water's too cold to swim in. During the off season, I rarely, if ever, need to top off.

If you suspect a leak (or just want to rule it out), here's an article outlining various tests that can be performed: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-school/leak_detection. Note the "bucket test" in particular.
 

Stilly

LifeTime Supporter
Feb 26, 2012
123
Lancaster, PA
Thank you for the link - I knew it was on the site somewhere but have been using my phone and could not find it.

Our temps have been mid 80's with lows in the 60's. Would these cooler overnight lows cause more rapid evaporation? I can't even imagine how much I would be losing once the hotter weather kicks in.

I have a friend nearby who has a pool and I will be asking her if they have also had a lot of evaporation. Hoping to try the bucket test later this week after topping off again.


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jmborchers

Well-known member
Jun 11, 2012
95
Allentown, PA
Stilly. We live in pretty close proximity. I'm losing less than 1/16" per day lately so your rate seems a bit high to me but perhaps your water is already a higher temperature than mine which would give you a higher vapor pressure (faster evap). Any water fountain causing higher evaporation rate would increase this?

If you do the bucket test make sure the position of the bucket represents the average pool location (sunny/shady) as that will make a difference. Especially in a plastic bucket where the conduction of heat through the bucket wall acts as more of an insulator.
 

Stilly

LifeTime Supporter
Feb 26, 2012
123
Lancaster, PA
Thanks for the input Mesamav. What surprises me about the water loss is that I am not in the same hot, dry climate as you. I just never expected to see such a rapid loss so early in our swimming season.


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Stilly

LifeTime Supporter
Feb 26, 2012
123
Lancaster, PA
The instructions in the link say that I should plug the inlets and outlets. What would I use to do this? I don't have any plugs. I'm guessing these would be plugs used during winterizing the pool? Our PB will be coming to do this at the end of the season. How important is it that I use plugs during the bucket test - and can it be done without them just to rule out evaporation?


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Stilly

LifeTime Supporter
Feb 26, 2012
123
Lancaster, PA
Imborchers - my water temp has been averaging about 70 - 72. We hit 74 a few days ago but it went back down. My pool is shallow - 3' to 5' (don't know if that makes a difference).


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jmborchers

Well-known member
Jun 11, 2012
95
Allentown, PA
For a first pass bucket test personally I wouldn't worry about pluging inlets and outlets. If the bucket test shows a large water difference then I would stop off all inlets and outlets on a second pass because then you'd know you were losing water from the pool somewhere.
 

jongig

LifeTime Supporter
Nov 27, 2010
122
Last year I had a leak and purchased a type of bucket test that was easier to use than the bucket test and confirmed I had a leak. In the end it was a small unused 1/8 inch hose in the skimmer that was not connected the way it should have been. Drove me nuts for a week. Good luck.
 

melissab

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2010
229
Mickleton, NJ
I have read that you loose more water to evap when tempetures are warm during the day and cool at night. The last few weeks it was been near 80 during the day but much cooler once the sun sets. I was adding water more frequently than normal too, I have a next door neighbor with a pool and we are always checking in with each other confirming that we are both needing to add around the same time. I would guess this may be your issue since you are in the same climate as me but a bucket test may help easy your mind.
 

barnyard

Well-known member
May 12, 2009
99
Pennsylvania
Stilly, just for reference. I am in York County, so very close to you. I have an above ground pool and haven't added any water to it yet this year. I opened the week before Memorial Day weekend. We have enough rain in the area to keep things topped off some. I came close to adding water once until we got that 3" of rain in 1 afternoon a couple of weeks ago. I also use a solar cover also, but not all the time. That was just for your reference. I hope you find good news when you figure it out.
 

Stilly

LifeTime Supporter
Feb 26, 2012
123
Lancaster, PA
That is very helpful, thank you barnyard. Knowing we are just miles apart makes me think my problem might be more than evaporation.


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