Suspected leak

Brian8179

New member
Sep 23, 2021
3
Charlotte, NC
I am a new pool owner with an underground saltwater pool. I tried several bucket tests over the summer and it appeared I may have a small leak. I have also been losing salt. I installed a solid vinyl winter safety cover about a month ago, and the poll still lost about 4-6" in 30 days. The water level was at the return jets when I took the cover off, but I am uncertain of the level had stabilized there or not. It seems awfully coincidental that the water level was right at the return jets when I pulled the cover off. I did a visual inspection of the jets, screw tightness, and didn't see any problems. I tried a dye test, and it appeared there may have been a very subtle draw into 2 of the 3 return lines, but it was so subtle, it was hard to tell. I checked all above ground plumbing and discharge with no leaks. Is it time to hire a leak detention company? I called one and they quoted $400. I'm in the Charlotte, NC area. Does anyone have any thoughts or recommendations on any further troubleshooting or a reputable leak detection company? Thank you!
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,236
NY
Does anyone have any thoughts or recommendations on any further troubleshooting
A slow leak is tricky. An inch a week could easily be chalked up to evaporation if the cover isn’t sitting on the water like a solar cover would. But you sure notice the 4-6 inches a month and it sends you down the leak rabbit hole.

We all have big temperature differences at night now and the warmer pool will evaporate faster in these times. In another month or so the colder water won’t evap as quick without the warm days.

I’d recommend an extended bucket test as a few days won’t be enough to call one way or the other. Cover it with some space to allow evap, but stop any rain from getting in.

If the cover is truly solid (mine looked solid, even held up to the light, but wasn’t) and it is in fact a leak, it won’t go below the returns if they are the leak. Or, you’ll still lose some to evap, but not as much as evap + leak. So it will either continue (evap) or slow greatly (leak).

So wait and see. Throw a bucket out by the pool to help make the call.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Brian8179

Brian8179

New member
Sep 23, 2021
3
Charlotte, NC
I tried using dye again, and noticed peculiarly, that one return had flow out, and one flow in...so I plugged the other two returns and checked the isolated return one at a time. There was no draw in or out, so I think there was just some slight current probably due to wind previously where water was getting pushed into one return and coming out the other (they are all connected). So now I'm back to questioning whether there is a leak at all. I'll try another bucket test and see if the water stabilizes again as it draws down. The cover I have is for certain solid except for a 5' x 10' mesh drain in the middle. My biggest red flag is the loss of salt. The local pool store didn't seem concerned, but everything I read says I shouldn't lose salt
 
  • Like
Reactions: Newdude

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,236
NY
I'll try another bucket test and see if the water stabilizes again as it draws down.
Sounds good. Remember there is no rush. It can be a monthlong test if need be. With a mesh drain in the cover, any rain you get will go in the pool so leave the bucket uncovered, and as shady as possible because the pool won’t have sun hitting it directly.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Brian8179

Bperry

Gold Supporter
Aug 20, 2020
1,017
Knoxville, TN
Pool Size
27000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-60
I dunno, if you leave the cover on, and get some rain and still find the level dropping 1-2” in a week, it would seem somethings leaking. I found a crack in my plaster and so I’m chasing the same thing at the moment.
 
  • Sad
Reactions: Newdude