Tips for locating leaks?

TBalcom

Active member
Aug 15, 2016
27
Tacoma, WA
I could cry right now....but it won't do any good so I'm hoping asking for advice in this forum might help.
We just got the pool up yesterday and started filling it. It's an older Intex pool that we bought a new liner for. The old pool had holes, which was why we bought the new liner. We got it all set up and started filling it. Everything looked good so we continued filling it. When we went out to check on it about an hour ago, there's water accumulating in the rolled up tarp underneath.. :cry::pth::poop:
How do we go about finding a leak without emptying the whole pool?! This is so disheartening after doing so much prep work to the new location (moving sod ain't no picnic!), laying down foam board, working with an older pool, and now this. Little things that weren't how we'd wanted them along the way we've just decided to live with but we can't live with a leaking pool. :cautious:
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
11,697
Houston, Texas
Get some food coloring or leak detection dye and squirt it around all the fittings and seams and watch to see if any of the dye looks like it gets sucked into the pool wall. Move slowly so you don’t create any current. The dye will move toward the leak.
 
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TBalcom

Active member
Aug 15, 2016
27
Tacoma, WA
Get some food coloring or leak detection dye and squirt it around all the fittings and seams and watch to see if any of the dye looks like it gets sucked into the pool wall. Move slowly so you don’t create any current. The dye will move toward the leak.
Do you reduce the water level or just use a snorkel and mask? We currently have 40” of water. 😕
However, after 12 hours, the ground is still wet but the water level hasn’t gone down all that much. We may just live with the minor leak. Or buy a new pool. Honestly, we’re so fed up with the headache this pool has been from day one we may just scrap it. 😣😕🤦‍♀️
 

duraleigh

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In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
32,359
Sebring, Florida
If you decide not to scrap the pool, simply turn off any more fill water and let the pool leak down until it stops. The leak will be at that waterline.

Make a mark (or use tape) on the inside of the pool at the current water line and tell us exactly how much water you are losing in a 24 hour period.
 

Poolzzz

Well-known member
Aug 14, 2017
373
Vancouver, BC
Are your fittings underwater? I assume so given 40" of water. That's probably the most likely leak location and worth a dye test there at least if you can't otherwise pinpoint anything.
 

TBalcom

Active member
Aug 15, 2016
27
Tacoma, WA
We inherited an old intex pool and bought a new liner. It still had the water drain valves which we never had issues with until I got a great little pool sweeper that works on the water pressure of the return water. However, the caster wheels have been hitting the drain valve and has cut a hole in the vinyl liner. I know there are patch kits out there but the hole has to be flat. How do I patch something that's not flat?
We may have other leaks, we're still investigating after losing a lot of water over the last week, but this is one we know about. Not sure how to fix it. Would LOVE your help!
(Image is of the drain that does not have the cut/puncture - the one with the hole is in the shade and the photo didn't come out.)
108811
 

TBalcom

Active member
Aug 15, 2016
27
Tacoma, WA
We found one of the main leaks. We drained the pool to the level of the return valves and made sure the liner wasn't the problem. I believe it was a contributing factor. However, in the process, I found a nick in the liner at the drain (vinyl liner over an old AGP) caused by our little water sweeper. Any suggestions on how to fix this since it's not flat? most underwater patch kits assume you're fixing a flat surface.
108812
 

TBalcom

Active member
Aug 15, 2016
27
Tacoma, WA
Is this new liner placed inside the pool inside the old liner? You should be able to get a large enough piece of vinyl liner to glue on. The large piece on vinyl should be able to span across the valve and get to a smoth, but rounded area of the liner. The glue is made for underwater use. Here is one example.
That means the patch would have to be almost 12" wide, for it to be flat. There would be water under the patch, which would eventually leak out (as it's doing now), would that create too much suction on the patch as the negative space was created underneath it?
 

Teald024

TFP Guide
That means the patch would have to be almost 12" wide, for it to be flat. There would be water under the patch, which would eventually leak out (as it's doing now), would that create too much suction on the patch as the negative space was created underneath it?
I'd rather have a 12wide patch with 12" of glue and know it will make a good seal. I would set the patch in the middle and then use pressure to press the patch from center towards the edge of the patch. Start at one direction and work your way around clockwise, or counter-clockwise if you are that kind of person, lol. The glue isn't instant so you will have some time to work it. The water pressure and hand pressure should work most of the water out from under the patch. There won't be any void under the patch if you do it right.

If it makes you feel better, cut a couple of scraps and practice on a table or in a bucket of water first. Let it dry and see what your results are.
 

zea3

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Jul 10, 2009
11,697
Houston, Texas
You will have to use a patch kit and put a double patch on it. First put on a small, rounded patch to cover the nick, then add a larger patch over the top. The larger patch can have relief cuts in it so it lays more smoothly. If you drain for winter cut the old drain fitting out and patch the opening so the newer liner doesn't continue to get cut up.