How Liner Pools Leak And How To Fix It

Pools are great for cooling off and having fun. Unfortunately, maintenance and upkeep are part of pool ownership. While watching chemical levels and keeping debris out of your pool is always something you need to do, sometimes a leak will pop up. So, how can you find a pool leak and fix it?

To find a pool liner leak, you need to watch the water level of your pool. Some water loss from evaporation is normal, but losing any visible amount (1/4in or so) in a day signals a leak. To fix a liner leak usually requires either a patch or a Full vinyl liner replacement.

That’s the short and sweet way to find a leak and fixing it. Of course, there is a lot more to the process than that. But, don’t worry, we’ll walk you through what you need to know. Let’s look at some of the details you need to know about liner pool leaks, how to find them, and how to fix them!

How Do You Know If Your Swimming Pool Is Leaking?

Luxury Home with Pool at Sunset

Many homeowners deal with pool maintenance on their own. Not only can it save you money, but it means you have more control over your backyard oasis. But, when water seems to be escaping your pool, what are you to do? How can you tell if your pool is leaking or if it’s just a natural byproduct of evaporation?

To tell if your pool has a leak, you can use the bucket method:

  1. Fill a five-gallon bucket with water.
  2. Place the bucket at the edge of the pool.
  3. Mark the water level in the bucket with painter’s tape or a grease pencil.
  4. Do the same for the water level in your pool.
  5. Wait around 24 hours.
  6. Check both the bucket and the pool level marker.
  7. If a huge difference exists, it’s a sign you may have a leaking pool.

Now, this method works well because it rules out a lot of outside variables. Many homeowners don’t know, but pools lose water naturally. This can happen in a few different ways, the main one being natural evaporation.

It can also happen through other water features like waterfalls and playful swimmers splashing around. If you live in a hot climate, you can expect more evaporation.

But, the bucket method works well because it rules out the evaporation factor. If your neighbor has a pool, you can also ask them about their pool level and reference your own. This can be another way to see if your pool is leaking.

Once you’ve established you have a leak, you’ll need to find exactly where it is.

How Much Water Loss Is Normal In Swimming Pools?

Water loss is a natural part of owning a swimming pool. From evaporation to just plain old splashing around, there are many ways for water to get out of your pool. But, to really understand when your pool is leaking, you need to understand what normal water loss looks like.

On average, your pool will lower around an inch every week. While other factors like pool use and environment will play a factor, this is a general rule. A lot of evaporation happens at night when temperatures drop, so keeping a cover on your pool is a great way to limit the amount of water loss from evaporation.

Add it all up, and this evaporation ends up being quite a bit of water. Even if you lose only an inch of water each week, that can add up to 10,000 to 20,00 gallons of water each year. That’s about enough to fill another pool!

While you can’t limit all the natural water loss in your pool, covering your pool and keeping up with proper maintenance is a great way to keep things under control. If you have a heating system, try to limit the use as the temperature difference between the pool and the ambient air supercharges evaporation.

How Do You Find (and Fix!) the Leak In Your Swimming Pool?

Luxury Home with Pool at Sunset

Once you’ve established you have a leaky pool, the next step is finding exactly where the leak is. There are a couple of ways of going about this:

  • Visual check
  • Using biodegradable dyes
  • Electrical impulse tools

The first is pretty straightforward. Get on a pair of goggles and go around your pool’s liner. Make sure to go over every inch. Start at the stairs and work your way around.

Make note of any areas with cracks or tears. Soft spots are another tell-tale sign of a leak. This method will only get you so far. Once you’ve found the suspected spots, you’ll need to confirm they are leaking.

To do this, you will want to use a biodegradable dye. Turn off your pool filter and pump. This will ensure that the leak is pulling the dye and not the pool’s pump.

Once your equipment is off and the water is still, add the dye to your pool in suspected spots. Water will always want to follow the path of least resistance, meaning the dye will go for the leaks.

Last, you can use specialized equipment like electrical impulse tools. These advanced water listening tools can help you find the leaks using audio signals. While these are pricey, you can probably get a pool professional involved if this is the route you want to take.

How to Fix a Pool Leak

The bad news is that, for liner pools, if you have a leak, it’s probably going to require a full liner replacement. For very small leaks, a simple pool patch kit like this Pool Patch Liner Repair Kit (on Amazon) may be enough, but if it’s a big leak and it’s been there for awhile, the tear has probably gotten bigger and the water behind the cover may be making things worst.

All that said, an expensive liner replacement is probably something you want to avoid, so, it’s probably worth using a patch kit option like that one linked above.

Why Is Your Swimming Pool Leaking?

It’s easy to get a leak in your swimming pool, and there are many reasons as to why your pool might be leaking. It’s also worth mentioning that each different pool has different sources for leaks. When it comes to liner pools, what do you need to know?

Leaks can come up in many different areas. First, the liner can crack or tear, leading to leaks. The next source of leaks would be your pool’s plumbing system. From your filter system to your skimmer box, each area can be the source of your leak.

Liner leaks are the most obvious area. In areas where the liner connects or creases, like the stairs or corners, are usually the culprit. The bottom of your pool’s liner may also be the source of the leak. If you’re feeling soft spots with your feet, it can be a sign of a leak.

Next up is your pool’s plumbing system. Just like your liner, these pieces of equipment can get damaged and cause leaks. Even with proper maintenance, problems can occur with otherwise well-cared-for equipment. Water is always trying to find the easiest way out. If there happens to be a small leak, you can be sure it will find it.

You’ll also want to check your filter system and pump. To do so, turn everything off. Once you do, it will be easier to find the leaks. Inspect any plumbing parts and connections for possible signs of leakage.

Wrapping Up

Liner pools leak from time to time; it’s just a natural by-product of regular wear and tear. To find your leak, you should inspect the water level of your pool and use other tools like biodegradable dyes.

Once you find the leak, you can patch it or get a new liner, depending on the severity. Connecting with a pool professional is a sure-fire way to get the repairs you need fast.

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