3 Questions To Help Diagnose The Source Of A Leaky Swimming Pool

Posted on: 5 October 2016

It is no exaggeration to say that swimming pool owners live in perpetual fear of their pool developing a leak. Fortunately, diagnosing leaks may not be as difficult as you imagine. If you would like to learn more about troubleshooting this common pool problem, read on. This article will present three questions to help you get to the bottom of the issue.

Is the leak only a problem with the pump running?

Leaks that are only detectable when the pump is running most commonly fall into the category of return leaks. This refers to the fact that the leak is occurring somewhere along the pump's pressure-side--that is, the network of pipes carrying the filtered water back to the pool. When the pump is on, a large amount of force is being exerted on the return side.

This pressure is great enough to cause water to escape from even relatively minor cracks, holes, or joint seams that have started to come apart. When the pump is off, however, the return pressure drops, thus causing the leak to seemingly disappear.

Is the leak only a problem when the pump is idle?

At the other end of the spectrum are leaks that occur only when the pump is not running. These leaks are often to be found on the other side of the pump--that is, the suction side, which is responsible for drawing water out of the pool to the pump. When the pump is running, these leaks do not manifest. That's because the vacuum force created by the pump draws the water through the pipes quickly enough that none can escape.

When the pump shuts off, however, this vacuum force ceases to exist. As a result, water is able to leak out through any cracks or weak areas. The best way to pinpoint these weak spots is to take a close look at the water passing through the suction side when the pump is on. If you notice any bubbles or frothing, this is an indication that air is being drawn into the system through a crack, which is where water will escape when the pump is off.

Is the leak constantly a problem?

Leaks that occur whether or not the pump is running are usually not related to the suction system. Rather there is a much greater likelihood that they are related to cracks or weaknesses in the lining of your pool. Such leaks are often the result of caulk that has come loose--often from around the intersection of the pool wall and the plastic skimmer. Use pool putty to repair to such leaks after draining the pool to expose the damaged area.

Contact a company like Oasis Pools for more information.