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Swimming Pool Repairs: Finding and Fixing Leaks

Think pool leaks are no big deal? A small leak in your pool can create a substantial drain on your wallet. A leaky pool can lose gallons of water every day, increasing your water bill and potentially damaging your landscaping. Cracks can also grow bigger over time, making for more expensive swimming pool repairs in the long run. So if you suspect you have a leak in your pool, it’s in your best interests to perform a thorough inspection. Here’s how.

Do you have a leak? If you’re adding water to your swimming pool every week or so, there’s certainly a chance that your pool is leaking. But depending on your climate and recent weather systems, evaporation may be the more likely culprit. You could potentially lose a quarter inch of water a day to evaporation, particularly if you’re keeping your water temperature high.

Finding the leak. But water loss isn’t always due to evaporation. To figure out whether it is, fill a bucket with water and rest it in your pool, so that the rim of the bucket is above the water level of the pool (try setting it on the steps, or the top rung of the latter, or hanging from your pool skimmer at a corner of your pool). This way, you ensure that the temperature of the bucket water is the same as the temperature of the pool water.

After a few days, compare the water level in both. If the level of your pool water is lower than the water in the bucket, there’s a good chance you have a leak.

Swimming pool repairs for an inground pool. To determine whether the leak is in your filter system, mark the water level of your pool with a piece of duct tape, then run the filter system for 24 hours. Then, measure the amount of water loss, refill the pool to its original level, and wait another 24 hours, this time with the filter turned off. Compare the two water levels; if the water level is lower with the filter turned on, the leak is in your filter.

To ensure that a leak is in the structure of the pool itself, check closely around the pool for any puddles or muddy spots. If you find any, look for cracks in the pool walls nearby. Squeeze some food coloring into the pool to make sure — you should see it get pulled through the crack. Commercial patching materials can solve smaller problems, but bigger cracks may necessitate a visit from a contractor specializing in swimming pool repairs.

Swimming pool repairs for an above-ground pool. First, check all your pipes or hoses, looking for visible cracks in fittings, pipe joints, hose cuffs and clamps. You can also use the two methods described above; check the water level with the filter both on and off. If you suspect cracks in the pool structure itself, use the food-coloring method. Again, some cracks may be easily repaired with commercial sealant, but if the leak is big enough, you may need to call a swimming pool repair contractor

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