How to properly check for a leak in your pool

pool with wall

There has been a lot of talk about water bills lately in the Houston area thanks to reports of water bills skyrocketing recently. This issue was featured on Houston’s Channel 2 news a couple of weeks ago and is summed up with this article (which has an attached video).

Whether that skyrocketing is due to bad water meters, massive leakage, or self-correction from the water companies is up for debate, but it is something that has been a worry for homeowners. While we are completely confident that your Ultimate Pools pool won’t be the source of a spiked water bill, we do advise you to run your own test to make sure that you can determined whether a) you have a water leak in your pool and if so b) what the source of that leak is.

Is there a leak?

Before we start the test to determine the source of your leak, we have to determine whether there is a leak in the first place. To do this, you have to figure out what the normal rate of water evaporation is. That rate of water evaporation is dependent on external factors such as temperature, wind velocity and relative humdity along with the number of gallons of water that you’re measuring. For those of you who are mathematically inclined, check out this formula.

For those of you who aren’t, the basic rule of thumb is that any water depth loss of an inch or less in a 24-hour period can be attributed to natural evaporation. Surface level loss of 1-2 inches can be¬†indicative of a leak but can also happen via evaporation in larger pools in hotter, drier, and windier conditions. Anything more than 2 inches is almost certainly indicative of a leak.

Finding the source

Now that we know what constitutes a leak, we can now figure out where the leak is coming from. The way to do this is by running this two-pronged test that will take roughly 48 hours to execute. Before running the test, go to your pool and figure out how far up the tile line on the side of your pool your water goes. Mark that point with an easily identifiable marker such as tape (do not use a permanent marker or anything that can’t be removed completely afterwards). Once you’ve done that, you can run the test.

  • Test one: Take an initial water surface reading, record it, then run your water pumps continuously for 24 hours. Once that 24 hours is up, measure your water surface level area and subtract it from the surface level from the day before.
  • Test two: Fill your pool back to the level it was at prior to the first test (you should still have the tape from that day on the tile). After that, wait 24 hours but be sure to turn off your water pumps and make sure there’s no water circulating in or out of the pool during that time. Measure again after the 24 hours is over and compare it to the marked level.

If you find a leak (a water level decrease of two inches or more) after running the first test with the pumps on, that indicates that you have a significant problem in your plumbing that needs to be addressed. In that case, there’s a significant amount of water that’s not making the journey from your pipes to the pool. Now, if you find a leak in the second test, that’s indicative of a leak in the pool’s structure.

If you’re worried about leakage and your pool, conduct these tests. At the very least, you’ll get a good idea of what you’re dealing with, if anything.

Discover Ultimate Pools

Ultimate Pools has been a leader in pool building and outdoor improvements in Magnolia, The Woodlands and Southeast Texas since 1991, specializing as a pool builder since 1999. From pools, waterfalls, hot tubs, decks, outdoor kitchens and outdoor improvements, Ultimate Pools will provide the highest of quality and customer service to you. Surf our website, send us an email, give us a call at (936) 321-9632, or visit our offices at 5170 FM 1488, Magnolia, TX 77354 today!

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