My first step in finding the leak was ruling out the obvious. I made sure all of my pool hose connections were tight, and that the filter wasn’t leaking water. I made sure the skimmer was securely affixed to the wall (it was leaking earlier in the year because I had replaced it and hadn’t fully tightened all of the screws) and that anything leading to and from the pool wasn’t dripping.
Searching for the Leak from the Outside
As mentioned in my last post, I had a general idea of where the water was leaking from as the outside of the pool had a puddle of water. However, my question was two-fold:
- Was the leak actually in the area where the water was accumulating, or
- Was the water accumulating there because that was on route to the lowest part of the yard?
It’s hard to give a visual, but since the yard is sloped (which makes it great for sledding in the winter), the pool installers had to dig out and level a portion of the yard for the pool to sit. Outside of the approximately 2 foot perimeter of the pool, the yard continues to slope. I didn’t know if the water was coming from a little further up and traveling to the lowest point in order to eventually drain to the lowest area.
To rule out the second part of my question, I walked around the pool poking for wet areas in the surrounding decorative rock to see if anywhere else was soggy. Thankfully, the water was concentrated in one area about two pool panels wide. Hah! That limited my leak search.
Time to Search from Inside the Pool
After spending time ruling out where the leak is not, it was time to get in the pool and start the slow methodical search for the leak. Adorned in my leak battling clothes (bathing suit), armed with the appropriate battling equipment (goggles, magnifying glass and permanent marker), I started the search.
Of course I looked and found nothing, so I decided to let nature help me. I allowed the water level to drop naturally. Eventually, once the water level reached the hole/rip/tear, the water would stop draining just below the tear level thus making it easier for me to find the hole.
Words of warning: At the rate of 2 inches per day, in a 52 inch deep 28’ round pool, this could take a while. In the meanwhile, you can’t run the filter and the water starts to get a bit funky. I couldn’t stand it anymore so I decided to help the pool by draining half of the water out.
When the water level reached 26” I let the pool do the rest (and yes, the water level continued to drop). However, once the water level dropped to 24 inches, I decided the hole must be near the bottom of the pool, so I got in and started to search.