Expert Pool Work, Inc.

providing expert pool work since 1999

(402) 341-8132

There are two types of leaks that are common with inground pools


Expert Pool Work, Inc. is industry-trained, experienced, and well-equipped to locate and eliminate pool leaks in Omaha and the surrounding areas.

When an inground pool leaks, ground water will accumulate under and around your pool, excessive soil saturation will weaken the soils under and around your pool, these soils will rapidly undermine and erode, and your pool - with all of its filled water weight - will be sitting on disturbed and weakened earth, which can and often will cause major problems to the entire pool structure as well as the underground plumbing and/or the pool deck. And, the cost for their required repairs will be more – perhaps significantly more – expensive than the initial cost would have been for initial leak detection and repairs. If you continue to allow your pool to leak, not only will you inevitably pay to locate and eliminate the leak source(s), but you will also be faced with the real potential for far greater structural problems and expenses.

DO NOT allow your pool to leak.

There are two types of leaks that are common with inground pools:

  1. static leaks
  2. plumbing leaks

A static leak is a leak at the structure or shell of the pool or perhaps around a fixture, such as a light or a skimmer or a hydrostatic relief valve inside a main drain at the very bottom of the pool; a static leak source can be anywhere inside the pool. With a static leak, the pool will continue to lose water until until the water level in the pool gets to the static leak source. 

A plumbing leak is a leak in the plumbing, mainly due to a break/crack in a pipe or a bad connection fitting. NOTE: If the plumbing leak is on the return side (which is on the pressure side) of the pump, then the rate of loss is almost universally higher - and perhaps significantly higher - when the pump is on.

Caution:

The overall process of leak detection can be a real challenge, even for an industry-trained and experienced pool leak detection company that is well-equipped to locate and eliminate pool leaks...like us. I'll be blunt - we are very very good at leak detection. And now I'll be honest - there have been instances where we have struggled mightily to locate the location(s) of a pool leak. To reiterate, the overall process of leak detection can be a real challenge at times - primarily when there are multiple leak sources - but it's a challenge we are always up to meet head-on.

A pool cannot be allowed to leak.

If a pool leak is suspected, it needs to be confirmed, and as the onsite pool owner/operator, you really should take the lead in leak analysis since you have 24/7 access to the pool. And since you're taking the lead, their is no invoice for these services rendered.

All pool owners must understand evaporation. During different times of the year, due to the temperature differential between the outdoor air temperature and the water temperature of the pool, due to wind, due to the location of the pool in the yard, due to a lack of wind barriers, due to sun/shade ratios, due to the surface area of the pool, and due to other sets of circumstances or variables, pool water will evaporate; not can evaporate...will evaporate. Pool water will evaporate...it will. Due solely to evaporation, a pool can lose between 1/8" - (not quite) 1/4" of water per day...again, this water loss can be solely attributed to evaporation. Most pools - probably the clear and absolute majority of pools - will evaporate closer to an inch of water max per week, but it would not be out of the question for a pool to evaporate a solid inch-and-a-half of water (perhaps even slightly more) in a week when conditions are favorable. Additionally, if the pool is used a lot during the week, and by a lot of people each time that the pool is used, then the water loss can be even slightly higher due to splashout. And, if your pool is equipped with either a sand filter or a DE filter, then you will lose some water during the backwash process to clean your filter. But, in a given week, most of the water loss - hopefully - is due to evaporation.

NOTE: if your pool is losing closer to 2" per week - maybe even a little less and certainly anything more - then you highly likely have a pool leak.

If you cannot determine if water loss is due to a pool leak or primarily due to natural evaporation, then try this simple clear plastic pitcher test:

First, make sure the pool is filled to the standard operating level, which is half-way into the skimmer opening. Then, get a clear plastic pitcher. You will need to place some weight in the pitcher, such as some river rocks (if you have river rock within your landscaping), or a brick paver, or anything weighted. Place the clear plastic - and weighted - pitched on the top pool step (assuming that water is covering the top pool step, otherwise the next step down). Fill the pitcher with water so its level (inside the pitcher) is the same as the water level of the pool (outside the pitcher). Note the time of day. Check the water level in the pool and in the pitcher in 24 hours (it does not have to be exact, but make it close; i.e. if you start the test on a Monday at  4 pm, then check the results Tuesday as close to 4 pm as possible). If the water level in the pitcher and the water level in the pool are the same, then the water loss is due to evaporation; the pool does not leak. If the water level in the pool drops more than the water level in the pitcher, then there is a leak somewhere with or within the pool. Evaporation occurs at the same rate, regardless of the surface area of the vessel, so water in a pool (regardless of its dimensions and gallons) and water in a pitcher will evaporate at the same rate; for example, if one loses about 1/4" of water in 24 hours due to evaporation, so will the other.

NOTES FOR THIS CLEAR PLASTIC PITCHER TEST:

If the leak is insignificant, you might want to run this test for 2-3 days for a better overall view of the water differential, if any. If there is some differential after a couple of days, but they are both still pretty close to the same level, then run this test another day or so. Even with an insignificant leak, you will have telling results within a week.

This clear plastic pitcher test will not pinpoint a leak source; it is just a test to prove if a pool leak exists or not.

Start with this simple and free test if any type of pool leak is suspected. If the pool does leak, if you are uncertain from where the pool is leaking, you can then follow-up with a 24/24/24 test. With this test, you will actually perform three separate tests, all three for 24 hours each, one with the pump on and two with the pump off.

For the first 24 hour test, you will operate the system per normal operations, with the pump on. All of the valves will be open. During this test, you will be operating the pool as it typically operates. Before the test starts, with a black marker, put a mark somewhere on the pool sidewall (likely a skimmer faceplate) at the water surface to note the current level of the water inside the pool. Note the time of day. Check the water level in the pool in 24 hours (it does not have to be exact, but make it close; i.e. if you start the test on Tuesday at 4:30 pm, then check the results on Wednesday as close to 4:30 pm as possible). Use a tape measure to measure from the black mark to the current water level in the pool. Note the amount of water loss.

Fill the pool level back to the original black line (from where the fist 24 hour test was started).

For the next 24 hour test, you will turn the pump off and put a plug in each of the skimmers and each of the returns; the main drain(s) will have to be left as-is unless you want to hire a diver to plug the main drain(s). With this test, the plumbing - again, with the exception of the main drain(s) - will be removed from the pool. Once the skimmer(s) and return(s) are all plugged and the pump is turned off, note the time of day. Check the water level in the pool in 24 hours (it does not have to be exact, but make it close; i.e. if you start this test on Wednesday at 5:30 pm, then check the results on Thursday as close to 5:30 pm as possible). Use a tape measure to measure from the black mark to the current water level in the pool. Note the amount of water loss.

Fill the pool level back to the original black line (from where the fist 24 hour test was started).

For the last 24 hour test, leave the pump off and unplug the skimmer(s) and return(s). Once the skimmer(s) and return(s) are unplugged, note the time of day. Check the water level in the pool in 24 hours (it does not have to be exact, but make it close; i.e. if you start this test on Thursday at 6:30 pm, then check the results on Friday as close to 6:30 pm as possible). Use a tape measure to measure from the black mark to the current water level in the pool. Note the amount of water loss.

Compare your notes from the 3-day test. From the data collected with the three separate 24-hour tests...

Just by calculating and reporting this information, this will save us time and you money during the leak detection phase(s).

NOTES FOR THIS 24/24/24 TEST:

If the water loss is more (and quicker) with the pump on versus the pump off, if you cannot visibly see a leak at the equipment pad, then the leak is in the underground plumbing. While a pressure test is the best test to determine plumbing leaks, there is some information you can report that might help:

Take accurate notes during the 3 days and call us if something isn't adding up or if you have questions.



HERE ARE TWO NOTES SPECIFICALLY ABOUT THE SKIMMERS AS THEY PERTAIN TO A LEAKING POOL:



As you complete the initial leak analysis, to include accurate note-taking, contact Expert Pool Work, Inc. and share the results with us and then we can discuss the next phase(s) for actual leak detection. Perhaps you can help determine if your pool has a static leak, a plumbing leak, or both. We will help you. And, since you took the lead here, you will not be billed for your time; and, this will make our leak detection quicker and easier (at least somewhat quicker and easier), which will save money on the professional leak detection and other services rendered.

For more information about pool leaks - with information and advice specific to your type of pool - please read our designated web-page for leak detection and repair.

You can contact Expert Pool Work, Inc. at 402-341-8132 or info@expertpoolwork.com to discuss your pool leak and schedule your free onsite leak consultation.

 

 

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