One of the worst feelings for a swimming pool owner is when they realize they have a leak. Maybe it’s a noticeable leak – and that’s a good thing! Because leaks aren’t hard to repair if you already know where they are. It’s when you’re wondering, “Why is my above ground pool losing water?” but can see no discernable leakage that you really have a problem. Finding a leak in an above-ground swimming can take a lot of time and even more luck. If you’re willing to put in the effort rather than just taking the easy way out by replacing your liner, we’ve come up with some tips on how to narrow down the process.
Start with The Hardware
Before you start inspecting the pool itself, check the pool’s hardware. This includes the water pump, filtration system, heater, hoses, fittings, skimmer box, and return. Inspecting the hardware is actually much easier than going over every inch of your pool, so if you get lucky and find the leak there, you’ll have saved yourself a lot of hassle. Clean out the area around your water pump and filtration system. Wipe down the pump, filtration system and heater with a dry cloth and turn on the pump. After letting it run for awhile, check the ground for moisture. Also, make sure to check underneath the pump itself. Inspect the hoses and fittings for drips. You’ll also want to take a close look at the skimmer box and return. Dry them well, let sit for awhile and then inspect them thoroughly – especially underneath. If everything still looks dry, you’ll have to move onto the swimming pool itself.
Inspect the Outside
The next easiest thing to do is take a walk around the outside of your pool and see if there are any noticeable wet spots around the outer walls. Take extra care to check the bottom track. If this requires some digging and removal of earth, you’ll need to carefully uncover these slotted rails. You’ll also need to distinguish between moisture that’s simply part of the soil and excessive moisture that’s actually a leak. If you can perform this inspection after a spell of dry weather, it’s bound to be easier.
Inspect the Pool Floor from Above
Your vinyl liner has a huge surface area. To properly inspect it, you’ll need to take your time and be methodical. Before you actually get into the pool you should take a good look at the floor from above. To do this effectively you’ll need a wind-free day. Turn off your water pump and allow the surface to become still. A pair of good sunglasses might help depending on how the sun is reflecting off the surface. What you’re looking for are small divots, depressions or indentations in the pool floor. A leak can cause the sand underneath the floor to wash away providing evidence of seepage.
Inspecting the Liner from Inside
If all your efforts have come up fruitless, you’re going to have to get into your pool with a dive mask or a good set of goggles to check the liner more closely. Start at the bottom and slowly move up the walls. You’ll also need a large syringe filled with dyed water. If you think you see a leak, shoot some of the dye towards it and see if it seeps out.
Last Ditch Efforts
If you still haven’t found the leak, you can always just let the pool drain. If it eventually levels out, you’ll be able to ascertain the height of the leak and carefully inspect around the waterline. If your pool completely drains and you still can’t locate the leak, it’s probably time to replace your liner. They all need replacing eventually anyway and a new liner should finally rectify your problem.
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