Finding a leak in a swimming pool.
If you suspect your swimming pool is leaking there are a number of steps you could take to locate the leak(s). You can request a pool survey, but first try these step by step approaches below These will eliminate some of the suspects in finding where the pool is losing water from.
- First fill the pool up to the usual level and place a mark on the wall to where the level is.
- Take note of the time and leave for 24 hours, then measure from the mark down to the water level and make a note.
- Calculate the length x width of the swimming pool x the depth measurement of water loss that you noted.
- This will give you the volume of water in cubic metres (or cubic feet if you prefer) that the pool has lost over 24 hours.
- Further calculation will work out how many litres or gallons per hour the pool is losing water.
- Take a close look for any holes or tears in the liner fabric.
- If it’s a concrete pool, look for tiles or mosaics that have come loose off the wall or from the pool floor in places.
- Can you see any cracks in the walls or the floor of the swimming pool?
- A crack in the rendering could potentially be where the water is leaking from and further investigation may be needed to determine the extent of possible damage to the pools shell.
- Look carefully at your roman end or pool steps, there may be slight cracks on the treads or the rises so have a good look all over the sides of the steps.
- Sometimes pool skimmers crack due to poor maintenance, frost damage or general old age and deterioration.
- Check the returns for signs of ware.
- Main drains and underwater lights are obviously more difficult to get at to check for leaks, so unless you know what to do, this is best left to an expert to determine if there a leak around these fittings.
- In concrete pools, it is often either a breakdown of materials of poor workmanship that causes the leak, i.e. Not sealing around the inlets, the skimmers and main drains correctly. Check around hand rails as well.
- Inspect around the filter, pool pump, valves, multi-ports, and filter lid, pipes, and the connections.
- Sometimes a gasket fails leading to water leaking from the connection.
- Look over the heat ex changers, and pool heater these can corroded.
- For other clues check underneath the fittings for wetness, look for puddles of water.If we are fortunate to have weeks of hot weather or you have an indoor pool use the bucket test.
Shotcrete and Gunite pools are notorious for leaks.
If constructed incorrectly the structure will eventually breakdown and become nothing more than soggy paper cup.
This is because the water has seeped through the finished lining, be it tile or render and has aggravated the matrix of the concrete breaking down the bonds that hold the shell together.
As opposed to liner pools, concrete swimming pools are built with reinforced concrete walls and flooring, several coats of waterproof render covering the shell, followed by
tile-bands and marble type render finish, or covered with mosaics or tiles which are fixed on with waterproof adhesive and grouted. The plumbing system is installed during the construction process and that is the finished product.
When a concrete pool “shell” begins to leak, it’s usually in more than one section of the pool and there may be unseen underlying problem with the construction itself.
Patching and re-rendering the swimming pool is not always a good idea and you may be throwing good money away. The only answer apart from fibre glassing the pool is to line the shell with a heavy duty 1.5mm thick vinyl liner with a felt underlay. These types of liners have 10 year guarantee.
For help in locating and finding leaks and possible swimming pool renovations, plus more informationabout leaking pools, or if you are about to purchase a property with a swimming pool and require a swimming pool survey contact John Cox TnISPE. Covering most areas from London Gloucester Oxfordshire Bath Bristol Herefordshire to Cardiff Swansea and West Wales
0789 2208 3001. Mobile website
or better still send an email here stating the problem