How to Detect and Repair Swimming Pool Leaks Yourself


Leaks in your pool can develop in any part of the pool. However, before you detect pool leaks, you will need to rule out a few potential problems, such as vaporization or a crack in the plumbing that is part of the filter system.

The following is a concise guide that will assist you in locating and DIY repairing a pool leak. Continue reading for the comprehensive guide to learning how to detect leaks in pools.

Process to Detect Leak in Pool

Before you conduct any tests inside your pool, you will need to make certain that the leak is not occurring anywhere within your plumbing or equipment of the pool. Only then can you move on to testing the water itself?

To begin, make sure to inspect every area of your filter system. This includes your swimming pool’s pump, filter, heater, and chlorinator, as well as any O-rings or connections that could be causing water to leak out.

Thankfully, these holes don’t require much effort to get to.

However, there is a possibility that there is a leak in a section of your plumbing that you are unable to locate. In addition, if you have a swimming pool that is built into the ground, the piping that runs underground may crack and develop leaks.

In any case, even if you are unsure as to whether or not you have a leak in your plumbing, the first thing you will need to do is test your pool to ensure that you are not losing water due to evaporation.

Read this article to know the pros and cons of having a pool.

Is it Evaporation or a Leak in Your Pool?

The first thing you need to do in order to find a leak in your pool is to figure out how much water is being lost due to evaporation. To check whether you are losing water due to a pool leak or evaporation, you can use the DIY pool leak bucket test or Dye test.

Detect Pool Leaks or Evaporation with Bucket Test


This do-it-yourself approach is simple, and you probably already have everything you need:

  • Plastic bucket with 5 gallons capacity
  • A marker that is a waterproof or adhesive tape
  1. Put the bucket in place and fill it up: The second phase of your pool should be used to submerge your unfilled 5-gallon bucket in the water. To achieve a level of water in the bucket that is equal to that of the pool, fill the bucket with water. Make a note of this level within the bucket by using a marker or some duct tape.
  2. Turn off the Pump: Put the recirculating pump and any other auto-refilling devices that you may have into the off position.
  3. Compare the Different Water Levels: After a period of one day, check to see how much water is in the pool and see how much is in the bucket. If the water level in both the bucket and the pool has decreased but has stayed the same, this indicates that evaporation is the cause of the water loss in your pool. But, if the volume in the bucket has remained the same or slightly decreased, while the level in the swimming pool has a reasonable decrease, more than the decrease of the bucket, you most certainly have a pool leak.
  4. The same goes for Pump On: Do the test once more for a period of 24 hours, but this time turns the pump on. Doing so will help you detect the exact cause of the leak.
  5. Check New Findings: If the amount of water lost in the pool is greater when the water is rotating under pressure, the source of the leak is most likely located somewhere in the plumbing or filter system of your pool.

Dye Test to Find a Leak in Pool

Detect Pool Leak Dye Ink Test

Using this strategy, which is a bit more complicated than the others, you can pinpoint the precise position of the leak. You will need to go out and acquire a leak detector dye that can be put into the water of your pool.

It is also helpful to provide some adhesive tape on hand so that you can mark any areas in your pool that may be vulnerable to leaks.

  1. Check for Wetness around the Pool’s Ground and Walls: If there is moisture on the ground in an area where there shouldn’t be any, then there is likely a leak in the vicinity of your pool that is seeping into the ground elsewhere. Prior to applying the leak finder dye, you should continue to eliminate as many possibilities as you can.
  2. Stop the Waterfall and Pump: Before you use the dye to assist in finding the location of the fault, the water will need to be as still as is humanly possible. Additionally, this will assist you in locating leaks within or close to the skimmers.
  3. Determine where the leak is by using pool leak detection dye: To locate the leak, stroll to the pool’s edge in that section. Spray the dye in the liquid between the wall and the surface, without really getting your hands wet. If the leakage is nearby, a current of dye will flow in the direction of the excision.
  4. Set the Patching Marks: Make a note of the location using a piece of tape that won’t get wet, indicating where you saw the leakage detection dye flowing. This is to assist you to recall the location of the leak that has to be patched.

The pool leak detector test necessitates the use of goggles and a swim to the pool’s bottom if you feel the leak is located there. But, you must remain as calm as possible during the test itself to prevent the colour from spreading.

Plaster repair is necessary if cracks have appeared in the plaster of your concrete or gunite pool, especially at the point where the rubber skimmer drains into the pool.

When you do these tests, make sure that your pool should be clean as well. Here you can learn about DIY pool cleaning.

How to Repair a Pool Leak?

Repair Pool Leak

A PVC liner pool is easy to fix if it springs from a leak. A high-quality pool repair that is properly applied can prevent leaks for years. However, patches on a pool liner are only a short-term solution. The greater the tear, the faster it will snag and peel off.

You should evaluate the condition of your liner to see if it is worth repairing rather than replacing it before proceeding with any maintenance. Liners lose thickness with age, making them more likely to develop leakage later.

Remember that the water in your pool exerts a pulling force in any area near the stairs or the pool equipment. They’re subjected to more pressure than the rest of the pool, so repairs there might not last as long.

If you decide to fix the leak, you have three options, and you can do it wet or dry with any of them. Don’t attempt to repair a leak by draining the pool. To repair a leak, you shouldn’t have to turn off the water supply.

The walls of an above-ground pool can give way if you drain too much water from it. When a pool with such a vinyl liner is emptied, the vinyl dries up and becomes brittle. You’ll need to repair the liner underwater unless the damage is visible above the water’s surface.

Waterproof Sealing Tape

This tape is also clear, waterproof, and can withstand the sun’s rays like duct tape. When you need to repair extensive damage, you can simply overlay this sellotape.

It’s the cheapest and most easily undone alternative. Nevertheless, it tends to flake with time, therefore it’s best used for fixing tiny leaks.

Bandages That You Just Peel and Stick

These are genuine vinyl patches meant for swimming pools. It’s less probable that the edges of a patch will peel off if it’s precut into a rounded shape.

You just peel off the backing and push the leak to stop it; they are cheap and simple to use. However, they work best on little wounds, such as nicks or tears.

Vinyl Repair Kit

Apply a vinyl repair kit if the hole is wider or you need a more permanent fix. These sets have huge sheets of clear liner or blue as well as a unique vinyl adhesive designed for use underwater.

More difficult to apply, but more durable than, say, a peel-and-stick or waterproof tape repair.