Pool owners often are not aware of the extent of water loss due to evaporation and believe that their pools leak. Water loss in a swimming pool due to evaporation varies according to air temperature and humidity. However, based on experience, one quarter inch water loss per day or two inches of water loss per week is considered average. Greater water loss can be expected when the pool contains water features such as vanishing edges, waterfalls and shear decent type spillways including raised spa spillways.
As a first step, it is recommended that a bucket test be performed to determining if a leak exists. A bucket test consists of the placement of a plastic 5 gal bucket on the 2nd step in the pool. The plastic bucket is then filled with pool water to the exact same level as the pool. Auto fill systems and water features must be turned off so that the water in the bucket is exposed to the same atmospheric conditions and evaporation rate as the pool. After a period of three to five days, the water level in the bucket is compared to that in the pool. Equivalent water levels are an indication that no leak exists. If the water level in the pool is below that in the bucket, a leak or leaks may exist and evaluation by a professional leak detection company is warranted.
Leaks in swimming pools are not uncommon and are typically located at penetrations through the pool’s water resistant surface such as main drains, lights, skimmers and return inlets. Except for the skimmer, the pool plasterer is generally responsible for sealing at these locations. The pool tile installer is generally responsible for sealing at the skimmer. If leaks are discovered after the pool is filled, the resealing is a relatively simple procedure.
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