Having a new swimming pool installed is exciting and probably has you dreaming of those hot Texas summer days. The last thing you want to think about is your pool springing a leak and costing you money. While pools are a great investment, they also come with added costs that can be surprising if you aren’t prepared. One of the best ways to ensure you aren’t faced with costly repairs out of the blue is to stay on top of your pool’s regular maintenance and watch for any potential problem areas. One of the most common issues with swimming pools is leaks. Leaky pipes, for one, can become a huge problem if ignored for too long.
Spotting a Leak Before It’s Too Late – The Bucket Test
The best way to determine if you have a leak is to perform a bucket test. As you may be able to guess, the basic concept surrounding a bucket test is:
- Make sure the pool water is at its normal level
- Fill an empty bucket with pool water up to about one inch from the top of the bucket
- Place the bucket on either the first or second step of the pool
- If you are worried about it floating away, it may help to place a couple of brings or rocks in the bucket
- Mark the water level inside the bucket
- Mark the water level of the pool elsewhere, such as on the outside of the bucket or even the pool wall
- Let the pool operate as it normally would for 24 hours
- After 24 hours, check the bucket and compare the level of water inside the bucket and in the pool
- If the outside mark goes down more than the water level inside the bucket, there is a good chance you have a leak
- If the levels are close to one another after 24 hours, you are probably leak-free
The bucket test is a pretty fool-proof way to determine if you have a leak or not. In the event the two water levels are off, you may need to call Mid City Custom Pools and have one of our Hurst leak experts come out and take a look. We will test every line within your pool in order to determine where the leak is coming from and go from there. Once the source of the leak is found, you can start taking the appropriate measures to repair it before it gets worse. The location of the leak will determine what needs to be done in order to repair it.
If the levels were pretty close and you are skeptical as to whether or not you have a leak, it may be a good idea to perform another bucket test and compare the levels. You can also do a “pump on/pump off test” in order to get more in-depth information as to the exact location of the leak. This information can be helpful for the leak detection team and will likely save you money in the long run.
How to Prevent Leaks
There are an estimated 20,000 gallons of water flowing in, out, and around your pool at any given time. This is a lot of water and helps us understand why it can be so difficult to locate the exact source of a leak. Here at Mid City Custom Pools, we have a handful of different techniques we use to determine the location and cause of pool leaks.
There are also a handful of things you can do in order to prevent leaks before they turn problematic. One way we do this is through soil stabilization. We try to keep the soil from moving around, as ground movement can lead to leaks. Due to the heavy rains common in North Texas, soil stabilization is hugely important and one of the best ways to stop leaks. Furthermore, soil stabilization can keep your pipes from bursting, causing a huge headache and an expensive problem.
That being said, the absolute best way to prevent leaks on new construction is to check and maintain pressure constantly while building. At Mid City Custom Pools, that is something that we are talking to our superintendents about. We are always encouraging builders to check and document the pressure. This is important because any increase or decrease in pressure may indicate there is a leak or something just isn’t working right. We have your best interests in mind and want to make sure your new pool doesn’t have any problems for many years to come. If you have questions about preventing leaks or about having a pool installed, please do not hesitate to contact our Hurst pool builders.