How To Find a Leak In an Above Ground Pool
January 31/2022

We receive calls regularly from customers who suspect they may have a leak in their above ground pool. If you notice that your pool’s water levels have been dropping more than an inch per week, then you might have a leak. There are some simple steps you can follow to not only find the leak, but hopefully fix it.

Determining If There’s a Leak

It’s actually quite easy to determine if your pool is leaking, and one way to figure this out is by doing the ‘Bucket Test’. Start by taking a bucket and filling it with pool water and placing it next to the pool. You will then take some tape and put a line about one inch above the waterline of both your pool and this bucket. Check on it again at least 24 hours later or over the course of several days. If you see that your pool level has dropped significantly more than the water level of your bucket, then it’s likely you have a leak somewhere. On the other hand, if they’re relatively the same, then it might just be the process of evaporation causing your pool’s water levels to decrease. If the pool is in fact leaking, then it’s time to seek out the leak.

Finding the Leak in Your Pool

The first place to start is at the pool equipment. Often, a leak can happen at some point in the filter, plumbing, pump, etc. It’s best to see if there is excess water near or around these things to determine if the leak is within these systems. If you believe the leak is coming from the liner of your pool, take a look at the ground beside it. Since above-ground pools are usually on flat ground, you can easily tell if there are any divots in the ground around the pool that was once flat. This could be an indication of water leaving the pool.

To pinpoint the exact spot of the leak, turn off everything in your pool to make the water as still as possible. That includes the pump, jets, filter, etc. If you suspect that the leak is coming from one particular side of the pool after checking the ground, as explained earlier, you can use some food coloring and put it in the pool near the suspected area. Within that specific area, keep a close eye on where the dye is travelling. This is why you want the water to be completely still. You should see that the dye will be pulled into wherever the hole in your pool liner is. Mark this spot so you can come back later when you have the tools needed to patch the hole. In the meantime, you can use some waterproof tape to temporarily stop the leak.

Fixing a Leak in Your Above-Ground Pool

To patch a leak in your above-ground pool, you will need to get a vinyl pool patch kit and ensure it is at least a few inches wider than the hole itself. Cut the patch into a circle or oval shape to eliminate corners that could peel. If the leak is underwater, fold the patch in half, bring it to the hole, and then slowly and gently open it up while smoothing it onto the liner. You want to press out any air bubbles through this process and then hold the adhesive in place for at least 2 minutes to ensure it will stay. If your face is underwater, use a mask to protect your eyes. If the leak is coming from the bottom of your pool rather than one of the walls, you can take a brick or something heavy and wrap it in plastic before placing it over the adhesive work you’ve just done. You can leave it over the hole for 24 hours to really ensure your patchwork stays.

If you find that the glue is not working the way it should, you can repeat these steps until the hole is patched correctly and you are no longer dealing with a leak. In some cases, if the liner is old or brittle the patch may only be a temporary fix until you can replace the liner. Although having a leak might sound like a very stressful experience, countless tools and resources are available to help you in situations like this.


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