Plumbing Leaks

This section looks at plumbing leaks and the common ways that swimming pools tend to leak. You may be intimidated at the thought of having an underground plumbing leak in your pool and this is understandable. While you may feel that the leak could be anywhere, and it could, it almost certainly is in one of only a few places.

Leaking Return Lines

Return lines tend to leak quite often. This can be from improper installation, improper materials or external factors however it is very likely that the leak is at a plumbing fitting. Fittings are used to create bends in rigid and semi rigid plumbing pipes and it is these connections that are most likely to leak. Plumbing pipes can be crushed under certain uncommon circumstances however in the vast majority of cases the leak will be at a fitting.

pool wall return

The first place that you should look if you suspect that you have a leak in your return line is where the pipe meets the return fittings in the wall of your pool. The picture above shows the back of the wall where a pipe would connect. If not installed correctly (which should include a 90 degree elbow pointing straight down immediately at the wall) leverage forces can cause the wall fitting to crack along the top edge as the ground around it settles over time.

Skimmer Leaks

Again while it is possible for a skimmer line to leak anywhere it is almost certainly going to be leaking from a failed fitting connection. This can be anywhere along the pipe run however the most common area for a leak in a skimmer line is directly underneath the skimmer.

pool skimmer leak

The pipe itself connects to the skimmer via a glued connection or threaded connection. In addition to this there is also a 90 degree elbow that points the pipe towards the pump location. This collection of fittings is the most likely area that you will find a skimmer leak.

How To Find Pipe Leaks

Other than doing a series of tests that may allow you to locate the leak source by process of elimination the most effective tool that you have for finding leaks in the pipes of your pool is a stethoscope. Both real and toy stethoscopes will work. In addition to this tool you will need to pressurize the pool pipes which is know as a pressure test.

Any leaks that are in the pool system can often be heard using a listening device at the suspected leak location. Some leaks are easier to hear than others depending on the location and size of the leak as the backfill used to bury the pipes.

Pressure testing the plumbing system is a more advanced leak test and you may want to look into hiring a leak detection company or local pool contractor to complete this for you. If you are an intrepid DIY enthusiast then you may be able to complete the pressure test yourself but be careful as pressurizing the plumbing system can be dangerous.

Continue to the section that looks at the water level test

The menu on the right is a chronological step by step process to determine where a swimming pool is leaking. This website is written as a readthrough technical assistance guide for locating leaks. When you believe you have identified where the pool is leaking you need to go to our sister website to see pictures and learn more about the actual swimming pool leak repair process.