Pool Plumbing Leaks

75% of swimming pool leaks originate in the plumbing system somewhere. A pool filtration system operates under pressure and the chlorine in the water creates an environment that is difficult for materials to last in. Combine these problems with material deficiencies over the last 40+ years as well as settling of the ground area around the pool and you will begin to see why there are so many leaking swimming pools out there.

above ground pool skimmer

As a service processional I am highly skeptical about the integrity of pool plumbing systems simply because I have seen so many over the years that were built to be substandard. Many pool systems are leaking from the day they are installed believe it or not.

Common Pool Leak Locations

By far the most common pool plumbing system leak is the return line leak. You can easily spot if your pool has had the returns repaired in most cases by the concrete patch on the deck above where the return is located. A repair patch is anywhere from 12" to 24" squared and the concrete will be obviously cut and repaired.

cracked pool skimmer

Pool skimmers tend to leak also from improper gasket installation, cracking from improper winterization (like the crack in the bottom of the skimmer pictured above) and ground settling issues. A leaking skimmer will not likely be as noticeable as a leaking return line since the constant negative pressure of the suction from the pump can minimize the leaking.

Pool Pressure Testing

The most definitive tool in the repertoire of a leak detection service technician is the pressure test. This process involves charging the pool plumbing system with either air or water and monitoring the stability of the pressure over a period of time.

A pool plumbing system, at least in theory, should be 100% leak free and any loss of pressure in the lines should be viewed as a leak. Pressure testing will likely require professional assistance as this process can be somewhat dangerous and will require a few specialty tools that you many not own.

In some cases it will be worth your while to pay for a pressure test just to make your like easier and get to the bottom of the leak. Note that most pool leak detection companies do not actually repair the leak - they just locate it for you and you dig it up an repair it.

You can now begin diagnosing the location of the leak in your swimming pool with the hydrostatic leak 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.