Unknown Leaks

Unknown Leaks

Unknown Leaks, or Possible Water Loss from an Unknown Location:


1.) Do you really have a Leak?


        a.) Find out for sure.


                For Pools ONLY:


                       POOL TESTING PROCEDURE:


A.)  Turn off the water leveler

B.)  Put a pencil mark on the tile, EXACTLY where the water level is. 

C.) Normal water loss , for the Valley of the Sun (Phoenix and surrounding communities) is about an inch during the winter and 2-3 inches during the summer.

D.) If your water loss does not exceed these amounts, you probably have no leak.

E.)  You can also take a bucket, put a heavy brick in it, place it on the top step and adjust the water level in the bucket to perfectly match the level in your pool. The evaporation in the bucket will closely match that of your pool. If they stay at the same levels, NO LEAK IS PRESENT.


                 For Pool & Spa Combinations:


                   Most of the time, this is just "perceived" water loss as the elevated spa's seep water into the pool below. In almost all cases, the water increase of 200 gallons (1/3 of a spa) is not visible at all in a 15,000 gallon play pool, or a 23,000 gallon diving pool. That's a 3% change in water level. You aren't going to see this difference in your pool level, although it is 1/3 or more of your spa (Which is quite noticeable.)




                    Again, Turn Off the water leveler. Fill up spa to normal operating water levels. Mark the pool tile with a pencil at EXACTLY where the water height is. Shut off all equipment and wait for the spa to drain. check the line in the pool. if it is under water at  all, you can bet that this is where your water went. (Remember, that's about a 3% or less water gain to the pool.) To check, turn the equipment on and refill the Spa. If the spa is refilled, and the water level in your pool is exactly where it was when we started, you have leaky spa check valves, and/or you need another check valve on the suction line to the spa as well.


         NOTE: If your check valves leak water back into the pool, I recommend calling a pool professional to determine if it is seeping through the pressure side of the equipment, and/or the suction side. This can be done by refilling the spa, shutting off the equipment, then closing off the suction side valve ONLY, (Returns open) and seeing if it leaks water into the pool, then refilling the spa, shutting off the equipment, then closing off the return valve to the spa ONLY,  (Suction side open) and seeing if it leaks. Should you need to replace a valve, I only recommend "Jandy" spring valves. Should they EVER start to seep in the future, the home owner can replace the guts in them without needing a repair man. It is a major plumbing job to remove, or add, a check valve. Call a service tech for this.


2.) I did the above. I have a leak. The next step is to see if you lose more water with the equipment on, or the equipment off.


            I.) Pressurized water loss Test


                    A.) Refill Pool

                   B.) Shut Off Water Leveler

                   C.) Repeat the "Pool Testing Procedure in "1a" above

                   D.)  Leave the Pool Equipment "ON" for 24 hours straight (Non-D.E.) (4 hours on 2 hours off, 4 hours on, 2 hours off, … for a D.E. Filter)

                   E.) Measure your water Loss


            II.) Non Pressurized Water Loss Test


                A.) Refill Pool

                B.) Shut Off Water Leveler

                C.) Repeat the "Pool Testing Procedure in "1a" above

                D.)  Leave the Pool Equipment "OFF" for 24 hours straight

                E.) Measure your water Loss


            III.) Diagnosis


                A.) Water Loss greater with equipment "ON" = Most Likely a Pressure side leak in return lines, floor head line(s) or other pressurized location.


                B.) Water Loss Less with Equipment "ON" = Most Likely a Suction side (Between skimmer & Pool) leak (Look for air in system, or air coming in under lid, as a "Possible" symptom. Note: There are a number of other possible reasons for air coming in as well. Check those first. DO NOT JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS!)


                C.) Water Loss the Same, Regardless = Probably a static leak like around the skimmer edges, where they seal against the Tile in the skimmer mouth, although there are other possibilities, even in the pool surface itself. If you can locate these types of leaks, most of the time, you can seal it with epoxy putty.


                So how do I fix the rest? My suggestion is to call a professional for more information. Most of these are not something most home owners can repair. Some require specialized equipment to pinpoint the leak(s), to prevent digging up major portions of decking and the pool.