How Do Pool Leaks Occur?

Pool Leak Detection Sacramento CA

Your pool can seem like an impermeable surface, and there’s no way that water could get out of it—except perhaps via splashing and evaporation. But the truth is, pool leaks occur more often than you might think. For most pool owners, your pool will continue to provide you with a private place to swim and relax for years or decades without any issues with leaking. But when a leak does occur, you’re likely going to wonder what caused it. Keep reading to learn the most common causes of pool leaks, and if you believe you might have a leak in your pool, contact us for pool leak detection in Sacramento, CA.

Pool Skimmer

Pool skimmer leaks are most likely to occur in a vinyl liner pool. While any leak is a nuisance, the good news is that this type of leak is usually pretty easy to find and fix. If your skimmer is leaking, then the water level will drop steadily until it falls below the bottom of the skimmer. Then, the leaking will stop. You can also test to determine if the leak is in your skimmer: Just turn off the pump or close the skimmer valves and run the pump on drain only. If the leak stops when you do this, the problem is in the skimmer.

A leak in your skimmer is much more difficult to deal with if it’s actually in the skimmer pipe. This can be a pool owner’s worst nightmare, as it requires you to rip up your pool deck and replace the pipe. Fortunately, this particular type of leak isn’t actually all that common. You’re much more likely to see leaks around the pool skimmer itself.

Structural Damage

Your pool’s structure is designed to be waterproof, but when the surface is damaged in some way, it becomes compromised and can begin to let water seep out. Of course, not every crack on your pool’s surface constitutes structural damage that leaks water. More often than not, those little cracks you see on your pool are merely cosmetic. However, they can begin to expand and eventually lead to pool leaks, so it’s a good idea to get even cosmetic cracks patched up quickly.

Structural damage can occur anywhere on your pool’s surface but is most likely to happen around pool fixtures like lights and returns. Because these fixtures already permeate the solid surface of your pool, they create weak points where it’s easier for water to begin leaking out.

You can investigate pool fixtures and cracks for leaking using the dye test. Simply put a few drops of dye into the water directly in front of the area that you suspect is leaking. There is no leak if the dye swirls into the water and dissipates. If it appears to get sucked into the crack, then you have structural damage leaking into the surrounding soil.

Plumbing Leaks

Just as the plumbing in your home can leak, the plumbing for your pool can leak as well. Unfortunately, these are much more difficult to detect than either of the leak types we mentioned earlier. Your pool’s pipes are almost entirely underground, with only a few feet exposed directly around your pool equipment. To find a pool plumbing leak, you’ll need specialized equipment.

At Bullseye Leak Detection, we rely on advanced sonar equipment to detect the subtle underground noises associated with a plumbing leak. We’ll pinpoint the exact location of the leak to minimize the amount of decking that needs to be removed to repair it.

Plumbing Services Sacramento

Broken Pipes

Sometimes, your pool’s plumbing does more than leak—it breaks. Your pool utilizes many pipes to constantly cycle water in and out of your pool, treating it and keeping it clean and usable for your family. These pipes include the following:

  • Return pipes – These are common leak locations. As the ground settles around your pool, it might settle at different rates. When this uneven settling occurs around your return pipe, it can cause the return pipe to slightly separate from where it meets the pool wall, resulting in a leak.
  • Main drain – Main drains are very difficult to inspect and repair without proper equipment. However, if a rock or rust obstructs the hydrostatic relief valve, it will prevent the valve from closing properly and result in a leak.
  • Skimmer pipe – We mentioned this pipe briefly above. It’s connected to the underside of your pool skimmer and encased in concrete, making it very difficult to get to. If the skimmer pipe breaks, you need a professional to repair it.
  • Equalizer line – The equalizer line is a common source of leaks for older pools. It is also connected to the underside of the skimmer, making it hard to get to. However, you don’t typically see this in newer pools or renovations.

If you think your pool leaks but don’t know where it is or don’t have the tools to repair it, contact Bullseye Leak Detection today for plumbing services in Sacramento.