Concrete Swimming Pool Leaking
Nothing can ruin summer fun faster than a leaky swimming pool. However, wear and tear on pools, even very well-made concrete pools, is a part of life. If you’re pool has a leak, proper diagnosing and fixing of the problem will have you swimming again in no time.
Diagnose the Leak
The first step to fixing a pool is to make sure that it’s actually leaking. If you’ve had your pool for many years, you’ll probably realize quickly that you pool is losing water faster than it should be. If you are a new pool owner, it’s important to understand that all pools lose water due to evaporation. If you live in a very windy and/or hot area, you may lose water even faster than what’s considered normal.
The easiest way to check for a pool leak is to use a bucket of water. Simply fill a bucket with water and set it by the pool. Over the course of a few days, check the water level in your bucket and compare it to the water levels in the pool. If the pool is losing water at a faster rate than the bucket, chances are that the pool is leaking.
Once you’re reasonably sure that your pool is leaking, you’ll want to attempt to figure out what’s causing the leaking. Not all leaks in concrete pools come as a result of a crack in the pool. In fact, plumbing systems are often responsible for swimming pool leaking. Once you’ve confirmed that the pool is leaking, you can perform further tests by running the pools pumping system.
Run the pool pump for a period of time, measuring the water level both before and after you turn the pump on. Next, monitor your water level when the pump is left off for a period of time. If you notice leaking when the pool pump is turned on, the leak is most likely occurring after the impeller of the pump. If the majority of water loss takes place when the pump is turned off, the leak is probably occurring before the impeller of the pump. If you’re losing water at a constant rate, whether the pump is turned on or off, it’s very likely that you have a crack in the concrete.
Fixing the Leak
Establishing that you have a leak is half the battle. Once you are sure you have a leak, you have to find and fix it. If the leak is in the plumbing, you’ll want to check all of your plumbing connections to see if their is an obvious problem. In many cases, the problem is hidden and difficult to find. Because a large amount of a pool’s plumbing system is buried, the best course of action when the location of the leak is not obvious is to contact a qualified swimming pool to come and handle the leak. They have special equipment that will assist them with locating the leak, meaning that they’ll only be required to dig in a small area.
If a crack in the concrete portion of the pool is causing the leak, the size of the crack will determine whether or not it can be fixed without the assistance of a pool contractor. Very small hairline cracks can often be managed by applying a special rubber or epoxy paint on the affected area. Slightly larger cracks can be fixed using a special epoxy compound made specially for concrete swimming pools. If you choose to attempt this on your own, it’s important to follow the directions exactly.
Larger cracks in concrete that are causing swimming pool leaking should always be fixed by a qualified swimming pool contractor. The crack may be caused by a number of factors and a contractor that specializes in concrete swimming pools will be able to get to the root of the problem and fix it so that it does not repeat itself. In some instances, they may need to add an expansion joint to ensure the pool does not crack again.
A leak in a concrete swimming pool doesn’t have to be the end of the world. It’s important to find it quickly and to diagnose and fix it properly so the problem doesn’t get worse. While there are many things that you can do as a home owner, in some cases, it’s best to call in the experts, who will save you time and money in the long run.