How Do I Know If My Pool Drain Is Leaking?

You always want to have your pool clean and ready for use. One of the best ways to do this is by ensuring that your pool drain isn’t leaking. This could mean taking time out of your day to check if there are any signs of a pool drain leak. You may have a party in the backyard without worrying about water damage to your home or yard if you do this. 

One way to identify a pool drain leak is if the water level in your pool drops during the day, especially if it is lower than when you went out for the day.

Sarasota Pool Repair Leak Detection - Check whether you have to top off your pool more than twice a week so you'll know that you have a leak that needs fixing

Keep reading to learn more about pool drain leaks.

Is My Pool Drain Leaking?

Pool Leak Detection - You always want to have your pool clean and ready for use, and one of the best ways to do this is by checking for pool leaks.

Some water evaporates naturally; some will splash out, and some will go down the drain. You can also get water when it rains. My general rule of thumb is if you have to top off your pool more than twice a week, you have a leak that needs fixing.

Pools need to be watertight. Other pool components will shift, settle, or wear out while sealants decay. Pools can leak through fittings, accessories, plumbing, or even the shell. Click here to learn more about pool leak detection.

Having been aware of pool leaks, remember that fixing them is essential to:

  • Save water, heat, and chemicals
  • Protect the pool’s structure
  • Keep the fill dirt from washing away

Other signs your pool drain may be leaking are:

Too Many Algae

It could be a drain leak if you notice a lot of algae in your pool. Many things can cause algae, like too much chlorine or bromine or insufficient water. The presence of algae is often the first sign that something is wrong with your pool’s drainage system.

One or more drains may leak if you’ve seen green or brown algae floating on top of your pool recently. This lets waste into the filtration system. In turn, it will harm any filter media installed on those drains’ openings, which can lead to clogging.

Trouble Balancing Pool Chemicals

If you have trouble balancing your pool chemicals, it could be from a pool drain leak. Too high or too low pH level can cause many issues with your water chemistry. For example:

  • Chlorine levels are low (below 1 ppm). This indicates a hole in your system, which could leak into the pool! Chlorine needs to be at least 1 ppm for safe swimming conditions. Otherwise, there’ll be algae growth problems. It can also add other issues to the health of your pool environment.
  • The pH level must also stay within certain limits for everything else to work well. The water quality will likely decline if this range exceeds. This will have a knock-on effect on everything else.

High Electric Bills

It could be from a pool drain leak if you get high electric bills from running your pool pump. 

If you have a malfunctioning pool pump, it will use more energy than usual. This can cause an uptick in your electric bill and could be the source of your problem. 

The first thing to do is check if there are any clogs in the drain lines or fittings near where they enter the house. Unclogging them should fix things right up. 

If you want to learn more about how to know if your pool is leaking, you can check out our blog

Check These Things First if You Suspect a Leak

Does the Pool Only Leak When the Equipment is On?

How to find leak in pool Sarasota - Identify a pool drain leak by checking if the water level in your pool drops during the day

This could be a sign of a pressure-side return leak. The pipes after the pump are under pressure as the filter pump runs, which can turn small drips into gushers that spray. 

Check the backwash or waste line to see if the water keeps running. Five hundred gallons of water equals one inch of water in your pool. 

Check downhill from a pool for weepers, where water is coming up from the ground. Check the side of the pool where the plumbing returns water to the pool for soft or wet spots.

Does the Pool Only Leak When the Equipment is Off?

This often indicates a leak on the suction side or the pipes that bring water from the pool. The plumbing on the suction side is under vacuum as the filter pump is running. 

Air can get in through holes that would otherwise let the air out. You may see either of the following if you have a clear lid:

  • Air in the pump basket
  • Air bubbling out of the return lines
  • Air building up over and over inside the filter tank.

Mark the water level with tape or a pencil.

Does the Pool Always Leak?

This doesn’t rule out plumbing leaks. But it does make you wary of the pool’s exterior. Check for cracked plaster or ripped vinyl if you worry about the pool’s exterior. Pay close attention to the tile line and inside the skimmer.

A leak usually comes from where the plastic skimmer meets the concrete pool. Pool putty is all you need to fix this. Drop some test dye near anything you see that looks like a crack while the pump is off and the water is still. See if the dye goes into the crack.

Even lights underwater can leak. It can also happen to the pipes connecting the light niche to the junction box. You can fix this problem by using any of the following in the conduit hole in the back of the light niche:

  • Pool putty
  • Black butyl tape
  • Cord stopper

Do the Equipment Pads Have Leaks?

Check out the filter, the pump, the heater, and the valves. Check to see if the ground is wet. Turn the pump on and off. Pay close attention to whether water is spraying when the pump is off. 

The leak won’t come from one or two small drips. It won’t be a drip if the pool loses water. It must at least be a trickle. 

Does the Water Level Settle at a Certain Point?

Turn on the main drain pump by closing the skimmer valve if the water in the pool drops below the skimmer. We can rule out the skimmer if the water keeps going down (although there can always be more than one leak).

Do a dye test and look around the pool when the water in the pool is stable at a certain level. Look for small pieces of trash that may have gotten stuck in the crack or hole. This is a vital sign that there is a leak. Observe hard if the water stops at a wall fixture, a wall step, or a pool light. 

Plumbing as the possible cause is eliminated with the pump turned off. 

Is There Anywhere Wet Near the Pool?

Sarasota Pool Repair Leak Detection - Check whether you have to top off your pool more than twice a week so you'll know that you have a leak that needs fixing

Take a walk between the pool and the equipment pad outside the pool deck. Check for places where the soil is wet or worn away. Walk down the slope if your pool is near a downhill slope. See if water is dripping from the hillside. You know where the water is going if it is.

Please include attribution to with this graphic.

Pool Leak Detection Sarasota - Click here to know the effective way to fix your pool light conduit leak and get your pool back up and running.

Final Thoughts

Detecting leaks is a very specialized part of the business world. Ninety-five percent of the calls I get from pool owners worried about leaks turn out to be easy and cheap to fix. So, don’t worry. Call us at (561) 570-1269 if you can’t fix the problem. We’ll set up a time to look at your pool and give you a quote for the repairs.

You can also fill out this form. We’ll have the best guys from our pool repair team contact you.

In case you can not view this video here, please click the link below to view How Do I Know If My Pool Drain Is Leaking? on my YouTube channel:

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