Swimming Pool Leak Detection Cape Town

Leak Detection for Swimming Pools

Every swimming pool eventually develops a leak & finding a leak on a swimming pool often involves more than just testing your swimming pool pipes, which is all that most “leak detraction specialists” actually offer.

For this reason, you are always better off with hiring a registered swimming pool specialist such as Bermuda Pools, who offers leak detection as a service.

A registered swimming pool specialist will have a much higher success rate & will also be able to provide you with a repair quote once your swimming pool leak has been found.

Often we are hired to find leaks on swimming pools where other “leak detection specialists” have failed before us, or they have managed to find a leak but are not able to repair the leak.

Additionally, the methods & the equipment that they use is very inaccurate most of the time (i.e. tracer gas, thermal imaging &/or audio equipment). These methods may certainly be useful for finding general plumbing leaks, roof leaks, rising damp & so on however, time & time again we are called to repair leaks where a “leak detection specialist” has been involved, only to find that the leak is nowhere near where they have indicated, & the homeowners ends up having to pay for additional leak detection so that we can find the leak.

A swimming pool leak can occur in a number of different places on the swimming pool shell / structure, the underground pool pipes, the pool fixtures such as the weir, aimflow or pool light or even on your swimming pool filtration, solar heating, water feature or similar.

Rim-flow swimming pools can be a little more challenging but usually a leak can be found with a bit of patience & some basic process of elimination.

Swimming pool leaks can be caused due to wear and tear, old age, brittle pipework/fixtures as well as due to poor workmanship or inferior quality materials. It is important to be thorough & to not be impatient or skip any steps during your leak detection process, even if you think you know where a leak is. Rather carry out all the steps in order because we have often found more than one leak on a swimming pool, especially on older swimming pools or in the case of poor workmanship.

Sometimes when pipework, equipment etc. has reached a certain age the materials begin to deteriorate & naturally, a leak develops. The leak is then found & fixed but shortly after or immediately when the system is re-pressurized, a new leak (secondary leak) appears, often on the exact same section of pipe. This almost always occurs due to old/brittle parts (in the case of an older swimming pool) or due to inferior quality materials or poor workmanship (on newer pools) & in such as case a registered, experienced & knowledgeable swimming pool specialist would advise you to replace the defective pipeline or part in it’s entirety so that you are left with a quality repair as well as a workmanship guarantee.

By following the tips below, you should be able to easily detect whether or not you have a leak on your swimming pool. Remember that the sooner you find and fix a leak on your swimming pool, the less you risk causing additional or resultant damages to your swimming pool & swimming pool equipment.

How to tell if your pool is leaking

Follow all steps, in the correct order. Skipping steps because you think you have “found the leak” might end up causing frustration & confusion, especially if you have 2 or more leaks on your swimming pool.

Step 1:

Evaporation Test / Bucket Test – You might be adamant that the sudden increase in water loss on your swimming pool is definitely not evaporation, but bear in mind that the average swimming pool can loose up to 50mm per day depending on the environment (sun, wind, exposure etc.)

A simple “bucket test” can confirm this.

Place a bucket next to your pool and fill it with water. Mark the water level inside the bucket as well as inside your pool. Monitor (over 24-48 hours) how much the water level drops below the marks you have made in the bucket & your pool. If the water level in the bucket & the water level in the swimming pool both drop at roughly the same rate (give or take a few millimeters) then you are likely experiencing evaporation & do not have a leak on your swimming pool.

However, if the water level in your swimming pool drops faster than the water level in the bucket (a difference of approx. 10mm or more) then it is possible that you have a leak on your swimming pool in which case you’ll need to carry out some basic, process of elimination tests or alternatively you may call us to provide you with a quote for our swimming pool leak detection service.

How to find out where your pool is leaking…

Once you’ve determined that your pool is leaking, the next step is to find the cause (or causes) of the leak on your swimming pool. There are a a number of steps to follow & all steps should be followed in the correct order. Results should ideally be recorded so that you can provide us or your swimming pool contractor with as much, accurate information as possible so as to save yourself the cost of having additional tests carried out.

Please avoid skipping steps & remember to follow all steps in the correct order, to avoid having to start the entire process all over again.

Step 2:

Next, inspect the pump & filtration area for any drips on the equipment or pipework plus any wet areas visible on the ground or similar. It is very common for leaks to occur in & around the filtration area so it is very important to check the swimming pool pump, swimming pool filter & any visible swimming pool pipework, fixtures & fittings.

TIP: Don’t wait for your pool to start losing lots of water before carrying out visual inspections. Inspect your pool filtration area regularly and keep a look out for any wetness, dripping sounds, or any odd mechanical signs which could indicate that the swimming pool pump or filter are struggling due to a possible leak on the system. Be on the lookout for wear and tear of the pool equipment as most pool products & parts are manufactured out of plastics or nylon which begin to whiten or lighten as they start to become old & start to deteriorate or become brittle. A sudden leak due to a brittle, old pool pipe or product part can lead to a sudden loss of pool water as well as resulting in damages to the swimming pool pump & even the swimming pool shell in many cases.

If you have solar heating panels installed on your swimming pool be sure to inspect all the pipework running along the wall as well as the sections of pipework & the solar heating panels on top of your roof. If you need help, give us a call. Many solar heating leaks can be repaired without the need to replace an entire solar panel or solar heating system.

If you are happy that you have carried out all the above tests & found nothing then it may be that your swimming pool is losing water either via the swimming poo shell or leaking via your underground swimming pool pipes.

Step 3:

Check your swimming pool shell for any cracks or holes. If you do find any, you’ll need to test & then repair these as soon as possible so that they don’t cause additional problems such as further water loss, delamination of your fiberglass lining or marble plaster &/or damage to your swimming pool pump.

The easiest & most reliable way to test if a hole, crack or gap in your pool shell, tile grouting or similar is leaking is by carrying out dye tests. Carry out dyes testing around any visible holes, cracks, gaps in the tile grouting & also dye test inside & around the outside of the swimming pool light, the weir & the aimflow or any other similar type fittings that are built into the pool shell.

If you notice any seepage i.e. if the dye draws into the crack, hole or gap then it is possible that your pool may be losing water via this area.

At this point it is best to temporarily plug the area with underwater epoxy putty & then monitor the pool again over 24-48 hours for any noticeable water loss. If your swimming pool water level is no longer dropping, congratulations, you have found & temporarily plugged your swimming pool leak. Epoxy putty is generally used as a temporary solution & it is of course advisable to call in a swimming pool contractor to quote you on providing you with a longer lasting, guaranteed repair.

Feel free to contact Bermuda Pools for a free, no obligation leak repair quote.

If you have inspected your swimming pool shell & exhausted all of the above options, the last step is to test your underground swimming pool pipes.

Step 4:

Inspection of your underground swimming pool pipework can be difficult unless you have soft soil, lawn or similar around the swimming pool or filtration area. If you are up to the challenge then begin first by carefully excavating into the ground around the pipes that connect to the pool pump, pool filter or other filtration equipment. If any of these connections are leaking or if you notice damp soil in the area, or even if you are unsure, please contact us and we will assess & provide you with a free, no obligation leak repair quote or additional leak detection quote should this be required.

Next, whether or not you have found any leaks around the filtration area, excavate behind the swimming pool light casing, the weir & the aimflow/s so as to inspect the connections at these points. If there is water or even damp soil in the area it could be that there is a leak or seepage on the pipework or the connection, In many other cases it may be that water is seeping out of the swimming pool around the old waterproof caulking of the pool light casing, weir or aimflow fixture or any one of these fixtures may be cracked inside the pool wall meaning that the fixture needs to be replaced. A fixture can in some cases be temporarily repaired or patched but in the majority of cases it would be best to replace the cracked fixture as the fixture may be brittle & start cracking elsewhere or the existing crack on the fixture may spread further rendering the patch repair ineffective.

If no seepage or wetness is found at any of these points, it may be that your swimming pool pipes have a leak somewhere along the line at which point you may want to contact us for a quote to pressure testing your underground pipelines. By carrying out pressure testing we are usually able to find a leak by measuring the pressure withing your pipelines & if we detect a pressure drop this confirms that the pipeline is in fact leaking. In most cases we are also able to pinpoint where the leak is on the pipeline.

Remember that if leaks are found on your swimming pool it is best to have them found & fixed as soon as possible in order to prevent resultant damages to your swimming pool shell, pipelines or swimming pool pump.

Potential consequences of ignoring a pool leak

If a swimming pool leak is ignored & not repaired urgently you run the risk of suffering additional damages to your swimming pool shell, swimming pool pipes & / or your swimming pool equipment & even run the risk of incurring damages to your garden & surrounding property. Every swimming pool installation is different, not all swimming pools are properly constructed or installed & a small leak can quickly turn into a major problem if the water level drops rapidly & your swimming pool shell either collapses inwards, develops structural cracks or the shell is forced upwards, out of the ground due to static water pressure built up under the swimming pool shell.

We have been involved with insurance claims for a number of years & have seen so many poorly installed or poorly constructed swimming pools that have collapsed inwards, cracked or lifted right out of the ground & in most cases these swimming pools are a write-off. Sadly, most insurance claims like this are rejected on the grounds of defective workmanship, negligence or similar & the customer is left with a hole in their garden or the massive bill for the removal of the damaged structure & the installation or construction of a brand new swimming pool.

Feel free to contact us for any advice, especially if you suspect that your swimming pool is leaking. Dont wait until it’s too late!

Can I submit an insurance claim?

Yes you can of course submit a claim through your insurance company but this needs to be done urgently! If you fail to act urgently & your swimming pool shell, swimming pool equipment or any part of your property becomes damaged as a result your insurance company may reject your claim based on “neglect” which can be incredibly frustrating.

We have unfortunately seen this happen time & time again where a leak was ignored by a homeowner & as a result their swimming pool shell became damaged as well as the surrounding paving, landscaping, timber decking or similar type surrounding structures. And in most of these cases the customers insurance company has rejected the insurance claim.

In a nutshell

Do not ignore a swimming pool leak, no matter how small or insignificant the leak may appear. A minor leak on a swimming pool can develop into a major problem overnight that could end up costing you a lot of money if not attended to with the utmost urgency.

Advantage of having your swimming pool leak detection & repair carried out by an expert

There are many benefits of having your swimming pool leak detection & leak repairs carried out by an experienced swimming pool contractor rather than a general leak detection specialist . While general leak detection specialists can & do find leaks on swimming pools, their equipment does not work as well in soft ground conditions & their equipment is best suited for finding leaks inside solid substrates such as walls, concrete slabs or similar. The technicians usually also lack the knowledge & experience of swimming pools in general which can often be to their disadvantage. Bermuda Pools specializes in swimming pool leak detection & we have the necessary equipment, experience & skills to find & fix just about any leak on any swimming pool, water feature, pond or similar in the shortest amount of time possible & not only are we able to find the leak but also able to carry out the necessary repairs thus saving you money & helping you to minimize the risk of additional leaks & more costly repairs in the future.