Leaks are common in an above ground pool. The common causes are water evaporation or problems within the different parts of the pool. The best way to detect a leak in an above ground pool is to monitor the water level every day. Follow the steps below to troubleshoot and fix a leak in your pool.
Find the area where the water is leaking. Inspect all the items such as the drain pipes, pool lights and ladder.
Drain the pool to the level where the leak is visible or dive in and run your hands over the vinyl lining of the pool to find the leak. Fix a small leak with a vinyl patch kit. However, if the leak is in the liner itself and is large or beyond ordinary repair, call a professional pool repair service.
Fill any visible leak on the outer wall of the pool with a special rubber gap filler designed to seal any cavity. Other options include using a rubber based sealer or a pool repair putty mixture to fix any obvious leaks.
Replace the filter of your above ground pool if it seems to be the cause of leakage. Apply water resistant putty to any leak found between the pool wall and the skimmer. If the conduit pipes or their valves are loose and adding to the leakage problem, use a caulking material, epoxy or a silicone based gel to fix the pipes.
Inspect the yard for any signs of sinking or large, mushy wet patches. This is the location of your leak. Look for patches where your plants are greener than in other places. If no visible signs are apparent, you will need a portable electronic leak detector.
Place the ground piece on the ground and insert the headphones into your ears.
Turn the device on and listen for the leak. You will hear a rumbling noise in the headphones as you get close to the leak.
Turn off all faucets in the house, but do not turn off the main water supply. You want to make sure no faucet is leaking either as any noise of water leaking can trigger the acoustic leak detection device.
Turn off all electronics in the house. For best results, turn off the electrical main in the breaker box to turn off power to the entire house.
Keep noise to a minimum. Remove anything making noise in the house. Any noise can trigger the acoustic leak detection device giving you a false reading.
Use the acoustic leak detector device to scan your concrete floor for leaks. You pass the detector over the floor until you get a result. All devices are different. Follow the manual about your particular device for specific instructions.
Verify the water leak exists. Put on the mask and safety glasses as using the jack hammer will make it very dusty. Use the jack hammer to break up the floor until you reach the pipe where the device alerted you to the leak. Verify the pipe is leaking. You will be able to see it leaking or see that the concrete is wet.
Keep scanning the rest of the floor to make sure there are no more leaks. If you get another result, use the jack hammer again to verify if a leak exists.
Use a flexible rubber-based sealant, such as Nitrile Rubber based sealant, that provides a strong adhesive bond to most swimming pool materials. A light coat of this flexible sealer will skin over a leak within minutes of application; thicker coats may take hours. Rubber-based sealant can be used to seal vinyl pool leaks with or without a patch, seal between pool liners face plates or fittings, or seal small cracks in gunite or plaster. It's available in white or vinyl blue.
Use two-part hand-moldable epoxy putty. It cures to a smooth white finish between 40 and 60 minutes from application. Two-part hand-moldable epoxy putty blends well to maintain a presentable look and can be used to fill and repair cracks in plaster, gunite, fiberglass or acrylic. It's available in white, tan, grey or black.
Use hand moldable rubber gap filler. It can be applied underwater without a caulk gun. Hand moldable rubber gap filler retains a flexible, tacky consistency so it's well suited for fixing many kinds of pool leaks. You can pack it around the light cable to seal a leaking light conduit, replace rubber gaskets with or without removing the fitting, and fill or seal cracks, voids or gaps.
Use a vinyl patch kit. This kit can be used for repairs above or below water. It uses a vinyl adhesive that holds a vinyl patch in place over the leak.
Identify the location of the leak. If this is a hot water leak, walking around with bare feet will probably lead you right to the area. Mark the area with masking tape.
Remove the flooring from the area. Try to remove as little flooring as possible--a square-foot piece--to prevent extensive damage and replacement.
Using a concrete drill bit, begin to drill through the concrete. Since the slab is about 4 inches thick, this will take some time. Make an opening big enough for your hand to fit in so that you can reach down to feel the leak. Once you have located the leak, make the opening bigger to repair the pipe.
Shut the water at the main and, using a pipe cutter, cut off the piece of pipe that is leaking. Replace the type of pipe you removed with an identical piece, whether copper or PVC. If PVC, cut a new piece to length and replace it the same way you would for any other PVC pipe repair. If it is copper, you will need to weld the piece into place. Leave this hole open for a day or two to make sure that the leak is properly sealed.
Mix a bag of concrete and fill the hole to the top, sealing it with the surrounding slab. Leave to dry and cure for several days.
Once the concrete is cured, use construction adhesive to secure a new piece of flooring in place.
Clean out the crack or hole in the terrace by combining one part TSP with three to four parts water in a bucket. Scrub the hole or crack with the mixture and a scrub brush then rinse the crack or hole with a bucket of water.
Combine three parts fine sand with one part hydraulic cement in the bucket. Mix it together with a trowel then add water until the mixture is moist but not runny.
Squeeze concrete bonding agent into the crack or hole in the terrace then apply the cement mixture from the bucket with a trowel. Spread the wet cement mixture over the hole or crack in the terrace, making it smooth and even. Allow it to dry for 24 hours.
Apply a coat of masonry and brick sealant over the dried cement patch on the terrace with a paintbrush. Let the sealant dry for 24 hours to finish the terrace leak repair.
Repair a Leak in a Concrete Inground Pool
Drain the water in the pool below the crack or leak so that you have easy access and can make repairs.
Remove any loose substrate, scrape clean and dry the area.
Prime the damaged area with one coat of PermaFlex. This first coat penetrates into the concrete surface and helps the patch adhere permanently.
Mix liquid rubber base and thickening activator together to create a thick mixture.
Use your mixture to patch and profile cracks, seams and rough areas.
Brush, roll or spray on an additional two to three coats of PermaFlex to seal the patch.
Apply a two-part swimming pool epoxy.
Repair a Leak in a Vinyl Lined Pool
Locate the tear in the vinyl. Check with your local pool supply company for a recommendation of a pool diver who can help locate the leak, if the tear isn't obvious.
Purchase a vinyl repair kit at a local hardware store or nearby pool company.
Use the adhesive glue to adhere the vinyl patch to the liner. Follow the exact directions on the repair kit.