Air leaking into your pool is cause for concern. Air leaks can reduce your pool's filtration efficiency, and they may also render your pool's pump unable to move water. Unlike water leaks---where water is slowly draining out of the pool---air leaks indicate a steady stream of air making its way into your pool, causing problems. While pool repair should be left to professionals in most cases, you can find the source of your pool's air leak independently. Doing so can help prepare you for dealing with pool repair professionals.
Pump Air Leak Monitoring
Turn off your pool pump's motor when the pumping head is at full pressure. Keep your eye on the pump area. Look to see if there is any splash or sprayback coming from the pump area. The lid to the pump area should be as close to airtight as possible. If it is not, your air leak will be due to an air pocket in the impeller, which is nearer to you than the pressure side. Air pockets on the pressure side cause water leaks.
Try resealing the pump area lid with silicone or epoxy putty. This is a safe do-it-yourself repair that may save you money. Call a pool repair specialist if you still find evidence of an air leak after applying a silicone or epoxy putty patch.
Suction Plumbing Air Leak Detection
While air pockets in the pump impeller are the most common culprit, air leaks can come from any segment of your pool's suction plumbing. Purchase a Drain King set if your air leak is not coming from the pump area. Connect the Drain King to a hose and put it in your pool's skimmer. Turn the hose on. Remove the pump area lid and plug the pump opening. This pressurizes the entire suction plumbing system up to the pump. Look for water spraying from any point in the suction plumbing. Any area sprouting water is a leak source. This is another minimally invasive way to check for air leaks that is effective for your entire suction plumbing system.
Plug the leaks with pool putty, or have a professional repair or replace the damaged pipes to stop the air leak.