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How to Find a Leak in an Above Ground Pool in 3 Easy Steps

A leak in an above ground pool can be an annoying way to start your summer fun. If the leak is a small one, finding the location of the leak to seal it might be a challenge.

Below you’ll find a guide of 3 easy steps you can use to find and secure a leak in your above ground pool. Keep reading to learn more about above ground pool leaks and how to resolve them without a professional.

3 Steps for Finding Leaks in Above Ground Pools

There are three easy steps you can take to finding a leak in an above ground pool:

  • Determine whether the pool is leaking or the pool water is evaporating
  • Check the pool equipment for evidence of leaking
  • Perform a dye leak detection test

Performing leak tests in an above ground pool should be done in a specific order to help you troubleshoot potential leaks. Being methodical in your leak checks can make it more likely that you’ll positively identify the leak and be able to repair it.

Here’s a link to some Pool Accessories from Amazon and the highly recommended Sand Filter Pump to upgrade any above ground pool setup.

Determining an Above Ground Pool Leak vs. Pool Evaporation

In hot, dry weather, your above ground pool may lose water levels whether you have a leak in the pool or not. This is due to the process of evaporation, where water in the pool is transformed into gas in the atmosphere.

While evaporation over the course of the pool season may cause you to need to top off your pool periodically, it shouldn’t cause drastic changes to the water levels. The first step in finding a leak in an above ground pool is to confirm that it isn’t evaporating water.

The easiest way to check for a leak vs. normal evaporation in an above ground pool is to do a bucket test.

A bucket test can be performed to evaluate evaporation as follows:

  • Fill a bucket with water. Place this bucket level with the top of the pool. Turn the pool pump off so that the water is no longer circulating.
  • After 24 hours, measure how much water has disappeared from the top of the bucket versus how much the water has gone down in the pool.
  • Evaluate evaporation. If the amount of water missing from the bucket is the same amount that is missing from the pool level, then the missing water is evaporation. However, if there is more water missing from the pool than the bucket, there is a leak in the pool system.
  • Look for a leak. If the water level indicates that the pool is losing water other than evaporation, take the next step in detecting the location of the pool leak.

If the bucket test indicates that the pool is leaking, walk around the pool and do an inspection of the equipment.

The location of a tear can be located through the following signs:

  • Torn vinyl
  • Water puddling at the base of the pool
  • Soggy grass/earth near the pool

Once you’ve determined that the pool does have a leak, it’s time to move onto the next step of finding an above ground pool leak: inspecting the pool equipment for leaks.

Here’s a video about finding a leak in an above ground pool:

Inspecting Above Ground Pool Equipment for Leaks

One of the most common areas that an above ground pool leaks from is in its equipment: the pump, skimmer, and return. Skimmers are a common area to find pool leaks.

To inspect your above ground pool equipment for leaks, perform the following steps:

  • Clear any debris around the pool equipment area. Weeds and other debris can make it difficult to see where there is standing water or other signs of leaks in the equipment.
  • Use a dry towel to clear away standing water. If the pool equipment is wet, dry it to see where any new leaks may be forming.
  • Inspect the equipment. Inspect the pool pump, the filter, O-rings, and other pool equipment to see if you can detect a leak.

Depending on the location of the leak, a leak in pool equipment may be repaired. However, more serious equipment leaks may require the replacement of a part in the pool filtration system.

Performing a Dye Leak Inspection Test on an Above Ground Pool

The final step in locating a leak on your above ground pool if it can’t be found in the pool equipment is to check the pool liner itself.

Sometimes a leak in an above ground pool may be obvious if you inspect the liner at the surface level and see if there are any tears or cracks present.

Less obvious leaks can be detected by using This Pool Leak Detector Dye Kit from Amazon to determine their location.

To perform a dye leak inspection test, follow these steps:

  • Turn off the pool’s filtration system. To make the leak inspection test effective, you’ll want the water in the above ground pool to be as still as possible.
  • Drop the dye in the pool. If you have an area of the pool with a suspected leak, drop a dropperful of the dye into the pool near the leak.
  • Check for a leak. If there is a leak near the point where the dye was dropped, the current caused by the leak will draw the dye towards it. This can help you pinpoint the leak’s exact location.
  • Mark the leak location. If a leak is discovered, mark the location so that the leak can be found again with This Patch Kit Here.

If the leak in the pool cannot be detected at the pool’s surface, your next step is to don some goggles and take your dye leak test to the bottom of the pool.

Systematically squirt small dropperfuls of dye around on the pool bottom until a current and leak are detected.

Here’s a link to some Pool Accessories from Amazon and the highly recommended Sand Filter Pump to upgrade any above ground pool setup.

Finding Pool Leaks Are the First Step to Repairing Them

Many pool leaks in above ground pools can be easily patched and repaired once they’re located depending on where the leak is found and how big it is.

Use the guide above to locate the leak in your above ground pool and you’ll be one step closer to solving your shrinking pool levels.

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