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Oh No, The Pool Has a Leak

by Felicia A. Williams

Q: How do you find and fix a leak in your above ground pool?

A: I don’t know. At this point in time, until I find it, it’s something I’ll just have to live with.

How to be Sure There's a Pool Leak

This is a true no brainer. When you find your water levels seem to magically drop even when the kids aren’t attempting to throw all of the water out of the pool, there’s a good chance there’s a leak.

Monitoring the Leaky Situation

I try to keep the water level approximately mid-level of the skimmer. In other words, there are 4 vertical screws that affix the skimmer to the pool. I usually like the water level to be midway between screw # 2 and screw # 3. When it gets too close to number 3 (the higher screw), that’s not a problem because the kids, even it out. When it gets too close to screw number 2, that’s a problem because the pool filter spazzes out when the skimmer levels are too low and it draws air into the system.

Not wanting to have to deal with low pressure and a pissed off pool filter, I make sure to keep the water at a level so the filter won’t pull air through the skimmer attachment. If I find the water level is too low (and I’m too lazy to fill it before I go to bed), I set the filter to pull the water from the main drain rather than a mixture of the skimmer and main drain as it runs its nightly filtration process.

Low Water Level

One Source of Pool Water Leakage

When I replaced my skimmer earlier in the year, I realized that I had not tightened the 12 screws enough or they loosened over time. I took my Philips head screwdriver and tightened all of the screws and stopped the slow escape of water around the skimmer housing.

Expert Pool Leak Advice

I went to the pool store and asked the folks over there. After explaining my situation (having to add water to the pool every 3 or 4 days or so), I was advised that I have a very small leak and that it will take a lot of time, patience and methodical investigation to find the leak. One suggestion is to go into the pool with a pair of goggles and slowly and methodically inspect the lining for holes or tears. This entails tugging at every square inch of lining to see if I can find a hole (I don’t think so).


Another suggestion was to go into the pool with a spray bottle of milk (yes, he said milk) and to spray a small amount of milk near a small section of the lining to see if it gravitates toward the leaking area. In other words, you want to be able to see the water as it leaks out of the pool. I’m sure there’s got to be another non-toxic, non-staining water color that can do the job. Swimming in a pool of old milk isn’t very enticing.

The most logical advice is “look for puddles.” That makes sense, but my land is sloped, so the water always puddles in the lowest portion of the slope no matter where the water is coming from. Looking for puddles may work for level ground, but not on sloped land.

Life with a Pool Leak

In the meanwhile, I’ll continue to add water every 3 or 4 days and adjust the pool water pH accordingly. I’ve decided to make it a game for the kids. The first one to find the leak gets a prize; until then, I’ll live with a leak in the pool (although I did eventually find the leaking culprit).

About the Author: Felicia Williams is a wife, mother and grandmother who likes to write about a host of topics.

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Last Modified: 24 March 2020

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