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Should service techs master leak detection?

By Marcelle Dibrell 

Despite the West Coast’s recent smattering of rain, the drought is still very much upon us, and plenty of service professionals have seen a significant upswing in their leak detection services. 

Due to growing concern about water conservation, as well as the upswing in the economy, pool owners are becoming more and more diligent about fixing pool leaks.

In some areas, a known leak is accompanied by a fine, so even if pool owners are not interested in water conservation, the penalty fee is motivation enough.

A leaking pool in a time of drought is considered unacceptable, and leak detection specialists can barely keep up with the business.

And while the specialists don’t necessarily welcome the competition, plenty of service professionals have begun to branch out into leak detection to gather a portion of this market. 

Leak detection is frequently considered one of the trickiest elements of swimming pool maintenance and repair.

It is a multistep investigation, often beginning at the equipment pad, leading to the pool structure itself, involving a thorough examination of loose tiles, skimmers, returns, light niches and ladders. 

It sometimes involves “diving” the pool.

It can require simple dye testing or more complicated pressure testing. 

It often requires sophisticated equipment, and those packing such gear can charge a pretty penny to get to the bottom of the problem. 

All of this work spells profit for the service professional, who might be wise to think about expanding his repertoire.

But even if leak detection is left to the specialty firms, service professionals will always remain the first line of defense when it comes to dealing with the problem. 

When a leak is suspected, they normally use a rather simple procedure to verify the fact. 

Turning off any automatic water leveling devices that may be in use, they mark the water level with a pen, and then re-check the water level after 24 hours.

If the water has dropped more than ¼ inch, or some fraction more than the expected evaporation rate, it’s time to look into the issue with greater care.

Leak monitoring and prevention is critical to avoid property damage, prevent water loss and prevent chemical loss into the environment. 

There are many good reasons to be aware of how to prevent, identify, discover, and fix leaks in the pools you design, maintain or repair.

In this special issue of Service Industry News, we’ll provide the scoop on leak detection, from leak detection expert, Dr. Richard DeVerse, of Kona Labs in Kalua-Kona, Hawaii.   

Paid subscribers have full access to the complete coverage on pool and spa specially leak detection. Contact our circulation department at 949-916-0292 or email for details.                            ■

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