For 31 years, the voice of the pool and spa service professional.

Sleuths now specialize in leak detection

By Marcelle Dibrell

Leak detection experts are a different breed in the world of pool and spa maintenance. As detectives, they rely on a special mix of objectivity and intuition. 

They look for leaks on the basis of knowledge, evidence and instinct. They have strong critical-thinking/ problem-solving skills. They are not interested in repetitive work and curiosity is a must: they won’t leave any stone unturned. They are technically oriented, comfortable with both electronics and plumbing. They are mechanically oriented and they are good with their hands. They come equipped with everything from simple dye tests and pressure testing plugs to scuba gear and dry suits, as well as sophisticated electronic-listening devices. 

A good leak detector is a true jack of all trades.

Leak locating can be a tricky business. Though the leak is surely located in the pool structure, the equipment, or the plumbing, all the research and sophisticated equipment in the world may not help a rookie find it. Experience is an ally to a good leak detector, although it can cloud the judgment of a bad one.  Leak detectors have to approach each situation with a fresh perspective, never assuming that one situation is like the last.

Experts caution that thoroughness is the key to overall success. They don’t rely on an informed hunch, or worse, misinformation from a customer to direct the detection process. They test everything, assuming that everything leaks until they have proven otherwise.  It’s a very scientific field, and welltrained leak detectors represent a highly specialized segment of the pool and spa industry. 

In this special issue of Service Industry News, we interviewed 30-year veteran leak detector, Harold Evans, owner of the Pool Surgeon, in Dallas, Texas to get a first-hand look at the leak detection process.

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