the structure of the pool itself, which can be a massive expense that a lot of insurance companies will not cover.
So, if a pool is leaking – typically more than ¼ inch of water loss per day suggests a possible leak – it should be leak tested immediately.
The simplest leak test is, of course, the bucket test, which can be done by either the homeowner or the pool service technician. The test involves placing an empty five-gallon plastic container in the water on a step of the pool so that the five-gallon mark is level with the water surface.
Fill the container with water to precisely match the pool’s water level. Turn off the recirculating pump as well as any auto-refill device if the pool is so equipped.
Wait 24 hours and compare the pool water level to the level of water in the plastic container. If the pool level has declined more than the level in the container, there is probably a leak somewhere. Repeat the same test, this time with the pump running for the next 24 hours. If the water loss in the pool is greater with water circulating under pressure, a leak somewhere in the pool plumbing is probable.
The next step is isolating the exact location of the leak, which can be a major undertaking, often necessitating specialized equipment such as special electronics, listening devices, cameras, pressure testing equipment, and more.
Such equipment is expensive, and using it can be somewhat complicated, but many manufacturers such as Anderson Manufacturing Company Inc., (www.leaktools) and LeakTronics (www. leaktronics.com) offer comprehensive training events, both in-person and online, and exceptional customer service that can make any pool and spa technician a professional leak detector.
Not only is it a profitable profession, but it also helps the environment.
In this special issue of Service Industry News, we’ll take a closer look at some of the finer points of leak detection.