How to Find a Leak in an Above Ground Pool

Pools can leak through any of the fittings or accessories, plumbing, or even right through the shell. A small leak in a luxury above ground pool can become big and create problems and inconveniences. If there is any leak, then it is important to repair it immediately to stop further damage.

Indication of a Leak in an Above Ground Pool and Areas to Check

The following may serve as an indication of a leak in an above ground pool:
1. Leaks at the equipment pad. Look closely at the filter, pump, heater and the pipe valves.
2. Wet areas around the pool. Check the ground for moisture. Check for wet soil and sunken or eroding areas.
3. If you have a vinyl liner pool, then look for tears or separations around the fittings, skimmers, returns, cleaner line, lights, steps and the corners.

Steps to Find Leaks in an Above Ground Pool

There are various ways to find a leak in an above ground pool.
1. Mark the water level of the pool at the skimmer. Use a piece of tape or grease pencil to mark the water level. Check the mark 24 hours later. Your pool should lose no more than 1⁄4 inch (0.6 cm) per day. If it does then this might indicated a leak.
2. Place a bucket filled with water on the first or second step of the pool. Mark the water level on the inside as well as outside of the bucket. Check the mark 24 hours later. If there's a greater drop in the line on the outside of the bucket, this might indicate a leak in the pool. This test needs to be conducted with the pump on, then again with the pump off.

How to Find the Location of the Leak

  1. If the pool is losing water, then turn off the filtration system and note where the water stops dropping.
  2. If the water stops at the bottom of the skimmer opening, then the leak is probably in the skimmer or filtration system (including the pipes). If it appears to have a leak in the filtration system:
    • Check, if there is any air bubbles in the water in the return line when the pool's pump is running. If so, there is a leak in the suction side of the filtration system.
    • Ensure the pump basket lid is on tight and that the lid o-ring is lubed and in good condition.
    • If the water stops at the light, then the leak is probably at the light housing.
    • If the water drops below the light, then there may be a leak in the drain at the bottom of the pool.
    • If the pool is losing more water while the pump is running, then the leak is on the return line side of the system. In this case, check the waste or backwash line for running water.
    • If there is a leak in the skimmer, light or liner, check closely for something that looks like a crack, gap or tear.
  3. If it is difficult to identify the leak location, then add a leak seal product to the pool water.

Call Westrock Pools & Spa for Pool Repair

Westrock Pools & Spa can perform pool upgrades and repairs. If you are looking for someone to fix a leak in your above ground pool, then we can meet your needs. Call us today for above ground pool maintenance and repair at 845-367-9377 or email us at We serve throughout Rockland County, Westchester County, Bergen County, Putnam County, Orange County, and Bronxville.

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