Bucket Test for Pool Leaks

Do You Have a Leak in Your Pool?

Wondering if water loss in your pool is the result of a leak or evaporation? The bucket test is an easy way to rule out pool leaks without calling a professional.

How to Perform the Bucket Test

  1. Have your pool filled to its standard level. Using a 5 gallon bucket, fill it 2/3rds of the way with water and make sure the water in the bucket is roughly the same temperature as the water in the pool. If you are performing this on a commercial pool, turn any autofill valve off and close access to the pool. Homeowners also need to check if they have an auto-fill device and turn it off.
  2. Immerse the bucket in the pool to about 5 inches. Setting it on the first or second step of your pool should suffice. Ideally, get the water level in the bucket and the water level in the pool at the same level.
  3. Mark the water level inside the bucket and the water level outside the bucket.
  4. Come back in 24 hours to compare the inside water level to the outside water level. If the water level outside the bucket has dropped more than the water level inside the bucket, you likely have a pool leak and need to call a professional.

Make a note to check the bucket at exactly the 24 hour mark, as waiting longer than this can give inaccurate results. If it rains you will have to wait and start over when there is a clear forecast. After the test, use our pool water loss calculator to find out how much water is being lost to the leak.

Bucket test showing positive for a leak? Call American Leak Detection™ (866) 701-5306!

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