How does the bucket test for pool leaks work?

Water leaks can cause a lot of damage to your pool and your wallet. That’s why regular maintenance and checks for leaks are crucial. Some holes can be fixed with vinyl patches, others with waterproof glue. Larger issues with pool plumbing and structural problems are often handled by professionals.

Some rips in a pool liner are barely visible, thus making it harder to repair. Even if you are unsure where the leak is located, you can still confirm there is water loss coming from a source other than evaporation. Whereas, evaporation is responsible for up to 8 feet of water loss every year, according to Aqua Magazine, most declining water levels can be attributable to a potentially hidden leak.

If you are suspicious of having a water leak in your pool, there is a simple at-home step you can
take to be sure.

The bucket test enables pool owners to assess water levels that may indicate a leak. This test requires you to fill a bucket roughly two-thirds full and place it on a step of your pool. If you don’t have steps, secure the bucket to the steps on your stairs or ladder. It is important that the bucket does not move and that the bottom stays flat.

Mark the amount of water inside the bucket, then do the same for the water level of the pool on the outside of the bucket. This will show you the two separate water levels to measure later on.

After a day has gone by, check the water levels. If outside mark has dropped significantly more than the inside mark, then there is a leak. If the two levels drop at the same rate, then evaporation is the culprit.

If the bucket test reveals there is a leak in your pool, then you should seek professional help to try and find the source with infrared leak detection.

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