What to Do When You Suspect You Have a Leak

You may be noticing that you're having to top your pool up more often than usual, or there's a wet patch near your pool equipment. Generally, these issues are caused by what is known as a leak. Leak detection companies cost an arm and a leg to detect where your pool's leaking and most people can't afford to pay these costs just to find out their pool was fine or it was something they could of themselves. So, I put together some procedures you can do at home to rule-out the obvious suspects and hopefully determine that, 'Yes, I do have a leak'.

  1. The Tape Test - Fill your pool to the desired height, place a piece of tape at the water level and wait 24 hours. If the water level has dropped lower than the piece of tape, you likely have a leak somewhere.
  2. The Bucket Test - Fill your pool to the desired height, place a bucket of water (the same level as your pool water) on your pool step and weigh it down with a brick or some rocks. Wait 24 hours, and if the water level in the pool is lower than the water in the bucket, you have a leak somewhere.
  3. Check for puddles of water near the equipment pad area and around your pool. If the water if near your equipment, then there is likely a leak somewhere in the equipment or equipment lines. If there's water near the pool (not from normal splashing), then there is likely a leak somewhere in the liner or pool shell. Call Leak Detection GTA to detect and repair - this is definitely one for the pros!
  4. If vinyl - look for tears or separations near any wall fittings, returns, skimmers, cleaning line, lights, steps and any other area you suspect could have torn.
  5. If non-vinyl - Turn off the filtration system and watch the water level drop.
    1. If the water stops leaking at the skimmer, the leak is likely in the skimmer or filtration system. There would likely be bubbles coming out of the return lines if that was the case. This could be fixed with some pool putty or potentially a new skimmer.
    2. If the water stops at the light, make sure the o-ring is lubed and in good condition. Generally, the conduit separates from the niche, a pretty tough fix using a 2-part epoxy.
    3. If the water drops below the light, there may be a leak in the main drain.
    4. If there is more water lost when the pump is running, then the return side is the suspect. So, check that the backwash hose has been close all the way and the pump is running in filtration mode when on.
  6. Dye test - if you suspect that the skimmer, liner, light or any wall fittings could be leaking, turn your filtration system off and take some pool dye. Pour the dye where the crack or tear is and if the dye is pulled through, there's a leak.

To Fix the 3 most common leaks:

  1. Skimmer leak - generally is a plumbing issue, fixed with pool putty (Intermediate)
  2. Light leak - the conduit typically separates from the light niche, fixed with a 2-part epoxy (Expert)
  3. Vinyl liner leak - if there's a relatively small hole or tear, a multitude of patch kits are available (Beginner)

You have completed the DIY at home procedures and your pool is still leaking. Now, it's best that you give Leak Detection GTA a call so we can fix your problem!

Do It Yourself (DIY) Bucket Test
  1. Fill your pool to its standard full level. Using a 5 gallon bucket, fill the bucket two thirds of the way. 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. If the bucket seems to be floating away, add a brick or some rocks to weigh it down. Setting the bucket down on the first or second step of your pool should suffice.
  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 must wait and start over when there is a clear forecast.

Bucket test showing positive for a leak? Call Leak Detection GTA (855) 482-5325!

I can find the leak myself, I don’t need to hire a professional.

Maybe you really can find the leak yourself, but odds are it will not be quick. You likely will be in your yard for hours, days or sometimes weeks digging to find the problem. I do not suggest doing this, as you will have multiple trenches and a huge mess to clean up. Leak detection companies, such as Leak Detection GTA, are skilled at non-destructive and quick ways of detecting. If you do it yourself, you are wasting a bunch of time and could potentially create a bigger problem for the future. Go with a professional, you will be glad you did.

What is Leak Detection?

The process of which a trained professional locates the point where water is leaking.

To be a trained professional, you go through intense training and you have to pass a combination of courses. You end up gaining a full range of techniques to be able to use out on the field, but at Leak Detection GTA, we took things a little more seriously.

These are some of the unique techniques and equipment we use when detecting your leaks;

  • Leakalyzer - enabling leaks to be identified in as little as 5 minutes. The Leakalyzer is so sensitive that water loss of less than a gallon from a 20' x 40' pool is readily indicated.
  • XLT30 - The advanced microprocessor enables enhancement of the weakest sounds like those in non-metallic pipes or those in sound muffling conditions. The XLT-30 is also designed to reject most loud interfering noises like wind, motors, and traffic.
  • Diving - The original way of doing things, but with a little more umpf. The system we use allows us to breath underwater without needing to worry about refilling tanks before a job, or scratching or denting the pool when getting in or out.
  • SeeSnake® nanoReel - A way for us to see inside your plumbing lines without having to dig or cut. Sprinkler Systems, small plumbing lines and a wide array of specialty applications can all be inspected using the nanoReel.
  • Trenchless repair or flood grouting - a noninvasive method of repairing pipes underground using a 2 part environmentally friendly chemical system. This product works on ABS and PVC pipe both rigid and flex. There are limitations using this product, the first step is to get a pressure test on the leaking line as well as a camera inspection. Based on the findings our technician will be able to recommend using Floor Grouting or an alternate method to repair the leaking pipe.
  • Sleeve repair - This system can only be used in special cases, it involves lining the existing pipework with a new flexible pipe. If there are too many 90 degrees it won't work. All lines can be repaired, and usually there is no need for excavation, nor to empty the swimming pool.
  • Pressure testing - Specialized equipment is used to block off the ends of the suspected line then a lot of pressure is added to see how fast it drops. If the pressure drops too rapidly, there's a leak and we can now repair.

Just know, the technicians at Leak Detection GTA are using the skills to service your pool. Trust the professionals, you'll be glad you did.

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•Cracks in the fiber glass stairs or gunite pool wall
•Cracking, lifting or sinking pool deck
•Waterlogged/moist lawn around the pool deck
•Frequently adding water to the pool (multiple times a week)
•Constantly adding salt (sal chlorination systems)
•Air bubbles coming out at the return jets
•Trouble priming the pool pump
•Floating vinyl liner



If you notice any of the symptoms from the list above then conducting a Bucket Test can provide further verification that a pool leak is present. The video below will show how to properly execute the Bucket Test. For further information or to request Leak Detection services please call or send us an inquiry online.

Toll Free 1-855-GTA-LEAK


Leak Detection GTA Guarantee - we will not charge our leak detection fee if we cannot find your leak...this is based on a positiveresult using the Leakalyzer. If the Leakalyzer determines that you do not have a leak a fee for the service call will be applied