How To Find A Leak In A Pool And Fix It Like A PRO?

The tug of war between gaining and losing water from your pool is a never-ending game. And you keep asking how to find a leak in a pool when you are in this game.

Naturally, the loss of water is due to generic evaporations, waste, and splash-outs. On the other hand, your pool’s water could even multiply due to rain.

Even though pools are supposed to be water-tight, it never goes according to plan due to leaks, mishaps, and fitting errors. Thus, we’re here to answer the dilemma. Just sit tight and keep reading!

The Best Ways Of Detecting Pool Leaks

how to find a leak in a pool

  1. The Bucket Test

You can test out bucket tests to comprehend if you’re losing water from your pool due to standard evaporation or a massive leakage.

The process involves placing a bucket in the second step of the pool and measuring the water level changes outside the bucket. This process can give users evident outcomes within 24 or 48 hours.

  1. Vinyl Pools

In vinyl floors, the first sign of leakage could be sand wash away on the pool liner. There could be eminent separations and tears in the steps, cleaner lines, drains, pool lights, returns, or the skimmers.

Minor leaks in the vinyl could also be a consequence of the pool’s age, following in wear and tear. You could repair the bedding with clear vinyl sealants, EZ Patch 28 sealants, Anderson Flexible Sealers, or vinyl patch kits for minor leaks and pinholes.

  1. Underground Plumbing Leakage

When it comes down to the construction of the pool, most leakage could occur in the pipelines. To identify such issues, you can shut off and plug in the channels.

If the leakage stops, you can remove each of the plugs to locate the exact leaking spot. You can then proceed on to performing pressure tests to identify which pipe is faulty.

  1. Pool Cracks

Generally, surface cracks or shrinkage cracks don’t usually leak. However, the deeper and larger ones can spill a lot more and be verified with dye testing. For such damages, the solution could be plaster mixes, silicone, or poo putties.

  1. Skimmer Leakage

This is the most common form of leaks and is bound to happen throughout your pool’s lifetime. When the pool expands and contracts, the skimmers get the most affected, appearing in the cement seals’ breakage.

You can dye test to find leakage in the skimmers. You can utilize pool putty or EZ Patch 1 for such mishappenings.

How To Find A Pool Leak In-Ground?

detecting pool leak

You just spent a ton of time leveling the ground for your pool and fill it with water. It’s just a pain and heartbreaking to see water leaking from it just after a few days.

With in-ground pools, the leaks could occur despite the material used in the construction, which could be vinyl, marble, tiles, and so on.

First of all, we recommend you try out the bucket test. These tests will rule out the natural causes of losing pool water, like evaporation. Here’s how you do the bucket test –

  • Take a bucket and fill it halfway with some of the pool water.
  • Put it on the second stair or step of the pool along with the water in it.
  • Mark the water level on the inside of the bucket to measure the water level inside. And mark the outside to estimate how much water is in the pool.
  • Turn off the pool and wait around 24 or 48 hours.

If the water levels are the same on the inside and outside of the bucket, it’s just evaporation. However, if not, the water level in the bucket will be higher than the water level in the pool.

Now, if your pool does show these definite signs of leaking, you might start with checking two places – the return lines and the skimmer lines.

The Solution For Leaks In Return Lines

  1. Purchase a few black rubber plugs.
  2. Remove the eyeball fittings from the return lines and put the plugs in.
  3. Place them back into the pool.
  4. Check again in 24 to 48 hours if the water level has further deteriorated.

The Solution For Leaks In Skimmer Lines

  1. Put the black rubber plugs in any of the skimmers that are around your pool.
  2. Wait for 24 to 48 hours to see if the water level remains stagnant.
  3. Lastly, if you see that the water level doesn’t go down after testing out the skimmer lines, you must call in a pool professional to fix it, as this error can’t be eradicated through simply DIYs.

Where Does Water Go When Pool Leaks?

With most leaks, the water travels down due to gravity. It travels past the soil columns until it reaches the water table. If it’s a significant leak and tight soil, it could eventually form a groundwater mound.

If that’s the case, the pool’s water and the groundwater will travel until ultimately reaching the ocean, river, or nearby water wells or streams.

Finding A Leak In An Inflatable Pool

You can follow these simple steps to identify leaks in your inflatable pool. All you need is a marker, a soft washcloth, water, dish or liquid soap, and a spray bottle. Let’s dive in to know how it’s done.

  1. Create The Soap & Water Mixture

    Mix lukewarm water with the liquid soap of your choice. When you see suds forming, transfer the mixture to the spray bottle. Shake it well before spraying to form suds.

  2. Spray The Soapy Mixture

    Start with a specific section where you doubt the location of the leakage could be. Spray the soapy dilution directly over that particular area. If you’re confused about where the faulty site could be, target a square foot once at a time.

  3. Rub The Sprayed Zone

    After spraying the mixture, utilize the cloth and rub it in the sprayed zone.

  4. Identify Leaks

    If you notice bubbles appearing, circle those areas with your marker and continue searching for further leaks.

  5. Cover Holes With Patch

    When you’re done spraying the entire inflatable pool, cover the holes with a patch. Press out any air bubbles.

  6. Spray The Soapy Mixture On Patch Too

    You can try spraying the soapy mixture atop the patch as well. This will reassure you if there are any air bubbles within the patch that’s still leaking. If that’s the case then you might have to re-patch again neatly.

And voila! You’re done!

Finding A Leak In An Intex Pool

finding a leak in an intex pool

As we know, losing a quarter or half an inch of water from your pool every day is typical. It’s troublesome when that limit crosses, and you might have to do a few tests to check if your pool leaks.

Obviously, you can pinpoint the issue with the highly recommended and practiced bucket test but, what works best for Intex pools are leak finder dyes or liquid food coloring.

To boil down the chances of accuracy further, we recommend that you use a leak finder dye as the liquid food coloring could disseminate in the water. Here’s how you can determine the leak.

  1. Make sure that the water is as still as it can be. Turn off any existing motor, fountain, or any other pool feature.
  2. Don’t get in the pool but go to the edge of the pool where the leak could possibly be. A way of comprehending and conceiving the leakage region is by looking for any wet patch outside your pool.
  3. Now gradually pour the dye or the food color into the pool. Watch it closely and keep a steady dropping pace.
  4. If you’ve correctly concise the general area of the leak by judging the moist or wet portion outside, you should see that the dye will float right towards the leak and through the hole.
  5. Mark that area so you can patch it on later.
  6. But, first, you need to stop the water from causing an unwanted marsh outside your Intex pool.
  7. So, for the time being, you can patch the inside of your pool with waterproof tape or peel and stick vinyl patch.
  8. You can use both of the remedies underwater, so you don’t have to drain the pool.

Side note: Try not to drain your vinyl pool entirely empty as this could unleash it to UV rays which will turn its construction brittle. This state of jeopardy is unfixable, and you may have to toss it out ultimately.

The Solution For Repairing Leak In An Intex Pool

For soft-sided and Intex pools, there are special patch kits available. There is clear vinyl dedicated for top-ring repairs, blue vinyl aimed at interior maintenance, and laminated PVC for external supervision.

On the other hand, there are peel and stick patches available for Intex pools, which are often simpler to apply. If you have a blow-up pool and the issue is on the top-ring of your inflatable pool, the norm of using such patches is slightly different.

  1. First up, you need to fully inflate your inflatable pool.
  2. Mark the targeted area where the leak seems to be.
  3. Apply adhesive around the affected area. Use the clear vinyl patch or the peel and stick patch if that’s your preference.
  4. Apply it on the leakage and hold it there for a good couple of seconds, so it sticks properly.
  5. Next, you need to deflate the top-ring portion so that the adhesive can work its magic, without the air pressure from the inside.
  6. Go ahead and inflate the top-ring area after around 12 hours.

Finding A Leak In A Pool Liner

Before you hop onto using remedies for leaks in your liners, you must understand where the leak is situated. If the errors are not in the return jets, skimmer lines, or the pipeline, you need to identify where the liner’s rip or hole is.

Now for leakage underwater in your swimming pool or even for rips in your liners, you need to call for professional help.

These divers will go into the pool and test out the leak with a dye test. They will be utilizing red dye and squirt it around the suspect regions to ascertain the leakage depending on where the dye disseminates.

They will then utilize the needed materials to perform an underwater patch on your pool’s liner.

Finding Leak In Above Ground Pool

What to do when you just filled the pool with water and it’s leaking! Well, let’s see…..

For water loss in above-ground pools, there are a few signs you need to be aware of, which can help you in pinpointing that there is most definitely a leakage somewhere along with the liners or elsewhere. The apparent signs are –

  • Rapid water loss, which could be more than half-inch a day.
  • If you see wetness around or outside of the pool.
  • The water loss is below the pool’s return or skimmer lines.

The Solution To Find The Leak In An Above Ground Pool

Now, let’s dive in to know exactly where the gap, rip, or hole is. Literally. At this point, you can appoint an expert or go about it yourself. Keep reading to know how it’s done.

  1. Vacuum the pool, if possible, to cut out the chances of any debris floating around.
  2. Look for tiny black holes.
  3. Get a toothpick or a pencil. Poke those tiny black holes gently to see if they go through. Sometimes these tiny dots can actually be debris or dirt marks. This step is done to check if these are, in fact, holes.
  4. If the pencil or toothpick goes through smoothly, we have trouble. But, don’t worry, one that’s smartly fixable.
  5. Next, cut yourself a round liner patch. Don’t cut them into squares as the sides may curl up in that order.
  6. Now apply a generous coating of vinyl patch glue on one side of the liner patch.
  7. Fold the circular piece, keeping the glued part inside. This is done to avoid losing excess glue while you go underwater.
  8. Now swim back down and hold the patch over the hole. Hold it tight for about 10-15 seconds.
  9. Ensure that the edges are firmly stuck and aren’t showing signs of air bubbles or curl-ups.
  10. Keep an eye on this fix for a few more minutes to notice any adverse signs.

And you’re done! Now, watch this video to detect water leaking and fixing like PRO.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

How can I tell where my pool is leaking?

If the water level drops, it’s a clear sign. Other than that, notice the below symptoms:
1) Wet spots on your yard.
2) Falling or cracked tiles.
3) There is water under the equipment.
4) Growth of algae.
5) Dirt or air blown into pool, etc.

What causes a leak in a pool?

Apart from natural wear and tear, motor and pump problems can cause pool leak. Besides, loose fittings on tiles and railings, broken plumbing under the pool deck can also lead to pool leak.

Where do most pool leaks occur?

Pool leaks occur mostly through the plumbing fittings.

Can a pool leak cause a sinkhole?

Yes, if the leak occurs beneath the foundation and it’s a leading cause of having sinkhole.

Does insurance cover pool leaks?

If it happens due to windstorm or fire, your insurance may cover it. Otherwise, it’s very unlikely.

How much does pool leak detection cost?

It may cost you up to $500 if you call a professional to detect the leak.


Dealing with swimming pool leaks at least a handful of times throughout the pool’s lifetime is compulsory. The trickiest part of this ordeal is how to find a leak in a pool.

Fortunately, if you can simmer down the concerned areas and follow our step-by-step guides, you can quickly fix any leaks. Moreover, all of our suggested hacks are extremely budget-friendly too.

So, without further ado, get down to fixing and have a happy swim afterward!

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