Importance Of Early Pool Leak Detection - Why It's Critical
When it comes to pool leaks, as with many things in life, prevention and early detection are absolutely critical.
Far too many pool owners ignore the early warning signs and before they know it, they’ve got a major leak on their hands that requires substantial time and money to fix.
Thankfully for you, you’ve found this article, which will show you just how important it is to start leak detection early.
There are 3 main reasons to detect leaks early. Essentially, the longer you leave a leak, the worse each of the following get:
- Damage to pool and equipment
- Health and safety hazards caused by the leak
- Cost associated with leak management and repair
Let’s take a look at each of these.
Damage To Pool And Equipment
Damage To Pool Structure
Pool leaks can cause damage to the pool structure over time.
Water seeping out of the pool can erode the soil around the pool, causing the ground around the pool to shift, leading to cracks or shifts in the pool's foundation.
This can lead to costly repairs or even complete replacement of the pool.
Damage To Pool Equipment
Leaking water can also damage the pool equipment, including pumps, filters, and heaters.
When the water level drops too low, the pool pump can suck in air, which can cause damage to the motor. Leaks can also cause damage to other pool equipment like pool cleaners, lights, and skimmers.
Seepage of water can also erode soil around your underground pool piping, which can cause them to shift and crack over time, worsening your original leak problem.
Damage To Surrounding Areas
If a pool leak is not detected in time, it can cause damage to the surrounding areas such as the foundations of the pool deck. This can lead to cracks, shifting, or even collapse of the pool deck.
If your house is particularly close to your pool, you can even get foundational damage under your house, which is a very costly problem to fix.
Health And Safety Hazards
At the risk of sounding like your workplace’s WHS guy, pool leaks can actually be dangerous. Here’s how:
Increased Risk Of Slip And Fall Accidents
Water from a pool leak can make the surrounding areas wet and slippery, increasing the risk of slip and fall accidents. This is especially dangerous for children and elderly people who may be more prone to falls.
Timely pool leak detection and repair can prevent such accidents from happening.
Health Risks Due To Unbalanced Pool Chemistry
Pool leaks can cause a reduction in the pool's water level, which can lead to imbalanced pool chemistry.
As your pool water level drops, you will want to top it up with the garden hose. This maintains the water level but dilutes out most elements of the water chemistry.
Low free chlorine and low cyanuric acid are probably the two most important things to keep an eye on. If they drop out of the recommended range, you will no longer be able to maintain a sanitary environment in the pool, and you can expect to get algae and bacteria growth.
This can lead to swimmers getting sick, and the dreaded green swimming pool.
Risk of Mould And Mildew Growth
Pools with leaks can create a moist environment that is conducive to mould and mildew growth.
Mould and mildew can cause respiratory problems, skin irritation, and other health issues. Not to mention that it’s smelly, unsightly and a pain to clean.
Leak Management & Repair Costs
The longer you leave a pool leak, the more it will cost you to maintain the leak and ultimately repair it. Here’s some of the financial implications of not carrying out early leak detection.
Increased Water Bills
One of the most immediate financial impacts of delayed leak detection is increased water bills. A leak in your pool can result in a significant amount of water loss.
You will have to refill the pool with tap water which can cause your water bills to skyrocket, depending on the severity of the leak.
Expect to pay hundreds of dollars in extra water charges over a quarter if a leak is left unattended.
Increased Chemical Costs
In addition to increased water bills, pool leaks can also lead to increased chemical costs. As we have discussed before, constantly refilling your pool with tap water leads to dilution of important elements of your water chemistry.
These need to be replaced in the form of pool chemicals, which can add to a significant expense over time.
Increased Energy Costs
Pool leaks can also impact your electricity costs. If you are using a pool heater, but having to constantly top your pool up with cold tap water, the heater will struggle to maintain the target temperature you have set, leading to it running round the clock.
This can lead to a massive quarterly power bill if not dealt with early!
Lastly, the longer a pool leak goes undetected, the more damage it can cause. Constant flow of pool water through a concrete crack, for example, leads to further erosion of that crack over time.
This widens the crack, leads to further water flow, which leads to further erosion - a vicious cycle. By the time you actually get around to repairing the leak, you could be looking well over $10,000 in repair costs.
Hopefully you’re starting to get the picture. Pool leaks are insidious and get worse the longer you leave them. On the other hand, a leak detected early can be dealt with inexpensively before it becomes a major issue.
A chemical engineer by trade, Louis is committed to debunking myths in the pool industry by explaining the underlying chemistry and making it accessible to all.