How To Find & Fix A Leak In A Pool

How To Find & Fix A Leak In A Swimming Pool? (Australia)

Pool leaks are one of the more serious problems that can occur in swimming pools. Leaks are often caused by issues with the structural integrity of your pool, and if they are left untreated they can lead to widespread damage to your pool’s foundation.

In this article, we will discuss some ways that you can tell if your pool is leaking, how to find a leak in a pool, and how to fix a leaking pool.

How Do You Know If Your Pool Is Leaking?

One way to tell if your pool is leaking is by performing a bucket test.

This test can help you confirm the presence of a pool leak by making sure that any water loss you are experiencing is not caused by evaporation alone. Bucket evaporation tests can be performed for inground or above-ground pools.

Bucket Evaporation Test

Before beginning the test, ensure that your pool is full with water up to the normal level. You should also shut off any auto-fill valves that top up your pool’s water.

It is recommended that you discourage swimmers during this testing period, as this could contribute to water loss. For this test, you will need a large plastic bucket and a marker with water-resistant ink.

1 - Fill The Bucket

To begin, fill the bucket almost to the top with pool water, leaving 1-2 inches of space near the top of the bucket. Then, set the full bucket in an area of shallow water, such as on the first or second step of your pool.

2 - Mark Water Level

At this point, use your marker on the bucket to indicate the water levels. On the inside of the bucket, create a mark where the top of the water is. Then add a line to the outside of the bucket where the pool’s water reaches.

3 - Leave For 24 Hours

After making these markings, allow your pool and the bucket of water to rest for 24 hours.

4 - Check For Difference In Levels

Once this period has passed, examine the markings you made on the inside and the outside of the bucket. How low has the water dropped below the lines that you drew on the bucket? Measure the distance between the lines and the current water levels.

If your pool has a leak present, water will have dropped on the outside of the bucket _more _than it has dropped on the inside of the bucket. This means the gap between the line you drew and the pool’s current water level will be larger than the one you observe on the inside of the bucket.

If the water has dropped equal amounts both inside and outside of the bucket, congratulations! It is unlikely that your pool has a leak.

How To Find A Leak In A Pool?

To find leaks in a pool, you can perform a dye test. This test works for in-ground pools and above-ground pools. We will also include some other tips for locating leaks in above-ground pools, as these can often be easier to find than those that occur in in-ground pools.

If you struggle using the methods we have mentioned, remember that it is always possible to contact a team of pool professionals to assist you with leak detection services.

Locating Pool Leaks: Dye Test

When preparing to perform this test you will first need to purchase leak-detection dye. We recommend this leak detector dye and syringe set to simplify the leak detection process. We also recommend that you use goggles to observe the behaviour of the dye in the water.

Before starting your leak detection test, shut off your pump and filter unit so that the water in your pool becomes still. Then, locate areas that are the typical suspects for leaks.

These include areas around skimmer boxes, places where the interior surface of your pool is deteriorating, near large cracks, and around floor drains.

While inside your pool, approach these suspect areas with your syringe full of dye. Slowly release a small but concentrated amount of dye near an area of concern, working in one location at a time.

If a leak is present in the area that you test, you will notice the dye that you inject into the water quickly follows water currents toward the location of the leak. If a leak is not present in this area, the dye will form a small cloud in the water and will rush in any specific direction as it dissipates.

You may want to consider marking the locations of any leaks that you detect with some waterproof tape. This can help you locate the leaks more easily when it’s time to repair them.

How To Find A Leak In An Above-Ground Pool

To find a leak in an above-ground pool, you should first examine the outer perimeter of the pool.

When above-ground pools are leaking, this often results in water running down the side of the pool in one location and creating a puddle on the ground at the base of the pool. This can help you locate the general area of the leak before you further pinpoint its location using the dye test.

How To Repair Leaks In Your Pool

Sometimes, particularly small and slow leaks in your pool can be repaired by yourself.

If you are experiencing a severe leak or simply do not have the time in your schedule to take on a leak-patching project, you may want to hire an experienced pool leak detection expert in Brisbane to fix the leak in your pool.

How To Fix A Leak Using Lo-Chlor Pool And Spa Leak Sealer

Our recommended product for fixing leaks in your pool is Lo-Chlor Pool and Spa Leak Sealer. This product helps to seal minor cracks in the surfaces or plumbing elements of your pool. It is not suitable for use in vinyl-lined pools.

Shut Off Equipment

To use Lo-Chlor Pool and Spa Leak Sealer, ensure that your pump is shut off and any automatic pool cleaners are removed from the water. Then, set your filter to the bypass or recirculate setting.

If these settings are not available, remove any filter cartridges or panels that are present. Because this leak sealer can also clog fine fountain jets in your pool, it is recommended that you remove any of these jet nozzles before treatment.

Add Leak Sealer Product

This product is applied at a dose of 1 litre per every 60,000L of pool water. If you have detected a specific leak in your pool’s surface, apply this product to the water near the location of the leak. Otherwise, distribute the product evenly around your pool.

If your pool’s pipework leaks, you can apply the leak sealer solution directly into your pool’s skimmer box. Once you’ve done this, set up a vacuum hose at the deepest point in your pool and ensure that the hose is free of air.

Regardless of where you have applied the leak sealer, you should wait for approximately 30 minutes before turning your pool’s pump back on for a minimum of 8 hours.

You should also mark the water level in the pool at this point, making a note to check this level again after 24 hours have passed.

Clean Up

After shutting your pump back off, allow all residue from the leak sealant to settle to the bottom of the pool. This could take up to six hours. You should then vacuum this substance to waste.

If necessary, a second dose of leak sealer may then be used in larger pools or in cases where water loss has been reduced but not stopped entirely.


As you can see, you can often work out whether your pool has a leak and even where it is located before you get the professionals involved.

However, it’s always worth getting an opinion from a leak detection specialist if you are unsure, because if leaks are left long enough, they can cause serious damage to your pool and even your house.

Louis from Pool Advisor


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.