Detecting leaks in Florida pools can be tricky. Especially here in southwest Florida, from Lakewood Ranch west to the Gulf coast, because there is already water everywhere.
And even though the average residential swimming pool holds well more than 10,000 gallons of water, even a little leak in your pool plumbing can cause massive problems.
If you suspect a leak, you should get a pool plumbing expert on the job ASAP.
However, in can be hard to gauge the presence of leaks through pool water level alone. Just eyeballing your water levels, you might not notice the difference, or you might worry over nothing.
Problems Caused by Pool Leaks
Pool leaks cause three major changes that create problems:
- 1. a drop in water level
- 2. less total water in the pool
- 3. and an increase in the amount of water in the ground outside of your pool
Each of these situations independently can be an issue. But leaks tend to cause all three changes simultaneously, which quickly become catastrophic.
- 1. A drop in water level will soon mean that your intakes will be sucking air instead of water into your pumps. Alternately, if you have an automatic fill device, your water levels will look like they’re consistent, but your AFD will be running all the time—wasting energy (and money) and masking a leak that will soon cause even more problems.
- 2. A drop in water quantity will affect your pool’s chemical balance. We already deal with this due to natural water depletion caused by evaporation. But a leak removes water a lot faster, making it even harder to balance your pools chemicals.
- 3. Lastly, leaks in your pool plumbing put the water in the wrong place, ie just outside your pool. Suddenly saturated, the ground will be soft and unsettled, potentially causing serious structural problems in your pool and pool deck. In other words: major repair work needed.
Signs Your Pool is Leaking
If you get up one morning and your pool level has dropped 8 inches or more overnight, voila: You know you have a leak. And an emergency—call someone now.
But your pool will naturally lose water due to evaporation and, sometimes, vigorous activity. (If the kids have friends over, that might explain why there’s water everywhere.)
Two inches per week should be your marker. More than that, and there’s probably a leak.
Or, as noted above, if your automatic fill device is working overtime, it’s probably compensating for a steady loss in pool level.
Loose tiles can have lots of causes, but one of them is a shifting foundation caused by overly moist ground surrounding the pool. Tile damage of that sort can precede cracks in your pool itself. Keep your eyes peeled.
Lastly, excess water around the pool—either on your pool deck, out in the yard or elsewhere—can indicate a leak. This is where Florida works against us. This time of year, puddles tend to be naturally occurring.
Still, you know your yard best. And if we hit a dry spot few days in Sarasota-Manatee (and, really, in your particular corner of this region, since rain can vary from block to block) and those puddles persist? Time to call in the experts.
Take comfort in the fact that pool plumbing is often easy to fix, even if you think the leak is hidden away. Still, you don’t want to mess with that vast volume of water getting loose.