How to Detect and Fix Pool Leaks: A Step-by-Step Guide

April 15, 2024 Written by: Nick Luisi

A pool is a place of relaxation, not stress. But when you suspect a leak, it can quickly become the latter. Detecting and fixing pool leaks promptly is crucial to maintaining your pool’s integrity, conserving water, and preventing costly repairs down the line. Let’s dive into a step-by-step guide to help you pinpoint and patch up any leaks.

Step 1: Confirm the Leak

Before you start any repair work, it’s essential to confirm that your pool is actually leaking. Sometimes, water loss can be due to evaporation or splashing out during use.

  • Bucket Test: Place a bucket filled with water on a pool step (weight it down with a rock or brick) and mark the water levels on both the inside and outside of the bucket. After 24 hours, compare the two levels. If the pool water level has dropped more than the bucket’s, you likely have a leak.

Step 2: Inspect the Pool

Once you’ve confirmed the leak, the next step is to inspect your pool thoroughly to identify where it might be.

  • Check the Equipment: Examine the pump, filter, heater, and pipe valves for drips or wet areas that might suggest leaks.
  • Look at the Surface: Walk around the pool and check for wet spots in the surrounding area that could indicate underground pipe leaks.

Step 3: Narrow Down the Location

Finding the exact spot of a leak can be tricky, but it’s easier if you know where to start looking.

  • Ink Test: Turn off the pump and wait for the water to become completely still. Use a dropper to place a small amount of dye near any areas where you suspect a leak, like cracks or seams. If the dye is sucked into a spot, that’s where your leak is.

Elegant home pool undergoing leak detection procedures to ensure pristine condition.

Step 4: Repair the Leak

The method you use to repair the leak will depend on its location.

  • For Small Cracks or Holes: Use a patch kit designed for pool repairs. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.
  • For Leaks in Equipment: Gaskets and seals may need replacing, or it might be a loose connection that requires tightening.

Step 5: Monitor the Repair

After you’ve made the repairs, monitor the water level to ensure that the leak has been fixed. Repeat the bucket test if necessary.


Detecting and repairing leaks in your pool doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the right approach and some patience, you can keep your pool in top shape. Remember, if you’re ever in doubt or the leak seems too complex to handle, professional help is just a call away. At Sunset Pools & Spas, we’re always ready to assist with your pool maintenance needs, ensuring you get back to enjoying your pool with peace of mind.