Pinto Pools

Pinto Pools

Is My Pool Leaking?

Is there actually a leak or is it just evaporation?
Water loss in your swimming pool typically comes from:
1. Evaporation
2. Splashed out water
3. Plumbing lines/Equipment
4. Vinyl Pools: Liner holes/tears
5. Gunite pools: cracks in the surface


  • Water loss of more than ½” in 24 hrs
  • Your automatic fill is continually running
  • Puddles of water/drips at your filter equipment
  • Standing water, mushy spots or uneven grass growth around pool
  • Pool has air in the system
  • Equipment loses prime
  • Dirt coming out of the return lines
  • What to do:
    First determine that the symptoms are not evaporation by doing a bucket test.

    The Bucket Test:
    1. Bring the pool water up to normal levels.
    2. Turn off your auto fill device.
    3. Do not backwash during the test.
    4. Fill up a 5 gallon bucket with pool water to about an inch from the top.
    5. Mark the water level inside the bucket.
    6. Place the bucket on the second step of the pool or the lowest step without the bucket being submerged.
    7. Turn the pump off.
    8. Mark the pool water level on the outside of the bucket.
    9. Turn the pump back on.
    10. After 24 hrs. turn the pump off and mark the water level on the outside of the bucket and the water level on the inside of the bucket.
    11. Resume pump operation.
    12. Measure the distance between the marks on the inside and outside of the bucket. If the outside mark goes down more than the inside mark then you have a leak. If the distance is the same it is evaporation.

    It’s not evaporation! Now what?

    1. Visually inspect all exposed plumbing going to and from the pool and at the pool equipment area for drips/leaks.
    2. Check the end of the backwash/waste hose. Is water trickling out when not backwashing?
    3. With the pump off – re-inspect all plumbing and equipment for drips/leaks.
    4. Visually inspect the shell of the pool (for gunite) – are there any cracks or loose tiles?
    5. For vinyl: visually inspect the vinyl liner for holes/tears.
    6. With the pool pump off go underwater with a mask on. Using a dye kit check for leakage around the pool light, return line fittings, main drain, liner seams and step areas. Expel enough dye to make a small cloud in the area you are testing. The dye will be drawn into the leak.
    7. If the leak is in the underground plumbing lines you will need to call Pinto’s for professional assistance.

    When do I call in a professional?
    Usually most inground pool owners need to call Pinto’s after they have made visual inspections and ruled out evaporation. Pinto’s has experienced technicians that use state of the art electronic liner track equipment to find even the smallest holes in your liner. With our pressure testing equipment they will be able to identify any underground plumbing line leak(s) as well. Please call our Service Department at 631-878-0966, to schedule your professional leak detection.

    How do I prepare my pool for a professional leak detection?
    1. Do the bucket test do be sure it is a leak and not evaporation.
    2. Your pool will need to be clear and vacuumed before your leak detection appointment.
    3. Fill your pool to the normal level.
    4. Shut your filter off. Mark the water level. 24 hours later compare the water level and note how much water was lost with the filter off. Turn your filter back on. You will need this information when scheduling your appointment.
    5. Call 878-0966 and schedule your leak detection.

    What can I expect?
    1. Visual Inspection. Your Pinto Service Technician will do a complete visual inspection upon arrival at your inground pool. He will look for leaks in exposed plumbing and at the filter, pump(s), heater, chlorinator and other equipment. He will check pump suction/discharge seal assemblies, multiport valve, and waste line. Technician will visually inspect liner for holes or gunite pools for cracks and loose tiles. Any holes in liner will be patched. He will inspect around the light gasket and conduit. If leakage is found at the light a 2-part epoxy sealer will be used to seal the leak. He will check return line fittings, hydro jets and skimmer gaskets.

    2. Pressure Test. If no leaks are visually observed then lines will be pressure tested using professional pressure testing equipment. Location of underground plumbing leaks can be easily identified this way.

    3. Liner Track Test. If there are no leaks visually observed and all lines hold pressure then your liner will be tested using electronic Leak Trac equipment to find even the smallest holes in your liner.

    4. Repairs. Your Pinto professional will advise you of his findings from your diagnostic appointment. Repair work is additional from your leak detection and diagnostic work. These repairs are based on time and materials and you will be promptly provided with an estimate for the repair.