Mike the Poolman

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The Bucket Test

September 6, 2021

Please note: we are NOT leak detectors.
We provide this information because we are asked all the time about how to determine if a pool is losing water from a leak or evaporation.
IF a leak detector determines the pool is leaking from the bottom drain we can fix the leak by scuba diving and repairing it without draining the pool.

A simple test will confirm if you have a leak in your pool: “The Bucket Test”.
** DO NOT LET SMALL CHILDREN PLAY WITH ANY BUCKET**

  1. Bring the pool water to its normal level
  2. Fill a bucket with pool water to about one inch from the top (by filling the bucket close to the top you are ensuring that air movement over the surface of the bucket will be similar to that of the surface to that of the pool.
  3. Place the bucket on the first or second step of the pool. By placing the bucket in the pool water, you ensure that the water temperature of each will be similar. To keep the bucket from floating away place a brick or a few rocks in the bucket.
  4. Mark the water level inside the bucket (tape works well).
  5. Mark the water level of the pool on the outside of the bucket.
  6. Operate the pool for 24 hours with the pump ON and on its regular schedule.
  7. Operate the pool for 24 hours with the pump OFF.
  8. After 48 hours, compare the two levels. If the pool water (outside mark on the bucket) goes down more than the inside water level, there is probably a leak and it’s time to call in the leak detector.
    * If the water level goes down more IN the bucket, an animal has been drinking from your bucket. It happens!

Click here for instructions you can print.

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