How to Patch a Pool with Water in it

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Bucket Test and Dye Test: 2 Leak Detection Tests You Can DIY

On Aug 21, 2017

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The bucket test and dye test are both designed to help you find swimming pool leaks. The bucket test is the first way to find out if you have a leak. Red or dark blue dye will help you find a crack in the walls of your pool. It will also help you find a leak at the fittings around the pump intake and return lines.

Start with the Bucket

Take a five-gallon bucket, fill it 3/4 full with pool water and place it on the top step of your pool or spa tub. The rim of the bucket must be above the water level. Mark the water level in the bucket with a marker. Mark the outside water level when the pool water is settled. 

Turn the pump motor off and allow the bucket to stay in the calm water for 24 hours. The pool or spa will stay uncovered, but it cannot be used during this time. 

Check the pool water level mark 24 hours later. Compare it to the water loss in the bucket. The water loss in the bucket should be no more than a quarter-inch. If the pool water loss is more than a quarter-inch, you likely have a leak. This basic bucket test is only an indication that your pool is losing more water than normal evaporation allows.

Dye Test

A red or dark blue dye will pinpoint a leak in gunite or vinyl-lined pool. In-ground gunite, vinyl, or fiberglass pools may have a leak at the point where the skimmer basket attaches to the pool surface.

There may be a crack in the plaster or the "eyeball" fitting around the intake or return outlets in a gunite pool. The fitting around a jet may be loose in gunite or fiberglass spas tubs.

The dye must be carefully injected into the area around the crack or fitting. It will be sucked into the leak. The skimmer basket fitting is one of the first places to check using this system. The dye can also be used in gunite pools at step corners. The dye test also works at the base of metal fittings such as ladders. 

Check the surface of gunite and vinyl pools with your hands when you are in the pool. A rough area might suggest a crack or tear. Use the dye test to confirm your findings. The dye can also be used around the main drain suction line if the protective fitting is loose.

Fixing the Leak

The bucket test confirms a leak and the dye test will help you find it. A professional pool service will fix the leak. Aquaman Leak Detection can repair surface leaks to the walls of gunite pools using a special epoxy without the need to drain the pool. Vinyl pools need to be patched. 

Our professional pool repair service will also check plumbing lines and filter systems. Aquaman offers same-day service to diagnose and repair pool leaks. Contact Aquaman for quick repair service in Brevard County and all of Florida.

A Beginner's Guide to Swimming Pool Maintenance


By Aquaman

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