How to Patch a Pool with Water in it

Aquaman Leak Detection Blog

Common Above Ground Pool Leaks

On Mar 7, 2018

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It may be easier to discover a leak in an above-ground swimming pool, but it still takes a little detective work to determine where the leak is and the best repair steps. A bucket test will confirm if a pool leak is present, but finding the location will still involve an examination of the pool and surrounding grounds.

There are several common ways an above-ground pool can develop a leak. If your swimming pool water level is dropping, begin your leak hunt by checking the most common areas where a pool leak starts.

Here’s our List of Common Above Ground Pool Leaks

Pool Liner

Vinyl liners have a lifespan of 6 to 12 years. You can extend its life by covering your pool when not in use. Liner tears often develop from sharp objects cutting into the pool edges or floor. A stray rock, tree branch, broken toy, or glass shard are all small enough to create more than one tear if left in the pool for an extended period.

Vinyl liners usually don't require total replacement for small tears. Patch kits come in various sizes and are reasonably priced. The material is pliable enough to cut and cover your pool liner tear's exact size and shape. Patches will last for a while if applied properly. If you believe a liner replacement is necessary, don't wait. 


A skimmer in excellent working order pulls water from the pool through the filter system. Larger pools will have more than one skimmer. There are many working parts to a skimmer including a lid, removable basket and three types of valves.

The function of the skimmer basket is to catch small debris before it enters the filter. One of the most common skimmer leaks develops when the edges loosen and pull water through the sides in addition to the mouth of the skimmer. A common sign of this leak is identified when the level of the pool drops quickly and then levels off under the mouth of the skimmer.

Pump and Filter

A clogged skimmer can cause the pool pump to leak. First, try turning off the pool pump, removing the skimmer, and clearing its contents to stop this. Your pool pump will often leak when air enters the pump parts instead of water. Air pulled into the intake or return lines can reduce the filtered water from evenly returning to the pool and cause pressure to build in the lines.

Above all, the pool pump motor must stay dry. If a leak begins in the seal shaft, turn off the pool pump and call a professional to repair or replace the pool pump parts. This is an issue for a trained contractor to fix.

It's important to check your pool equipment frequently for normal wear and tear in addition to leaks. When you replace parts before they break, you will reduce water loss.

Pool Light

Lighting fixtures have screws that occasionally loosen. Any break in a seal becomes a gap for water to escape a swimming pool. Check the light in your above-ground pool for spaces created from loosened screws or a misfitting light cap. The light can also separate from the pool wall. The final way a pool light leaks is if the cap covering the bulb cracks. You may discover replacing the pool light is the best way to stop this leak.

Pool Edges

Vinyl pool liners can quickly become leaky when too much pressure builds up along the outer ring of the pool. This issue arises if wrinkles are not taken care of right away, as over time, they can strain the material and cause it to dry and crack. As soon as any signs of minor leaks appear, take action immediately, or these small cracks will quickly expand and lead to more significant problems.

To prevent such issues, check all edges of your pool regularly and keep an eye out for any signs of weakness in the vinyl liner. A good sign that there may be an issue along the edge is if you can press against it lightly without causing water to pour out from any cracks. If this happens, patching up the area should be made a priority to prevent further damage or leakage. With proper preventative measures in place, you should have no trouble keeping your liner in its pristine condition for years.

Pool Floor

When inspecting the pool floor, it is important to thoroughly check for any divots or valleys that leakage may have caused. Inspect from outside the pool with the pump turned off and the water very still. While some dips in the bottom are typical, if there are any extra divots or valleys that weren't present before, this could indicate a dangerous leak at the bottom of your pool. It is important to note all changes in shape you find in reference to where they are on the bottom and mark them for further investigation. Just because there is an indentation doesn't necessarily mean it is a leak, so further inspection is required.

When evaluating deeper divots or valleys, it's best to use flexible measuring tools such as a paint scraper or long ruler overtop of the membrane covering and then use movement along with marks on markers to find out how deep these depressions are under the surface. As not all irregularities point to leaks, comparing measurements of "before" and "after" or against other areas is beneficial to better locate potential problems before starting expensive repairs due to false alarms. Additionally, note any weak spots in other parts of your pool's lining, such as seam splits or tears.

Call the Experts

A leaky pool will increase your water bills and make it more difficult to balance pool chemicals. Before pool season begins, take time to check for water leakage. It's best to find leaks as soon as possible. Complicated pool leak repairs are costly.

Regardless of the size, addressing a swimming pool leak in your above-ground pool is essential as quickly as possible. A small leak can quickly become a significant issue without repair. Contact Aquaman Leak Detection to repair your pool or spa tub leak. We service residential and commercial swimming pools throughout Florida.

This article was originally published in March 2018 but has been updated for accuracy and freshness.


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