My Pool is Losing Water – What Should I Do?

pool losing waterSuspecting your pool is losing water can be scary. For those of you prone to worry it can give you quite a panic. Luckily, you don’t have to just watch it drain away, you can actually do something about it. Your pool may be losing water but you have to get to the root cause before you can find a solution.

First, let us say the easiest and most common problem for losing water in your pool is from normal pool use. This should be a relief to the worry warts, like me. That is, when you are splashing around and doing cherry bombs and throwing your kids into the deep end, water splashes out. After a large pool party, this may be very pronounced.

Another simple explanation for your water loss issue is evaporation. The hotter it is outside, the more evaporation you will get. Over the course of a summer, you may think your pool is losing water, and you would be right. However it is losing water because of the sun, because your pool water is now in the atmosphere.

The next possibility is that there is an equipment problem. Check thoroughly around your pump, filter, and sanitation areas. You may be pumping water from your pool into another area of your yard.

If everything in the control room looks a-ok and not….well….flooded, you need to determine if the pool is really leaking or if the loss of water is due to evaporation and splash.

Do The Bucket Test!

Place a bucket on the second stair of your pool steps. Fill it with enough water so that it does not bob away. Mark the inside and outside water lines with a sharpie marker. Leave the bucket and the pool alone for a full 24 hours. That means no swimming or jumping or cavorting, even in the spa if they share water. (If they don’t share water, then enjoy the time away from your pool in your spa.) Then, after 24 hours, come back and examine the findings.

You are looking at the difference in water levels between the water line and the sharpie line you made 24 hours ago. Take a ruler and measure this difference on the inside of the bucket. Then measure this difference on the outside of the bucket. If you are losing a lot of water to evaporation, there should be no difference between the water levels both inside and outside of the bucket.

However, if there is a much bigger space between the water level and the sharpie line outside the bucket than there is inside, you have a problem. Call a pool specialist like Bonita Pool and Spa who know how to detect leaks. They will tell you where your leak is and how much it will cost you to repair the leak and save your pool.

If there is a much bigger space between the water level and the sharpie line inside the bucket than there is outside the bucket… well, someone has been messing with your bucket!


  1. […] The first step I hope you have done if you think there is a leak in the swimming pool is the bucket test. This is a cheap, easy test to determine if you are just losing a lot of water to evaporation or if […]