Swimming Pool Leak Detection and Leak Repair

Leak Detection and RepairAll pools are susceptible to leaks. Leaks can be caused by old plumbing, ground movement/settling, tree roots, and structural issues such as cracks in the plaster. Sunbrite Pools specializes in pool and spa leak detection and repair in all areas of Orange County. Schedule an appointment and we will come out and complete a leak detection on your pool and/or spa. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to give us a call first.

A leak detection generally takes about half a day depending on the number of bodies of water, size, and complexity. Our leak detections are fully comprehensive consisting of checking all the underground plumbing including: return and suction lines, skimmer(s) and jet lines. Additionally we will check for any structural leaks in the water line, bond beam surface, light fixtures, etc. Once the cause of the leak is determined we will provide an estimate to repair the affected area.

Common Pool Leaks

  • Plumbing
    • Skimmer
    • Return Line
    • Suction Line
    • Jet Line
  • Structural
    • Pool Surface Crack
    • Crack Waterline Tile/Coping
    • Light Niche or Conduit

Symptoms of a Leak:

  • Pool loses more water than regular evaporation (2 inches a week)
  • Visible cracks in the surface or tile
  • Pool has air in the system (bubbles blowing back in pool from returns or air in pump pot)
  • Deck sinking or lifting
  • Signs of water around the pool
  • You are adding more water than ever before

Problems Caused by Water Leaks:

  • Waste of Water
  • Increase in water bill
  • Structural damage to pool, decking, home foundation

Cause of Water Leaks:

  • Aging construction and plumbing
  • Ground movement and settling
  • Plant and tree roots
  • Normal wear and tear over time

How Do I Know If I Have A Leak (Bucket Test):

  • Fill pool to normal level (3 inches above skimmer mouth). Fill a 5-gallon bucket with pool water to about five inches from the top.
  • Place the bucket on the step in the pool. The bucket should be immersed at least 5 inches in the pool.
  • Mark the water level of the BUCKET on the INSIDE of the bucket.
  • Mark the water level of the POOL on the OUTSIDE of the bucket.
  • Turn off any autofill and make sure no water is added to the pool.
  • After 24 hours, compare the two water levels. If the pool water goes down more than the water level inside the bucket, there is likely a water leak. If the levels are the same there has only been normal evaporation. Test not valid after 24 hours.

Typical evaporation

Typical water evaporation in Orange County is up to a quarter inch of water loss per day (2” per week) during the summer. The evaporation rate depends on sun exposure, humidity, amount of wind and splash out caused by swimmers.

More About Leak Detections

Unfortunately leaks occur over time. Leaks can be structural or plumbing related. All it takes is one fitting to wear out, a pinhole leak in any underground pipe or a small structural crack in the surface or water line. Water is very invasive. Once a crack occurs the water will continue to cause further damage to the surrounding area. A small pin hole leak can result in 500 gallons a day of water loss. Once a leak occurs spilling water underground, not only is it wasted increasing water bill, but it also leads to settling and ground movement which can be cause further damage.

Settling and Ground Movement can be extremely damaging not just to your pool, but also decking, walkways, steps, patio covers, and your home’s foundation. Imagine pouring water into a glass jar full of dry sand. The sand when wet will contract, when it drys it expands. When the earth around your pool, under your deck and other foundations expands and contracts, it causes ground movement. The ground is much more powerful than the plastic pvc plumbing and even concrete. Enough movement can cause a fittings to become loose, concrete to crack, etc. Remember not always does the water come from the pool. Often times the damage is caused by over watered landscape or run off.   All backyards have some natural form of settling and ground movement. Some homes naturally tend to have more ground movement than others. With out advanced soils and engineering reports completed before you buy your home there is no way to tell.


"With Sunbrite we never have to worry about the pool. Our pool always looks great!"
- Monica
"With over 200 apartment units our pool gets a lot of use. With Sunbrite we never have to worry about the #1 amenity at our community."
- Larry (Maintenance Mgr)
"After 15 Years of service I've never been happier."
- Sara