Do you have a Leak?

Quick tips

How to know you have a leak

Plumbing Leaks

  • You can hear the continuous sound of water (like a toilet running) when nothing is turned on.
  • Your water meter reading changes when you aren’t using any water. (Mark the indicator on your meter; don’t use any water for an hour; then check the meter. If the indicator moved, you may have a leak.)
  • Your water bill escalates over a period of weeks or months. (Compare your bills month to month.)
  • Your walls or floors have wet, spongy, moist or discolored areas when nothing has been spilled.
  • You can smell foul odors coming from floors or walls near drains or sewers.
  • Your building foundation cracks, vegetation grows unevenly, or earth shifts for no apparent reason.
  • You find warm spots on your floor, particularly on concrete slab floors.

Pool / Spa Leaks

  • You lose 1/8″ of water or more in 24 hours. Perform a Bucket Test. Evaporation rates vary per area.
  • You find algae forming too soon after a chemical treatment.
  • You find loose or falling tiles or pool deck cracks
    (All are signs that the surrounding ground is being compromised by water.)
  • Your pool/spa has settled into the ground or cracks and gaps appear in the pool shell or concrete deck.
  • You find standing water, mushy spots, or uneven grass growth around the pool/spa area.
  • Your automatic filler is continually release

The bucket test for pool / spa leaks

In the heat of the summer your pool can seem to lose water faster than usual. The bucket test helps determine if the unusual rate of water loss is  due to a high evaporation rate or a possible leak. Use the following steps to determine if your pool is leaking.


  • Bring pool water to normal level.
  • Fill a large bucket with pool water about 3-4 inches from the top.
  • Place bucket on first or second step of pool (preferably the second step without immersing it).
  • With a marker or electrical tape, mark the water level on inside of bucket.
  • Shut off pump and mark pool level on outside of bucket.
  • Resume normal pump operation. Make sure auto/manual fill valve is off during test.
  • After 24 hours, compare the two levels. If the pool water (outside mark) goes down more than the inside water level, there may be a leak.

In case of rain, repeat the test.

Test is not valid after 24 hours.

Evaporation will occur at the same rate regardless of the area of water. A bucket will lose a quarter inch of water as fast as a swimming pool loses a quarter inch of water.

If the pool is leaking, Shaun Karp Leak Detectors can expertly determine if the leak is in the structure (fiberglass structures), or plumbing, and isolate the leak to minimize the required repair expense.

Typical evaporation

If your pool or spa is losing around a centimeter a day, it could be evaporation, or it could be a leak. A half centimenter (5mm) per day is most likely to be evaporation. The evaporation rate in your area will depend on humidity, sunlight intensity, barometric pressure, wind, as well as the level of activity in the pool or spa.

Shaun Karp Leak Detectors

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