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How to Find Out if You Have a Pool Leak – Bucket Test Guide

Owning a pool is an enjoyable experience, especially during the scorching summer months. However, nothing dampens the fun more than discovering a pool leak. The elusive nature of pool leaks often leaves pool owners scratching their heads, wondering how to identify and address the issue. In this guide, we’ll explore a practical method – the Bucket Test – to help you determine if your pool has a leak.

Understanding the Signs:

Before diving into the Bucket Test, it’s crucial to be aware of potential signs indicating a pool leak. These may include:

  • Unexplained Water Loss: Keep an eye on your pool’s water level. If you notice a consistent drop, it could be a sign of a leak.
  • Check equipment area for damp/wet equipment pads
  • Cracks and Damaged Pool Structure: Inspect your pool’s structure for visible cracks, tears, or other damage that may contribute to leaks.
  • Sinking Pavers: A leak can lead to excess water around the pool area, causing unusual plant growth or soil erosion.


The Bucket Test:

The Bucket Test is a simple yet effective DIY method to determine if your pool is losing water due to a leak. Here’s how to conduct the test:

Step 1: Gather Supplies

  • A 5-gallon bucket
  • Duct tape or a heavy object
  • A marker

Step 2: Pool Water Level

  • Ensure your pool water is at its normal level.
  • Mark the water level on the pool skimmer or tile.

Step 4: Placement

  • Place the bucket on the pool steps or the second pool step if applicable.
  • Submerge the bucket, allowing pool water to fill it to the same level as the pool water outside.

Step 5: Observation

  • After 24 hours, compare the water levels inside and outside the bucket.
  • If the pool water level has dropped more than the water inside the bucket, there might be a leak.


Interpreting the Results:

  • Equal Water Levels: If both water levels are similar, it’s likely that normal pool conditions are causing the water loss.
  • Greater Pool Water Loss: A significant difference indicates a potential leak. Consult with a professional pool service for further inspection and repair.



Maintaining a leak-free pool is essential for a hassle-free and enjoyable swimming experience. The Bucket Test provides a straightforward and cost-effective method to identify pool leaks early on. By staying vigilant and addressing any issues promptly, you can ensure that your pool remains a source of joy throughout the summer months.


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Address: 185 E Airport Blvd, Sanford, FL 32773
Phone: (407) 871-2020

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