Bucket Test

The do-it-yourself bucket test.

Do a simple bucket test to see how much water you are really losing in your pool.

Step 1

bucket test illustration graphicFill pool to it’s normal operating level (middle height of skimmer mouth). Get a clean bucket with fairly straight sides. Standing at the shallow end of pool deck, reach in and fill the bucket with pool water and place it on the top step. Add enough so the inside water level is about 1 inch from the top. This allows sunshine plus any breezes across your pool to also react inside the bucket.  You have now created a mini pool system which now allows you to compare with the water level of your pool.

Step 2

If you have an auto-fill for the pool turn it off.  Turn off the pool pump.  If your pool has a fountain or a spa spillover line, turn those valves off as well.  Allow the pool water time to settle down.  Mark the water levels on both the inside of the bucket and on the outside of the bucket.

*use a thin strip of duct tape, it both adheres well plus it’s easier to accurately mark the levels.

Step 3

Turn the pump back on, but leave any auto-fill, fountain or spa spillover off.  Let the pool run it’s normal time period.

Step 4

After 24 hours compare the inside and outside levels marked on the bucket.  Measure the distance from the water level to the bottom of the tape on the inside of the bucket (amount of water lost to evaporation). Now measure the distance from the water level to the bottom of the tape on the outside of the bucket (total amount of water lost not only to evaporation but also to a leak).
Outside bucket measurement – inside bucket measurement = leak
If you have a leak, next check the pump/equipment area.  With the pump running, look for wet spots under and around it, the filter, the chlorinator and around the base of the heater which is usually surrounded by some sort of hedges.  You may have to rake back some leaves to see the base.  Also check the end of the waste-line that usually comes from your filter.  Another place to look is up on your roof if you have solar panels for the pool.  Many times you will not see any water looking from the ground but you may hear it flowing down the rain gutters.  If water is seen leaking out from any of these areas it is a good idea to have your pool service repair them. Monitor the pool and run another evaporation/bucket test if you think it still may be leaking.  If your pool is still losing 4/16 inches or more than evaporation in 24 hours, then you have a detectable leak.  Call us today and we will quickly find it for you. We specialize in swimming pool leak repair and spa leak repair. We service the entire Hillsborough County area.