If you own an above-ground swimming pool, you know that nothing ruins a summer break more than discovering a leak. Intex pools, while reliable, are not invincible to this wear and tear either. It could be due to the sharp pebbles and tiny branches lying around in your backyard or the damage from all the pool chemicals. Even the solid triple-layered PVC exteriors can become brittle over time and eventually break leaks in such conditions. More often than not, trying to locate these leaks can prove worse than actually having one.
Many people spend hours observing the exterior of their pool and trying to discern where the water is spilling from. However, there are several simpler and quicker ways of doing so. In some cases, there’s even the possibility that your pool doesn’t leak at all; it could just be the evaporation tricking you. However, if there is seepage, some of the most common techniques to track it down are colored water, draining, and light.
How To Find A Leak In An Intex Pool: 4 Step Fix
There are3 types of Intex above-ground pools and it is important to know which one you have before taking the steps to fix any potential leak. The 3 most common types in Intex pools are:
Easy Set Pools, Prism Pools
Round Ultra Frame Pools
Rectangular Ultra Frame Pools
Before jumping into anything else, you must make sure that there is, indeed, a seepage. As mentioned earlier, the decreasing water levels in the pool might be a result of evaporation and not a leak. One of the most common signs of dripping water is finding puddles near the pool where they’re not supposed to be.
Fluctuating chemical levels or unusual algae growth is another indicator of a rift. The reason for this is that when the water is dribbling out the ruptured area, it also takes away the pool chemicals with it; as a result, when untreated water is added back to the pool without the chemicals, it becomes an easy breeding ground for all sorts of algae. Hence, if you see discoloration of water or increased algae growth, get the pool checked for a leak immediately.
If you don’t see any of these symptoms, you most likely don’t have a leaking pool. However, you can perform a couple of tests to clear your mind of any doubts.
This technique involves observing the change in water levels due to evaporation over 24 hours. There’s usually a drop of 0.6 centimeters in the pool water levels in that period. These statistics are genuine considering it’s a moderately sunny day, and the decline could be as much as four centimeters on a scorching day.
Hence, mark the waterline for the test using a small tape or waterproof paint or marker. After 24 hours, draw the water level once again. If the difference between the two markings is over four centimeters, then there may be a leak in your pool.
Much like the previous one, this test involves comparing water levels too. However, this method proves to be more effective because there are no assumptions. For this test, all you need is a bucket big enough to stand at the shallow end of your pool. Place the bucket there and fill it so that its water level matches the one outside. Leave it there overnight after ensuring that the bucket doesn’t have any cracks or rifts.
The next day, check the water levels inside and outside the bucket. If there is a more significant drop on the outside than the inside, your pool is leaking.
Once you’ve confirmed the reason behind the decreasing water levels in your pool, the next step is to detect it. Locating a leak can be a tough job, especially for sizable pools. Even the tiniest of holes and cracks can gush out gallons of water a week.
These leaks are responsible for your increasing water bills and the additional pool chemical charges. And so, you must find out the exact source of the seepage and fix it. Here are three of the most common and effective methods of locating a leak in your pool.
The draining method is the simplest of all. While it doesn’t lead you to the exact rupture, it helps shorten the waiting time for the following crack. This method enables you to deduce whether the leak is at the bottom of the pool or the pool walls.
You need to fill your pool up entirely and simply let it drain from the leakage for this to work. This way, once the water level reaches the hole or the crack, it will stop spilling out. If it doesn’t stop leaking until the pool is empty, the damage is at the base. Although most above-ground pools don’t have in-built drains, there’s a chance that it’s leaking if you had one installed.
You can use any acrylic or food color that doesn’t completely dissolve in water for this method. That is because the color needs to be visible in the water for you to follow it. You can also use fabric paints for tie-dye. Now, add a few drops of the colored stainer of your choice to the pool. Once you do that, you’ll be able to see the flow of the water very quickly. Next, you have to wait for the pool to drain out from the leak.
While waiting, keep an eye on the colored water because you’ll be able to see as it flows towards the leaking exit.
One can perform the lighting method with an above-ground pool that isn’t fixed into the ground and is easily movable. Yous should use this method only during the closing season or last resort, because it requires the pool to be drained entirely and moved/lifted.
If done during the day, place the pool’s legs on higher ground after draining it. Make it so that the swimming pool is at least an inch or two above the ground. Place it directly under the sun. Now, if you observe closely, you’d see the spots where the sun rays passed through the pool base/walls due to the rifts.
When there is no sunlight, you can do this with the help of flashlights too. This method is handy for latex or rubber pools that grow brittle with time, developing several holes at once.
By this point, you have already confirmed and spotted the leak in your pool using steps 1 and 2. Here comes the most critical part—fixing the leak. You might be wondering why you can’t just call a professional to get the job done. The truth is that you can, but it is always helpful to know how to patch up your pool for several reasons. The first and most important reason is that external help can sometimes be expensive.
If the source of the leakage is something as small as a crack or a hole, then it’s best to get it done at home. However, if there’s an issue with the drain, it would probably be best to seek professional help.
Patching an Intex pool up is a relatively easy job; all you need is the correct patching kit. For smaller holes, a standard patching kit is enough. But if the damage is sizable and you need a more permanent solution, then a vinyl patch kit is preferable. Once you gather the required materials, the process from there on out is pretty straightforward.
If there is a small leak in the liner or multiple tiny holes, use the standard patching kit. If there is a more significant rift, use the vinyl kit as it has a stronger adhesive made especially for PVC exteriors like Intex pools. You can also fix the outside of the pool with a vinyl kit. If the damage seems any bigger than use or something that a patching kit may not be able to solve, call a professional.
It will help if you cut out the patch according to the damage for the next step. It is more effective if you cut it circularly and at least an inch bigger than the hole, and doing this gives the adhesive more space to work better.
If you need to fix the liner or the ring of the swimming pool, make sure you fully inflate it for the patch to work correctly. Put a small amount of adhesive where the hole is and wait 5-10 minutes to settle. After the wait, place the patch on it and start applying pressure. Make sure you press it from the center towards the edges to avoid wrinkles.
If the leak is inside the pool walls and you decide to patch it while it’s filled, don’t put the adhesive directly onto the tear; spread the glue on the patch you cut out instead. After putting on the bond, fold the patch in half and wait a few minutes for it to settle. Once the wait is over, place it on the tear following the same process from earlier.
The average lifespan for an Intex pool is about six to eight years, but if taken proper care of, they might last for as long as ten to twelve years. Compared to other traditional pools, Intex pools are much easier to manage and do not require any prior construction either. They often come with attached cartridge filters and pumps. The first step to taking care of your Intex is to keep these add-ons as clean as possible.
If you clear the filters regularly, there’s a lesser chance of the drain getting clogged or corroded and eventually leaking.
Understand introductory pool chemistry and keep the number of chemicals you put inside the water in check. Unbalanced water can either be unsanitary and harmful for you or damage the pool walls from excessive chemical charges. Hence, it is essential to check the pH and alkaline levels in your pool regularly; the ideal pH count lies between 7.4 to 7.6 and 100-150 ppm alkalinity.
This way, if your pool becomes excessively acidic and starts damaging the walls, the alkaline will control the sudden pH fluctuation. In addition to the pool’s pH and alkaline levels, balancing the sanitizer and water hardness is essential too.
The last tip to keep in mind is seasonal pool maintenance. While regular sanitization is necessary, it may reduce its lifespan if you continuously empty your Intex pool and fill it back. Therefore, it is better to plan out a periodic cleaning schedule every season.
Using theses tips you can start worrying how how to find a leak in an Intex pool and get back to enjoying the pool more.
Intex pools are much easier to care for than regular pools, but they are not uncommon to develop leaks. It is often challenging to locate the leakage sources, but there are several techniques you can use to spot them. The most common one includes adding a few drops of dye to the water and following it to the hole or tear. However, before going through all that trouble, you should perform an evaporation test to confirm the leak. These 2 test will help how to find a leak in an Intex pool.
Once verified, there are also other techniques, like draining and lighting, that you can use to locate the tear. If it’s a tiny hole or a tear, then you can save some money and patch it yourself instead of calling a professional. Use a regular or vinyl patching kit to fix the current damage, and conduct routine maintenance to avoid future leaks.