It’s not unusual for your pool to lose some water. In fact, it is quite normal to lose between 1/8” and 1/4” per day due to evaporation alone, without counting splash outs. But, how can you tell if your water is leaking at a faster rate than usual? Before you call a professional, do a bucket test to determine if there’s a leak or just evaporation.
How to Perform the Bucket Test
- Have your pool filled to its standard level. Using a 5 gallon bucket, fill it 1 inch from the top with pool water. If you are performing this on a commercial pool, turn any autofill valve off and close access to the pool. Homeowners also need to check if they have an auto-fill device and turn it off.
- Immerse the bucket in the pool to about 5 inches. Setting it on the first or second step of your pool should suffice. Note: If you don’t have steps, you can try placing the bucket on the top ladder tread
- Mark the water level inside the bucket and the water level outside the bucket.
- Come back in 24 hours to compare the inside water level to the outside water level. If the water level outside the bucket has dropped more than the water level inside the bucket, you likely have a pool leak and need to call a professional.
Make a note to check the bucket at exactly the 24 hour mark, as waiting longer than this can give inaccurate results. If it rains you will have to wait and start over when there is a clear forecast.