About the Non-Destructive Leak Detection Process
Initially, we evaluate what has been communicated to us followed by a sight survey of the pool, deck, water features and equipment. The detection process starts with “dye testing.” This process is started at the water line of the pool and works around the pool perimeter then downward. The tile line is inspected for missing grout and/or holes. The skimmer is checked around the opening and inside the basket area. Many leaks occur in the skimmer where the plastic skimmer meets the tile grout. The pool jets or returns are thoroughly checked where the finish meets the plastic pipe.
For vinyl pools we use the latest technology to pinpoint holes in the liner. By using this method we can precisely locate the leaks faster and more accurately than traditional means which converts into savings for our customers. Typically, once the leaks are discovered, Atlantic Leak can make the necessary repairs that same day. In most cases the repairs will eliminate the need to completely replace the liner. The next step would be to use scuba gear and check the light and main drain. We here at Atlantic Leak Detection are “Padi Certified Divers”. We use a special “tender” style dive set up. The dive tank or tank-less system is gently placed on the pool deck. The diver enters the water and uses an extended air hose to check the pool. This system reduces any chance of the dive tank damaging the finish and tile of the pool. Following the tile, grout lines and the shell testing, the lights, floor drains, and main drains are tested. Light conduits are also a common place to find leaks. Most main drains do not leak but there are always exceptions. The entire pool is examined by the certified diver also checking along the steps, swim-outs, shelves and any other areas that could be problems. If a leak is located the leak is repaired by a two part underwater epoxy for concrete pools or vinyl repair products for pools with liners. The pool does NOT have to be drained to make this type of repair.
What if no leak is found with the dye test or liner test?
If the pool is still leaking and the dye test doesn’t find it the next step is to pressure test the pool plumbing system. The pressure test checks all of the above and underground plumbing for leaks. This is performed by plugging off all of the pool returns and suction outlets with special plugs. A pressure test manifold is hooked into the system. We then pressurize that system using one or more specific methods. The line(s) that do not hold pressure for more than 5 minutes is the leaking section. The second part of the pressure test involves taking our acoustic equipment across the ground and pool deck to accurately determine exactly where the leak is. This process is also performed with the pool full. After the underground leak is pinpointed, the necessary repairs can be made with extremely little or no visible damage.