Bucket test shows loss of 1 inch a day

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The Chlorinator

Bucket test shows loss of 1 inch a day

Postby The Chlorinator » Thu 14 Dec, 2006 18:26

I did the bucket test last night and measured the results today. Once inch of water lost from both the bucket and the pool. Pool is inground, gunite with plaster, about 15,000 gallons. Nine feet deep in deep end with steps leading out of the shallow end. It has an attached spa, in which I found a leak using red dye and a syringe. The previous owner said the pool looses a lot of water and that I would think it's leaking. The leak I found doesn't appear to account for an inch a day. The filter is a DE filter. I haven't topped off the pool or run the filter in several days so I could watch the watter level. I live in TX. Weather has been a bit erratic. In the twenties last week. Mid-70's today. Down to high 30's to low 40's at night. Any ideas why it's losing so much water?

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Postby Pool Owner » Fri 15 Dec, 2006 11:44

If I understand your question correctly, there was a loss of 1-inch of water in both the pool and bucket, so both are dropping together at the same rate. If the results as I understand them are correct, it does not appear that there is a pool leak. However, that is also a larger drop in water level than would be expected from evaporation alone this time of year. I know it sounds silly, but is it possible your bucket has a hole/crack in it too?

You may want to raise the water, balance the chemicals (bump the chlorine), and run the circulating systems for a day or two then conduct the bucket test again with another bucket (maybe even two or three buckets) to see if you get similar results. If so, hopefully someone smarter than me will be able to answer your question here.

If you have a trusted pool professional, you should probably call them. It may be necessary to hire a leak detection company to evaluate the system.
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Postby dynamictiger » Fri 15 Dec, 2006 15:38

An inch a day sounds like an awful amount of water. Is the area the pool in particularly exposed to wind? Wind will significantly increase the evaporation rate.

To be sure you haven't got a leak you need to run the bucket test again with the pool plant operating. The results to date have eliminated the pool shell having a static leak, so now you do the test again and rule out a pressure leak. However unless the bucket is leaking, your results suggest the pool is water tight and all the loss is evaporation.

The Chlorinator

Postby The Chlorinator » Sat 16 Dec, 2006 14:26

Silly me. It occurred to me the bucket might be leaking after sending the post. I checked and sure enough, it is. However, I did find a few places in the spa where the grout was thin, loose or missing. After patching with A+B Putty and topping off the pool, it lost only half an inch in 13 hours. Using dye I located another leak and applied another patch. So far it's been five hours and no loss of water. I'm doing another bucket test, this time with two buckets that do not leak. I'll check in later with results. Thanks for the replies.

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