Many swimming pool owners and swimming pool service technicians alike are unaware of how much water a swimming pool or spa should lose to evaporation. The general rule of thumb is if you’re adding water to your swimming pool or spa once a week, then you probably have a leak.
In the state of Florida, due to extremely high humidity levels, our swimming pools lose far less water to evaporation than in other states. In fact, the majority of swimming pool owners find themselves draining swimming pool water more often than adding it. One proven method to determine swimming pool/spa evaporation is the 24 hr. “Bucket Test”.
Here’s how it works:
- Step 1 - Make sure your swimming pool or spa is filled to its normal level (usually ½ way on swimming pool/spa perimeter tile and/or skimmer).
- Step 2 - Using the valves located at the swimming pool equipment area, disable any attached water features associated with your swimming pool such as, hot tubs, fountains, waterfalls, etc.
- Step 3 - Turn off the swimming pool equipment at the circuit breaker.
- Step 4 - Wait 5-10 minutes for the swimming pool to clam so there is no rippling or wave effects.
- Step 5 - Place a 5 gallon bucket and/or water pail on the top step of the swimming pool or spa.
- Step 6 - Fill the test bucket with water to within 2 to 3 inches of the top. Do not completely fill the test bucket.
- Step 7 - Using a grease pencil or a piece of tape, mark the water level on the inside of the test bucket.
- Step 8 - Mark the outside of the test bucket to indicate swimming pool water level
- Step 9 - Wait a minimum of 24 hours. Thes wimming pool and the water inside the test bucket should evaporate at the same exact rate.
If the swimming pool should lose more water than the test bucket, you definitely have a leak. Note: it is important to place the test buckets on the first or second step so that the water within the test bucket maintains the same water temperature as the swimming pool. Also, if the swimming pool has an attached hot tub you will want to monitor its water level as well.