A fiberglass pool shell is usually durable enough to last for many years. However, it's also possible for a shell to develop cracks for a number of reasons, such as tree roots, shifted soil, or even prolonged exposure to sun and pool chemicals. Cracks in fiberglass pools may or may not cause a pool leak depending on if the crack is in the gel coat or the fiberglass. Here are some steps for finding and repairing a leak in a fiberglass pool.
Rule Out Leaks In Other Areas
Leaks in swimming pools are often in the plumbing rather than the shell. The first place to check for a leak is in the plumbing. Even if you see cracks in the fiberglass shell, they may not be the cause of a leak if the cracks are confined to the top gel coat and purely cosmetic. If you can't find a leak in the plumbing, you may need to call in a pool service to pressure test or gas test the lines to locate the leak or rule out the plumbing as the source of the problem.
Check The Shell For Leaks
Finding leaks in the shell can be tricky, especially if you can't see any cracks. The first places to look are areas where there are seals in the shell. You can use food coloring to help find these leaks. Place the coloring near a seal in the shell such as the one around the skimmer to see how the colored water moves. If there's a leak, the food coloring will flow toward it and reveal its location.
Leaks can also be in the walls or bottom of the pool and to find them, you or the pool service may need to dive into the pool and check it thoroughly while wearing goggles or scuba gear. Food dye can help locate leaks in these areas as well. If the leak can't be found, then a possible solution is to let the water drain out through the leak naturally. When the water level stops dropping, you'll know the leak is somewhere along the top of the water line.
Have Repairs Done
Leaks can often be repaired easily in fiberglass shells, but it depends on the cause of the leak. Leaks around seals and leaks in walls can be repaired with epoxy or filler. If the filler doesn't hold or if the leak is a big one, it might be necessary to refurbish the fiberglass shell by sanding the shell and patching in new fiberglass. This work is usually done on a dry shell, so if the leak is on the bottom, you may have to drain the pool and keep it dry until the repairs have had time to cure before you refill the pool.
Sometimes, repairs to fiberglass pools are only temporary if you don't figure out the reason for the leak and repair that as well. A leak in a swimming pool can be a frustrating thing when it's difficult to locate and repair. Hiring a professional pool repair service like Heritage Pool Plastering, Inc. saves a lot of time and worry, plus it ensures the right repairs will be done to stop the leak.