Plumbing, Heating and Pool Repair Guides

Leaking Above Ground Pool Repair Guide


The above ground swimming pool can start to leak from a number of different areas at any time of the season for a number of different reasons. Making sure you repair the leak in the swimming pool as soon as your notice it loosing water is very important. Leaking Above Ground Pool Repair Guide

Failure to repair a leaking swimming pool liner can cause damage to the ground around the pool and possibly the swimming pool. So always make sure you make your above ground pool repairs as soon as possible to prevent further damages as well as a higher cost to do the repair when it gets worse.

Finding out where the pool is leaking from can be done by something called “above ground swimming pool leak detection”. Since the above ground is actually above the ground, finding a leak in the plumbing or the liner in the pool can be easier then find a leak on an in ground swimming pool. Above ground pools generally have flexible hoses connecting the pump and the filter. Some pools will have solid or flexible PVC piping in the pool filter system, but the plumbing will still be above the ground making it visually easier to spot and then fix the broken pipes Vs having to dig up the ground or patio just to access the swimming pool plumbing like on an in ground swimming pool.

You will always want to make sure that your swimming pool chemicals are within balance and the pool water is clear before you try and find the leak. Trying to find a leak in a pool with cloudy or green water is like finding a needle in a haystack. It’s always best to have the pool in perfect working order besides the leak off course when the time comes to find the leak.

How To Check The Above Ground Pool Plumbing For Leaks

If you have hoses on you above ground swimming pool you will want to make sure that either end of the hose cuff is leaking. If you see leaks or drips you will want to turn off the filter system and tighten down the hose clamps or replace the worn pool hose if necessary.

If you have an above ground swimming pool with solid or flex PVC you will want to look for visible cracks or leaks in all the fitting and the pipe joints. Sometimes a fitting will separate or crack during the off-season and when the pool system is started back up the fitting comes apart. Make sure to check the entire pool piping, fittings and unions to make sure that they are not leaking or dripping.

You Should Check The Filter System For Visible Leaks

One of the most over looked areas on the swimming pool is the filter system. Many people just say: Oh, that’s just a small drips and they don’t realize how fast those drips can add up to a real water usage amount. You should turn on your filter system and inspect it while its running to see if you can see any visible water leaks coming from the pump or the filter system. If you see signs of water on Hydro Tools Pool Patch Repair Kitthe floor near the pump see if you can trace it back to the source.

If you have a swimming pool filter with a multi-port valve you should make sure that you are not loosing water from your back wash line. A common problem is that the multi-port gasket will go bad and you will have the backwash line stretched out and water will be tricking out at the other end of the 50′ foot line. This is a common mistake made by many pool owners. They set roll there backwash line into the woods or far away from the pool and never realize that water is pumping or dripping out when the pool is set on filter and just not backwash. So make sure you check to see if your multi-port gasket is good as well.

How To Find The Hole An Above Ground Pool Liner

Finding a hole in the swimming pool liner can be done in a number of different ways. The easiest way is to simply look for the whole with your eyes. If you cannot see the hole in the liner by just looking at the pool then the next step would be to get into a bathing suit and get into the pool. If you have a pair of water goggles they will be able to help you see under the water. This step will only work off course if your swimming pool is clear and able to be swum in. If your swimming pool is green, you will need to clear the pool up before you can jump in and look for the leak.

Once you are in the swimming pool you will want to completely visually inspect the liners seams first to see if you have a torn seam. This is common with above ground swimming pool liners. If you cannot find a leak in the seam you will now want to start looking for holes in other areas of the pool liner.

How To Use Food Coloring To The Pool Liner Leak

You can use basic food coloring to help you find the leak in your above ground pool. What you will want to do is to use a dark colored food coloring and place it into a small eyedropper or syringe. While you are in the pool squirt a bit of food coloring out of the syringe towards the area of the pool liner that you think is leaking and if it is you will see the food coloring get sucked out of the pool.

Food coloring will show up and be visible in the pool water and if there is a leak in fact the food coloring gets drawn with the flow of water that is leaking out of the pool and then you will see it “disappear” but its really not, its just passing though the liner exactly where the leak is.

You can also use pool leak testing dye if you have a local swimming pool supply store in the area. It is a bit more expensive and also is a bit thicker in the water as well. But normal dark colored food coloring will also work just as well and you will be able to find your leak.

How To Properly Patch The Hole In The Liner

Once you have found the leak in the swimming pool you will want to make sure you know how to properly patch the pool. You will need a piece of the liner or a pool liner patch kit, some pool liner patch glue and also a pair of scissors. You will of course also need to know where the pool liner is leaking.

What you will first want to do is to measure the area of the swimming pool liner that needs to be patched. You will want to make sure that the patch your cutting is at least 2″ inches bigger all around then the hole in the liner. Once you have cut the square or rectangle piece of pool liner 2″ inches bigger then the hole in the pool you will want to do one more very important step that many people forget. This is to round off the edges of the swimming pool patch. In fact you want to cut the patch into a circle if possible. The reason for this is that so there are no edges that can get caught or lift off once the patch is installed. A circular swimming pool patch will be less disturbed over time, resulting that the patch holds for a super long time.


  1. I am in the same boat as those above….I have a leak, water dropped quickly, then stopped. The sand under the liner in one area where I saw the water has been washed out a bit, so figure the leak must be in that area, but I cannot find it. Tried the food coloring thing, and that didn’t work. Liner is “marble” look, so just looking at it to try to find the hole just makes you feel cross-eyed after a few minutes….even was out there looking with a magnifying glass and still no luck. I’m really getting irritated!! Called to have someone come out, but they are behind by about 3 or 4 weeks and by that time the season will be almost over!! Kids are having a fit because it is mid to upper 90’s and they want to swim!! HELP!!!!

    Any suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated!! PLEASE!! :)

    • Hi Patty,

      I had this same problem and have a solution that has worked every time so far. I give the kids a good set of goggles and offer $30.00 to the first one to find the leak.

      It is amazing how fast they find it after I spent hours looking myself the first time it happened.

      Good Luck,


  2. Great idea with “paying” the one who finds it. will do
    we loose an inch a night and just don’t want to replace the liner.

  3. I keep getting sand in the bottom of my above ground pool. Is this a indication that i have a leak or a filtering problem? I have checked all hoses an fittings for leaks an everything seems good. not sure what to do??

    • Robert,
      I have the same problem but the sand only appears after I run the skimmer which I assume is sucking the sand in. Did you ever find an answer to your situation?

      • It might be a crack in the plastic tree inside the sand filter. I had this happen once. A temporary quick solution is put a nylon over the return to catch the sand.

    • I had the same problem with sand getting in my pool a few years ago. The problem was the fingers inside the sand filter were broken and needed to be replaced.
      I have a leak like others above and was wondering if it would hurt to drain the pool and fix the leak that way. Can this in any way damage the pool? Can anyone help?

  4. This website online is mostly a stroll-by means of for all of the info you wanted about this and didn’t know who to ask. Glimpse here, and you’ll undoubtedly uncover it.

  5. I don’t have a leak but I have a problem and do not know where to post. MY pool pump and filter froze over the winter, Couldn’t get help to shut the pool down. My son says a ring on the filter that the pump sits on top of, is broken and the water is leaking out there. My son can’t help me fix it. Can it be fixed. Can a 67 year old woman do the job (I am not physically strong or inclined in home repair). My husband is disabled and cant really help with it and we live in an area where we have problems getting service people to come to fix anything. I need a you tube video on fixing this and on how to vacuum the pool so I can keep it cleaner with fewer chemicals. Oh another Question.
    Would it be foolish to install a salt water filtration system in a 6-8 year pool that was installed before the advent of the saltwater pool filter rage.

  6. We have a problem the wall of the pool is losing water. Our pool is 18′ round Ester Williams pool they come with a 40 year Warranty this is why we chose this pool. Does someone no how to get this replaced under its Warranty. I need some help.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This div height required for enabling the sticky sidebar
Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views :