Tracking Down Cracks

Hard to catch: Leaks in the fiberglass shell are often difficult to detect visually, which is why many companies rely on special equipment — such as ultrasonic detectors or gas sniffers — to pinpoint the problem.

Bad valve: This check valve was leaking, causing the pump to cavitate. It was easy to isolate this damaged part, but not all leaky valves look so suspicious.

Poor suction: This pump was cavitating due to a lack of suction, which was caused by a leaking check valve. Many leaks can be detected and repaired outside of the pool.

Simple fix: Once you’ve determined the rate of water loss, start by checking the plumbing, especially on the suction side, to try to isolate a leak; if you find it, just swap out the bad pipe or valve.

Add some color: Using a syringe without a needle, inject a small amount of dye or food coloring into the water, about an inch from the spot where you suspect the leak may be.

Cracking up: Shells sometimes develop cracks that are visually obvious; these are often already too large to fix with a quick epoxy injection.

Multi-Step Process: Repairing a large crack is typically a multi-step process, involving several injections of epoxy and possibly even a new coat of fiberglass. This work is often left to specialists.

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