Inground Pool Maintenance: 7+ Common Causes of Water Loss

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New pool being installed into a backyard after the ground was cleared away and leveled


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Maintaining a backyard inground pool is an enjoyable way to beat the heat and relax during the scorching summer months.

However, sometimes pool owners can’t help but notice their precious water levels dropping over time.

This can be confusing and frustrating, especially when you don’t know why it’s happening. A loss of water in your inground pool can be caused by various factors, and it’s crucial to identify the cause promptly to address the issue accurately.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the most common reasons why an inground pool loses water as well as some helpful tips on what you can do to prevent it from happening.

So, let’s dive right in!

New pool being installed into a backyard after the ground was cleared away and leveled

1. Heavy rainstorms can damage vinyl liner pools

Heavy rainstorms can be damaging to vinyl liner pools. These types of pools are susceptible to being damaged, coming loose, and even floating to the top due to the weight of the water.

It’s important to take preventive measures to avoid flooding and damage to your pool during rainstorms.

Removing the cover before heavy rain is predicted can alleviate additional stress on a torn lining. Liner tears can also be caused by cleaning tools, vacuums, and sharp edges on pool toys.

Additionally, low water levels caused by heavy rain can cause structural damage to your pool, highlighting the need for regular maintenance and upkeep.

By following these tips and being proactive, owners can avoid costly repairs and keep their pools in pristine condition.

2. Evaporation is a natural cause of water loss

Along with heavy rainstorms, evaporation is one of the natural causes of water loss in inground pools.

It is a process that happens in every body of water, so it’s only natural that it would occur in swimming pools.

The rate of evaporation depends on various factors like humidity, temperature, wind conditions, and the use of pool heaters.

When the weather is hot and dry, expect your pool to lose water faster than usual. However, if your pool is losing more than ½” of water a day, it could indicate a leak, which requires immediate attention.

If left unattended, low water levels can cause damage to your pool’s structure. In addition, other factors like wind and humidity can also contribute to water loss.

Always keep an eye on your pool water levels to ensure that they are within the normal range.

3. Losing more than ½” of pool water per day indicates a leak

Losing more than half an inch of pool water per day is a red flag that indicates a leak.

While there are natural causes of water loss, such as evaporation and wind, excessive water loss suggests a structural or equipment-related issue.

As previously discussed, low water levels can cause damage to your pool’s structure, making prompt detection and repair crucial.

The most common cause of pool water loss is a leak, which could potentially damage your pool’s plumbing.

Be sure to have your pool regularly serviced and inspected to detect leaks early and prevent any costly and extensive repairs.

4. Natural causes like wind and humidity also contribute to water loss

It is not only heavy rainstorms or leaks that can cause inground pools to lose water. Natural causes such as wind and humidity can also contribute to this issue.

Windy conditions can increase heat loss and evaporation by changing the surface area of the pool water.

Meanwhile, relative humidity affects a pool’s ability to retain water, as humid air reduces evaporation. These factors can lead to a gradual loss of pool water over time.

It is important to keep an eye on water levels and take steps to prevent excessive evaporation or other natural causes of water loss, as low water levels can cause significant damage to your pool’s structure.

By understanding the various causes of water loss, pool owners can take proactive measures to preserve their pools and avoid costly repairs.

5. Low water levels can cause damage to your pool’s structure

When the water level in an inground pool drops too low, it can cause damage to the structure itself.

The weight of the water in the pool is what provides support and stability for the walls and floor.

When the water level is too low, the walls and floor can shift and become uneven, which can lead to cracks and tears in both the liner and concrete.

These cracks can allow water to seep out, exacerbating the problem further. It’s important to keep an eye on the water level in your pool and add water as needed to prevent damage to the pool’s structure.

This is just one of the many factors that contribute to water loss issues in inground pools, so it’s important to be aware of them all to maintain a beautiful and healthy pool.

6. Several factors contribute to pool water evaporation

As previously mentioned, one of the natural causes of water loss in your inground pool is evaporation.

Several factors contribute to how quickly this natural process occurs. These include exposure, temperature, and humidity levels.

If your pool is always exposed to direct sunlight, it will likely lose more water due to evaporation. Additionally, warmer temperatures and lower humidity levels can speed up the process.

However, it’s essential to be aware of the average amount of water your pool loses each day to determine if there may be other issues, such as a leak or excessive splash-out.

Monitoring these factors can help keep your pool water level balanced and prevent damage to your pool’s structure.

7. Leaks are the most frequent cause of water loss issues

Leaks are a common problem for inground pools, causing water loss and potentially damaging the pool’s structure.

As mentioned earlier, losing more than ½” of pool water per day indicates a leak, and leaks can come from a variety of sources, such as mechanical issues, broken pipes, and loose or broken fittings.

It’s crucial to address leaks as soon as possible to prevent further damage and costly repairs down the line.

Regular maintenance and inspections can help catch leaks before they become a bigger problem.

Additionally, keeping a close eye on pool water levels and addressing any sudden drops can also help identify potential leaks.

Overall, addressing leaks promptly and taking proactive measures can ensure a longer lifespan for your pool and a more enjoyable swimming experience.

8. Splash out can cause water loss

In addition to evaporation and leaks, another cause of water loss in inground pools is splashing out.

When swimmers enter and exit the pool, water is naturally splashed out. This can also occur due to water features like spillways and waterfalls.

While splash out may not seem like a significant issue, it can contribute to a significant loss of water over time.

In conjunction with other factors like evaporation and leaks, it can make maintaining proper water levels challenging.

It’s essential to keep an eye on your pool’s water level and address any excessive splash out if you notice it.

Especially if your pool is losing more than 1/2 inch of water per day, as it can indicate a leak or other underlying issues.

Equipment-related leaks are another possible cause of water loss in an inground pool. This includes issues with the fittings, accessories, and plumbing of the pool’s equipment.

Leaks from the filter or skimmer equipment can prevent proper recirculation, resulting in lower water levels.

If the pump or its connections are damaged, it can also cause water to leak out.

It’s important to regularly inspect and maintain pool equipment to prevent leaks from causing significant damage to the pool’s structure and plumbing.

Checking for any abnormalities in the pool’s water level, moisture, or chemical imbalances can help identify potential leaks before any significant damage occurs.

Can Water Loss in an Inground Pool Lead to Electrifying Shocks?

Water loss in an inground pool can indeed lead to electrifying shocks. The reduced water level can expose electrical components, increasing the risk of electric shock. To avoid such shocking inground pool insights, it’s crucial to address any leaks promptly and ensure the pool is properly maintained.

10. Underground leaks can damage your pool’s plumbing

Underground leaks are a real threat to your pool’s plumbing system. They can cause significant damage and require complex repair work.

Leaks occur when the soil shifts or corrodes the pipes, resulting in ruptures, cracks, and punctures. The damage may go unnoticed for some time, but eventually, it will lead to water loss and high energy bills.

It’s essential to address leaks promptly, as even tiny hairline cracks can be a sign of more serious return piping issues.

Return piping is one of the most common areas where leaks can develop, making it challenging to identify the source of the problem.

Homeowners should consult a professional to repair any leaks and prevent future damage to their pool’s plumbing.