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how to find a leak in garden pool

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  1. #1
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    Default how to find a leak in garden pool

    Anyone know any tips on how to locate a slow leak in a large in-ground water garden?

    The trough probably holds about 500 litres of fresh water at a depth of around 40cms, with plants and fish living in it which makes the water very murky once unsettled. It's been dropping about 2-3 cms of water daily so the leak is not obvious by sight at all.

    Right now, all fish,plants and rocks are out of the water and there's a few cms left in the bottom of the pool. There are no bubbles or movement in the remaining water and I don't know if it's draining fast enough for me to see what's draining out due to the leak and what's due to evaporation once it gets really shallow.

    I've heard dropping a bit of milk in the water can help to show where the leak is flowing through?

    It would be great to find a small leak which I can patch rather than sealing the entire trough. Maybe I should just seal the entire thing to prevent any other potential weak spots from creating a leak in future?

    Any experiences with similar problems would be most appreciated. Apologies if it's been addressed already in the forum - I looked far and wide but couldn't find anything about actually how to locate a small leak like this.

  2. #2
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    You are going to have to clean it before the fish go back or to carry out any repairs.

    First job is a good clean and instection for possible leaks, look at the corners and wall to base joint, also around the waste drain if installed.

    If after cleaning you have not found the problem you will have to divide the area in half and use a plastic sheet and sealant to seal the flow from one half to the other, add some water and note the side that leaks, divide again and test till you have the leak localised.

    This will mean you have a small area to seal.

    Good luck,
    Growing old is compulsory, growing up is not.
    http://www.wet-seal.com.au/waterproofing/locations.html

  3. #3
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    Thanks for those ideas. I hadn't thought of dividing the pool to narrow down the leak location.
    After MUCH investigation which led nowhere, and many thoughts about how to fix the leaky problem if it was ever found, we decided to empty the water from the trough and go with a rock garden for the time being!
    Now the biggest concern is (ironically) drainage after heavy rains. I'm working on a way to encourage ventilation and evaporation from the bottom of the trough once rain water collects down there. Eg. camouflage a few vertically positioned pvc pipes that go from the bottom of the trough to the surface. Something like 150mm diameter with a bit of fly screen mesh fitted over the top to prevent pebbles etc falling in. Like a vent. It sounds pretty crazy, but compared to my other idea of drilling a couple of holes in the bottom of the pool (which can always be cemented in if the construction is to be used for water again in future), this is easily reversible if it doesn't work.

    Talk about do-it-yourself.

  4. #4
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    I would have drilled drainage holes and slept better knowing there would be fewer mossies.
    Growing old is compulsory, growing up is not.
    http://www.wet-seal.com.au/waterproofing/locations.html

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldsaltoz View Post
    I would have drilled drainage holes and slept better knowing there would be fewer mossies.
    Well, that's sold me. I'm going to drill a couple of 10mm holes through the bottom of the concrete to let out the rain water.
    After a heavy down pour here this morning, there's a centimetre of muddy, tepid water in the bottom that's got to go and the easiest way is down.

  6. #6
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    Job well done.
    Growing old is compulsory, growing up is not.
    http://www.wet-seal.com.au/waterproofing/locations.html

  7. #7
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    For future reference, Flouroscene (?sp) is the chemical of choice for finding leaks. It is bright toxic green and shows up very clearly when it emerges. Though since the leak is probably underground it would be difficult to spot it I suspect.

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