Friday, October 06, 2006

Finding pond leaks

Sometimes liners do get punctured. Raccoons can leave holes behind after their nocturnal dinners out. Sometimes statues fall in the pond and can puncture the liner. Around here Katrina shoved trees through liners, but they were easy to find. Other times, it's just a good old fashioned mystery.

A friend told me that he finds leaks in swimming pools by slowly pouring in fine sand and watching where it goes.
I would definitely try that if you have decided that you have no waterfall leaks, no tubes or connections are leaking, or your skimmer, if you have one, is not leaking at the liner penetration. It is indeed a great idea if you live where you are not below sea level. Pouring food coloring or a bit of milk in will do the same thing.

Here in New Orleans, we are below sea level, so we rarely lose water from a liner leak. If we have a liner puncture, we have to find where the ground water is seeping in, not where pond water is seeping out! Here's how I do it. I empty the pond. Totally. I have been known to take a hair dryer so I could dry the liner completely. Now look around. If there is water coming in, you have found your leak. If you stilll cannot find it, put the garden hose under the liner and turn the water on. Watch until you see water coming up through the liner. Aha, there's the leak.

Leaks are easily patched with a sticky tape that is much like the stuff you use to patch a tire. You can usually find it in big box stores.

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