In the hottest months of summer your pool may seem to lose water faster than usual. Our bucket test will help to determine if the higher rate of water loss is due to a possible leak or just evaporation.

Take a look at our YouTube video or carry on reading below!


  1. Bring pool water to the normal operating level.
  2. Fill a 5 gallon bucket with pool, spa or fountain water about 3-4 inches from top.
  3. Place bucket on first or second step of pool, spa or fountain without immersing it.
  4. With pencil, marker or electrical tape, mark the water level on inside of bucket.
  5. Shut off the pump and mark the pool, spa or fountain level on the outside of the bucket.
  6. Resume normal pump operation. Make sure that the auto fill valve is off during test.
  7. After 24 hours, compare the two levels. If the pool water (outside mark) goes down more than

    the inside water level (inside mark), there may be a leak.

If it rains, repeat test when it stops raining. The test is not valid after 24 hours.

Evaporation will occur at the same rate regardless of the area of water. A bucket will lose a quarter inch
of water as fast as a swimming pool, spa or fountain, loses a quarter inch of water. If the pool, spa or fountain is leaking, Aquaman Leak Detection can expertly determine if the leak is in the structure, plumbing, or accessories, and isolate the leak to minimize the required repair expense.

Typical evaporation

If your pool, spa or fountain is losing a half an inch a day, it could be evaporation, or it could be a leak. A quarter inch per day is most likely to be evaporation. The evaporation rate in your area will depend on humidity, sunlight intensity, barometric pressure, wind, as well as the amount of use (people) in the pool, spa or fountain.

Preparing for a service call

When calling for service, you may be asked how many inches of water your pool or spa is losing per day.
Be ready with the information by performing the bucket test. If you don’t know how much water your pool, spa or fountain is losing per day, you may be asked to perform the bucket test to determine if your pool, spa or fountain is leaking or if it is losing water due to evaporation.

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