Troubleshooting a Leak

Is your pond losing way too much water? There are a few simple steps you can take to find out the source of the leak!

Troubleshooting a pond leak can be a frustrating experience, but with a little patience and perseverance, it is possible to identify and fix the problem. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you troubleshoot a pond leak:

Step 1: Shut off your pump.

Shut off the pump and allow the water to settle. This will help you get a clear view of the water level and identify any leaks more easily.

Step 2: Re-fill your pond.

Fill the pond up to the normal level that you are confident the water has stayed at in the past. Look for a water mark on the side of the liner to help guide you. This will ensure that you are starting from a known water level.

Step 3: Break out your ruler.

Take a water level measurement with a ruler at a pre-determined spot. Record the measurement, then wait 24 hours and take another measurement. This will help you determine if the water level is dropping due to a leak.

Did the water level go down more than a ¼ inch?

Yes! If the answer is yes, the leak is likely in the pond liner itself, or in a bottom drain if you have one installed. Allow the water to continue to go down until the level stops. Keep an eye on the pond if there are fish so the water does not get too low. Your leak is right above the water level at whatever point the water stops dropping. If you have a bottom drain, your leak may also be in any buried plumbing at the level the water level stops dropping.

No! If the answer is no, the leak is likely in your waterfall or stream, which is the case 90% of the time. Unearth the liner edges and raise any low edges above the level of water flow.

Possibly in the plumbing: If the leak is not in your waterfall or stream, it may be in the plumbing, such as a buried hose. Hook up a separate bypass hose to the pump to verify that the leak is not in a buried hose.

Keep in mind

Normal evaporation loss in the summertime is about ¼ inch per day for a calm pond. For a pond with a large or splashy waterfall or stream, evaporation loss can be anywhere from ½ to 1 inch per day, with the pump running more on windy days.

If you have a skimmer.. and the pond always drains to the bottom of the skimmer door, the leak is likely occuring at the skimmer itself. Either in the liner where the skimmer passes through, or potentially in a crack to the skimmer body.

Next steps..

With these steps, you should be able to troubleshoot a pond leak and determine the source of the problem. Once you have identified the cause of the leak, you can take steps to fix it and enjoy your pond once again.

If the leak is in your liner, you can potentially patch the puncture depending on the severity and the type of liner you have. If the leak is in a fitting sometimes just some teflon tape or elbow grease can resolve the issue.

If the leak is occuring in your hose, you can remove the section of hose where the puncture is located and use couplers to splice in a replacement length. Keep in mind that if the hose has sprung a leak because it is brittle from sun exposure or age, replacing the entire hose may be the best solution.

A leak in your waterfall may be due to something as simple as your hardscape (convoluted way of saying rocks!) being configured in a way that water is splashing or being diverted out of the pond. Waterfall foam is a great way to set your hardscape together and ensure water is flowing where you want it to go.

If you're still having trouble finding the leak, you can call a professional pond technician for help. They will be able to use specialized equipment to find the leak and repair it.

Preventing Leaks

There are a few things you can do to prevent leaks in your pond:

  • Inspect the liner regularly for tears or holes. If you see any damage, repair it immediately.
  • Use liner underlayment. This will help to prevent the liner from being damaged by rocks, burrowing animals, and more.
  • Keep the pond clean. Remove any debris that could puncture the liner.
  • Regularly check the plumbing. Make sure there are no leaks in the pipes.

By following these tips, you can help to prevent leaks in your pond and keep your fish happy and healthy.


Custom Pro EPDM Liner Repair Kit

  • Repair kit for mending minor damage to EPDM pond liner.
  • Repairs up to two small holes or tears.
  • Includes everything needed for quick and easy repair.
  • Comes with two 6" x 6" patches, one 2 fl oz bottle of primer, one scrubber pad, one patch roller, and a pair of disposable rubber gloves.

EasyPro BWFN Black Waterfall Foam

  • Improve the flow of your waterfall with this foam sealant.
  • Comes in a large 20 oz. can.
  • Fill in cracks between rocks to prevent water from leaving the feature.
  • The black coloration hides the foam, so it doesn't stand out.
  • Non-toxic, completely safe for fish.