Fiberglass Pool Leak Detection and Repair

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Fiberglass pools are durable, economical and long-lasting, but they too are subject to cracks that require immediate repair to prevent the problem from growing bigger. It is mandatory to drain the pool and repair the crack as soon as possible. Although the patched section is somewhat visible after repair, repairing it yourself is an inexpensive and quick process that allows you to continue using the pool sooner than if seeking professional help. Perform a dye test to detect the leak in the pool and repair it.

Things You'll Need

  • Syringe
  • 10 to 12 drops of brightly colored food dye
  • Grease marker
  • Sandpaper, 80-grit
  • Moist cloth (optional)
  • Rag
  • Acetone
  • Gloves
  • 2 buckets
  • Marine fiberglass filler
  • Methyl ethyl ketone peroxide hardener
  • Stick
  • Putty knife
  • Sandpaper, 200-grit
  • Masking tape
  • Marine gel coat
  • Felt roller
  • Eject 10 to 12 drops of a brightly colored food dye into the pool water around the suspected area of the leak, using a syringe. The dye travels to the crack or leak in the pool and is drawn out, indicating the section requiring repair. Mark the crack on the pool surface with a grease marker so you don't lose sight of the exact spot before draining the pool. Let the pool's surface dry out completely.

  • Rub sandpaper over the area around the leak. Use 80-grit sandpaper around a 10- to 12-square-inch section around the leak, scuffing the surface until dull. Also sand the edges until smooth.

  • Brush away debris around the leak or wipe with a lightly moist cloth. Alternatively, rub a rag and acetone over the area to clear it from dirt and debris.

  • Don gloves and mix fiberglass filler with the catalyst according to label directions. Pour the mixture in a small bucket and stir thoroughly with a small stick.

  • Apply the repair filler to the crack, using a putty knife. Once you fill the inside of the crack, apply filler outside the crack and smooth it so it's level with the surrounding pool surface. Let the filler harden.

  • Rub 200-grit sandpaper over the hardened filler using a palm sander. Rub the edges of the filler until they blend with the surrounding fiberglass surface and appear as a continuation. Brush the surface to remove debris, or rub the section with a rag and acetone.

  • Outline the repaired section with masking tape. Add gel coat in a small bucket along with the hardener, following label directions for recommended amounts. Use a stir stick and mix thoroughly. Apply a coat of the marine gel coat mixture within and over the outline, using a felt roller, and allow it to dry.

  • Lay fiberglass strips over the repaired section, overlapping the edges by 2 inches on each side. Use a felt roller to apply another coat of gel mixture over the strips. Press the strips firmly with the roller to remove trapped air bubbles. Let the coat dry for 24 hours.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't drain the entire pool if the crack appears on a wall; simply drain the water up to the mark and allow the wall to dry before repairing it.

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