How much does it cost to fix a swimming pool leak?
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Swimming Pool Leak Repair Cost Guide
Updated: December 7, 2022
Owning a swimming pool brings a lot of enjoyment to your backyard. However, it must be kept in good shape so that it’s functional and doesn’t damage the rest of your property. Of course, even with regular care and cleaning, leaks happen. They can lead to huge water bills and a lot of damage by the time they’re resolved. Whether you have a leak from a torn vinyl liner, concrete crack, or even an equipment failure, it’s important to get the repair done right away. Because of all the variables involved, the price to repair a leak varies.
The national average price to repair a pool leak ranges from $500 to $1,500, with most homeowners paying $1,000 to professionally detect and repair a moderate crack in an in-ground concrete pool. This project’s low cost is $150 for a professional patch repair of a small hole in an above-ground pool. The high cost is $5,000 for a full replastering of an in-ground concrete pool.
Cost to Repair a Swimming Pool Leak
|Swimming Pool Leak Repair Cost|
|National average cost||$1,000|
Cost to Fix Pool Leak by Type of Pool
Whether you have an above or in-ground model impacts the repair price, ranging from $100 to $5,000. In-ground ones typically cost more to repair than above-ground models, but the exact problem or repair impacts the price. The table and subsections below show two pool types, their average repair costs, and other factors to consider. The beginning prices are the same because some repairs can be done identically for all pools. However, other repairs are harder to access on in-ground pools, so the prices rise. Prices are based on a residential pool that measures 18’ x 36’.
|Pool Type||Leak Repair Cost|
|Above-Ground||$100 - $1,000|
|In-Ground||$100 - $5,000|
Above-Ground Pool Leak Repair
Most above-ground diagnostic fees are around $100 to $1,000. Patching liners is inexpensive, and even most replacement liners are less expensive than repairing concrete or fiberglass materials. Keep in mind that gaskets and pumps may also be the problem. Above-ground models are usually easier to diagnose and repair than in-ground models. This is because the issue is often less difficult to reach, making labor easier and taking fewer hours than an in-ground pool.
In-Ground Pool Leak Repair
The price of in-ground repairs is $100 to $5,000, depending on the issue and its complexity. In some cases, replacing small seals, gaskets, or beading can be done quickly and without spending much money. However, if the surface needs replastering or the vinyl liner needs replacing, you could hit the high end of the range for repair costs. Costs are higher for in-ground pool leak repair due to the lack of accessibility and the more expensive materials used to build the pool that may need to be repaired or replaced.
Swimming Pool Leak Repair Cost by Location
The average price of leak repair is $75 to $2,750, depending on the location. There are various parts where the leak can be located. Finding and fixing each issue has a separate price. It is important to determine the exact issue and location to determine the cost. For example, repairs that are easier to reach are typically cheaper than hard-to-reach areas. Similarly, simple repairs are less expensive than those that are more complex. The table and subsections show the different leak locations, their repair price, and information about each.
|Leak Location||Repair Cost|
|Light||$75 - $300|
|Skimmer||$100 - $250|
|Liner||$100 - $2,750|
|Main Drain Line||$500 - $1,500|
|Pump||$500 - $1,500|
|Pipes||$500 - $1,500|
Pool Light Leak
Light repair costs are $75 to $300 per light. Lights can cause leaks if the gasket fits poorly or it fails. The fixture must be replaced if it is completely corroded, costing much more than a repair. If your model has more than one light, the repair tech may also inspect the rest of the lights to ensure no other issues exist. The light is removed to determine the problem. It could be a faulty gasket, seal deterioration, or a leak to the light. A professional removes the damaged component and replaces it to prevent further leaks.
Pool Skimmer Leak Repair
If the skimmer is leaking, expect to spend $100 to $250 for a pool skimmer repair cost. The price depends on the issue’s severity, location, and repair or replacement. Repairs are possible and less costly in some cases. Skimmers collect debris, making them prone to clogging and damage. The most common sign that the skimmer is damaged is that the water level lies below the component. A professional can open the skimmer and add material to patch the leak.
Pool Liner Repair
The cost to repair a pool liner ranges from $100 to $2,750. Many things could cause a pool liner to leak. In most cases, it is due to tears, punctures, or holes in the liner. These problems can occur when maintaining the pool. However, simple use can also lead to holes and punctures in the vinyl material. The most common method to fix a pool liner leak is a patch. The liner may be replaced if the hole is too large to patch.
Pool Main Drain Leak Repair
Repairing the main drain costs $500 to $1,500 unless the entire drain needs replacing. Sometimes, the leak is not in the liner but part of the plumbing. The main drain can crack and require repairing, causing serious leaks. The leak is often above the frost line, so the warmer your climate, the deeper the crack could be. The pool must be drained before concrete is broken away to access it. The pipe above and below the leak is removed and replaced. The more labor and time needed to repair the main drain, the higher the costs.
Pool Pump Leaking
If your pump is leaking, repairs cost between $500 to $1,500. Equipment failure is the most common cause of leaks. The pump has several moving parts and is subject to constant pressure and motion when cycling water. Pump issues are expensive to repair, so talk to a specialist about whether to replace or repair it. If it is leaking, it must be opened, and the broken components swapped out to get it in good working order again.
Pool Pipe Leak Repair
Underground pool pipe repair costs $500 to $1,500. Pipes can cause leaks, especially if they are older and have been through a few seasons. The seams could become weak or loosened. Pipes could develop fractures or may break at the connection. Leaking pipes must be repaired or replaced immediately to prevent further issues. Professionals may need to dig into the ground to make this repair. They expose the broken pipe and cut damaged areas before replacing them with a new pipe.
Average Cost of Pool Leak Repair by Type of Replacement
While repairs may be possible in many cases, sometimes a component must be replaced. This is often done because the damage is too severe to save it. In other cases, homeowners choose a replacement because the cost is not significantly more than a repair. Some also choose a replacement for a new aesthetic or install a higher-quality component than the one already present. Costs start at $20 to replace a linear foot of tiling and reach $8,000 for a pool main drain replacement. The table contains the costs to replace each part, and the subsections provide more information about each part.
|Tile||$20 - $30/linear foot|
|Gasket||$100 - $200/unit|
|Light||$150 - $450/unit|
|Pump||$430 - $1,620/unit|
|Liner||$500 - $4,000/unit|
|Pipe||$1,000 - $5,000/unit|
|Main Drain||$4,000 - $8,000/unit|
Replace a Pool Tile
The average price to replace tiles is $20 to $30 per linear foot, this can involve simple and waterline tiles located on the pool’s border. The total project cost depends on how many linear feet of tile you replace and includes labor and materials for a total estimate. The constant exposure to being in and out of the water weakens these tiles and causes them to come loose. Then, they must be replaced. When the tiles come loose, they can cause cracks or damage a vinyl liner, leading to many leaks.
Pool Gasket Replacement
If you have gaskets causing an issue, expect to spend $100 to $200 per gasket, depending on its location. When gaskets break or wear, they can lead to pool leaks in the area they protect. Skimmer gaskets are the cheapest, along with pipe gaskets used for connections. You spend the most on light gaskets, but it is still essential to ensure they are functional. Whenever you replace a gasket, have the others inspected to ensure no future problems are looming.
Pool Light Replacement
The average price of light replacement ranges from $150 to $450 per light, depending on the style. Lights can be damaged, corroded, or impacted. If one of them is leaking, there is a possibility that others may be affected. After inspection, the repairman may suggest replacing more lights, not just the ones leaking.
Pool Pump Replacement
The cost to replace a pool pump typically ranges from $430 to $1,620. Prices vary depending on the labor needed and the pool pump brand and type installed as a replacement. Leaking pool pumps can occur for many reasons. However, the most common place to find a leak is where the motor attaches to the housing. If water is leaking from the bottom of the assembly, this is also an issue. Replacement is the most common method to deal with a leak in this component.
Pool Liner Replacement
The price to replace the liner is $500 to $4,000 for an 18’ x 36’ pool. If you have significant tearing in a vinyl liner, it probably needs replacing to stop the leaks. Vinyl liners only last around 7 years, which is a common problem for vinyl models. You may be able to repair the liner instead of replacing it in some cases. However, if there are large tears or a significant number of them, replacement might be the best choice.
Pool Pipe Replacement
Replacing a pool pipe costs $1,000 to $5,000, depending on the pipe size, accessibility, and replacement time. Pool pipes tend to be replaced rather than repaired when the extent of damage is severe because they can experience huge leaks that cause water damage to the surrounding area. This might be due to a huge crack, excessive corrosion, or similar issues. Durable PVC pipe can be installed with a lifespan of 75 years or more.
Main Drain Replacement
When the main drain cannot be repaired, replacement is required at an average cost of $4,000 to $8,000. The main drain works with the main line. The line brings water to the pool while the drain moves it away. If the drain has an irreparable leak, the entire drain must be replaced. Not doing so can create water damage. Drains also help circulate water, ensure chemicals move, keep water clear, and ensure the correct water temperature.
Pool Leak Repair Cost by Problem
The cost to repair a swimming pool varies based on many factors, including the issue happening with the pool. Expect to pay between $100 and $5,000 for repairs. Prices take into account the difficulty of repairing an issue, how long it takes, and labor costs. Some problems like holes cost less because the solution is quick and easy to implement. On the other hand, a crack in concrete or other material takes more effort and time. This table shows the cost you can expect to pay for an average pool problem.
|Hole||$100 - $500|
|Crack||$325 - $5,000|
|Broken Pool Pipe||$500 - $1,500|
|Rip||$1,500 - $2,750|
Hole in a Pool
If there is just a small tear or hole in your vinyl liner, you spend $100 to $500 to patch the liner. Liner patches can be done by professionals and may not require the water to be drained to be completed. Other holes may require more attention. For example, large holes may require replacement. If you have more than one tear that needs to be addressed, you may be able to get a lower rate on the entire job rather than paying for individual repairs.
Pool Crack Repair
Most people spend between $325 and $5,000 for pool crack repairs. It costs $65 to $75 a linear foot to fix cracks. If the crack is major, such as down to the beam, this is a serious problem that can be difficult and expensive to fix. Other cracks include spider cracks in the fiberglass and cracks in plaster liners in models made of plaster. The crack severity and material affect how much this repair costs.
Broken Pool Pipe Repair
The average cost to repair a broken pool pipe ranges from $500 to $1,500. A professional can easily pinpoint the area of the broken pipe so that it can be repaired. After the broken or leaking area has been located, it is cut out and replaced with a new pipe. This is one of the most challenging repairs on a pool because the pipes are underground or beneath the pool deck.
Repairing a ripped liner costs $1,500 to $2,750 when there is a major tear or hole in a vinyl liner that must be replaced. Vinyl can become torn from various incidents or items because it is prone to tears and cuts when it comes into contact with sharp objects. Unlike replacing a pool liner, a repair does not necessitate draining the entire pool and refilling it with water.
Cost to Fix a Pool Leak by Solution
There are several ways to fix leaks. You spend between $100 and $8,000, depending on the required solution. For example, the price of replacing a gasket is nominal compared to the price of replacing the liner. It can help you plan for your own repair by knowing what to expect based on the chosen fix for the leakage you experience. The table and subsections below show the most common leakage solutions, their costs, and what each entails. All costs are based on repairs to a pool measuring 18’ x 36’.
|Patch||$100 - $500|
|Part Replacement||$100 - $8,000|
|Fiberglass Gelcoat||$250 - $600|
|Replastering||$2,500 - $5,000|
Pool Patch Repair
Patching a pool costs $100 to $500, depending on the damage size and extent. This solution is often best when there is a small hole in a vinyl pool lining, which can quickly cause leaks that become progressively worse. It is one of the most minor and least expensive repair options when a hole has not had time to become larger. When a larger hole is patched, the patch is less likely to hold. Patching can improve the pool’s lifespan but is typically a temporary repair option.
Pool Part Replacement
The cost to replace pool components ranges from $100 to $8,000. There are various prices depending on what is damaged and how badly. Component replacement may be needed if it turns out they are the source of the pool leak. For example, a gasket replacement may cost a very small amount compared to replacing a vinyl pool liner. Tiles are also more expensive to replace than liners. The method used to replace the part also varies. The pool may not even need to be drained for minor repairs. Large repairs require drainage, and other parts may need to be removed to reach the faulty component.
Fiberglass Pool Gelcoat Repair
It costs $250 to $600 to apply a new gelcoat to the cracked areas of your structure after the fiberglass has been cleaned and sanded. This repair can prevent pool leaks because it makes the surface more durable. This can be a good solution when the fiberglass is so damaged by spider cracks that minor repairs cannot be made. Gelcoat repair may be the only option in some cases. It is important to discuss the problem with your repair professional to determine the best action.
It costs $2,500 to $5,000 to replaster the entire structure after being drained, sanded, and prepared. The process involves applying a new layer of plaster across the entire structure to cover any cracks and potential leaking points. This is one of the most expensive repair options available, but it is one that many people need for severe cracks or when things have been let go for too long. Plaster repair costs $1,000 to $3,000 if you only repair damaged areas, depending on how much damage needs to be fixed.
Pool Leak Detection Cost
Whether you hire the same company to make the repair, swimming pool leak detection costs $100 to $500, depending on the issue type and location. Some professionals offer full inspections to determine if there are no further problems, costing $100 to $500. While many prices are per project, some pool repair technicians charge an hourly fee. Expect to pay $75 to $125 per hour. For example, above-ground leakage detection is usually less expensive than an in-ground model. Cracks hidden behind tiles or pipes buried beneath the ground may have higher detection costs. You may need to perform a leak detection test to determine which part is leaking. Some technicians use dye to locate leaks, but ultrasonic equipment can also be used.
Leaks are a sign of a problem, and many of these problems can worsen. For example, if the leakage is caused by a failing seal around lights or equipment, this could eventually damage that equipment. Leaks can also damage your landscaping, with soil erosion and muddy lawns being very common with ongoing leaks. Keeping your pool full with a major leak can quickly raise your water bills as you attempt to keep it usable. Finding and fixing the leak early prevents more expensive problems from adding in the future.
How to Find a Leak in a Pool
If you do not want to hire a professional to locate the leakage, you can do the job yourself if you are willing to get wet. First, examine the surface and likely areas. In a vinyl liner, this may look like a dark place that does not get cleaned with the vacuum. In a concrete or fiberglass model, this can look like a crack. If you do not see visible areas, focus on penetrations, such as filters, pumps, and skimmers. Anything that penetrates the side could cause leakage. This could include lights, filters, pumps, waterfalls, and diving boards. Investigate these features when checking for leaks.
Once you identify the most likely places where the leak could be, get into the water with a pair of goggles and a small bottle of food coloring. Squirt the food coloring next to the area where you suspect the issue. If this is the area, the food coloring should be sucked into the leak. If you cannot find the cause but are sure there is a leak, call a professional because the issue may be in the plumbing or equipment.
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Pressure Test Pool Lines
The cost to pressure test pool lines is $200 to $500. A professional pool technician checks the plumbing to determine if there are cracks or breaks in the pipes. The most common reason to call for a pressure test is due to water loss of 2” or more over 24 hours. Technicians check the plumbing lines and fixtures to diagnose possible leaks in the pool. It lets them verify the leak is present and provides more information.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Liner rip prevention. Prevent rips or tears in your vinyl liner by keeping any sharp or abrasive objects out of the water.
- Multiple leaks. Leakages can occur in different places at the same time, but with proper detection, they can be repaired together, saving money.
- Plaster winterization. Plaster is subject to freeze/thaw cycles that can cause it to crack. Make sure that you winterize your pool properly to prevent this.
- Maintenance. Most in-ground models last around 30 years or more with proper maintenance. Above-ground models last 15 - 20 years. Conduct a regular maintenance routine to prolong the life of yours.
- Patch kits. Small leakages can be repaired with patch kits. They are priced at $15 to $30, but you need to follow the instructions carefully to ensure a good repair.
- Fiberglass. Fiberglass models are nonporous, so they are easier to maintain and rarely crack. If they need repair, however, it can be expensive.
- Draining and filling. A leak cannot be repaired without draining and refilling the pool in some cases. This is most common for leaks from the main drain line to the pool’s floor. Draining and refilling should be done by a professional to avoid damaging the pool.
- Size. The pool size should be considered regarding leaks and other damage. For example, a larger pool could house more substantial leaks that are more complicated to repair. However, the pool type and material are also important.
- Pool material. The material used to build a pool, such as fiberglass, vinyl, or concrete, varies. Some leak repairs are the same regardless of the pool structure. Others may have varying costs due to the material price and how easy it is to access certain components.
- How serious is a pool leak?
You should always repair leaks as soon as possible. Even minor ones can become serious quickly if they are left unaddressed. Leaking means you are losing water, wasting energy and resources making up for it, and causing ongoing damage by allowing the leak to continue.
- How much does it cost to fix a pool leak?
There are many causes of leaks, which leads to a wide range of costs. The average price to detect and repair a leak is $900.
- Does homeowners insurance cover pool leaks?
Sometimes, leaks are covered. This depends on your policy and whether the leak could have been avoided with proper maintenance.
- Can a pool leak be fixed?
Yes, in nearly all cases, a leak can be fixed.
- How do you know if your pool is leaking?
Signs of a leak include soggy ground and a rising water bill. Pooling water or algae on the ground or cracked concrete tiles can be other signs. If you suspect a leak, have a company come and investigate.
- Can a pool leak cause a sinkhole?
Yes, if a leak goes on long enough to cause soil erosion, a sinkhole may result.
- Why does my pool water level keep dropping?
Pools lose an average of 2 inches of water a week naturally. In hot or dry weather, this could be more. It is also possible for them to leak, losing even more water.