How to Find a Leak in an Inflatable Pool

By Josh Arnold
A leaky pool, a fun summer day
Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images

During the summer months, an inflatable pool filled with cool water is a reprieve from the hot sun. Inflatable pools are very convenient in that they don't take up much space and you can place them in a storage space when you're done using them. The only downside of these pools is that they can spring leaks easily. The good news is that whether the hole is big or tiny, you'll be able to locate it without the use of any special tools.

Fully Inflate the Pool

Before searching for the hole, fully inflate the pool by blowing air into it or by using a pump, depending on what model you have. You'll want the pool to be as firm as it can be without damaging it. If your pump isn't automatic, make sure not to overinflate the pool, which can cause it to burst. Place the cap back onto the air valve tightly.

Listen for Leaks

Before trying a soap and water solution, simply listen for leaks. Gently press on the fully inflated pool, or have someone else do it, as you place your ear close to it. Keep moving around the perimeter of the pool, listening for any high-pitched whistling or hissing sound, which is the air escaping. Once you pinpoint exactly where the hole is, you can repair it with a patch kit.

Soap and Water Method

Whether you were able to locate the hole with your ears or not, next try the soap and water method. Fill a spray bottle with warm water and a few drops of a liquid dish-washing soap, and shake to combine. If you heard the escaping air, spray the soapy solution onto that area. Look for any bubbles, which indicate a hole. If you were unable to hear the leak, start spraying the soapy water all over the pool, area by area, until you see bubbles. If you don't have a spray bottle, you can also use a soft cloth to wipe the soap and water mixture over the pool.

Preventing Inflatable Pool Leaks

Once you've found and repaired the hole in the pool, prevent it from happening again by making sure the ground beneath it is free of sharp objects, such as large rocks, stones and sticks. Always clear the area before placing the pool on it. Also, be careful not to overinflate the pool, which can cause the material to weaken and become more prone to holes. Leaving the inflatable toy in the hot sun when it's not in use can also cause the material to degrade, so drain it and move it to the shade or a protected area when not in use if possible.

About the Author

Josh Arnold has been a residential and commercial carpenter for 15 years and likes to share his knowledge and experience through writing. He is a certified journeyman carpenter and took college-accredited courses through the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters training center. As a Los Angeles-based union carpenter, Arnold builds everything from highrises to bridges, parking structures and homes.