Is your pool leaking? Or is it just evaporation? The Bucket Test is a simple, yet conclusive water loss test that you can do at home overnight – using only a 5-gallon bucket and some tape or other marker. Evaporation of the water in your pool, due to wind and weather conditions, can account for up to ¼” of water loss per day. By following our step-by-step directions for The Bucket Test described below, you will know within 24 hours just how much water your pool is losing, or whether it is just evaporation. The Bucket Test Step-by-Step Guide You will need: One 5-Gallon bucket, and something to mark with (strong tape, pencil, or marker) 1. Bring the pool water to its normal operating level 2. Fill an empty 5-gallon bucket with pool or spa water to about 1-2 inches from the top of bucket. (By filling the bucket close to the top you are ensuring that air movement over the surface of the bucket will be similar to that of the pool.) 3. Place the bucket on the first or second step of the pool without immersing it. To keep it from floating away it may be necessary to place a few bricks or rocks into the bucket. (By placing the bucket in the pool water you are ensuring that the water temperature of each will be similar). 4. Mark the water level on the inside of the bucket with strong tape, pencil, or marker. 5. Shut off your pump and mark the pool or spa level on the outside of the bucket, or on the pool wall. 6. Resume normal pump operation of your pool. Make sure that the pool’s auto-fill valve is off during the test. 7. After 24 hours, shut off the pump again and compare the two levels. If the pool water (outer mark) goes down more than the inside water level (inner mark), there is probably a leak.