Owning a pool comes with some pretty fantastic perks. On the other hand, they also require a substantial amount of maintenance to keep everything functioning correctly. For example, the water level needs regular monitoring and adjustments.
Pool water levels can rise due to recent heavy rain, underground water leaks, and errors with the autofill system. Owners need to monitor their water regularly to keep the water level above the middle of their skimmer.
If you notice rising water levels, you should address them immediately to prevent substantial property damage. The rest of this article will explain why your pool is filling up, what happens if the water level is too high, and how to lower your water level a small amount safely, if necessary.
Reasons Your Pool’s Water Levels Are Rising
Watching your pool water get closer to the rim each day is a scary feeling many pool owners know too well. Let's dive into some of the reasons why you may be getting all of that extra water.
Rain Levels Have Increased
Rain is the main reason why your pool might be filling with water. For every inch of rain you experience, your pool level will increase the same amount. If you are getting a lot of rain multiple days in a row, your water may rise until the rain ends.
For this reason, many pool owners decide to drain the pool a few inches before large storms, such as hurricanes. Adjusting water levels will cause problems with your carefully balanced pool chemicals, as we will look at later in this article, but it will help combat the problem of pool overflow.
Rain levels can have a profound impact if the ground in your yard is not level. If your backyard begins to flood, and your pool is even slightly lower than the surrounding deck or concrete, the water will collect in the pool, causing it to gather more water.
If you believe that the amount of rain is what is filling your pool, you may be interested in purchasing a rain gauge, like the Stratus Precision Rain Gauge. It’s affordable and comes with a mounting bracket for secure installation. Using a rain gauge to track the weather will help you get an idea of how much your levels should be rising.
Water Can Leak Into the Pool
Typically, when you think of pool leaks, you think of water leaking out of the pool. However, the same thing can occur with groundwater leaking into the pool, causing your levels to rise.
If you have a broken pipe in the area or your ground level has been rising over time, the water can slowly leak into the pool with even the smallest hole.
If you suspect this may be the issue, there are a few things you can try:
- If you have an idea of where the hole might be, you can use small amounts of food dye to see if you can find a small current from where the water is entering the space.
- You can also shine a flashlight in the pool and see if you can find any visual water movement that is occurring.
The Hose Overfilled Your Pool
Many pool owners know the gut-wrenching feeling of sitting at work and remembering that they left the hose on while filling the pool the night before! This can happen, and probably more often than you think, so it’s important to have a plan when it does.
If you don't already have one, installing an overflow drain may prevent this from causing any serious issues. Overflow systems help drain the pool if it is dangerously close to overflowing.
If the hose is repeatedly getting left overnight in the pool, a product like the Airlie Pool Water Leveler might be a great purchase! This product will automatically fill your pool to the correct height, then shut off once it reaches your desired point.
Your Pool Has a Broken Autofill
Some pools include an autofill feature that helps keep their pool water consistent. Pools lose an average of a quarter of an inch (0.6 cm) per day, which increases with factors like how much sun your pool gets, how dry it is outside, and also if you have used it that day. An autofill system makes up for that loss by adding more water gradually when your pool water is at a low level.
Your pool may fill up quickly if that autofill water line has burst or if the system itself has malfunctioned. You can tell if your autofill is malfunctioning by listening to it when the pool water is at a high level. If you can still hear the autofill hissing or making any noise indicating that it is running, that is most likely your issue.
Cross Watering From Sprinklers Can Fill the Pool
Another unlikely culprit that is contributing to additional water in your pool is your sprinklers. If you are running your sprinklers longer than usual, it is a good idea to make sure they are not putting large amounts of water into the pool.
Although this would normally only contribute an insignificant amount of moisture, if the sprinkler is watering only the pool or if multiple sprinklers are crossing the pool area, it could increase your water level slightly over the course of the day.
What Happens if My Pool Water Level Is Too High?
Now that we know why your pool level may be too high, let's get into why it matters.
If your pool water level is too high, your pool will likely experience skimmer malfunctions, pool water overflow, deck damage, and a chemical imbalance.
The best fill level for your pool is about ⅓ inch (0.85 cm) from the top of the pool skimmer. Any higher, and the skimmer will malfunction. If the water level is below the skimmer, it will suck in the air and cause permanent damage.
High Water Levels Can Cause Skimmer Malfunctions
When the water level rises above the skimmer, it will not be able to function correctly. When the water is at the correct height, the skimmer can trap all leaves and other debris that is sitting on top of the water.
When the water rises above the skimmer, the opening cannot capture the debris, and it cannot clean the space.
Increased Water Levels Can Lead to an Overflow
Overflowed pools are never fun for anyone. If the pool overflows, it will gather all of the debris in the surrounding area that it touches. If the water eventually travels back to the pool, it will carry all of that debris with it.
An overflowed pool can also cause damage to the deck, deck furniture, and any other outdoor structures, features, or accessories you have nearby.
Excess Water Will Damage the Surrounding Pool Deck
When the water levels are sitting too high, the concrete comes in contact with the moisture long-term. Long-term exposure can cause problems like water seeping underneath the concrete and causing permanent damage.
It can also cause mold and mildew surrounding your pool deck if the area is not sealed correctly. If you end up having buildup, there are products available to remove it, such as the Wet And Forget Moss Mold Mildew & Algae Stain Remover. This cleaning solution will keep your deck looking great at all times!
Too Much Water Can Create a Chemical Imbalance
Pool owners spend a lot of money on chemicals to get the water nice and clear and kill off harmful bacteria. When the water level is consistently rising, the chemicals are diluted, requiring owners to balance the levels more often.
Not only does this problem cause time and attention to be corrected, but it also is highly costly to add all of those extra pool chemicals.
If you think that your pool has become off balance due to increased water, you can use test strips, like the JNW Direct Pool and Spa Test Strips, in order to get more information about the makeup of the water. These test strips give you a clear reading on your water’s chemical levels so you know where the imbalance is.
Draining Water From Your Pool
If your water level is too high and you are concerned that the pool will overflow, you have a few options:
- If it is not an emergency, the easiest solution is to wait a few days for the water level to decrease. As previously mentioned, there is a natural fluctuation with your levels, and it will lower as long as heavy rains are not expected.
- If you need to get water out quickly, the safest way to do so is to find the waste or drain setting on your pool pump. The pump will take water from your pool through the skimmer and empty it into a predetermined location.
It is never suggested to take large amounts of water from your pool, as this may cause serious issues. The water acts as a weight in the pool and keeps the pool safely in the ground. If you take the weight out, the groundwater can push against the sides and bottom of the pool and apply substantial amounts of pressure.
In summary, the leading causes of your pool water level rising are:
- Water leaks from groundwater or a broken autofill
- A hose is left on for an extended period
It is essential to monitor your water levels daily to prevent expensive structural damage, keep your pool clean, and the requirement to add more chemicals because the water has been diluted constantly.