Water Features and Water Levels
How fountains and deck jets may be lowering your pool
Water features like Fountains, deck jets, spray fans and spillways are all beautiful additions to pools. The soft sounds of falling water really set the atmosphere for relaxation, whether that be a barbecue or some time to yourself to read a book and bask in the sun. I even installed spray jets on my mothers pool over a decade ago and she absolutely adores them. One day however shortly after installing them she asked if I could check the pool because she thinks it’s leaking.
I get there and I’m doing my normal checks on the valves, the pump, the filter, the new jets I just put in and even tested the skimmer and pool returns to see if I could find the leak. I found nothing and it seemed it was time for the leak detection specialists to come and take a look. Then I thought it odd that some of my other clients who also had been losing water. I was new to the pool industry back then and really didn’t know the answer so I tested a hypothesis:
If I turn all water features off for one week, the pools will lose less water.
So for the next week I let my clients know I would be turning off the fountains and sprayers for the week because I believe that is what was causing their water loss. They all agreed as they were hesitant to want to spend the massive amounts of money some leak detection services demand, and if I’m right it saves them a lot of time and money. The week went by with no phone calls about the level so I was starting to believe I was right.
I go around the following week and I absolutely confirm the suspicion. The splashing water coming from these water features offered two means of escape for water.
- Splash out
Both cause the pool to lose water and do occur during regular use, however these features exacerbated the effects. For over 8 hours a day in the Florida sun these fountains were dropping water up to 3 inches a week exposing the pump to damage by pulling excess air instead of water which leads to a myriad of repairs that are completely preventable.
My recommendation when it comes to water features is to only have them on when you can enjoy them. Put them on for parties and barbecues or when you want to spend that time outside enjoying the pool. There’s no need to have that fountain going at 1 pm on a Tuesday while you’re at work and the sun is at its peak in the sky, so save the potential headaches and turn them off while you’re away.
If turning the valves or going out to the equipment is a pain, we recommend looking into automation. Something like the Jandy iAqua link system is phenomenal for managing your entire backyard.