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Why is my swimming pool heater leaking?

Your heat pump may not be leaking; it may just be condensation draining from the unit. When heating, heat pumps can produce upwards of 9 gallons of water an hour depending on the temperature and humidity conditions. This is a natural by-product of the heating process. It is a lot of water too, almost two 5 gallon buckets of water an hour!

So, do you have a leak or condensation draining from your heat pump? The methods below are simple, effective tools to help you figure that out!

1. Grab your pool chemical test strips or kit.
2. Test for the following items in your pool water: chlorine, salt, and stabilizer levels (be sure to note the levels).
3. Now test the water coming from the heat pump. It shouldn’t have chlorine, salt, or stabilizer in it. If it does, you may have a leak. We suggest trying the method below before calling a pool professional to check for a leak. Sometimes leaks can be hard to find and deceiving as to the origin.

METHOD 2 (Note:  This method will help source leaks from all of your pool equipment.)

  1. Turn off the heat pump and all the other pool equipment.
  2. Let the area dry out so everything is completely dry.
  3. Once dry, keep the heater off, and turn all of your other pool equipment back on.
  4. Monitor the equipment area for the appearance of water continuously for 15 minutes, then once or twice every 15 minutes for two hours afterward.
    1. If water appears around the equipment: you have a leak somewhere, and it shouldn’t be hard to trace its origin. It could be from the pump, filter, or piping. We recommend calling your pool service company to verify its source.
    2. If everything is dry: turn on the heater. If water appears around the heater after running it for 10 – 30 minutes, you are seeing condensation draining from the heater. This is normal and to be expected. To double check, turn the heater off leaving the rest of the equipment running and everything should dry out again. Heat pumps will only produce condensation when running (heating).

If you determine that the leak is coming from your heat pump, give us a call to schedule an appointment so we can further troubleshoot and repair the unit.

This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. Hi if you now the name o the link to found something for the condensation water fron the pool head pump tropical thank you GOB

  2. Turned on my new TropiCal heat pump over the weekend and thought I had a leak. Thank you for the explanation on testing. I’m sure it is condensation because I’ve never had any water around my pool equipment prior to turning on the heater.

    Do you have any recommendations or a kit for installing a condensate line to move water away from the unit? I work hard to keep moisture away from my foundation and am fairly disappointed with the volume of water coming from the heat-pump. I’d like to install a line to move the water into the drain system that channels the water from my rain gutters and AC condenser to the street.

    1. Hi Forrest,

      Heat pumps can generate a lot of condensation, 6 – 8 gallons per hour. If you have a new cabinet style heat pump with the drain holes on each side, we make a condensate drain kit. Part number STK0202. If you have any questions, please call us at 727-823-5642.

      Aqua Cal tech support

  3. My brother has a pool in his house but he told me that he cannot use it because the heater does not work and the water is too cool. I found it interesting when you said that if you see water around the equipment is because there might be a leak. I will highly recommend him to contact a pool service company so that they can go and fix it.

    1. Hi Derek,
      When a heat pump is running and heating, it will generate a lot of condensation and you will notice water under the unit. If you notice water under the heat pump, and it is not heating, it’s probably a leak. Please call us at 727-823-5642.


  4. Good day, we had an aquacal unit for 12 years. Had a problem and the tech advised our options. We just installed a new aquacal heat wave. He told me about how to get a 150.00 credit, he gave me the reference number and serial number. He said I would need it for the rebate. Where do I go next?

    1. Hi Jon,
      If you paid an AquaCal technician $125 to evaluate your old heat pump, and you replaced the unit with a new AquaCal heat pump, we will refund your $125. We just need you to send a receipt of purchase for your new unit showing “paid in full” to Also include the new unit model and serial number. If you have any questions, please call us at 727-823-5642.

      AquaCal Customer Support

  5. I have a AquaCal Heatwave Superquiet. There is so much condensation leaking that when I walk in front of it within 6-10 feet of it, mud comes to the top of my feet. I dug 3 drainage ditches myself last fall. I am 65, retired female teacher. Is there any thing I can do to cut down the condensation? Thanks. Oh, I live in Central New York State. My pump thus the heater is in an area that is damp anyways.

    1. Good Afternoon Ms. Bordwell,
      Hope you are doing well. If you see this water whenever the pool pump is running & the heat pump is not running, then you may have a water leak in the heater.
      If you only see this when the heat pump is running, then we need to see about better condensation management. The most effective method would be to have a local Hvac company come out & place a condensation pan under the unit with a hole tapped and pvc piping to direct the condensation to another area where it will have less impact. Another possibility is to a trench around the pad for the heat pump & fill that with pea gravel to help with evaporation of the condensation.
      Please feel free to contact Tech Support at 727-456-7411 with further questions.
      Robert Brown
      AquaCal Tech Support

  6. When problems like this arise, I think it best to seek professional help. DIY tips can come in handy when you’ve got enough knowledge on something that you ought to do. However, for those who are inexperienced especially with heaters, a wrong turn may even lead to bigger problems. So for me the best option is to call for help.

  7. Wow these are some great DIY tips! My heater has been leaking for a while now so I’ll try this out and see what happens. Thanks!

  8. Turned power breakers off / turned back on
    Now Heat pump won’t Power On
    Where is in and off button?
    Nothing seems to work no power to
    Heat Pump

  9. Heat pump not heating to shown temperature and there is leakage? Heat pump shows 98degrees F and in reality water temp still around 80degrees F??? This is above ground pool. My AquaCal unit has fan on top.

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