Quick Steps to Repair A Pool Liner

Welcome to the fourth part of a 4-part series on above ground pool liners. In this one, we talk about repairing your above ground pool’s liner.

  1. Installing a Pool Liner
  2. Getting Wrinkles Out of a Liner
  3. Patching a Liner
  4. Repairing a Liner (this page)

You’ve indeed never sat by your lovely lake, sipping a refreshing drink, and wondered how to repair a pool liner. It’s much more likely that you’ll be up to take a relaxing bath. 

But you’ll come to a halt when you find the yard around your pool is flooded. Perhaps you’ll take a quick look out the back window before having your first drink of coffee in the morning. And see how the above-ground pool’s side has sprouted a rising waterfall.

If you’re reading this, you may have just learned the need to repair your vinyl pool liner, which is never a pleasant experience. You may also be a little frightened. Take a deep breath and relax. Unless your pool has an ancient lining, a large scratch, or a tree has fallen on it, you should be able to repair it.

What Are Vinyl-Liner Pools? 

Pools with vinyl liners are usually less costly, but they are prone to breaks and cracks. A leak in your vinyl pool liner needs to be fixed right away. Since the holes allow the water level to decrease, the water consumption would increase.

As a result, soil erosion underneath the pool can occur, causing damage to the pool wall. Pool repair kits, which can be found at pool supplies stores, enable homeowners to repair small leaks independently.

How To Find A Hole In A Pool Liner? 

Before you get all worked up, keep in mind that it’s not unusual for inground pools to lose water every day. The majority of the time, evaporation is to blame. Pool covers can assist with this, as you can expect to lose anywhere from 12 inches to an inch of water every day.

●       The Bucker Tests 

Fill a 5-gallon bucket halfway with water and place it on your pool’s stairs. Be sure the bucket water level corresponds to the pool’s surrounding water level. To keep track of shifts, use painter’s tape to mark the water level in the bucket. 

Switch the pump off and return to it after a day (24 hours). You get a spill if the water level in the bucket is greater than the water level in the tub. If it’s the same, take a deep breath and relax; it’s just evaporation.

●       Food Coloring 

Stroll around your pool to look for any slimy spots, then use food coloring to fill them in. If there is a hole or tear, you will be caught up with the food coloring and with the river of water leaking via the incision, revealing the damage’s location.

If you can’t see a tear, but your pool is already leaking, look at the electrical and filtration systems. Better still, hire a specialist to inspect the bank to ensure that any expensive or harmful leaks are discovered early on.

People will also see the tear when bathing or relaxing poolside. As a result, they won’t have to go through the hassle of leak monitoring. You’re probably already conscious that your pool liner has a hole while you’re reading this blog. However, having these tricks up your sleeve for the future is always a good idea.

Why Do You Require To Know How To Patch Your Pool Liner? 

If you own a pool, knowing how to mend your pool liner is an absolute must. You should not only be able to repair the liner successfully, but you should also be able to do it quickly.

If a tear in the pool liner goes unnoticed, it can do a lot of harm. Damage means expensive maintenance. Furthermore, patching the own pool liner on time saves you the trouble of trying to rebalance the pool’s additives every time you replace the new water that has drained out.

What Are The Vinyl Pools Leaks Types? 

●       Ground Pool Leaks 

If your above-ground pool’s liner breaks and starts to spill, water can typically leak before it reaches the tear’s level.

You’ll lose a couple of inches of water where the tear comes closest to the pool’s top sides. If the tear is most relative to the pool’s rim, though, you should expect near-total water loss.

Having lost the water in your above-ground pool might not sound like a big deal, but it may cause your pool to collapse. Not to mention the pesticides that will be strewn around the yard. The flood will most likely ruin your lawn and turn the yard into a mud puddle.

●       Inground Pool Leaks 

Much further harm can be caused by a leak in your inground pool liner. A tear along the top edge of the liner will produce a water pocket, trapping both air and water. That pocket also adds weight, causing your lining to tear even more.

Water pockets under your pool deck can also be caused by tears and gaps in your inground pool lining. It will result in soil erosion, concrete cracking, and rust, putting the entire environment at risk.

How To Repair The Pool Liner? 

Step 1 

Identify the source of your liner’s problem. It might have sprung a hole, the bead might be out of alignment, or the lining might need replacement. Determine if the extra water is the product of drainage overflow or due to a spliced sprinkler line.

Step 2 

Look for the leak’s origins and plug some small holes with a vinyl liner patch kit. If the leak is under the bath, you’ll need a “wet” repair kit.

Step 3

To indicate any potential leak points, toss a coin. Store-bought pigment may be substituted with food coloring or an unused bottle of pH reagent. For 60 minutes, turn off the pool filter and squirt dye next to the marker. If the paint is attracted to it, you’ve found the leak’s source.

Step 4 

Cover the leak with patch paper, thick rubber, or a bit of inner-tube as a temporary fix. It would be safe because of the water pressure.

Step 5

Drain the water from your tub, raise the liner, and pour dry sand via a funnel to produce a deep gully. If fleeing water has created a deep valley, fill some empty spaces. 

Break a round patch twice the size of the tear from a repair kit, then carefully brush the patch with cement. Fold the patch in half to keep the adhesive dry after fixing an underwater leak. Try to replace the temporary patch with a permanent one as quickly as possible, smoothing out any air bubbles.

Step 6

To stretch and secure your liner back into its track, use a heat gun or a blow dryer. Applying hot water to your bead is another way to realign it. Try using a liner lock if the issue continues. You would still want to get psychiatric help.

Step 7

Reset the liner and vacuum out any air trapped between it as well as the walls and floor. After the water has entered a specific spot on the wall, remove the vacuum and enable the pool to get refilled. It ensures a proper fit and minimizes wrinkles in the liner.

Step 8

If your vinyl liner is old and has been restored many times, consider repairing it.

Quick Fix Options For Patching Your Pool Liner 

Patching the pool liner can be done in a variety of ways. You should still use duct tape if you’re in a pinch and require some time to find out what to do.

Take a roll of duct tape, cut a strip wide enough to cover the tear, and add it directly to the lining. You could do it above or below water, and it can give you a good grip before you find out what to do next.

●       Waterproof Tape 

Waterproof tape is comparable to duct tape, except it’s transparent and UV resistant, which means it’ll last a lot longer. It’s simple to administer in or out of the water, and it’s inexpensive.

You will use waterproof tape to protect more expansive areas by overlapping them. However, this product is best used for narrower regions because it tends to peel at the edges over time. It is particularly true in the case of vinyl pool liners.

●       Peel–And–Stick Patches 

Peel-and-stick patches function similarly to waterproof tapes. The only distinction is that they’re composed of the same vinyl as the pool liner. These patches also work well on the standard floats and inflatable water toys.

Peel-and-stick patches are available in sheets or pre-cut rings. The pre-cut circles are recommended because they are less likely to peel up at the edges. You have to strip away the paper backing and apply the patch to the leak. Small leaks and punctures are better treated with peel-and-stick patches.

●       Patch Kits 

More significant breaks and cracks in your pool liner are usually repaired with pool liner patch kits. In comparison to waterproof tapes and peel-and-stick patches, they also provide a more long-term solution.

Larger vinyl sheets and a special glue that seals the vinyl underwater are commonly used with patch kits. Patch kits are available in blue or clear to complement the hue of the liner. Patch kits for above-ground pools will contain laminated polyvinyl chloride (PVC) boards, which you can use to patch the pool’s anterior sides.

Tips For Pool Liner Repair 

#1 Never Drain The Water 

Most important, it is critical to emphasize that you can never empty your pool before actually patching the liner. As previously said, an above-ground pool that is not filled with water is at risk of total collapse. When you try to repair the pool’s liner, this will make it more difficult. It can also lead to more tears and damage, particularly when exposed to UV light.

An inground pool is the same way. Draining the water will disrupt the liner’s structure and make it weaker. Draining your pool can necessitate a complete replacement or the purchase of a new liner.

#2 Gather Your Tools Beforehand 

Make sure you have everything you’ll need and that your patching supplies are ready to use. Have them as close to the work environment as possible. Jumping in and out of the water to grab equipment and supplies would add to the task’s difficulty.

#3 Use Goggles 

For an underwater repair job, you’ll need goggles. If you have a lot of work to do, you might want to consider using a snorkel. It’ll save you time, we promise.

#4 Use Buddy System 

Getting an extra hand or two, particularly for larger patchwork projects, will help move the process along much more quickly.

#5 Be Quick 

The more quickly you stick the patch to the liner, the more secure it will be. Since vinyl patches are waterproof, you can avoid exposing them to water—or something else in the water—for longer than required.

You should fold the patch with the glue on the inside and unfold it as soon as you’re able to stick it on the lining to avoid prolonged exposure to the elements.

Aspects To Consider Before Buying Pool Linear 

●       Thickness 

Pool liners are available in a range of thicknesses from 20 to 40 mil, which is the standard unit of consistency in the pool liner sector. One mil, or 0.001 inch, is equivalent to one-thousandth of an inch.

For example, a 20-mil vinyl pool liner is 0.020 inches thick. In some instances, a gauge is also used instead of a mil to measure the pool liner thickness. However, since the meter is thinner than a mil, a 20-gauge lining would be, of course, lighter than a 20-mil pool liner.

Also, the floor thickness of liners is often less than the wall thickness. As a result, two thickness values may exist, such as 28 walls, 20 floors, or 28/20. Since thick pool liners take more vinyl and time to produce, they are usually more costly than thin pool liners, but they often last longer. Pool liners that are thicker and more puncture-resistant are less likely to spill.

Since thicker liners are not as elastic (stretchy) as thinner liners, installing them can be more difficult, notably in colder weather. They can be challenging to fit in corners and around steps in pools.

●       Lifespan 

Several factors influence the lifetime of a vinyl pool liner. The thickness of your pool liner and chlorine levels, the chemical composition of your pool, UV exposure, freeze/thaw cycles, and whether or not you have a pool cover all have an impact on its lifetime.

As exposed to the sun’s UV rays, vinyl pool liners fade quicker. As a result, just using a swimming pool cover to absorb these damaging rays will make the liner last longer. 20-mil liners typically last 8 to 10 years, whereas 30-mil liners usually last 12-16 years.

●       Durability 

The thicker the liner, as previously said, the more robust and puncture-resistant it ought to be. Additionally, shielding the liner from the sun’s damaging UV rays and maintaining a balanced pool water chemical can keep the liner from wearing down quicker and vulnerable to damage.

●       Maintenance 

Pool liner repair is essential for maintaining the liner in top condition for as long as possible. You’ll need to keep the water chemistry healthy as well as the pool water and liner clear. Too acidic pool water will wear down vinyl liners more quickly, while water that is too basic will cause water scales to form and weaken liners. 

To secure your liner, measure and balance the composition of your pool water regularly. It can be daunting to pick only one vinyl pool liner when there are too many to choose from. So, bear these considerations in mind and consult with a local pool expert for assistance in selecting the correct pool liner for your pool.

●       Pattern 

Pool liners are usually available in two patterns: a boundary pattern and a pattern for the pool’s body. A solid color or pattern with no border is also another alternative.

You may want to go for a border pattern that matches your pool deck, patio, or surrounding landscape. In addition, since most pool liners will be seamed together in many ways, you’ll need to think about how well the seams match when designing the body pattern.

With tile patterns and intense light colors, these seams can be more visible. Pebble shapes also hide seams. Wavy, swirl, or geometric patterns with translucent water look often work well for seam camouflage.

●       Texture 

Textured vinyl liners, particularly on pool steps, are a safer choice for pools. The vinyl is embossed with a texture that gives a non-slip grip while still feeling soft on bare feet with textured liners.

Instead of only getting texture on the stages, some liners are fully textured. These may be textured to look like gunite, compressed sand, or tile shapes with recessed grout lines.


All of this discussion about tears and repairs can sound intimidating, but the truth is that you can fix most punctures and tears quickly and cheaply. A fiberglass pool, on the other hand, could be a safer choice if you’re looking to improve your backyard paradise.

Usually, fiberglass pools are more expensive than vinyl-lined pools. However, they are low maintenance and have markedly lower lifetime costs than the concrete ones and the vinyl liner pool options.

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