Patching a Pool Liner

Holes in a vinyl linerSometimes it is necessary to patch a vinyl swimming pool liner. There are kits available for just this sort of thing. Patches should be adequate when the area being patched is small, like puncture or a tear. A patch may not work on corners, near the top of the pool wall, or on a section that is larger than a couple of inches. For those larger tears and issues, you may need to consider having your vinyl liner replaced (by your favorite service company of course). You may be able to come up with other creative solutions with your pool professional, however, it’s usually time to replace.

To patch your liner, you should purchase a repair kit (Shop Now) with a special vinyl underwater adhesive and piece of vinyl. If you have your original liner leftovers, perhaps the section that was cut out for the step, you can use this so the pattern will match. Sometimes you can contact a pool company who may have vinyl samples on hand from the manufacturer and be able to share this with you. If you are looking for a specific pattern in Michigan and your liner is a Kafko or TVP pattern, check with us, we may be able to help.

Once you get the kit, follow the directions. This typically includes making sure the area you are patching is clear of debris, cutting the vinyl into a circle to fit (circles have less edges and corners that can be lifted or disturbed once the patch is applied. It is a good shape to use for your patch, no matter what the shape of the hole or tear may be.) Then you will close the adhesive sides together on the patch by folding it in half. This will allow you to put the patch underwater and minimize the water that will displace the adhesive on the patch. Lower the patch to the section begin repaired, open the patch and immediately schmuck it onto the spot. Yes, I said schmuck, which may be the most technical pool term that you hear all day. In all seriousness, an alternative word would be put, as in put the patch on the spot. Hold it in place for a few seconds and you should be able to let it go, the patch staying where it is, and your hole or tear being repaired.

Some homeowners would like to lower the water level in their pool before patching a vinyl liner. This may be good in some cases, however, we don’t normally recommend it. As a liner ages, it becomes less flexible, more brittle, and is harder to work with. Depending on the age of the liner you are repairing, if you remove the water from the pool, the liner could become very sensitive to everything, and the stress of the stretching or ability to stretch can cause stress tears. Once those start in an older liner, you will have to replace the liner.

Another issue that can come from taking the water out of your pool is that the water pressure from the water in the pool can become less than the ground water pressure surrounding your pool and the liner can float. This will need to be professionally reset in most cases, if it is even possible short of replacing your liner.

If your pool was constructed with wood walls, it is also not a good idea to remove the water from your pool. Current vinyl liner construction practices are to use steel walls, with deck braces and deck supports that help to keep the walls in place, with or without water holding them. This may not be the case with your wooden walled pool, so when in doubt, leave it to the professionals to make that determination.

If you have additional questions about vinyl liner pools, repairs, tears, and leak detection, you can browse more articles here, or call with a question where we can troubleshoot quickly with you.

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