How to Patch a Pool Liner

UV PoolsBlog, Liner, Pool Repairs

How to Patch A Pool Liner

Pool liners, especially low quality ones, just aren’t designed to last forever. The ones we install last a long and have a warranty to back it up. This is why pool experts recommend selecting the highest quality liner to maximize its lifespan, save money in the long term, and help you avoid having to patch it. Your pool liner could eventually develop tears which should be addressed quickly – and they are more likely to happen as a result of Winnipeg winters than in other regions. The best way to repair a vinyl pool liner leak is to patch it.

Patching a pool liner is a quick and affordable way to stop your liner from leaking, allowing you to continue enjoying your life as a pool owner and begin the process of considering a full-fledged liner replacement somewhere down the line.

Detecting a pool liner leak

To find and confirm a leak in your pool liner, it’s you should use the bucket test. The bucket test is one of the easiest ways to detect a leaking pool liner, and can be completed by anybody. Watch our video below for an easy guide on how to do it. 

To conduct the bucket test, place a five gallon bucket on the second step of your pool stairs, fill it with enough water to match your pool’s water level, and mark the level in the bucket. Once this is done, shut down your pool pump for about 24 hours and leave the bucket. When you return, you’ll find that either the pool’s water level is lower than the bucket (indicating a leak), or that the bucket and your pool have both lost about the same amount of water due to evaporation.

Why you should patch a pool liner

Ideally, you’re not worrying about the possibility of a leak in your pool liner while you’re enjoying a refreshing dip with your loved ones, but it happens – especially if you’ve noticed that your pool is losing more water than normally and it can’t simply be chalked up to evaporation. If you find a tear in your pool liner, you need to get to work right away to avoid a worst case scenario. Thankfully, unless it’s a massive tear or your liner is very old, you should be able to quickly patch it to stop water from escaping. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you need an entirely new liner, and a good patch will extend its life. 

Depending on its size and location, a leak in your liner can cause serious damage and needs to be addressed immediately to avoid an even bigger headache and possible pool downtime. Pool liner leaks can cause deck cave-ins, the development of rust, erosion, and other serious problems. Patching your pool liner is a much more cost effective alternative to replacing the liner outright. It’s not a permanent solution, but if you’ve caught the leak early enough and the damage isn’t too bad, it can buy you more than enough time to shop around for a pool liner replacement.

How to patch a pool liner

There are three main ways to patch a pool liner, all of which have their own advantages and effectiveness. It’s important to understand that these methods allow for both wet and dry patching, so even if your pool is retaining a good amount of water you can still quickly patch it underwater.

Waterproof tape can be used to quickly patch a pool underwater, offering a UV resistant and nearly invisible temporary fix. Peel-and-stick patches are just as easy to use as waterproof tape, with many available in pre-cut shapes. Peel-and-stick patches work exactly like they sound – peel off the backing, apply it to the leak, and voila, your pool liner has been patched. Both the waterproof tape and peel-and-stick patch methods are best used for small patch jobs, and will serve as very short-term fixes while you seek out assistance from a pool repair professional.

Larger leaks can be patched using a vinyl patch kit, which requires pool owners to apply large pieces of liner using waterproof vinyl adhesive to hold it in place over the leak. To successfully apply a vinyl patch kit, you’ll need to clean the area around the leak, trim the vinyl patch to size using scissors, apply adhesive to the patch, submerge it adhesive side out, and stick it to the leak. If your leak is in an area where it’s possible to apply weight (anywhere but the pool wall), it’s highly recommended that weight is applied for 24 hours after it’s been applied. Vinyl patch kits offer pool owners a longer-term solution to pool liner leaks. 

Hire a professional to do it right

If you want to be absolutely sure the patch is done correctly, UV Pools specializes in pool repairs, large and small, including liner patches. We’re happy to come out and do an estimate for you, and it will probably cost less than you think. While most homeowner patches are usually good enough to do the trick, statistically some are bound to go wrong and cause larger problems which may require total liner replacement. It’s also worth getting a professional diagnosis of what caused the tear in the first place; if, for example, your liner is incorrectly seated around where the tear happened, we’ll fix that too. 

Patching your pool liner is a quick and relatively easy way to extend the life of a damaged liner, but will never be able to act as a permanent fix. If your pool liner is leaking, it will eventually require a full pool liner replacement – especially after the patch eventually fails. This could take weeks, months or even a few years, but it will eventually happen. With the time you’ve bought yourself, consider looking into pool liner replacement professionals who can walk you through the liner replacement process so you know exactly what to expect when the time comes.

UV Pools is the premier provider of pool liner repairs and replacements Winnipeg pool owners have come to rely on. Our pool renovation professionals will meet with you to assess the leak in your liner, detailing your pool liner replacement options and guiding you through the entire process so you can plan accordingly. Our mission is to help Winnipeg pool owners love their pool again by taking the stress out of pool repairs and renovations. To receive your free pool liner replacement quote, get in touch with UV Pools today.