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How to repair a pool liner tear

How to repair a pool liner tear

Tess, painting & decorating consultant, Brighton

Guide written by:

Tess, painting & decorating consultant, Brighton

63 guides

Pool liner tears can be traced back to any number of causes. As long as the rip isn't too big, it is possible to fix it up using a liner patch and a special kit designed for this purpose. But you do need to follow a few important steps. Read on to find out how to repair a torn pool liner.

Important features

  • Locate the leak in the pool liner
  • Clean the pool liner around the leak
  • Cut the liner patch to size
  • Glue the liner patch in place
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Is the level of your pool water dropping on a regular basis? Your first step should be to check if your liner for damage. While pool liners have a service life of about 10 years – or up to 20 years for a reinforced liner – small tears or holes are not uncommon. These types of problems are usually caused by a liner that is too tight or too loose, sharp objects or even water that is too warm.

Luckily, it is often possible to patch up the liner without having to change the whole thing. All you need is a special glue and a patch of liner or a full repairs kit. That said, this method can only be used if the tear is relatively small. If it is too large, the patch will likely not last very long and you may eventually end up having to replace the whole liner.

Steps

  1. Locate the leak in the pool liner
  2. Clean the pool liner around the leak
  3. Cut the liner patch to size
  4. Glue the liner patch in place

Required skills

No particular skills are required. You will simply have to be able to locate the leak, clean the liner, cut and glue on the patch. It's also important to read and follow all instructions carefully.

Time required

1 hour or more for a complicated leak.

Number of people required

1 person

Tools and equipment

  • Glue
  • Piece of pool liner
  • Applicator tool
  • Underwater glue
  • Pool liner cleaner
  • Soft sponge
  • Leak detection dye
  • Scissors
  • Soft cloth

Safety wear

  • Protective gloves

Please note: this is a non-exhaustive list; be sure to match your personal protective equipment to the job at hand.

Inspect your pool liner carefully to find out where it is leaking.

The leak may be above or below the water line.

Using a dye test to locate a pool liner leak

A dye test can be used to locate a leak if you are having trouble finding it or if you believe that the leak is under the water. To use a dye kit, start by turning off the filtration system. Next, pour the dye around where you think the tear or hole might be. If there is a leak, the dye will work its way towards it.

Pool leak detection equipment

If you have a deep pool, it's also possible to use pool leak detection equipment, such as inspection cameras or thermal imaging cameras, to locate a tear. But beware: underwater cameras can be quite expensive.

Marking out the leak on the pool liner

Once you've located the leak, don't forget to mark out its position to be sure to find it again easily. You can use water-resistant tape that you can remove later on.

It is essential to clean the surface thoroughly before attempting to repair the liner. If you fail to do so, the glue may not adhere properly to the liner.

Be sure to use a specially designed pool liner cleaner and a non-abrasive sponge.

Use scissors to cut the piece of pool liner down to size ensuring it is at least 2 cm larger on all sides than the tear itself.

Don't forget to round off the corners to stop the patch from peeling and letting in water.

The process of gluing on your pool liner patch will differ depending on whether the tear is above or below the water line.

In either case, make sure to follow the glue or repair kit instructions to the letter.

Gluing on a pool liner patch above the water

  • Apply the glue directly to the patch of pool liner using the applicator provided in the kit.
  • Spread the glue out carefully.
  • Place the pool liner patch over the tear.
  • Smooth out the patch carefully to get rid of as many air bubbles as possible.
  • Press firmly on the patch for a few seconds. If the position of the tear allows – for example, if it is at the bottom of the pool – place a weight over the tear to keep pressure on the patch for 12 to 24 hours.
  • Clean away any excess glue using a soft cloth.

Gluing on a pool liner patch underwater

  • Apply the glue directly to the pool liner patch using the applicator provided in the kit.
  • Spread the glue carefully then fold the patch over on itself.
  • Unfold the patch under the water beside the tear and apply immediately.
  • Smooth out the patch carefully to remove as many air bubbles as possible.
  • Press firmly on the patch for a few seconds. If the position of the tear allows – for example, if it is at the bottom of the pool – place a weight over the tear to keep pressure on the patch for 12 to 24 hours.
  • Clean away any excess glue using a soft cloth.

Shop our pool liner repair kits

Guide written by:

Tess, painting & decorating consultant, Brighton, 63 guides

Tess, painting & decorating consultant, Brighton

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