Owners of swimming pools with liners know that their vinyl liner will not last forever, but if you get a rip or tear prematurely, you may be wondering if you can use a pool patch. Vinyl pool liners should be replaced on average about every 8 to 12 years for pools in Connecticut. If your liner is only a few years old and looks to be in good shape other than a small tear, it may be possible to use a vinyl pool liner patch to get more life out of it.

When to Repair Your Liner with a Pool Patch

If you get a hole or a slit in your vinyl pool liner, you may consider fixing it with a pool patch if the slit is no more than 6 or 8 inches long and the liner itself is not very old. The ability to repair a pool liner also depends on where the tear is located and if you have only one tear or multiple holes or rips. If your pool liner is only a few years old, it may be worth it to patch it; otherwise, you may just want to replace it if it is nearing the end of its lifespan.

What Causes a Vinyl Pool Liner to Tear?

Swimming pools are continually exposed to UV rays from the sun and chemicals in the water, which can cause a pool liner to become brittle over time. This can particularly happen to parts of the liner that are above the water, although any number of things can cause a hole or tear anywhere in the pool liner. Make sure to keep sharp objects out of the pool at all times, and be careful if you allow dogs to swim in your pool, making sure they have a clear entry and exit path without damaging the liner.

Locating a Tear in Your Pool Liner

Some tears, like a hairline rip, can be very difficult to locate, depending on the color and design of your liner. If you suspect that you may have a tear and your pool might be leaking water, you should first make sure that your pool water is clean and do a deep dive with goggles on to inspect all areas of the liner. You can monitor your water level and try the “bucket test” if you suspect a leak but cannot find it.

pool patch

To perform the bucket test, fill a bucket with water and place it on the steps of your pool, making sure that the water level in the bucket is even with the water level in the pool. Turn off your pump and let your water sit still for 24 hours, comparing the pool water level to the bucket to see if there is any change. If the water level has drained below the level in the bucket, which was once even, you may have a tear if water loss is more than what would occur from normal evaporation.

If you suspect that you have a leak and you cannot find it, you should contact a swimming pool professional for assistance, as allowing a pool to drain water can lead to more costly and serious damage. Some signs of a leak include significant water loss, discolored water, algae, fluctuating chemical levels, and clear signs of cracks and deterioration. Allowing a leak to continue to cause serious and costly damage. 

The Swimming Pool Store offers assistance to determine if your liner should be replaced.  We provide experienced pool liner installation for inground pools.

In-Ground Pool Liner Installation

Above-Ground Pool Liner Installation

Repairing Pool Liner Tears with a Patch

Pool owners can often patch a hole in their liner themselves, as long as they know exactly where it is and can easily access the torn area. If you notice a tear in your liner, do not wait to repair it, as more serious damage can occur. The tear can get larger to where it would not be possible to repair but must be replaced, and if your pool is leaking water for an extended period of time, serious structural damage can occur.

Follow these steps to repair your vinyl pool liner with a pool patch:

  1. Clean the area to be patched to make sure it is free of any algae or other substances.
  2. Trim the pool patch to fit with at least an extra 2 inches in diameter larger than the tear.
  3. Affix the patch to cover the tear with whatever type of adhesive or pool patch you are using.
  4. Smooth out any air bubbles and apply weight to the area for 24 hours if possible.

There are different types of pool patches for vinyl swimming pool liners. Most include a waterproof option that can be applied underwater.

Dive deeper into our comprehensive Guide on Pool Liners for expert advice, tips, and solutions tailored to your swimming pool needs.

The Swimming Pool Store in Connecticut can help you to determine if you should repair or replace your pool liner. We offer quality swimming pool products and liners as well as installation for above-ground and inground pools. Contact us if you have any questions about repairing pool liners with a pool patch.