Vinyl pool liners are one of the most cost-effective choices, but are often less durable than other liner options. According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, vinyl swimming pool liners have a life expectancy of about 10 years. As your pool liner ages, it becomes more susceptible to rips and tears. If you fail to repair the tear, water will continue to leak which can lead to corrosion of the pool walls. Fortunately, vinyl pool liners can be easily fixed without having to drain the pool water.
Steps to Patch a Vinyl Pool Liner
1. Cut out a piece of vinyl to use as a patch. The size of the patch should be a minimum of five times the diameter of the tear, hole or puncture in the liner. Cut out the patch in the shape of a circle or oval, not a rectangle, square or any other shape with non-rounded sides.
Note: Vinyl patches can be purchased inexpensively in commercial repair kits. When your pool was installed, the installer may have provided you with vinyl scraps to use for liner repair jobs in the future.
2. Apply underwater adhesive to the back of the vinyl patch. Use a generous amount of adhesive to ensure that the patch adheres well to the liner.
3. Fold the patch directly in half with the glue sides stuck together. This will prevent the glue from rinsing off the vinyl patch as you swim down to the area of liner that requires repair.
4. With the folded patch in hand, swim down to the area that needs to be fixed. Quickly unfold the patch and place it glue side down against the liner. Use your hands to press the patch securely to the liner and push out any excess adhesive. Wear goggles to make repairing the vinyl liner easier.
5. Allow at least a full day for the patch to dry. Swim down to the repaired area of pool liner and inspect your repair job. If you were unable to adequately attach the patch to the pool liner, consider hiring a pool professional to complete the job for you.
Vinyl Pool Liner Maintenance Tips
- Maintain a proper water balance. Use a sanitizing agent such as chlorine to help control the growth of bacteria and other harmful contaminants.
- Check the pool's pH levels on a regular basis. The pH is the measure of the alkalinity and acidity in the water. According to the Better Health Channel, a reading of 7.0 is neutral, while readings above 7 mean the water is alkaline and readings below 7 indicate acidic water.
- Keep chlorine away from the liner. High concentrations of chlorine can cause the vinyl liner to rapidly deteriorate. Dissolve granular or tableted chlorine in a bucket of water before pouring it into the pool.
- Never drain the pool completely. It's crucial to always leave at least a foot or more of water in the shallow end. If all pressure is removed from sides and bottom of the pool due to too much water removal, the liner can shift or shrink.
- Keep up with all maintenance and repairs to your filtration system. You need your filtration system in good working order to remove impurities from the water.
- Use caution when cleaning the pool liner. Use specially formulated vinyl pool liner cleaners to keep your pool liner clean and to remove "rings" that may develop at the waterline.
If your inground swimming pool has a tear, hole or puncture in the liner, it may be possible to repair the damaged area and save the liner. For more information about in ground pool repair or to hire a pool professional, contact your local pool repair service.