How to Patch a Pool Liner

If you are reading this, then the chances are that your pool liner is already torn. You can patch your pool liner, as long as it is not an ancient liner, a huge tear, or a massive tree fell above your pool.

Before diving into how exactly your pool liner can be fixed, let us talk about why you even need to fix it.

Why Do You Need to Patch Your Pool Liner?

How to Patch a Pool Liner 2Based on the location as well as the size of the tear, it can be very dangerous if not patched on time.

Above Ground Pools

When considering pools that are above ground, the water will keep leaking until the level of the leak. In case the leak is at the bottom on the floor or bottom wall, a lot of water will leak out into your yard. This will cause flooding and a mess.

Inground Pools

A tear or leak in your inground pool can also be extremely dangerous. There can be a pocket of pool water below the pool deck. The presence of erosion of soil, leading to instability and cave-ins, is possible.

Also, there can be rust formation in the case of steep pool and erosion in the case of concrete ones. You can discover these only after you remove your pool liner. The best step you can take is to immediately stop the leak.

Tip: For a quick fix, it is best to use duct tape. Cut off a piece a little bigger than the tear. You can proceed by sticking it underwater and rubbing it in. This solution is not permanent. You can use it only temporarily till you patch the liner.

How to Confirm The Leak?

So, you think your pool liner needs patching as it has a leak. But are you sure it is a leak?

1. Evaporation

Yes, it could be just evaporation. But if you observe to be losing more than one inch of water per day, it could be a leak.

2. Bucket Test

Use this test to confirm the leak. You need to place a five-gallon bucket with some water inside it near the supposed leak. Mark the line at the water level. Leave it for 24 hours and check the level of the water to confirm the leak.

3. Locate

It is important to locate where the leak is with the ink test method. You can use dark food coloring for this.

Instant Fixes

How to Patch a Pool Liner 3These fixes are useful but may come off. It is best to replace your pool liner with a permanent and quality fixture. They can be used either on dry or wet surfaces.

Waterproof Tapes

This is useful for very small patches as they can peel. They are waterproof and resistant to UV rays. This tape can be used by overlapping. They are inexpensive and easy to use.

Peel and Stick the Patch

These are similar to tapes but are made of vinyl and are made for pools. They are also inexpensive and just have to be stuck over the tear.

Vinyl Patch Kit

These are to be used for a larger sized hole and for a more permanent fix.

Should You Patch It Dry or Wet?

Patching your pool liner dry is okay. But if your pool is filled with water, you need not drain it to fix a tear. You can patch the pool underwater.

How to Patch Your Pool Under the Water?

It is best to patch your pool underwater itself unless the tear drained the water. In the case of above ground pools, draining water can cause the walls of the pool to collapse. In the case of an inground pool, draining water can cause the floor to pop out if not cautious.

If your pool with a vinyl liner is drained out, it makes the liner brittle due to UV rays.


Substances such as Algae, sunscreen, dirt make adhesion to the pool liner a challenge. You need to clean the liner all around the tear. Avoid scrubbing as this will enlarge the hole.


Trim the patch to a circle larger than the hole. It should be 2 inches more than the diameter of the hole.

Apply the Adhesive

If using peel and stick patched, the paperback needs to be removed. In case of other patches, apply a lot of adhesive. Ensure it has covered all the edges, too.

Fold the Patch

Fold the patch into half, keeping the adhesive side outwards.

How to Patch a Pool Liner 4Sticking It

Keeping the patch on top of the hole, open the folded patch and smoothen it over the hole. Remove air bubbles by pressing it and keep it held for 2 minutes. You need to leave the adhesive to cure it. Avoid removing it to check.

Keeping Weight on It

A few patches recommend placing weight on top of it for around 24 hours. Placing weight on top of the pool’s wall is next to impossible. But in the case of the pool floor, you can keep weight like a brick on it.

Placing Another Patch on It

Double-patching the tear is not wrong or harmful. You need to make sure the first patch completely cures before placing the second patch. The second patch needs to be cut 2 inches larger than the first one. It has got to stick to the first patch and the pool liner, both.


Sometimes, patches are not enough to seal the tear. But patches can be a temporary fix till you buy a new pool liner. If the patch starts peeling out, apply adhesive again, and stick them. But your pool can contain a leak with a pool liner patch for a few years before it gives up!

It is best to learn how to fix your pool liner yourself. This will save you money as well as time.


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