HELP! I'm new here. We have lived in this house ten years and the in ground pool was already here. We have totally replaced the filter, added a heater and an electric cover. IN the past couple years we have developed some leaks from small tears in the liner on the top stair leading down into the pool. This year it's bad. The liner has gotten extremely brittle. At the same time it is pulling away from metal frame backing. In one corner I have about a 4" gap. (Looks like the shape of a small football) The liner can't be stretched anymore because it's so brittle. I live in a "one pool shop" town and their advice is "replace the liner" which is totally OUT of my budget this year. I have attempted to repair it myself, being Ms. Fix it that I am but I don't know if it will hold and need more ideas. (Our pool company patched a big "V" tear several years ago in the deep end but won't tell us what type of glue they used)
I ended up buying some vinyl pool repair kits online. I also bought some waterproof silicone called "LockTite." I have tropical fish and this stuff seemed just a bit more reliable that aquarium sealer. I used it to fill in any tear that had a gap that I couldn't pull together. I used the kids and the adhesive that came with it to make small patches and slowly cover each and every tear (They seemed to locate themselves on each end of the stair) There were also some good size rips along the edge of the stair. Since the liner had pulled away from the back it was wrinkled in places, especially by the cracks in the stairs. In the end, I used the silicone Locktite to put final patches on, and after filling in the gaps on the stair, to put patches over it. On top of this my husband bought these cutsie tile looking things. They are sticky and you're supposed to use them around the rim of your pool to make it look like you've tiled it. I put those on top of all the patches. For the sagging/pulling away from the back of the liner I used primarily the Locktite to just glue it to the back. I tried a little expoxy and I think if I had to do it over that's what I would have used. (and then put a line of the silicone over the edge for secondary protection) In the big gap on the corner I cut out a patch using a beach ball and simply used the Locktite to glue it to the metal wall behind and the edge of the liner effectively extending the liner to the wall and not allowing any water to splash in and leak out.
So far the pool is holding water. I'm concerned that the chemicals are going to eat up the Silicone tho. The patches I put on using the LockTite on the cracks along the stair have all come off. The silicone is still there tho so nothing is leaking.
Can anyone here PLEASE tell me a better way in case I have to start over? What kind of glue should I use and where should I get it????? What is the best thing to use to patch with? (Walmart had a above pool liner marked down that I almost bought to cut up for patches)
I had one other brainy idea. I bought some "liquid rubber." Perma-Flex I think was the brand. Seemed like a great idea until I realized the epoxy paint I needed to paint over it only came in "two" one gallon cans and was going to run another $200. By the time I spend that much I could of had a good downpayment on a new liner. (alas it would just be on the credit card tho) Buying a new liner this year is out of the question. I'm not sure we'll even be able to afford it next year and may have to shut the pool down unless "I" come up with a great patching plan. Any help anyone here could provide we would be much appreciated. I know it seems a huge task, but I'm up to it. Thanks, Cat