Help with patching under water!

thefloatqueen

Bronze Supporter
Dec 24, 2018
665
Columbus, OH
So my trouble free pool is giving me trouble lol. I knew the day would come after getting lucky two summers in a row. I have a small leak/hole on the floor of my Intex Ultra Frame pool and I need to patch it ASAP! It is a slow leak but I’m sick of having to add hose water every 1-2 days. I believe it was caused by a small rock. I’m NOT draining it and need advice on how to go about patching it underwater and any patch repair kit recommendations! Thank you in advance!

- Troubled Float Queen :(
 

Pauls234

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 4, 2012
475
Chicago, IL
I am assuming you have located the leak which is often the hardest part.

I had to patch my previous liner before I replaced a few years back and it is pretty simple. Just make sure whatever patch kit you buy specifically states it is for underwater. They will include directions, but I seem to recall it wasn't much more than cutting the patch material to size, apply the patching glue, fold in half so glue sides are in contact with each other, jump in and then unfold it onto the area that needs patching and kind of press it into place, massaging from the center of patch out to the edges.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
46,769
Tallahassee, FL
The hardest part AFTER you find the hole is staying under the water. Get someone you trust to hold your legs to help you stay down long enough to do about above fix-cut the patch with rounded edges. You will want two patches. One just over the hole then one slightly bigger over the first one. I also wear a diving mask to help me see things clearer.

Good luck!
 

Casey

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 16, 2007
11,537
SW PA
The hardest part AFTER you find the hole is staying under the water. Get someone you trust to hold your legs to help you stay down long enough to do about above fix-cut the patch with rounded edges. You will want two patches. One just over the hole then one slightly bigger over the first one. I also wear a diving mask to help me see things clearer.

Good luck!
Agree.
 

jseyfert3

Bronze Supporter
Oct 20, 2017
979
South-Central WI
The hardest part AFTER you find the hole is staying under the water. Get someone you trust to hold your legs to help you stay down long enough to do about above fix-cut the patch with rounded edges. You will want two patches. One just over the hole then one slightly bigger over the first one. I also wear a diving mask to help me see things clearer.
This. You want a helper in general, for a number of reasons.

If I may regale you with my underwater patching tale, it may be helpful. Firstly, I correctly realized I wanted something to help hold me down. I decided to put a large landscape brick in a backpack, to act as a weight. Somewhat ironic, as a falling landscape brick had punctured the hole in the first place, but that's besides the point. Putting the backpack on, I sat on the top of the pool ladder and put on a diving mask and some disposable gloves (so I wasn't touching the liquid glue). I then took the patch I had cut, opened the glue and smeared it over the patch. I then fumbled to get the cap back on the bottle, only to start panicing when the patch started turning white from the glue and I realized I needed to get that patch on now. I folded it in half and rushed over the the hole...which I couldn't find! After a bit of searching I finally found it and dove beneath the water to put the patch on, only to find that the air trapped in the backpack countered the weight of the brick and was pulling me up instead of helping me down. I shrugged out of the backpack and blew the air out of my lungs so I'd sink, and slapped the patch on, but because I had to exhale to stay down I couldn't stay down long. So I had to go up and down a few times to press the patch on and make sure it was secure. After all this, it seems the patch has held, though one corner got rolled over and stuck. I'm rather lucky it stayed at all, given the sequence of events that delayed the patch. Not to mention the whole diving and breath holding isn't smart to do by yourself, there's a thing called shallow water blackout that comes from extended breath holding. 0 out of 10, do not recommend.

I'd recommend:
  1. Get in the pool along with a helper.
  2. Put on a diving mask and some disposable gloves.
  3. Position yourself and your helper directly over the hole, so you know where it is once the glue is on the patch.
  4. Apply the glue, hand the tube to your helper (or have the helper apply the glue), fold the patch.
  5. Have your helper hold you down as you dive and apply the patch.
With the helper, it should go much smoother and safer than my patching attempt. The actual patching is pretty easy, it's the prep work and helper that will make all the difference.
 

DigbyAllen

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 9, 2012
132
Westchester, NY
I'll second/third/fourth what everyone else has said. In the 7 seasons I've had my Intex pool I've had to patch it twice, and both are still holding so I guess I did something right. I used this kit purchased on Amazon. The brand really doesn't matter. Just make sure it is for underwater use. For the patch, I used a piece of my actual liner that I cut out when I installed my skimmer and saved for this situation. If you have this, great, if not, use what is supplied in the kit. Follow the instructions and round the corners of the patch itself. I was skeptical that the glue would hold underwater, but it does, and surprisingly well.

As others have said, finding the leak is the hardest part. Once you find it, mark it so you don't lose it. Memorize the location and put something heavy on the bottom right next to it, but nothing that will make another hole though haha.

As for the actual process, for safety you really should definitely have a helper or at least an observer. That said, I did it alone. I WOULD NOT WEAR anything that will hold you down. I used a scuba weight belt and put it on the bottom (gently) and just held onto it with one hand while I applied the patch with the other.
 

thefloatqueen

Bronze Supporter
Dec 24, 2018
665
Columbus, OH
Thank you all so much!! My patch kit is on it’s way from Amazon and should be here early this afternoon! Looks like hubby is going to be mad that he has to get in the 77 degree water to dunk me under. Actually, he will probably enjoy that haha
 
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thefloatqueen

Bronze Supporter
Dec 24, 2018
665
Columbus, OH
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Patch kit arrived yesterday! Has anyone tried this one before? I’m not looking forward to it. My water is COLD from these chilly nights!! 😩😩
EDIT: Wait....my kit didn’t come with any glue. Is that sold separately? Omg..
 
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thefloatqueen

Bronze Supporter
Dec 24, 2018
665
Columbus, OH
I want to get this done before I have to add more fill water which will make it even COLDER!!!!! Oh and here is our upcoming forecast.... I have the worst luck, I swear lol

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thefloatqueen

Bronze Supporter
Dec 24, 2018
665
Columbus, OH
BURRRR better jump in and have a warm towel ready for when you get out!
Oh I will. I am not looking forward to this but I’m so sick of adding hose water almost daily!! I lose a little over 1/4 inch a day or up to a half inch on really hot, sunny days. Our fill water has an extremely high TA (300!!!!) so it causes my TA to jump from 70 to 80 to 90 depending on how much water I add. It’s a constant battle. I think there may be a second little puncture from another rock on the other side of the pool floor also so I’m going to patch that one too just to be safe.