Hole in Vinyl Liner - How to repair it?

cmcnitt

Active member
Jul 19, 2007
37
#1
I have had a floating vinyl liner in the shallow end of my inground pool this whole season. It has gotten better lately but just today I found the source of the water under the liner. I have a 2" tear/hole in the liner that was hidden under a crease that had formed . I would like to patch it up myself but needed some advice on what to buy and how to do it, especially how to lay it down on a permanent crease in the liner.

On a side note, is there anything that can be done for the creases that form in the liner? I likely need to replace the liner next year anyway but would like to try to smooth it out if possible.
 

waste

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 29, 2007
4,160
Coastalish 'down easter'
#3
Patching a liner isn't all that complicated - you need a piece of new liner large enough to cover the hole and some liner patch adhesive (Boxer 100 is probably the best) a pair of decent scissors and I like to use a wallpaper seam roller to help apply the patch. For patches on the floor I don SCUBA gear, a new patch needs to be worked for a few minutes to insure that it doesn't just peel right off. To properly apply a patch, cut a n piece of new liner material so that it is large enough to cover the tear with ~3/4" overlap and be sure to round off any corners unrounded patches come off fairly easily. Apply a thick, even coat of the adhesive to the back of the patch and fold it in half so that it's glue to glue. Unfold the patch right at the leak and apply it - this is where I use the seam roller roll the patch from the center out using good pressure on the patch then spend a minute or two rolling around the edge of the patch.

This won't work if there is a crease where the patch needs to go - if you have water behind the liner you should be able to push the creases back to the walls. If you don't have water behind the liner, you can try using a toilet plunger to work out the wrinkles - as a last measure (if your liner has enough elasticity to be able to move the creases you can lower the water in the pool, work out the wrinkles and use a vac to hold the wrinkles out while the pool refills. - I wouldn't want to try this with an older liner or one that has been chemically abused - too much chance of ruining the liner)

If you need a little more help with either patching a liner or removing wrinkles - simply ask :)
 

cobra46

LifeTime Supporter
May 31, 2007
467
Rocklin, Ca
#4
Although I live in an area of the country where vinyl pools are almost non existent, that's the kind of advice that really makes me glad you are back on board.

Advice like that is why I chose to support this site.

Thanks to all of our industry insiders. :cheers:
 
May 26, 2009
19
#5
ok before i try this...should i get some Boxer 100 or would the adhesive that came with the pool work as well? someone said i should try putting inside as well as outside. what do you guys think. i just want this to work out so bad!!! the pool is currently empty so we will be spreading the area out flat and try this...anybody care to come by and supervise??? well wish me luck and that i'm floating soon!! any more suggestions i'd be happy to have come my way. thanks so much for takin the time. good group here!! Linda :wink:
 

waste

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 29, 2007
4,160
Coastalish 'down easter'
#6
As I do mostly IG liner pools, it's often impossible to patch the underside of the liner. If you can get under the liner, by all means patch the backside too :!: And put 2 patches if you need to on either side, put the first one on, as per above, and then cut another patch to be ~ 3/4" larger than the first and apply it after the glue has set on the first one, the more protection for the hole in the liner, the better it will stay sealed for the life of the liner 8) :wink:

Welcome to TFP Zoodog!!!
 
May 26, 2009
19
#7
thanks waste!! still not so patiently waiting for repair kit. almost ready to use the one that came with it but have it in my head that this boxer 100 will be best.
 

Craig

LifeTime Supporter
May 24, 2007
116
Staten Island NY
#8
As usual, thank god for this site! Didn't think this was a do it yourselfer but I know feel empowered to do so.

Thanks to a wind storm last weekend, my gazebo decided to take a swim with me and the kids last weekend. Fortunately no one was hurt! I initially did not notice any damage to the pool until I notice the water level getting rather low. I initially chalked it up to evaporation (weather has been very hot) but today I noticed a tear/gap about 1-2 inches long at the seem where the floor meets the wall. :grrrr:

I ordered the kit and am anxiously waiting for its arrival, however I already have one question. Is it better to use the patch that comes with the kit or an extra piece of liner my pool builder left for me?
Thanks in advance and any additional advice you can provide.
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 23, 2009
22,805
SouthWest Alabama
#9
It's usually better to use a piece of the liner if you have it. It'll come closer to matching the existing liner than a patch probably would. If you're putting it on the back side of the liner it really doesn't matter though.
 

Craig

LifeTime Supporter
May 24, 2007
116
Staten Island NY
#10
Thanks Bama! Still waiting for the glue.

Two follow questions:
1-Am I doing harm waiting for this glue or should I run to the pool store to get it? Obviously the cost of water is starting to concern me.
2-Does this explain why the liner appears to have a large bubble behind it, primarily above the water line? The bubble is in the shallow end which is also where the leak is? I'm assuming its not air but water?
 

waste

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 29, 2007
4,160
Coastalish 'down easter'
#11
Is the 'bubble' new since the leak or, was it there before? If there was always something behind the liner, it may have just worn through to cause the leak.

There's also the chance that wall foam, if you have it, has floated in that area - gently feel the bubble and let us know if it's hard or soft.

As a temporary patch, a lot of floating pool toys come with some self adhesive, thin patch material - which should at least ~plug the leak until you can do the job correctly :cool:
 

Craig

LifeTime Supporter
May 24, 2007
116
Staten Island NY
#12
Thanks waste!

I noticed the bubble before the leak but only shortly before (maybe a week). Perhaps I already had the leak and the gazebo made it worse.

The bubble is very soft. Feels lik air. My thought is the water behind the liner is pushing up air to this area that is trapped. I also have no experience in this, therefore I maybe completely off base. :oops:

Fortunately, my pool builder, added a PVC line that allows me to attach a shop vac, to pull back the liner. Once I properly repair, I'll try sucking out the water and/or air form this added PVC line.
 

waste

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 29, 2007
4,160
Coastalish 'down easter'
#13
Sounds good, however - the weight of the water would crush any air bubble behind the liner, hence my thought that it could be floated/ wrinkled wall foam.

Please let us know how the patch holds, once you are able to apply it :cool:
 

sher920

New member
Jul 10, 2010
4
#16
I have a hole about 2" long along a wrinkle in my inground pool. The wrinkle is longer than the hole and there are what looks like cracks on one side of the hole. I tried to repair with an underwater repair kit but it looks like there is water under the patch and the water level was low this morning. I have an extra piece of the liner left behind by the previous owners. Would it be better to try to cvoer the hole with a piece of the original liner? Can I cover over my failed patch?? Any help would be appreciated I regret buying a house with a pool. :?
 

waste

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 29, 2007
4,160
Coastalish 'down easter'
#17
Sher920, welcome to TFP!!

(Go grab yourself a drink, I've got some bad news :cry: )

It sounds to me like the liner is old or was chemically abused(the cracks give it away). Patching on a wrinkle is almost impossible :evil: (see my earlier post)

You can certainly try applying 1 or more patches over the existing one, unfortunately - the larger the patch, the more chance it has of failing :(

I am loath to say that I think you need a new liner, but it's my honest assessment.

On the bright side, once you get this problem taken care of, you should not have any more problems with the pool (other than age induced equipment issues) - as long as you follow the methods we advocate here. This may not seem like such a silver lining, but it's a LOT better than what you'd get from following most pool store's advice.

I'm sorry to have had to tell you this!
 

sher920

New member
Jul 10, 2010
4
#18
Thanks for your help!! That's what I was afraid of!!!! They told us the liner was only 3 or 4 years old when they sold us the house... but then we found out he used to dump bags of shock directly into the pool. The sand filter cracked and had to be replaced this week so with a new liner we're on our way to having an almost new pool. Guess I'll go have that drink now!!
 

Craig

LifeTime Supporter
May 24, 2007
116
Staten Island NY
#19
Sorry to hear the new posts but I just wanted to put some closure on my experience.

As I waited for the patch kit, I decided to cut a small round patch out of some left over liner I had laying around. I then laid this patch over the hole to size it up and left it there. Believe it or not it stopped the leak! Without glue. I suppose the weight of the water? Whatever.!?

Once I received the kit I glued the patch down following the instructions on the kit, i.e. use the glue sparingly. I waited one week with no issues. I then covered up this 1st patch with a slightly larger round patch and I appear to still be in good shape.

I think I'm in the clear and wish the rest of you good luck! Thanks for the help eveyone!