Repair Main Drain or Vinyl Over?


New member
Jul 22, 2020
Ontario, Canada
We have an older pool, at least 30 years old. It's an old-style rectangular pool with no drop-in stairs or other features. At some point the pool probably needs a full renovation to modernize it (coping, put in those stairs, etc.) but that's not in our budget.

We've only lived here 3 years so we don't have a good history of the pool, but we have never had a functioning main drain. We need a liner replacement, so we paid a company to come out and scope the lines and we were told that the main drain is cracked in several places. It's an expensive repair, so they suggested that we just pour concrete to block it off and vinyl over it when we replace the liner. Right now, we have a small leak in our liner that has been patched but isn't holding well.

Is this a wise choice? We have a terrible time opening the pool due to lack of agitation in the water, but it generally stays well balanced during the season because it gets enough use and we maintain chemicals well.

Our problem is that:
1) Companies that would do the pool repair and a liner replacement are basically booked solid, so I don't even think I'll get a quote this year for that kind of work.
2) If we spend that kind of money, it probably makes sense to commit to a full pool renovation.

I have two quotes from companies that do only liner replacements that are reasonable, so we are debating just blocking off the main drain, replace the liner over top of it, and save a pool renovation for another decade when this liner goes.

Thoughts from the experts? Neither of us have experience with pools beyond this one we have now (we didn't grow up with them), so I feel like we're swimming blind in a lot of these choices.


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
Laughlin, NV
Welcome to the forum!
Cover up the main drain. In reality, they do very little. Having a sump pump on hand to drain water for any reason is a good idea when you do not have a main drain.
Do you have an automated cleaner of any kind? Those run daily or at least several times per week keep the water mixed well.
I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry.


In The Industry
Jul 20, 2017
Windsor, Ontario. Canada
I'll go the other way guys. Have a main drain on my own pool and use it a lot to mix the water and keep it "even" for lack of a better word. Also when i brush i just push it towards the drain and it pulls in any junk if its in there. You already have it so I would use.