How to Repair a Large Rip in a Vinyl Pool Liner

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You can repair a large rip in a vinyl pool liner without the need to drain the pool. Breaches in the vinyl liner should be addressed immediately to avoid more costly repairs. Leaks in a pool liner may cause extensive damage to the outer structure of the pool itself or even create a sinkhole in the surrounding area. A permanent fix can be completed in just a few minutes using a specialized adhesive and patch.

Things You'll Need

  • Yardstick
  • Nylon bristle brush
  • Sandpaper
  • Scissors
  • "Wet" vinyl liner repair kit
  • Squeegee

Step 1

Measure the dimensions of the large rip in the vinyl pool liner using a yardstick. Clean residue from the vinyl in the damaged area using a soft bristle brush. Lightly sand the vinyl material for 5 inches in every direction surrounding the tear.

Step 2

Trim a patch from the repair kit into an oval shape that is twice as long and wide as the large tear. It may be necessary to combine two vinyl patches to form one that is large enough for full coverage. Overlap the two patches by at least two inches and use the adhesive from the kit to glue the overlap together.

Step 3

Apply a thin even layer of the underwater adhesive from the repair kit to the back of the custom cut patch. Some kits come with a special applicator to get even coverage on the patch. Read the directions on the kit as they may instruct you to apply a layer of adhesive to the damaged area as well.

Step 4

Press the adhesive side of the patch onto the large rip. Smooth the patch onto the vinyl liner with a squeegee to force out any trapped air bubbles and form a tight seal. Hold your hand on the patch for 30 seconds to allow the adhesive to set before using the pool.

Tips & Warnings

  • Purchase and install a new vinyl pool liner if the patch fails to stop the leak. Test for a leak in the patch by dropping a few drops of food coloring in the water near the damage site and watching to see if any of the color is sucked into the sides of the patch.
  • Draining a pool with a vinyl liner creates suction pressure that may cause the liner to pull away from the sides of the pool. Repair tears in the liner underwater if at all possible.

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