Best Pool Repair Patch

Best Pool Repair Patch [Above Ground / Vinyl]

Despite your best efforts, pool liners may tear up due to natural reasons or excessive pressure applied by a few users. Good news is that a pool repair patch may be all you need to get your pool back in good working order if leak is small.


Pool Leak in Inground Pool Liner

An inground pool built using a metal or concrete base is also prone to leaks in the pool liner. Consistent water flow is capable of causing concrete erosion. Though the deterioration is slow and unnoticeable, the damage it causes is very expensive.

Soil erosion under the deck can create a liquid pocket. This leads to the instability of the deck, which eventually caves in—detecting the after leak effects are problematic as you need to rip off the vinyl liner completely to find or fix these issues.

Pool Leak in Above Ground Pool Liner

When dealing with above ground pool, the tears can increase in size quickly, and repairing them will become difficult. It can cost you a lot more as you might need to replace the entire pool liner.

The above-ground pool leaks on the pool wall are more annoying. If they are near the top rail, you might lose only a few inches of water level. However, if the leak on the pool wall is below half its height, it can hardly hold any water as it drains to the hole level.

While draining is one issue, the other problem is dealing with a swamp it creates in your yard. The leaking water from the pool walls makes the surrounding a muddy mess leading to weakness in the surrounding area.

So, repairing the leaks when they are small and new is a feasible solution than waiting until they cause an issue. You can use duct tape for small leaks as a temporary solution and a larger vinyl patch for bigger holes. However, the duct-taped pool walls do not hold for much time and need better patches to last longer.

Best Pool Repair Patch [Above Ground / Vinyl]

Leak or Evaporation?

When you observe that your pool is losing water much faster than usual, the first thought would be to look for leaks. In general, there is a loss of ¼ to 1/2 inches of water from the pool due to evaporation. If it is higher than an inch, it is time to check for leaks.

Bucket Test

You can easily confirm if it is evaporation or a leak when doing the bucket test. Place a 5-gallon bucket on the pool step or a shallow end where the pool water is at least 5 inches deep. Fill it with water to an inch higher than the pool water level. This ensures that the bucket does not float away.  Mark the water level on the inside of the bucket and the pool water level on the outside of the bucket.

Leave it for 24 hours in the pool and measure both the levels. The loss should be equal if it is evaporation. If the loss of water on the outside is more than the loss of water on the outside, then it is a leak.

Three points to keep in mind while performing this test.

  • It should not exceed 24 hours
  • Keep the pool pump turned off
  • It should not rain

How to Check For Leaks in a Vinyl Pool Liner?

Once you confirm that there are leaks in your pool using the bucket test, you need to repair them.

Ink Method

The ink method effectively pinpoints the leak when you have a general idea of where the leak might be. It is performed using a dark food coloring or a leak finder dye. Put on your goggles as it helps you see clearly when working underwater.

Once you find a suspected leak area, squirt the dye in the vicinity of the leak. If the leak is close enough, the dye indicates the exact place by moving towards it and seeping through the leak.

Keep in mind that you should try and stay as still as possible while doing this test. Your movements can disturb the dye, and it might not move in the right direction in such a case.

This search can also be performed professionally using high-end instruments to find the exact location. They deliver quick and easy results but are also expensive.

When it is an underground plumbing leak, skimmer leak, tile leak, or shell leak, you might need a professional to fix them. On the other hand, liner leaks are easily fixed using a patch kit.

Process of Repairing a Pool Patch Underwater

When your water level drops below the leak, you will have a chance to apply a dry patch. However, it is not mandatory to drain the pool water to apply a patch. There are quality wet patches that deliver good results.

As draining pool water unnecessarily damages the pool, knowing how to repair it underwater is the best way to go.

Things you need:

  • Craft stick to spread adhesive
  • Soft cleaning pad
  • Patching vinyl
  • Scissors to cut
  • Swimming goggles to see underwater
  • Vinyl adhesive
  • Brick wrapped in plastic wrap for weight

1. Gently Clean Around the Tear

Gently clean around the hole for good adhesion around the tear. Use a soft cleaning pad and not an abrasive one as it increases the risk of tears becoming bigger. Make sure you gently loosen any algae, debris, or sunscreen residue in the pool area.

2. Cut Out a Round Vinyl Patch

The round shape of the patch trim is more durable because of no sharp edges. Make sure you keep a room of 1 inch extra on all sides of the patch. If the tear is 4 inches long, your vinyl patch should be 6 inches in diameter.

3. Apply Adhesive Using a Craft Stick

Apply a generous amount of adhesive to the debris-free vinyl patch. Ensure the glue reaches the edge of the patch. Using a peel and stick underwater patches, you can skip this part and peel off the paper backing.

4. Folding the Patch

Fold the patch with the sticky side facing inwards to look like a taco. Please do not fold and press it too hard as the sides can stick to each other, and the patch becomes unusable. Once underwater, you can separate them quickly and stick them without losing the integrity of the glue. Even timing is important here. Do not wait too long after folding the patch.

5. Sticking the Patch

Now go into the pool. Open the patch near the hole and smoothen it over the tear. Make sure to press out the air bubbles and hold them in position for 2 more minutes. As you are doing this underwater, wearing goggles can improve your visibility. Do not tug on the patch before the curing period mentioned in the instructions. The adhesive bond will not be strong enough if you cannot resist the urge and pull on it before it cures.

6. Applying Weight

You cannot put weight on all pool parts but wherever possible. Weighing down a patch gives more reliable results. If the instructions call for weighing down a patch, it is best to use a brick wrapped in plastic. You might need to keep it so for 24 hours or so.

Intex Pool Patching

Soft-sided Intex pools are patched easily using patch kits. They come with blue vinyl, clear vinyl, and laminated PVC. The PVC patch is used for exterior walls, blue vinyl is used for interiors, and clear vinyl for the top part of the pool.

Peel and stick patches are also a good option for these pools. Using them, you can perform the pool repair way more easily.

It is similar to the process described above for most pool parts. However, the top ring part is a little different. You should inflate the ring fully and then mark the hole. Apply adhesive around the marking and to the clear patch. Stick it to the affected area by pressing it for a few seconds.

Deflate the top ring slightly to release tightness, allowing the pressure to ease when the adhesive cures. After applying the patch, 12 hours are passed, and you can reinflate it normally.

Patching the Pool is Not an All-time Solution

If your liner is nearing its promised lifetime, say it is around 15 years which is almost time to replace it, then replace the liner. Patching it can only give you time to keep your pool from getting further damaged but cannot hold for long. It only gives you a reasonable time window before it becomes a full-blown disaster.

You should know that the pool liner is not forever despite using the best possible solution and the strongest adhesive. As the need for patching up arises, you should start budgeting for a new liner. It goes from one to two and more easily and quickly. Double patching can work for a while for young liners, but patches are temporary.

In the event its no longer economically feasible to keep pool another option may to have the pool removed using a professional pool removal services.

Types of Pool Patches for Vinyl Liners

Easily visible vinyl liner leaks that are not in a tricky area are easy to fix. Many pool patch kits are available to purchase for a reasonable price. You can simply follow the instructions on the kit and fix your pool leaks using these patches.

You can patch the liner in either the wet patch method or the dry patch method, depending on the size of the hole. There are patches available for repairing different sizes of vinyl leaks.

UV Resistant Waterproof Tape

Though not specifically marketed as pool repairing products, these clear tapes serve the purpose well. As it is UV resistant, it can gracefully handle the effect of outdoor sun exposure. Their waterproof nature makes them apt for pool repair. This tape is a quick, durable, and low-cost solution for pool patch jobs. Above all, it is convenient to patch small to big holes as you can layer the tape as necessary. Gorilla Crystal Clear Duct Tape is one such reliable product in this category.

Peel-and-Stick Vinyl Patches

These peel and stick patches are suitable for ground and inflatable pools. Real vinyl material offers better reliability. The circular patches available in this product are less likely to peel off after application.

You need to peel the backing and press it firmly over the leak. It works best for small tears and punctures. This is another economical and durable solution for your pool repair.

Vinyl Pool Patch Kit

They are perfect for long-term solutions. Also, the best choice for larger holes is for a tight seal.  These kits come with large liner chunks loaded with underwater-friendly vinyl adhesives. Few kits come with a piece of polyvinyl chloride material, also known as PVC. This special laminated patch is helpful to use on soft-side walls of above-ground pools.

Top Pool Repair Patch Products

Check out these best pool patch products for choosing the one that fits your requirement perfectly.

#1 Gorilla Waterproof Patch & Seal Tape

Gorilla Waterproof Patch & Seal Tape 4" x 10' White, (Pack of 1)
  • PERMANENT: Creates a permanent bond that instantly seals out air, water, and moisture.
  • INDOOR / OUTDOOR USE: Gorilla Waterproof Patch & Seal tape works great on indoor and outdoors repairs and even under water.
  • EXTRA THICK: Has an extra thick adhesive layer and UV resistant backing.
  • FLEXIBLE: Conforms to the surface to repair holes, cracks, gaps, and tears.
  • FIXES LEAKS: Repairs leaks in roofs, rubber, plastic or vinyl pool liners, and so much more
  • 2X more tape than other 5 ft. flexible tapes

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03/21/2023 06:32 am GMT

This tape is waterproof and comes with dimensions of 4′′ x 10′.

Its extra thickness keeps it durable for a year and sturdy during pool cleaning. It is simple and ideal for rips around 2” in size.

Permanent bond that seals out air, water, moistureCutting the thick tape is difficult
Extra thick layer with UV resistant backingCannot reposition because of extra stickiness
Works on both surface holes, and roofs 

#2 PRO Vinyl Pool Liner Patch Kit

PRO Vinyl Pool Liner Patch Kit - Repair kit with 2'x2' Vinyl and Adhesive (Glimmer)
  • Professional Vinyl - Pool Liner Patch Kit
  • Comes with 4 oz of Vinyl Adhesive used by the pros.
  • Comes with premium pool liner vinyl - 2'x2' square.

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03/21/2023 06:08 am GMT

The 2’x2’ vinyl is large enough to cover big holes. This kit comes with the necessary adhesive. Repairs done using this kit have a longer life expectancy. Many people prefer vinyl repair kits despite their cost because of the long-time protection they offer.

Easy to useNot for high traffic areas
Ample amount of adhesive and patchAdhesive leaves a dark blue smudge around the patch

#3 Swimline Vinyl Pool Liner Patch Kit

Swimline Vinyl Pool Liner Patch Kit
  • Vinyl liner patch kit for patching small vinyl liner pinholes and tears
  • Everything you need for effective underwater patching
  • Kit contains 4 23 x 6 inch clear patches
  • Contains 4 ounces of vinyl adhesive that will work under water and applicator

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03/21/2023 02:09 pm GMT

You can seal any rips in the vinyl from tears to pinholes quite easily using this product. It has a good hold-up reputation. It comes with two vinyl patches and two clear patches. Even when you have more than one hole in your pool, you can easily fix them without any issues.

Generous amount of adhesive and patchDoes not come with instructions
Works well even in deep ends 

#4 Outus Self-Adhesive Vinyl Repair Patch Kit

Outus Self-Adhesive Vinyl Repair Patch Plastic Repair Patches Kit for Swimming Pools Inflatable Boats Products (30 Pieces, 6 x 6 cm)
  • Easy to use: thanks to the self-adhesive back, all you need to do is to cut the patch into the shape you want and apply it to the target area, press the area with heavy things for several minutes can achieve better results, very convenient to operate, providing you with fast, instant repairs to rips or holes on various inflatable products

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03/21/2023 04:09 pm GMT

It is an ideal product for inflatable swimming pools. You need to cut out a patch in the required size and apply it where necessary. Then press that area for several minutes or leave a weight on it if possible. The PVC material is tough and has considerable durability. The 30 clear small stickers are plenty to use for many places.

Very easy to useCreases and leaks if not applied as per instructions
Ample amount of product 
Works on both surface holes, and roofs 

#5 Poolmaster 30279 Pool Patch Kit

Poolmaster 30279 Wet/Dry Vinyl Liner Pool Patch Repair Kit, 4 Ounce, Blue
  • Vinyl liner pool repair kit is great for repairing small holes and tears on vinyl liner pools, pool floats, inflatable pools, inflatable toys and other vinyl products
  • This vinyl adhesive works under water for a wet application to tackle tough vinyl liner pool repairs or as dry application
  • The fast-drying, secure hold adhesive also repairs leaks in pool floats, inflatable boats, inflatable pools, water toys, beach balls, or other vinyl items leaking air or water

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03/21/2023 04:48 pm GMT

This pool patch kit is multi-purpose as it can be used for both wet and dry applications. It comes with high strength and fast-drying adhesive in the kit. You get everything you need to apply the patch in this set. The glue applicator, adhesive, and patch material are included.

Works well for both underwater and dry patchingNot long lasting
Strong and fast-drying adhesive 
Very easy to use 

How to Purchase a Pool Patch?

Are you wondering the most important factor to consider when patching a pool liner? Coming to the life expectancy of a pool patch, it is better to base it on the stability of your liner rather than the size of the patch required. The newer it is, it is fit for even handling large tears for patch up but as it grows old, patch it up anyway but still plan on replacing it soon.

As the liner ages, it thins out, meaning more leaks are coming up soon. Especially if your liner is 15 years old, consider replacing it before spending too much on patches.

If the spot needing a patch is a high traffic spot or high-stress area, patches at these places do not hold well for a long time—for instance, foot of stairs, heavyweight fittings, beads, etc.

Consider these important points when looking to purchase a pool patch kit.

  • If you need a wet application patch or a dry one?
  • Do you need a matching liner or a clear patch?
  • How big should the diameter of the patch be?
  • Is it the high-stress area or low traffic area?
  • How much of a DIY expert are you?
  • What is your planned budget?
  • How much durability are you expecting from the repair?
  • Do you have enough time to allow the patch to cure?

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the pool patch used?

A pool patch is used to eliminate leaks in the pools. Depending on how big the rip is, it can be done using large vinyl sheets to small peel of stickers. The quality of the patch material, workmanship of the application, and pool usage will determine the durability of this patch.
They are temporary fixes and can offer at most 10 years for a considerably new liner. Vinyl pool liners are easy to rip, and the patching process is tricky if you are not a DIY person.

Does a pool patch work?

Yes, pool patches are for real, and they do offer excellent protection from losing water in your swimming pool. They come in vinyl sheets and adhesives as a kit or in the form of ready to glue stickers. Few people use waterproof tapes as a pool patch—even those work depending on the hole size, location, and usage.

What is the life expectancy of a pool patch?

Pool patches do patch up small holes in your pool but do not have the same life expectancy as your pool. They might sometimes come off after a few years as their edges curl up or snag. If the hole’s size is bigger, there are higher chances of the patch giving away quicker. However, the good news is if they fall off by themselves, we can patch them up for good again for a few more years.
A pool patch easily lasts pretty well for two years when done correctly without air bubbles. It can go longer than that, but that is a reasonable expectation. Rest depends on your water chemistry, installation of the patch, and other such factors. Remember, they are just a band-aid but not the permanent solution for the rip.

What is effective in patching vinyl Pool?

You have several options to patch your pool based on the pool type. When your pool has a vinyl liner, you can use a vinyl patch for a strong and durable patch and waterproof tape for an instant and quick solution. Vinyl patches come in self-adhesive types that require glue application before using them.

Can you patch a pool without draining it?

Yes, you can patch a pool without draining it. You just need to use the right product for this purpose. Most products are installable underwater. However, make sure that the product you are about to use mentions that. Since draining pools have a lot of adverse effects, it is best to go for such products when you need to repair liner in wet conditions.

Final Words

Swimming pools leak from time to time as they age. The trickiest part is to search for the leak, which requires a lot of patience. After reading this article, you might have gained a better insight into fixing your pool liner easily. Choosing a good quality product will keep you at peace as it lasts longer.

Also, remember many things can go wrong with your pool, and fixing only the liner might not be enough sometimes. Do a thorough inspection before concluding that it is just a rip and does not have any other larger issues.  If the leak is due to a tear in the liner, you can prolong their life using pool patches. Else, it is better to call a professional for help.