Swimming pools that utilize a vinyl pool liners such as above ground pools and select in-ground pools will occasionally tear or puncture. As the vinyl liner becomes older it can weaken and is more prone to deterioration. Patching a vinyl pool liner can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a new liner.
Can I Patch?
Vinyl pool liners when they tear or puncture can be visible to the naked eye. In the event you find the tear, it can be patched with a repair kit. Duct tape should only be seen as a temporary solution until a proper repair kit is purchased. Duct tape will not adhere properly to the liner and will allow a certain degree of permeation which will continue to cause the liner to leak. Duct tape is also unsightly an can ruin the aesthetic value of your swimming pool.
Visit your local pool supply retailer or preferred online retailer and purchase a vinyl repair kit. Vinyl repair kits come with either a thin piece of plastic or vinyl that can be cut to size and self adheres to the existing pool liner. These patches can be applied above water or underwater. There is no need to drain the pool in order to patch it. If the tear is near the water line, you can drain the pool a few inches below the water line to adhere the patch. This will not damage the liner or pool walls.
Do Not Drain
Many people may automatically assume that draining the pool is necessary for proper patching of a pool liner. This is not the case because draining the pool can ruin the liner permanently. As the water fills up inside the pool, your vinyl liner stretches to take form and the weight of the water creates a tight fit. When the pool is drained the liner will shrink and you may not be able to fill the pool back up. If you attempt to fill it up after the liner shrinks it may cause the pool wall to cave in and collapse.
Holes in the liner can be hard to find. Evaporation and regular pool usage require you to fill the pool up occasionally. If you suspect a leak in the liner but cannot find a hole, perform a test with a five-gallon bucket. Fill the bucket up and mark the top of the water line with a marker. Mark the water line inside the vinyl pool. Wait 24 hours. If the water level in the pool drops more than the water level in the bucket, then you have a leak somewhere in the liner.