How to repair a torn swimming pool liner

Updated December 21, 2016

Vinyl swimming pools offer many hours of back garden entertainment for your family. No matter how careful you are, though, at some point the vinyl pool liner may need a pool patch kit to take care of either a small tear or a pinhole leak. While the patch may not last indefinitely, it should at least get you through the end of the swimming season when you can drain the pool and replace the liner. The pool patch kit may actually last for several years depending on the size of the hole in the vinyl pool liner.

Assess the damage to your swimming pool. Locate the hole or holes. If you are doing a patch job, you need to find all the leaks. Determine if the leaks are above or below water. This makes a difference in the type of patch you buy. Also decide if you can lower the water level enough to repair the vinyl pool liner dry. Do not attempt to drain the pool more than a couple inches to repair the liner because this may cause the pool walls to collapse.

Buy the appropriate pool patch kit for your vinyl pool liner. Choose either an underwater or above water kit. While most pool patches are transparent, if your swimming pool is a particular colour, you may need to look for a kit that matches the colour of your vinyl pool liner. Some kits require you to apply adhesive to the vinyl patch, while others only require you to peel the backing from the vinyl repair patch. For small patches, you can buy a tube of vinyl repair glue.

Repair the holes above the water line. Be careful not to get the work area wet as you apply the patch. Dab a small amount of vinyl repair glue onto small pinholes and smooth it out to dry. Use a peel-and-stick adhesive patch on larger holes. Work out all the air bubbles in the patch as you apply it. Make sure to seal the edges tightly by pressing firmly around the edges.

Cut a piece of underwater repair vinyl large enough to cover the hole or tear. Round the corners of the patch. Spread the adhesive on the vinyl and fold the vinyl piece together with the glue on the inside. Put on your goggles and go under water to place the patch. Open the pre-glued piece of repair vinyl and put it in place. Work out the air bubbles and seal the edges. Stay away from the patch for at least 48 hours. It usually takes at least a week for the glue in this type of patch to fully cure.


Avoid adding undiluted water treatment chemicals to your pool. These strong chemical agents can weaken the structure of the vinyl pool liner and make it more susceptible to getting holes and tears.

Things You'll Need

  • Pool patch kit
  • Scissors
  • Underwater goggles or face mask
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About the Author

Denise Brown is an education professional who wanted to try something different. Two years and more than 500 articles later, she's enjoying her freelance writing experience for online resources such as and other online information sites. Brown holds a master's degree in history education from Truman State University.