DIY Pool Liner Patching: Dive In or Call the Pros?

DIY Pool Liner Patching: Dive In or Call the Pros?

At Poolzilla, we understand how frustrating it can be when you discover a leak in your pool liner. Not only can it be a costly repair, but it can also lead to significant water loss and damage to your surrounding landscape! That's why we've developed our Pool Liner Patch Kit – designed specifically for DIY enthusiasts and professionals alike. Confidently tackle those pesky leaks and get back to enjoying your pool in no time.


The number one step for repairs is to identify the leak location.

 Leaks usually present themselves easily, as wet spots in the yard or around the equipment, in higher water bills, dropping water levels, or as wrinkles in the liner. 

  1. Check your equipment: Observe your system with the pump on, as well as off. Check around the plumbing & equipment to be certain there aren’t any cracks or ill-fitting o-rings as the cause.
  2. Dive In: Inspect the pool directly, swim along the edges and floor & note any abnormalities.
  3. Check the Deck: If you notice any disturbance, check the tiles around the spot, and look for wet patches in the lawn nearby.
  4. Leak Detection: Once you’ve identified your potential problem areas, use a leak detection kit to narrow them down. Apply the dye only to the sites you’ve noted, if a leak is present - the dye will move toward and into the crack.

If you’ve gone through the steps and are unable to conclude the leak location, you may need to enlist the expertise of professionals before diving into your DIY, just to be sure it isn’t coming from a more daunting source such as the equipment, or underground. 
If you’ve already established that the leak is from your pool liner, and not from another source, then you are ready to take the plunge into this easy fix. 

Patching a pool liner requires some preparation, patience, and the right materials.

 Check out our kit here to get your patches, adhesive, and applicator all in one!

  1. Clean the surrounding area around the leak to remove any dirt or debris, use a pool-safe cleaner, and do not use soap. 
  2. Cut a piece of the patching material to fit over the damaged area. (Cutting it into a round shape that is slightly larger than the hole you are patching makes for even adherence!)
  3. If the tear is below the waterline, apply the vinyl adhesive directly onto the patch and fold the patch in on itself. Quickly unfold once under the water and apply immediately, pushing any air bubbles out and away until smooth. Leave the patch alone for at least 12 hours.
  4. If the tear is above the waterline or in a ‘dry’ area, you may apply the vinyl adhesive to both the liner and the patch and allow it to set up to 4 minutes. Apply and push any air bubbles out and away until smooth. Allow the patch to dry overnight. 

Understanding the common causes of pool liner leaks can help you take preventative measures against them. 

Many factors affect the lifespan, the most common are age, installation, and long-term chemical imbalances!

UV: As your liner naturally ages, it can develop cracks that lead to tears due to exposure to sunlight. Liner patches can give you a few more seasons of use!

Unbalanced water chemistry: if not kept in check can begin to degrade not only your equipment but also your liner! 

Quality of Installation: Improper installation or incorrect sizing can lead to wrinkles, creases, and folds in the finish of the liner, which can create flaws.

Repairing a pool can be a quick-fix, but mistakes can prove to be costly. Patching works for smaller tears or in newer pool liners, if your liner has multiple tears, large tears, or is nearing 10 - 15 + years of age, you should consult a service provider to come take a look. They can help decide what repairs are best, or if it’s time to replace the liner entirely.
Note: This article is intended as a general guide only and may not apply to all situations. For professional assistance or specific advice, please consult a qualified professional.