How To Patch A Pool Liner Underwater

Beginner Info, Pool

how to patch a pool liner underwater
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So, how to patch a pool liner underwater?

Well, in this post, I would be walking you through the nuts & bolts of patching a pool liner underwater so that you can expedite the entire process on your own without any need for expert guidance.

Moreover, I would also be throwing light on various aspects of how to patch any pool liner so that beginners can reap maximum benefits from it.

So, without any further ado, let’s begin…

If you’re an avid reader of this blog then definitely, you would be aware of the fact that vinyl pool liners are a popular choice among pool owners for more than one reason.

Not only are they cheaper than concrete or fiberglass pool options but also make swimming pool maintenance a cakewalk even for beginners.

Though they claim to be durable still you can negate the probability of them getting torn.

To be honest, a lot depends upon the size of your pool.

Is bigger always better is again a question mark, isn’t it?

How To Patch A Pool Liner Underwater | Beginner’s Guide

In layman’s terms, a leak may or may not be a cause of concern depending upon the size of your pool.

Even though you’re a newbie, you shouldn’t get panic after seeing a leak, it is bound to happen today or tomorrow.

If you’re well prepared in advance then you can tackle such scenarios in an effective way effortlessly.

The good thing about leaks is that they can be fixed without much hassle.

Enough of bragging about patching any pool liner, it’s high time to get straight to the topic.

Should I learn how to patch a pool liner?

Definitely, you need to learn the various ways of patching a pool liner.

If it wasn’t imperative then why I would be penning down an article of thousands of words (pun intended)?

Correct me, if I’m wrong.

It can cause damage

If you own an inground pool then definitely, the probability is high that the water can get underneath your pool surroundings.

And, if that is the case, then it might lead to deck eroding as well as metal post rusting.

As a result, you might need to deal with damage and instability.

However, the aforementioned scenario is not very common and occur only when a leak is either ignored or goes unattended for quite a few time.

To deal with such scenarios effectively, you need to fix the leak quickly.

On the other hand, if you own an above-ground pool then also you might have to deal with such scenarios may be less often.

The biggest risk with the above-ground pool is its collapsing leading to a backyard swamp.

To save you money

If you’re a pool owner like me then definitely, I would request you to learn to patch leaks on your own because it will save you a good lump-sum amount.

I’m not denying the fact that supplies aren’t cheap, but at the same time, you also need to understand that labor is a costly affair, isn’t it?

Moreover, waiting for labor to come and fix your pool leakage might lead to tangible wasting of valuable water which otherwise could be saved if you’re well-versed with the know-how of patching leaks.

To save you time

The biggest problem or the series of problems that you might face due to the leakage of pool water is the imbalance of the pool chemicals.

Due to leakage, a certain amount of water will be drained out, and as a result, you’ll have to add fresh water, right?

And, the addition of fresh water will lead to the dilution of the pool water chemicals so you need to be very careful in figuring out what needs to be done next.

In fact, you’ll not only have to adjust the pool chemicals levels including pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness, free chlorine but also would’ve to expedite the pool chemistry testing to ensure that everything is well in place.

How can I patch a pool liner?

Well, whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned professional, patching a pool liner wouldn’t be difficult or even time-consuming, if you’ll do things in the right way.

Moreover, just because your pool has lost some amount of water doesn’t mean that you’ve got a dent or hole on the surface.

Many of the newbies wouldn’t be aware of the fact that a pool of average size might lose about 1/4 – 1/2 inches per day of pool water, especially during summer due to evaporation.

If your pool has a bigger surface area then evaporation would be more leading to higher water loss due to evaporation.

In layman’s terms, the loss could be between 25,000 to 50,000 gallons of water due to evaporation per year.

However, if you’re losing water more than an inch per day then the probability is high that there might be a leakage somewhere.

There are numerous methods to determine it.

However, I would prefer the bucket method over the others.

So, what is a bucket method and how does it work?

In the bucket method, you need to place a five-gallon bucket with some water in it by your poolside.

Before you move further, make sure that the pool pump is off.

Now, mark the water line in the bucket as well as the pool and leave it for at least the next 24 hours.

So, now check the waterline and if your pool water level is less than your bucket water level then there might be a leak.

Another very popular method is the ink method.

Nonetheless, the prerequisite of the ink method is that you’re assuming that there is a leak and you’ve got a rough idea of its location.

To perform this test, you would be needing a leak-finding kit or some dark food coloring.

Before you move to the next step, it is highly recommended that you equip yourself with goggles, facemask, and even gloves to be on the safer side.

Moving further, squirt a little dye in the area wherein you think the leak is present.

Moreover, if you don’t have a leak then definitely, you’ll see the dye stream steadily towards it, seeping out along with the rest of the pool water.

So, once you’re sure that the root cause of the water loss is a leakage, then it’s time to fix it.

Don’t worry, the steps that we would walk you through wouldn’t consume much of your time and can be expedited with little to no professional help.

All you need to do is to stay with us till the end.

Locate the Leak

It goes without saying that first and foremost, you need to locate the leak.

For easy diagnosis of the leak, you can try the ink method that we’ve had explained in the last paragraph.

The good thing about the ink method is that NOT only it will tell you that there is a problem of leakage but also would help you in locating the leak in an epigrammatic span of time with ease.

Choose your Patch

Needless to say, there are numerous types of patches including peel-and-stick, vinyl kits, and patch material.

You can select any of the aforementioned patches depending upon the location of your leak and your personal preference.

Leak Area Cleaning

Well, if you want your patch to stick to the liner, then you need to ensure that there aren’t any specks of dirt or debris hanging around.

Moreover, you can use a rag, pool brush, or gentle scrubber pad to wipe it clean. 

Don’t push it hard rather use your hand lightly to prevent further tear and wear.

Peel and Stick

Well, for the peel and stick patches, all you need to do is to peel the paper backing off.

And, then apply the patch to the area with the hole.

Trim the Patch

Frankly speaking, for other types of patches, you need to trim them in order to make them slightly larger than the hole all around.

Apply Adhesive

It is equally important that you apply a high-quality adhesive to the back of your trimmed patch.

Apply the Patch

Applying the patch is a crucial step and needs imperative attention.

The success of the entire process depends to a large extent on the way you’ve planned to apply the patch.

I would suggest you should stick the patch directly onto the hole and press out any seams or even bubbles.

Hold in Place

Once you’re done with the aforementioned steps, half of the work is done.

In this step, you need to allow the adhesive to cure by holding the patch firmly in place for a couple of minutes.

Try to apply a constant amount of pressure for at least 24 hours in order to achieve an optimum result.

Well, if you’re inquisitive about how to achieve constant weight then allow me to explain it to you.

To be honest, this can be done by setting a weighted object on it if it’s at the bottom, or by using a clamp of some sort on the pool wall.

Moreover, this isn’t always possible but if you love trying and experimenting with new things then definitely, you can go for it.

How big of a hole can I patch in a pool liner?

Well, again, an interesting question, indeed!

To be honest, patching a vinyl liner isn’t a permanent solution at all.

Though it can last for quite a few years still not the life of the pool.

Either by doubling patching or applying more adhesive, you can repair it.

But, over a period of time, you must be needing a new liner, and that is for sure.

If the tear is very small, then repairing even multiple times wouldn’t be a problem at all.

But, at the same time, larger holes can be a big problem, indeed.

Though you might fix a larger hole once or twice still you would be needing to replace your liner after some time.

There is nothing like how big a hole can be, in fact, you just need to figure out whether the size of the hole can be repaired or NOT, that’s all.

I wouldn’t deny the fact that most holes can be repaired at least once but at the same time, exceptions are bound to be there and for sure.

However, in the case of a vinyl liner, things are bound to turn out weird when the liner becomes quite old.

You’ll find it to become a little bit thinner and some tear and wear here and there.

In such scenarios, any and every hole would be difficult to patch.

In simple words, as the vinyl liner would grew old things would turn bizarre in the context of patching the liner.

Tools for Patching a Pool Liner

The tools that you need for patching depends to a large extent on the selection of the type of patching that you’re planning to expedite.

However, I’ve come up with some tools that you would be needing on a general basis.

Is it possible to patch a pool liner underwater?

Again, a very important question, indeed.

Definitely, you can patch a pool liner underwater.

I would suggest you should drain a tangible amount of water so that the patching work could be expedited with ease.

Draining water would make the entire process easier for you but it doesn’t mean that you’ve to drain all the pool water.

In rare of the rarest scenario, you’ll have to drain the pool water completely.

Especially, in the case of the vinyl liner, you should be refraining from draining water completely as it would expose it to the elements and dries it out.

If we talk about its drawback then definitely, this can make it brittle and more prone to tears.

The good thing about the pool patches is that they are waterproof and can be used underwater without any hassle.

It might not be the easiest thing on the planet but repairing your pool underwater can be done if NEEDED.


Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned pool owner, the tips and tricks that I’m gonna share in a while would definitely be of great help to you.

Get Some Help

Definitely, getting a helping hand would help you to expedite the work in less time and better way.

Use Good Swimming Goggles

Using good goggles, hand gloves, and face masks would be of great help.

Moreover, don’t make blunder of thinking that you don’t need it at all.

Such a mindset can be troublesome at times, isn’t it?

With the help of swimming goggles, you can easily open your eyes underwater for a longer duration.

Get Your Tools Together Ahead of Time

It’s always a good practice to keep all your tools handy before you expedite the task.

By doing so, you’ll not only save your time but also the pain that you might have to face when getting in and out of the pool to get the tools that you need.

Try a Snorkel

Snorkel could be a great relief and the best bet in case it is taking a while for you to find the hole or the size of the hole is too big.

Work Quickly

In spite of the adhesive being waterproof, for the best result, it should get in minimum contact with the water.

All you need to do is to fold it in half with the glue on the inside.

Then, insert it into the water and unfold it right before you stick it on the leak.

It’s A Wrap

First and foremost, I would like to thank you for being with us till the end.

I hope you got a satisfactory answer to the question, how to patch a pool liner underwater?

Moreover, I along with my core team have put loads and loads of effort into coming up with this comprehensive guide.

So, if you want to appreciate our effort then please rate us on a scale of 1 to 5 with the latter being the best.

Coming back to the topic, you don’t have to deal with the leaks too often that is for sure.

However, if have to deal with the leaks then by following the aforementioned steps you can perform the task just like a PRO, isn’t it?

Last but not least, share this piece of information with the ones who are in need of it.

After all, sharing is caring, isn’t it?

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