How to patch a swimming pool liner


First you need to determine the location of the leak.

Once found the liner can usually be easily patched both above the water liner and under the water. Typically a pool store will have a patch kit. This will include glue (my favourite is the boxer brand) and patching material (typically clear). If you have kept the piece of liner from when it was installed you can also use that.

When the prepackaged liner patch kit is not large enough- bigger then- x, your local pool store may have samples they can cut a piece off from. This will typically not match your liner, but it will hold the water in the swimming pool.

Vinyl pool repair kit

How to actually patch the liner:

  • Cut the patch to be larger than the tear you are trying to patch
  • Round off any corners
  • Clean the patch and the tear with rubbing alcohol to clean it. Allow it to dry.
  • Add glue to the middle of the patch, fold it to smooth out the glue, only add more if needed but do not over add the glue
  • Keep patch folded  in half (glue in) until ready to use
  • Place the patch over the tear, smooth out and hold for  1 to 3 minutes to allow the patch to adhere to the liner
  • Do not disturb the patched area for 24 hours, so the glue can adhere to the liner.
  • If needed, use masking tape on the corners, wait 24 hours before slowly peeling it off
  • Repeat the bucket test if needed

Sometimes when something has fallen in the pool like patio furniture or a glass table, there will be multiple holes. Make sure you locate and patch them all.

Sometimes an older patch will need to be re-patched, gently pull on the older patch to see if it gives. If the existing patch does not give put a larger patch over the existing patch. Again ensure there are no easy places for the patch to lift by rounding corners and m=placing glue to the outside of the patch.

A lot of patches would indicate a new liner is needed. An inground liner could last up to 15-20 years and an aboveground liner typically 10-15 years.

Patching in the tight corners of the pool can be trickier, and almost always require more patches over the years as the tear spreads due to the sun and age of the liner.


  • Make sure all corners are rounded to prevent lifting
  • Clean the area and the patch with rubbing alcohol. Let it dry
  • Keep the patch folded until you are ready to use it
  • Sometimes the liner may have many little holes in the bottom of the pool. When this is the case you would typically drain the water out and patch the liner from under the pool as well as on the waterside
  • Half-moon tears are typically from poles or toenails
  • Corner tears can be a side of liner age and poor water balance of calcium. It could also be from constant direct sunlight over many years. Good calcium balance will help combat that

Good Luck!

1 Comment

  1. Kimberly A.

    Thank you for the information on how to patch a pool liner. Honestly I did not even know there was a patch repair kit I could go and purchase. Now I can refer to this article when its comes around to me and my boyfriend fixing up ours this weekend.

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