Tips for Repairing a Vinyl Pool Liner

5 June 2017
 Categories: , Articles


If you have an above ground pool that is not in the best shape, then it may be time to start thinking about purchasing a new liner. However, sometimes an old liner can be repaired, at least temporarily, so you do not need to purchase a liner right away. This may be a good idea if the liner is less than 10 years old. If you want to try to make repairs before buying a new liner, then keep reading to learn about some tips to help you.

Reseating the Liner in the Track

If you notice that the liner seems to be coming out of the track, then there may be a few things going on. The liner may be just a bit smaller than it should be or you may have overfilled the pool with water. This can cause the vinyl to stretch and the liner to pop away from its track. Also, if the liner was originally placed in an off-center position, then this can cause the liner to pull and slip away from the track or seal.

If you notice the plastic track pulling off from the liner, then you can reset the liner and the track. Start by removing one to two feet of water from the pool. You also should purchase a new track for the area of the loose liner. Most tracks come in two to three foot sections, so keep in mind that you may be removing a larger portion of the track than you originally intended.

Most tracks are bendable and fairly easy to maneuver, but you will need to make sure that you purchase either a vertical, horizontal, or J-hook track, depending on what is already holding your pool liner in place. The basic mounting system used on your pool will inform you about the type of track that you need to buy. For example, a unibead liner will take a J-hook track while a beaded liner requires a vertical track.

When you have the new track piece, use a flathead screwdriver to gently pry the old track from the loose area of the liner. With your hand, try to pull the liner down over the side of the pool. If the liner is not flexible enough, then plug a hair dryer in to an extension cord. Turn the hairdryer on and slowly move it across the liner. Keep your hand on the liner and keep pulling it down until it stretches over the side of the pool. Once it does, clip the track over the edge. If the liner does not stay in place, then purchase and use a wedge bead or a liner lock device. This type of track has grooves that can help to keep the liner locked in place properly so it cannot loosen or pull back out of place.

Repairing Leaks

If you find that you are constantly refilling your pool and that the ground is wet around the liner, then these are some fairly significant signs that you have a leak in your pool. While small leaks can be ignored, especially if you are only adding a bit more than the typical inch of water to your pool due to splash out, larger ones should be addressed as soon as possible. Not only can the hole open or tear further, but the backfill around your pool can be easily washed away. 

Larger tears and leaks can typically be seen. However, if you do not see any damage, then you will need to complete some leak detection. The simplest leak detection involves wearing a mask and using your hands to feel for a hole or opening long the liner. 

Once you find a hole or opening, seal the leak. You can use a gel patch to seal the opening or a self adhesive vinyl patch. Self adhesive patches are particularly easy to use. You can also go with the traditional vinyl patch that adheres in place with the help of a wet/dry vinyl cement. This traditional method is often the most effective. Just make sure that you use plenty of cement and round the edge of the patch so it cannot pull easily away from the vinyl liner. 

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