If you have a vinyl liner for your swimming pool, occasionally it may rip, sag, or need other repairs. Luckily, doing your own repairs can be pretty straightforward. You just need the right supplies. Here are four items that can help.
When your swimming pool liner has a big rip or if it's sagging off the side of the pool, you can easily see that it needs a repair. However, not all issues are immediately noticeable. Ideally, to track your pool's need for repairs, you may want to ensure it doesn't have a leak.
To keep tabs on the water levels in your pool, use a wax crayon to mark the current water level. The wax should easily wipe off the vinyl when you are done. If the water falls below the line, that is a sign that there is a rip or a leak somewhere in your liner, and it's time to grab your goggles and start looking for it.
Keep in mind that evaporation can make your water levels fall and create the illusion that there is a leak. To prevent this from happening, cover the pool when it's not in use. Make the mark at the end of the day right before you put on the cover. Then, check the levels in the morning.
If you think you have a leak, a bit of food dye can help you find it. Create a solution of water and dye. It doesn't matter what colour you use, but you may want to use red as it shows up so well in a variety of conditions. Put the coloured water into a squeeze bottle.
Then, get into your pool and begin walking or paddling around the perimeter of the inside of the pool. As you walk, gently squeeze the bottle to release the coloured water and watch where it goes. Water naturally follows the path of least resistance, and as a result, the dyed water will start moving toward cracks and holes. This strategy is great for finding very small or medium-size holes in your liner.
You can buy patching kits designed expressly for vinyl pool liners. These kits are ideal in cases where you have a small rip or a hole in the vinyl. To apply a patch, you cut out a small piece of the patching material. Then, you apply the included adhesive to the back of the patch, get into the pool, and press the patch into place.
Always remember to apply the adhesive before getting into the pool. If you spray the adhesive onto the liner (instead of onto the patch), some of the excess can get into your pool and potentially gum up your filter.
In some cases, vinyl liner starts to break away from the tracks holding it to the side of the pool. In these cases, a patch won't work, but luckily, you can often stretch the liner back into place. To encourage its flexibility, heat it up by pouring some hot water from a tea kettle onto the liner.
Then, standing on the side of the pool, pull the liner up toward you. In most cases, there should be a track along the edge of the pool that you can push the top edge of the liner into. If you like, you can use a blow dryer instead of a tea pot, but you have to be very careful that you don't drop the blow dryer into the pool and electrocute yourself.
Eventually, if your liner has too many repairs or if it keeps ripping, you may want to consider replacing it. Contact a vinyl liner specialist to assess your liner and help you decide if it's time for an upgrade.