How to repair a hole in an above ground swimming pool

During the hot and humid months of summer (and maybe even spring), few things are more inviting than the crystal blue waters of a swimming pool. One of the best ways to ensure you can swim anytime you like is to buy an above-ground swimming pool. They are not nearly as expensive as their built-in cousins and take a whole lot less time to set up.

But one of the (few) drawbacks to an above-ground pool is the fact that they can easily tear or get a hole. If this happens, you won’t be able to enjoy the pool until you repair it. Luckily, you have more than one option and most are fairly quick so that you can get back to enjoying your swimming pool before the summer months run out.

Your first option may be in the box your pool came in. Many (though not all) pool manufacturers will include at least one repair kit in the original package that the pool came in. These kits usually have a piece of vinyl, glue and specific instructions as to how to use the kit to best repair the hole in your pool. If you simply follow the instructions, you should have no problem repairing your pool.

Of course, this is not always failsafe. A few things could happen here- first, your pool may not have come with such a kit. Second, the patch included may not be big enough to cover your hole. A good patch should cover the hole and have at least an inch of room to spare around the entire hole. Some patches are simply too small to do this.

The other problem is that most pool repair kits include glue that specifically says Do Not Use with Soap. If you choose to forego chlorine’ for a product like Baquacil, this could be an issue. Baquacil and other non-chlorine pool cleaners are usually made from soap and therefore could get in the way of your patch properly adhering to the pool.

In the case of any of these dilemmas, you could always visit your local pool dealer (the one you bought your pool from would be best, if possible). If you didn’t get a spare kit with your pool, they can sell you one on the spot. Be aware though that the vinyl is usually quite thin in these kits and may not be appropriate for your pool. If you prefer getting one from the pool manufacturer, they can order one for you (or you could do this yourself by contacting the company directly). If none of these are viable options, they will likely sell you the proper materials to do it yourself.

If you choose to buy the materials and do it yourself, make sure you buy a thick patch that is large enough to fit over the hole with an inch to spare all around (as mentioned above). It doesn’t matter the color, but a clear vinyl will make it easy to spot where the repair is in case it starts leaking again. Spread your vinyl glue over the entire patch, and place over the hole. If the hole is on the side of the pool, press in well using your hands and clean up excess glue that comes out from the sides of the patch. Let dry according to glue instructions, and you should be set.

If the hole is on the bottom of the pool, then you can follow the same instructions, but use your foot and body weight to make sure the patch is securely over the hole. Again, clean up any glue that oozes out of the sides, and wait for it to dry. This should fix your problem.

If it is absolutely impossible or inconvenient to have to drain your pool, you can still use the patch. You would still spread the glue over the entire patch. But before you take it underwater to the site of the repair, you must fold it in half. This will ensure the chlorinated water will not get to the fresh glue and destroy some of its ability to adhere. Once you reach the site of the hole, quickly unfold the patch and place over the hole, following the same rules as above.

If the largest pool patch is not large enough, you might be out of luck. You may need a new liner or siding for your pool. In rare cases, you may need a whole new pool! But usually, a simple patch repair (and a little tender loving care in the future) is all that is needed to ensure you can swim away your summer months without worrying about a leaky pool.

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