I’ve always had a vinyl pool – and, as call center manager, we get calls everyday from all over, asking how to patch a liner, or put the bead back into the track, or remove stains.
How to Patch a Vinyl Pool Liner
Patching a pool liner can be done Wet (underwater) or Dry. There is no need to lower the water level before patching a pool liner. We have Peel ‘N Stick liner patches, but for the best bond, use a “Wet” Vinyl patch kit with liquid glue.
- Rub the area with a soft cloth and then with some wet/dry sandpaper.
- Cut the patch to cover the hole by at least 1/2 inch, or 1 cm.
- Cut the patch in a round or oval shape, without corners.
- With the dauber, apply a thick layer of glue to the patch.
- Fold the patch in half lightly, and plunge it underwater.
- Quickly unfold the patch and place over the hole.
- Smooth out the patch and press down on the edges.
TIP: Don’t use so much glue that it squeezes out of the sides.
TIP: Check on the patch every 5 minutes for 30 minutes; smooth edges.
TIP: If available, use patches cut from your pool liner during installation.
How to Put a Vinyl Liner Back into the Track
A tight fitting pool liner, or a loose fitting pool liner for that matter – can pop out of the track at the top of the pool wall. In many cases, you can just pull up and push the track in, folding and tucking the bead into the track. Use Liner Lock to hold it in place, and keep it from coming out again.
In other cases, however, the liner has slipped and stretched, and no matter how hard you pull, you can’t get the liner to budge. In theses cases, you need to apply some heat to the liner, to gently stretch it back into place.
- Lower the water level to the bottom of the skimmer, or a bit more.
- Apply heat to the liner with Hair Dryer –or- Hot Water from the kitchen.
- Quickly grasp the liner edge firmly and gently pull the liner to stretch.
- Lock the bead into the track, use coins to hold in place while you work.
- Work small areas of about 6″; a second person helps.
TIP: Don’t Melt the Liner! Keep hair dryer moving; don’t use boiling water.
TIP: Lowering the water 12-18″ reduces heat loss, and gives more stretch.
TIP: Lock in the bead a few inches at a time; using coins to hold it.
How to Remove Vinyl Liner Stains
The great thing about a vinyl pool is that it doesn’t stain as easily as a gunite pool, but – they do stain. I remember my first vinyl liner stain like the first scratch on my once new car. Had to dive in there with a mask and check it out. Hair Pin, rusted.
The first thing to do before any stain removal is attempted is to balance the water. I’m talking about pH, Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness levels, all tested and corrected, if needed. The pool should be clean and clear, with good sanitizer levels.
Spot Cleaning: To get rid of pesky stains on a pool liner, you can use EZ Stain Remover in an old sock or stocking, to make a stain bag. Add a cup of EZ Stain and use your pool brush to position it on top of the stain. Cover the stain with the “stain bag” for 20 seconds or so, and Presto – stain is gone or if not, let it sit a bit longer.
Whole Pool Stain Removal: There are 3 products that I can recommend, depending on what kind of stain you have. For an all over pool liner stain, in shades of brown, orange or blue-green, take a look at these:
Or actually, it’s the Vinyl Liner Blue Stuff – by Jack’s Magic, the stain guys. Blue Stuff works great for pools in hard water areas or pools with high mineral content (copper, iron, manganese) in the water. Use 1 bottle per 10000 gallons.
A+ Stain Remover is a granular form of stain remover works best on dirty organic stains from leaf build-up or dead animals, but it also removes copper staining and scale very effectively. Follow treatment guidelines and add 1 bottle per 10000 gallons.
A natural stain fighter, Stain Free is granular ascorbic acid or Vitamin C. Don’t be fooled by the cute packaging, ascorbic acid is a great stain remover, but mild enough to be used on older pool liners. Test at home first by crushing up some Vit C tablets. Use 1 bottle per 17000 gallons.
TIP: For more on vinyl liner pool stains, see Davy’s post.
Take care of your vinyl liner and it will take care of you! And when it comes time to replace your inground or above ground pool liner – you’ll find all the Tips you need to replace your own pool liner, right here on the In The Swim Blog!
InTheSwim Staff Blogger