<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=2312617572090101&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

When Should You Replace Or Repair The Liner In Your Pool?

When Should You Replace Or Repair The Liner In Your Pool?

As you’ve probably heard a lot on this topic if you’re considering purchasing a vinyl liner pool or maybe you currently own one, the main disadvantage is that you will eventually have to replace the liner!

We recommend that you replace a liner every 4-9 years because natural wear and tear such as color fading, wrinkling or dry rot will take its toll on the liner. But, there are also instances where the vinyl will need to be replaced earlier than 4 years such as a large hole or slice!

So, the question that I’ve come to think of and I’m sure you are wondering about is this: “How do I know when to replace or repair the liner in my vinyl liner pool?”

Well, in this article we’re going to discuss just that! We will also touch on how to locate leak and possibly repair your liner help extend its life.

There are some methods you can follow to figure out if you need to repair your liner or if it is time to be replaced and we feel like it’s important for you to be aware of these so you can act accordingly.

After all, a pool is a huge investment and we know that you want to do everything to keep that investment in tip-top shape for many years to come!

Common Issues With a Failing Pool Liner.

Faded Liner or Wrinkled Liner

One of the first and most popular reasons why people change a liner is due to looks! Fading and wrinkling are very un-sightly and can make the pool look older than what it actually is.

Fading of a pool liner can be caused by chemical abuse or just old age. The ink eventually separates from the vinyl and disappears over time. Wrinkling can also be caused by chemical abuse or from ground water floating the liner. Either way both of these situations are inevitable and will happen.

Once Fading or wrinkling starts you should consider replacing the liner but it really isn’t a necessity to replace it immediately.

Dry Rot

By now you know that liners can be affected by chemical abuse but most would assume that only applies under the water. Above the surface you can also damage the liner and cause what we call dry-rot. Dry-rot for a pool liner is very similar to dry-rot on, lets say a rubber tire. Once the moisturizers come out of the vinyl, the material becomes brittle and can split or crack. This is very common on the corners of the pool above the water level.

To prevent this make sure to keep water chemistry in proper ranges, in particular chlorine and pH. If you have an automatic pool cover you can also prevent this by keeping the pool closed at certain parts of the day if the pool is not in use.

Dry-rot in itself is a very common problem and you wont typically need to replace the liner unless the liner splits due to the rot. If the liner does split we do recommend replaceing with in that swim season. In the worst case scenario the split can run under the water level and cause you to loose water rapidly.

Slices or Holes

Everyone who has considered a vinyl liner pool or who has a vinyl liner pool has either discussed or has experienced a slice or a hole. This is probably the most common reason people consider replacing  their vinyl liner pool.

Without an in depth conversation on the matter. The two things we recommend to a slice or hole is to keep dogs or any sharp objects away from your pool at all times.

When it comes to a slice or a hole it somewhat varies on if you should replace the liner immediately or not. Factors such as size of hole/slice can be considered because you may have the option to patch the liner.

Can I Repair My Pool Liner by Myself?

Repairs made by yourself are very common and can definitely be done! Below we’ll go over how to patch a liner, how to locate a leak and how to use a dye kit!

How is a Pool Liner Patched?

If a tear in your liner needs to be patched there are a series of steps that we follow to make sure the repair is done correctly:

  • Step 1—Area where tear is located is cleaned of any algae or other substances
  • Step 2—Trim the patch to fully cover the tear; the diameter of any patch is always 2 inches larger than the tear
  • Step 3—Adhesive is applied if you choose to have us apply it
  • Step 4—As soon as the adhesive is stuck to the tear, any air bubbles are removed to make it as smooth as possible; if possible, apply weight to the area for 24 hours

Here are 3 different types of patches that you can consider if this situation presents itself:

  • Waterproof tape—This option is similar to duct tape and can be used underwater; it is UV resistant and clear, so it’s barely noticeable on the liner
  • Vinyl patch kit—This traditionally works better on larger tears and also has a long lifespan; includes chunks of vinyl similar to the rest of the liner and is adhesive so it can be used underwater
  • Peel-and-stick—Made from the same vinyl that liners are and designed specifically for pools; tip: round stickers are less likely to peel off

Patching the tear usually does the trick on tears that are anywhere between 2-8 inches long depending on where the tear is located and how old the liner is.

If a tear is on the wall of the pool and your liner is only 2-3 years old, you could get by with patching it.

On the other hand, you may want to consider going a different route if it is nearing the end of the 4-9-year lifespan that liners have.

Yep, a replacement liner may come into play if you have multiple tears or if the liner is running up there in age. And we do know that this is the worst-case scenario, but the truth is that it is a very real scenario.

What happens if you think you are loosing water but you don’t see a slit or a hole?

Confirm you have a Leak in Your Pool and its not Evaporation!


Below are the steps to finding out if you have a leak in your pool.

The first step is to confirming the existence of a leak and you can do this by performing the bucket test! The bucket test is one of the best ways to confirm that there is a leak in any pool at home before calling a pool professional! These are the steps that you should follow if you try this method:

  • Fill a bucket with water and place it in the steps of your pool (make sure the water level in the bucket is even with the water level of the pool)
  • Mark the water level on the bucket
  • Turn off the pump for 24 hours
  • After 24 hours, check the water level of the pool compared to the water level in the bucket
  • If the water level in the bucket is higher than that of the pool, there is a tear
  • If the water level in the bucket and that of the pool are even or almost even, there is no tear

If you confirm that there is a leak but still can not find a slice or hole then we would recommend you find a pool diver to find it or you can attempt to dive and locate it yourself!

How to Locate a Leak in Your Pool With Dye!

One of the best ways to locate a leak when you cant see the hole is to use a dye tester kit! You can do this by using the dye method, which requires a specific type of dye that holds together underwater. The dye we recommend is a pre-filled dye tester created by Anderson Manufacturing Company.


Here are the steps that you should use for this method:

  • Identify any spots in the liner that feel abnormally squishy
  • Apply dye in these areas
  • The dye will get sucked into the liner if there is a tear

*NOTE*–It is common to see a loss of water in in-ground pools. More often than not, evaporation causes this, so you shouldn’t panic if this arises. However, we do encourage you to try these methods if you suspect something is abnormal.

If you dye test your pool and still can’t locate a tear or a hole, again we would recommend you contact a pool diver the pool diver can sweep your entire pool to help locate any tears. If the professional diver cant find a leak it may be time to check the plumbing, but that’s a conversation for another article!

We know that this may sound scary and somewhat overwhelming, but this is just the nature of vinyl liner pools. I hope we made clear to you when we think you should replace your vinyl liner. In addition to that we also hope we gave you some suitable options to repair the liner yourself as well!

And if you want some more insight into vinyl liner pools, be sure to check out some of our other articles listed below!