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Thread: Patching a leak in a vinyl liner

  1. #1
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    Default Patching a leak in a vinyl liner

    We think we finally found the hole. It's in the wall but almost at the bottom of the wall. Does anybody have any experience with patching a hole? Do patches usually work?
    Any tips?
    Thanks again for all the help. It's great to have a place like this and people like you guys to turn to for help.
    Just my luck, we finally got everything straight from the conversion process and now this. I think I said before it wasn't my year...it really isn't my year!

  2. #2
    Poconos is offline SuperMod Emeritus Sniggle Mechanic Poconos 4 stars Poconos 4 stars Poconos 4 stars Poconos 4 stars Poconos 4 stars Poconos 4 stars
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    Default Re: Chlorine Locked?

    Patches do work. If you can place it with your hands, that makes it easy. Get an underwater patch kit. You can use a scrap piece of liner or the clear patch that usually comes with a kit. Goop one side of the patch and put it in place. Squish out any excess cement and hold it in place until it sticks. The cement that comes with the kits, at least the ones I've used, is usually pretty aggressive and will tend to curl the patch quickly so you have to place it quickly. Boxer #100 is a slow acting cement that won't curl the patch quickly, gives you more time to place it, but takes a longer time to bond. If you can't place it with your hands then there are still ways to do it. Let us know what happens.
    Al
    Last edited by Watermom; 07-15-2011 at 09:42 AM. Reason: To move post to construction and repair forum

  3. #3
    waste is offline PF Support Team Whizbang Spinner waste 3 stars waste 3 stars waste 3 stars
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    Default Re: Chlorine Locked?

    Try some of this:

    Liner Patching 101


    Liners are nice; they are usually pretty and are a good pool surface. However, sometimes they rip or develop holes. Fortunately patching a liner isn’t overly difficult.

    The first thing you need to do is find the leaking area. Once you know where the liner is leaking you can determine how large a patch you’ll need to apply. You then need to procure some patching material (using a piece of your original liner is optimal, if that’s not an option, you can see if a pool store has a liner sample that matches your liner’s pattern or just use a clear patch) and some liner patching glue (Boxer 100 is arguably the best!) (Admin note: See links below.. Get a good sharp pair of scissors, a piece of cardboard, large enough to do your cutting and glue applying on, and a wall paper seam roller (last one I bought was less than $5).

    The patch area needs to be clean and ready to accept the glue! For underwater patches, a wipe with a sponge should be good enough. For waterline, or above patches, a tablespoon of baking soda on a wet sponge should clean any oils or dirt that might interfere with the glue’s bonding. (Sandblasting a liner is NOT recommended- LOL)

    If you have an underwater patch in the deep end of your pool, I strongly advise donning SCUBA gear – the new patch will need to be ‘worked’ for a few minutes after you apply it. If that’s not viable for you, take a look at Checking-for-a-leak

    OK, we’re ready to patch the hole in the liner.

    You already know how big the hole is.

    + Cut a rounded patch (square corners make the patch vulnerable to premature peeling off) that is ~ ¾” larger than the hole, all around.

    + Be ready to apply and work the patch,

    + When you are, have everything ready on the deck closest to the patch. Have a piece of cardboard on which to apply the glue to the patch (so you don’t get any on the deck.).

    + With the patching material cut to size and the person who will apply it ready to ‘do the deed’, apply a thick, even coat of the glue and fold the patch so that it’s glue to glue (you want the water to not get to the glue until you’re applying it).

    + When the person applying the path has it at the leak, he opens the glued side and puts it over the hole.

    + Then use the seam roller to:
    => work the patch, from the center out to the edges and,
    => work the patch around the edge for a couple minutes (working out any wrinkles/ pockets on the inside- out to the edge at the same time (that’s why you want SCUBA gear for deep tears)

    (If your hole is on the bottom, you can put a weight (like a bag of sand on it) overnight to help prevent the curling of the edges that often happens, when the seam roller isn’t utilized long enough.)

    For large (over 1”holes) and ones that have had the floor washed out, I recommend applying a second patch, over the first – once it has set. The second patch is applied in the same way as the first and is a full 1” larger (all around) than the original patch!

    A patch can last for years, if you keep folks from “playing” with it and are careful when you’re vacuuming the area.

    =======================================

    There is now a YouTube showing how to leak test a pool:
    http://youtu.be/Y90c7pYMgPc

    The Boxer glue and patch kits, recommended by most here, are now available on Amazon:
    Boxer Adhesives No.110 4 oz Vinyl Pool Repair Kit
    Boxer 4 oz Vinyl Swimming Pool Liner Repair Kit
    Boxer Vinyl Pool Repair Kit Size: 2 Oz
    =======================================
    Last edited by PoolDoc; 05-21-2014 at 03:58 PM. Reason: add links
    Luv & Luk, Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill libraries

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    waste is offline PF Support Team Whizbang Spinner waste 3 stars waste 3 stars waste 3 stars
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    Default Re: Chlorine Locked?

    It just occurred to me that I've seen the pics of Al's contraption (pole, paint roller, cloths pins...) - I don't know where they went but they were on this site at some point
    Luv & Luk, Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill libraries

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    Poconos is offline SuperMod Emeritus Sniggle Mechanic Poconos 4 stars Poconos 4 stars Poconos 4 stars Poconos 4 stars Poconos 4 stars Poconos 4 stars
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    Default Re: Chlorine Locked?

    I found the pics and furthermore, I now know how to post them. Here's how I did a deep end patch.



    This is a 3" paint roller that has been coated with silicone seal so any vinyl cement goo won't stick to it. It's taped to the end of a 10 foot PVC pipe.



    This is a vinyl patch taped to a piece of clear plastic dropcloth. Kind of hard to describe but the plastic has been likewise coated with silicone seal to prevent the cement from attacking it. I didn't coat it under the patch so I could use double sided masking tape to stick the vinyl patch to the plastic sheet. The plastic sheet is there so I can roll the patch once it is in place. The black tape at the corners is just to make it more visible under water so you can position it more accurately. The string tied to one corner is so I can pull the plastic sheet off when done. The double sided tape, or plain masking tape folded on itself, may stick to the vinyl patch but after a little time it will come off.



    This pic shows the patch assembly folded onto the roller. Goop the patch liberally with Boxer 100 vinyl cement. This is a slow acting cement that won't curl the patch and will give you time to work it into place. There are paperclips used to hold it in place on the roller. Another string is tied to the clips. Once placed over the hole, push gently for a few minutes to stick the patch to the liner so it won't slide around, then pull the string to pop the clips and release the plastic sheet and patch from the roller. Then use the roller to work the patch onto the liner. If you can, throw a small sandbag or something on the thing for a couple days until the cement sets fully. Then pull the string to pull the plastic sheet off the patch.

    I had three small slits in my deep end right where the bowl transitions to the side at about 8 feet down. I did the patch in March 2006 (too cold to get in) and it's still holding fine. Rest of the liner is falling apart but the patch is holding.

    Al

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    Default Re: Chlorine Locked?

    Wow, Al! What an excellent improv!
    Oval 12.5K gal AGP; Hayward 19" sand filter; Pentair Dyn 1 HP 2sp pump on timer; PF:9.6;
    My Pool Pages; Best Guess Chart; Test Kits; Forum Search; Pool Chart Entry Form

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Chlorine Locked?

    It took me a while to find the Boxer glue but I finally found it. I had to call 6 pool stores and travel 65 miles to get it but it was worth it. We followed the instructions, waited 24 hours after we patched it and refilled the pool. We had lost about half the volume of the pool. The hole was at the joint of the wall and the floor. It's been a little more than 10 days and everything's fine!
    Thanks to everyone for the instructions on how to patch the liner!

  8. #8
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    Default How to patch???

    Hopefully someone will see this post in this old thread.....

    I found a very small tear in my liner and ordered the suggested Boxer patch kit to repair it. The included clear vinyl patch has a smooth side and a textured side, but the instructions don't say which on side to apply the adhesive.

    Anyone know? My guess is the smooth side for maximum surface contact with the glue? Or the textured side to give the glue something to grip to? I don't know......but I'd like to get this right the first time.

    Help!

    Edit: I found an FAQ for Boxer Adhesives:

    http://www.boxeradhesives.com/faq.html#11

    According to the FAQ it makes no difference which side is used. . I think I'll apply glue to the textured side so smooth side is exposed to water (don't want to give algae/gunk anything to cling to ).
    Last edited by JimK; 08-24-2014 at 03:07 PM.
    22'x40' Grecian Lazy L 20K gal IG vinyl pool; Aqua Rite SWCG; Hayward Pro Grid 6020 DE filter; Hayward Superpump 1hp pump; 12 hrs; I put together individual Taylor kits that combined is the same as the Taylor K-2006; city; PF:6

  9. #9
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    CarlD is offline Super Moderator Vortex Adjuster CarlD 4 stars CarlD 4 stars CarlD 4 stars CarlD 4 stars CarlD 4 stars CarlD 4 stars
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    Default Re: How to patch???

    If your pool wall is smooth, use the smooth side. I saved a bunch of vinyl from my old liner and use that to patch my current (now doomed) liner. I like to double-patch: The first patch is about 1/2" - 1" bigger than the hole. The second patch is at least an inch bigger than the first patch.
    Carl

    16'x40' rectangle 19K gal AG vinyl pool; ; Hayward T210 sand filter and 2 Speed Superpump 1hp pump; Solar heated. Test kit: PS 233; PF:6.3

  10. #10
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    Default Re: How to patch???

    I do have pieces of the original liner, but it's thicker than the clear patch and I'm thinking the thicker/white edges will be more obvious and easier for something to catch on and pull off the patch.

    Out of curiosity, I did a leak test where I found the small tear (it's very small; hard to see but can feel it with my finger). I didn't notice any dye (actuall I just used phenol red) being sucked in. Perhaps the tear doesn't penetrate the liner?

    While I was checking for a leak, I also checked around the steps and fixtures.....nothing noticeable. The past two winters I lost about 4" over a period of about 7 months (pool coved with a solid cover), so there's a leak somewhere, but I can't find where. I'm not too concerned about it right now since it's such a slow leak. It's not noticeable during the swim season.
    22'x40' Grecian Lazy L 20K gal IG vinyl pool; Aqua Rite SWCG; Hayward Pro Grid 6020 DE filter; Hayward Superpump 1hp pump; 12 hrs; I put together individual Taylor kits that combined is the same as the Taylor K-2006; city; PF:6

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