How To Repair And Replace A Swimming Pool Liner

Swimming pool liners aren't meant to last forever. Depending on the brand, thickness, wear and tear of your liner, weather and how well you maintain it, if your liner lasts you ten years you are lucky. Pool liners aren't cheap, so you definitely want it to last as long as possible. When the inevitable happens, and patches just won't repair your pool any longer, replacing your liner can be done by yourself, or left to a professional company. See below for instructions on how to repair small holes in your liner, and how to replace your liner when needed.

Repairing Small Holes/Tears

Small holes and tears can be repaired easily by using a vinyl pool liner repair kit. This can be found at your local pool supply store, or possibly at your local hardware store.

  1. Be sure the water level is below the tear/hole and the liner is completely dry before applying the patch.
  2. Measure the hole/tear and then cut the patch to fit over the top, leaving about an inch of extra patch to surround the hole/tear.
  3. Next, apply some patch glue to the tool that came with the kit and dab the glue around the tear or hole.
  4. Place the patch over the hole/tear and press firmly to be sure it adheres to the liner. Then allow it to dry completely before adding water back into your pool.

Replacing A Pool Liner

Replacing a vinyl liner in a round or oval pool is fairly simple to do yourself, however if your pool has curves or steps it can be a little more difficult to do this yourself. You may want to get a quote from a professional pool liner replacement company in this case.

Here's What You'll Need:

  • Pool liner (for your size pool)
  • Drill
  • Utility knife
  • Screw driver


  1. Take all of the water out of your pool until it is completely dry.
  2. Use your drill to take off the top rails from around your pool and set them aside. Take off the filter and water return liners. Then take off the plastic track from off of the sides of the pool. These hold your liner in place. Be sure to keep these close by.
  3. Then begin taking out the old pool liner. It may be easier to cut it with a utility knife into smaller pieces. This will make it lighter to carry out.
  4. If you had holes or dips in the sand below your pool liner, now is the time to level it out if need be. You can do so using a rake.
  5. Next, grab a few of your best buddies, as you're going to need a few helping hands. Place your liner in the middle of the pool and start unfolding it. Try your best not to get any sand on the inside of the pool liner, as sand can be difficult to remove from your pool.
  6. You want the liner stretched across the pool all the way to the edges and over the top rail, without too much slack, but not too tight either. If it's too tight it can tear when you begin adding water. If you have too much slack, it can cause wrinkles. Cut the holes for the filter basket and the water return and reinstall the covers.
  7. When you have it stretched across the pool, begin adding water with your garden hose. At the same time, you want to start attaching the plastic tracks to the tops of the walls to hold the liner in place. 
  8. Have someone continue to walk through the pool, using their feet to spread out the liner, to ensure there are no wrinkles on the pool floor.
  9. Once the tracks are all in place and you have ensured there aren't any wrinkles you can reattach the rails.
  10. Allow the pool to fill completely with water. You may want to give it a few days to warm up, then enjoy your pool.

Changing the pool liner is not too difficult, you just need some helpful hands. However, if your pool has stairs or curves, it may be best to leave swimming pool liner replacement to a professional.