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How to Repair a Hole or Tear in a Soft-Sided Above Ground Pool Liner

Updated: Mar 4, 2021


Swimming season is coming, and nothing can get in the way of your first dip (besides the weather) like an old hole or new tear in the vinyl pool liner.

We all know it happens. Despite bringing alot of happiness, one of the biggest downsides to soft-sided pools is that they often get holes and tears. The good news, there is now an easy, quick, permanent, and sustainable way to fix this problem.

At PLUGZIT, we manufacture a patent pending device that repairs holes instantly and sustainably. The problem, with using glue, patches and tape, besides not being a permanent solution, is the chemicals they use are bad for our environment. Their single use backing and materials are a one-way ticket to landfill. In this article, we will cover how to find a hole and a few old methods for fixing them and then we will show you PLUGZIT.

You decide which is the best way to fix a hole or tear in your pool.

How to Find a Hole in a Pool Liner

If you are a first-time owner, the best thing to mention, right now, is that you do not need to freak out or panic when you notice you are losing water. Its not only above ground pool owners who get hole, inground pool also lose water. Some of the time, evaporation is responsible. Under normal conditions, you can expect to lose anywhere from 2.½ cm to 5cm of water per day, and this is why pools covers come in handy. Considering this, if you still believe you have a hole or tear in your pool liner, here is one way to confirm:

The Bucket Test - Fill a bucket with water and place it on the steps then make sure the water level in the bucket matches the surrounding water level in the pool. If you do not have steps going into your pool, place a chair or something large enough for the bucket to stand on. Using a permanent marker or masking tape, mark the water level on the bucket. Turn off the pump and forget about it for 24 hours. Next, measure the difference between the water level in the bucket and the surrounding pool water. If the water level in the bucket is higher than the water level in the pool, and you feel it is not caused by evaporation, you have a hole.

If you cannot find the hole and your pool appears to be leaking, check the pump and connections because the seals here can sometimes come lose and leak water. All else fails, call the pool guy to come check it out.

Many times, its the person that use the pool the most that end up spotting the problem while swimming or sunbathing. You, your family member or your eagle-eyed guest may save you the hassle of hunting the hole down.

How to Fix a Hole in a Pool Liner

OK, so you have found the hole. Step one – tick!

Let’s look at some of the old ways to fix it.

Old Option 1: Patch It

Patching your pool liner can work for a while on a range of hole sizes depending on where it is and the age of your pool.

Patches are unpredictable. Sometimes, they can last for days, weeks, or months. It is important to keep an eye on them and check at least once a week to make sure it is still holding.

There are two types of patch kits you can buy:

  • Vinyl patch kit - This is a better option for larger tears. Most include large pieces of vinyl and adhesive that can be applied underwater.

  • Peel-and-Stick- This is as easy as it sounds. It’s made from vinyl and designed specifically for swimming pools. Go for round the stickers as they are less likely to peel up.

How to Patch a Pool Liner

·Step 1: Clean the area. Get rid of any dirt, grease and grime on the pool wall or ground. (10 – 30 minutes)

Step 2: Trim the patch as needed. Make sure the diameter of the patch is 5cm away from the tear on all sides. (10 – 30 minutes)

Step 3: Apply adhesive (5 - 10 minutes)

Step 4: Stick it and immediately apply pressure. Using a squeegee or brush, remove all air bubbles. (5 - 10 minutes)

Step 5: If possible, put a weight on it to apply pressure for at least 24 hours.


Old Option 2: Tape it

When tape for repairing pools came out, it was hailed as the best thing since sliced bread… or sliced boats as we saw in a popular YouTube video.

Unlike patching a hole, you don’t need to use glue yourself, but you still need to clean and prepare the hole. Similar to patching, you must check it every week and make sure it is still holding.

Bad for the Environment

These old options are unfortunately bad for the environment. How adhesives are made and what they are made from are now under great scrutiny and the EU, led by Sweden is banning the use of certain chemicals. The impact on the environment stretches to:

Soil Pollution

Solvents used manage to leach into the soil eventually contaminate groundwater. Not only can this kill plants and animals, the solvent contamination may go on to pollute drinking water.

Water Pollution

The runoff from solvent-based adhesives does not dissolve readily in water. That means that once they reach water, they can hang around for a while, poisoning anyone or anything that comes in contact with that water.

Air Pollution

Breathing in the fumes from quickly evaporating solvent-based adhesives, such as when you patch a hole using glue, poses serious health risks like asthma and lung disease. Solvents that enter the body often can be stored in the brain’s fatty tissue and adversely affect cognition later on.


All patches and tapes used to fix holes are a one way ticket to landfill. Each time you repair your pool with these old options you are contributing to this problem. The tape backing also holds glue and when, for example, it is just left on the floor it becomes a trap for animals and insects. This leads to a slow and painful demise unless some kind person intervenes and helps them out.

The Best Option: PLUGZIT – The Sustainable, Quick and Permanent Fix

PLUGZIT uses no chemicals to permanently fix the hole or tear in your pool. Instead, using basic physics in a neat design, you can simply plug the hole in 20 seconds from the moment you find the hole and have your PLUGZIT in hand. Better still, you do not need to clean the hole (unless you want to), brush air bubbles out, or wait for 24 hours.

Check out the video “How to PLUGZIT

PLUGZIT works on hole and tears from 0.1mm up to 40mm. Check out our frequently asked questions to learn more.

Want to know how much it costs?

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