Hole in Pool Liner

We cant find the leak in our pool and we really can't afford a new liner. My husband insists it's on the sides. HELP please. How difficult is it to replace?

We have a j hook 21' Aqua Leader above ground pool.


Many people feel the holes are in the sides because the water seems to quit leaking about a foot or so from the bottom, but this is seldom the case. The most common places to find holes are around the bottom edge where the floor meets the wall, or pin holes scattered around the bottom of the pool.

Holes at the top of the cove area are usually caused by a hand vacuum being pushed to hard into the edge of the pool. Pins holes across the bottom are usually caused by automatic pool cleaners spending to much time in one area of the pool.

Holes in the cove can usually be found by closely examining the liner at the area where the wall and floor meet, all around the inside perimeter. Holes on bottom can be harder to find because they are usually so small. Pulling the liner back and crawling under it can sometimes be the only way to see these. Under a liner with pinholes it looks like the sky at night, full of stars.

The pages below will give you a little more help with finding holes and replacing your liner. A j-hook liner uses the same method as a beaded liner.

Beaded Liners

Holes in Vinyl Pool

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Hole in Liner - Unusual Pool

We have an above ground pool that is partially in the ground (sunken above ground is what I've heard it called). I know that's not what you're supposed to do but the pool was here when we bought the house. We had a new liner put in last year - nearly collapsed the pool but we got through it; replacing the liner again is not an option.

Pool was losing water and we found a hole - yes in the new liner - on the bottom right near the edge, below the skimmer basket. As I said, taking the liner out is not an option. It is a small hole and there is a small sink hole beneath this hole - obviously from water leaking out.

What is the best way to seal the hole under water? And, if there is nothing underneath that spot (b/c of the sink hole), will there be a problem if people step on/in that hole with no support underneath? Will it cause a bigger rip? And, does it make sense, since it is near the edge of the pool, to try to dig out right near that spot & see if we can somehow fill in that spot from the bottom up? Or, should we just hire someone to look at this??

Sorry, lots of questions but just trying to figure out the quickest way to fix this before it gets worse.


I would buy some Boxer patch glue and patch the hole as soon as possible. This glue works underwater and is the best vinyl repair glue I know of. You would cut a round piece of patch material, coat it with glue, go underwater and put it over the hole, come up for air and hold your big toe over the patch for a minute or so.

Once the hole is patched you have a couple of choices. If the indentation is not to bad you could just live with it, always being careful around that area. I have successfully dug around the outside of a pool and pushed a cove back into place, somewhat, from the outside of a pool with it full of water. This is not easy and I only recommend trying it if you truly feel the indentation is large enough to cause future liner damage.

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Liner Tear Under Skimmer

by Rose
(Hope Mills, NC)

I believe the person that installed my pool liner (not a professional) cut the liner before installing the skimmer, now I noticed there is a tear under the skimmer, can this be fixed or will I have to replace the liner?

Hi Rose

If you do not want to change the liner, yes, this can be fixed. You have a couple of different options.

You could simply buy some Boxer vinyl patch glue and glue a patch over the tear. You would need to get it as close to the skimmer faceplate as possible. You could even add a little glue over the patch to bond it to the faceplate.

skimmer for vinyl pool

Your other option is to lower the water level of the pool to just below the faceplate and remove it. You could now slip a larger patch in behind the liner. This is the way I would do it because it's a foolproof repair.

For best results you would need a piece of actual pool vinyl. This should be cut so that it is wider than the skimmer area and tall enough to go lower than the tear and up into the skimmer area. The back side of the liner should be glued and the patch put into place.

I would then reinstall the faceplate starting with all the upper screw holes. Install screws down to just above the new patch material. You should then give this a few hours to dry. It would then be OK to finish installing the screws and to cut out the excess vinyl.

Finish filling the pool and you are as good as new. If this is done correctly you may never even see there is a patch there.

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