Pin Holes In New Above Ground Liner

by Patricia
(Neptune, NJ)

I had to replace my above ground liner this season. Upon having my liner installed (which I paid $400) the very next day I noticed water all around the pool.

I had the installer come out and look at it and he tells me that I have several pin holes in the liner for so much water to be around the pool. I talked to the company of the liner and finally they sent me a new liner.

I had the installer put the new liner in (and additional $375). We swam for about 3wks before I noticed the water level going down. I called the installer and he said he couldn't explain the problem, that I must have put a hole in the pool some how.

So I drained out the water enough so I could find any holes and patch them. My husband and I searched for 3 days and found nothing. So I hired a new installer ($125) who detects holes and he informed me that I have several pin holes in the liner, possibly from termites or a bad installation job. Could this be possible? This replacement of a new liner has cost us a pretty penny.

Hi Patricia.

What you have described is very possible. The first liner sounds like a bad seam. When a seam goes bad it usually does so upon initial filling. You would not have had time to put pin holes in the liner. It was most likely a bad seam. or something the installer did, pin holes do not seam likely.

The second leak could easily be something you are responsible for. Pool cleaners are the most likely cause of pin holes. We had a pool company selling a Barracuda one year and they told all of their customers to just leave it in the

pool and let it run every time the filter ran. This turned out to be a big mistake. Within a few months the areas where the cleaner spent the most time were full of pin holes. We replaced a ton of liners that year and the year following, all because of pinholes.

While doing these liner changes we were required to bring back the damaged portion of liner. I would crawl underneath these liners where the pin holes could be easily seen. Sometimes there were hundreds of them. These all came from a cleaner spending to much time in one spot and running way more than they needed to be.

Back when hand vacuuming a pool was popular, all the holes were around the outer edge of the pool, where the vacuum head was pushed into the sidewall. These were easy to find. At the top of the cove would be a dark broken line as the holes worked their way across the corrugated sidewall.

I'm not sure how the second guy determined the holes were pin holes. That almost sounds like what you say when you can't find anything. Pin holes are next to impossible to spot and only appear when you crawl under the liner. From under the liner pin holes look like the Milky Way.

I used to go out and find leaks for people. I charged 65.00 and would not charge a thing if I could not find the hole and patch it. Hopefully your pool is patched and no longer leaking.

If you do need to change the liner, get underneath it before it is taken out of the pool. Have a helper pull the liner pack up over the wall making it dark on the underside. This will give you a very good idea about what really happened to this liner. What you learn may prevent it from ever happening again.

Comments for Pin Holes In New Above Ground Liner

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Jul 22, 2011
Pin Holes In New Above Ground Liner
by: Patricia

Thanks, I did recently purchase a Rob Kleen pool cleaner and have been using it regularly. So you think this could of caused the pin whole problem? I will take your advice look under the liner and see what the problem really is, when I have the new liner installed. Is it possible I can install the liner my self and save me $500 or is it better to get it professional installed?


Only you can answer that one. Look over the pages on this site where you will find lots of advice that will help you. The pool site map is a good place to start.

Feb 27, 2012
Misterious pin holes
by: Anonymous

I have an Intex pool and also have pin holes. I do not use a pool cleaner. Just the vacuum and brush. There are hundreds of pin holes mostly around the bottom and under the pool. This is the second pool I've had with the same problem.

Jun 23, 2012
my 4th year and 4 liners going on 5th
by: Anonymous

This is my 4th year and 4th liner and I have pin holes!! Called Watson pool and they are sending diver. The side that most of my pin holes are coming from has more water in it then opposite side. Seems like their is an installation problem or manufacture problem of liners! I don't believe if you have a new pool chemicals would be a problem??? Something is going on I just wish they could come up with a good answer.


Pin holes are usually caused by automatic pool cleaners. If you are sure that is not the problem I sure hope they can give you an answer as to what the problem is. A new liner every year is not right.

One thing I did on a regular basis was to go under the liner before I removed it. Anytime my customer did not know why they had holes in the pool I would try to find out for them. If it was something they were doing they could make an adjustment and not have to change the liner again for a while.

I would remove a couple of top rails and get in under the liner. My helper would then pull the liner back over the rails, leaving me in the dark, well not really the dark, more often than not I had the milky way above me. That's what a liner full of pinholes looks like from the underside looking up.

A lot can be learned from the underside of a pool liner. It could easily tell you where the problem is coming from.

A cheap liner sitting on course sand could develop pinholes in a years time, but hopefully that is not the reason you are having problems.

May 23, 2014
Watsons pools are Faulty
by: Anonymous

I believe Watsons sells 2nd quality pools. First off it took them 3 tries to install our pool correctly. First time the creased the walls and wanted to give us $50 to keep it. Second time it was so unlevel it was unsafe. Third time we thought was okay but they did it just before winter. So any problems we couldn't see right away. So then next spring we have thousands of pin holes in the bottom and side of pool walls. We were told he would cut us a deal on a new liner when we were ready and keep patching. Finally this past winter the pool walls cave in towards the pool from the bottom (it was not from weight of cover). Here is what is funny they came out and told us it was breech of liner...LOL The water level new went down and after only having the pool a short time we decided not to go with them again. We know a family around the corner from us that bought the same pool and we saw one on travels with the same problem collapsed walls. We tore down pool and looked to liner and it was full of pin holes everywhere and no grass in the bottom growing through and no sharp items and no bugs or anything just spots that stained the sand where the holes were. Upon all this I think they sell not good quality products. Now they lost my business and any new people I will not recommend buying pools from them. Just a last note a friend of the family bought a pool from watsons shortly after we did and he ended up with a giant weed growing through the liner within a week after install. He had to patch also.

Aug 11, 2014
I am on my 6th year snd 6 liners
by: Anonymous

Watson installed my pool. 6th year and 6 liners same pin holes same side of pool. The pool is not level. The deeper side is where all the pin holes are. Now im afraid watson wont do anything. Anyone have suggestions? Watson sent out new liner each year. They never re dug pool to level. They just added more sand on that side and foam around bottom of liner so not a inch is touching sand. That side sunk some and is now unlevel.

Jun 11, 2017
Pinholes in brand new unused liner
by: Tim

What a lot of people don't consider, when these liners are pieced together in the factory, workers are not always careful and drag the pieces around on unprotected surfaces. For instance, a piece that is too large for one person to manage may end up spilling onto a debris covered or abrasive concrete floor and before the seams are even pressed, the liner already has scuffs that go all the way through the liner. I found over 30 abrasions in mine, some of which had brown and black scuff marks that looked like it was laid on asphalt and stepped on and scuffed over. I unrolled the liner out of the bag onto a double layer of clean vinyl tarps. No way in hell I could've done that damage. After filling 1/3 full I began seeing water seeping out from underneath the liner. I drained it and crawled under the liner today and located the leaks. Intex probably outsources the labor to low bid knuckleheads that couldn't give a crap.

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