Warm weather strikes and many of us jump at the opportunity to fill up the inflatable pool. However inexpensive (compared to inground pools) and fun these are, they come with their challenges, and one of them is holes or tears that cause leaks.
Before you throw it away, consider repairing the pool instead.
Our experience with these pools encouraged us to help guide everyday people through the process of how to patch an inflatable pool. It is the best way to save money in the long run and continue having fun splashing in the water for many seasons to come.
Let’s not waste any more time and jump right into our guide.
What You Need to Repair an Inflatable Pool
Before you get into fixing any damage to your inflatable pool, you must know what you need to have. This way, you won’t begin this journey and find yourself hitting an obstacle because you lack the proper gear.
There are different roads you can take during this journey, but they all lead to the same destination. As such, what you buy is determined by what route you’re taking.
For full-on do-it-yourself repairs, you need things like scissors, alcohol swabs, repair patches, duct tape, rubber cement, and even paper towels in some cases.
Alternatively, you can always trim down on the added accessories by sampling getting swimming pool leak repair products such as patch kits.
In fact, before you buy anything, check to see if your inflatable pool came with a repair kit as some of them do. Otherwise, you can find them readily available online and in stores that sell pools and pool products.
These repair kits only have slight variations such as featuring heavy-duty vinyl or nylon material for the patches. Also, these patches can be either circular or rectangular in shape.
They all do include everything else you need such as glue or rubber cement.
No matter which road you choose, you will be on the path to fixing your inflatable pool.
How to Find a Leak in an Inflatable Pool
We understand how eager you are to fix your issue, but before you can do that, you have to determine what the issue is in the first place.
The following step-by-step guide should work when trying to learn how to find a leak in an Intex pool or another type of inflatable pool.
But first, be sure to grab the following items: dish soap, measuring cup, water, spray bottle, white chalk, or a marker.
Now let’s get into the guide:
Step 1: Make a Soap and Water Mixture
The first thing you want to do is create a mixture of soap and water.
So, head into your kitchen and fill up a measuring cup with roughly 20 ounces of water. Afterward, you will want to add about 5 tablespoons or so of dish soap to the water. Feel free to add more soap, however, as it can only make locating the leak far easier if there is extra soap.
Stir up this mixture to create soapy water and add it to a basic spray bottle. The bottle doesn’t need to be particularly large. It should simply have enough space to fit all of your mixtures.
From here, you can go outside to your pool and get to Step 2.
Step 2: Spray the Mixture Across the Pool Surface
Now that you have your soapy mixture ready to go, it is time to locate that pesky leak.
The first thing you will want to do is spray the area where you think the leak is coming from. If you are going into this completely blind, then you may have to spray the entire inflatable pool.
For those of you who have no idea where to start, be sure that you spray in sections and give it some time before you move on.
When spraying the soap and water mixture, you have to pay close attention to how the soap interacts with the pool surface. You are looking for air bubbles to form. These are immediate indicators of a leak.
The air bubbles may not form right away though. In this case, you may have to take a towel and give a quick wipe to the area. Make sure it isn’t enough to completely get rid of the solution, but enough that it may trigger a response and cause those air bubbles to sneak out.
If you have a good idea where the leak is coming from, spray that area and wipe it again. You want to be 100% certain that you are at the right spot before heading into Step 3.
Step 3: Place a Mark for the Leak
So, you have finally found the area (or areas) where your inflatable pool has been leaking out water. Don’t move on patching it just yet. If you do, you can lose the area and have to find it all over again.
What you want to do is take that chalk or marker we told you about at the beginning of this section and draw a circle around the area where the air bubbles are forming.
Make your mark large enough to ensure you remain at the right spot when it is time to begin patching it.
How to Repair an Inflatable Pool
So, we have our supplies and we have located our leak. We’ve finally reached the fun part as we can finally repair the inflatable pool.
The process of how to patch a hole in a pool differs only slightly depending on whether you are going for a temporary or a permanent fix.
Honestly, for a temporary fix, all you need is several strips of duct tape. There are no steps involved as you simply patch the leak with duct tape and leave it at that.
Of course, this won’t last, but if you don’t have the time or the products required for a more extensive fix, then this is a good short-term solution until you do.
Now, let’s get into a step-by-step guide on how you can create a permanent fix to your inflatable pool:
Step 1: Drain the Water and Deflate the Pool
Before you make any sort of repairs, it is best to work in a dry area, or else the patch will not hold.
So, you want to completely drain the pool of water. Even if your leak is on the outside away from the water inside, a drained pool is simply simpler to work with.
This is best done with small (kiddie-sized) or medium inflatable pools. For larger ones, the patches made for them are capable of being wet, so draining isn’t a concern.
Once the pool is drained, consider deflating it. It isn’t completely necessary, but it can help make the next step a bit less of a hassle. This may be more true if there are multiple leaks you are working with.
Step 2: Dry and Clean the Pool Surface
With the pool empty and flat, dry the area. From there, you can sanitize the area using any sanitizing solution, but alcohol swabs work great in this case.
Step 3: Cut out the Patch
Once the area is ready, you can now cut out a patch. If you are doing it without a kit, then be sure to measure accordingly.
No matter which way you’re going, be sure the patch is a couple of inches wider than the leak to ensure the most coverage.
Step 4: Inflate the Pool
Now that your patch is ready, you can start fixing that leak. Feel free to inflate the pool here. It isn’t necessary, but an inflated pool allows the patch to go on as it would when you fill the pool back up with water.
This keeps it more accurate and secure in the long run.
Step 5: Apply Glue and Place the Patch
Place a thin layer of glue (vinyl, plastic, or whatever comes with your kit if you’re using one) to the leak area and the back of the patch.
Once that is done, you can press the patch down over the leak. If you have a kit, consult with it to see how long they recommend pressing down. A few minutes should be ample time to ensure it sticks.
With inflatable pools, it seems inevitable that they will spring a leak at some point. But we don’t see the value in discarding an entire pool because of a simple hole.
All it takes is a handful of items like patches and glue to handle a hole. It may seem intimidating at first, but we’re sure that you can manage this.
Simply follow the clear steps we laid out and you should be on your way to repairing your inflatable pool in no time.