Patching an inflatable pool is an important skill to learn. Luckily, it’s simple and straightforward. Owning an inflatable pool means that at one point or other, it will get a puncture. This is because materials that are used to make these inflatable pools, such as naphthalene and polycyclic hydrocarbon, are susceptible to tears and piercings.
But how do you patch an inflatable pool?
Most inflatable pools come with a patching repair kit. Using the soapy water technique to locate the hole and then drying off the area and using a pool patch is the best option.
There are two types of leaks that can happen to an inflatable pool. The most common is that which occurs on the side leading to water leakage. The second type, which is less common, is that which allows air to escape causing the pool to deflate. No matter- both types of punctures are patched the same way.
Also known as kiddie pools, inflatable pools are perfect for enjoying the summer weather in the family backyard. When it gets punctured (and it will), you don’t have to toss it in a garbage pit and buy a new one.
For one, this is not economical. Secondly, repairing it is very easy! Most of these inflatable pools come with a patching kit. One can also DIY a patch provided they have the right material.
It is important to note that the patching method works best when the puncture hole is small, at most the size of a nickel. Large holes may require a different repair method or getting a new pool altogether. The following steps outline the process of patching an inflatable pool.
The Process of Patching an Inflatable Pool
Find the Leaking Spot
You can’t fix what you can’t see. Therefore, to patch a leaking inflatable pool, you have to know exactly where the leak is. To do this, you should inflate the pool to a maximum. Then, use the soapy water technique to locate the puncture.
The soapy water technique involves spraying soapy water over the area of concern or the whole pool if you have not a clue as to where the hole may be. The punctured area will produce bubbles. To be absolutely sure, wipe and spray the area again for confirmation.
Take a look at this YouTube Video to see this technique in action.
Label the Leaking Spot
Once you have identified where the leak is coming from, mark it so that you know exactly where to place the patch. Failing to mark may lead to patching the wrong part or losing the spot and having to repeat the first step all over again.
Make the Patch
This step requires scissors, vinyl, and glue. Using your eyes and power of estimation, determine how big a patch it would need to be. Next, use the pair of scissors to shape the patch into a size a little bigger than the size of the puncture.
- It is advisable to cut the patch in a circular manner. This is because corners make it easy for patches to peel off the leaking area over time. A circular patch will ensure its longevity.
Drain the Pool and Dry the Area Around the Hole
You want the pool to be as dry as possible when applying the patch so that it holds well. Therefore, drain the pool water and rub it with a dry towel or, alternatively, put it in the sun to dry. Pay special attention to the area where the patch should be applied, as it should be as dry as it can be.
Rub the Area Around the Puncture.
When you are satisfied that the area around the hole is dry enough, apply some cleaning swab on the area. This step ensures that all the dirt, grease, or debris that could interfere with the bonding of the patch on the pool’s surface are eliminated.
Inflate the Pool
It’s easier to apply the patch when the pool is inflated so that the seal is airtight in the pool’s normal working condition. In other words, the patch will not be effective if applied when the boast is deflated because when inflated, the patch could stretch and, as a result, will not effectively cover the punctured area.
Apply the Adhesive
Apply the adhesive on the punctured area to facilitate the application of the patch. Adhesives that can be used here include rubber cement and vinyl repair glue. A thin layer of glue will be enough- you do not have to gob the area with excessive glue.
Stick the Patch in Place
Lastly, stick the patch on the part of the pool that had been leaking. The patch should hold firmly in place, so you could press it in for a couple of minutes to make sure it sticks properly; that is, it is watertight and airtight. You could apply a layer of adhesive on top of the patch to further full-proof the application.
Remember to hold off filling the pool with water until the glue or rubber cement is completely dry and the patch holds properly. For this, give the pool half to a full day for best results.
What Causes Leaks in Inflatable Pools?
An aged inflatable pool has a high likelihood of getting leaks because it has weakened with time. Therefore, you should expect a leak every once in a while until you replace the pool.
Another common cause of leaks in inflatable pools is any sort of sharp items. These include sharp toys and pets that have claws and sharp teeth, the likes of cats and dogs.
If you have to work on your lawn as the children are playing in the inflatable pool, it would be wise to maintain a safe distance between the lawn equipment and the walls of the pool. A simple brush of a rake on the pool could potentially cause a tear or a puncture. Alternatively, you could use inflatable-pool-safe equipment like a cordless leaf blower.
Additionally, under-inflated pools are at a higher risk of getting pierced than fully inflated ones.
This is to say that inflating a pool to its maximum capacity prevents the occurrence of leaks. Furthermore, direct contact between the pool and the ground could cause a leak. This is because the ground contains objects like sticks, rocks, and pebbles that could pierce into the pool’s material.
Lastly, handling the pool carelessly when storing it could lead to holes and tears. You should exercise utmost care when folding and boxing the pool so that no part of it is scarred.
Also, storing it in a rough and unkempt is a potential cause for a leak. It is prudent to check for sharp and jagged objects before putting the pool away. The same amount of care should be observed when taking the pool of storage.
If you have an inflatable pool, knowing how to patch it up when it has a leak should be a basic skill. This is because most of the time, these leaks are inevitable as the materials used to make inflatable pools are susceptible to cuts and piercings.
The process of patching an inflatable pool is straightforward; you just need to have the appropriate tools with you, some of which can readily be found at home.
Lastly, most inflatable pools come with their own patching kits. If yours doesn’t have one, you can always purchase it or DIY your way around the process.