How Much Does it Cost to Repair a Vinyl Liner for a Pool?
Last Updated: June 02, 2023
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A vinyl pool liner can last up to 15 to 20 years or longer. In the meantime, it's not uncommon for the liner to jump the track or develop a leak. If the bead is popping out of the track on your vinyl pool liner or the pool is losing water beyond what's to be expected from evaporation, splash-out, and backwash, you may want to schedule a visit from a local swimming pool pro.
Common Vinyl Pool Liner Problems #
Although you may be able to handle simple repairs yourself, the problem could reappear if not addressed properly. And in the case of a leak, it might take the trained eye and professional equipment of a contractor to locate the source. Below you'll find a description of what goes wrong with vinyl pool liners and how the issue can be resolved.
Liner Bead Coming Out of the Track #
This can be caused by improper installation or a liner that doesn't fit the pool quite right combined with the effects of aging (vinyl liners lose elasticity over time) and weather (liners contract in cold temperatures). Getting the liner back into place takes a little bit of know-how and a lot of manpower. Not only that, but once the liner is back on the track, it might be necessary to add a liner lock or take some other measure to keep the liner from slipping the track again.
Liner Leak #
Vinyl liners are designed to withstand punctures, but they're still susceptible to cuts, tears, rips, and sun aging. Older liners are especially apt to develop a leak as they lose resiliency.
You may be unsure whether the water is being lost due to a leak or natural causes or if the leak is in the pool liner or the filter lines (learn how to answer these questions in this NYT article). And even when a leak is confirmed, finding it is often the hard part. A scuba-diving technician can be sent below the water's surface to locate and patch the leak. Electronic scanning can also be used to find a vinyl liner leak. In any case, it's not necessary to drain the pool in order to repair an underwater leak. In fact, draining the pool isn't advised, as it will then need to be professionally reset with a vacuum.
Very often a liner leak develops above the water line due to the effects of the sun reflecting off the water's surface. Above water leaks are usually easier to locate than below water leaks. Because the problem is likely to recur, a pool repair technician might recommend installing a shield (basically an extra layer of vinyl that protects the upper portion of the liner).
Vinyl Liner Repair Costs #
- If the pool has a leak and you don't know where the source is, hiring a professional to diagnose and fix the leak might cost $250 to $500. If you know where the leak is located, the cost of a patch should be significantly lower.
- Depending on the extent of the damage (i.e. multiple leaks requiring many hours to locate), repair costs could reach as much as $1,000 to $1,500. At some point, you'll want to compare the cost of repair to the cost of vinyl liner replacement, which can be as low as $2,500 to $5,000 installed.
- Hiring technicians to get a pool liner back on its track might cost $100 to $125 per man hour (a main technician has an hourly rate of approximately $60 to $80 per hour, while each assistant might be billed at $30 to $40 per hour).
- Track locks cost roughly $1.00 per linear foot; 100 feet of new track costs $125 to $200.
- Above-water shields cost $3 to $4 per linear foot.
- A DIY vinyl liner patch kit costs $10 to $30. Another product, Fix-A-Leak, works like a tire sealant to find and seal leaks and costs $30 to $50.