The Best Pool Patches of 2023

Professional pool liner repairs are expensive. Consider one of these pool patches as an easy, cost-effective DIY alternative.

Best Overall

The Best Pool Patches Option: Boxer Adhesives Peel & Stick Plastic Pool Patches

Boxer Adhesives Peel u0026amp; Stick Plastic Pool Patches

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Best Bang For The Buck

The Best Pool Patches Option: Intex Repair Patches

Intex Repair Patches

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Best Tape

The Best Pool Patches Option: Gorilla Waterproof Patch & Seal Tape

Gorilla Waterproof Patch u0026amp; Seal Tape

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Most modern pool patches are easy to use, effective, and very low cost when compared with professional repair. They not only save money, but they also get people back in the pool faster. Many come as an underwater pool patch kit so there’s no need to even drain and refill the pool.

In fact, the biggest challenge may not be the repair itself but identifying the right kind of patch to fix it. Pool liner material can have an impact, as can the type of damage. In this article, we’re taking a deep dive into the wide choice of products available with info on how each one works. We also offer our picks for the best pool patches to tackle just about every type of puncture, tear, or crack.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Boxer Adhesives Peel & Stick Plastic Pool Patches
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Intex Repair Patches
  3. BEST TAPE: Gorilla Waterproof Patch & Seal Tape
  4. BEST UNDERWATER: Swimline Hydrotools Pool Repair Kit
  5. BEST HEAVY-DUTY: Pool Above Heavy-Duty Vinyl Repair Patch Kit
  6. BEST LEAK STOPPER: Marlig Industries Fix-A-Leak Pool and Spa Leak Sealer
  7. BEST CRACK FILLER: Atlas Epoxybond Pool Putty
  8. BEST PLASTER REPAIR: Pool Patch White Pool Plaster Repair Kit
A hand attaching the best pool patch option to the interior side of an inflatable pool filled with water


Before You Buy a Pool Patch

According to some experts, natural evaporation means that the level of water in an outdoor pool can drop by as much as 0.5 inch a day. Anything more than that, and there’s probably a leak. These must be dealt with quickly because even small amounts of water seeping into the surrounding soil could undermine the structure of the whole pool.

If the leak is obvious, duct tape can often provide a temporary repair; it won’t last long, but it could give time to find a permanent solution. If it isn’t clear where the water is escaping from, then the source of the leak must be identified. Several DIY methods are suggested online, though pool leak detection dye is perhaps the fastest.

Small amounts of damage can be repaired using one of the pool patches found in our top picks, but unfortunately there are times when the split or tear is simply too large. Trying to exceed the size of repair recommended will likely result in failure, and more expense in the long run. Overlapping several patches rarely works. DIY pool repair kits can be very effective, but sometimes calling in a professional is the only sensible option.

How We Chose the Best Pool Patches

Although most above-ground pools, inflatable pools, and inground pool liners are made of similar materials, no two repairs are ever the same. We wanted to offer solutions for as many of the problems pool owners face as possible, so finding a wide variety of different pool patches was a priority. We also looked at ease of application and the durability of the repair offered. While none of these swimming pool patches is particularly expensive, cost is always a factor to consider, and brand reputation was also taken into account. The result is a curated list drawn from extensive product research, advice from expert sources, and real-world feedback from pool owners.

Our Top Picks

Each of the following products represents what we believe to be the best pool patches of their type. There are products here that will repair everything from pinholes in vinyl inflatables to cracks in concrete pool surrounds.

Best Overall

Boxer Adhesives Peel u0026 Stick Plastic Pool Patches

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With such a wide variety available, it was challenging to pick our overall best pool patches, but these from Boxer Adhesives offer solutions for a range of punctures and tears. The patches can also be used on other vinyl products like inflatable toys, pool covers, and even vehicle upholstery.

There are five clear 3-by-7-inch patches in the pack, providing coverage of 100 square inches in total. They are easy to cut to size with scissors if necessary. To apply, simply remove the backing from the patch and affix it to the damaged area, whether the surface is dry or wet (no need to drain the pool). While the patch will adhere in about 30 seconds, the manufacturer cautions that it should not be disturbed for at least 30 minutes and that the bond will improve even further after several hours.

Boxer Adhesives underwater pool patches are affordable and usually effective, though a minority of users found that they didn’t adhere properly whether wet or dry. Unfortunately, we have no way to know what material those pools were made of.

Product Specs

  • Type: Peel and stick
  • Wet or dry application: Both
  • Repair time: 30 minutes


  • Peel-and-stick pool patches are simple to cut to size and can easily be applied to wet or dry surfaces
  • Made of clear plastic, the patches produce an almost invisible repair
  • Can also be used on vinyl inflatable toys, pool covers, shower curtains, and upholstery


  • Although very popular, these patches may not work on all pool materials

Get the Boxer Adhesives pool patches at Amazon.

Best Bang For The Buck

Intex Repair Patches

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Few brands in the pool industry are more recognizable than Intex, a company known for quality and affordability. Each of these clear peel-and-stick sheets is a 7.5-inch square, with six in a pack. That provides more than 300 square inches of pool liner patch material at remarkably low cost.

The Intex pool patches are easy to cut with scissors and simple to apply. Confusingly, these are called “wet” patches, but the surface must be dry before application. Initial adhesion is fast, though the patch should be left undisturbed for at least 30 minutes before use. While primarily designed for inflatables, buyers report that they have also been used successfully as an above-ground or inground vinyl pool patch.

Given the bargain price, it’s no surprise that they are very popular. However, they don’t stick to all surfaces, and a few users have complained that a lack of flexibility means that some repairs fail when reinflated.

Product Specs

  • Type: Peel and stick
  • Wet or dry application: Dry
  • Repair time: 30 minutes


  • Easy-to-use peel-and-stick patches from one of the industry’s leading brands
  • A 6-pack of 7.5-inch patches covers over 300 square inches at very low cost
  • Possible to repair punctures in other inflatables such as toys and bouncy castles


  • Recommended for inflatables, but lack of flexibility can cause adhesion problems

Get the Intex pool patches at Amazon.

Best Tape

Gorilla Waterproof Patch u0026 Seal Tape

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When it comes to adhesives, few brands have a better reputation than Gorilla. The company’s  waterproof patch and seal tape is typical in that it is strong yet flexible and very versatile. The 10-foot-long by 4-inch-wide roll can be used for pool patch repair, pool covers, PVC guttering, and fiberglass.

Application is simple: Just cut to size, remove backing, and affix to the surface. The tape will adhere in around 2 minutes, even underwater, though Gorilla recommends a 24-hour curing period where possible. A thick adhesive layer in combination with ultraviolet (UV)-resistant backing creates a permanent bond. While room temperature provides the best seal, it claims to work between -70 degrees Fahrenheit and 180 degrees Fahrenheit.

Complaints are few, but the tape is only available in white and, as with all pool patches, there are always some materials that don’t stick as well as expected.

Product Specs

  • Type: Tape
  • Wet or dry application: Both
  • Repair time: 2 minutes


  • Rapid, permanent bond when used as an underwater patch for pool repair
  • UV-resistant tape has thick adhesive layer; it sticks to vinyl, other plastics, and rubber
  • Strong and versatile with a host of uses around the home and yard


  • The tape is white, which means repairs are often visible
  • Some users have complained of occasional adhesion problems

Get the Gorilla pool patches at Amazon or The Home Depot.

Best Underwater

Swimline Hydrotools Pool Repair Kit

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Swimline is another company with a long history in the U.S. swimming pool industry. The company’s Hydrotools pool patch kit can be used for both dry and underwater repairs to above-ground and inground vinyl pools. It also works with inflatables. The pool patch kit contains everything required with adhesive, applicator, and four patches that are easy to cut to the desired size.

While Swimline pool patches are not as fast as peel-and-stick versions, a number of customers reported success with them when other patches have failed. However, instructions must be followed carefully. It takes 24 hours for the adhesive to cure fully, and applying weight to the patch is recommended, so it may not work well on repairs to the side of a pool unless it is drained first.

Product Specs

  • Type: Adhesive patch kit
  • Wet or dry application: Both
  • Repair time: 24 hours


  • Highly effective underwater vinyl patch can be applied without draining the pool
  • Versatile product works with above-ground and inground pool liners, inflatables, and other vinyl products
  • Also available in 1- and 2-ounce kits with clear and blue patches


  • Instructions need to be followed carefully or the bond may fail

Get the Swimline pool patches at Amazon or The Home Depot.

Best Heavy-Duty

Pool Above Heavy-Duty Vinyl Repair Patch Kit

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Thicker vinyl pool patches can allay users’ fears that repairs won’t last, and these heavy-duty patches from Pool Above are impressively beefy. They’re made from 1100 Denier (D) polyester canvas, the kind of strong material used for backpacks, luggage, and footwear.

The kit includes adhesive, applicator, and eight 2-inch-diameter pool patches. There are 20 colors in the range, so there’s likely to be a match for any pool. They can be applied dry or underwater, taking 24 hours to cure fully. Pool Above heavy-duty vinyl is equally effective as an inflatable pool patch kit.

There are no complaints about the patches themselves, but a few buyers found the adhesive ineffective. Waterproof epoxy has been suggested as an alternative.

Product Specs

  • Type: Adhesive patch kit
  • Wet or dry application: Both
  • Repair time: 24 hours


  • Extra-strong polyester canvas pool patches can be applied either dry or underwater Available in a choice of 20 different colors, providing matches for virtually any pool Can be used for inflatable kayaks, rafts, toys, and small tears in vinyl seats


  • Patches are relatively small, which restricts the size of repair possible

Get the Pool Above pool patches at Amazon.

Best Leak Stopper

Marlig Industries Fix-A-Leak Pool and Spa Leak Sealer

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Not a patch as such, Marlig Fix-A-Leak is a concentrated liquid designed to be circulated around the pool. As the product leaks out through any holes, it reacts with the outside air and solidifies to form a plug. It doesn’t need to adhere to the surface, so it works with virtually any pool material as well as hard-sided spas and hot tubs.

Marlig Fix-A-Leak is particularly effective at plugging small leaks that can be difficult to locate, and it will fix holes of up to 0.125 inch in diameter. The 32-ounce bottle will treat pools of up to 22,000 gallons. The application process is somewhat complex, and it varies depending on the type of pump and pool filtration. It is vital that the instructions are followed closely.

Product Specs

  • Type: Liquid
  • Wet or dry application: Wet
  • Repair time: 24 to 48 hours


  • The liquid sealer is particularly effective for pinholes that can be difficult to locate
  • Can be used for above-ground and inground pools, spas, and hot tubs
  • A single 1-quart dose works for pools of up to 22,000 gallons


  • The application process is somewhat involved, and it is important to follow directions carefully

Get the Marlig Industries pool leak sealer at Amazon.

Best Crack Filler

Atlas Epoxybond Pool Putty

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While many modern pools have flexible vinyl liners, this isn’t always the case. Gunite (a fine concrete-and-sand mix applied by spraying) is also popular, and existing concrete pools often develop leaks as they age. Atlas Epoxybond pool putty was developed to repair these materials, and it will also work with fiberglass.

The two parts of the epoxy are mixed together manually, and the product remains flexible for some time, making it easy to push into cracks. It can be used either dry or underwater. Curing time depends on temperature. At 60 degrees Fahrenheit, it takes around 2.5 hours, but if heat is applied, using a hair dryer for example, that can be reduced to as little as 20 minutes.

Repairs are usually very effective, as long as Epoxybond is applied at least 0.125 inch thick. A few users have reported problems with curing underwater. While we can’t be sure why, it may be an unexpected reaction with some pool chemicals.

Product Specs

  • Type: Putty
  • Wet or dry application: Both
  • Repair time: Varies (see description above)


  • Easy to mix and mold into shape for crack repairs in concrete, gunite, and fiberglass
  • Sets underwater, and once cured will not shrink or sag over time
  • Dry curing can be accelerated by application of a little heat


  • Must be at least 0.125 inch thick, and may not harden with some pool chemicals

Get the Atlas pool crack filler at Amazon.

Best Plaster Repair

Pool Patch White Pool Plaster Repair Kit

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Plaster has long been a common material for pools and is prized for its very smooth finish. But when plaster pools crack or chip, Pool Patch can come to the rescue. A combination of cement and acrylic polymer, it is easy to mix and use, and it can even be troweled over extensive areas if necessary.

Pool Patch is applied to dry surfaces and cures in 3 to 4 hours. It is available in tub sizes from 1.5 pounds to 50 pounds, and in seven different colors. The latter can be lightened or darkened with the company’s titanium dioxide or black dye to provide a precise match.

Problems are not common, but a few buyers complained of cracks or powdering. It’s impossible to know the cause, but incorrect mixing may be to blame.

Product Specs

  • Type: Plaster mix
  • Wet or dry application: Dry
  • Repair time: 3 to 4 hours


  • Easy-to-mix cement and polymer formula repairs cracks and delaminations
  • Can be used to fill chips and repair damage over substantial areas
  • Available in tubs from 1.5 pounds to 50 pounds, and in different colors


  • Correct mixing ratio is important, and repairs must be minimum thickness of 0.25 inch

Get the Pool Patch pool plaster at Amazon (1.5 pounds) or The Home Depot (10 pounds).

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What to Consider When Choosing a Pool Patch

There are a number of things to bear in mind before choosing a pool patch. In some cases, the decision will be easy because there is one type that suits a particular kind of damage or surface. In other cases there might be several solutions.


Peel-and-stick vinyl patches are probably the most popular type of pool repair, and they couldn’t be simpler to apply. Just remove the backing and hold over the damaged area for a few minutes. In some cases, it isn’t even necessary to empty the pool. Several waterproof tapes have similar properties. Heavy-duty vinyl patches usually need to have the adhesive applied separately.

Small holes can often be repaired with “leak stoppers” that come in liquid form and are poured into the pool. They follow the flow of water towards the leak, then react with the air outside to form a plug. Products are nontoxic, and any residue is eventually flushed as the pool water changes.

Cracks in fiberglass pools can be fixed with two-part epoxy resin. It can also be used on concrete. Specific plaster repair products are also widely available.

Wet or Dry Application

The quickest way to repair a pool and get back to enjoying the water is usually by using a patch that can be applied without draining the pool. However, it’s important to read the description carefully. Many products are described as “works underwater,” but in the case of some tapes and epoxies, that means that they are unaffected by water once fully cured, not that they can be applied to a pool that still contains water.

Pool patches and other repair products that must be applied to a dry surface will vary in terms of curing time. Some of them will put the pool out of action for 8 hours or more, so it may be worth leaving them overnight.


The size of repair required will have a major impact on the pool patch chosen. Most peel-and-stick patches are precut, which gives a clear maximum. For larger repairs, a kit with separate patch and adhesive is usually required. Tape has a maximum width of course, but it can be cut to length, so it may be more appropriate for long, thin tears.

Leak stoppers have a maximum hole size; in the case of the Marlig Industries pool leak sealer (described above), it’s 0.125 inch.

Epoxy is usually forced into cracks to fill them. We couldn’t find coverage details, so some guesswork is needed, but products are available in various-size sticks or two-part packs. Plaster mixes also come in multiple sizes, though in this case coverage information is usually supplied.

It is also briefly worth considering color, as it can be difficult to find a match when you try to patch above-ground pools or their inground counterparts. Clear versions do quite a good job of hiding repairs, and some manufacturers produce a few colored options. The heavy-duty patches we feature are unusual in offering 20 different shades.

Tips for Using a Pool Patch

For best results from any pool patch, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions as closely as possible. Failing to read instructions carefully can mean missing a key element and the eventual failure of the repair. In addition to reading how the patch works, there may be useful videos available online.

While each pool patch is different, the following steps generally apply:

  • Make sure the patch is large enough for the repair. It’s not advisable to overlap pool patches, as these areas are often a point of weakness.
  • Dirt, sand, and other contaminants will inhibit adhesion, so make sure the area around the repair is clean, even when patching underwater.
  • Follow all safety precautions carefully. Some adhesives can be harmful if inhaled. Be particularly careful with an underwater patch kit. Do not try to make the repair by holding your breath. Use a snorkel or breathing apparatus if you are qualified, or leave the job to a professional.


The article above provides comprehensive information about the many types of pool patches. However, those who want more information may find it below in the answers to some of the most common questions about these products.

Q. What is the best way to patch a hole in a swimming pool?

There are several ways to patch a hole in a swimming pool, depending on the pool material, the type of damage, and where in the pool it occurs. No one product is right for all repairs. The information above looks at the different methods to help you find the best way to patch the hole in your pool.

Q. Are pool patches long lasting?

Yes, most pool patches would be considered long lasting. Many are made of the same kind of material as the pool itself, or the pool liner, and the adhesives they use form a very strong bond. This can give a life expectancy the same as that of the pool material, which in most cases is 10 to 15 years.

Q. How do I patch a pool without a patch kit?

Duct tape can provide a temporary repair without using a patch kit, though it may not last very long. For a more permanent solution, we recommend one of the pool patching methods listed above.

Q. How do pool patches work?

Peel-and-stick products just need to have the backing removed before being applied (some even work underwater). Leak sealers “find” small holes then set in contact with the outside air to form a stopper. Epoxy solutions come in two parts that form a bond when mixed. Each has specific uses, as discussed in our article.

Q. Are all pool patches the same?

No, all pool patches are not the same. There are various types and sizes to fix all kinds of pool damage. Our list of top picks gives full details of the best pool patches for a variety of purposes.

Why Trust Bob Vila

Bob Vila has been America’s Handyman since 1979. As the host of beloved and groundbreaking TV series including “This Old House” and “Bob Vila’s Home Again,” he popularized and became synonymous with “do-it-yourself” home improvement.

Researcher and product specialist Bob Beacham has been writing consumer advice articles for national publications for more than a decade. He covers a wide variety of home and garden subjects and is known for providing information that is thorough yet easy to understand.

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Bob Beacham

Contributing Writer

Bob Beacham is an engineer by trade and has spent 35 years working on everything from auto parts to oil rigs. He is also an avid DIY enthusiast. Bob started writing for the Bob Vila team in 2020 and covers tools, outdoor equipment, and home improvement projects.