Part of the fun of frolicking in an above ground swimming pool is floating on pool toys. They can be used in games or simply for relaxing and floating around the pool. But when they spring a leak, save yourself some money and buy a patch kit instead of a new pool toy. You’ll also save some space at the local dump. In this article, we’ll teach you how to patch vinyl pool toys and allow them to serve you for another season.
Find the Leak
The first step to repairing your deflated pool toy is to find the leak. This can be done by blowing it up, submerging it in the water and looking for any escaping air bubbles. If this doesn’t locate the hole, fill a spray bottle with a mixture of dish soap and water and spray it over several different areas of the pool toy. Any resulting soap bubbles will draw you to the leak. Mark the hole with a grease pencil or marker to make it easily identifiable when you’re ready to patch it up.
Prep the Toy
You’ll need to make sure the toy is completely dry to allow the patch to adhere properly. You’ll also want to make sure the repair area is clean. You can use a bit of rubbing alcohol and a cotton ball or a wet wipe for quick drying results. Depending on where the hole is, you’ll need to decide if it’ll be easier to repair it while inflated or deflated. Holes on seams will usually require deflation, whereas holes on curved surfaces may be easier to patch while the toy is inflated.
Prep the Patch
Make sure the repair kit or glue you’re using is suitable for the type of material the toy is made of. Some patch kits are specifically made to patch rubber. You’ll want to trim the patch so that it covers the entire hole but isn’t too large to easily work with. Leave at least a quarter inch border around the hole. Apply a layer of glue over the surface of the patch that will attach to the toy (or simply remove the backing if it already has adhesive) and smooth it over the hole. Apply pressure until the glue starts to set.
Allow the glue to thoroughly dry before completely blowing up the toy again. Trying to use it too soon will cause the patch to separate from the surface and require you to patch it again. Once the glue has completely dried, test the toy by placing the patched area in the water and watching for any telltale bubbles. If it’s still leaking, you’ll need to try again.
To learn more helpful information about above ground pools, download a pool brochure.