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Top 10 Most Useful Pool Repair Tools

Is your pool repair tool kit stocked and ready to go at a moment's notice? If not, that’s OK! We’re here to help. Pool repair tool kits are useful for emergency pool and equipment repairs or general maintenance around your pool. If the pump quits working, the filter springs a leak, the caulk around the pool deteriorates, or tiles start falling into the pool, you’ll be glad you have these tools assembled and the repair supplies ready to go. Don’t let simple pool repairs slow you down this year! Keep these 10 items in a designated tool kit so your pool stays in top shape year-round.

1. Pool Putty

2-part epoxy pool putty

A tube of pool repair putty or pool epoxy can save the day in many scenarios. It quickly seals cracks in most materials, including plaster, fiberglass, tile, and plastic, and it will even cure underwater. Because of this, it’s quite popular for fixing leaking equipment, skimmers, lights, fittings, and more. In a pinch, pool putty can also be used to quickly tack loose or fallen pool tiles back onto the wall.

2. Pool Caulk

In The Swim Rubberseal permanent nitrile rubber sealer and joint filler for pools

Caulking in an expansion joint only lasts 5–10 years, at which point it begins to lose elasticity, crack, and separate. To keep moisture out and prevent dirt and debris from accumulating, it’s important to repair the expansion joint with pool caulk or make a full replacement, including new backer rod foam and expansion joint caulk. Failure to make this simple repair can result in much more costly pool wall and/or deck repairs down the road. Some types of pool caulk are specifically formulated for underwater use, which can be helpful when sealing off leaky fittings and hardware inside the pool.

3. Cyclone Blower/Vacuum

A pool blower-vac isn't just a multipurpose pool tool, it’s a money-saving must-have for do-it-yourself pool owners. The vacuum function can help you install a pool liner on your own, while the blower function effectively clears out pool lines for winterizing pools or making plumbing repairs. No matter what large-scale pool service you're performing, this is one tool that can help you get it done.

4. Pool Plugs

swimming pool plugs

Pool plugs aren’t just for winterizing! If you need to block off pool lines, isolate and troubleshoot a specific section of pipe, or if you need to make a complex plumbing repair, pool plugs will definitely come in handy. It’s not a bad idea to store an extra threaded plug for your filter or pump in case the original gets damaged or misplaced.

5. Submersible Pump

submersible pool cover pump

It may be a simple tool, but a submersible pool cover pump actually has several applications in pool maintenance. The most common uses are to remove rainwater from solid pool covers or to drain water from a pool. However, in the event that your pool pump stops working, a submersible pump can also help keep the water circulating until you’re able to make repairs or have a service pro install a new pump for you. It’s better than letting the water go stagnant while waiting for replacement parts or a new pool pump to arrive.

6. Patch Kits

vinyl pool liner repair kit

The supplies needed for a wall patch vary depending on what type of pool you have. Holes in vinyl liners are the easiest to repair, using vinyl patches and a special adhesive from a vinyl liner repair kit. For plaster pools, there are pool epoxies and plaster mixes, and for fiberglass pools, you can usually find fiberglass repair kits at a marine supply store. During the winter, it’s a good idea to also keep some cover patches handy. These are available for both safety covers and winter covers, and they’ll help keep debris out of the pool if your pool cover gets damaged.

7. Leak Detection Tools

leak detection dye test for pools

The faster you can diagnose, find and repair a pool leak, the better off you’ll be. Keep a Mini Bucket Test on hand to determine if your rapidly dropping water level is due to a leak or simply an evaporation issue. Once you've identified there is indeed a leak, the next step is to pinpoint its location with a dye test so you can fix it. Add a pre-filled dye syringe and refill bottle to your pool essentials tool kit, so you can precisely locate leaks just as soon as you notice the water level dropping.

8. Scale Scrubber

pumice stone with handle

It’s easier (and cheaper!) to stay on top of pool scale accumulation before it gets out of control. In addition to maintaining proper water balance and using scale prevention chemicals, it’s also a good idea to keep a manual stain and scale remover in your pool tool kit. When dealing with concrete, plaster, or tile, a simple pumice stone will usually do the trick. For softer surfaces like vinyl or fiberglass, use a gentler product, such as a Vinyl Stain Eraser, to avoid damaging the finish.

9. Gasket and O-Ring Kits

gasket, o-rings, and seal for pool pump

When the seals, gaskets, or O-rings on your pool equipment deteriorate and start leaking, you’ll be glad you kept a spare set readily available. There are a number of different kits available for pool filters, pumps, heaters, and even quick pool valve repairs. For some automatic pool cleaners, you can sometimes find complete tune-up kits that include a few extra fast-wearing parts. Many gasket and O-ring kits also include a small packet of pool lubricant to help those pieces last longer.

10. General Tools

The final thing on our list is actually a list of several items. But to complete your ultimate pool repair tool kit, you’ll still need a few general use tools. These can be useful for any application, not just pool repairs! If you already have a basic handyman’s tool kit, you probably have most of these ready to go. However, if you still need to build a basic tool kit, here’s a list of items that may come in handy for pool repairs:

  • Razor knife
  • Measuring tape
  • Screwdrivers
  • Nut drivers
  • Hex keys (Allen wrenches)
  • Standard wrenches
  • Channellock or tongue-and-groove pliers
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Wire strippers
  • Pipe wrench
  • Hammer and/or rubber mallet
  • Chisel
  • Putty knife
  • Wire brushes and/or stiff nylon brushes
  • Small manual or electric saw (large enough to cut PVC pipe)
  • Miscellaneous power tools (drills, grinders, etc.)
  • Electrical testing meter
  • Extension cord
  • Tape (duct tape, electrical tape, Teflon tape, painter’s tape, etc.)
  • Emery cloth or scour pad
  • Spare PVC couplings, as well as PVC primer and glue
  • Pool lubricant (silicone or Teflon)
  • Protective gloves, safety goggles, and dust masks

With all the right pool repair supplies, you’ll be prepared for anything that comes your way during swimming season. Whether you’re looking for repair supplies, replacement parts, or brand new pool equipment, In The Swim carries everything you need to quickly get your pool back in top shape.

In The Swim makes every effort to provide accurate recommendations based upon current ANSI/APSP/ICC-5 2011 (R2022) standards, but codes and regulations change, and In The Swim assumes no liability for any omissions or errors in this article or the outcome of any project. You must always exercise reasonable caution, carefully read the label on all products, follow all product directions, follow any current codes and regulations that may apply, and consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures. In The Swim assumes no legal responsibility for your reliance or interpretation of the data contained herein, and makes no representations or warranties of any kind concerning the quality, safety, or suitability of the information, whether express or implied, including, without limitation, any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.