Swimming Pool Blog
by Rob Cox, August 27, 2011
In Ground Pool Liners, how to maintain, measure and install
In ground pool liners are no longer only light blue - oval or rectangle shape. Vinyl lined pools have for many years been able to incorporate curves, steps and swim-outs. Spas can be added, as well as water features, lighting features and other such add-ons that formerly were available only to in ground concrete pools.
As they become more similar, the differences between vinyl liner pools and gunite or concrete pools are diminishing. What remains, is the fact that you can construct a vinyl liner pool at a cheaper cost than a concrete pool. Soil types can lead a pool hunter to choose a vinyl pool.
Taking Care of your In Ground Vinyl Pool Liner: To maximize the lifespan of your inground pool liner, here's some steps to take.
- Prevent Leaks. No baseball cleats in the pool! And no steak knives either. ;-)
- Repair leaks quickly. If your pool liner develops a leak, best to locate it and repair quickly to prevent erosion of the floor or corrosion of the pool wall.
- Maintain proper water chemistry - pH levels that are low can create an agressive water condition that can rob your vinyl liner of it's plasticizers, rendering it less flexible and pliable, and more susceptible to cracking.
- Keep chlorine levels at a minimum, or use non-chlorine alternatives to keep levels low. High chlorine levels have a similiar effect as low pH levels on your vinyl pool liner.
- Use equipment or tools specially designed for vinyl liners. They are kinder and gentler on the vinyl surface.
- Even if you have the original specs of the pool, measure carefully to the nearest 1/2 inch.
- If you are rounding up to the nearest 1/2 inch, keep consistent with your rounding.
- Draining the pool is not necessary to measure, although it can make it easier and more precise.
- If you do not drain, you may need to get in the pool to obtain accurate measures.
- Have a helper on hand to help hold the measuring tape and/or to write down the measures.
- Vinyl covered steps, radius corners, varying wall heights all need special measurements.
- Be sure to measure pool width at top of wall, and bottom of wall, to make sure wall is vertical.
- If your pool floor meets the wall with cove, or a safety ledge, indicate this on the measurement form.
- Measure twice, and measure everything!
Download our In-ground Liner measurement form, and follow instructions exactly, and if there is any uncertainty, be sure to contact your vinyl liner sales rep - ask questions first, before measuring.
Other pool shapes will have slightly different measurement requirements.
Refer to your dealer's measurement kit for specific measures for your pool shape.
Installing a Replacement In Ground Vinyl Pool Liner: Installing your own in ground vinyl liner is quite a job, but if you have a handy streak running through you, it can be easily accomplished.
NOTE: This is intended to be a simple explanation of how to install an inground vinyl pool liner. Read our Complete Guide to In-Ground Liner Installations, before installing your own vinyl pool liner.
- Drain pool, use a razor knife to remove the old liner in manageable sections.
- Inspect walls for rust and mineral deposits. Scrape clean and tape wall joints with duct tape.
- Install wall foam if pool walls are rough or rusty, or if you want a smooth, soft wall.
- Remove all faceplates and gaskets. Don't lose the screws or plates! Gaskets will be replaced.
- Inspect floor. Sand bottoms will need extensive troweling - just before liner installation. Vermiculite or concrete floors can be swept clean. Make repairs to any divots or spalled areas in the concrete floor.
- Install the liner, with 2-4 people on hand, being careful while pulling over the pool, to not upset a sand bottom. Hook the liner bead into the track in several areas, making sure that the liner lines up to any curves or radius.
- Remove the air beneath the liner before filling. Use a strong shop vac or liner vac, duct taped between the liner and the wall, to suction the liner tightly. This allows you to see and correct any wrinkles before filling, and will hold the liner in place while filling. Do not install the faceplates or cut holes for skimmer, returns, etc. until the pool fills.
- Fill the pool! Keep the liner vac running until the water level is at least 6" above the floor.
- Allow the pool to fill completely full before installing faceplates on skimmers and returns or underwater lights. After the faceplate is installed very tightly, and with new gaskets, use a razor knife to cut out the vinyl inside the plastic or steel faceplate.
- Start the pump/filter, and check and balance your water chemistry.