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    Measuring For A Replacement Inground Pool Liner

    February 3, 2012

    determine the shape of your pool liner

    If you own an inground vinyl liner pool eventually you will have to replace your inground vinyl liner. Here's the necessary information you need to measure and order a replacement inground pool liner that fits perfectly. Replacing your inground pool liner is not difficult - we have sold thousands of  inground pool liners to homeowners who measured and installed it themselves.  Local pool liner installers will tell you that you are crazy trying to replace your own pool liner; don’t let them scare you.  If you are person that likes to do your own household projects - you can definitely measure and install your own inground pool liner.

    Step # 1 in measuring for an inground liner would be to determine your liner type such as Beaded (most common), Low Hung Beaded or an Overlap liner. Most inground vinyl pools have a beaded edge at the top of the liner, which locks into a track at the top of the pool wall. Low Hung liners (i.e. Polynesian pools), are installed into a track at the bottom of the wall. Overlap liners don't lock into a track at all, but pull over the top of the wall, and clips are used to secure the liner.

    Step # 2 would be to determine the shape of your inground pool, as shown in the above image.  You can use our Specialty Pool Products Easy to use inground liner measuring form to see if the shape of your pool is shown.  If your pool is shown we show the exact measurements we need for you to provide to us.  If after looking at our measuring form - you don’t see your pool shape listed, then most likely your pool is a freeform, such as a Kidney and we would ask you to provide us with a pool liner A- B measurement form.

    Step # 3 is to let us know the types of corners on your pool - unless you have a circle or oval pool shape, in which case you have no corners. Choose your corner type: Square, Radius or Diagonal and then follow our illustrations on how to measure for each type of corner. Please call if you have any questions on how to measure for any of these corner types.  If you have a pool that has more than 1 corner type such as a Lazy L  shape, please provide us with a drawing of your pool.

    types of corners to measure for an inground pool liner

    Step # 4 is to measure your pool width and length When measuring this, use inside measurements - wall to wall, below the coping. Write these measurements on the form in the space provided.

    Step # 5 is to measure the bottom of the pool. When taking your measurements for the pool bottom you must take Horizontal measurements (Left to right measurements).  The pool measurements you take will depend on the contour of your pool such as Standard Hopper, Constant Slope, Wedge, or Safety Ledge.  The most common contour we sell is a standard Hopper, so let's use that bottom type as our example.

    how to measure the bottom of an inground pool liner

    You can take measurements when the pool is empty or with water in it, but it helps to have clean and clear water, so you can see all of the pool floor transitions.  Let's assume that we will measure for a new liner with water in the pool.  The first thing you want to do is measure the length of the shallow end floor. Extend a measuring tape from the end of the shallow end wall to the shallow end "break" - where the deep end slope begins.  A fabric type of measuring tape is best, but you can use rigid steel. This measurement can be taken along the edge of the deck - or from the inside of the pool wall (underneath any coping) and enter this onto our inground pool liner measuring form.

    Next, you want to measure the slope of the pool from the beginning of the slope which is at the shallow end break.  When taking this measurement you do not want to measure down the slope you need to take a Horizontal measurement of the slope, keeping the measuring tape on the plane of the shallow end floor.  The easiest way to accomplish this is to use a telescopic pool pole and hold the pole where the slope meets the shallow end break line. Keep the pole at a 90 degree angle and mark the spot along the edge of the deck with a piece of chalk.  Next walk down your deck towards the deep end and find out where the slope meets the hopper pad.

    Place your telescopic pole into the deep end of the pool at the end of the slope which is the beginning of hopper pad. Hold your pole at a 90 degrees (vertical) and mark that spot along the edge of the deck. Now measure the distance between those points and that is your slope measurement; add this to the measuring form.how to measure an inground pool hopper bottom

    You should measure the slope on both sides and not assume that they are the same on both sides.  Do this the same way as above by putting your pool pole at the beginning of hopper and then lean pole towards coping and mark a spot on deck, with chalk or tape or a magic marker. You can also use a measuring stick or second pole, and a level, for the most accurate measurement, as shown in the image. Next, find the location of where your hopper ends - which is the beginning of the back slope and follow the same procedure by locating that point with a pole and then lean the pole towards the pool edge at 90 degrees and mark that spot along the edge of the deck. Measure the distance between those 2 points and that is your hopper measurement - enter this on our measuring form.

    Finally, we need to measure the back slope (shown in image above) - which at the end of the hopper. You can use the measurement that is already on your deck for the end of the hopper and then measure to the end of the pool and that would be the back slope measurement which is H on our measuring form.

    After taking all of your pool bottom measurements make sure to double-check to make sure your measurements are correct.  If you add the measurements E+F+G+H together, that should equal measurement A, which is the total length of the pool.

    The last few measurements we need are to measure the 2 side slopes in the deep end and the width of the hopper pad those are also horizontal measurements.  Those 3 measurements combined, I+J+K,  must equal the width of the pool which is measurement B on on our liner measuring form.

    Step # 6 is to measure the depth of the pool. To do this with water in the pool, place a telescopic pole onto the bottom of pool, and take another pole with a skimmer net on the end so that you can hold the vertical pole in place.  Use a helper to eyeball the pole to make sure it looks vertical and is not leaning to the side. Remember that we are measuring the depth of the liner, not the water. Measure from the floor up to the track, or the very top of the wall, where the liner ends, or measure to where the vertical pole intersects the horizontal, both held at 90 degrees to each other.

    Write down the depth measurement and next you want to measure the distance from the pool deck to the track, or where the liner ends. Subtract these 2 measurements to determine the true depth of your liner in the deep end. In the shallow end, it is much easier; follow the same procedure or just use a rigid measuring tape to measure from the flat floor (not the cove), to the bead receiver, or track.

    Step # 7 is to measure the steps (if you have them). If you have vinyl liner covered steps please see our measuring form for inground steps covered with vinyl liner. For plastic steps or swim outs which are not covered in vinyl, there is no need to measure them, unless the wall has a radius curve that interfaces with the step section (which is not very common).

    If you follow these simple steps I mentioned above, you will definitely be able to measure and soon install your own inground pool liner - for much less than you would pay your local pool liner installer.  Just take your time to accurately measure and fill out our inground pool liner measuring form correctly.

    You can do it! And we can show you how!  

    Chris Low
    SPP Pool Expert

    inground pool liner expert advice  

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