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    Replacing an Aboveground Pool Liner

    February 13, 2014


    Failure is often the leading cause behind the replacement of an aboveground vinyl liner, although you do not have to let it get that bad.  Keeping an eye on the changing conditions of your aboveground pool as the seasons pass will give you the opportunity to fix something before there’s an emergency.

    Over the years vinyl liner problems are caused by many things, such as: animals scratching the liner, or a falling tree branch, but the effects of natural aging is one cause that we have the most control over. Supporting your vinyl liner investment with wall foam up top and Armor Shield underneath will help you in the long run by protecting the liner from minor punctures and tears. Protecting your liner with good water balance and low chlorine will also help extend it's life.


    There is so much to consider when choosing a replacement aboveground vinyl liner that taking your time to get it all straight is worth it…call us to ask any questions you may have. The most popular liner is the overlap style liner, but perhaps the beaded liners ought to have a wider appreciation - they are much easier and quicker to install, since you do not need to remove the top rails. You can convert to a beaded liner using conversion strips.

    Upgrading to a beaded liner will mean that when you remove the old, overlap liner it will be the last time you’ll have to remove all those top rail pieces. And if you have done this before you can understand the time and hassle you will save. Another reason for installing a beaded liner is that they definitely exude a classier look to your swimming pool, there are more liner patterns.

    aboveground-pool-linersAfter selecting between aboveground pool liner patterns and deciding upon the wall foam and floor foam options, the question is: do I need a new skimmer or return faceplates? How about the gaskets? it is a good idea to replace these items is they've been installed for many years. Check over your pump and filter equipment too, to make sure that you can begin filtering immediately after installing your new liner.

    Whether you are proactive about replacing your liner or you wait until the last minute we have a large selection of above ground replacement vinyl liners to meet your specific needs. We stock several sizes year round, but more important, we have a direct line to nearly any size or shape you could want.


    Once you have everything ready, plan for a sunny day that gets into the mid-70’s as this will allow the liner to stretch more easily. First, find a suitable area to drain the pool. Dumping several thousands of gallons of water isn’t a joke and flooding the neighbors might not be a good idea. Use a sump pump to remove all of the water, checking on the pump and the discharge every 20-30 minutes.

    Once the pool is empty, the liner can be removed, and recycled. A beaded liner will only require you to pop the liner out of the track that secures the bead, while most overlap liners require you to take off the top rail sections. In this case, you are removing the cap, the top rail, the stabilizers, and the coping. That’s a lot of work that can be avoided with a beaded liner.

    Next, smooth out the sand floor with rakes and trowels and rebuild the cove (the sand ledge up against the wall) to about 6”x6” with a 45 degree angle. You can now remove your skimmer and return faceplates. If you are installing wall foam, floor padding, or foam cove - now is the time to put these in place.

    The liner goes in next - place it over the rail and roll it out so as to cover the length of the pool, making sure the center seam of the liner is rolled out along the longest line (for oval pools). Now, unfold the liner completely and (with a beaded liner) wedge the bead into the track at one point. Repeat on the opposite side, and at four equally spaced points around the pool, and then four more points in between the first four. You should have the liner attached by the bead in 8 equally distanced spots. Now completely insert the bead all the way around the track.

    For an overlap liner you essentially do the same thing: drape up to two feet of the liner over the side of the pool wall and secure it with the coping strips, again making sure you are as centered as possible. Pull the liner evenly over the wall all the way around, so the floor is just barely touching the center of the floor. Once you have it centered and hanging properly, install the coping clips around the edge, and once more go around and make sure the amount of overlapping liner is equal on all sides.

    In both cases, you can connect a wet/dry vac in between the liner and the pool wall through the skimmer opening, duct taping it airtight, if you wish. This will suck the liner close to the wall and make it easier to fit the liner correctly.


    fill-the-vinyl-poolSo, you have the garden hose streaming over the side of the pool now.  If you are installing an overlap liner, you can replace all those top rail pieces. Continue to add water until you are just below the skimmer level and then tighten down your faceplates for the skimmer and return. Use a razor knife to cut out the piece of vinyl inside of the faceplate (be sure your equipment is connected first!).

    With the pool equipment connected and the water level full, you can test for chemical levels: chlorine, cyanuric acid, hardness, total alkalinity and pH. Begin filtering and sanitizing the pool water right away.


    Feel free to call us, we are here to help you out with anything you may need for your aboveground pool liner install. The goal of the SPP Pool Expert is to assist homeowners with DIY pool projects. We know how much it means to accomplish our own pool repairs. That feeling of pride at completing a job well done. That knowledge that your attention to detail will stand out over many seasons of fun. We provide the best possible customer service we can to help you save money!

    Take care- we look forward to working with you.  

    Zach Livingstone
    SPP Pool Expert  

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