When you own an aboveground, metal wall pool, liner replacement is a maintenance job that will need to be done approximately every five to seven years. Due to chemicals, sunlight, storm damage or children’s rough-housing, the liners take a beating. Over time the vinyl becomes more brittle and prone to ripping. Here are some things to consider when replacing your pool liner.
You have several options when replacing your pool liner regardless of what you currently have in your pool. Some pools have overlap liners. These liners just pull over the top wall and are held on by retainer clips. To replace this kind of liner, the top rail of the pool must be completely removed, retainer strips removed, old liner taken out prior to new liner being installed. This adds to a lot more work and additional time to install the liner. Another option is a beaded liner. This liner comes with a molded bead on the top edge of the liner. A bead receiver track is placed on the top of the pool wall. The bead on the liner is then inserted into the bead receiver. As the pool fills with water, the beaded liner stretches into place with fewer wrinkles than an overlap liner. The beaded liner also has more options of prints available including tile borders because the liner will always hang in the same position unlike an overlap liner. Any pool can be upgraded to use the bead receiver and beaded liner making this the last time you will have to remove all the top rail to replace the liner! Another choice is the unibead liner. This new style of liner is designed to be universal and can be installed on a pool with or without bead receiver by using the j-hook or removing that and using it as an overlap.
While the liner is out, redoing the floor under the liner is a good idea. Many people use sand as the pool base. Over time, sand can shift and also leave footprints making for a bumpy bottom. Using floor mat instead of sand makes for a smoother base that will not only stay in position longer and better than sand, it will also help cushion the floor and protect the new liner. While investing in a new liner, it’s worth the time and trouble to install floor mat too!
The other item to check and replace while installing a new liner is the coping. This is placed at the base of the pool wall and also helps to protect the new liner. This comes as a triangle shaped Styrofoam piece with an adhesive backing on it. Simply remove the covering from the adhesive and stick to the base of the pool wall all the way around the pool. This will give a nice curved base to protect the liner from the pool wall.
Once the floor mat, coping and liner are all in place you are ready to start refilling the pool with fresh water. Allow the pool to fill to just below the placement of the skimmer before cutting the liner for the skimmer and inlet. The weight of the water will stretch the liner so it is in the correct position prior to cutting. Replace the gaskets on the skimmer and inlet to ensure no leaks from fittings. Be sure to complete the water treatment process the same as when opening the pool in the spring. If you need this process, check out our previous blog. With proper care and maintenance, and barring any of those mid-west storms, you will be enjoying your new liner for years to come!