There are many different options and styles one has these days. It’s more important you get the right size then the options and style can be shopped for last.
If you are one of the lucky ones out there who needs a new pool liner because your pool is in need of one. Then there are some things you must know before you swipe that debit card.
The Biggest misconception about pool liners could leave you light in your pocket. Buying the same size liner for your size pool can be a huge mistake.
You always want to measure and inspect your pool before you even talk about patterns and which attachments are best for your pool. Without this measurement your chances of having a successful liner change is reduced greatly.
As with anything in life the harder it seems the more money you throw at it. Having a qualified professional can make the process of changing your pool liner go faster and save some muscle work. But you can get the same results that a professional could give you. Many people hire someone recommended by a friend or even hire low lifes from the craigslist in order to replace their pool liners. As a twenty year veteran above ground pool installer I find this a huge reason why pool liner replacement is often given a bad rap. I’ve heard many horror stories about contractors with hardly any experience really mess up ones pool and even some that have ruined peoples pools all together. Many installation issues can be done quite simply by taking a few steps to insure that you get the best fitting pool liner for your pool.
Let’s explore these steps and options that you can do that will insure you end up with professional results.
1. Measuring the pool
Before you can replace an your Liner you will need to measure your pool. If you have around pool, you will need to know the diameter and wall height. Oval and rectangle pools will require measurements for the length and width. You will also need to know information about the bottom of your pool.
A standard floor has a coving (Floor Base where meets the wall) that is about 4 inches in height up the wall and 3 inches inward from the wall. Overlap lined pools tend to have larger coves and most overlap lined pools are built to fit with universal overlap liners ranging from 48″-54″ in height.
Don’t Measure wall height on the inside!
When you measure the wall height, Measuring from the base of the bottom track to the top of the pool’s wall is the only way to measure effectively. Do not measure from inside the pool, always measure from the outside. Move any debris that may be in the way so you can measure from the base of the pool. Measure upward to underneath your pools top rail. This is your wall height. Next you will need the diameter, if your pool is round. Using the examples below, you will be able to determine the diameter of your round pool.
In this example, the pool has a total of 14 uprights. Since it is an even number you simply split that in half which is 7. So you mark the #1 upright and count 7 uprights over being careful not to count the first upright. Use a tape measure to determine the distance between the #1 upright and the #7 upright; this is your diameter of the pool.
In this example the pool has 15 uprights. To get the halfway point you’ll need to first find the highest even number of uprights your pool has. In the above example this number is 14. Simply count 7 uprights in either direction and be sure not to count the #1 upright when counting to the #7 upright. Use a tape measure to measure from the #1 upright to between the #7 upright and next upright which is the #8 upright. This is your pools diameter.
How to measure an oval pools length and width.
2. Inspecting your pool for an above ground pool liner
Part of the process of changing your pool liner will involve inspecting the pool itself and doing this while talking measurements is the best time to do so. What good is buying the best fitting pool liner if the pool it goes into has a major problem?
Even the best looking pools can have major problems lurking just past the naked eye. Take a pool like this one here. Looks great right? It’s with above ground pools like this one that can create the biggest problems.
When you have vegetation growing close to the pools wall you can end up having rust or rot issues because the greenery holds moisture close to the pools wall. You always want to check the wall in several places no matter what is growing around the pool.
Next check out the bottom ends of the uprights to see if they are still attached with manufactured screws. Sometimes the screws can rust and break long before the pool’s uprights. With any kind of material on the outside of the wall can mask this issue. So take back whatever material you have and have a look. You need not check every single one. Check about 3 or 4 if they are good then chances are the rest will be too.
Next check out the skimmer and return area it’s always a good idea to replace your skimmer gaskets with new ones. We recommend buying a brand new skimmer and return. The reason you want to do this is because skimmers are made of plastic and use metal screws. When reusing the screws they do not hold as tight as they did the first time and this will cause leaking to occur.
This brings up a bigger problem to check for. If your pool has had any kind of skimmer leaking then chances are the area around the skimmer could be damaged. If you see any rot then chances are great that you will have to address this issue. Best way to check is to take off the skimmer and look at the screw holes for damage. If you do have damage then the remedies are placing metal and cutting new holes, replacing the entire wall or if you have a wall saver then replacing it with a new one makes sense. Please Note: A Brand New Skimmer is always our first choice!
3. Ready yourself it’s now time to research above ground pool liners
Once you are armed with the correct measurements and the pool you’re replacing the liner in is capable of receiving a new liner. Now the real challenge comes at finding the best above ground pool liner for your particular pool.
Not every liner is designed, manufactured or sold the same way. Many customers do steps 1 and 2 perfectly and then after buying a pool liner provided by their local pool retailer find themselves with bigger problems then before they started this process.
I mean congratulations on getting through step one and two as you have already done more than many above ground pool contractors. Let’s now look at the replacement pool liner world for clues.
What makes a good above ground pool liner?
There are different manufacturing techniques used in the manufacturing of above ground pool liners. The best manufacturers are the ones who build your liner after measurement has been taken. Most companies brag about how fast they can produce what a customer is looking for. Having a liner to your home overnight is not always a good deal. In fact it’s probably a liner that has been sitting on a shelf for years.
All pool liners are made of a type of vinyl, which is a durable surface to keep your pool water-tight. You can purchase either a recycled or a virgin vinyl for your pool. Recycled vinyl will be thinner and stretch more easily, which can be problematic and make the liner more at risk for rips or punctures in the liner. Virgin vinyl is naturally made with thicker sheeting which will more easily resist the tears and stretching that may happen, thus lasting longer than recycled vinyl.
Next the seams that holds the liner in its shape. There are different ways a manufacturer uses to make these seams. Vinyl Pool Liners that are manufactured with ¾” Lap Welded Seams are the best quality on the market right now.
There is typically 2-3 seams that make up a round liner and 3-5 that make up an oval. One common seam to all pool liners is the one that runs along the bottom where the liner sides meet the bottom.
Vinyl Pool Liners manufactured in climate and environmentally controlled facilities with premium materials designed to withstand harsh environments are best. Also it’s even better to have a facility use UV inhibitors to protect against sun damage and Algae inhibitors which aid normal sanitizers to protect the liner itself. The better manufacturers can produce material that can have cold crack temperature protection to at least zero degrees farenheit.
Another process that some manufacturers use is they use non embossed vinyl. Embossed vinyl varies in thickness, leading to a sub-standard product that is more apt to rip, wear unevenly or otherwise fail prematurely. The illustration below shows how embossed vinyl measures the thickness of the material at the highest point of the embossing rather than the valley which is the true thickness of the material. Non-embossed Vinyl is best compared to embossed vinyl.
4.Which Liner is right for your pool
Most swimming pools sold today come with beaded liners. So chances are good that yours will be a beaded liner. When it comes to replacing any pool liner the general rule of thumb is to get exactly what is in your pool now.
If the previous has you scratching your head you’re not alone. It is the industries competition that is confusing the public. The best course of action you can take is to ask a qualified professional to look and determine what choices you have. Either ask a local qualified pool pro or simply ask us your questions. We will guide you in this important right direction.
5. Hiring the right professional to get the liner installed correctly
Always check the bbb and reviews of all contractors especially pool guys in the above ground pool filed. Often times states don’t require specific licencing for above ground pool installers.
Author: Above Ground Pool Builder sells Above Ground Pools, Liners and Accessories, Including Local Installation.
35 Lorraine Dr Stoughton, MA 02072 US
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Above Ground Builder did a great job replacing my 18′ round pool liner. Dave and his crew arrived a little before they said they would arrive. Got right to work, and had the whole job completed in very little time. They did an excellent installing the new liner, and it look great. They are a real professional crew at doing their jobs. I would recommend them to anyone needing above ground pool work..