Swimming Pool Vinyl Liners Explained

Published: 16th February 2009
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In the Northeast where we are situated, most of the in ground pools are of the vinyl liner type. Instead of Gunite (concrete) the pools have a vinyl membrane that seals in the water. They mostly have metal or thermoplastic walls around the perimeter, and underneath that is usually sand or thin cement type layer floor. These types of pools are easier to install, much more inexpensive in price. As with all pools, here are some tips with regards to servicing your inground pool liner or above ground pool liner.

Does your Vinyl Liner Look Faded?
Vinyl liners will fade in color over time due to the Sun and Chemicals. The sanitizers remove properties in the liners that exhibit their resiliency. Liners made today are much more resistant to these situations because of the modern chemical makeup of them.
Liners today typically come in at around 20mil in thickness. Because vinyl can stretch a lot, they are defiance to poking a hole through them is pretty good, but not impossible. If a small hole is made, you can usually patch it up with a dry or wet patch kit. To tell if you might have a leak, not how much water you have to add and its frequency. If it is more than an inch a week than you can suspect a leak.

How to tell if your Swimming Pool Has Sprung a Leak.
It is advisable not to drain your inground pool if equipped with a vinyl liner. The water holds the liner tight against the walls and if removed the liner has to be reset. This no water condition can lead to large wrinkles that can form, thus requiring a vacuum to remove. Also water can be allowed to seep behind the liner causing the backside of the sand to wash out. Walls can also collapse because of the difference in pressure with the water being out, so consult a profession pool technician if you have to go this far with your pool.
Pool Vinyl Liners come in all sorts of colors and styles today as apposed to limited patterns of yesteryear. Thickness, size and shape will determine you cost, but expect to pay anywhere between, $800 to $1600 for your average Vinyl Liner.
If liners are not centered or sized to small for you pool, the liner bead can come out of the track. The coping track is located at the top of your liner right below the coping. What you can do is stretch the liner to place it back in the bead track. Many times you have to use a heat gun or hot boiling water to heat up the liner to make it more pliable. This procedure will take a lot of strength on your part, but with patience and perseverance, it can be accomplished.

Swimming Pool Vinyl Liner Installation
Inground pool liner replacement should be left up to the professional pool technician. You have to have many specialized tools to install the Pool Liners correctly and it is not an easy job. But you can install an above ground pool liner much easier and this can be tackled by the DIY.
First make sure you measure the length, width and depth carefully making sure you measure from the wraps around the wall. Remove only the necessary bolts. Of course make sure that you empty the water first. Remove the Liner Lock that clamps down the liner. Cut, remove and please make sure you recycle the liner appropriately.
Smooth out the sand floor making sure there are not any big rocks or pebble. Replace any sand that is contaminated with algae or sand that has washed away. If vegetation exists treat with a herbicide or algaecide to prevent any further growth. Scrape and smooth out the walls and any rust or rough spots. If you prefer a soft floor, install Floor Padding at this time.
Drape new liner over the pool making sure to leave a little slack so it can b stretched tight to its final spot. Do not drag it across the floor abruptly making sure to keep it as smooth as possible and make sure there enough slack for proper stretch and then clamp down the Liner Lock. You can use a shop vacuum to remove the air behind the liner ensuring a tight smooth fit. Fill with water smoothing out any wrinkles that form while doing so. Turn off the shop vacuum after the pool has filled up by 1 foot. Cut in all wall fittings after the pool is filled.

Steve Merillat has been in the Swimming Pool,Spa & Sauna1800Pools.com

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