Custom Swimming Pool Liners
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Just a little info about installing above ground pool liners, since some folks install their own, or who want to learn how it's done. . If you aren't sure you have a good installer, this info might help you keep an eye on what they are doing!
It's not just a pool.... It's Your pool!
TopicsChoosing Your Liner
All About Above Ground Pool Liner Installation and Replacement
While we currently no longer install above ground liners, we wanted to offer this page for those who want to install their own, to explain the different types of above ground replacement liners and how they are installed. While there are some variances, most above ground pool liners are fairly simple to replace, and require few special tools. I have known many homeowners who have replaced their own liners, and done a better job than some who install them for a living. The real knack is in knowing how, and having the skill and patience to install the liner correctly. We'll hit the highlights on this page, and link to other pages within our sites where you can learn more about that particular subject. if you need more information about swimming pool liners, feel free to contact us by e-mail or at the phone number above - we'll be more than happy to help with all your questions!
There are three basic types of above ground liners: Overlap, J-hung, and Beaded. There also "unibead" liners which can be installed either as j-hung or V-bead. The type of liner being installed determines how it is installed, so if you are not sure which type you have refer to this page to learn more about types of above ground liners:
Most above ground pools come with instructions, but not necessarily so with replacement liners. We're working on this page to give the do-it-yourself homeowner a few pointers on how above ground liners are installed, because in some cases, an improperly fitted or incorrectly installed liner can cause the pool to collapse! Sometimes this can happen suddenly, and catastrophically. Other times, it is slow and almost cartoon-like. Either way, it is expensive! Replacing an above ground liner can seem like a daunting task, and many people choose to hire a professional installer. Just like any other business, there are the really great professionals who can make the bottom just perfect, and hang the liner just right. There are also, of course, those who just want to make a quick buck and go home. Just about anyone can change the liner in an above ground pool, doing it really well is not as simple. This page is intended to help even those who choose to hire a professional installer to know what to expect, and how it should be done. Please feel free to call or e-mail us, we will help if we can, or help you get connected with a professional above ground liner installer.
It is always good to plan ahead when you need to replace an above ground swimming pool liner, because, especially in Oklahoma, the pool is vulnerable to wind and can collapse without the weight of water pressing on the walls from the inside. Water is what actually gives the pool most of it's stability, so you want to have it empty for the shortest time possible. Even if the liner will not hold water, leave the old liner in until you have the new liner and are ready to replace it, because it protects the floor of the pool. In Oklahoma, we also have nut grass that can grow right through the new liner, so you don't want those seeds to get in your sand. I would recommend that you use a nut grass inhibitor, such as Zapzit, ( available online and in many pool stores) mixed into the sand base, as insurance.
After many years working in a retail pool store, and explaining liner installation to thousands of customers, I guess I have forgotten how many variables there are, and how many things there are to explain! Liners from different manufacturers have different properties, so the overlap liners have different installation procedures. Doughboy liners, for example, are more elastic, so they can be stretched completely over the outside of the pool, while other manufacturer's liners might not be designed to recover from this much stretch. The result is wrinkled walls. I learned this by mistake many years ago. I will explain the differences later, but it will take some time to put together. In the mean time, here are some liner manufacturer's instructions in .pdf format I have to go to work, now, to pay for our websites, not to mention that the wife gets grouchy if she doesn't eat at least every few days.... But I'll be back! Meanwhile, call or e-mail if you have questions!
The most important part of installing an above ground liner is doing the dirt work. It requires some patience, and a "knack" helps. There are some very good pros here in Oklahoma that make it look easy. I, on the other hand, struggle a bit, and can be prone to profanity. That, combined with my having become geezerly, has caused me to stop installing above ground liners. Those who can't do, teach, so here goes......
Removing the old liner -
First, watch the weather, if you can believe those fibbers. Some say that we occasionally get a breeze here in Oklahoma, and the pool is very vulnerable when it is empty, especially when the top rails are off.
Cut the liner along the bottom of the wall all the way around, then cut it into small enough pieces to carry. Then make a few vertical cuts around the pool, before removing the wall portion. Then, if it is a beaded liner, pull the liner out of the track, cut the last bit of the wall and the bead.
For J-Hung and overlap liners, cut along the top of the wall horizontally and leave the very top in place. Since you have to remove the top rails to replace the liner anyway, there's no point in doing it twice.
Preparing the Ground
You will need some sand. The correct type of sand to use is masonry sand. This is the same sand used by bricklayers and stone masons. It is more expensive than fill sand, because it is clean and uniform. It packs and holds it's shape better than fill sand, as well. Don't over do it. You really don't want more than an inch of sand, total. You want the sand to be slightly damp, but not wet. Spread the sand with a shovel or rake, then trowel it with a pool trowel, then stay off of it. Every footprint will become a divot and will make the bottom less smooth, and harder to vacuum. Also, you should avoid walking on the bottom of the pool for a few days after the pool is filled, to give the sand time to settle.
Around the edge, at the bottom of the wall, I recommend that a wedge of foam, called coving, is used. This cove softens the transition from horizontal to vertical. Also, if the pool gets a leak, the cove will not wash out. If coving is not used, you should build a cove (at least 4"x4") of hard packed dirt - not sand - to make this transition. Some cheap installers build the cove from sand, but it washes out, and can turn a small leak into a big problem. If there is a leak. and the sand washes out, the liner can protrude under the wall. If this blister ruptures, it can collapse the pool!
Doing The Dirty Work
Installation Process - Beaded/J-hung - Overlap/expandable - Custom fit
For now, here are some .PDF files from different manufacturers.
If you are using a Doughboy or Lomart liner, be sure to do it their way. They are a little different than other manufacturers.
GLI (currently incomplete, link removed)
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A-Pro Services, Your pool and spa service company, offers Pool Repair Spa Repair Pool Service Spa Service Pool heaters, Pool liners, inground liners, in ground liners above ground liners, safety covers, spa parts, spa motors, spa controls spa diagnostics, pool equipment, pool pumps, spa pumps, pool motors, heaters, In the Oklahoma City Area, including Bethany, Edmond, El Reno, Mustang, Moore, Yukon, Warr Acres, and Metro OKC. zip codes include: 73003, 73008, 73013,73034, 73083, 73036, 73059, 73064, 73090,73099, 73064, 73101, 73102, 73103, 73104, 73105, 73106, 73107, 73108, 73109, 73110, 73111. 73112, 73113, 73114, 73115, 73116, 73117, 73118, 73119, 73120, 73121, 73122, 73123, 73124, 73125, 73126, 73127, 73128, 73129, 73130, 73131, 73132, 73134, 73135, 73136, 73137, 73139, 73140, 73141, 73142, 73143, 73144, 73145, 73146, 73147, 73148, 73149, 73150, 73151, 73152, 73153, 73154, 73155, 73156, 73157, 73159, 73160, 73162, 73163, 73164, 73165, 73167, 73169, 73170, 73172, 73173, 73178, 73179, 73184, 73185, 73189, 73190, 73194, 73195, 73196, 73197, 73198,