vinyl liner pool has a custom made sheet of vinyl between the water
and the pool structure. This is in contrast to a gunite or shotcrete
pool which uses plaster as
its waterproofing membrane. Vinyl liners typically lock their top
edge, called a bead, into a track located on the bottom of the coping,
which is at deck level. Underneath the liner is a sand or cementitious
floor, specified in dimension to the "cut" of the liner
that is to be used. The floors come up to meet the walls, which are
commonly 3 ft by 8 ft panels made of galvanized steel or thermoplastic.
These walls are supported from behind so that they won't bow out against
the weight of the water. All of the wall panels are secured together
to make up the perimeter shape of the pool. For this reason, there
are some limitations to the possible shapes of a vinyl liner pool.
liner pool sales seem to be regional. Many areas of the country seem
to have nothing but vinyl liner pools, whereas in other areas you'd
be hard pressed to find even one. In our (Wash
D.C.) area, there is a nice mix of vinyl and gunite pool builders
to meet consumer demand for either products. I won't get into a large
discussion on vinyl versus gunite, however, generally speaking, the
vinyl liner pool can be built cheaper than the gunite (concrete) version.
If you already own a vinyl pool; here are some service tips from our
vinyl help file:
coming out of the track?
are meant to fit tightly into the shape of the pool. If the liner
was installed slightly off center, or if the liner is too large or
too small for the pool's shape, you might experience the bead popping
out of the track.
the use of a heat gun or blow dryer and a lot of elbow grease (eat
your wheaties), the liner can be stretched and locked back into the
track. I was also informed by a pool tech recently that boiling hot
water works well when you need to stretch a liner. If this is
a continuing problem, the use of liner
lock can help in keeping the bead in the track. It is best to
consult a professional for this problem, to avoid over stretching
or melting the liner. I also caution about the use of electrical equipment
(heat gun) around water (pool).
usually a lot of pulling and pushing to get a liner back into the
track. In some cases you'll need to lower the water level a foot or
more if it is out very far. Better to put back in small areas than
to wait until you have to lower the water. Use of a small hair dryer
(blow dryer) can heat up the liner, making it more stretchable, and
easier to get back into the track. Be careful, keep the dryer moving
and not too close to the vinyl! I once heated a hole right through
a brand new liner using this trick! Also, if you drop the dryer into
the water, don't reach in to grab it, you could become electrocuted.
When the liner is put back into the track (it can be exhausting work,
I'm telling you) consider using liner
lock, pennies or popsicle sticks to help hold it in the track.
losing its color?
original color of your liner will fade with the use of sanitizing
chemicals and the effects of ol' Mr. Sun. Harsh chemicals and high
concentrations of such are to be avoided. This will remove the plasticizers
which give liners their resiliency, leading to brittle vinyl, which
leads to new liners. The chemical makeup of modern vinyl allows manufacturers
to create liners that are now much more durable and resistant to chemical,
solar and algae problems.
an uncommon problem. Liners are typically manufactured in 20 mil thickness
(28-30 mil option). Although resistant to punctures...it can happen,
and will happen. Especially as the liner ages, losing its resiliency.
If you are fortunate enough to see a small hole in the liner, simply
patch it with a vinyl liner patch
kit. If underwater, buy a "wet" patch
kit. If the source of the leak isn't readily apparent, go to our
section on Leak
you are adding more than one inch of water to your pool per week,
discounting splashed-out and backwash waste water, you probably have
a leak. Do not allow leaks to go unchecked. Leaks can washout supporting
back fill behind the walls, corrode the walls, and may wash away sand
on the floor, creating large sinkholes.
is not advised to drain your vinyl liner pool, or allow it to leak
out below the level of the walls. The water in the pool holds the
liner tightly against the walls and floor. If the water is removed,
the liner must be reset with a vacuum to suck the liner into place
while filling. Otherwise, large wrinkles may appear when filling a
loose fitting liner. In addition, an empty liner pool may allow rain
water to seep in under the walls, washing away and destroying the
specifically contoured shape of the floor. There also exists the risk
of a wall collapsing or caving in. Consult a professional for assistance
in these areas.
add undiluted granular chemicals, specifically pH de-creaser and Calcium
Hypochlorite (shock) directly to the pool. These particles will settle
to the bottom, "bleach" the vinyl, and compromise it's strength
your vinyl liner: If the liner has been drained, or leaked out on
it's own, it will need to be "sucked back" into place with
a vacuum device to remove the air between the liner and the pool shell
will be in place until the water level is at a predetermined point
on the wall. The vacuum is then removed, and the pool continues to
fill. This is necessary to ensure proper fit, and reduce or eliminate
wrinkles in the vinyl. Prices will vary on labor and trip costs involved,
but expect a few hundred dollars when it's all said and done.
liners are not limited in colors and patterns as they used to be.
Changing this will dramatically improve the visual effect of your
pool. The cost of the liner will depend on it's shape, size,
thickness, and pattern choice. As an example, a 17' x 35' oval, with
a Rockcliffe print, 28 mil thickness, will cost in the neighborhood
Ground Vinyl Liner Installation
labor involved in replacing a vinyl liner begins with the measuring
of your pool for the... (continued.....)