Pool liner installation by professionals can cost you thousands of dollars, but if you follow these steps carefully, you can do it yourself. Before you begin, you must take accurate measurements of your pool so that you have the correct pool liner on hand. Other items may need to be purchased or rented and are as follows:
Things you will need - Custom vinyl pool liner, wall foam (optional) and adhesive, pool paint, floor repair sand, vermiculite, cyclone blower, 2 – 1×12″ boards, duct tape, razor knife, leaf blower, garden hose, 3 – 4 people to help you to install the new liner. All of these items are available at your local pool supply and/or home improvement store.
Once you have obtained the correct measurements and have purchased the correct size pool liner and gathered together the remaining items, follow these step by step instructions for installation. There are three major steps to installing a new pool liner.
Step One: Preparing the Pool:
Safely drain your pool. Keep the sanitizer level zero and pH balanced (this is important to protect your local watershed and prevent buckling). For more information and instructions on how to safely drain your pool, check out this blog -- how to drain your pool.
Remove the side pieces of the existing liner by cutting along the base of the wall with a razor knife and going all the way around the pool. LEAVE THE FLOOR PIECE IN PLACE FOR NOW. It may be easier to cut vertical strips from the wall pieces for removal rather than trying to remove it as one solid piece. Carefully cut and remove pieces around the faceplates, wall return, main drains, pool steps and pool lights. Remove all face plates, drain covers, etc.
Prepare the wall of the pool after the vinyl liner is removed. Inspect the walls carefully for issues like corrosion, rust, mold or mildew. Scrape these areas clean and then paint with pool paint to seal them.
Patch any holes in the wall with sheet metal or heavy plastic and then install wall foam using the adhesive. Check the liner bead track at the top of the wall and repair if needed. Duct tape all seams.
Add wall foam if needed to smooth out and improve the feel of the wall, it will also help to protect your new pool liner from getting damaged.
From this point to the completion of installation, it is critical that the pool stays dry. If you are expecting rain before being able to complete installation, it is better to hold off until the process can be completed during drier weather.
Prepare the floor – Remove the floor liner, again cutting into sections if it is easier. Once the liner is removed, inspect the floor, If it is concrete, inspect it and if needed, fill any holes with a sand concrete mix/ vermiculite.
If it’s a sand bottom pool, be very careful while working around in it. Remove and replace any odd - colored or spoiled sand with new sand. Fill new sand in low areas to level them if needed. Use caution while doing this, too much and can raise the floor too high and it will be difficult to fit the new pool liner. Use 1×12″ boards to move around instead of shoes as they dig less into the sand.
Step Two: Install the New Pool Liner:
After the wall and floor are prepped, you can start installing the new liner. The liner should be marked with “deep end” and “shallow end” tags to assist you with how to orient the liner. This is where a few helping hands are needed!
Start by positioning the folded liner at the deep end, outside the pool. Unfold the liner width-wise then length-wise, keeping the liner above the pool.
Begin snapping the liner beads in the liner track at the shallow end. Seams should be horizontal across the pool.
After the liner beads are fully secured all the way around the pool and the seams are correctly horizontal, remove a small section of the liner from the liner track and insert a 36” vacuum hose. Do not let the hose touch the pool floor.
Cover the skimmer to get an air-tight vacuum and turn on the vacuum. The vacuum will pull the liner down in place.
To remove any wrinkles, you might have to enter the pool. Be sure to remove shoes to prevent any rips in the liner. Turn off the vacuum. Pull up the liner slightly to reposition it, exit the pool, and turn on the vacuum.
Once the liner fits snuggly, locate the main drain for installing the gasket and faceplate. Carefully cut the liner material inside the main drain after the gasket and face plate are screwed on. Install the cover.
Do not turn off the vacuum.
Step Three: Fill the Pool
Begin filling the pool by placing the hose in the deep end.
Once the water reaches a level of 6” deep at the shallow end, you can install the step gaskets/ faceplates.
At this point, you can turn off and remove the vacuum.
Once the water level is 12” to 18”, install the skimmer gaskets/ faceplates.
If you follow the steps above, installing a new pool liner on your own is a relatively easy process and will save you a lot of money. Keep in mind that proper, regular maintenance of your pool will keep the water safe & hygienic, but will extend the life of the pool liner as well.
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