How to Install a Pool Liner Yourself

Which Type of Aboveground Pool Liner Do I Need?

The swimming pool liner you buy is strongly informed by the type of above ground pool you own. The most important factors which affect your liner include:
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How to Install an Aboveground Liner

  1. Prepare Your Pool Bed
    Before you bring your new liner into your pool, make sure your bed is perfectly flat and even, free of bumps or uneven marks, including footprints. Making sure the pool floor is level is not only important for stability, it will also affect the look of any liners that have prints or patterns on them, making sure they appear even on all sides.
  2. Inspect Installation Materials
    If you had any pool wall foam or cove molding, take a moment to inspect it also. If it's in good working order, it can stay up just fine. If it looks as though it it deteriorating, now is the time to remove it or replace it with fresh pieces.
  3. Begin Liner Installation
    1. Bring your new liner into the pool.
    2. Take the liner out of the box and place it in the center of your pool.
    3. Remove the box from your pool interior.
    4. Unfold the liner and spread it along the pool floor out to the edges of your pool walls.
    5. Raise the liner's wall toward the top of your pool wall.
      * Beaded and J-Hook liners can be attached right away.
      * Overlap liners can be placed over the top of the pool walls. Instead of putting coping in place, however, simply hook the liner in place with clothespins for the time being.
    6. Height of the liner may need to be adjusted in certain areas to accommodate a level liner print, or to help get rid of wrinkles.
  4. Start Filling the Pool
    1. Once the wall is up all around the pool, start filling the pool with water. Allow the water to fill up about an inch or so.
    2. While either barefoot or wearing socks, step inside the pool and begin to use your feet to smooth the liner out, getting it to lie flat with no wrinkles. Give special attention to the corners where the pool floor meets the pool walls.
    3. For overlap liners, you can adjust the height of the liner along the pool walls as needed.
    4. Once you are satisfied with the appearance of the liner and wrinkles have been removed or minimized, you can begin to secure the liner with coping and remove the clothespins.
    5. When the liner is fully secure with coping, you can replace the top rails and top caps.
  5. Finish Installation
    1. Continue to fill the pool up to approximately one foot or higher up the wall.
    2. Cut a hole in the liner for your return fitting and reattach it.
    3. Attach your skimmer faceplate.
    4. Once the faceplate has been reattached, you may cut the liner hole for the skimmer.
    5. Allow the pool to fill the rest of the way.
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What Do I Need to Replace an Esther Williams or Johnny Weismueller Liner?

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How to Install an Esther Williams or Johnny Weismueller Liner

  1. Inspect & Prepare Your Pool
    Before you bring your new liner into your pool, inspect any pool pads, wall foam or cove molding you have in place. Replace any deteriorating items with fresh pieces.
  2. Begin Liner Installation
    1. Take your liner out of the box and place it in the center of your pool.
    2. Unfold the liner and spread it along the pool floor.
    3. Pull the liner wall up toward the bead receiver.
    4. Feed the liner's bead into the receiver, making sure the bead fits securely in the track.
    5. To insert the rest of your liner into your pool's bead receiver properly, imagine the pool as the face of a clock. Your starting point is 12 o'clock.
    6. Once the liner has been attached at 12 o'clock, move to the opposite side of the pool and insert a portion of the bead at 6 o'clock. Then move to 3 o'clock, then 9 o'clock.
    7. Return to 12 o'clock, inserting a little more of the liner into the bead receiver, then repeat the pattern. This helps to ensure an even insertion and minimizes the possibility of excess liner material being left if inserting the liner along a straight path around the pool.
    8. If there is any excess material, push it equally to the left and right to help smooth it out.
  3. Start Filling the Pool
    1. Use a garden hose to start filling your pool with water.
    2. As the pool is filling, slide your feet along the pool floor to smooth the liner out.
    3. Push the liner with your feet to the edges of the pool floor to ensure a flat fit.
  4. Finish Installation
    Once your pool is filled with 10" to 12" of water, reinstall the skimmer and return fittings, cutting the proper holes in the liner as you go. Allow the pool to fill the rest of the way up, treat the water with chemicals, and enjoy.
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What Do I Need to Replace My Kayak or Fanta-Sea Liner?

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How to Install a Kayak or Fanta-Sea Liner

  1. Inspect & Prepare Your Pool
    Before you bring your new liner into your pool, inspect your water walls for any deterioration or other damage. Make sure your pool floor is perfectly flat and even, free of bumps or uneven marks. Inspect any pool pads, wall foam or cove molding you have in place. Replace any deteriorating items with fresh pieces.
  2. Prepare Drain & Skimmer
    1. Make sure there is no sand from your pool floor over the top of your main drain.
    2. Place a new drain gasket over the drain.
    3. Screw in all screws around the drain, but only screw them in halfway at this time.
    4. Install gaskets for your skimmer and for your return (you may need to hold them in place with tape).
  3. Begin Liner Installation
    1. Take your liner out of the box and place it in the center of your pool.
    2. Unfold the liner and spread it along the pool floor, being careful not to drag the liner over the screws from your main drain. Instead, place the liner over that area and then unfold from there.
    3. Make sure all four corners of the liner's floor have been opened and can touch all four corners of the pool.
    4. Remove your shoes, as the rest of the work will be performed while standing on the decorated inside of the liner.
  4. Position & Secure the Liner
    1. Starting in one corner of the pool, use your foot to push the bottom corner of the liner into the bottom corner of the pool while pulling the liner walls up toward the liner track. The top corner of the liner should sit directly above the bottom corner.
    2. Feed the liner into the liner track, making sure the bead fits securely in the track.
    3. Move to the opposite side of the pool and feed that portion of the bead into the track.
    4. Next, move to the side walls, one at a time inserting the liner bead into the track. Be sure to check at each corner to make sure you are still above that respective corner's bottom corner point.
    5. Continue if there is any excess material, pushing it equally to the left and right to help smooth it out.
    6. To help secure the corners, use small wooden blocks to keep the liner fitting snugly within the liner track at the corners. This will keep the liner from shifting or popping out at the corners. It is best to use wooden blocks sized for Kayak liner tracks, or to use a slightly larger wooden block and trim down to size.
    7. Feed one block into each side of the corner track, so every corner will have one wooden block on either side of each respective corner. For the rectangular pool, this would mean you have used 8 pieces of wood.
  5. Start Filling the Pool
    1. Use a garden hose to start filling your pool with water. As the pool is filling, slide your feet along the pool floor to smooth the liner out.
    2. Push the liner with your feet to the edges of the pool floor to ensure a flat fit.
  6. Finish Installation
    Once your pool has 10" to 12" of water:
    1. Reinstall the main drain, skimmer and return fittings, cutting the proper holes in the liner as you go.
    2. Place the vinyl coping and corner covers along the top edge of your pool.
    3. Allow the pool to fill the rest of the way up, treat the water with chemicals, and enjoy.
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How to Measure for a New In-ground Pool Liner

Unlike their aboveground counterparts, in-ground pools come with such a wide variety of setups, like shapes, sizes, stairway insets, depths, and other features to make each individual pool seem virtually unique from all others. This can make the process of finding a pool liner for an in-ground pool seem complicated, but with a little patience and proper measuring, the perfect fitting liner is not far away.
Find out which measurements you need for a new pool liner, as well as how to take the most accurate measurements possible:
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