If you own your above ground pool long enough, you will most likely have to replace your pool liner. Replacing any component costs you time and money. However, consider it as sweat equity and an indication that you have gotten a lot of usage out of your pool investment already. That makes the project go down a little easier.
Installing a new pool liner is also an opportunity to change up the color and design of your pool. There are many designs and color variants of blue to choose from. Have some fun and involve the whole family in your pool liner makeover!
Pool Liner Construction
What kind of pool liners are available for an above ground pool? First, they are of a vinyl material and of course not all pool liners are created equal. You should look for 100 % virgin vinyl. This means that the pool liner has no recycled materials in it’s construction. There are no plastics or other materials added. Being composed of 100% virgin vinyl will allow your pool liner to expand and contract with the seasons, which avoids overstressing the material. Overstressing can lead to tears and holes in your pool liner.
Other considerations for your above ground pool liner is it`s resistance to UV degradation. High UV levels can break down vinyl materials if they are not protected in some fashion. Hopefully there will be many sunny days ahead for your pool, and so it`s resistance to UV exposure will be very important. Look for a liner with UV inhibitors infused to the material. The UV inhibitor will also help protect your liner from the pool chemicals.
Another consideration is the method of welding the liner material together. Double welded is the industry standard.
Finally, the thickness, or gauge, of the liner is important. The minimum thickness of a pool liner should be 20 mm. Once again, this is the industry standard and liners thinner than that should not be purchased. Some manufacturers of vinyl pool liners emphasized that their lines were 60 mm thick. Which thickness of liner would you like as the membrane of your pool? One final construction consideration is if the liner is multilayered. Many membranes are single layered, others multilayered. I have not been able to ascertain the advantage of the multilayered product, which I assume was developed after the single layer version. You might find this patent enlightening, however, as an explanation as to the advantage of multilayered versus single pool lining.
Above Ground Overlap Pool Liners
Above ground overlap pool liners are pulled over the wall and extend to the exterior side of the pool. This style will have a plastic coping that snaps over top of the liner to keep it in place. The coping can be round or flat depending on the design. Both do the job adequately. Above ground overlap pool liners are the most prevalent type and are the least expensive. That is because they don’t have to fit exactly as there will be extra material hanging on the exterior wall. One thing to keep in mind is that if your coping is over 10 years old, it may require replacing as well.
Above Ground Beaded Pool Liners
This pool liner is more aesthetically pleasing than the overlap pool liners. It is not visible from the exterior of the pool. It also has the benefit of being changeable without removing decking if it is present. The Standard or Snap Bead is the most popular type of above ground beaded pool liner, which tucks / snaps into a coping that is fastened over the pool wall. The required coping is called a Bead Retainer.
Above Ground U/J Hook Pool Liners
The U/J above ground pool liner goes into place directly over the pool wall, It is so named because of it’s shape. It resembles an upside down U or J. It can work with either a standard or snap bead liner.
Installing Your New Pool Liner
This is a DIY project all the way! Here are links to a couple of videos about installing your pool liner. Of course, if you are installing a replacement liner you have already done this job once and so have that experience to rely on.
How to Install a Pool Liner In 5 Minutes (but it’s a 7 minute video on enhanced record speed lol)
A major tip or caution for you is to remember to place a sand or foam cover (see ‘Prepare the Ground’ in the linked page) around the bottom of the pool pad. This will help support your pool liner and hopefully keep the next install many years in the future.
You should also take the opportunity to inspect your pool pad. Maybe you could top up the layer of sand if it has compacted. Now might be the time to add a protective pad if you hadn’t installed one previously.