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The Complete Guide to Inground Pool Liners

If you own a swimming pool, you are going to need to know all about inground pool liners. It is what helps ensure that your swimming pool remains structurally sound. On this page, we are going to talk about everything that you need to know when it comes to inground pool liners.

What is an inground pool liner?

The purpose of an inground pool liner is to ensure that all of your water stays in the pool. Inground pool liners are constructed with vinyl. Water cannot seep through the vinyl. This is important, because if there was no pool liner in place, and no other way in which you can hold the water into the pool, it will just seep out into the surrounding area. Not only does this mean that you are going to need to be replacing the water in your pool far more regularly, but it also means that water may ruin the ground around the pool. This can make it difficult to grow certain things and, worse, it may cause sinkholes to appear which can cause serious structural damage.

inground pool liners

Not only does the inground pool liner play a role in the formation of your pool, but it will also play a role in the way that your pool looks. When it comes to buying an inground pool liner, you will have a wealth of different patterns and colors to choose from. It is the pool liner that will impact the color of the water and what you see when you look at the pool. It is important that you choose the right look for the aesthetics of your area.

How to know when your inground pool liner needs replacing

Even the most solidly-built inground pool liner is going to need to be replaced at some point. However, it may not be for a while. For most decent inground pool liners, you are going to be able to get at least 15-years of use out of them. In this section, we want to take a look at a few ways you can know if your inground pool liner needs to be replaced.

If the color has started to fade

You probably chose your pool liner because it looks stunning, right? However, over time, that awesome pattern that you chose originally is going to dwindle to nothingness. The loss of color means it is going to be a shell of its former self. This is due to the constant exposure to UV rays and pool chemicals. While a simple fading of color doesn’t mean that you must replace the inground pool liner right away, it could indicate that some more ‘serious’ issues may start to present themselves.

If the pool liner appears to be cracked or torn

Again, over time, the vinyl of your pool liner may start to become brittle. This can lead to cracks and tears appearing on the vinyl. This can cause water leakages which, of course, are not going to be good for the environment that surrounds your pool.

It is worth noting that a few tears in your pool liner can be repaired. However, there will become a point where it is just going to be simpler to buy a new inground pool liner. It is going to save you a lot of headaches in the longterm. 

You will know if your pool is leaking if the water levels are dropping by an inch or two over the course of a week and a bit. Obviously, some water loss can happen. However, it will never be at a rate quite like this. If there is a water leak, then you need to fix the problem as soon as you can, even if you are just patching the area that is leaking. If you don’t, then you could end up causing structural damage to the surrounding area.

Your liner starts to become wrinkled or stretched in certain areas

If you start to notice that your inground pool liner has started to bunch up in certain places, or other parts of your pool liner are a bit thinner than they used to be, then it is time to replace your pool liner. This really isn’t a problem that you can fix. It is probably best to put your current pool liner out of its misery sooner as opposed to later.

How to choose an inground pool liner

When it comes to choosing an inground pool liner, there isn’t really that much that you will need to think about. Obviously, the size is going to be a major factor here. We suggest that you measure your pool size accurately to ensure you get the right pool liner for you. If you have a unique shape to your pool (i.e. non-geometric) then you may need to have an inground pool liner specially made for you.

Other than this, the only thing you will need to consider will the color and the design of the inground pool liner. Of course, this is going to be an aesthetic choice for you. Take the time to go through the wealth of options to find something that really fits in with the scenery. 

One thing that we do suggest you do is read through a few reviews of a pool liner that tickles your fancy. This way you can get an idea if it is good for you. There is no sense in paying for an inground pool liner that is prone to tearing

How to replace an inground pool liner

Honestly, replacing an inground liner is not something that we would recommend that you do on your own. You should always hire a professional for it. There is simply too much that could possibly go wrong with removing the old inground liner and putting the new one into place. The last thing you want to have happen is that you install the pool liner an inch or two off of where it should be. This would cause a serious water leak. Yes. We know that it is going to be costly to hire a professional, but since you are unlikely to be replacing your pool liner for 10-15 years if a professional does it, we would think that it is a solid investment.

That being said, we are still going to run you through the steps of replacing your pool liner. We won’t tell you everything that needs to be done, but we do want to give you an idea of the extent of the work that you have ahead of you.

Draining the pool

The first step is to drain your pool. This is a process that can take up to 30-hours, but you do need to ensure that every last drop of water is out of that pool before you can cut out the liner.

Cutting out the old liner

The next step is to cut out your old liner. You can do this with a sharp knife. Be careful when you are doing it. Your liner may be sealed in several locations. How your liner is attached to the concrete or sand underneath will be dependent on the pool installation.

You will need to remove all of your gaskets when you are cutting out old inground pool liners.

Prepping the walls

Next, it is time to check the walls. You will need to remove mold. If there are holes in the wall, then you will need to fill them in. If the holes are quite deep, then they need to be sealed up with plastic or stainless steel, then coated in a wall foam.

The liner track will also need to be cleaned out at the same time. Pool lights attached to the wall need to be completely removed.

Prepping the floor

If you have a concrete floor, then you are in luck. This is easy to prepare. Just sweep it. You can then use an industrial vacuum to clean up any loose stones and other debris. It is then fully prepared.

For a sand floor, you will need to smooth out the sand completely. You will need to remove any debris in the sand (e.g. small stones) and replace certain sections of old sand that are discolored. Make sure that everything is even before you move onto the next step.

Installing the new liner

Installing the new liner will take a team of people to accomplish. Experienced people. This is why it is so important that you have somebody else do it for you. This is quite a complicated process, so we won’t tell you everything you need to do. However, the process (essentially) involves going around and clipping the liner track. At the same time, you need to ensure that everything is even around the pool, taking into account both the deep and shallow ends.

Setting the new liner

With this, you put an industrial vacuum behind the liner of the pool (it should be quite tight against the wall already if you bought the right size). The vacuum is there to suck out all of the air, which will pull the liner closer to the wall. You won’t be able to suck out all of the air, but you will be able to get most of it. The rest will be squeezed out in the next step.

Before you switch on the vacuum, you need to be replacing your gaskets and your drains.

Refilling the swimming pool

The final step of replacing your inground pool liner will be to refill the pool. You will want to keep the industrial vacuum running until you have filled up the pool to at least six inches. This should be enough to remove the vacuum and seal up the area that the vacuum was. You just need to wait for the 30+ hours for your pool to refill now!


So, there you have it. Everything that you need to know about inground pool liners. If you think yours is looking a little bit worse for wear, then pick yourself up a cool little design for your pool. You can then call in the professionals to replace it for you.

Posted in pool accessories

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