Spring is rapidly approaching, and that means it may be time for many of you to start thinking about replacing your above ground pool liner.
Thankfully, you only need a few basic pieces of information to ensure a good liner fit.
First, you’ll need to identify which type of liner your pool requires, then just take a few simple measurements to determine the size.
What type of aboveground liner do you have?
Determining what type of liner your pool requires is an essential first step. There are 3 styles of above ground liners: overlap, beaded and unibead.
Overlap style liners are draped over the pool wall and secured by plastic coping strips. The top rail is then installed over the coping strips. If you have an overlap style liner currently, you are probably able to see some excess liner hanging down on the outside of the pool wall.
Beaded liners have a hard edge, called a “bead”, which runs around the top of the liner and snaps in to a track (called a “bead receiver”) that runs around the top of the pool. You may have to look up underneath the top rail to see the thick edge or bead going into a track, and not over the pool wall.
Unibead (also known as J-Hook) style liners feature a heavy gauge hook, shaped like an upside down letter (J), around the top of the liner. This hook slips over the top edge of the pool wall without the need for plastic coping strips or bead receivers. They may be called Hung liners, because they hang on the wall with a thick hook of vinyl.
In most cases the measurements you’ll need to take are pretty simple. For a flat bottomed pool, you’ll need to measure the length, width and wall height. For an oval pool the length and width means measuring the longest and widest points, and for a round pool that simply means measuring the diameter, or the width of the pool through the middle.
Wall height is a very important measurement, especially important in the case of beaded and unibead liners because if the liner is not tall (or deep) enough it won’t reach the track, and if it is too tall it will not fit snugly and may fall out of the track and create floor wrinkles.
Measure the wall from the very bottom of the wall to the very top. Be careful that you do not start the wall height measurement from the top of the pool cove, but go all the way to the floor. In the case of beaded liners, measure from the floor to the height of the track.
Overlap liners are designed to have extra material, so you can order the same liner to fit a 48-52 inch side wall. In The Swim also carries overlap liners for extra-tall 54 inch pool walls. Order your overlap liner by pool size and depth, we have both round and oval overlap pool liners.
As I mentioned, beaded liners must fit precisely, so you will order a liner that matches your wall height, usually 48 or 52 inches. For more information on measuring for an aboveground pool liner replacement, see Davy’s earlier blog post on the topic.
What are Expandable Liners?
Aboveground pools with dug out middle areas will require an expandable pool liner. In addition to the standard measurements, you’ll need to measure from the deepest part of the middle to the top of the wall to determine the overall depth. At In The Swim, we stock an overlap expandable liner, for total depths ranging from 60-72 inches.
Please be aware that these expandable liners are only for pools with deep middles. This means the pool is almost shaped like a bowl with a flat bottom around the walls that gradually gets deeper towards the center of the pool.
If you happen to have a deep end or side, but not in the center, expandable liners will not fit properly. Expandable pool liners should also only be used on pools that are built to accept such a liner. The stretching process puts some strain on the walls, and pools that aren’t built to handle this – may have some wall problems during installation.
What are On-Ground Liners?
If you have a rectangular aboveground pool, with a flat bottom, chances are you have a Kayak, Olympic or Fanta-Sea pool. These are sometimes called On-Ground pools, and are built with a complete surrounding pool deck made of aluminum. They use a beaded liner, with a 48″ wall height. If this sounds like your pool, take a look at our Kayak pool liners.
How do I order a new aboveground pool liner?
This is the fun part! Simply click any link on our website for Liners, and then hover the six categories of aboveground pool liners we sell, to view a drop down menu of sizes and shapes (Oval or Round). Once you know your type, size and shape, just click through to find all available patterns and thicknesses available to you. We have all of the popular patterns, in 20 mil weight, and many available in 25 mil. Thicker liners typically last longer, due to better resistance to deterioration and damage.
What else do I need to replace my above ground pool liner?
Here’s a list of some available liner installation accessories that you may consider ordering along with your new pool liner.
- Liner coping strips. For overlap liners – sold in packs of 10.
- Liner conversion strips. Converts an overlap pool to accept beaded liners. There are more pattern choices available for beaded pools.
- Wall foam. For a softer, warmer feel. Protects your new liner from rusty, crusty walls.
- Floor padding. For a softer, warmer feel. Protects liner from nutgrass and pebbles. Helps keep sand floors flat and smooth.
- Pool cove. Triangular foam rod attaches to the wall bottom to protect the liner and improve the transition between wall and floor.
- Liner lock. For beaded liners, takes up the slack in the track.
- Faceplates and gaskets. When replacing your pool liner, it’s a good idea to replace the plastic faceplates and gaskets around your skimmer and returns.
In The Swim carries a large variety of sizes, gauges and patterns, so hopefully you are able to find the perfect liner easily. However, if you can’t seem to find the size you need (or you have a deep end), please give us a call and we are happy to quote a custom made liner – if we can’t find what you need in our warehouse. With over 15,000 pool liners currently in stock, that doesn’t happen often!
InTheSwim Staff Blogger