Pool Liners

- and their Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Installation costs are generally less than for other finishes such as Mosaic Tiles, Pebble-Tec, etc.
  • Regular-shape pools can be supplied with a liner made-to-measure in a factory. MAKE SURE you measure your pool accurately, or get a Professional to measure it for you
  • Irregular shapes and features are no problem as many companies install vinyl liners piece-by-piece in your pool, welding them together as required

Cons

  • Susceptible to damage, particularly at the waterline
  • Fading and/or staining is a common problem
  • Liners need to be replaced every 7-10 years
  • The pool cannot be fully drained for maintenance

Maintenance of Liners

Correct procedures for care and maintenance of a pool liner will extend its life.  Follow these simple rules to get the best from your liner

Control Water Balance and keep values within these parameters: -

pH  7.2 - 7.6 - Free Chlorine 1 - 3 ppm - Total Alkalinity 60 - 125 ppm - Calcium Hardness 150 - 250 ppm

 pH - Do not allow the pH to fall below 7.0 as the water will then be acidic and cause the liner to age prematurely and even to expand slightly, causing ugly wrinkles that are impossible to remove

Free Chlorine - The main culprit for causing liner damage is the Chlorine used to sanitize the pool. High concentrations of Chlorine will attack the liner and cause it to age prematurely and deteriorate swiftly. For this reason, Chlorine should never be allowed to come into contact with the liner in a concentrated state. Chlorine should be applied with the pump/filter running. Application varies according to the form of Chlorine being used: -

Granulated Chlorine - dissolve in water before trickling it into the skimmer with the pump running, and NEVER throw it directly into the pool. It will bleach and weaken the liner at the point of contact

Chlorine Tablets - should be placed in a feeder. NEVER throw them into the pool as they will bleach and weaken the liner at the point of contact, leaving unsightly circular, bleached  areas on the bottom of the pool. It's very common to put chlorine into the skimmer basket but this practice is also bad for the liner because when the pump is at rest the chlorine concentration around the mouth of the skimmer will rise dramatically as Chlorine migrates back out of the skimmer. When this happens the Chlorine attacks the vinyl around the skimmer entrance causing rapid aging and deterioration

Liquid Chlorine (Sodium Hypochlorite) - should be poured into the pool at the jets with the pump/filter running. This ensures rapid dilution and dispersion of the sanitizer

Leave the pump running for 4 hours after adding chemicals

Draining the pool

Always ensure that the pool is never drained to a point where the water in the shallow end has less than 30cm (12") depth. If all the water is removed the water pressure is also removed and this can allow the liner to shrink.  When the pool is re-filled the liner may become damaged, or even tear, in corners and around wall fittings (skimmers, jets, etc.) or at the steps

Waterline Tide-marks

Suntan lotion, body oils, pollen and other floating pollutants can build up on the liner at the waterline causing an unsightly 'bathtub ring' which needs to be removed periodically.  Your local pool-shop will stock a specially formulated vinyl liner cleaner, which should be applied with a soft cloth. Do not scrub the liner; just use a gentle wiping motion

Never use anything even slightly abrasive, e.g. a pan-scourer or a brush, as this will damage the liner. Under no circumstances use solvents as these will cause a rapid disintegration of the liner at the point of contact

Many automatic pool cleaners scrub the waterline as a part of their cleaning cycle. Be sure tha the cleaner is appropriate for liner pools before buying it!

Stains

Organic stains  - Leaves and seeds, if allowed to remain in the pool, may stain the vinyl. Organic stains can be removed by rubbing with half a lemon, lime, grapefruit or orange as all of these contain ascorbic acid. Liner pools that are heavily stained over a large area should be dosed with ascorbic acid powder at a rate of 750g per 50m³ of water (1 pound per 10,000 US Gallons), pre-dissolved in water

Metal stains - it is important to trace the source of the metal that is causing the staining. if the stains appear near a metal fitting such as pool-steps the source is likely to be corrosion from the steps. If the stains are more widespread the source is more likely to be the water used to fill and top-up the pool. Use a sequestering agent to remove metals from the water

WARNING: - sequestering agents will lower the pH of the water which can cause the liner to expand, causing irreversible wrinkling (see above) so test the water hourly for four hours after dosing with such chemicals and adjust the pH as required

Leaks

With any luck you will have some spare pieces of liner left over from when your liner was installed, but if not most pool shops sell Vinyl Repair Kits that include 'patches' and an adhesive that can be used underwater. The patches will probably be a slightly different colour to the liner, as most liners fade a little over time. If your liner is patterned, and you have no spare material from the original installation, you should be able to buy the correct pattern from your original supplier

Winterising

It is vitally important that the pool is cleaned thoroughly before closing it down for the winter. Ensure that even the tiniest fragments of leaves and other plant debris are remover because prolonged contact between plant material and liner over the winter can cause stains

Dose the pool with appropriate Winterizing chemicals and allow the pump to run for at least 4 hours after dosing to dilute and disperse the chemicals around the entire pool

We supply all plant and equipment featured on this website. All our work is Guaranteed; Parts and Labour

For free and unbiased advice, a site visit or no-obligation Quotation*, please make initial enquiries by email. Tell us a little about your pool problem and include a daytime phone number. Thanks, we look forward to meeting you soon

Note: - Please contact our recommended pool professionals for supply and installation of all pool-related services: - 

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*We only offer Quotations: - a fixed, agreed price that cannot, and will not, be increased. We do not give 'estimates', as an estimate offers the client no guarantee of final price

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Ken Walker - MyPoolGuru©