Installing a liner for your above ground pool

05,Jan 2022

If you’re planning on installing an overlap liner in your above-ground pool can be easy. With Swimming Pool Discounter’s guide, you can learn to install your liner step-by-step for your above-ground pool. Keep in mind; this is not meant to serve as a replacement for your manufacturer’s instructions but rather to offer you some insight on installing an above-ground pool liner. 

What is an Overlap Liner?

An overlap liner is an economical option for your above-ground pool. This type of liner overlaps or drapes over the side of your pool and is then secured by the pool’s top rails. You will require this type of liner if you are installing a liner in a pool that has a deep end.

Steps to Take When Your Liner Arrives

When your liner arrives, check that box to confirm that you have the correct pattern and size. No matter the shape or size of your liner, you will also need to make sure that your pool is equipped with top plates and small stabilizer rails. These tops plates should be secured loosely with a single screw. Your wide top rails are not necessary at this point in the installation.  You will also want to make sure that all the uprights are installed and that the pool is properly rounded. You can check the roundness by taking cross measurements around the pool. 

How Should I Prepare My Liner for Installation?

Before you can install your liner, there are a few steps to take to ensure it is prepared for installation. We recommend that you plan your installation for a warm day with temperatures ranging from 60-95 degrees and a windless forecast. When the temperatures are too high, it can cause the liner to stretch easily and puncture. If the temperature is too cold, the folds can crack, so be sure to avoid storing your liner at temperatures lower than 55-degrees Fahrenheit. 

When opening the box the liner is in, do not use any sharp objects like knives to open the box. Your liner can be unfolded inside of your pool, or it can be opened and spread out on the grass. Regardless of where you open the liner, make sure that the area is free of sticks, rocks, metal pool parts, or any sharp items that could puncture the liner. Plan to have a friend or two help you spread the liner out in the pool. 

How do I Install a Round Overlap Liner?

Start at the liner’s wall seam and place your liner on top of the pool wall. It should have the print side facing up with the flaps for the seam facing down. At this time, you should keep your rails together. You will then want to hang the liner over the wall of the pool with the seam perpendicular to the floor of the pool. This will ensure that the liner goes straight over the wall. Take care to spread the liner evenly around the pool and the center of the middle of the pool.

You will want to make sure that there are no open seams as the liner is installed. It is also important to avoid the wall seam located over the skimmer or the skimmer’s return. Once the liner has been properly positioned, use the help of a few friends or alligator clips with carboard to secure the liner on the wall in at lead t three places. You can now begin the installation by removing three or four of the stabilizers rails off and then hanging the liner over the pool wall. You will want to have about one foot of the liner overlapping the outer pool wall. You will now need to visually locate the seam where the floor portion of the liner and wall part of the liner meet.

Be sure to adjust the liner so that it is positioned at the top of the pool. This can be done by pulling more of the liner over the pool or letting more overlap. Once the seam has been positioned, you can then place the coping strips on the top part of the liner. These strips will slide over the liner on the top of the wall to secure it. You can use the help of a friend or an alligator clip to secure the area where you started to maintain stability and keep your liner from coming unclipped or falling. A few extra installation tips from our experts:

  • Set a section of liner and then measure the amount of overlap that is hanging over the pool. The overlap should measure the same around the pool if the floor and the cover are level. 
  • Once you hang the first section of the liner, cut a piece of the coping to the same length as the liner overlap to help you measure the overlap throughout the installation. 
  • Avoid bunching the liner up on the wall as you go around the perimeter and instead pill the top of the liner around the wall as you go. You want to make sure you are pulling the slack out of the perimeter of the pool liner. 

Adding the Finishing Touches to Your Liner Installation

Adjust the Liner for Air Gaps

Since you need to have a small air gap around the cove, measuring about 3-7″, your liner will look smaller than the pool. If you have too much liner inside of the pool, there won’t be a gap present. To fix this issue, you will need to pull more of the liner to overlap the wall. If the air gap is larger than specified, you will need to bring more of the overlapped liner back into the pool. 

Vacuum Fit the Liner to the Pool

You can use a Shop-Vac to help you vacuum the liner to the shape of the pool, stretching the liner on the floor and the wall. This technique is also helpful for removing wrinkles. Set your vacuum on a level surface outside of the pool and close the skimmer opening. Insert eh vacuum hose into the skimmer opening roughly 4-6″ above the cove. Turn on your vacuum and use a soft bristle broom or brush to help smooth out any wrinkles. Keep an eye on the air gap and the bottom wall above the cove while performing this step.

Make sure you keep the air gap uniform to prevent wrinkles. As you do this, there should only be a gap of air between the liner and the cove around 3-5″. Keep in mind that you will likely see creases from where the liner was folded. These will be flattened by water pressure and sunlight.

 Test the Liner After Adjusting

Test your liner by pushing and stretching the liner down on the cove. If you can push the liner to the cove by hand, then it should easily make the last stretch into place when water is added. If you must push with a lot of force, but you can still touch the liner to the cove, the temperature outside may be too cool. If the weather is cooler, you may need to let more of the liner back into the pool. If the liner is too tight, do not add water.

This could cause the liner to pull down the wall or become torn. 

Add Water to Your Pool

Before you add the water, make sure you have worked out all the wrinkles you can. When you are satisfied with how the liner is placed, you can start adding water to the pool. As you are adding the water, leave the vacuum on until the water reaches the vacuum hose. Once the water reaches the hose, you can shut off the vacuum and remove the hose. Be sure to slowly add the water to allow the liner to stretch gradually.

Filling the pool too fast can cause issues with the liner. To complete the liner installation, follow any final steps in the manufacturer manual.

For more information on pool liner installation or to purchase the perfect pool liner for your pool, contact Swimming Pool Discounters today!