How to Install an Oval Pool Liner

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Installing a pool liner is probably a project that most people think is for a professional. But with a few common tools, good instructions, some friends to lend a helping hand when needed and a properly prepared space, it can be accomplished by the average do-it-yourselfer. The following how-to instructions can make it easy, save you lots of money and provide you and your family many years of fun and enjoyment relaxing in your own pool.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden rake
  • Round-nose shovel
  • Set of screwdrivers
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Razor blade knife
  • Tape measure
  • Shop vacuum unit
  • Duct tape
  • Masonry sand
  • Garden hose
  • Soft-bristle push broom
  • Several clothes pins or spring clips
  • Transport the pool liner carton to a close proximity to the pool site location. Open the carton or container by hand--without any kind of tool--to separate the carton seals so no sharp objects will come in contact with the new pool liner and puncture the material. Remove the liner material from the carton and place it on the ground next to the pool wall assembly. (If a large tarp is available, it is a good precaution to spread it out and lay the liner on top of the tarp in the sun to relax the material.)

  • Have your helpers surround the entire liner and lift it up and over the poolside walls. The smooth side should be down and the cove seam (curved seam) needs to be centered on the earth cove at the base of the wall. Depending on the size of the pool, you will have one or two straight-line seams that will run perpendicular to the long sides of the pool and across the bottom. Pull the sides of the liner up and over the top of the pool wall. Make sure that the cove seam is still centered on and touching the earth cove. Fold the excess liner you have left in your hands over the wall and use the clothes pins or spring clips to fasten the liner to the pool wall. Let the liner hang loose at this point.

  • Get inside the pool walls and on top of the liner to smooth out any wrinkles that may have developed along the bottom during the installation. Place the plastic coping in position on the pool wall, still allowing the liner to hang loosely at this point.

  • Start filling the pool with water very, very slowly while you and your helpers are working all the wrinkles out of the liner on the bottom of the pool. The best way is to be on your hands and knees and either push or pull the liner toward the side wall to remove the wrinkles. Do this procedure until you have removed all wrinkles to the wall area.

  • Remove the plastic coping from the top of the wall one piece at a time. Do this process in a clockwise method, smoothing the liner to the wall as you go and replacing the coping each time. Continue this process until the pool water level is at the operation height that is correct for your size pool.

  • Pull the liner tight and install the plastic coping completely around the entire wall length and install the top rail to secure it in place.

Tips & Warnings

  • Take care when selecting the pool site location. It should be probably the most level area in your yard area to allow for ease of installation. The area also should be where the least debris such as rocks, sticks, trash, glass or anything that has a sharp point or surface can puncture your liner. Also, you should consider how you would fill the pool with water once you have the sidewalls up in place and the liner is installed. If you have city water supply, you can use a hose. If you are located in a rural area, you may have a well and will need to have the water hauled by tank truck--and so will need to be able to have access for that type of delivery. These steps are to be used when the pool base rail, pool walls and earth cove are already in place and the replacement of the liner is all that is necessary.
  • Water weighs 8.3 lbs. per gallon, so a 1-inch deep pool of water on the liner has a tremendous amount of weight, making itvery difficult to remove the wrinkles once the weight is on the liner. Don't add to much water too quickly.

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