How to Use a Shop Vac to Install a Pool Liner

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Things You'll Need

  • Sand

  • Foam coving

  • Shop vac

  • Duct tape

Pool liners often last many years, but do wear out. You must replace the liner if it gets so many holes or stretches, it can no longer stay in position. You can replace the vinyl liner as a do-it-yourself project if you take your time and follow the pool liner installation procedures to the letter. One tool you can use to make sure the pool liner installation goes smoothly is a shop vacuum. It can help you remove wrinkles from the vinyl liner, one of the major problems with a pool liner installation project.


Step 1

Drain the swimming pool. Remove the old liner.

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Step 2

Repair the sand base under the swimming pool (see References). Add sand to low areas, if necessary, to level the floor. Build up the cove base that runs around the pool's perimeter between the sand floor and the metal walls. Either use packed sand or foam coving.


Step 3

Set the liner, still in its box, in the pool area. Remove your shoes. Take the liner out of the box and unroll. Work the liner so the floor seams follow around the cove you just built.

Step 4

Pull the walls of the pool liner up and over the pool wall. Attach the pool liner with pool coping strips. As you work, remove as many large wrinkles as you can.


Step 5

Insert the hose from the shop vac through the return hole in the pool's wall. Point the hose downward at a 45-degree angle. Secure it to the pool's wall with duct tape.

Step 6

Run 3 to 4 inches of water into the liner. Smooth out any wrinkles you can. Check that the water is even. If not, remove a coping strip, lower the pool liner and fix the sand underneath.


Step 7

Turn on the shop vac. With it pulling air out from between the pool wall and vinyl liner, continue to fill the pool. Use your hands to smooth out small wrinkles. Once the shop vac removes the air, turn it off. Complete the pool liner installation by installing the skimmer and return holes in the vinyl.


Set the pool liner, in its box, in the sunshine to become more pliable before you are ready to use it.

It’s helpful if you have someone operate the shop vac from outside the pool while you work out wrinkles in the vinyl liner inside the pool.


Because water and electricity obviously do not mix, make sure the shop vac does not get wet, especially while you are in the water. For safety’s sake, only plug the shop vac into a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) electrical outlet. This can help prevent accidental electrocution.



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