Tips for Inground Swimming Pool Liner Preparation and Installation

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Do you think that only the pro’s can do it? Think again. Although we recommend a professional installer, with the correct tools and care most anyone can install their liner. Just follow the guide below, and you decide. A little work can save you a lot of money

Be sure to shop smart for your new liner. You can save Hundreds of dollars on your new high quality, virgin vinyl liner at stores such as Bubbas Bazaar.

These tips apply to inground beaded vinyl liners with or without hoppers (deep ends).

Inground Beaded Liners


1) Drain all water from pool. (you may use a sump pump, your filtration system or siphon hose)

2) Remove all hung ladders from liner area. (and any other equipment that may obstruct liner area)

3) Remove all debris from pool and sweep out liner. (we want to keep the old liner reasonably clean)

4) Remove all face plates and gaskets from inside pool area. (i.e. thru-the-wall(s), return(s), lights, etc..)

5) Inspect all face plates, gaskets and hardware for cracks/rips and/or wear. (replace as needed)

6) Temporarily remove old liner by lifting upward to unhook it from the track. (you may want to use it later)

7) Inspect pool base and walls for cracks, holes and depressions. (repair with a sand and mortar mix)

8) Re-tape all wall seams with duct tape. (remove old duct tape first)

9) Sweep entire pool area clean. (must be free of pebbles, rocks, sharp edges and all debris)

10) Record all measurements. (take depth from liner track to bottom, take widths from inside of walls)

11) Temporarily replace old liner, hook up in spots. (this will protect area until your new liner arrives)


1) Temporarily unroll your new liner in a sunny, debris free area. (this will assist liner to stretch later on)

2) Disconnect and plug all water return and feed lines at filter. (usage of duct tape will surfice)

3) Remove at least one skimmer lid and replace with cardboard. (duct tape cardboard to sidewalk)

4) Duct tape any remaining skimmer lids to sidewalk. (we are creating an air tight seal)

5) Seal off any step areas with plywood. (again, duct tape the THREE sides to sidewalk)

6) Insert shop vac hose thru the cardboard skimmer lid. (duct tape well, until sealed)

7) Inspect all duct taped areas. (these must be good seals)

8) Completely remove old liner from pool area. (this can be cut up and folded into smaller sections)

9) Re-inspect pool base. (insure there is no debris, rocks, pebbles or rough areas)

10) Fold new liner lengthwise. (take note of deep end of pool)

11) Place liner in pool area, retaining both ends. (make sure the deep end is in the deep end)

12) Carefully unfold liner in pool area. (do not get inside pool, you can do this from outside of pool area)

13) Align liner within pool area, start at shallow end. (do not attach yet, just get the liner close)

14) Attach liner to liner track in the shallow end. (make sure your two corners are perfectly aligned)

15) Continue attaching liner around entire pool area. (just pull liner taunt, do not stretch or allow bunches)

16) Inspect liner for exact fit. (make sure all corners are fitted correctly, adjustments can be made)

17) Gently brush and tap liner torwards the walls. (this will visually assist you in the final liner setting)

18) Final Setting Inspect and Adjust liner as needed. (slide liner within tract to gain or lose material)

19) Duct tape liner to the fourth side of plywooded step area. (if applicable)

20) Hook up shop vac to vac hose and turn on. (this will simulate water and suck all air out of liner area)

21) Gently brush and tap liner around entire perimeter torwards the walls. (this will remove all wrinkles)

22) Inspect liner for wrinkles and alignment, if ok continue, if not shut off vac and go to step #16. (critical)

23) If all is well, start filling with water. (DO NOT SHUT OFF VACUUM or you’ll get wrinkles)

24) Continue to fill until at least 1″ of water covers the shallow end. (periodically check for wrinkles)

25) Note: you can get inside of the pool and work out wrinkles as they appear. (gently push and pull)

26) Shut off shop vac)

27) Continue filling pool until one foot of water covers shallow end. (inspect for wrinkles again)

28) If you have composite steps go to step #29, for built in vinyl steps go to step #32.

29) Carefully feel the liner and locate at least two holes for bottom gasket and retaining bar.

30) Punch out holes using an awl, then attach gasket and retainer bar via hardware screws.

31) Repeat steps #29 and #30 for both of the step area side bars. (populate ALL retainer bar holes)

32) Install all remaining face plates and gaskets. (find at least two holes per item and punch out with awl)

33) Carefully cut out all liner material from gasketed areas. (steps if applicable, returns, skimmers, etc..)

34) Remove all duct taped seals. (return and feed lines, steps, etc..)

35) Fill to appropriate operational level.

36) Hook up filtration system and any accessories.

37) Add your start up chemicals.

38) Enjoy

Required Tools and Supplies:

1) Duct tape

2) Shop vac

3) Soft bristled broom

4) Tape measure

5) Extension cord

6) Awl or punch

7) Screwdrivers

8) Razor knife

9) Sump pump

10) Flat shovel

11) Garden hose

12) Possibly five gallon pail

13) Possibly masonary trowl

14) Possibly pre-washed masonary sand and mortar mix

Enjoy your summer, and stay cool

Daniel G. Osko