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Do I Need A New Liner?

If its been a while since you have thought about your pool liner, it may be time to check it over to see if its time to replace it. Liners don't have an expiration date; how they wear and how long they last depends a lot upon how much use they get and how you've maintained them through the seasons. The last thing you want is for your liner to turn on you; all that water has to go somewhere and chances are you won't like where it ends up. So its a good idea to periodically check it out and check it over; pool opening time is the ideal time to do this.

Pool liners come in a variety of  thicknesses, materials, patterns; and since there are so many variables: the weather, chemicals, Ph, your neighbor's ill-mannered children, that sycamore tree that sends out seed bombs every year, and various and sundry acts of God, it's impossible to say exactly how long they will perform well. So its important that you keep an eye on your pool liner and get it replaced when it is starting to show signs of wear.

If you have a huge gaping hole in your liner, you obviously need to replace it. But sometimes it's not so obvious.

Here's what to look for:

1. Water loss. If you seem to be losing more water than evaporation and everyday use can account for, your liner might be compromised. If there is a small tear or puncture in your liner, it is possible it might be reparable; however you may also need to simply replace the entire liner.

If you are unsure if your water loss is due to evaporation, you can do a bucket test. Simply place an open container (i.e. a bucket) on the first or second step in your pool. Fill the bucket with water so that the water line of the bucket and the water line of the pool are the same. If water is evaporating, the water line in both the bucket and the pool will stay level. If there is a leak, the water line in the pool will fall below the water line in the bucket. If you are a visual type, just check YouTube; there are several demonstrations of this method available.

2. Fading. Fading is an indicator that the sun and/or chemicals are taking their toll; the color isn't really the issue, however when a liner fades it is an sign that it has lost some of its integrity. A fading liner is a marker that your liner is losing elasticity; it is getting brittle and inflexible which makes it more susceptible to rips, tears, punctures, and leaks. Significant fading is a good indicator that you need a new liner.

Not sure if its faded? Liners rarely fade uniformly; chances are you will see a certain area or patch of the liner that is lighter than the rest. If you still aren't sure, look for a picture of the pool when the liner was new and compare.

3. Wrinkles. If you notice wrinkling, pay attention; this could be a sign that your liner is aging, stretching, or damaged. Wrinkles in your liner can be caused by improper chemical balance, slippage, and water loss. Wrinkles, and their cousins, puckers, can indicate that your liner is losing elasticity and needs to be replaced. This only applies to pools; wrinkles on people are perfectly acceptable. 

Why bother to replace your liner at all? Why not get one more season out of it, and then one more, and then one more? Your pool liner provides a barrier between your pool wall and the chemically treated water inside. If you ignore that water loss, those small leaks and tears, those faded and wrinkled areas, steel walls will rust and corrode, and other pool components can be damaged. The ground under your pool can erode which will cause floor damage. Leaking water can also do damage to decks, pavers and concrete. If you get your brakes fixed with that first squeak, it doesn't cost much to replace them and the damage is minimal. But if you hold out and wait until your brake pedal is pushing the floor, its a different story. The same holds true of your liner. 

Have questions? You can always give us a call at Family Leisure for expert advice and service. And if you decide it is time to replace that liner, we can help with that too! Check us out at familyleisure.com or give us a call at 877-775-3478. Or call your local store. We are always glad to help. Happy swimming!

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