Excess Beaded Liner

by Lou West
(Glen Burnie,MD USA)

I'm replacing my beaded liner on an above ground pool and the new liner seams to have too muck around the bead. The bottom looks pretty good. By that I mean there are minimal wrinkles. Every time I get around to the end, where I started, I have about 8 or 10 inches of extra bead.

Hi Lou.

This is not uncommon for beaded liners. It seems you always have too much or too little liner. That's the first time around. When it's off like that you have to take it all out and start over. This time you know you will have extra so you don't pull the liner as you are installing it. If you get to the end and still have too much you take it all out again. This time you push back on the liner as you are installing it. You are trying to install it as loosely as possible. If this does not work you may need to make use of warm sunlight. When the liner is warm it will stretch and pull easier and it will also bunch up easier, it's just plain easier to work with.

Other than using the sunshine and doing it over until it fits, there's no real secret to it. I have yet to see one I couldn't bunch up or stretch out to fit the pool. I'm sure it's possible but don't give up to soon.

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Jul 07, 2014
beaded liner too big
by: Jo

After a hard winter we had to replace our liner. Ordered the recommended size from when we first got our pool. When we put it in we didn't have to 'wrestle' with it to make it fit like we did the first time we did it. I was sooo excited! However, as we filled it there seemed to be air between the liner and the sides of the pool. Now the 'air pockets' are pushing the beading off the pool clips (for a lack of a better word). Now we have 1/4 or our liner that is loose from the 'clips'. Help... I know a blow dryer will allow you to stretch it, but how do we shrink it so it stays hooked on the clips? Thanks!!!


Using a shop vac to suck the air out might help. You could also try using some of the bead lock that is available online.

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Beaded Pool Liner Big

by Pat

After we installed the pool liner we found that we have 3" that would not go into the beaded channel. What could we have done wrong? Could it be because the liner is not seated against the pool wall?

It's about 6" away in some spots and 3" in others about halfway around the pool. Would this cause the excess liner of 3"? Thanks, Pat George

Hi Pat.

There is no exact science when it comes to beaded liners for above ground pools. It would be next to impossible to make a liner that would fit the pool perfectly. There are many variables. The temperature and the amount of sunlight are major factors. Your liner got stretched a little as it was installed into the bead.

On warm days pulling the liner too tight, and having excess, is easy to do. I have had days when the liner was too small and I would have loved to be working on a hotter day or under more sunshine. After three or four times of taking the liner out of the bead receiver and putting it back in your fingers become numb.

But that is what needs done, several times if needed. A liner that appears to small needs pulled a little tighter each time, and they will eventually stretch and fit. Your liner needs the opposite. You should work on bunching the liner backwards as you install it. Your first attempt may leave you short, as bunching is easy to do. You should easily get the feel for how tight, or loose, the liner needs to be and you will get it right after a few tries. This is normal.

If that does not work out for you try installing it in the evening, when it is out of the sun and cooler. You will notice an amazing difference in how the liner feels and works. If the liner is a little tight, by not being against the edge, I would leave the filling for direct overhead sunlight and a warm day.

A beaded liner that is tight, not up against the pool wall, is much better than one that is too big. Once you start filling it should stretch into place nicely.

j-hook liner problem

This photo shows a j-hook liner with too much bead at the end. They install about the same as a beaded liner and the same principles apply. You simply take it out and try again, this time putting a little back pressure as you hook it over the wall.

This page might help also.

Beaded Liner Installation

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Jun 26, 2017
Too much beaded liner
by: Anonymous

Contacted the company that sold me the beaded liner and after a few e-mails with no useful information I found this site. After removing about four sections of the liner and slightly pressing it back along the track is absorbed the extra eight inches of liner and went into the track. My main problem was the oncoming thunderstorm which would have put water into the pool before I was able to seal it and use a vacuum cleaner to extract the air between the pool wall and the inside of the liner to get all the wrinkles out. Had this not worked then I would have had to remove the rain water in order to finish the liner installation. The tool that helped me install the beaded liner lock was the same tool that is used to remove trim on automobile dashes. The tool is made of plastic which will not puncture the liner if you are careful. Wear a glove on the hand you hold the tool with or you get a blood blister from all the pressure needed to get the liner lock in the groove.

Jun 06, 2021
Excess beaded pool liner
by: Anonymous

How do you bunch a beaded pool liner, seems like just enough of bead fits in track, not like a shower curtain bunching, for sure. What is the trick, I have at least 10" to make up.
Hi You just keep pushing back on the bead as you work around the pool.

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Beaded Liner With Too Much Slack

I have an above ground pool. 48" tall sides and I just replaced the liner. It does not seem like it is deep enough and the liner has a lot of slack in it.

Does my pool need to be dug deeper? Or will filling it with water take the extra slack out of the liner?


This method of installing a beaded liner might help you.

Beaded Liner Installation

Using the vacuum might be a big help. But if you have a lot of excess liner on the wall of your pool it won't completely make it go away.

If I were doing the job I would pull all the excess liner over the wall, put some coping over top of it, and turn it in to an overlap liner. That's the option I usually go with.

Digging the pool deeper is another option that would probably work. If you really wanted to keep it a beaded liner, and did not want the wrinkles on the side of the pool, this would be the way to go.

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Sand Depth And Beaded Liner

by Joy

I would like to have 4 inches of sand on the bottom of my pool just to be safe since it is an 18 x 33 and the metal pieces on the bottom make me nervous, but the pool is 52 inches and I bought a new 52 inch beaded liner. My question is am I going to have to dig out more in the middle of the pool or will the liner be small enough so I won't have excess liner? Thanks, Joy (new pool owner with no clue)

Hi Joy. There is just no way to know how a beaded liner will fit. I went an entire season installing 48" beaded liners in 52" wall pools simply because they fit better. The store I installed for insisted on selling beaded liners and I insisted on all of my installs looking professional, so we came to that compromise.

Most of the time I just have coping on hand, if it looks like the beaded liner is going to be too big I simply pull it over the wall and install coping. I then install the bead receivers over top of the coping and it all works just fine, and looks good.

So, there is really no way of telling how that liner will fit until you actually install it. With four inches of sand for a base I would guess the liner will be too big, but again, no way to know for sure.

The other problem with that much sand are the foot prints. The thicker you make the sand the more foot prints you will have, at least in most cases.

I do pack the sand thicker over the pressure plates. I start with a high cove area and sloop slightly over the pressure plate area. I don't reach the 2" level until way past the pressure plates. If your pool has straps connecting the side braces be sure they are laying flat. If they are flat, 2" of sand works just fine.

Another thing about the straps, if you have them, that means you cannot dig the center deeper. If you don't have straps you can dig but it will really not change the fit of the liner. The fit is determined by the sides, the distance from top to the cove. Digging the center deeper does not change that. It may us up a little extra liner, but not enough and not from the right place. This would not be my option.

This page about installing a beaded liner might help also.

Beaded Liner Installation

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Sand Depth And Beaded Liner

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Jun 22, 2016
Beaded liner with excess bead
by: Tom

I have the comments above about a beaded liner circumstance being too long. We just put a 24' beaded liner with 52" side walls in our Doughboy pool. We purchased a new liner from Linerworld.com and I have tried putting the liner in four different times, but always end with approximately 6-8 inches of excess liner that I can't put into the bead track. Will sunlight really shrink the bead enough that it will all fit? I have tried installing it loosely and bunching it backwards as I'm putting it in and I still end with excess.


That's a difficult question to answer. In theory the sun would make the liner easier to stretch if it were on the small side. The sun might also make the liner easier to bunch up so it's worth a try.

A cold liner with no sun at all would be at it's smallest. So an early morning installation might be the answer.

May 13, 2021
Excess Beaded Liner
by: Leslie

I am very grateful for stumbling upon your blog. At a time like this when no other liners are available for purchase I was stuck with a liner that was too big. Upon first attempt of the installation of the liner, there was an excess of 6-8 inches. After reading your posts here I was hopeful to make another attempt using your suggestions. The liner fit like a glove. It was also helpful to learn from you that liners cannot be expected to fit on the first try every time. Thank you again for your knowledge and expertise. You saved me $1,000, which would have been the cost of hiring someone to install the liner for me.

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