Considering Using A Slightly Used Liner

by Barbara
(Houston, TX)

Hi - We just bought a 2nd hand 24' round Doughboy pool to construct on our ranch in country (TX). The liner that came along was only used for 2 weeks before breakdown and seller thought it worth a try to re-use as good shape and not a lot of chemicals/chlorine exposure time.

So today I am spreading it out on lawn to power-wash in sun and refold. I notice the cut-outs for skimmer and another for a pump hose and start to think it might be a big waste of time and energy to reuse this when there is no guarantee it will not have a small imperfection, be able to match up with holes perfectly and will be handled many times over before installing.

It seems to be a high-end very pretty designed liner albeit covered in some dirt, mud and leaves etc. It feels high-gauge too to a newbie and if it wasn't dirty and quite the task to scrub and all I wouldn't ask these Questions: Will it be close to impossible to match up alignment of the skimmer hole and the other hole for the sand pump?

Would you do this task to save money considering the very light short term use of this liner before? I know that safe over sorry is good advice - but I am hoping to spend the extra money on a pad for bottom and maybe some other items.

Should I even try this and waste effort and water and a full Saturday when I find out it has an imperfection.

Hi Barbara

I recommend all of my customers provide me with a new liner for their installs. I can give them a smoother bottom and guarantee a wrinkle free installation with a new liner. Some, however, want to save some money, and I am a very understanding guy. I do have a two season or less policy, beyond that I will not touch a used liner. They start to shrink bad after the first season and after a few they become impossible to re-install.

So, I have installed hundreds of used liners with very few problems. By imperfections I assume you mean holes. They are pretty easy to spot, you will be spending plenty of time with this liner during the cleaning and installing. If there is a hole you will probably spot it and be able to patch it, so that would not be a big concern for me.

Shrinkage would not be a concern either, the liner is almost new. If you install the liner on a warm day in direct sunlight it should loosen up just fine and not be a problem to install.

As far as wasting time and money, I wouldn't see it that way. You will know before you

ever put water in the pool whether or not the liner can be used. If it can't, you get a new one and finish the job.

If by early afternoon Saturday you are installing the liner and find out it won't work you would finish building the pool frame. This secures the wall and would be the starting point for stretching in a new liner. You could then either go to town and buy a liner for a Sunday finish, or order a new one and be ready to finish next Saturday. The pool will be just fine for a week without a liner.

Are you ready to install that slightly used vinyl liner? OK, let's do it. You get your wall up and secured by taping your top rods in place. I never leave a wall unsecured, a slight breeze will blow them down.

Take your time and prepare the pool base up to the point of needing a liner. When I roll a used liner up I know exactly where the skimmer opening is. I set the liner in the pool at that point so all I have to do is lift the liner up a little and cloths pin the liner in place right over that opening. I now unroll and position the rest of the liner. When it is roughly in position, meaning outer seam near the cove area all the way around, I go back to the skimmer location. I make sure the liner is touching the cove below the skimmer. I then go directly across the pool and push the liner into the cove. With the liner held against the cove I pull the liner side up and over the wall. If I can do that with a few inches of overhang that liner is good to go, the rest will fit just fine. If I get the the side opposite the skimmer and don't have enough liner I stop right there.

Once I know it's a go I go back and attach the skimmer and return. Now it's just about using my cloths pins to pull up the rest of the liner and smooth the bottom.

You want the bottom as smooth as possible before you start adding water. You also want the liner centered as best possible. When everything looks good you start adding water. This is when I am on my hands and knees pushing out wrinkles and doing the final smoothing. Once the bottom is smooth and the water near the edge the rods can come off and the liner gets put into place.

I do this a little at a time with helpers on the outside of the pool. A few rods come off, I set the liner and install the coping, then the pool gets put back together with never more than a few rods being off at a time.

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