Expandable Liner Won’t Stretch

by Liz
(Colonia, NJ)

I purchased an expandable liner for my Doughboy pool online and hired a couple installers to come install it for me.

The main guy has 30 years background and owned his own pool store. They can't get the liner to stretch. He swears it's not an expandable liner.

Yes, it was a little rainy, and the temp was only around 60 degrees, but he has done this before in this weather and can't even stretch enough to reach all around. The pool was only dug 5 ft and it should expand to 7 ft. The manufacturer is telling us the only reason it won't fit is the temperature. Is this correct?

Hi Liz.

First off, yes, it could be very correct, the outdoor temperature does make all the difference in the world.

I hope they are using this method of installing the expandable liner.

Expandable Liner Installation

I have installed liners on cold wet days, with no sun to speak of, and I know how hard it can get. I have spent over an hour at times just getting the liner to stretch over the top rails. Once that part is done the stretching into a deep end is easy. It's just getting the liner over the top rails that can be killer.

Many times when putting the liner into the pool, and pulling it over the top rails, we wind up short of liner by at least a third of the pool. One would think that there is no way this liner is ever going to fit the pool. We keep working at it until it does.

I use a two person method. When the liner is pulled up and over as far as we can go, we go back to the beginning. I

take the lead and pull the liner in a horizontal manor. I pull and then plant the liner over an upright. The person behind me clamps their hands over the upright while I go to the next one and do the same thing. One post at a time we work our way around the pool. When we come to the end, and still need more liner, we start over again. This can go on for dozens of times and take over an hour. Sooner or later the liner does fit.

Once the liner is over all the uprights we then start the long process of raising it up a little at each post, working our way around the pool time and time again. Eventually the bottom seam is near the top ledge, the center of the liner is off the sand, and we are finally ready to start the hose filling.

On a warm sunny summer day this process may take thirty minutes. On a cold winter day it might be a couple of hours before the liner is ready to fill.

The photos on the expandable liner page show a 24' pool with a 6' deep end. A pool with that deep of a deep end I would probably hold off for a sunny day before installing the liner. I would not be to concerned about the temperature, but I would want direct overhead sunlight. The more sun you get on the liner the better the chances are you will be able to install it without wrinkles. Cold liners are much harder to keep smooth.

Once they are pulled up and over the rails, an expandable liner should stretch into any hole regardless of the weather, but sunshine will always get you a better job.

I would have them come back on a warm sunny day and try again.

Comments for Expandable Liner Won’t Stretch

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Jun 25, 2011
Big bubble while filling
by: Anonymous

My expandable liner finely reached all sides and has now filled to just under the skimmer but it had a really big stretch area which now turned to a big bubble. We are afraid to cut the skimmer until we are sure this bubble will dissipate as the water gets higher. All rails are on should we remove a rail or 2 to let the air out?


If the water is touching the sidewall before the liner is tucked this can easily happen. It can be fixed by removing the top rails and pulling the liner up to make it tight. Hold off on the skimmer until this is done.

Jun 27, 2011
Pool lifted off ground
by: Anonymous

I'm sick!! We finally got the pool filled after having our used pool installed with a new liner. Pool installer was suppose to come back and cut out skimmer but hasn't returned our calls. Now we know why...He installed the skimmer area under the deck so we had to get someone to come cut an area in our deck. So after purchasing a new skimmer and installing it and after purchasing new hoses that sprung a leak we're all good....until now the pool has lifted completely off the ground on one side. We asked what this part was he was throwing out and he said it was the strap, he said since we dug out the middle we did not need it. The pool is a 16x24 oval. Now it's off the ground and we are draining it. Is this pool salvageable without the strap or did we just throw away about $2500 which included this idiots $1000?


The only way you can remove straps is if you install an L bracket and an 8 x 8 x 16 block under the brace. Two blocks is even better. It should look like the brace on this page.

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