Pool Liner J-hook

by Billy Gunn
(Brewster, Wa)

How do I know what kind of liner we have, this is an above the ground pool. The liner in the pool has no excess liner that we can see. We took the top railing off and it looks like the liner fits right over the panel of the pool and aluminum brackets go over the panel and the bracket is open in the middle all the way through.

Could you tell me if this a called a hung liner or another name.


Hi Billy.

It's a hung liner or more commonly called a j-hook liner.


It hooks right over the side of the pool wall. An overlap liner would hang over the outside of the pool by at least a couple of inches and be easily visible from outside the pool.

beaded above ground pool liner

A beaded liner would hook into a bead receiver that would hang down the inside of the pool by an inch or so. The liner would go into the receiver instead of hooking over the wall.

A unibead liner is capable of being a J-hook or a beaded. It has both functions molded into the top molding of the liner.

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48” Pool with a 54” Liner


We have a 48" pool. If we dig down 6" can we install a 54" liner (j-hook)? Thanks


That is not something I would do, nor would I recommend anyone try it. You would just be asking for a mess of wrinkles that would be a nightmare to clean over and around.

The pool frame needs to sit on a firm, and level, ledge. The slope of a deep center should start about a foot and a half in from the pool sidewall and not before. This is not even close to the design that a 54" j-hook liner is designed for. The sides need to go down 54", not 48".

The correct way to do a deep center on an above ground pool is to use an expandable liner. Your best results will be with an overlap liner. In fact, there is really never a good reason to use a j-hook liner. At least that is my opinion.

A beaded liner can be used when you know the top ledge is going to be covered by a deck. This is an example of such a pool.

Above Ground Pool, Deck and Awning

installing an overlap liner

That is the only time I would ever use anything besides an overlap liner. They are just so much easier to get the wrinkles out of and to get to fit the pool correctly just about every time. Your plan would work better with a 54" overlap liner but not nearly as well as if you used an expandable liner.

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54 in J-track Unibead Liner Problem

by Gwen
(Lockport, IL)

We bought a 54 inch, 27 foot pool a couple of weeks ago. First, we had a ton of problems with the installers, but then, after we filled it with water, we found only 43 to 44 inches of water could fit in it when filled to the proper level.

We have a Sentinelle pool with a 54 inch J track unibead liner. Does this make sense? We were expecting to have 48-50 inches of water when we bought the 54 inch pool. That's half a foot off!

The salesman at the store we bought it from said that that is exactly how it should be even though the store model lined with the same liner has a good 48 inches of water in it.

Any advice you can give us would be greatly appreciated because we are really disappointed in what we have and feel like they don't want to fix the mistake their installers made. If you are in the Lockport area we'd love to have you come out for a consultation!

Thank you.

Hi Gwen.

I wish I could help you with the consultation, but you are a bit far from Arizona. You have, however, provided me with more that enough information.

Do what ever it takes to get your installers to fix your mess, or refund all of your money.

As you are well aware, you should lose 4-6 inches of water, never any more. With a 54" wall you should have at least 48" of water. This is not at the cove area, this is across the majority of your pool.

I would suggest a couple of things. Get your tape measure out and go to work. Measure from the top of the water to the top of the top rail all the way around your pool. See how level the pool is. If it is more than an inch out at any one spot you have a valid complaint.

Get in the pool. Measure from the liner at your feet to the top of the water. Do this in many locations across your pool.

This measurement should at all points, except the cove, be well within an inch. It should also be close to the 48" mark.

If you are as far off as you say, you might even check to see if you got a 54" wall. It sounds more like a 48".

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Pool Liner Installation Question

Everything was going well when I was installing my 27 x 54 inch pool until I put the liner in, then when installing the liner it was really tight on one side,. The last part that I attached to pool wall ,(this is a j hook liner) I thought it was too tight there and not all that tight on the other side of pool.

Now the wall is dented in on that tight side. Can I re-stretch the sides of liner to get the dent out since there is a little water in it?


The trick to installing a j hook liner correctly is to make sure it is centered correctly and that it is stretched evenly. It is very common with beaded and j-hook liners to have to install the beads several different times to get the stretch just right. The first time around may leave you short of liner at the end. You should then take it all out and pull a little tighter the second time. If you have to much liner, take it out and install it looser the second time.

The mistake most people make is trying to make up the difference in the last few feet of the pool. They either pull real hard and over stretch the last few feet or push back and leave the last few feet sloppy, compared to the rest of the liner.

The trick is to get it all with the same amount of stretch, whether it is tight, or loose, it needs to all be the same. When the liner is all hooked over the wall spend plenty of time centering the liner. The liner needs to fit the pool the same, all the way around. It needs to be the same distance from the cove at the bottom and the walls need to be straight up and down.

This page has more information about installing beaded type liners.

Beaded Liner Installation

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J-hook Liner

by Darla
(Parkville, MD)

I have an old Crown Pool from 10 years ago. It's time for a new liner. I was told a unibead would do just fine because they don't make a J-hook liner anymore.

I have a 15' x 24' x 48" oval pool with decking. It was even hard to find a unibead liner. Do you agree with a unibead and do you have a company where I can order it from?

Thanks, Darla

Hi Darla.

Yes, a unibead liner sounds like what you need and pool products.com can send you one. They have several styles of beaded liners to fit many of the more unique pools and their site says they have J-hook liners also. They also say if they don't have exactly what you want they can either get it or custom make one.

The j-hook part of a unibead liner should be very universal. It is the beaded part that may not fit all pool bead receivers. When in doubt, it is always best to try to find a store with a liner expert and talk to them. That's not always easy but it is worth a try.

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