Liner Overhang on an Above Ground Pool

by William

I am trying to replace my liner. If I only have two inches of overhang is there a problem with the type of liner I have?

Hi William.

Your liner is probably just fine, and two inches of overhang is fine if it is even all the way around and the pool fills up without pulling any of it in.

Some manufactures of vinyl liners make them a little on the small size. There are some brands that are nearly impossible to install on a cold cloudy day, but given the same liner in warm direct sun they go right in.

The outdoor temperature, amount of direct sunlight, and how you install the liner combine to create a lot of variables in how your liner will fit.

If you stretch the liner into place, most liners can be made to fit even on the worst days. On a cold day you may only get two inches of liner left to overhang, while on a hot sunny day you may get six inches or more.

If you are installing the liner from inside the pool, not stretching it, it can seem nearly impossible even on a sunny day. On a cold cloudy day it very easily could be impossibility. This is not necessarily the fault of the liner manufacturer. In most cases, the liner they sold you will fit, but it may need to be stretched in on a sunny day.

Stretching an overlap liner into an above ground pool is the best way to install them. This technique is discussed on this page.

Above Ground Pool Liner Installation

More information about overlap liner installation and liner overhang can be found on these related pages.

Expandable Liner Installation

Overlap Liners

Vinyl Liner Overhang

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Pool Liner Problem

by Mike Moskal
(Southington, CT)

I purchased a used pool at the end of last season. I did the installation myself and got to use the pool for about 3 weeks, or a month, before we had to close it for the winter here in Connecticut.

My wife and I went to open the pool today and found that the liner (new as of installation) had pulled away from the wall in one area. The section is about 5 ft long and it's about 3" away from hooking back over the top of the wall. Am I out of luck on this liner or can it be salvaged?

Hi Mike.

Since the pool liner was new last fall you should have no problem resetting it. You will want to wait for a warm sunny day. If you drain the pool the day before and reset the liner in the morning it should be ready to fill by the time the sun is directly overhead.

You may be able to just pull up the one section that has come down and let the liner stretch a little as it fills back up. You may, however, need to shift some vinyl from the other side of the pool to have enough to pull over that one section.

If you are working with an overlap liner, and did not cut off any of the overhang when you installed it, you should be in good shape. Let the sun work for you to allow the liner to do a little stretching.

If you tuck the excess liner back into the pool you get an extra thickness of liner under the coping and rods. This can be a big help in keeping a liner from slipping.

Vinyl Liner Overhang

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Not Enough Liner Overhang

by Mrs. Ashwood

We are trying to install a new liner in our 24 foot constant depth pool. It is stretching the sides down until there is only an inch of liner overhang at places. The most we have is 4 inches of overhang.

How much overhand should you normally expect to have in a liner for a 52 inch tall pool? The place I ordered from said they only allow for 2 inches overhand. I do not see how this is enough to make it fit right on a 24 foot round pool. Your help is greatly appreciated! Mrs. Ashwood

Hi Mrs. Ashwood.

1-4 inches of overhang is very little to work with, I agree. But if you have enough to pull over the wall of the pool, and the pool fills up just fine, you are probably OK. Once the pool is full, and if you keep the pool full of water, the liner should not pull down from the top. Keeping the pool full is important. Any amount of shrinking might pull the liner out from under the coping.

vinyl liner overlap

I like to have 6" or more to play with. The excess then gets tucked back into the pool so that the outside overhang remains the same.

Vinyl Liner Overhang

If your pool is now full I would not be concerned with the amount of overhang you have. If you are starting over you may want to try the stretching method of installing an above ground pool liner. This page has the best photos.

Expandable Liner Installation

This is how I install most of my pool liners, whether they are deep end pools or flat bottom pool. Stretching the liner in on a warm sunny day will probably leave you with six inches or more of overhang. Stretching makes a difference and so does the amount of sunshine on the liner.

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Overlap Liner Trouble

by Heather

Hello, We just bought a new 18ft round swimming pool. We had the ground leveled and put block around the base and used sand. We put the pool up and installed the overlap liner and the overlap of the liner pulled almost the whole way through the coping strips in two sections. We had already had the hole cut for the skimmer, so we had to buy another new liner. We installed it yesterday when it was close to 80 degrees outside and it did the exact same thing. At this point we don't know what to do. We built up a cove the whole way around the inside perimeter of the pool. The swimming pool place told us that we had too much overlap and that's why it did it, but that makes no sense to me. Any and all help would be very much appreciated!

Hi Heather

Read through this entire page and follow some of the links. The answer is there somewhere. It's probably just a matter of the liner not being stretched enough or not enough direct sunlight. Be sure also that the liner is the right height for your wall. A 52" liner would probably not fit a 54" pool.

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Liner Not Fitting Right

We put the liner in and after about 4" of water the liner started to slip off one side of the pool. There is barely an inch of over lap left. Should I try to stretch the liner and continue to fill or try to pump the water out and attempt to adjust the liner. Thanks


With only an inch of overhang left you may not have any choice but to drain and start over. You could wait until the hottest part of the day and start filling again, see what happens. Or you could drain and try pushing the bottom out to the sides and maybe gain some more liner. Work only in full sunshine and quit for the day when the liner starts to stiffen up, as it does soon after the sun is off it.

Hopefully you have not cut any holes for the skimmer or return, this just complicates things. Leave that for when you know the liner fits. If you can fill it to just below the openings you should be in good shape.

Another thing I do that might help is tuck the excess liner back into the pool. This give you an even two inches or so on the outside so it looks better. It also make a double layer of liner for the coping to go over. This makes a tighter fit and harder for the liner to slip.

Most importantly, make use of the sun.

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