Liner too Small

by Glen Short
(NSW Australia)

I have just installed a second hand above ground pool, I have just finished fitting the liner and it seems like it has to stretch at least 300mm either way all the way around to reach the bottom corners. Will it stretch this much? It is the original liner.

Hi Glen. If you are installing a used liner it is a good bet that it will not stretch. Liners loose their elasticity when they are drained and most of the time they will not re-stretch. The best chance you will have is if you fill the pool under direct sunlight, on a very hot day.

In Arizona, under a 115 degree sun, the liner might become pliable and stretch into place.

A quick way to find out is to hook up the wall skimmer and position the liner up against the cove at the bottom. Now go directly across from the skimmer and see if you have enough liner to pull over the wall.

If the liner is way short of pulling over, across from the skimmer, you might as well give up and buy a new liner.

Comments for Liner too Small

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May 20, 2013
Liner Cut Too Short
by: Anonymous

We have a 28' above ground pool and had a new liner installed. The installers had us start filling with hose to 10", after that we had a water tanker for remainder. The overlap liner is pulling down on one side of pool. Stopped filling. Can this liner be stretched? I'm worried that this might happen again. Liner has 15 year warranty but install is 1 year.

Hi. This one should be completely on the installers, there is no reason this should have happened.

If the liner was too tight, or the weather too cold, the installers should have told you. They could have said this liner is tight but will be fine if you fill at high noon tomorrow. This I could understand, having done it a time or two.

If at anytime there was any question about whether or not a liner would fit I would not cut the opening for the skimmer and return. I did not like having to go back but there were times I would instruct my customer to fill to just below the openings. I new if the pool filled that high it was save to cut the skimmer hole.

Once the openings are cut you loose the opportunity to stretch the liner in on a warmer day. You cannot stretch a liner and reuse the openings, once they are cut the liner needs to fit.

I would turn it back over to the installers and have them make it right.

May 20, 2013
Liner Cut Too Short
by: Anonymous

Thank you for the help. Talked to installer and he is telling me he'll be out Wednesday or Thursday - not too happy about that but I understand he has jobs scheduled. There is about 5,500 gallons of water in the pool now. Do you think they can stretch it and if they are able too, do you think I'll have trouble in future? I have main drain and concerned about the cuts if its stretched.

Hi. Most of the time once a liner is set it stays that way. So if they can get the pool to fill, you should be fine, so long as you keep the water level topped off at all times. Draining and refilling would definitely be a problem.

One thing I don't know yet, is it a beaded liner or an overlap. With a beaded liner, and a hot sunny day, pulling the liner up and resetting it should be just fine. With an overlap liner they may have tucked the overhang back into the pool, like I do, so a simple adjustment will correct things.

Your installer should know the options and do what needs to be done. Waiting till mid week I don't understand, but that's just me. You and your liner problems would come before any other customer. The sooner you can get on this type of situation the better your chances of success, and the sooner you have a happy customer. Why should several more customers be enjoying their pools before you can enjoy yours, that's not the way I did business. I hope they take care of you.

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Liner Small For Pool

by Chris
(coastal North Carolina)

I'm changing the liner in my above ground pool, 24ft round by 52in high. The liner appears to be too short. There was very little hang over before I started with water and then at about a foot of water the liner pulled away from the wall.


Hi Chris. The liner is probably just fine, it more than likely needs to be stretched more and to have warmer weather.

Liners need to be stretched into pool during the warmest part of the day and in direct sunlight. This softens the vinyl up and allows it to stretch a little. It also makes getting the wrinkles out much easier.

Did you try pulling the liner up over the existing framework of the pool? This allows you to pull the liner so tight that the center of the pool liner is just off the base. You then start adding the water. The weight of the water stretches the liner just enough to pull the wrinkles out, which is also just the amount needed to make the sides fit properly. Some liners are so small they can not be installed using any other method, unless it's about 110 degrees in the shade, then you can about anything you want with them.

I have spent many chilly mornings fighting with cold liners that you would swear are too small. After fighting with them for an hour or so, the sun comes up, the vinyl begins to soften, and they go right in.

The pages below all have photos of a liner being installed in this way.

Above Ground Pool In Ground

Overlap Liners

Expandable Liner Installation

Above Ground Pool Liner Installation

Another variation of the same idea is seen on this page. It involves using just the stabilizer rods of the pool for support to drape the liner over. This does not work as well as the above method, but it does work.

Above Ground Swimming Pool Installation

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