Installing New Liner Over Old One

by Cindy

A fella I work with advised that when his pool liner went bad he cut the 'beaded' part off the top of the liner and taped the old liner to the pool wall. He then installed the new liner over the old one.

He felt this would give added protection to the new liner. Do you recommend this?

Hi Cindy.

In theory this makes good sense. But in reality it does not usually work so well.

When a liner is drained it usually shrinks and wrinkles. This causes the bottom to be rough. The other problem is most pool bases need smoothing during a liner change. If the pool base is perfect, and the old liner flat and smooth, this might work just fine.

A sand base will always need to be smoothed out again. I remove the old liner and then run a large push broom over the entire pool base. I do this until it is perfectly smooth and then reinstall the new liner.

There are some pool bases that do not need to be smoothed out at liner change time. Many types of foam basis are like this, they just stay smooth. But then these bases would not need the extra protection of a used pool liner.

So, I would be very careful with this advise. Do not install a new liner over a wrinkly, lumpy existing liner. If it is perfectly smooth and perfectly flat I'm sure there is nothing wrong with it, but I seldom see them that way.

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Leave Side of Old Liner Under New Liner

by Rick

I have removed the bottom of old liner and using the foam banking edges and want to leave the old liner in place to hold everything nice before I put the new liner in. Is this OK?

Hi Rick.

Leaving the sides of the old liner in the pool is not something I would recommend. It could wind up causing you problems.

If you have a beaded liner, of course the bead would be in the way of the bead on the new liner. I assume you are working with an overlap liner. In this case almost the same thing is true. The extra liner over the top of the wall may cause problems with the coping and rods. They are only designed to go over so many layers of liner.

The way I deal with an overlap liner is to tuck the unused portion back into the pool.

Vinyl Liner Overhang

That results in two layers of liner the coping needs to go over. If you double that you have four layers which is more than most coping will cover without major issues. If the old liner were pulled over just once, and the new liner pulled over just once, you might be just fine.

Another option would be to attach the old liner the same way wall foam is attached. It could be cut out of the pool a few inches down from the top. At the same time you were cutting it out you could be duct taping the bottom portion to the wall. Taping the liner to the wall, a few inches from the top, keeps it out of the way when you go to set the new liner. It would make things much less complicated, having less to deal with. Dealing with one liner, setting it correctly so it is wrinkle free, can be a hand full in itself, adding a second liner to keep in place would complicate this.

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Old Liner Under New Liner

by Eugene
(Rockvale, Tn.)

I have bought a new 25 gauge liner and a new Blue Rhino cloth like pad. Can I cut the old liner and put it under all of the above at the bottom of the pool e. g. not up the wall?

Hi Eugene.

There are pros and cons about using the old liner underneath the new one. They can be a good barrier against grass, weeds, tree roots and bugs. But they can also cause wrinkles. If the old liner is still pliable and will lay down flat and smooth I would say go for it. Many times when the liners get old they become very crusty. As soon as the water is out they also shrink. Trying to get an old shrunk up crusty liner to lay flat can be next to impossible.

I have used old liners a lot underneath a sand base. With sand over the old liner it is not so critical that it be perfectly smooth. Since the cloth pads are very thin, whatever you put them over needs to be very smooth. Whatever is underneath the pad is going to show through the liner.

Below is a page with information about installing a liner in an above ground pool.

Above Ground Pool Liner Installation

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