Oval Liner Replacement with Deep End and Main Drain

by Derek
(Nevada City, CA)

I have an 18' by 34' above ground Doughboy pool that needs to have its liner replaced. It is an overlap liner installed with a 7' deep end and main drain in the center of the deep end.

I've read all the posts about expandable liner installations in pools with a deep end, but I have not seen anything regarding how a main drain is aligned, cut, and installed in an expandable liner? Do you have any information regarding this? Thank you.

Hi Derek

That's a good question and I am not sure that I have ever touched on it before.

I usually leave the drain assembled until the last minute, until I have the sand smoothed and am ready to get out of the pool. I then remove the faceplate screws and remove it. This way I am sure the screw holes do not get filled with sand or dirt.

If the faceplate was removed at a previous time, and the holes filled with sand, I drill them out. I use a small drill bit and push it out the bottom of the hole, thus removing all the sand.

Just before installing the new liner I would glue a new gasket over the top of the drain. I use PVC glue for this. I hand pat the sand smooth around the drain and work my way out of the pool.

I stretch all my liners into place meaning the liner is pulled over the top rails so that the bottom is just off the base of the pool. I than start the water filling.

I don't let very much water in the pool before I

am in there attaching the faceplate and cutting the liner. About six inches is fine, but not any more.

I hop in the pool and grab hold of the garden hose. With someone holding the hose from the outside I lower myself into the deep end.

A main drain has a center grate that covers the main opening. It is attached with two screws. The drain molding protrudes in at these two locations, directly across from each other. Just to the outside of these holes are two holes for the outer rim, the faceplate. I carefully locate these two holes, they can be felt through the liner. With a small screw driver I poke holes through the liner. I then get the faceplate and a gasket and use two screws to get the assembly set on the drain with the screws poking into my preset holes. These screws can then be loosely tightened. I can then work my way around the faceplate inserting screws. Another time around to set them a little tighter and a final time to make them tight.

With the outer ring installed I can then cut the liner out. The cover grit attaches with the two screw that are a different size than the rest. With this all done it is time to get out of the pool using the hose the same way you got in.

Cutting the hole in the drain a a big thing. You normally do not want to do it until you have the liner completely set and you know everything is fine. With a deep end you do not have that luxury, you have to do it before the water gets too deep, there is no other way.

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