Pool Liner and Wall Foam

by Scott
(Emmaus PA USA)

A few more questions...

1. Is 100 degrees too hot to install a liner in a 15x30 ABP. Any special procedures?

2. I used Gladon wall foam on the walls. When installing the skimmer should the gaskets touch the pool wall or can they be installed over the foam?

3. I installed the wall foam a couple days ago and I have a few bubbles in it. Is this a problem?

Thank again for you help.


Hi Scott

When it comes to installing vinyl liners, the hotter the better. The heat will not cause you any problems.

As far as the wall foam goes, I would keep it several inches away from the skimmer, return and top of wall.

Wall foam can cause problems when installing the pool fittings, it is best to have it well out of the way. Cut it back and duct tape it to the wall.

If you have an overlap liner do the same thing. Give yourself at least three inches at the top of the wall. Cut the foam and tape it. With a beaded liner you should be able to go right up to the bottom of the bead receiver.

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Sand or Foam Cove

by Tim Shininger
(Fredonia, WI)

I am putting in a 27 ft round, above ground pool with a deep end. I am wondering if you have a recommendation for sand cove or the pre-formed foam cove?

I'd like to do sand as it's less expensive but don't want to risk having to re-do the project at a later date. Also, I read on another site about a guy who duct-taped a 2 ft wide strip of construction grade plastic about a foot up the pool wall before putting in a sand cove. This sounds like an even better idea to me prior to putting in a sand cove but wondered if there would be any concerns about trapping moisture along the wall and bottom rail and increasing the chance of rust. What do you think about the plastic prior to the sand cove?

Thanks for all the helpful information on your site - it has been a real help in getting ready to install the pool.

Hi Tim.

I prefer using sand as a cove, unless the pool is set on concrete, and then I always use the pre-formed pool cove.

There is nothing wrong with lining the wall with plastic. It is an effective way of preventing cove washout. Keeping a few inches of soil above the bottom rails on the outside is another.

I would not worry much about wall rust, they usually don't. When it comes time to change the liner for the first time you can take a close look and make any adjustments that need to be made. Until then I would not worry about it.

It is the people who change liners without inspecting the wall that have problems down the road.

Comments for Sand or Foam Cove

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Sep 15, 2014
Foam cove
by: Anonymous

My radiant brand pool is three feet in the ground. After two years the foam cove has risen up from the base to as high as one foot in some spots. Any ideas as to why this may happen. Nothing appears damaged as of yet.

Oct 02, 2021
Cove disappointment
by: Dawnmin

We've had an above ground pool since 1997.
The liner needed replacement and we did this in 2013. Only had a couple small surface rust spots on the inside of wall cleaned them and put rustoliam on them. I thought it would be a good idea to add coves at floor and wall junctions. Sometimes we would experience a mole causing the soil to soften and leaving liner vulnerable to damage. I spoke to a local pool store and they suggested not to use wall foam because it would cause rust due to lack breathability. They knew of that potential. Thought cove would be ok. Well not in my situation. My pool has developed rust all along the bottom wall edge about a year ago. Basically it's not in a good situation at all now. I don't know why pool stores sell these items when they cause extensive damage. I don't recommend using foam coves at all. We went from 1997 to 2013 same liner for those 13 years, no rust anywhere except those few spots high on wall. The bottom was absolutely fine. I'm so frustrated now because those coves didn't allow air to get anywhere near bottom of wall, now entire circumference has rust.

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Easy Set Pool Foam Base

by Lainy
(Alexandria, VA)

I just bought a small 10' x 30' Intex easy-set pool (lay on ground - inflate top ring - fill with water = done).

I was planning to put it on top of 1 or 1 1/2 foam board pieces duct taped together (on top of grass/level yard as opposed to concrete) as you instructed in many other posts, is this the best way to set up these types of smaller pools?

I'm also confused about the pool cove and whether I can or should use it. If I only have an inflatable pool i.e. no metal base, should I still use this pool cove? If so, how do I keep it in place, attach it to the pool or foam below, and keep rain water from collecting in between the top edge of the cove and the pool itself?

Lastly, is there a place to purchase the foam board in pieces larger than 4 x 8 to eliminate some of the taping? Do pool stores sell this?

I apologize is this is a repeat question, I couldn't find any posts for such a small pool as this.

Hi Lainy.

The foam board only comes in 4 x 8 sheets, to the best of my knowledge. I think they would make a great base for your Easy Set pool. Since they are going on grass, and it may not be completely smooth or level, I would use the 1 1/2" sheets. The thinner ones may not work as well on the uneven terrain.

You do not need the pool cove, it is only for steel wall above ground pools.

When using the foam boards it is important to use plenty of duct tape to hold them together.

inflatable ring pool problem

Do your best to make sure your inflatable ring pool is level. When they are not they look like this in no time at all.

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Preformed Pool Cove - Install on Top of Sand?

by Chris

My new pool came with the adhesive backed preformed pool cove. In reading your answers to other questions about the installation I would like to get some clarification on when to install it.

Can I first lay my 2 inch base of sand and then install the pool cove on top of that sand layer OR do I have to install the pool cove on bare ground, then spread out the sand layer up to the cove?

It would seem to me that laying it out on top of the sand would help make sure the cove sits on a nice level surface, but then I am not sure if I am risking that the sand underneath the cove could be washed out.


Chris in Pennsylvania

Hi Chris.

The cove should go directly on the ground. When I am using a sand base and the preformed cove the sand nearly covers the cove.

I make sure a little of the cove is showing above the sand. This keeps the sand from getting in behind the cove or getting trapped between the liner and the wall.

The main advantage of using the preformed cove is to prevent washouts under the bottom rails. They do a great job of this when used properly.

Installing them on top of the sand would sort of defeat this purpose. I would also be afraid of the sand settling below them and causing problems.

Since I have never installed the cove on top of a layer of sand, I am just guessing this would not be the way to go.

If you had a layer of 1 1/2" foam sheets down instead of sand, then the cove could go on the top, that would make sense to me. But not over sand.

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Aug 02, 2017
Pre-formed cove should sit on the floor of the pool.
by: Dave in Ontario

I disagree when you say that you nearly bury the entire foam cove in sand. The cove's purpose is to prevent a high pressure force pushing out at the base of the pool. The more surface area of the cove that is exposed to the force of the water, the lower the force at the bottom corner of the pool. I feel the best method is to pack about 1" of level sand on the bottom, just enough to cover the bottom track, or 1" above your pressure plates for oval pools. Lay down a floor of 1" rigid foam (shiplap) boards and cut to fit to within 1/2" from the wall edges. Use a high quality duct tape on the seams. Then, install your foam cove on top of the foam boards. You will almost completely eliminate the risk of cove washout doing it this way and the comfort of the foam floor on your feet will make you glad you spent the extra $100.

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