Purchasing Replacement Liner Online
Have a Doughboy 16x32 above ground pool that is at least 10 years old (it was here when we bought the house).
We are looking at installing a new liner and have been looking online because prices are so much lower. We have found a few we like but recent advice from someone else has us concerned. I thought I'd just ask you what your opinions are.
We currently have a patterned blue liner but are considering the something a little cooler. Like the one with fish on it or something similar.
The opinion from a local shop is this: "I don't recommend a pattern. Never buy a liner online. They are thin cheap and tend to prematurely fail. Only buy Doughboy. The warranty, quality, durability and fit in Doughboy pools is incomparable."
I realize this opinion is biased because they want our business but is it also true?
I just want a nice looking pool that will last without me having to do this all again.
What you heard is very true. I installed Doughboy pools for over forty years and I can agree with every word the person said. So you need to ask yourself a couple of questions. How much money do you want to spend and how long do you want the liner to last.
I consider most online liners to be 5-7 year liners. That is their average lifespan. I consider a Doughboy to be 10 - 15 years, depending on how you take care of it. I think the oldest I have seen was just under twenty years, pretty amazing for a vinyl liner.
For many people
an online, cheaper, liner makes sense. It certainly did for me. I can buy the cheapest liner made and always get at least five years out of it. I do the labor myself so it's no big thing to change the liner every five years. But so far I have not had to, I tend to sell and upgrade the pool or move and get a new one. I never looked at a long time frame as being important, nor the cost of labor changing the liner as being important.
Everyone has different needs. If you want another ten years or more out of your pool then I would go with the Doughboy brand, they are that much better.
Another consideration is the condition of the pool. If the pool is getting old, maybe wearing thin in spots or accumulating a lot of rust five years may be what you expect to get out of it before you replace the whole thing.
Two things to keep in mind with the cheaper online liners: gauge is not the same as mil and the pretty patterns are only pretty for a short time. A 25 gauge liner is equivalent to a 20 mil liner. This is something not many people are aware of. If you buy an online 20 gauge liner you are actually getting a very thin 16 mil liner. The fancy patterns look nice when they are new, but not so nice in a year or so when they start to fade.
As far as I am concerned the Doughboy UD plain blue 20 mil liner is the best liner ever made.
Be sure to read some of my liner pages, they may help also.
Vinyl Liner Replacement
Vinyl Liner Overhang