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Just a little info about above ground pool liners, since some folks install their own, or who want to learn how it's done. We don't install above ground liners anymore, but we know qualified folks who do. If you aren't sure you have a good installer, this info might help you keep an eye on what they are doing!
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Swimming Pool Liners Sales, Replacement, Installation
Oklahoma City and the OKC Area Bethany Edmond More Mustang Norman Yukon
This page is all about Above Ground Swimming Pool Liners. Above ground pools are popular because they cost less than other types of pools. The least expensive pools are those which have inflatable rings around the top. These liners are not replaceable. On this page, we'll discuss the three major types of replaceable above ground liners, and how to know which kind you have. We'll discuss some installation tips on another page, ( see A. G. Installation ) In years past, A-Pro Services installed a lot of above ground liners. It can be a lot of work, but a determined homeowner can install an above ground liner, without too many special tools. The hardest part is getting the dirt work just right for a nice smooth bottom. It is a knack, and those of us in this company who did it well have gotten too old to work that hard, so we don't do very many of them, any more. We do still sell above ground liners for those want to install them, and we'll explain how it's done, and try to help you find a good installer if you need one.
There are three major basic types of replaceable above ground liners. Overlap, Beaded, and J-hung. Generally, if you have a flat bottomed pool, you can use either type. with some considerations. Until fairly recently, the most common has been the overlap. They are generally cheaper, but are more work to install. Since there is no defined water line, they usually do not have a pattern at the top unless it is an overall pattern. Beaded and J-hung liners usually have a tile pattern, or some other decoration, around the top of the liner, because the point where the liner is attached to the pool wall is absolutely defined.
If your pool previously had an overlap liner, you can usually change to the other types, as long as the pool has a flat bottom, and a proper cove at the bottom of the wall. No modification is required to install a J-Hung liner, but you still have to remove the top rails and stabilizer rails to install it. In Oklahoma, you need to have plenty of help, because the pool is very vulnerable in the wind without top rails. A better choice, if you are installing the liner yourself with limited help, is to install a bead receiver, and use a beaded liner. You only have to take the top rails and stabilizer rails off once, and not all at once. The next time the liner is replaced, you don't even have to take the top rails off at all! This is, by far, the easiest to install, if you already have the receiver in place.
If you have any deep area in the pool at all, you are pretty much confined to a custom liner, or more commonly, an expandable liner, which, by nature, are overlap liners, which are stretched into place.
One of the quickest ways to tell that your above ground pool liner is an overlap type is that there is not a well defined tile pattern at the top. Overlap liners have excess material to accommodate varying wall height, and, therefore, don't have a fixed top location. Some may have a pebbled pattern, some are plain, and some have an all-over print, or are printed only on the bottom. Since the easiest way to get the liner installed without wrinkles is to stretch it over the outside of the completely assembled pool, it is difficult to keep the wall perfectly straight vertically, where the tile pattern would be.
Overlap liners are the most difficult to install, because all of the top rails and stabilizer rails have to be removed once the liner is stretched, thenthe liner has to be "tucked" and attached using coping strips to secure the liner to the top of the wall. Stabilizer rails go on next, over the coping strips. Vertical end caps then secure the verticals to the pool, and hold the stabilizer rails. Next, the top rails and top connectors are installed. When installing an overlap liner, it is best to fold the excess liner back under itself and let it hang inside the pool wall, between the wall and liner. This gives you two thicknesses of liner over the wall, which helps to hold it more securely, and looks better than having the liner going a foot down the outside of the pool, while leaving the excess intact in case the liner should ever slip.
Expandable overlap liners have more plasticizers, and so are more elastic. They are made for when the pool is dished out to deeper than the bottom of the pool wall. Some pools have excavated areas as deep as 71/2 feet, which is a pretty good stretch, so it is necessary to make sure that the pool is in good condition and fully, tightly assembled before attempting to install an expandable liner.
Conventional J-Bead liners go over the wall as do overlap liners, but the wall height is defined and exact. A heavy, upside down J or U- shaped bead holds the liner to the top of the wall. There is only about 3/4" or sometimes less of bead coming down the outside of the wall, so it is very important to make sure the stabilizer rails fit snugly, to keep it from pulling off. I recommend the use of coping strips, as with the overlap liners, to make the fit even tighter. either way, you have to make sure that the bead is pressed fully down on top of the wall. once the liner is in place and the pool completely assembled, a vacuum is often used to help remove any wrinkles before adding water.
Conventional Beaded liners snap into a track, which is either incorporated into the top rails, or, more often, is installed as an option when assembling the pool. Once the track is in place, beaded liners are the easiest to replace, because there is no disassembly of the pool, other than removing the old liner and fittings. Beaded liners are usually vacuumed into place, as with J-Bead liners, and are attached similar to the way in-ground vinyl liners are attached.
Unibead above ground liners are designed so that they can be used as either as a conventional bead, or as a J-Bead. The bead is designed so that half of the J-Bead is folded under itself to make a conventional bead (or cut off). There is a special tool for doing this more easily, but even so, it takes more time to do. In order to keep less in inventory, many dealers only stock the unibead, rather than carrying both the conventional snap bead and J-Bead liners.
Regardless of the type of above ground liner, preparation is very important. First, check the condition of the pool. Do not install a liner if the wall is in any way compromised, because if the wall should fail, there may be thousands of gallons of water rushing out of the pool at once, taking with it anyone or anything which happens to be in the pool at the time! Often, the wall will rip vertically, and be very sharp and jagged. Serious injury can result!
Ground preparation is important, too, because a nice, smooth bottom is just easier to keep clean. Minor dimples and waves in the sand aren't really too harmful, but dirt settles in the divots and makes it much harder to vacuum, so that's why the dirt work is important.
Splash Overlap Liners:
GLIís Splash Series Overlap liners are the ideal economical option for your liner replacement needs and can accommodate any 48Ē or 52Ē above ground pool wall. GLI also offers Expandable overlap liners (available in Solid Blue, Blue Wall/Swirl Floor and Swirl Wall/Swirl Floor) that fit pools up to 72Ē deep. The Above Ground Overlap liner is designed to hang over the top of the pool wall and is held in place with coping strips. Splash Series Overlap liners come with a 20 year limited / 1 year full warranty and are made from durable 100% Virgin Vinyl. Click Image for larger view. Note that the image is a representation, not an exact depiction of an installed liner.
Splash Unibead Liners:
PatriotPatriot Series Liners:
48-52-54 These patterns are also available in a 54 inch wall. Some installers use the 52 inch liners for a 54 inch wall, and just make a larger cove, but the factory does not recommend this practice. If you really hate these patterns, you may want to consider converting to an overlap liner, instead. Click Image for larger view. Note that the image is a representation, not an exact depiction of an installed liner.