Project Guide

How to Install a Pool Liner

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How to Install an Above-Ground Pool Liner
An above-ground pool in a backyard

Installing a pool liner in an above-ground pool can seem like a major chore. However, broken down into smaller steps, it’s something you can tackle in a day. To make this project easier and more efficient, work with a partner. 


Note: make sure to buy the correct liner size for your pool. If needed, measure the area before buying a liner for your above-ground pool.


Here’s how to install an above-ground pool liner:


  • Step 1: Drain the water from your pool. If applicable, remove the existing liner from your pool.


  • Step 2: Unfold your pool liner and place it in the swimming pool. Start from the middle and working from side to side. Then, unfold the liner across the length of the pool.


  • Step 3: Remove the rail assembly from the top of your pool and install the liner on one side. Use clamps to hold the material in place. Once installed on one side, go to the opposite of the pool and continue the installation. Repeat this process until the liner is installed on all sides of the pool. Skipping from side to side helps ensure that the liner will be evenly placed.


  • Step 4: Put the top rail assembly back on the pool and cover up the edge of liner. As you add each top rail, you can begin to remove the clamps holding the liner in place. 


  • Step 5: Put the hose of your wet dry vacuum in the skimmer hole located on your exterior pool wall. Turn your wet dry vacuum on and begin pushing wrinkles out of the liner from the inside.


  • Step 6: Add a small amount of water to the pool and continue pushing wrinkles out with your hands if you see any. Now you can fill the pool.
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How to Replace an In-Ground Pool Liner
A close up of the inside of a pool in a backyard

An in-ground pool liner can help tidy an older pool and add a bright, vibrant design to your outdoor space. In most cases, you’ll want to pick exactly the same size liner as your existing one. If you’re not sure what size liner you need, measure the pool before you begin. Most in-ground pools with liners are also the beaded type; these are easy to install.


Here’s how you can replace an in-ground pool liner if you currently have one installed. You’ll need four people to assist with this job.


  • Step 1: Begin by draining the pool. A sump pump can help speed up the process, so renting one may be helpful.


  • Step 2: Remove fittings, lights, gaskets and any step seal strips. This will allow you to properly fit the new liner.


  • Step 3: Cut the liner away from your pool walls using a utility knife. Do this in manageable sections to make removal easier. Check the bottom and walls of the pool for any damage that needs to be repaired before moving to step four.


  • Step 4: Lay your liner out in the pool starting at the deep end. Note the instruction arrows provided by the manufacturer if present. Have two other people carry the other side of the liner to the shallow end.


  • Step 5: Begin connecting the liner bead to the bead receiver from the deep end. When all deep end corners are connected, work your way around the pool in a clockwise or counterclockwise motion.


  • Step 6: Insert the wet dry vacuum hose by moving a small portion of the liner out of the way. Make sure the hose is within a few inches of the bottom of the pool. Secure the hose in place with duct tape


  • Step 7: Cover the top of the skimmer with duct tape. Turn on the wet dry vacuum to remove air between the pool wall and liner. This may take up to 30-minutes, depending on the size of your pool.


  • Step 8: Add water to the deep end of your pool using a garden hose. Leave the vacuum on until there’s about 12-inches of water in the pool. As the water rises, you can begin installing the fittings, lights, gaskets and step seal strips. 


  • Step 9: Cut the pool liner around lights, drains, fittings and steps as needed. Continue filling the pool to the correct level.