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How To Make Your Pool Liner Last Longer

As you probably know, liners in vinyl liner pools must be replaced every 4-9 years. Normal wear and tear will occur over time as you use your pool every summer, and it’s possible for more significant damage to occur from objects, animals, and other things.

So, we can probably guess that you’re wondering how to prolong the lifespan of your vinyl liner so you can wait until the latter part of the liner’s expected lifespan to replace it.

They’re often somewhere between $4,000-$5,000 per replacement liner, so we understand wanting to get the most you possibly can out of your liner. But, in order to do that, you need to take the proper measures to keep the liner in good shape for as close to the 9-year mark as possible.

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We install vinyl liner pools every year and install several replacement liners each year as well, so we’ve seen liners in great shape, okay shape, and terrible shape. And we know what was done (or not done) to result in those liner conditions. So, in this article, we’ll be giving you the best tips you can follow to keep your liner in the best shape possible for as long as possible.

Maintain Water Chemistry

One of the best things you can do to prevent damage to a liner and to just make your pool safe to use in general is to maintain the water chemistry.

Vinyl liner pools are mostly non-porous, meaning that there are few pores where algae can grow. But, there are areas that can harbor algae such as:

  • Where the steps attach to the pool
  • Lighting areas
  • Areas where liner is fused together

If the water pH level is not balanced and alkalinity is out of wack, it can be unsafe to swim in. Therefore, you’ll want to regularly check the pH level both to ensure that the water is safe and that you’re doing your part to prevent algae growth.

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Check Regularly for Tears or Leaks

Something else you can do to keep tabs on the condition of a liner and help prolong its lifespan is check regularly for tears or leaks in the liner.

Early detection of tears or leaks can save you money in the long run because you can patch certain tears and prevent them from getting any larger. Detection can be achieved through two different methods:

  1. Bucket Test
    1. Fill a bucket with water and place it on the steps (the water level in the bucket should be even with the water level of the pool)
    2. Mark the water level on the bucket
    3. Keep the pump off for at least 24 hours
    4. After 24 hours, check the water level of the pool compared to the water level in the bucket
    5. If the water level in the bucket is higher than that of the pool, there is a leak
    6. If the water level in the bucket and that of the pool are even or almost even, there is no leak. If you feel you haven’t given it enough time then please feel free to extend the bucket test. 
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  1. Ink/Dye Test
    1. Insert dye (Pre-Filled Dye Tester by Anderson Manufacturing Company) into suspected tear/leak locations
      1. Seams on liner
      2. Return fittings
      3. Skimmer face plates
      4. Main drains if possible

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If you can detect and locate tears in a timely manner you can choose to patch them, thus saving money and helping your liner last longer.

Clean the Pool Regularly

Probably the most obvious thing you can do to protect your liner is clean the pool regularly.

Yes, keeping water chemistry balanced is an integral part of cleaning the pool, but there are some other things you can do as well:

  • Clear the pool of debris
  • Clean pool walls
  • Clean pool sanitization equipment
  • Add chemicals when needed

If you keep up on these maintenance habits, you’ll do everything in your power to prolong your liner’s lifespan and keep your vinyl liner pool in good condition.

Do These Actions Guarantee a Longer Liner Lifespan?

We would love to tell you that these actions are foolproof and by following them all you’ll prolong your liner’s lifespan to the end of that 4-9-year period, but that’s just unrealistic.

There is no foolproof way to make your liner last until the end of the recommended period or longer. Like we’ve said, we suggest that you replace your liner every 4-9 years, which we understand is a fairly large range of time. But every situation is different.

You could take great care of your liner and do all of the things suggested in this article but have to replace your liner at the 4-year mark. Or you could only follow a few or none of these maintenance methods and have a liner last longer than the 4-year mark.

There’s a lot of luck involved with liners, but we still encourage regular maintenance so you have the peace-of-mind of knowing that you’re doing everything in your power to keep your pool in the best condition possible.

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