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How to Install an Above Ground Pool Liner

Before you start installing your new pool liner, it's essential to prepare the pool area to ensure a snug fit and long-lasting results.

Create a Sand Base

First, apply a suitable herbicide generously over the entire area where the liner will go, to eliminate any grass. Then, lay down a 2-inch deep sand base across the pool's floor. Create a 6-inch high sand cove around the pool's perimeter to prevent the liner from slipping under the pool wall.

Smoothing the Sand

Use the flat side of a garden rake or a 5-foot piece of lumber to level the sand. Damp sand is easier to work with. Once leveled, compact the sand by tamping or rolling it. Use a fine-bristle broom to smooth out any marks left by the compaction process.

Installation Steps

Step 1: Preparing the Pool Walls

Clean the pool walls to remove any sand or metal shavings that could damage the liner. Use PVC insulation tape to cover the bolts on the inside wall of the pool. For added protection, place a ground sheet like black plastic over the sand and secure it to the pool wall with tape.

Step 2: Unpacking and Positioning the Liner

Before opening the liner package, confirm that it's the correct size as indicated on the label. Carefully unroll the liner inside the pool, making sure not to disturb the sand base. The liner's shiny side should face the sand, while the textured side should face the water. Adjust the liner so that it evenly overlaps the pool wall by about 6 inches. Use clothes pegs to hold it in place if needed.

Step 3: Removing Wrinkles

You can use either the hand method or the vacuum method to remove any remaining wrinkles in the liner.

Hand Method

Place a hose in the pool and start filling it with water until there's a 1-inch layer covering the floor. Work out the wrinkles by pushing them towards the pool's edge in a circular motion. Continue filling the pool until the water is 6 inches deep, then adjust the liner to remove any slack.

Vacuum Method (For Pools with Deep Ends)

Seal the skimmer opening with cardboard and masking tape. Insert a vacuum cleaner hose through the pool's return hole and seal it with tape. Turn on the vacuum and adjust the liner as it adheres to the walls. Start filling the pool with water while the vacuum is still running. Turn off the vacuum once the water is 12 inches deep.

Connecting the Filter

Finally, it's time to connect your filtration system. Install the skimmer box and return fitting as per the manufacturer's guidelines, making sure to use silicone sealant for a watertight seal. Once everything is connected, fill the pool to the operating level and balance the water chemistry before enjoying your newly lined pool.

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