How to Install a Vinyl Pool Liner

What You'll Need
A new vinyl pool liner
A shovel
A garden rake
Optional: water pump

Installing a vinyl pool liner involves some manual labor, and you well definitely need the assistance of a few friends to help with carrying the pool liner, spreading it out and getting it all straight. It’s a lot of work, but it's not technically difficult. With this step-by-step guide, and a sunny day, you should be able to install your vinyl pool liner properly.

Step 1 - Drain the Pool

Drain all the water out of the pool by using the drain or other similar method for draining the pool. Optionally, you can rent a water pump to help quicken the process. Make sure that you drain the pool properly and preferably into a sewage drain or other area that allows for proper disposal of the water.

Step 2 - Preparing the Pool Liner

Allow the pool liner to lie in the sun for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour before installation. Unroll the pool liner and place it in an area where it is in direct sunlight. This will make it more pliable and easier to work with. Just make sure not to leave out in the sun for too long as this could potentially weaken the vinyl pool liner.

Step 3 - Remove the Old Liner and Prepare the Pool Bed

Next, remove the old pool liner and dispose of it properly (make sure to have it hauled away to the local landfill and don’t simply throw it in the trash). Then, you'll want to put some new sand or soil on the floor of the pool and make sure that you smooth out the soil and that it is free from any debris that may puncture the pool liner.

Step 4 - Lay Out the Pool Liner

Properly position the pool liner and ensure that the liner seams meet where the pool walls and floors come together. You should not be too concerned over small wrinkles; however, you should try to smooth out larger wrinkles. Smaller wrinkles will smooth out automatically once the pool is filled.

Step 5 - Adjusting the Liner

Drape the pool liner over the pool walls until a small portion only in the middle of the vinyl liner is touching the ground. The liner needs to be draped over the sides of the pool, and you will need to replace the top cap that was removed from the wall - but do not fasten it in place just yet. By not fastening the top cap, this will allow the pool to pull the liner out gradually. Just remember to keep removing the top cap as needed to give it more room so the bottom of the liner will maintain some ground contact.

Step 6 - Fill the Pool

Begin filling the pool with water and periodically check the tautness of the vinyl pool liner and adjust the top cap as required. After you have about 6 inches of water in the pool, you can fasten your top cap and tighten it. Continue to fill the pool as required to the depth of your choice, you will notice that the pool liner will begin to flatten out and most of the wrinkles should be gone at this point.