Above Ground Pool Liner Installation Guide

These above ground pool liner installation tips will have you back swimming in no time

These tips apply to pools with either overlap or beaded attachment types.
Above ground pool liner installation can be pretty straightforward if you follow some simple steps and have everything you need to get started.

Section 1 Above Ground Pool Liner Installation: Required Tools and Supplies:

  • Duct tape
  • Shop vac
  • Soft bristled push broom
  • Tape measure
  • Extension cord
  • Awl or punch
  • Screwdrivers
  • Razor knife
  • Sump pump
  • Wooden spring-loaded clothes pins
  • Garden hose
  • Possibly five gallon pail
  • Possibly rake
  • Possibly pre-washed masonry sand
  • Possibly flat shovel
  • Possible mortar mix

Section 2 Above Ground Pool Liner Installation: Removing your old pool liner

Before you begin your above ground pool liner installation, you must get the pool ready by removing the old liner and preparing the pool wall and floor for the new liner.

  1. Drain all water from pool. Use an in-water pump or your filtration system or siphon hose.
  2. Remove all ladders from pool area and any other equipment that may obstruct liner area.
  3. Remove all face plates and gaskets from inside pool area. (i.e. thru-the-wall(s), return(s), lights, etc..)
  4. Inspect all face plates, gaskets and hardware for crack, rips or wear and replace as needed.
  5. For overlap liners, remove seat clamps, pool ledges, top plates and top rail. (basically the top end of pool)
    For beaded liners, you should be able to skip this step.
  6. Remove old liner using a razor knife and cut the old liner into smaller pieces for easier removal.
  7. Inspect the pool base and cove for wash outs and evenness.
    Non-formed pool base: Repair any damage to your above ground pool with a masonry sand.
    Formed pool base: Repair A/G pools with two parts sand to one part mortar.
  8. Re-tape wall bolt seam with duct tape. (remove old duct tape first)
  9. Sweep entire pool area clean. (must be free of pebbles, rocks, sharp edges and all debris!)

Section 3 Above Ground Pool Liner Installation: Installing the new pool liner:

Now that the pool has been prepared, you can start your above ground pool liner installation of the new liner.

  1. Temporarily unroll your new vinyl liner in a sunny debris free area, which will help the liner to stretch later on.
  2. Seal the thru-the-wall skimmer area with cardboard and attach it using duct tape to the outside of pool wall.
  3. Seal the water return, lighting holes with duct tape from outside of pool wall.
  4. Insert 2′ of shop vac hose thru the cardboarded skimmer area in a downward orientation, towards the pool base. Secure it with more duct tape well, until sealed. Duct tape is very handy!
  5. Inspect all duct taped areas. (these must be good seals)
  6. Re-inspect swimming pool base and insure there is no debris, rocks, pebbles or rough areas!
  7. For overlap liners: Attach two wooden clothes pins to each upright.
    For beaded vinyl liners: Step seven is not required.
  8. Fold new liner in halves until it is about 2-3 feet wide and is full in length.
  9. Place liner in pool area, retaining both ends and center and get some help. Be careful not to let the entire liner fall inside pool area!
  10. Carefully unfold liner in pool area but don’t get inside pool as you can do this from outside of pool area.
  11. Overlap liners: Attach liner to pool wall using the clothes pins and pull the liner about 6″ over the wall and attach.
    Beaded liners: Simply snap the liner bead into liner receptor.
  12. Evenly pull liner further over the wall, adjusting clothes pins as needed to about 15″.
    Beaded liners can skip this step and go straight to step #13.
  13. Gently brush and tap liner towards the walls as this will visually assist you in the final liner setting.
  14. Inspect and Adjust liner as needed and make sure the bottom seam is even all around the perimeter.
  15. Get some help for this step! Have your helpers stand around the pool perimeter to hold the wall because we don’t want the wall to cave in on you.  This next step will happen fast!
  16. Hook up shop vac to vac hose and turn it on as this will simulate water and suck all air out of liner area.
  17. Release liner EVENLY as it tightens by releasing and attaching clothes pins while doing step #18.
    Beaded liners: Skip this step and go to step #18
  18. Gently brush and tap liner around entire perimeter towards the walls this will remove all wrinkles.
  19. Continue releasing and brooming the liner until it is seated and even. Seating is complete when you are left with a 2″ to 4″ air gap between the liner and wall. This measurement is taken at the junction where the cove meets the wall. Use a push broom to push on the liner in this area for your approximate air gap! (if not, go to step #12)
    Beaded liners: Continue brooming until the liner is even and concentric. If not, go to step #12.
  20. Inspect liner for wrinkles and alignment, if ok continue. If not then shut off the vac and go to step#12, this is critical
  21. If all is well, start filling with water. DO NOT SHUT OFF VACUUM or you’ll get wrinkles!
  22. Continue to fill until at least 1″ of water covers the entire bottom of pool.
  23. Shut off shop vac… Finally!
  24. Reassemble seat clamps, pool ledges, top plates and top rail while removing clothes pins.
    Above ground pool liner installation of beaded liners can skip this step and go to step #25.
  25. Continue filling pool until two feet of water covers the entire bottom of pool.
  26. Remove all duct taped seals. (return and feed lines, steps, etc..)
  27. Install all skimmers, returns, lights, etc.. find at least two holes per item and punch out with awl as this will help with alignment. Now populate all screw holes and tighten evenly.
  28. Carefully cut out all liner material from gasketed areas, returns, skimmers, lights, etc..
  29. Hook up filtration system and any accessories.
  30. Fill the swimming pool to appropriate level.
  31. Add your start up chemicals.
  32. Enjoy!