How to Install an Inground Swimming Pool Liner

How to Install an Inground Swimming Pool Liner
When you're not at the beach, or the lake, a backyard pool is the next best thing. If your current project is to put in a pool, you know it's a challenging, yet rewarding, experience. It's good to know that the last part of this process, installing a vinyl liner, is also the easiest. If you get it right, your pool will have a smooth, waterproof surface that lasts for years.


Difficulty: Moderate

Giving Your Pool a New Skin

Things You’ll Need:
  • Tape measure Soft broom Two boxes (about 2 square feet each) Shop vacuum Extension cord Duct tape Garden hose Utility knife
  • Tape measure
  • Soft broom
  • Two boxes (about 2 square feet each)
  • Shop vacuum
  • Extension cord
  • Duct tape
  • Garden hose
  • Utility knife
Step 1
Measure the pool and buy the liner. When your pool walls and cement bottom are in place, use your tape measure to check the pool's depth at its deepest and shallowest point. Write down your readings. Now measure the horizontal length of every sloping side and the length and width of any flat surfaces. Record these as well. Use your measurements to buy a liner that fits your pool (check with the merchant for specific sizing instructions).
Step 2
Insert the liner and hook it to the coping groove. Stand outside the pool for this process. Start at the deep end and spread the liner across the pool cavity. Line up a seam in the liner with a matching wall panel seam and begin hooking the top of the liner to the coping groove (lip around the pool edge). Continue around the pool until the full circumference of the liner has been attached to the coping.
Step 3
Get out the wrinkles. Slide your stocking feet, and a soft broom, across the liner to smooth out its surface. Step into your boxes, and use them to push the liner against the pool walls and tuck it into the corners. The liner may look small, but it stretches when you add water.

Open a small top section of liner and insert the hose of your shop vacuum, sliding it all the way to the bottom of the pool. Duct tape the opening, where the hose is inserted, to prevent any air from escaping. Turn on the vacuum, then start filling the pool with your garden hose. When the water level is at 2 inches, smooth out the remaining wrinkles but keep the vacuum running until you have 8 inches of water in the shallow end.
Step 4
Install the drain and step well. Screw on the bottom drain collar and use a utility knife to cut and remove the liner from the center of the drain box. Put the top on the drain and screw the flange onto the step well (in the shallow end of the pool). Now cut the liner out of the step well and you're ready for water.

Tips & Warnings

To greatly extend the life of your liner, get a sun shield. It hooks into the pool's coping and covers the liner until it enters the water. This protects it from UV radiation.
Before you add water, the liner should almost snug up to the pool frame. If it stretches too much when you fill up the pool, it will fail prematurely.

Article Written By Dan Eash

Dan Eash began writing professionally in 1989, with articles in LaHabra's "Daily Star Progress" and the "Fullerton College Magazine." Since then, he's created scripts for doctor and dentist offices and published manuals, help files and a training video. His freelance efforts also include a book. Eash has a Fullerton College Associate of Arts in music/recording production and a Nova Institute multimedia production certificate.

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