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Vinyl liner installation best practices

By J. Kevin Shea

Vinyl liner installation best practices
Whenever possible, vacuums should be positioned so they are located centrally, whether they are fed through the mouth of the skimmer, down behind the liner, and/or directly down the wall, behind the bead section.

1. Take time during the measuring process to assure the liner fabricator receives accurate and complete information with regards to the swimming pool’s dimensions.

2. Prior to or during the installation process, make sure the swimming pool bottom and walls have been prepped thoroughly.

3. Weather conditions should be taken into consideration with regards to extremely hot/cold temperatures and intense sunlight.

4. Take the colour of the pool liner into consideration. The darker the colour, the more sensitive the liner is to expansion as a result of heat absorption during peak sunlight hours.

5. Remove all footwear, particularly sneakers and work boots, prior to getting into the pool for installation.

6. Make sure an airtight seal has been created between the panel joints and coping, and all circulation lines have been pressure-tested.

7. Install staircase sections first, using rods and/or Velcro, or other fastening methods. When installing a staircase, start from the bottom step and work upwards.

8. After the entire bead is installed, make sure there are no wrinkles once the vacuum is on. If wrinkles are present, shut the vacuum off and readjust the liner until it is wrinkle-free.

9. If installing or adjusting the bead during cold weather, do not soften it with a hair dryer. Use boiling water instead.

10. To remove wrinkles from the bottom of the floor in the shallow end, use a plumber’s plunger, preferably in 305 mm (12 in.) of water or less.

Tips for vinyl covered steps, benches, and ledges

Today, homeowners are looking to include various specialty features on their pools—from sun decks/ledges to customized steps that stretch the entire width of the pool.

1. Seal the extrusion or coping with duct tape or caulk.

2. If the tread or riser surfaces are rough, line with 3.175-mm (0.125-in.) closed-cell foam.

3. Close all valves to minimize air loss and make sure all open lines are plugged.

4. Install bottom rods prior to liner step installation.

5. Work step installation from the bottom riser up.

6. Make sure the rod on the stair exceeds the width of the vinyl portion of the staircase—it should reach the edges of the stair case sectionsidewall.

7. Place plastic clips over the rods.

8. Make sure a clip is placed at the end of the rod to prevent it from bowing.

9. Place a plastic covering or buffer on the stair tread to protect the liner while drilling in the clips/ rods.

10. Cover each screw with duct tape to avoid damage to the liner.

J. Kevin Shea is senior vice-president and chief marketing officer for Plastimayd LLC, a manufacturer of Plastimayd® and VynAll® custom swimming pool liners. He is also the founder of VynAll, where he has been president for the past 25 years. Shea, who entered the vinyl-liner swimming pool business through the service and retail side of the industry, presents installation and custom pool measuring seminars throughout the country. He welcomes inquiries from pool professionals and is an excellent source of installation tips. He can be reached via e-mail at

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