Tips For Taking Care of Vinyl Pool Liners

How to Care for your Vinyl Pool Liners

Homeowners with backyard swimming pools depend on vinyl pool liners to keep their pools looking beautiful season after season. Nearly 70 percent of the residential pools in the United States rely on durable and easy-to-clean, solid & printed flexible vinyl to protect the interior pool surface from the environmental elements and man made conditions.

The vinyl liner’s surface is exposed to numerous hazards, from sunlight and temperature fluctuation to chemicals and careless cleaning. The most common causes of damage to vinyl pool liners are premature pattern wear due to abrasive cleaning tools and bleaching due to improper chemical balance. These two factors, exclusively or in combination, can attack the vinyl liner and cause premature aging.

If you’re one of the 5 million North American homeowners who have a pool with a vinyl liner, follow these simple tips to lengthen its years of service:

Chemical Maintenance

  • Prior to installation, read and follow the chemical manufacturers’ directions. Many liner problems are a result of misuse of chemicals.
  • When adding chemicals, add one chemical at a time.
  • Add each dissolved chemical through the skimmer for best dispersion into the pool (through the filtration system).
  • Maintain proper water balance: pH in the range of 7.2 to 7.6; total alkalinity at 80 ppm to 100 ppm; and calcium hardness at 200 ppm to 300 ppm.
  • Keep free chlorine, the most common active ingredient that sanitizes the pool, at 1.5 ppm to 2.5 ppm. If the concentration drifts below 1.5 ppm, algae and bacterial growth can take hold more easily and may cause staining of the vinyl liner. If the active chlorine concentration is maintained greater than 2.5 ppm, liner wrinkling may occur. This problem can be further aggravated if accompanied by pH levels that fall below 7.0.

Seasonal Care

  • Avoid the use of any abrasive cleaning agents or cleaning aids.
  • Vacuum and clean the pool with a cleaner designed for vinyl lined pools.
  • Never use sharp objects in or around the pool, as they can puncture the liner.
  • After the chemicals have dissipated, cover your pool when it’s not in use. This will decrease its exposure to damaging ultraviolet rays.  Less chemicals are required if your pool is covered and/or not used.  To avoid high concentrations of airborne chemicals building up between the water and the cover, open or vent the cover every 24 hours.
  • Do not drain the pool completely for any reason without consulting a pool professional. The older the liner, the higher the risk that it will shrink and not stretch back into its original shape.
  • Never close a pool without circulating the pool water for several hours after the addition of chemicals.

2 thoughts on “Tips For Taking Care of Vinyl Pool Liners

  1. Sandy White

    When winterizing an above ground pool it is highly suggested using cover clips. Do they come in different sizes? We ordered the only choice we saw, but they came no where near going over the rail. Are we doing something wrong or are there size choices? I purchased spring clamps, but the wind whips them off. Definitely need something on that top rail, though!

    1. Trey Collier Post Author

      Cover clips come in a standardized shape that fit many of the undersides of the outside of most pools top rails. Unfortunately, they won’t fit ALL pools top rails!

      Below are some tips.

      Make sure the nylon covered wire is run through every grommet and is snugged up (with the cable winch) tight enough to rest the cover against the uprights but not too tight that they dent the uprights! The cover should ride ON the water all the way to the wall, THEN goes up the wall, over the top rail and down below the top rail. Surface tension of the water keeps the cover in place normally. This is the best way to make sure this cover stays on the pool, but is sometimes not enough in very windy area of the country.

      In addition to the above, sometimes you can get the cover clips to be placed every 12″ apart, sometimes wall bags 1/3rd-3/4th filled with water can rest on the inside edge of the top rail and the cover on the water to help keep the cover in place. Place them every 1-3 feet as needed.

      I really like the new cover seal wrap. Its like saran wrap but has some UV inhibitors built into it. It seems to work very well on above ground pool covers in windy areas. If the cover still seems to lift up from the water, use with wall bags too.

      These products can be found on our Accessories for Above Ground Covers page.

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