A pool liner is of vital importance to any above ground swimming pool. It’s basically responsible for keeping the water within the confines of the pool walls. Without it, there wouldn’t be any water to swim in. And the thing is that pool liners don’t last forever. As a matter of fact, due to environmental regulations and poorer manufacturing quality (i.e. lower costs) swimming pool liners don’t last as long as they did, say 25 years ago. So, when to replace above ground pool liners? It’s not a cut and dried measurement, but rather depends on a lot of different factors. We’ll go over some of these to help you figure out when you should be thinking of replacing your liner.
The Fine Balance
There’s a fine balance when it comes to replacing your pool liner. You want to get as much use out of it as possible, but you don’t want to leave it so long that other components of your pool are compromised. A common analogy for replacing your pool liner is trying to figure out when to replace the brakes on your car. You want to replace them before they fail outright, but also before they start causing problems for other parts of the braking system. At the same time, you don’t want to foolishly spend money on fixing brakes that are still serviceable. It’s the same with a pool liner. You definitely want to replace your liner before a catastrophe occurs, but you also want to make sure to replace it before minor failings start causing problems in other components of your pool.
Problems to Look For
You’ll want to keep an eye out for things such as holes, cracks, fading, stretching or detachment from the edges. The UV rays of the sun combined with the chemicals used to keep the water clean eventually cause the liner to break down. This can result in cracking and tearing or cause holes to begin to form. Staining may just mean algae has begun to grow, but it can also mean that the vinyl is significantly deteriorating. And if the liner keeps slipping out of its tracks or you’re seeing a lot of new wrinkles forming it’s probably stretching which means its lifespan is coming to an end. The thing is that you may not notice any of these things occurring, yet your pool seems to be losing more water than usual. This could mean your liner has been compromised, but the problem isn’t easily visible.
How Long Do Pool Liners Last?
There was a time when a pool liner could be expected to last 25 years or more. That doesn’t seem to be the case so much these days. Again, this has a lot to do with the type of chemicals that are allowed to be used in the manufacturing process combined with the manufacturer’s desire to create the cheapest liners possible. That said if you keep your water properly balanced you could get 10 years of liner service. However, the average longevity of a pool liner is probably more around the seven-year mark.
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