How To Install an Inground Pool Liner


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The idea of installing an inground pool liner can seem like a daunting task. Many pool owners will opt to have a professional do the installation. However, doing the installation yourself can save you thousands of dollars. Following these steps, with the help of a couple friends, can make the job painless.

View our available liner patterns on our inground liner page. If you need help filling out the inground liner measuring form, check out our guide titled "How to Measure an Inground Pool Liner".


Step by Step


Step 1

Normal household materials and tools are required for installation. This includes screwdrivers, a utility knife, garden hose, broom, duct tape and a shop vac. We also recommend getting a sump pump to help drain the pool.

**Installing the liner on a warm and sunny day will make the liner more pliable and easier to install.

Step 2

Draining the pool is the first step of the liner installation process. If your sand or DE filter has a multiport valve, set it to waste to begin draining your pool. Before turning on your pool pump, set your valves to pull only pull from your main drain. Or close your skimmer port to prevent it from sucking air. Cartridge filters, like the one on this pool, do not have drain settings. If your system does not have a dedicated drain or you want to speed up the process, rent a sump pump from a local hardware store.

Step 3

When the draining is complete, remove faceplates and gaskets from the skimmer, light, return fittings, steps and main drain (if applicable).

Step 4

Using a utility knife, cut the liner in three to four foot sections across the width of the pool. This will help make removal and disposal of the old liner easier. After the old liner has been removed, check the pool bottom for any damage and make any necessary repairs.

Step 5

During our installation, we discovered cracks in the concrete floor. This liner install was in south Florida and next to a canal. The water table was high and this caused water to seep through these hairline cracks. So we had to make a quick run to the store for hydraulic water-stop cement in order to patch the leaks.

Step 6

Before installing the wall foam, correct any rough spots that may harm the liner. Wipe down the pool wall and cover the seams with non-ascorbic duct tape. Finally, spray the wall with foam bond and attach wall foam.

Step 7

Once the required repairs are made, make sure the pool bottom is smooth and swept clean. If you have a sand bottom, use caution not to leave any footprints.

Step 8

Place the liner carton at the deep end of the pool. Note the direction arrows and instructions on the carton. This will ensure that the liner will be in the proper position to unfold and avoid any unnecessary adjustments of the liner on the deck.

Step 9

Carefully remove the liner from the carton and do not drag the liner on the pool deck. Unroll the liner across the width of the deep end. Locate the deep end mark in the center of the liner and make sure this is away from the face of the pool wall.

Step 10

At this point, have two people take the shallow end corners and walk the liner to the shallow end of the pool. Take care to avoid dragging the liner on the pool deck, or across the pool floor. Now, locate the exact position of the two corners.

Step 11

While on the deck, have two or more people begin inserting the liner bead into the bead receiver by hand. Begin at the deep end corners.

Step 12

Once the corners are set, begin to “tack” the liner by attaching the bead in the middle of the long lengths of the pool then the shallow end corners. This will reduce stress on the bead until the full liner is installed.

Step 13

Now we begin forming the liner to the pool shell. When the liner is in position, untuck approximately 5 inches of the bead to insert the shop vac hose. Insert the hose until it is a few inches room the bottom of the sidewall.

Step 14

Seal the liner around the hose and other seam points like the skimmer cover with duct tape.  Caution, do not allow the vacuum to touch the bottom of the pool.

Step 15

Now flip the switch on the vacuum, the process of sealing the liner to the shell takes about 20-30 minutes.  As the vacuum runs, reposition the liner to eliminate as many wrinkles as possible. If there is too much vacuum to reposition the liner, turn it off, position the liner, and restart. Do not start filling with water until the liner is in perfect position and is held in place by the vacuum. **Leave the vacuum on until there are 12 inches of water in the shallow end. Then remove vac hose and push the liner bead back into the track**

Step 16

Start adding water into the deep end with a  garden hose. Place the hose in the deep end of the pool. Set the water flow at 3/4 or 1/2  flow until the pool is filled with a few inches of water then you may set it to full flow. This will prevent pitting your sandy pool bottom or rippling the liner.

Step 17

Begin installing the face plates and gaskets when the water level is within 6 " of the light niche, skimmer, and return jets.

With your hands pressing on the liner, locate the screw holes and puncture with a sharp object. Install the top gasket and base plate, making sure that the base plate is secure. The center diameter can now be removed with a utility knife.

If you have a main drain, wait until there is 12" of water in the deep end. Then install gaskets and drain cover.

Step 18

Once the water is ankle deep in the shallow end, install the seal strips for the stairs.

Step 19

Once the seal strips are installed, cut the liner out around the inside of the strips.

Step 20

Lastly, fill the pool to the appropriate level. The appropriate level is usually halfway up the skimmer door opening.

If any of your liner bead pulls away from the bead receiver, check out our guide titled "How to Put a Pool Liner Back in the Track".


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 Posted: 3/29/2021 

How do you run the liner on the steps as well? I have liner over the the steps too and there is nothing to cut around. It's all one piece.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 3/29/2021 

You'd need to have a liner made with a fitted step section. That liner accessory requires measurements of your steps before the quoting process. If you want to see what type of measurements you would need, view our inground liner measuring form, page 20.

 Posted: 12/5/2020 

Hi, I also want to reduce pool depth on deeper side from 9 ft to 5 ft. Do you know roughly how much it would cost?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 12/7/2020 

I do not know how much it costs for that specific procedure. But my guess is at least a few thousand dollars, more depending on how much prep and materials are needed. I would contact a local pool constructor to throw out feelers for price estimates. They may offer a free estimate consultation. 

 Posted: 2/11/2020 

How much does it cost replace the liner like the one you showed in the video

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 2/12/2020 

Depending on the liner pattern, the price could range from $1,700 - $2,100 for a pool of that size. and contour. If you would like pricing on a liner for your pool, review our liner patterns and submit a liner measurement form.

 Posted: 2/3/2019 

When installing a vinyl liner, do i need gaskets on both sides of the liner? For the returns, skimmers and main drains. The manufacture has provided two gaskets.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 2/4/2019 

dorsey - yes, the skimmer should have a gasket both sides of the skimmer face.