How To Install Above Ground Pool Liners


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An above-ground pool is useless without its liner. The pool liner is basically a large bag made of vinyl that is designed to hold water within the pool's frame. It is the most important part of above ground pools and has the potential to be the most frustrating. Liners must be handled carefully and installed properly to avoid damage to the vinyl. Our basic guidelines for liner installation will help you do it right, whether you're just setting up a new above ground pool or replacing an existing liner. 

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Things You'll Need


Step by Step


Step 1

If your liner is being installed on a new above ground pool, you should have completed creating the cove at this point. The cove is a wedge of sand or pre-formed foam that keeps the liner from slipping under the pool wall and also provides a protective layer between the liner and the metal frame of the pool. If you are replacing a liner in an existing pool, be sure to inspect your cove and build it back up if necessary. This is an important step that should not be overlooked.

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Step 2

Since the liner is the most delicate part of the pool, we recommend inspecting it first. Open the box containing your liner very carefully - do not use a sharp object. Unfold the liner and spread it out, making sure the ground is clear of anything that could puncture it. Check for any holes or tears and examine the seams to make sure they are properly sealed. This is very important as you do not want to discover a defect after you’ve filled the pool.

Step 3

After your liner passes inspection, spread it out in the sun. The sun's heat will warm up the vinyl, making it more pliable and easier to work with. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions regarding preparing the liner. Your owner’s manual should give you details about installing the liner, including punching out the skimmer and return holes. Remember, above ground pool liners are not meant to bear any of the weight of the water so they must rest on the ground in all areas. Properly installed, there should be no air space between the liner and the ground, and no downward pressure on the liner. How you hang the liner on the pool wall will depend on the style of liner (overlap, beaded, or j-hook) so refer to the instructions provided with your above ground pool and/or liner.

Step 4

Since there is extra material to compensate for any shrinkage of the liner, wrinkles in the liner material is normal and unavoidable. To smooth out the floor of the liner, gently push it toward the wall. To avoid damage, do not pull, drag or stretch the liner.

Step 5

Air between the liner and the above ground pool wall can contribute to wrinkles. To decrease this, you can use a vacuum hose, inserting it through the skimmer hole in the pool wall behind the liner. Use masking tape and cardboard to seal any gaps around the skimmer hole and vacuum hose. Turn on the vacuum and gently adjust the liner while the vacuum is running. You can turn the vacuum off periodically if you reach any areas where the liner becomes difficult to adjust.

Step 6

The vacuum can continue to run as you fill the pool but be sure to keep the hose above water level at all times. You can fill above ground pools with a common garden hose, or hire a water truck which is much faster. When the water is no more than 1 inch deep, check for levelness. If water runs to one side, pull back the liner and make the ground level. When level, continue to fill and adjust the liner.

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(1 to 40 of 110)

 Posted: 7/17/2020 

Is it possible to replace an intex ultra frame pool with any kind of liner. I bought the pool in 2015 and everything is great except the liner is fading. Intex no longer has these in stock..

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 8/24/2020 

Unfortunately, the standard steel wall pool liners we carry are not compatible with the Intex frame pools. The two designs are entirely different; our liners need a wall backing to retain the water.

 Posted: 4/11/2019 

Hi.. I have an above ground pool... it's a 24 ft round pool. The wall measures right at 54 inches. My question is: would a liner that's 24ft by 52 inches work with the 54 inch wall? I know there's usually quite a bit of slack left over after over lapping the liner but I just need to know if I can use a 24 ft by 52 inch liner for my pool that has the 54 inch wall.... I'll be using an over lapping liner... thank you for any advise u can send my way! Beth

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 4/15/2019 

Hello Beth - We'd recommend selecting an overlap liner that specifically states that it will work with a 54" wall. Some pool owners have successfully installed 52" overlap liners on 54" walls but others have not been successful. Better to be safe and get the correct size.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/17/2017 

Wanda - If you have a beaded liner as shown here, you may have the wrong height and the weight of the water is pulling the bead out of the track. If you have a basis overlap liner, make sure all the coping pieces that hold the liner on the wall are in place.

 Posted: 6/15/2017 

We bought a new liner for our pool after 12 yrs of being up.. followed directions on installing it. We were getting it filled and was almost half done when our liner started coming off and fell in. Any ideas on what happened and how to fix it?

 Posted: 6/12/2017 

We have a 15x30 oval above ground pool. Our new liner has a boulder pattern on the top, rest of the liner is swirl pattern. After 2 attempts to install, something isn't right. The space between the two center seams was positioned correctly. We have excess liner on the sides! If we pull the sides up, won't that mess up the ends too? This is the first liner we've installed with a pattern on the top and we want to make sure we do it right. I have to admit, this liner is kicking our butt! My husband is frustrated and I'm in tears! Any help would be greatly appreciated!

 Posted: 6/17/2019 

Hi, I just seen your post from 2017. I have the same liner and I am on my 2nd attempt. Did you successfully install the liner? What was the Outcome? Thanks Roy

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/12/2017 

Juranimal - Standard liners are not designed to stretch. Their seam would split. We do sell an expandable liner that would probably satisfy your requirements. See "24 Round Overlap Expandable Liners 72".

 Posted: 6/11/2017 

Have a Vogue above ground 24' pool with 52" walls. When I stalled 18 years ago (original liner) thyenrecommended a 3' ledge and then a cereal bowl dish that is 6" deeper in the center(but flat bottom). The original liner was a hung type with the rubber j gasket on the top. Need to replace but everything online says hung liners are for flat bottom pools only. Question: will today's hung liners stretch this 10% or must I use an overlap?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/14/2016 

flush liner - I don't know what stage you are at in installing your liner. If you used a vacuum to suck the liner up against the wall, the liner should be fairly flush. The liner will have some play in it. As the pool is filled up with water, the water will push the liner against the wall making the liner fairly tight. You will still have a few minor winkles.

Anonymous  Posted: 6/13/2016 

I have put up my 27x52 Blue Wave Belize perfectly to the instructions. How come my liner is not flush with the wall? I even have the cove between the liner and the wall. I also set the liner out in the sun to heat up. Is that normal?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/3/2016 

JimFromIL - I would think you would be alright without adding support. Like you say, the ground should be fully settled so there wouldn't be any pressure on the pool when it is emptied.

 Posted: 6/2/2016 

In a few weeks we're having a pool company replace our old 10 year old liner that has a 2 inch gash above the pool line. About a third of the pool is underground as we have partial slope that leans towards the house. I'll have to completely empty the pool (21' round X 52" high), and I'm afraid of potential wall damage on the side that is underground. After 10 years, I would hope the ground is fully settled. Should I provide some type of support when draining the pool on the side that is underground?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 3/23/2016 

Dave - The pump is attached to the pool skimmer which is mounted to the pool wall. See out guide on "How To Assemble an Above Ground Pool - Part 6 - Installing the Skimmer", and "How To Assemble an Above Ground Pool - Part 7 - Return Port".

 Posted: 3/23/2016 

My new liner has no holes for the pump...what do I do???

 Posted: 2/15/2016 

Bought my liner here and used the instructional video All went well I was pleased with my first time liner install and the help from this company I also bought top plates and other parts for my pool from them and always am happy When I have questions about parts or need technical help they are the guys to ask


InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 9/22/2015 

replacing liner - I would not recommend overlapping an old liner with an new one. You are likely to collect mold between the two liners.

Anonymous  Posted: 9/21/2015 

Hi I have above ground pool my question can I install a new liner over the old liner by cutting out the bottom of the old liner then overlapping with the new liner.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/29/2015 

vchaney - The bead should snap out the same way it snapped in. You'll have to be a little creative to get it stared, maybe lift up an end of one section of the grooves that holds the bead to get up under the bead.

 Posted: 6/28/2015 

Is there a way to remove a beaded liner and reinstall after the pool is relocated? The liner is less than a month old.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/26/2015 

Tammy - Usually you might have been able to kick the seam back to the corner before you have 2-3 " of water but you are beyond that stage. You may have some winkles on the floor now but the coving around the edge should support the liner edge where it is now.

 Posted: 6/25/2015 

We just finished installing a new above ground liner. We had the bottom seam positioned about 2-3 inches up the wall above the cove and no wrinkles on floor of pool. We began adding water and everything looked great but then we noticed that the bottom seam is now on the bottom of the pool about 4-6" from wall. It's fairly uniform all the way around but is this normal? It's running about 90-95 degrees here. Will this compromise the pool? We are almost half way full of water!

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/18/2015 

Olivia - The liner should fit but if it was hot when you installed it, it could have stretched that much. I would call the company you bought it from and see what they say. If you bought it from us, call 877-372-6038 and talk to one of our service reps.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/18/2015 

tina - You cannot put a 21' liner in a 20 foot pool. But here is a link to a company that says they have 20' liners. I don't know anything about them but you could give them a try:

 Posted: 6/16/2015 

I just bought a new liner and we had installed it all the way around then when we got to the very end there was about 3 inches of excess liner. Is this normal or should I return it?

 Posted: 6/16/2015 

Can l put a 21, foot liner on a 20 foot pool can't find a 20 foot loner anywhere

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/16/2015 

Billy - It sounds like your liner may have excess material that may have pulled out from under the coping. You may have to take off the top rail and coping to pull some of that material back so you don't have large winkles when you fill it up.

 Posted: 6/15/2015 

my liner had pulled away from my walls while filling it up, it had about 2 ft of water in it at the time. it has large pockets of air tward the top of the liner all the way around. will using the vacume method prevent this from happining again?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/14/2015 

Manitoba - I would recheck the measurement of the liner to make sure you didn't receive something smaller than you ordered. Then I would take most of the water out of the pool before I dismantled the upper braces [toprails, stabilizers] that support the pool wall. The water exerts a lot of pressure on the wall.

 Posted: 6/11/2015 

I've installed a 15x30 overlap replacement
liner on my above ground pool. The first
attempt to fill resulted in the liner
pulling out of the coping/wall on the
skimmer end. Unknowingly we did not
vacuum the huge pockets of air from behind
the liner and we installed the output
gasket device and the skimmer frame
but did not cut the skimmer hole. There
are minimal wrinkles on the pool floor.
I am in the process of draining the 2ft of
water from the pool with plans to rehang
the liner on the side it slipped from.
I had than planned to use the vacuum to
remove the liner air before and during
pool fill. Does this sound correct or
will it slip again? We only have about
2inches of overhang showing below the
pool shelf when it's all installed and


InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/9/2015 

Mike - Probably not. I'm afraid that if you pulled off one of the Top Rails and Stabilizers to pull the liner up, you would create a temporary weak point in the wall that might fail with that much water on it.

 Posted: 6/9/2015 

I bought a ued above groud pool, ad intalled the liner and filled it to the skimmer. Until it was a litte over half full, the liner looked pretty that it is up to the skimmer, it has a 6ft long area right by the top rail and 3 inches down that is a little baggy and looks crappy....any way to fix this without draing the pool?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/21/2015 

shrunk liner - It is unlikely that your liner has shrunk. You will have to detach the top of the liner from the top edge of your pool and start over working the bottom edge of the liner into the bottom corner of the pool. Then reattach the top of the liner to the top edge of the pool.

Anonymous  Posted: 5/19/2015 

I drained my pool in order to fix the pits in the sand under the liner now it seams as though the liner is to small or has shrunk. The bottom seam looks to be about 4-6" away from the pool wall all the way a round. Now when I get about a foot of water in it the wall is starting to buckle. Do I need to add more sand or make more of a cove?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 3/15/2015 

Leaking - Sounds like you have a hole in your liner that will have to be replaced or repaired. If your pool water has drained out, you should support the wall until you can refill it. The pool wall needs pressure from the water to stay up over time. You can go into the pool now to remove the ice and try to repair the liner but you will have to use a ladder to get over the wall. Don't put any weight on the wall. And wait for a warm day if you have to install a patch.

 Posted: 3/14/2015 

Came home from work to see that my pool has a small river coming from the bottom. During the winter the cover fell in, bought the house in Dec, still have large pieces of ice in it. Do I need to support the sides till the ice melts or I can get in there?? What else should I be concerned about. Never owned a pool before. Is this the beginning of a nightmare?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 8/5/2014 

illinois22 - Sometimes you are shipped the wrong product or it is mislabeled. Check the height of your liner from the seam at the bottom [that goes into the bottom corner] to the top of the liner. If you have an overlapping liner, you should have 54" plus at least another 6" to overlap the top of the wall. Very often you have to trim off some the excess liner on the outside of the wall. See our other guide on "How To Assemble an Above Ground Pool - Part 4 - Liner Install" for further information.

 Posted: 8/4/2014 

We bought a replacement liner for our 15' x 54" pool overlap style and the bottom of the liner touches all the way around but the top seems to be to short. The walls are level but as we got the liner on finally we got about 6 inches of water in and the liner pulled out of the top. What do i need to do here?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 7/28/2014 

Poolbroke - Not sure what's going on here. The weight of the water against the angle of the cove should keep the cove down into the corner. You might look in the HW store to see if they have water resistant tape.