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How to Know When Your Pool Liner Needs Replacing

Vinyl Pool Liner Replacement Tips

With spring around the corner, it’s the perfect time to think about investigating your pool for damage. Did you know there are tell-tale signs that could indicate your pool liner needs replacing? By finding these issues now, you can book repairs come spring and be able to enjoy your pool all summer long.

How Long Does an Inground Pool Liner Last?

An inground pool liner can last 8 to 12 years with the right maintenance and care. And many liners won’t show signs of wear and tear for the majority of their lifespan.

But many factors can affect a pool liner’s lifespan, such as weather, chemicals, poor installation, unbalanced water chemistry, and groundwater problems.

If your liner starts showing signs of damage, then it’s worth replacing to prevent costly damage to your pool, even if it hasn’t reached the end of its service life.

How Much Water Loss In A Pool Is Normal?

Pools can lose an average of a ¼ inch of water each day due to evaporation. So if it’s especially hot and sunny out, don’t be surprised if your pool is losing water.

How Do You Know If Your Pool Liner Is Leaking?

If your pool is losing more than ½ an inch to 1 inch of water per day, then you likely have a leak. And you should repair the leak or replace your pool liner as soon as possible to avoid costly damage to the structure of your pool and the subsoil.

To measure how much water your pool is losing, mark the water level in your pool with painter’s tape. And keep track of the water level for a week. You can compare this to the natural rate of water evaporation by using the bucket test.

And if you’re trying to detect a leak in winter, use these tips for leak detection in winter.

How Often Does A Pool Liner Need to Be Replaced?

A vinyl pool liner should be replaced when it’s near the end of its service life and before its wear and tear cause any damage to the rest of your pool.

The following inground pool liner problems are tell-tale signs that your vinyl pool liner needs replacement.

Fading and Staining

The pool’s chemicals and the sun’s UV rays will fade a pool liner over time. And significant fading is a sign that the pool liner is deteriorating. When vinyl fades, it becomes brittle and more prone to cracking.

Stains from rust and algae can build up over time as well. So pool owners will opt to replace their pool liner to update and brighten its appearance.

Cracking, Tearing, and Deterioration

Pool chemicals and damaging UV rays will also deteriorate vinyl liners with time. So it’s important to inspect your liner for cracks and tears. If you find any cracks, keep a close eye on your pool’s water level for a couple of weeks. If the water drops by more than one inch per day or more than three inches per week then your pool likely has a leak.

Wrinkling, Slipping, and Stretching

Vinyl liners stretch out and lose elasticity and plasticity over time. Signs of stretching out include the liner bead slipping out of its track and loose fittings around the pool’s return jets and skimmer.

If the liner slips out of its track, it will sag, wrinkle, and allow water to drain from the pool. And since you cannot typically repair stretched-out liners, you will need a pool liner replacement.


A leak in the pool liner can be patched if you can find it. But patching leaks can only do so much. As vinyl ages, it becomes brittle and difficult for patches to bond with.

If your pool is leaking and you can’t find the source of the leak, contact your local pool service company and have them conduct a leak detection using special sonar equipment. They should be able to locate the source of the leak. If the liner is dated or too many holes are found, you will need to replace the liner to prevent serious damage to your pool, such as wall corrosion and sinkholes.

What Happens When You Don’t Replace the Liner?

Since a pool liner is the only type of waterproofing protection that a vinyl pool has, it must be replaced when it is at risk of no longer protecting the rest of your pool.

Otherwise, if you don’t replace the liner when you should, it can lead to:

Deck Damage

If your liner can no longer keep water in your pool, the water will erode surrounding structures, including the pool deck. The water will dissolve the ground and wash it away, causing paving stones and concrete decks to sink and crack.

Wall Damage

A leak in your liner will allow chlorinated water to get between the liner and the pool walls. As a result, the galvanized steel wall panels will eventually corrode (rust).

Floor and Foundation Damage

Leaks in your vinyl liner will also weaken the foundation of your pool. Water will erode the ground and weaken the concrete in the floor and foundation of your pool.

The concrete can eventually become sandy and develop cracks, requiring a costly replacement that is at least twice the cost of replacing your liner.

When Is the Best Time to Replace A Pool Liner?

As soon as you notice your pool liner needs replacing, don’t wait! It typically only takes one or two days to change the liner, so book your appointment as soon as possible so you don’t miss out on optimal swimming time.

Remember, spring is the start of the busy pool season, so book your pool liner replacement as early as possible to avoid the rush and ensure your new pool liner is installed in time for summer and before the end of the season.

How Much Does It Cost?

The cost of a pool liner for inground pools will depend on the size of your pool. So contact your local pool experts for a quote.

Why You Should Call the Pros Asap to Get Repairs Done

Avoid Damage

The longer water is leaking, the worse the pool damage will get. Avoid facing damage and all the headaches that go along with it altogether with a simple pool liner replacement.

Avoid Costly Repairs

A pool liner installation is a fraction of the cost (and time) of inground pool repair. So prevent the need to repair damage to the structure of your pool and replace your damaged liner as soon as possible.

Avoid Wasting Precious Pool Time

A pool liner replacement only takes one to two days so try to get this underway as soon as possible to avoid major repairs that could take several weeks to complete. With summer just around the corner, a week without the use of your pool could feel like an eternity in the summer.

So to make the most of your pool use in the limited pool season, book your pool liner replacement with the pros before the busy spring season starts.

Your pool liner protects your pool from costly water damage, so keep an eye on it and replace it when needed to keep your pool in top shape for many summers to come.

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