Vinyl Pool Liner Info - Greater Vancouver
Most of the swimming pools built by Taylor Made have a concrete base and a vinyl liner. These pools are typically much more cost effective than concrete, tiled or Zonolite pools, and maintenance and cleaning is easier. A vinyl liner pool has a custom made sheet of vinyl between the water and the pool structure. This is in contrast to a gunite or shotcrete pool which uses plaster as its waterproofing membrane. Vinyl liners typically lock their top edge, called a bead, into a track located on the bottom of the coping, which is at deck level. Underneath the liner is a sand or cementitious floor, specified in dimension to the "cut" of the liner that is to be used. The floors come up to meet the walls, which are commonly 3 ft by 8 ft panels made of galvanized steel or thermoplastic. These walls are supported from behind so that they won't bow out against the weight of the water. All of the wall panels are secured together to make up the perimeter shape of the pool. For this reason, there are some limitations to the possible shapes of a vinyl liner pool.
Vinyl Liner Repair
Is your liner losing its color?
It's a given. All liners fade over time. The original color of your liner will fade with the use of sanitizing chemicals and the effects of the sun. Harsh chemicals and high concentrations should be avoided, as they leach out the plastics' elasticity which give liners their resiliency, leading to brittle vinyl, which in turn can lead to leaking. The chemical makeup of modern vinyl allows manufacturers to create liners that are now much more durable and resistant to chemical, solar and algae problems than those of the past.
Is your liner bead coming out of the track?
Liners are meant to fit tightly into the shape of the pool. If the liner was installed slightly off center, or if the liner is too large or too small for the pool's shape, you might experience the bead popping out of the track. With the use of a heat gun or blow dryer and a lot of elbow grease, the liner can be stretched and locked back into the track. I was also informed by a pool tech recently that boiling hot water works well when you need to stretch a liner. If this is a continuing problem, the use of liner lock can help in keeping the bead in the track. It is best to consult a professional for this problem, to avoid over stretching or melting the liner. I also caution about the use of electrical equipment (heat gun) around water (pool). It's usually a lot of pulling and pushing to get a liner back into the track. In some cases you'll need to lower the water level a foot or more if it is out very far. Better to put back in small areas than to wait until you have to lower the water. Use of a small hair dryer (blow dryer) can heat up the liner, making it more stretchable, and easier to get back into the track. Be careful, keep the dryer moving and not too close to the vinyl! I once heated a hole right through a brand new liner using this trick! Also, if you drop the dryer into the water, don't reach in to grab it, you could become electrocuted. When the liner is put back into the track (it can be exhausting work, I'm telling you) consider using liner lock, pennies or popsicle sticks to help hold it in the track.
Is your Vinyl liner leaking?
This is not an uncommon problem after a number of years in service. Pools that have been regularly maintained, winterized and covered tend to last much longer. However time can even catch up with these pools. Liners are typically manufactured in 20 mil thickness (28-30 mil option). Although resistant to punctures they can happen, especially as the liner ages, and begins to lose its resiliency. If you are fortunate enough to spot a small hole in the liner, simply patch it with a vinyl liner patch kit. If underwater, buy a "wet" patch kit. If the source of the leak isn't readily apparent, it is best to call us in. Is your water level going down more quickly than before? If you are adding more than one inch of water to your pool per week, discounting splashed-out and backwash waste water, you probably have a leak. Do not allow leaks to go unchecked. Leaks can washout supporting back fill behind the walls, corrode the walls, and may wash away sections on the floor, creating large sinkholes. Fortunately, Taylor Made uses a concrete base, which eliminates the problem of sinkholes.
Maintain water levels
It is not advised to drain your vinyl liner pool, or allow it to leak out below the level of the walls. The water in the pool holds the liner tightly against the walls and floor. If the water is removed, the liner must be reset with a vacuum to suck the liner into place while filling. Otherwise, large wrinkles may appear when filling a loose fitting liner. In addition, an empty liner pool may allow rain water to seep in under the walls, washing away and destroying the specifically contoured shape of the floor. There also exists the risk of a wall collapsing or caving in. Consult a professional for assistance in these areas. Never add undiluted granular chemicals, specifically pH de-creaser and Calcium Hypochlorite (shock) directly to the pool. These particles will settle to the bottom, "bleach" the vinyl, and compromise it's strength and resiliency.
Use a Vacuum to get it 'right' and 'tight'
Resetting your vinyl liner: If the liner has been drained, or leaked out on it's own, it will need to be "sucked back" into place with a vacuum device to remove the air between the liner and the pool shell (walls/floor). The vacuum will be in place until the water level is at a predetermined point on the wall. The vacuum is then removed, and the pool continues to fill. This is necessary to ensure proper fit, and reduce or eliminate wrinkles in the vinyl. Prices will vary on labor and trip costs involved, but expect a few hundred dollars when it's all said and done.
Choices have improved over the years
Vinyl liners are not limited in colors and patterns as they used to be. Changing this will dramatically improve the visual effect of your pool. The cost of the liner will depend on it's shape, size, thickness, and pattern choice.
The New liner replacement
When the liner is delivered (allow 2-3 weeks), we make a full day of removing and replacing. The pool is drained, the old liner is cut up and removed to the recycling plant. We then work on the walls. Joints are taped, rust or irregularities are scraped and sanded. If the wall is rough, pitted or corroded, we will recommend foaming the walls to prevent contact with the new liner, as well as provide a nice soft feel. All of the face plates surrounding the suction and return ports are removed. The tracking is inspected, and if necessary, cracked sections may be replaced. Floor work is the final step before "dropping" the new liner and setting with a vacuum. The floor is hand troweled to remove any irregularities and achieve design specs for which the liner was manufactured. Pebbles and sand balls are removed while we back out of the pool very carefully. If the floor is cement or Zonolite, it is swept and cleaned. Irregularities such as cracks and divots are repaired. When ready, the liner is draped across the pool and locked into the track. Positioning one or two vacuums, Taylor Made will set the liner into place, working out any wrinkles. Then the main drain and steps are "cut-in". Water will then be introduced for filling. The vacuums continue to operate until the water level is at a predetermined point on the wall. Taylor Made will return to remove the vacuums and lock in the liner at these points. Then the pool continues to fill. When full, we return again to cut-in the wall face plates. New plates are purchased when available. The filtration system is restarted and you are good to go.
As your expert pool contractor, Taylor Made Pools can help youw ith all your vinyl pool liner installation and repair needs in Surrey, Langley and all of Greater Vancouver.