How to Install a Pool Liner. Part One

First of all, if you’re reading this because you actually NEED to put in a pool liner, my thoughts and prayers are with you. We did this the first time, six years ago. ┬áIt was so easy then, because by “we”, I mean my dad bought the liner, and had a crew of five men install it while my mother and I hit the yard sales looking for pool toys.

This time, they elected NOT to install the liner. And yes, I agree, my parents have gotten meaner in their old age. Now – to the pool.

First of all, you have to drain all of the water. We are lucky in that we have a friend who has not ONE, but TWO businesses dealing with water, and he let us borrow the Mack-Daddy of water pumps. JD says it pumps out 3600 gallons of water an hour. I THINK he said that. Anyway, it was a BUNCH of water and he had to run the hose down the drive so that the neighbor’s yard wouldn’t get washed away.

As the water drained, JD cut out the liner. Once we got down to about 18 inches of water/sludge/nastiness, the hose would turn over, CAVITATE (suck air) and JD would yell. So I got down in the slime, slid under the liner, and held the hose in place. It was AWESOME.

Granted, our pool was in bad shape. It’s been uncovered for awhile and had lots of leaves, tadpoles, and dead frogs floating around. Which made it even more fun when I had to stick my hand in the water, and clear the debris from the hose.

Once we got it down to a few inches, JD had to scoop out the gunk, put it in the bucket, and haul it out by hand. Oh, and it was about 95 degrees. I’m pretty sure he’s rethinking his life at this point.

Looking good! Have you ever seen what’s underneath a pool liner? Pretty exciting stuff – packed dirt/sand and sheets of metal. Obviously, there was a bit of rust, so the next step was to sand down the sharp places, then paint over them with Rustoleum.

This is when I decided that the MoonPie should learn a little something about hard work, after all, SHE enjoys the pool more than anyone. After about 30 seconds, we decided she’d learned all she needed to know, namely it STINKS, and I sent her back in to watch TV and pray for a rich husband with a gunite pool. Just kidding – I sent her in to study Latin, we don’t watch TV.

After a brief thundershower, we were back at it. When a pool leaks, the water washes away some of the sand, causing it to be uneven in places. JD went around the pool, putting sand BACK, watering it down, and smoothing out the rough spots. When he first started, I was really concerned. I wanted the bottom to be like GLASS. After about 10 minutes, I was over it. He could have left a dead opossum in the bottom and I would have said, “We’ll just swim over the hump.”

This was all we could do in one day, so we went inside, showered, and fell into bed exhausted. The next morning, we dressed, went to church, went out to eat, invited friends over, played games, and basically tried everything we could to NOT go back outside and continue. Maybe we’d get lucky and my dad would rethink HIS life, bring his crew down here and finish the job for us!

No such luck. Next step – install the new liner. Now, some instructions on the Internet, say put the box IN the pool and unfurl it there. But those same instructions say have THREE or FOUR men on each side as you pull it into the deep end. We had me and JD.

So we dumped it on the side of the pool and tried to remember which end was the shallow, and which was the deep. We heaved it inside the pool, and this is where things got a little difficult. See, there were NO instructions in the box. The instructions ON-LINE said to line up the corners. So we found a red, arrow sticker on the liner, stuck it in the corner, and began the install. Here’s how you do this step: JD pulled up the liner weighing approximately 250 pounds, while I lay on the ground and stuck it in the tiny gap, over the lip of the beading. Don’t ask me, it just works. We did 3/4 of the pool in about 30 minutes, then realized it was not right. It was at this point that my brother called and asked if we needed any help. So we sat down and waited for him to get there. Why deprive him of the fun?

Once Ellery arrived, we realized the little red arrow we’d been using, was supposed to be in the CENTER, not the corner. So we took it all out, repositioned it, and REDID it.

Redid it wrong! Turns out the arrow was off a bit. HAHAHAHAHAH. Isn’t that the best? So we pulled it out AGAIN. Nothing like putting in a liner THREE times.

Almost there boys!

Success! Tomorrow, we’ll move to Part Two which involves vacuuming out the wrinkles, and HOPEFULLY, filling it with water.

Not that we’ll actually let anyone swim in it. You know, when my PARENTS paid for this liner, I didn’t really think it was all that special. Now that we’ve paid for it, and spend an exhausting weekend, killing ourselves to install it, I’ve come to appreciate it more. There will be NO horseplay, NO pool toys, NO swimming – just floating, quietly on a very thin air mattress only.

Moral of the story – my parents have ruined swimming for everyone.

6 thoughts on “How to Install a Pool Liner. Part One

  1. So when Karo needs a new liner we know who to call……..Uncle James and his crew.

  2. You could have moved down gere for a month…my pool is fine and let J.D. and Ellery install the liner. WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?????

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