Above Ground Pool Liner Installations
Hi Jacksonville! Getting your above ground pool ready for summer is what North Florida Above Ground Pools is all about. Whether you’ve decided to have your liner installed by a professional or you’re doing it yourself we can help. We have 30 years experience building above ground pools and replacing pool liners in Jacksonville FL and the surrounding areas, so we know the weather conditions and soil make-up well. Years of experience have given us insight into what products work in the acidic soil and salty air of Florida’s coastal cities.
Being located in North Florida we get a crazy amount of phone calls by people not only wanting to schedule installs but searching for real information. So to make things easier we’ve included basic installation guides for those installing their own pool liners, our installation price sheet, a comprehensive list of installation accessories for pool installs or liner replacements as well as trusted pool dealers to purchase from. Chat us up if we can help further.
Liner Replacement Process
Here are the basic steps taken to replace the average above ground pool liner. These steps assume the water is removed, decking and other obstructions out of the way and no metal repair or replacement. The steps listed below are no different for the homeowner or professional installer. Follow them for a successful pool liner change.
- Professional installation starts with punctual arrival at scheduled time ready to work.
- First up is to do a visual assessment of the pool’s condition and filter equipment. This quickly makes us aware of any concerns that have gone un-noticed or un-mentioned.
- If all’s well we remove the old pool liner and set it to the curb for pick up.
- From there we carefully inspect the interior of the pool wall for any rust damage, repairing if needed.
- If the wall looks good we begin pool disassembly for the new liner replacement, this includes removing the skimmer box and return jets.
- Once disassembly is complete we move on to the pool floor where we carefully re-work it removing any obstructions like rocks, roots etc.
- Then the pool floor is smoothed for final grade and readied for the new pool liner.
- This is followed by an application of nutgrass killer and then installation of Armor Shield, Wall Foam or Pool Cove if applicable.
- Next the new pool liner is installed and attached to the pool wall.
- Once the pool liner is secure, water is pumped into the pool and all wrinkles are removed from the pool walls and floor.
- Once the initial 500 gallons of water are in, the pool re-assembly process begins.
- If doing this yourself, once about 2 feet of water are in the pool install the skimmer, return jets and any remaining plumbing.
The typical timeline for complete pool liner replacement is 3-4 hours. Our price schedule is for flat bottom pools only. Prices may vary for pools with decking, deep centers or deep ends as these require more time and effort and sometimes materials to complete. This pricing is only a guideline of what you could expect to pay.
If installing your own liner you’ll need some basic tools to get the job done. Below is a very basic short list of items needed, some jobs may require more.
- Razor Knife – used to remove liner, cut opening for skimmer, return.
- Cordless Screwdriver – used to remove the majority of pool hardware.
- Various Screw-gun Bits – used for different fasteners on pool.
- Duct Tape – used to cover over wall seam bolts.
- Silicone – used on skimmer & return gaskets and hose fittings.
- Square Point Shovel, Tine Rake, Concrete Rake – smoothing out pool bottom.
- Hammer, Pliers, Screw Drivers, Wrenches – disassembly and re-assembly of pool.
- Tape Measure – varification of pool size.
- Garden Hose – used to fill pool with water.
- Spray Paint – used to cover exposed metal surfaces on pool wall and parts.
What Else Is Needed
Whether you are doing the work yourself or having a professional tackle the labor, there are four things besides the tools, liner and accessories that are needed prior to installation. Most of these you probably already have.
- First the pool liner and liner accessories must be delivered and on-site before work begins.
- Secondly the swimming pool must be drained of water. This is important as even when using a sump pump it can take 4 hours or longer to remove the water from the average size above ground pool. This is rarely an issue as most people have had liner failure so the water is already gone. Visit our FAQ or Blog for help here if needed.
- The third requirement is running water, we need a small amount of water to set the liner, install the skimmer and remove all the wrinkles. After which your pool will need filled immediately upon our completion of the liner change.
- Lastly electricity for a very short time is needed for most pro installers to complete their task. Access to a typical electrical outlet for approximately 15 minutes is all that’s required. This is so the installation crew can pump water into the pool to remove the wrinkles.
In all it takes a professional crew approximately 3-4 hours to replace the average pool liner and it usually takes an additional 8-12 hours to completely fill the pool with water. After that it’s time to swim!
What To Buy
This is an import section to read before setting out to replace your above ground pool liner. We get so many questions in regards to what to buy for your pool we’ve added a list of common above ground pool liner accessories to consider when replacing your pool liner. Each item listed below has a brief description of what they are, what they do and how important they may be for a Florida pool liner installation.
As you already know our intense Florida sunshine, long summer season and unique soil conditions can really do a job on any above ground pool here. So with a little knowledge and upfront planning you’ll likely add years to the longevity of your pool while providing many years of trouble free use. Some of these items may apply to you and some may not but I can assure you that at least a couple could save you time and money down the road. If you are still unsure of your needs, just contact us and we’ll help.
Before ordering any pool products take the time to double check pool size, you may be glad you did. This may sound silly but one of the most common mistakes made is ordering the wrong size pool liner and accessories. Nothings worse than finding out your mistake after you are mid-installation. Sending these parts back and waiting for news ones to arrive could set you back weeks before finally get your pool up and running.
- Pool Liner – Florida sun is really tough on pool liners. Spend a little extra money and get a 25ga. liner. The thicker material will outlast the 20ga. liners by several years. When liner shopping you may notice that there are several different types of liner, overlap, expandable, uni-bead and other names. If you are unsure of exactly what you have or wish to read more about the different pool liners available click here.
- Pool Floor Padding – This is another worthwhile investment. Florida’s soft soil is home to many burrowing rodents and insects like moles, ground hogs, beetles and more. These critters often dig under above ground pools and come up right under them causing leaks and holes in your expensive new pool liner. The best way to stop this from happening is Armor Shield Pool Floor Pad. This is a super tough material that moles cannot bite through and it and it still allows the pool liner to breathe. Use this item or nothing at all. Armor shield comes ready to use, no cutting or taping necessary. Foam. plastic sheeting weed barrier etc are no good for stopping critters and causes the pool to pre-maturely rust out by trapping in condensation from the pool liner. To view pool floor padding image and details click here.
- Pool Cove – You must have a cove for your pool. It’s there to protect your liner from coming in contact with the pool frame and getting damaged by puncture. You can make one from sand or dirt for free or you can purchase them ready to go. They have sticky tape on the backside and are very easy to install. They make for a very uniform and finished look to the floor of your above ground pool when used. Not a necessity but no down side other than cost. To view pool cove image and details click here.
- Pool Liner Coping – These are thin plastic strips that hold overlap style pool liners to the pool wall. They become dry and brittle over the course of a few years and are a good item to replace during a liner change. If yours are cracking and dry replace them now. If they are 5 years or older they will likely need changing. If you don’t there’s a good chance you won’t be able to finish your liner change without them. The good news is these are cheaply priced and good insurance. Again, Florida sun at work here. To view coping image and details click here.
- Pool Wall Foam – I would not use this product on any new pool or pool wall in good condition as moisture tends to get caught in the foam and cause pool rust out. It’s only real use in my opinion is on already rusty pool walls. It’s there to prevent the liner from getting holes in it from the rough rusty surface. This pool is on it’s last leg and using wall foam here is only trying to buy a few more years of use from it before a new pool is needed. View pool wall foam image and details click here.
- Nutgrass Weed Killer – An absolute must in Florida. Nut-grass is an incredibly tough and persistent weed that will grow right through your pool liner. You will literally have grass growing in the bottom of your pool. It may be only one blade or hundreds and nothing will stop it. You may be able to patch over the holes but it usually comes right back. So take the time to treat the ground before installing your pool liner. Buy the commercial nut-grass killer if possible but if you cannot find it use a product called IMAGE from Home Depot, Lowes etc. It’s not as good but still effective. Available in the garden section. I would never install a pool or liner without treating the ground first. It’s simply not worth the risk of ruining your new pool liner, not to mention the cost of installation and water. To view nutgrass weed killer image and details click here.
- Skimmer Box – The skimmer is usually a white or gray box on the side of the pool where the pool water sent through a basket on it’s way to the filter system. Skimmers get brittle or deteriorate over time most things exposed to water, chemicals and intense Florida sunshine. During the liner change process is the perfect time to replace the skimmer box if shows signs of damage. The single biggest issue with old pool skimmers on above ground pools is stripped out screw holes. When this occurs it’s impossible to correctly tighten the pool skimmer to the pool wall and the result is a leaky seal and loss of pool water. Be sure to examine the screw hole on the box for splits or cracking and replace if necessary. Skimmer kits are modestly priced and typically come with everything needed for replacement including hardware, gaskets, lid, basket and new return jet. To view skimmer specs, images and details click here.
- Main Drain – This is probably the number one best upgrade you can make to any above ground pool. This addition does nothing to protect your pool liner from damage nor does it stop nut-grass or critters. What a main drain or pool floor drain does is drastically improve water circulation and filtration. This is done by drawing in pool water from the floor and sending it to the filter system by way of piping that has been buried prior to the liner installation. By adding a main drain pool maintenance is cut in half as the pool stays much cleaner and requires far less vacuuming of debris. An above ground pool with a main drain is easy to spot as it has a grate in the middle of the floor like a bathtub or any in-ground pool you’ve seen. This is not a product that can be purchased from a store. It is a feature that involves much labor and must be built into your pool by you or your installer at the time of the liner change. You can purchase the main drain unit and piping from a pool retailer.
- PVC Hard Pipe – This upgrade replaces the factory thin and flimsy plastic flex hoses that connect the pool filter system to the swimming pool. These factory hoses only last a few years before becoming brittle and leaking or bursting. This can allow water to drain out of your pool and burn up your expensive pool pump. The hard pipe upgrade replaces these hoses with strong everlasting hard or flexible thick wall PVC pipe. Much like the main drain this too is an feature that’s added to your pool and does not come in a kit. This upgrade can be DIY project for those with basic plumbing skills. The good news is PVC piping never needs replacing and all items required are available at your favorite local home improvement store.
Where To Shop
When searching for your pool liner and parts it’s important to understand that likely no one will have this stuff up the street, on a shelf and in your size. It’ll probably have to be sent to your home and that’s just a sign of the times we live in. It’s no big deal as good online pool dealers will have this stuff at your doorstep in just a few days.
So where do you go and who can you trust? big box stores, online retailers, your neighborhood corner pool store? I can say from the experience of having dealt with them all and some are great and some are bad. And what ever you do, don’t use price as your only criteria when shopping for pool parts. There are many ways you can be burned when it seems to be a great deal.
You could go to big box stores like Amazon or Ebay but I’ve never found any real savings there. The prices aren’t any cheaper and you can NEVER speak with anyone, this is not the way I like to do business. I prefer to deal with knowledgeable people I can talk to and ask questions if need be. I also prefer to buy from Florida dealers if possible. So I say shop anywhere you feel comfortable but my recommendation is PoolsAboveGround.com. They have great prices, they’re straight up good guys and they deserve my mention.
To some this may sound odd, but I think where you buy from is as important as what you buy. I highly recommend these guys because they’re been right here in Florida for decades. They’re honest, friendly, sell good stuff and really know above ground pools. If you are doing the pool install yourself you’ll really appreciate the live tech support. And if you have any parts issues you’ll be glad to know they remedy them immediately. Another big reason is you can always get someone on the phone, try that with most other pool stores. I have sent many customers to Pools Above Ground over the years and honestly I don’t know what more you could ask for. This is where I’d go myself but you do what’s best for you.
If you are having a professional do the install you may want to start with good parts and great dealer support, I know we’re no longer installing several dealers product offerings for the reasons listed above. We’re at the point now where we pretty much only installing PoolsAboveGround.com products.
Here is a short list of other local pool dealers to consider.
Pinch A Penny – Not all stores sell above ground pools and few are familiar with installations. Even though it’s a chain store, each one is individually owned and good one on one service is possible. They typically have good products but pricing is high. They can order your parts and delivery is about a week. They are a large Florida chain store and trustworthy. Some stores better than others.
Leslie’s Pool – Not particularly friendly or helpful but a very large chain and trustworthy. They sometimes sell pools but real above ground experience is non-existant. Like Pinch a Penny they don’t do any work so they don’t really know much. Very trustworthy but crazy over-priced!!
Craigslist – Although you can score great deals if you are patient and keep your eyes peeled, dealing with sketchy people and meeting in Wal-Mart parking lots seems very risky these days. No way to know what your really getting and no way to vet the sellers. Not really worth the trouble for me. I recommend sticking to the reputable dealers and getting factory warranties. If you do decide to purchase a pool liner here I highly recommend an un-opened box with undamaged cardboard. It takes very little to puncture through the box and into the vinyl so examine closely and use your best judgement here.
Liner Installation Price Guide
The pricing chart only represents some of the pool sizes on the market and should be used as a guideline only. If you do not see your size it’s likely somewhere in between the others and installation cost would be similar. If you have a deck, deep center, main drain or other features, this may increase the final price quote.
- Round Pool Sizes
- 12′ Round – $250.00
- 15′ Round – $275.00
- 18′ Round – $300.00
- 21′ Round – $350.00
- 24′ Round – $375.00
- 27′ Round – $400.00
- 28′ Round – $400.00
- 30′ Round – $450.00
- 33′ Round – $500.00
- Oval Pool Sizes
- 12’x24′ Oval – $350.00
- 15’x24′ Oval – $375.00
- 15’x26′ Oval – $400.00
- 15’x30′ Oval – $425.00
- 16’x28′ Oval – $425.00
- 16’x32′ Oval – $450.00
- 18’x33′ Oval – $475.00
- 18’x40′ Oval – $550.00
- 21’x41′ Oval – $650.00
- Pool Options
- Main Drain – $350.00
- PVC Hard Pipe – $150.00
- Deep Center/End – TBD
- 21′ Round – $350.00
- 24′ Round – $375.00
- 27′ Round – $400.00
- 28′ Round – $400.00
- 30′ Round – $450.00
- 33′ Round – $500.00
Pool Liner Installation Instructions
For anyone installing their own pool liner, we’ve included links to the installation process for overlap, beaded and unibead pool liners. There are also Swimline’s 15 year and 25 year warranties.
Overlap liner instructions and warranty info –
Unibead liner instructions and warranty info
“Great recommendations for my pool liner installation. I never knew the trouble that moles and nutgrass can cause down here in Florida.”
“I followed your advice on the main drain and can’t believe the difference it made, unbelievable! It’s so refreshing to deal with a legit companies who care. Thanks guys”
“Great website. I’ve gotten more real information here than anywhere else. Thanks for the tips!”