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This page is a work in progress. It will contain quick tips on identifying your pool pump, and things you can do to attempt solve some pump problems yourself before calling a repair company. When you do need swimming pool pump repairs, we invite you to choose A-Pro Services. (405) 284-6438 Have a question? E-mail us!
Replacing an in ground swimming pool liner is a significant investment, similar to replacing carpet in your home. Likewise, your liner should last many years, and is custom fitted to your pool.
When your pool liner is accurately measured and installed by a qualified professional, the average life of an in ground swimming pool liner is said to be around 8-10 years. I have seen some liners still in service for as long as 20 years, and a few that barely made it a year! One difference is in the proper fit, preparation and installation. The other major factor, besides climate, is the care the liner receives after it is installed.
Proper care, cleaning, and chemistry play a critical role in how long a liner lasts. While this site is about repair and installation, another of our sites, PoolServiceOKC.com , is about care, cleaning, maintenance and chemistry.
In ground pool liners come in many styles, thicknesses, and quality levels, and prices can vary widely. Usually, you pretty much get what you pay for, so going cheap is not usually a good idea. But the most expensive is not always necessarily the best, either.
If you are currently ready to replace your in-ground swimming pool liner, we strongly recommend that you visit our "sister" site, PoolLinerOKC.com , Where there is much more detailed information and you can look at liner patterns and learn much more about liners, in general.
( This excerpt from PoolRepairOKC.com. Continued below. )
In-ground liners are rated in thickness. How these liners are rated depends, largely, on the manufacturer, and can sometimes be deceiving. First, there is the difference of "gauge" vs "mil". Imported liners are usually rated as being a certain gauge, while American made liners are normally rated in mils. While a mil specifically is defined as one thousandth of an inch, there is little control over what is defined as a gauge. In wiring and metal, actually, the thinner the material, the higher the gauge. A #12 (or 12 Gauge ) wire is smaller than a 10 Gauge. 26 gauge steel is heavier than 29 gauge. Liners, however, are sold as a higher gauge being thicker. Why? Well, I wore the same shoe size for about 20 years as an adult - I didn't even have to try them on! Now, I not only have to try them on, I have suddenly gained at least 2 shoe sizes. My foot hasn't gotten any bigger, it's that the standards have changed, because sizing depends on the country of origin. The same is true with vinyl liners. There is no international standard for the word, it is dependant on the country of origin. Some people who sell vinyl liners will tell you that the terms gauge and mil are interchangeable. They are not. To me, this is another reason to buy American, even if they cost a little more. At least you know what You are paying for. Well, Sort of....
One variance among American made liners is that there is what is known as "Nominal Value" Some companies sell liners this way. Much the same as electricity (we say 120 volts, or 110 to mean the same thing. Actually, the true voltage may be anywhere from 105 to 125. In the case of electricity, appliances are designed to handle this variance. For vinyl liners, 30 mil is a nominal value, which can be anything thicker than 22 mil. However, a 28 mil is a more specific value which indicates the minimum thickness of the liner. While most manufacturers rate their thinner liners at the nominal value of 20 mil, you can usually tell how exacting their standards are by looking at how they rate their heavier liners. If the heavier liners are rated at the more exacting 28 mil rather than the nominal 30 mil, odds are that that manufacturer's thinner liners conform more closely to the specification. a nominal 20 mil liner can be as thin as 16 thousandths of an inch. One Mfg rep tells me that their above ground 20 mil liners are actually 18 and their 25 is actually 22. While above ground liners may be held to a lower standard than in-ground liners, I say it's kind of a dirty trick. Some are actually imports, originally rated as certain gauges, that have been re-specified in mils. The long and short of it is, probably the best thing to do is buy your liner from a reputable local company that you trust, buy American, and feel the sample material for yourself. Thicker isn't always better, but if you are paying extra for it, or even if it is "thrown in", you should get what you were promised.
It used to be, that if you made a deal with someone, you had a deal. It seems though, that lately that's not true. Most liner manufacturers include a warranty on their product, anywhere from 15 to 30 years. The truth is, there are few liners that last nearly that long, the average being 8-10 years. Also, the warranty usually covers materials and workmanship, not installation, and the warranties are pro-rated after 1-3 years, like tires and batteries. You can buy supplemental warranties, to extend the liner's warranty, and pay a fixed amount of the installation cost, but they are usually not worth it. Why? Because the truth is, if the liner is truly defective, which basically means that it comes apart at the seams, it is going to do that upon installation, or certainly within the first year. In that case, the liner should be under full warranty, and a responsible installer should provide the labor as a matter of good will and customer relations.
Aside from that, there are a few dirty tricks out there. Both online and with local competitors, I have seen liners advertised and sold for less than I can buy them for, and I buy them directly from the factories! How do They do that? Many liner manufacturers have what they call "extra value" liners, or some other fancy sounding name, which are being discontinued. Some manufacturers even buy outdated material from other factories, and sell them this way. Some of these patterns are actually contemporary looking, but were made ahead of their time. They are still considered virgin vinyl, but may have been sitting in a warehouse for years, and the material at the edges of the rolls Which is where the liner will be welded) is dried out. This means that the liner can't have a full warranty. If it does fail, it fails beside the seam, and not at it, so this is then considered not to be a seam failure!
Here's the thing. Many online stores and some locals show you a manufacturers warranty of 20 or 25 years, which is true of their regular liners, but not their "value series" liners. These liners have 1 year of total warranty, or sometimes none at all. The seller is taking his chances, and the paperwork usually somehow never gets to the purchaser. If there is a failure with the liner, you would never know until it happened, by which time it is too late! The usual response from the seller, if he can be found, is to say that it is a cut, and not covered under warranty.
ALWAYS GET THE PAPERWORK! Usually, if the liner seems too cheap, it probably is. I know there are times when you really have to buy the cheapest thing you can get, but, usually, when it comes to in-ground liners, assuming that you get what you agreed to, you usually get what you paid for!
Liner installation - notice the fit without water. The liner should be tight in the corners and wrinkle free before a drop of water is added. Wrinkles are not "normal", and can't be taken out after the pool is full, and they do not go away on their own!