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Doing it yourself carries the potential of saving a little bit of your hard earned cash. But when it comes to swimming pool liners the cost can be much greater than the reward. Here are a few stories of what can happen when swimming pool owners get in over their heads.
Duct Tape Fixes Everything…Except Pool Liners
Every year I run across a handful of swimming pool owners who have used duct tape as a pool liner patch. Usually it is in a corner of the pool where the liner has started to deteriorate or has simply been torn or punctured by a falling tree branch. The pool owner hopes to buy a little extra time before having to purchase a replacement pool liner. The problem is that there is about 100 tons of water pressure pulling down on the liner itself. Duct tape cannot support 100 tons of water! Eventually and usually at night while you are sleeping the tear in the pool liner gives way to all the water pressure and forms a long rip down the side wall of the pool. Now you have all that water rushing under the pool liner and this is probably destroying your pool bottom in the process. One of my customers suffered a complete loss of the pool bottom because of false hope in duct tape as a pool liner patch. There are a couple of things to keep in mind when patching a pool liner. First, never use duct tape…it won’t work. Use a liner patch from your local pool store (about $7.00). Second, if the hole or tear in the liner is larger than a quarter the patch probably will not hold for more than a couple of weeks and you will need to purchase a new liner.
DIY Pool Liner Installation
It is very difficult for a pool owner to fight the urge to attempt a pool liner installation on their own. It seems so simple. Just buy a pool line online for wholesale and then watch a “how-to” video on youtube right? Wrong! Installing a pool liner is difficult and requires years of experience to make it look easy. Based upon my own experience I estimate that less than half of the liners purchased online ever actually get installed in a swimming pool! There are significantly more than one hundred things that can and do go wrong. No online liner seller to my knowledge offers a money back guarantee of any kind because they know they would go out of business in a week if they offered a guarantee. One of my customers spilled mineral spirits on his new liner he purchased online and ruined it. One customer had his son drop a knife on the new liner which ruined the liner. Another customer misunderstood one thing on the liner measurement form and received a liner that did now come close to fitting his pool. These are a few customers of over one hundred that I personally know of disasters like this happening to. Every one of these people had to hire a professional to install a new liner and lost their original liner investment completely. Do yourself a favor. Hire a professional. If something goes wrong they will handle it.
DIY Pool Liner Repair
Pool liner repair can be tricky as well. I once had a customer try to remove a pool liner stain with paint thinner. The liner was destroyed immediately. One of my best customers tried to fix a leak in his skimmer face plate by removing the face plate while the pool was 75% full of water which pulled the liner down as soon as he removed the last screw. My crew was able to fix the problem at significant expense. What makes this story even more painful is the fact that he could have properly repaired the leak by simply tightening one screw! At least consult with a professional swimming pool repair technician over the phone before trying to repair a seemingly simple problem with your pool liner.
The point of this article was to point out how easily things can go wrong when you try to repair, install or patch a vinyl pool liner without professional help. By using a pool professional to complete the work you will most likely prevent a major issue and save yourself lots of money in costly mistakes.