How to Install Above Ground Oval Pool Liner

So you purchased an above ground pool for your back yard — congratulations! Now it’s time to get it set up. Once the ground has been leveled and the pool frame is in place, it’s time to add the liner. Installing an above ground oval pool liner can be tricky. But if you have DIY experience and are willing to put in the time, you shouldn’t have too much trouble. In this article you’ll be able to learn how to install above ground oval pool liner in detail.

Installing the cover

Get the cove set right

The pool liner itself is not built to withstand the pressure of the water inside the pool, just to keep it from leaking. It’s actually what’s under the swimming pool liner that takes the weight of all those gallons of water.

The pool cove is a wedge of sand or foam that supports the weight of the water against the pool and prevents the liner from sliding under the sides, protecting it from damage by acting as a buffer between the liner and the frame.

It’s important to get the cove right. If it’s too low, the weight of the pool puts too much strain on both the liner and walls which can lead to leaks, tears, or total collapse. A proper cove has no air space between it and the liner, so there must be no air pockets during the above-ground pool liner installation.

There are a few ways to properly set up a cove. This is the most time-consuming part of the process and has to be carefully thought out.

Lay Down the Sand

For this setup, use sand to lay a thick three-inch base across the base of the pool from wall-to-wall. To build the cove, create a four-inch angle of sand on top of the base and against the bottom of the pool wall. This gives you seven inches of support where the liner meets the wall.

Mason sand or play sand is the best option for this. You need something that’s fine without any rocks or sharp points that could damage the swimming pool liner. Something to keep in mind about using sand for both the base and cove is that you’ll need quite a bit of it – tons, in some cases. To cut down on the expense and the manual labor, it might be best to choose another option.

Inspect the liner

It’s important that the pool liner be free from tears and holes and inspecting it before you install above ground oval pool liner. Pay very close attention when opening the box and unrolling the liner. Spread the new liner out on the ground, being sure that there are no rocks or twigs that could puncture it. Visually inspect for holes and tears and make sure the seams are all sealed properly. A lot of people might be tempted to skip this step but it’s important to catch any issues before the pool is filled with water. This is much more difficult to deal with.

Prep the liner

Once you’ve determined that your liner is intact, allow it to sit in the sun for a while. As the liner warms up, it becomes more malleable and easier to work with. Read the instructions that come with your pool so you remove the material from the skimmer and return holes the right way. Don’t skip this, as it’s an important step to install above ground oval pool liner.

Hang the liner

There are multiple ways to do this so check the manufacturer’s instruction to be sure. Some liners use an overlap style while others are beaded or use J-hooks. Remember, the above ground pool liner has to be completely supported before you can fill it with water so make sure everything is in place before moving onto the next step.

Eliminate wrinkles

The less air between the liner and the wall of the pool, the better. While it’s not always possible to eliminate every wrinkle, you should do what you can to avoid them. Try inserting a vacuum hose between the skimmer hole and the wall of the pool and sealing the opening. When you turn the vacuum on, you can gently adjust the wrinkles as the vacuum removes the air.

Fill ‘er up

Once you’re satisfied that you’ve done all you can to eliminate air between the liner and the wall and cove, it’s time to fill up the above ground pool. Keep checking on progress periodically. If an area of the pool appears unlevel, it’s much easier to correct when there isn’t a lot of water in the pool.]

Bed Sand and Foam Coves 

For this approach, you again need a three-inch bed of sand across the bottom of the pool. Then, instead of building up sand to form the cove, just remove the backing from the foam and stick it to the wall of the pool, making sure it sits against the sand base.

Foam coves are affordable and easy to install. Plus, they cut down drastically on the amount of sand you’ll need. If you’re looking for the best foam coves out there, here are some to consider:

Sand, Foam, and Floor Pads

Another option is to use a floor pad to add a bit of extra support and protection. Floor pads come cut to the exact dimension of your above-ground pool so this extra step isn’t really all that much more difficult.

Again, use fine sand to lay a wall-to-wall base that’s three inches thick. Then, place the floor pad and attach the foam cove using the adhesive backing.

Some great floor pads that are available are:

Sand, Foam, Floor Pad, and Wall Liner

This is the most secure method that offers the most protection and involves the extra step of adding a wall foam liner. Lay the sand base, foam cover, and floor pad as before. To attach the wall liner, use a spray adhesive or duct tape to attach it to the inner side of the pool wall. It’s easier to start at the top of the pool wall to be sure that there’s enough room at the bottom for the foam cove.

Here are some great wall liners to choose from:

Superior Wall Liner Kits

To save time and money, there are also some all-in-one products available in various sizes, including:

Is an above ground pool in your future?

Now that you know how to install above ground oval pool liner, are you ready to invest in an above ground pool for your own back yard? Be sure to scope out our picks for the best above ground pools on the market. Once the ground has been leveled and your above ground pool is installed and properly filled, be sure to check out our selections for the best above ground pool lights and solar-powered pool heaters to heat your above ground pool. Or if you’re ready to pack it in for winter, find out how to winterize your above ground pool so it doesn’t get damaged in the off-season.

Want to know more about above ground pools?

If you’re researching above ground pools and need to know how if above ground pools can be buried or how to empty an above ground pool, we’ve got all the necessary information to help. Are you wondering if above ground pools can have different depths? Or maybe if above ground pools can be converted to saltwater? Whatever you need to know, we have the scoop on everything to do with above ground pools.

Source of Featured Image: canva.com

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