If you are considering a vinyl liner pool, part of your concern will be to ask how long the liner will last before you have to replace it. You may be thinking of the vinyl liners that are used in above ground pools, how they get wrinkly on the bottom and have a very short life span. Those liners are not the same you’ll get in your inground pool.
Above ground pool liners are a cookie cutter fit — they’re made of a thinner material and come in the same size, i.e., a 24-foot round cut liner. The vinyl liners present in inground pools is made of a more durable material, custom cut to specifications.
The quality of material you choose will directly impact its lifespan. Yes, vinyl properties are relatively the same, but what’s in the vinyl and how it’s processed are not. Where the raw materials are sourced can make a huge difference, such as North America, South America, etc. Generally, domestically-sourced chemicals that are added to strengthen the vinyl are stronger than those originating from external sources.
Your vinyl liner has to be measured by the pool contractors and cut to size by the manufacturers. Those measurements have to be perfect, because once the vinyl is cut, that’s it. This is why you have to have total trust in your contractor to take precise measurements. The wrong measurements can lead to loose or overstretched material.
Most vinyl liners last between 15 and 20 years when taken care of. If you neglect your liner and don’t take care of it, its lifespan is drastically reduced. A big part of maintenance is ensuring your pool’s chemistry is on-point. Take the effort to make sure your pool water is balanced, from the alkalinity and pH to how much sanitizer you add. If you over-chlorinate, for example, you’ll reduce the liner’s useful life, cutting down on its elasticity, impacting the chemical makeup of the liner.
Many pool owners decide to replace the liner even before it needs to be – usually after seven to 10 years. They realize the liner has lost that “like new” look because it’s been bleached out and faded. This is what happens when you over-chlorinate your water. In addition to the damage caused by chlorine, heavy metal buildups from copper, iron and calcium can stain the liner as well. The sun, too, has a big fading effect on your liner. The sun’s UV rays detract from a liner’s elasticity and fades its color.
Bottom line is, your liner will last as long as you care for it. Keep pets’ claws clipped, vacuum the pool frequently to keep debris out, don’t allow sharp toys in the pool and don’t over-chlorinate. Schedule regular maintenance for your pool service so you stay on top of the requirements.