By Jason Mitchell
This is one of the most common pool owner questions, and frankly, in some cases, it is very difficult to answer. Generally speaking, your liner is starting to show its age if it has any of the following characteristics:
- discolouration or fading;
- pulling away from the sides or corners of the pool;
- wrinkles that look like a ‘brain’ diagram (also known as alkalinity wrinkles caused by low pH and alkalinity); and
- brittle and delicate.
If any of these characteristics start to appear, your liner is approaching the end of its life and it is time to start thinking about a new one. When replacing your liner, the spring season is the most common time of year to do so, as most pool owners try to leave the existing liner in the pool to take the brunt of winter, or to simply defer the expense to the spring when it comes time to open the pool. It is not necessarily better to replace your liner in the spring, summer or fall; it is more a question of the temperature. Installing a vinyl liner is a much easier task when double-digit temperatures are reached on the positive side of the mercury scale. Warmer temperatures give the liner a little more elasticity, thus making the job easier for the installer.
However, as much as trying to get one last winter out of your liner may make sense, it is not necessarily the prudent choice. For example, should your liner develop a hole or does not withstand the winter elements, your pool can lose water, thus worsening the situation and increase repair costs due to frost damage to the pool floor.
The cost to replace your liner is dependent on the size and condition of your swimming pool. Generally speaking, costs average between $3,500 to $5,500 plus taxes, water expenses and balancing chemicals.
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