This is the AGE OLD question that every one wants to know when it comes to purchasing a new vinyl liner inground swimming pool or a replacement liner. Unfortunately if you ask 10 different people this question, you may likely get 10 different answers since their response usually has to do with personal experiences or experiences of friends or family members.
With over 30 years working in the Swimming Pool Industry (and a majority of it actually working in the field and having personally installing 1,000's of liners), I would like to share some of my own advice on how to get 15 years out of your vinyl liner!
Use ONLY vinyl liners that are made of "Virgin Vinyl" and not anything that has been recycled in any way. Also, ONLY use a thickness of a Minimum of 20 Mil. The term "gauge" when referring to the liner's thickness is not relevant so simply avoid any liner mentioning this term at all. Use a liner made by a large and reputable liner manufacturer.
ONLY use a company with an outstanding reputation in your local area with lots of customer reference's, Great BBB rating, Outstanding reports with local consumer reporting services and so on...Do your research as the quality of installation has much to do with the overall life of your Vinyl Liner.
Chlorine, PH and Alkalinity levels are very crucial for a long life of a Vinyl Liner. Be sure to keep these levels properly balanced within the recommended levels. And most importantly....Do NOT Over-Chlorinate your pool water, more is NOT better!! High chlorine or low PH are a primary cause of early liner death (click here to find out why).
AUTOMATIC POOL COVERS:
One of the biggest culprits damaging vinyl liners is the UV rays from the sun. Obviously, while enjoying your pool, there is no way to avoid damage being done by the sun's rays. However, when the pool is not being used you can protect your liner by using an automatic pool cover to "cover" the pool and protect it from these harmful rays. An automatic pool cover has many, many benefit's and advantage's but this is crucial for a long life of your vinyl liner.
Times have changed over the years and there are many options now to sanitize your pool water and make it safe & healthy for your family to enjoy. The days of only using chlorine are long gone. Do some research on the following options and seriously consider an alternative to just using chlorine alone. Here are some of the options available...
(1) Mineral System that uses copper & silver along with a very small amount of chlorine such as a "FROG" system. We actually include this system with ALL of our new pool installations. (2) Chlorine Free sytems such as Chlorine Free USA which uses copper & liquid oxygen. (3) Ultra Violet systems that use ultra violet light to kill bacteria.
HELPFUL MAINTENANCE by YOU:
* Clean the liner regularly from the water line to the top of the liner. * Test & adjust your water chemistry at least 3-4 times per week. * If adding "hard water" from a well to top off the pool...use a hose "sock" to pre-filter the water and remove some of the rust & iron. Also use a Metal Control chemical on a bi-monthly basis to keep any metals in your water in suspention so they do not adhere to your liner. * If you have an automatic pool cover; crack the cover open for a few hours every day you do not use the pool to release any buildup of chlorine gas from under the cover (if you are using chlorine) *Do not allow pets to swim in your pool unattended....ever!
I hope this has been helpful in assuring you that it is possible to get 15 years or more out of your vinyl liner!!!