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- June 5, 2015
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Although most quality above ground swimming pools are never moved from their original installation spot, more and more are being taken down and moved to different back yards. Above ground pools are designed for this so most can successfully be disassembled, transported, and re-installed with little trouble. If you are planning to move your pool or purchasing one that’s already up, there’s one major thing you should know.
NOTE: The most important thing to know about moving or buying a used above ground pool is that it will most certainly need a new liner. During the last 25 years of being involved in installing above grounds, I’ve had a lot of requests for moving existing pools and most are unaware when I tell them they’ll be needing a new liner. Some of those potential customers where skeptical of this and thought maybe I was either avoiding a harder re-install or was trying to sell them something new that they really didn’t need. Neither is true.
When a vinyl liner has been set, been cut for the skimmer and return openings, and is holding thousands of gallons of water, it then takes on a very specific shape. Now when a pool is drained, the liner is now not being held in place by the heavy water and immediately begins to shrink. To make matters worse, the liner has to be almost completely dry, unattached from the pool coping, skimmer & return, and then somehow folded up for removal and transport. This causes the liner to shrink even more but even if the liner didn’t shrink at all which it will, its still the specific shape it was when the pool was installed the first time and when the above ground pool itself is re-installed elsewhere, it will be a slightly different shape.
An above ground swimming pool is installed with a floating bottom track of many pieces that are adjustable for making the shape of the pool. The pool wall fits in to this track and although the wall is a very specific length. the bottom track will dictate its actual shape. This specific shape will be slightly different every time the pool is re-installed so an existing liner will never fit well into a new install because it will have a different shape. The result in itself will be unavoidable wrinkles and probably an inconsistent tile line with the liner.
Another major reason a re-installed pool requires a new liner is the cut-outs for the skimmer and return lines. Brand new liners don’t have any pre-made cuts in them and are designed to be set in place in the pool before any holes are cut into them. This ensures for a tight, leak-free install of the skimmer, return, or possible light or main drain. Attempting to reuse cut outs that were made for a prior install will cause leaks almost every time regardless of how careful the re-installing of the skimmer and return is.
Finding out you have to spend an extra couple hundred dollars when buying, selling, or moving an existing above ground pool because it needs a new liner is never well received news but its not all bad. The positive is you will have a brand new liner with the pool which means it’ll look great, give less chemical balance issues, won’t leak(if installed right), and will provide trouble free pool usage for years to come. Of course you can try to re-use the existing liner and when it doesn’t work, you can always get a new liner and only be out your time and extra water cost. For some, that’s what I recommend cause its the only way you will know for sure that you’ll need a new liner after all.