The most costly maintenance a pool needs is to have a new vinyl liner installed. The average life of a pool liner is 5 to 15 years. Why the vast life expectancy range? Some pool liners last longer than others for a few reasons:
1. Environment can make your pool liner last longer
Ultra violet light is incredibly hard on vinyl liners. If you think of your pool liner like you would think of your skin you will never go wrong. Just like your skin needs sunscreen, your pool vinyl needs protection. Of course we want a hot and sunny summer but a few good habits can help. In the winter, use a cover. By protecting the pool in the off season when it is not in use, more than half the years’ worth of harsh ultra violet rays will not degrade the vinyl. ‘Sun staining’ is a natural part of the life cycle of your pool liner. This typically happens on the north side (that gets the southern sun) of the pool. Making sure your solar cover is cut and installed correctly can help delay this as long as possible.
2. Chemistry has a large effect on swimming pool liner life
A clear swimming pool is not necessarily a safe swimming pool – for your body and especially for your vinyl liner. Pool water chemistry is all about BALANCE, nothing too high and nothing too low. Chlorine is usually called the evil villain when things prematurely wear in a swimming pool. This is sometimes the case as most folks over use chlorine or choose products with a lower day to day price tag without realizing that they can triple the life of their liner with proper product doses and technology. Other vital water quality levels are pH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness, cyanuric acid and even salt. Please work with your pool care professional on water testing and balance. This will save you thousands and thousands of dollars on pool liners and other equipment. A professional water lab will be able to test the water for you and give you truly expert advice on achieving the delicate balance required to save you time and money.
3. Cleanliness of your vinyl pool liner
Cleanliness may be next to godliness but be careful – there is a fine line. Just like washing your hands is really important for hygiene but over washing is dangerous, so is cleaning your pool liner. Yes, vacuum the pool and brush the water line to PREVENT buildups of oils and biofilms as required. For most folks this is a couple times per week. Use a vinyl liner cleaner prescribed by your pool professional and DON’T USE IT TOO OFTEN OR SCRUB AGGRESSIVELY. The pattern of your pool liners does not go all the way through the vinyl and you can scratch the pattern off if things are done too aggressively. If you have an automatic pool cleaner, a Prowler (self-contained robotic cleaner) is less likely to prematurely wear the pattern or the vinyl structure.