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Thread: Where does one purchase a high-end vinyl pool liner?

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    Join Date
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    Question Where does one purchase a high-end vinyl pool liner?

    I have been reading about what makes a quality liner and, as expected, getting good data is very hard. Most owners are unlikely to post if their liner needs replacement after 5 years, and even then quite a lot of additional data would be needed (maintenance, chemistry, weather, UV exposure) for that data to be useful.

    From this post:
    New poster, taking care of new vinyl liner
    I get a data point voting for Plastimayd.

    From this post:
    Who Makes The Best Vinyl Liner - All Swimming Pools Types - Pool and Spa Forum
    I get a data point for Merlin.

    Not much to go on, but better than nothing.

    I'd like to get the best quality liner in terms of long-term durability that I can get.
    Now, where do I buy these?

    I live in a pool-light area, so it is unlikely that any of the two local pool-related companies distribute a specific brand. Merlin's website, for example, is unable to locate a distributor within 100 miles.
    I can get "a liner" at InTheSwim.com, but I have no idea who makes it or whether the quality is reasonable.
    25K IG Vinyl / Pump: HP Tristar SP3207EE (as opposed to the confusingly different SP3205X7) / Filter:Hayward S360T2 (prev. SuperFlow PF-50) / Heat:6-panel FAFCO Ceiling solar heater

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Where does one purchase a high-end vinyl pool liner?

    I don't know, but someone will surely be able to answer with some suggestions.
    TFP Moderator
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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Where does one purchase a high-end vinyl pool liner?

    FWIW, my liner is 15 years old. It was mfg'd by Latham and was the heavier grade vinyl. It is now starting to wear/fade but to date as not leaked and can likely last a few more . I am seasonal in that I am in Mighigan, but lots of folks around here also report getting 5 years out of a liner.

    Elsewhere I have read that a particular mid-blue vinyl die has since been outlawed for use, and that this can affect the longevity of some liners in terms of fading. I can't recall other details, but this might give you search fodder.

    Another note from discussion with my pool tech that handles my mechanical FWIW (consider the source, but I feel this guy is competent): liner longevity is also dependent on a good measure, fit and installation. Seems reasonable to me. His company gets many calls from people who order cheap liners fom less experienced companies and they get called in to redo liners, particularly in litigation cases, which puts them in an award situation if they were original high bid rejected.

    Lastly, he swears by pattern for longevity as the right pattern "hides" flaws and extends aesthetic value. His favorite for this is this one:

    Click on royal prism pattern: Inground Pool Liners - Latham Pool Products

    Note that in the sample, its 30 gauge. Many cheaper brands are 20, I believe, with 27 being the mid range. Guage, or thickness, affects both price and longevity. Some high end vinyls now can be 40 mil.

    Hope that helps give you food for thought.
    Because my liner is so old, i can't speak to whether or not my next lantham liner will fare as well, as changes in the industry may have affected this... but I will be sticking with what works despite price point
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Re: Where does one purchase a high-end vinyl pool liner?

    Quote Originally Posted by Swampwoman View Post
    FWIW, my liner is 15 years old. It was mfg'd by Latham and was the heavier grade vinyl.
    I believe Plastimayd is a Latham company, or at least the "Blog" link on Plastimayd.com points to Just Add Water | Latham Pool Blog

    Unfortunately, Latham sent the following email to me:

    We are extremely sorry that no dealers were found in your area. Your information has been sent to a Latham representative who will be in contact with you soon.
    Are InTheSwim.com or Doheny's liners good quality? It is so hard to find any data about them after installation.
    25K IG Vinyl / Pump: HP Tristar SP3207EE (as opposed to the confusingly different SP3205X7) / Filter:Hayward S360T2 (prev. SuperFlow PF-50) / Heat:6-panel FAFCO Ceiling solar heater

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    Re: Where does one purchase a high-end vinyl pool liner?

    I have a Tara pool liner manufactured in owens crossroads,Alabama they have a large dealer network.Check their website and go from there.I went with the darker color they say less fade.
    Tom

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    Re: Where does one purchase a high-end vinyl pool liner?

    Most online retailers have varying levels of quality. Most of them are owned by the same company as well. I noticed recently they are selling above ground grade vinyl for in ground swimming pools.

    "What's the problem with that", you ask? Above ground liners are typically made of reprocessed pvc film (regrind)--scrap from companies like ours. In ground material undergoes extensive performance testing: cold crack, elongation, quv (how it stands up to the sun)--just to name a few. The material needs to adhere to a specific standard to qualify as "in ground grade" vinyl--regrind doesn't. Some above ground material is not regrind; specifically material that comes from China. Because this material does not undergo the same testing, it will not perform as well. Also, the Chinese material typically doesn't have biocides and chlorine stabilizers like the in ground stuff has. I get calls all of the time, "my last liner lasted 5 years; the one before that 12 years". Undoubtedly, they got a "really good deal" on the "5 year" liner.

    Another thing to look out for is the term "gauge" or "ga". This term is often used to mislead consumers because "gauge" is not a unit of measure used for vinyl. The proper term is "mil" (thousandths of an inch) I've noticed a lot of sites saying their liners are "30 ga.", which could really be anything.

    Unfortunately, there are a ton of factors that no one but specific people from the manufacturing facility can answer:
    -How much do you shrink the liners?
    A lot of manufacturers shrink their liners excessively because it makes the liner easier to install. That's great, but it also shortens the life of the liner a lot.
    -How do the corners fit?
    We use a special method of manufacturing to ensure the corners of the pool fit with minimal bulging. From what I've seen in the field, that is not the case for most (all other?) manufacturers.
    -What do the seams look like?
    Do they have a nice flat, nearly invisible seam, or is it very noticeable and acts as a dirt collector?

    I could go on and on, but I have to run home to watch the kids (the wife has a birthday party to go to).
    Bottom line--there are good deals out there, but everyone is in business to make money. Cheap is usually cheap.

    Good Luck!
    Making Liners Since 1997
    Pool Liner Factory Outlet

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    Marty D's Avatar
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    Re: Where does one purchase a high-end vinyl pool liner?

    My Dad has Kayden Manufacturing) make the best liner, Merlin is also great.

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    Re: Where does one purchase a high-end vinyl pool liner?

    I just had a Garrett liner installed a few weeks ago. From my research it appeared that many of the companies were offering the same patterns. Some installers deal with a specific manufacturer, some are able to order from several. I think you are best off finding an installer who is competent and then see which product he can order. Here is my completed pool.

    IMG_2464.jpgIMG_0518.jpg

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    Re: Where does one purchase a high-end vinyl pool liner?

    I'm replacing a 31 year old Garrett liner this year!

    C.N.
    IG vinyl liner 20x40 Pool, Hayward S-240 Sand Filter and Hayward pump in basement
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    Rochester, NY

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