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Thread: DIY Liner Replacement Questions

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    caliskier's Avatar
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    DIY Liner Replacement Questions

    All...

    Trying to save money. Starting a post here to get some questions answered on liner replacement. Done some searching, watched several youtube videos. I think I kinda get how its done i have listed several steps below... Please let me know what if anything I might be missing...

    Why am I doing this myself? I have had such bad luck with almost every contractor I have hired I just don't like using them. I moved in to this house 2 years ago, my current pool has a 7 year old liner that had a hole after 5 years, is very thin, has little and big wrinkles, has at least 10 patches, has divots all over, little concrete mounds, and a nice piece of cardboard under the liner down by the main drain that the last contractor left when he installed the liner (validating why I want to do this myself)

    1. Measure Pool: I have the typical Rectangular hopper, assuming its 18 x 32 (I will get the official measurement), I assume those are the only measurements I need to give to the liner company, as they don't ask for more than that
    2. Buy liner: Mil is what is important, not gauge, gauge is bogus marketing, the higher the mil number the thicker, longer lasting, and harder to work with it will be to install. Someone posted that their liner lasted 31 years
    3. Buy all new seals: Liner strip, Light seal, return seals, skimmer seals, step wall seal, rope holder seal, main drain seal, anything that has to cut into the liner
    4. Wait for at least an 80 degree weather day
    5. Get all the water out with sump pump and pool pump to waste, and shop vac at the end.
    6. Remove old liner: Get for people to help from here
    7. Vacuum all dirt, gravel, and the stupid piece of cardboard the last clown left under the liner in the deep end
    8. Grind or knock down all lumps in the concrete, patch all holes, vacuum again, make it perfectly clean or as clean as possible
    9. Remove and replace sidewall foam
    10. Set new liner where a diving board would be (center of deep end, on the deck) Unfold, bring it out to all four corners, start installing it with liner strip
    11. Install shop vac in skimmer hole to pull air through the skimmer box inlet (not the skimmer drain)
    12. Fully install liner strip, get out all wrinkles
    13. Start adding water to deep end
    14. Screw down main drain ring, cut out main drain, add drain cover
    15. Allow water to fill up to just below light working out wrinkles. Add light ring, cut out light hole, install light
    16. Allow water to fill up to just below returns, add return ring, cut out return hole, install returns
    17. Allow water to fill up to just below skimmer, add skimmer ring, cut out skimmer hole install skimmer cover
    18. Same for rope holder
    19. Remove shop vac
    20. Done

    Ok, where will I screw this up? I do have questions on some of these, but let's start with the basics, is this the right idea, what key critical steps am I missing that will cost me my new liner?
    Owner since August 2014. 21,500G Liner In ground Pool with attached 600G plaster in ground hottub. TF-100 Test Kit, Filter: Pentair TA60D Clearpro Sand (HTH) Filter. Pool: 1 Drain, 2 Skimmers 4 Returns. Hot Tub: 1 drain, 1 skimmer, 2 returns. Hot Tub/Pool run by Sta-Rite Dura Glas Single Speed 1.5hp P2RA5F-182L pump with Emerson K63CXESE4972 motor. Spa jets run by Sta-Rite Dura Glas H/L model number unknown.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Liner Replacement Questions

    Beer for the helpers AFTER the liner is in!

    It looks to me like you have it all planned out. Make sure your helpers are on the same page as you with the floor work. You want them to care as much as you.

    Oh and pictures of now and then!!!

    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: DIY Liner Replacement Questions

    First question, is item 1 correct? Anything special about measuring? Or is it one 18x32 size fits all 18x32?
    Owner since August 2014. 21,500G Liner In ground Pool with attached 600G plaster in ground hottub. TF-100 Test Kit, Filter: Pentair TA60D Clearpro Sand (HTH) Filter. Pool: 1 Drain, 2 Skimmers 4 Returns. Hot Tub: 1 drain, 1 skimmer, 2 returns. Hot Tub/Pool run by Sta-Rite Dura Glas Single Speed 1.5hp P2RA5F-182L pump with Emerson K63CXESE4972 motor. Spa jets run by Sta-Rite Dura Glas H/L model number unknown.

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    Re: DIY Liner Replacement Questions

    I think the measurement you seen for your liner is just the cost for that particular size. When ordering the liner you will have to fill out a form with precise measurements of key points in your pool. There are a few good videos on youtube showing some easy ways to do this. I found when doing mine it was helpful to attach a plumb bob to a string and then tie the string to a pole of some sort to get these measurements. Also, a 100' tape measure comes in handy. You will also need to find out the radius of the corners too.

    When removing the old liner it is helpful to cut it up into manageable sections to be folded up and easily carried outside the pool.

    You just mentioned seals/gaskets, I felt new gaskets and faceplates where in order for mine and I believe this is recommended when replacing a liner.

    The only thing I seen missing was to install your necessary gaskets where required prior to stretching out the new liner in place. My return faceplates didn't need gaskets On top of the liner only behind the liner but my main drain and skimmer required them both behind and on top of the liner.

    If you have fiberglass insert steps you will need to seal this area to prevent suction leaks while the liner is sucking into its spot. Doheny's has a good video on YouTube to show a trick for that.

    The shop vac can be turn off and on until you get the liner in perfect position and all the wrinkles worked out.

    The shop vac will need to run the entire time your pool is filling so the liner stays in place.

    Hope these helped you out some.
    18x36 8ft deep end (~27k gallons), IG, Vinyl Lined, Polaris 360 Cleaner
    Sand filter, 2HP Pump, Municipal Water Source TF-100 Test kit
    East TN
    CYA Chart SLaM Add DE to Sand OCLT

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    caliskier's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Liner Replacement Questions

    Full disclosure, this is going to be a long planning cycle, might be a month or even flip to next spring if it gets too late in the year... I want to get it right... thanks a bunch for your reply

    Quote Originally Posted by Catfish Jimmy View Post
    I think the measurement you seen for your liner is just the cost for that particular size. When ordering the liner you will have to fill out a form with precise measurements of key points in your pool. There are a few good videos on youtube showing some easy ways to do this. I found when doing mine it was helpful to attach a plumb bob to a string and then tie the string to a pole of some sort to get these measurements. Also, a 100' tape measure comes in handy. You will also need to find out the radius of the corners too.
    Great points, I will look into this detail, forgot about the radius, and I did not know about other precise measurements

    Quote Originally Posted by Catfish Jimmy View Post
    The only thing I seen missing was to install your necessary gaskets where required prior to stretching out the new liner in place. My return faceplates didn't need gaskets On top of the liner only behind the liner but my main drain and skimmer required them both behind and on top of the liner.
    So, that was actually a guess. I thought in the videos that I saw that they actually did not make any holes until the water was already almost to the top. I assume that if you do it empty, the weight of the water will just stretch and tear those holes i made. Or are you going to say "no, don't cut any holes but the main drain, just install the gaskets that go behind the liner, fill the water, then cut the holes"

    Quote Originally Posted by Catfish Jimmy View Post
    If you have fiberglass insert steps you will need to seal this area to prevent suction leaks while the liner is sucking into its spot. Doheny's has a good video on YouTube to show a trick for that.

    Hope these helped you out some.
    No fiberglass steps, I have plaster steps, there is a hottub that flows over those steps, hot tub is behind the steps. But for simplicity, hot tub is irrelevant, its the same setup as if there were fiberglass steps in the middle of the short side of the shallow end of the pool. "U" shape cut out that you have to do.

    Helps a ton...
    Owner since August 2014. 21,500G Liner In ground Pool with attached 600G plaster in ground hottub. TF-100 Test Kit, Filter: Pentair TA60D Clearpro Sand (HTH) Filter. Pool: 1 Drain, 2 Skimmers 4 Returns. Hot Tub: 1 drain, 1 skimmer, 2 returns. Hot Tub/Pool run by Sta-Rite Dura Glas Single Speed 1.5hp P2RA5F-182L pump with Emerson K63CXESE4972 motor. Spa jets run by Sta-Rite Dura Glas H/L model number unknown.

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    Re: DIY Liner Replacement Questions

    Question on numbers 4, 5 and 6 from Original post:

    4: Do I really need to wait for an 80+ degree day? Not a problem now, but if I wait until late October, could be an issue finding one.
    5 / 6: Say I drain, pull the liner, and underneath needs a lot of work, or something prevents me from preping fast enough to get it done in the first weekend and so I wait until the following weekend with an empty pool all week. What type of risk is there for a liner pool to damage itself being empty for 7 days? I.E, is there a real pop-out risk?
    Owner since August 2014. 21,500G Liner In ground Pool with attached 600G plaster in ground hottub. TF-100 Test Kit, Filter: Pentair TA60D Clearpro Sand (HTH) Filter. Pool: 1 Drain, 2 Skimmers 4 Returns. Hot Tub: 1 drain, 1 skimmer, 2 returns. Hot Tub/Pool run by Sta-Rite Dura Glas Single Speed 1.5hp P2RA5F-182L pump with Emerson K63CXESE4972 motor. Spa jets run by Sta-Rite Dura Glas H/L model number unknown.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Liner Replacement Questions

    The 80+ will really help with the new liner. You need it to be pliable. It will save you a lot of work and heartache to find the right temp.

    pop out or shifting danger. Find out your water table depth. Each area is SO different. THAT will tell you of the dangers to your pool.

    Planning is a GOOD thing! The more you plan and think the less that will go wrong.

    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: DIY Liner Replacement Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by caliskier View Post
    All...

    Trying to save money. Starting a post here to get some questions answered on liner replacement. Done some searching, watched several youtube videos. I think I kinda get how its done i have listed several steps below... Please let me know what if anything I might be missing...

    Why am I doing this myself? I have had such bad luck with almost every contractor I have hired I just don't like using them. I moved in to this house 2 years ago, my current pool has a 7 year old liner that had a hole after 5 years, is very thin, has little and big wrinkles, has at least 10 patches, has divots all over, little concrete mounds, and a nice piece of cardboard under the liner down by the main drain that the last contractor left when he installed the liner (validating why I want to do this myself)

    1. Measure Pool: I have the typical Rectangular hopper, assuming its 18 x 32 (I will get the official measurement), I assume those are the only measurements I need to give to the liner company, as they don't ask for more than that
    2. Buy liner: Mil is what is important, not gauge, gauge is bogus marketing, the higher the mil number the thicker, longer lasting, and harder to work with it will be to install. Someone posted that their liner lasted 31 years
    3. Buy all new seals: Liner strip, Light seal, return seals, skimmer seals, step wall seal, rope holder seal, main drain seal, anything that has to cut into the liner
    4. Wait for at least an 80 degree weather day
    5. Get all the water out with sump pump and pool pump to waste, and shop vac at the end.
    6. Remove old liner: Get for people to help from here
    7. Vacuum all dirt, gravel, and the stupid piece of cardboard the last clown left under the liner in the deep end
    8. Grind or knock down all lumps in the concrete, patch all holes, vacuum again, make it perfectly clean or as clean as possible
    9. Remove and replace sidewall foam
    10. Set new liner where a diving board would be (center of deep end, on the deck) Unfold, bring it out to all four corners, start installing it with liner strip
    11. Install shop vac in skimmer hole to pull air through the skimmer box inlet (not the skimmer drain)
    12. Fully install liner strip, get out all wrinkles
    13. Start adding water to deep end
    14. Screw down main drain ring, cut out main drain, add drain cover
    15. Allow water to fill up to just below light working out wrinkles. Add light ring, cut out light hole, install light
    16. Allow water to fill up to just below returns, add return ring, cut out return hole, install returns
    17. Allow water to fill up to just below skimmer, add skimmer ring, cut out skimmer hole install skimmer cover
    18. Same for rope holder
    19. Remove shop vac
    20. Done

    Ok, where will I screw this up? I do have questions on some of these, but let's start with the basics, is this the right idea, what key critical steps am I missing that will cost me my new liner?
    A couple thoughts:

    1. There are additional key measurements needed for the liner manufacturers, even for a simple shape as a rectangle. I'll see if I have a form I can scan and send to you in a PM.
    2. Yes on mil/gauge. Also check to make sure it's virgin vinyl rather than re-grind material.
    3. yup
    4. That would be preferable. Opinions differ on the cutoff point, but I suggest a 65degree sunny day at least.
    5. yup
    6. yup. to make it easier, leave the bead in place in the coping and cut into strips that can then be rolled up and removed.
    7. yup
    8. indeedy. the smoother the better. you've got a light, so you'll be doing some illuminated night swimming. as you know, this will make imperfections more visible. If there's one step to obsess over, it's this one.
    9. remove OR replace, depending on state of walls. wall foam has a nice feel and protects against old worn walls, but makes you more prone to liner punctures. just an FYI.
    10. double check this with liner manufacturer to see how they'll be packing the liner in the box. depending on manufacturer they may even mark orientation on the box, or have an option for you to choose packing orientation.
    11. wait to do this step until all but this section of the liner bead is installed. after this step, go around the perimeter of the pool with duct tape and tape off all potential suction failure points (returns, coping gaps, etc.)
    12 - 20. you got it!

    For all wall faceplates (i.e. faceplates for skimmers, returns, light, etc), wait until water level reaches just below the fixture to screw the faceplates through the liner. You're correct in your later post that if you do this step early, as the water fills it will stretch the liner and you will be at serious risk for a leak.

    Sounds like you're on the right path!
    Eric Adams, Technical Specialist, Radiant Pools

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    Re: DIY Liner Replacement Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by caliskier View Post
    5 / 6: Say I drain, pull the liner, and underneath needs a lot of work, or something prevents me from preping fast enough to get it done in the first weekend and so I wait until the following weekend with an empty pool all week. What type of risk is there for a liner pool to damage itself being empty for 7 days? I.E, is there a real pop-out risk?
    What's your bottom material, vermiculite or crete? As this is a liner pool, you don't really have a risk of "pop-out", as it's not a watertight structure until your liner goes in, and groundwater will find it's way into an empty linerless pool if it wants to. Your risk in leaving this empty comes from the ground pressure pushing in on the walls. Depending on your area and ground conditions it could be a serious risk.

    If it were my pool I'd play it on the safe side and set aside the entire weekend to get it done quick. Start draining as early as possible and check out that bottom. If worse comes to worst, you can use lumber to build forms to shore up the walls if you HAVE to leave it empty for an extended time. Hope this helps!
    Eric Adams, Technical Specialist, Radiant Pools

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    Re: DIY Liner Replacement Questions

    Or are you going to say "no, don't cut any holes but the main drain, just install the gaskets that go behind the liner, fill the water, then cut the holes"

    Correct! Do not cut any holes at all in the liner until you liner is fully seated and suctioned in place and the water is a couple inches in the bottom of the deep end. Then you can cut out for the main drain.
    With the gaskets, the fixtures that require a gasket behind the liner, will have to be put in place and held there with something like clear silicone, prior to stretching out the liner and putting it in place. This can be a little tricky to get them to stay in position but make certain they are in place and don't get moved during the stretching out of the liner. You can feel these through the liner prior to cutting any holes.

    Here is one of the videos that I found helpful on replacing a liner. Dohenys also has a really good one too. How To Install A Swimming Pool Liner | Pool Warehouse | Vinyl Liner
    18x36 8ft deep end (~27k gallons), IG, Vinyl Lined, Polaris 360 Cleaner
    Sand filter, 2HP Pump, Municipal Water Source TF-100 Test kit
    East TN
    CYA Chart SLaM Add DE to Sand OCLT

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    Re: DIY Liner Replacement Questions

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by E9A View Post
    A couple thoughts:

    1. There are additional key measurements needed for the liner manufacturers, even for a simple shape as a rectangle. I'll see if I have a form I can scan and send to you in a PM.
    2. Yes on mil/gauge. Also check to make sure it's virgin vinyl rather than re-grind material.
    3. yup
    4. That would be preferable. Opinions differ on the cutoff point, but I suggest a 65degree sunny day at least.
    5. yup
    6. yup. to make it easier, leave the bead in place in the coping and cut into strips that can then be rolled up and removed.
    7. yup
    8. indeedy. the smoother the better. you've got a light, so you'll be doing some illuminated night swimming. as you know, this will make imperfections more visible. If there's one step to obsess over, it's this one.
    9. remove OR replace, depending on state of walls. wall foam has a nice feel and protects against old worn walls, but makes you more prone to liner punctures. just an FYI.
    10. double check this with liner manufacturer to see how they'll be packing the liner in the box. depending on manufacturer they may even mark orientation on the box, or have an option for you to choose packing orientation.
    11. wait to do this step until all but this section of the liner bead is installed. after this step, go around the perimeter of the pool with duct tape and tape off all potential suction failure points (returns, coping gaps, etc.)
    12 - 20. you got it!

    For all wall faceplates (i.e. faceplates for skimmers, returns, light, etc), wait until water level reaches just below the fixture to screw the faceplates through the liner. You're correct in your later post that if you do this step early, as the water fills it will stretch the liner and you will be at serious risk for a leak.

    Sounds like you're on the right path!
    Thank you very much, this is very awesome feedback, and I reeeeeealy like your link. Looks like I got your link to work from the PM, most helpful to me and maybe others..... http://www.doheny.com/Pdfs/IGLinerMeasForm.pdf

    THANKS!!!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by E9A View Post
    What's your bottom material, vermiculite or crete? As this is a liner pool, you don't really have a risk of "pop-out", as it's not a watertight structure until your liner goes in, and groundwater will find it's way into an empty linerless pool if it wants to. Your risk in leaving this empty comes from the ground pressure pushing in on the walls. Depending on your area and ground conditions it could be a serious risk.

    If it were my pool I'd play it on the safe side and set aside the entire weekend to get it done quick. Start draining as early as possible and check out that bottom. If worse comes to worst, you can use lumber to build forms to shore up the walls if you HAVE to leave it empty for an extended time. Hope this helps!
    Does help, I will probably take a Friday off, drain it thursday night and try to get it done by a Sunday. I do not know what my floor is made of, but I assume concrete as it is very hard, but lumpy. How can I tell before going in, this is an upcomming question actually. How to patch the holes and with what?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Catfish Jimmy View Post
    Or are you going to say "no, don't cut any holes but the main drain, just install the gaskets that go behind the liner, fill the water, then cut the holes"

    Correct! Do not cut any holes at all in the liner until you liner is fully seated and suctioned in place and the water is a couple inches in the bottom of the deep end. Then you can cut out for the main drain.
    With the gaskets, the fixtures that require a gasket behind the liner, will have to be put in place and held there with something like clear silicone, prior to stretching out the liner and putting it in place. This can be a little tricky to get them to stay in position but make certain they are in place and don't get moved during the stretching out of the liner. You can feel these through the liner prior to cutting any holes.

    Here is one of the videos that I found helpful on replacing a liner. Dohenys also has a really good one too. How To Install A Swimming Pool Liner | Pool Warehouse | Vinyl Liner
    Thanks again Catfish, I have seen this video, this is the one where at the end everything works out perfectly!! Much appreciated...

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    The 80+ will really help with the new liner. You need it to be pliable. It will save you a lot of work and heartache to find the right temp.

    pop out or shifting danger. Find out your water table depth. Each area is SO different. THAT will tell you of the dangers to your pool.

    Planning is a GOOD thing! The more you plan and think the less that will go wrong.

    Kim as always, thanks for the cheerleading...You keep everyone going on this site




    Ok, to all.... Question on patching, item number 8...

    How do I know what the floor is made of, probably concrete, but how can I know for sure? I want to know that so I know what to get to smooth it...
    ...Ok what do I get to smooth it if its concrete, what do I get if its vermiculite?
    Owner since August 2014. 21,500G Liner In ground Pool with attached 600G plaster in ground hottub. TF-100 Test Kit, Filter: Pentair TA60D Clearpro Sand (HTH) Filter. Pool: 1 Drain, 2 Skimmers 4 Returns. Hot Tub: 1 drain, 1 skimmer, 2 returns. Hot Tub/Pool run by Sta-Rite Dura Glas Single Speed 1.5hp P2RA5F-182L pump with Emerson K63CXESE4972 motor. Spa jets run by Sta-Rite Dura Glas H/L model number unknown.

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    Re: DIY Liner Replacement Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by caliskier View Post
    - - - Updated - - -


    Ok, to all.... Question on patching, item number 8...

    How do I know what the floor is made of, probably concrete, but how can I know for sure? I want to know that so I know what to get to smooth it...
    ...Ok what do I get to smooth it if its concrete, what do I get if its vermiculite?

    Forgive me if you mentioned this in an earlier post, but do you know the history of when the pool was built and by whom? Trying to contact them to see what materials they were using at the time could be a quick and easy way to determine your base material.

    Both materials are applied in pretty much the same way, they just have slightly different properties. Vermiculite is a bit spongier than poolcrete, although it sets firmly enough to work a side slope, and get shaved down to finish after it sets. see: this link for a poolcrete application (and some darn soothing music as well!)

    You can use a block grinder like you see hereto smooth out any rough areas for either material, just go a little easier if it's vermiculite. It's a good idea to have a bag or two of extra material and a mixer on site if possible, in case you need to patch any holes. If so, remember to break out any loose material around the edges of the hole before patching.
    Eric Adams, Technical Specialist, Radiant Pools

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    Re: DIY Liner Replacement Questions

    Found this for vermiculite:

    Patching Vermiculite Bottom ?

    Found this for also:

    Vermiculite vs Concrete Pool Bottom, What is Better?

    I cannot find a easy way to tell what you have. I am hoping that once you can see it and think about the links you might be able to tell what you have.

    I gut is saying that once you get the liner out and can see the bottom and feel it you should be able to tell. Maybe use a screwdriver or such to to see how hard it is. Softer would be Ver. harder would be concrete??????

    Sorry I cannot be more helpful!

    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: DIY Liner Replacement Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by E9A View Post
    Forgive me if you mentioned this in an earlier post, but do you know the history of when the pool was built and by whom? Trying to contact them to see what materials they were using at the time could be a quick and easy way to determine your base material.

    Both materials are applied in pretty much the same way, they just have slightly different properties. Vermiculite is a bit spongier than poolcrete, although it sets firmly enough to work a side slope, and get shaved down to finish after it sets. see: this link for a poolcrete application (and some darn soothing music as well!)

    You can use a block grinder like you see hereto smooth out any rough areas for either material, just go a little easier if it's vermiculite. It's a good idea to have a bag or two of extra material and a mixer on site if possible, in case you need to patch any holes. If so, remember to break out any loose material around the edges of the hole before patching.
    Forgive you? My goodness thanks for your time!!! No, I don't know the original owner, 4 owners back. The pool is probably on its 3rd liner, and its probably at least 20 to 25 years old. That is some sweet tunes, and thanks for the video. I will get in it this weekend and push down on the floor once again to see how hard it is. I could cut a small hole and just see what it is, and then patch it, I have enought patches anyway. I have looking at small holes and the floor is gray. not sure what color vermiculite is.

    Block grinder, nice, was wondering about what to use. thought that a hammer and chisels would be a bad idea, cracks. Holes, as in holes in the concrete or vermiculite?

    Is there a problem with patching concrete with vermiculite or vice versa?
    Owner since August 2014. 21,500G Liner In ground Pool with attached 600G plaster in ground hottub. TF-100 Test Kit, Filter: Pentair TA60D Clearpro Sand (HTH) Filter. Pool: 1 Drain, 2 Skimmers 4 Returns. Hot Tub: 1 drain, 1 skimmer, 2 returns. Hot Tub/Pool run by Sta-Rite Dura Glas Single Speed 1.5hp P2RA5F-182L pump with Emerson K63CXESE4972 motor. Spa jets run by Sta-Rite Dura Glas H/L model number unknown.

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    Re: DIY Liner Replacement Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    Found this for vermiculite:

    Patching Vermiculite Bottom ?

    Found this for also:

    Vermiculite vs Concrete Pool Bottom, What is Better?

    I cannot find a easy way to tell what you have. I am hoping that once you can see it and think about the links you might be able to tell what you have.

    I gut is saying that once you get the liner out and can see the bottom and feel it you should be able to tell. Maybe use a screwdriver or such to to see how hard it is. Softer would be Ver. harder would be concrete??????

    Sorry I cannot be more helpful!

    You have been very helpful, thanks Kim, this is great info, my next question was how to mix the stuff, and the other site had good data as well. Thanks again...
    Owner since August 2014. 21,500G Liner In ground Pool with attached 600G plaster in ground hottub. TF-100 Test Kit, Filter: Pentair TA60D Clearpro Sand (HTH) Filter. Pool: 1 Drain, 2 Skimmers 4 Returns. Hot Tub: 1 drain, 1 skimmer, 2 returns. Hot Tub/Pool run by Sta-Rite Dura Glas Single Speed 1.5hp P2RA5F-182L pump with Emerson K63CXESE4972 motor. Spa jets run by Sta-Rite Dura Glas H/L model number unknown.

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