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Thread: converting a concrete pool to a vinyl liner

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    converting a concrete pool to a vinyl liner

    Does anyone have first hand experience installing a vinyl liner in a painted concrete pool?
    I think my pool is an ideal candidate as it has all straight walls and square corners
    with no steps. The bottom is flat and has a continuous slope to the deep end (it is not a hopper).
    It is basically just a poured concrete box in the ground similar to a basement for a house.
    I estimate the pool to be 35-40 years old. My house was built in 1965, but I have only been
    here about 1.5 years so I don't know for sure. There are many cracks in my pool and it also
    needs a new coat of epoxy paint. The structure of the pool itself is sound, but most
    of the cracks have previously been repaired and are leaking again.In the long term,
    I think converting to a liner may be the cheapest solution.

    I know I need to convert the return fittings, main drain and light to work with a liner.
    My existing skimmer box already has a face plate for a liner, so that will save some work.
    I have also started researching the aluminum channel which holds the liner in place.

    I guess I am looking for some feedback from someone who has successfully done this
    and is happy with the results. I will post some pictures if anyone has some interest.





















    Cheers,

    Brad
    20' x 40' "old school" poured concrete,
    Square corners with constant slope floor.
    3.5' to 8.5' deep, 34,250 gallons,
    Nautilus Plus NSP 72, Sta-Rite P6E6E-206L pump.

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Re: converting a concrete pool to a vinyl liner

    Pics are always a plus while trying to communicate around here so I would say post away!
    Sounds like an interesting conversion.
    Are you planning on doing most of the work yourself or hiring it out?
    A somewhat (not something to quote) guess would be a minimum of 4 to 5 grand. I know just replacing a liner for a smaller pool can be $3000 so your added size and extra work for conversion would definitely add up.
    There are others here from chicagoland so maybe they can chime in with a reputable pool builder's name for you to check out.
    25k gal vinyl AquaRite T-15

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: converting a concrete pool to a vinyl liner

    I have talked to at least a dozen pool companies/technicians in the last few months and only 2 have suggested a liner as a viable option. Most do not have any experience with this and said they would not do it. Many others said I would not be happy with the finished product. The two actual quotes I received were for $8800 and $10,000. I know there is a lot of work involved, but that price is to high for me. A liner from In the Swim, which is made by GLI products could range from $1500 - $2500 depending on the pattern and thickness. I think another $500-$1000 would cover a new main drain, return fittings, light ring, aluminum coping rail and fasteners. I am also thinking about fabricating my own adapter fittings and flanges out of 316L Stainless so I do not have to break out the old wall return fittings which are encased in the pool wall or the brass main drain. I think I could do the same for the light ring.

    I am trying to decide if I should try to repair the cracks and repaint or install a liner myself.
    At this point, I may just repair the worst cracks and fill the pool for winter and work out
    a plan for installing a liner in the spring.

    Cheers,

    Brad
    20' x 40' "old school" poured concrete,
    Square corners with constant slope floor.
    3.5' to 8.5' deep, 34,250 gallons,
    Nautilus Plus NSP 72, Sta-Rite P6E6E-206L pump.

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Re: converting a concrete pool to a vinyl liner

    Brad, simply discard the comments from people without experience as their comments are not valid as they have no knowledge. You should repair the cracks and don't forget to allow for the backing felt to go behind the liner.

    I prefer the armoured liners as they are so tough, companies like http://www.delifol.de/website/en/englisch/news
    Carry out the work on site with heat welding of the liner.

    Alternatively ordering a standard liner will finish the pool and look stunning compared to restoring and retiling which can work out far more.
    Good luck.

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    Re: converting a concrete pool to a vinyl liner

    Brad,

    If you go the liner route (it's certainly doable) I believe you should begin to develop a way you can "cove" or curve the corners and the point where the side and walls come together.

    First, A custom liner can be made to any specifications but they really have some stretch in them and trying to fit the 90's exactly into place can be really troublesome. The curves can give you a nice radius that will make your new liner fit perfectly.

    Secondly, that sharp 90 degree angle is a real PITA to clean.....either manually or with an auto-vac. It's the perfect spot to develop algae.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: converting a concrete pool to a vinyl liner

    Nice pool.

    I have the matching younger brother. It's in the midst of being reserected.

    Good luck.
    Cement 12'x30', in the neighborhood of 50 years old. Restored, 1.5"plumbing, 1hp super pump 2, Hayward swim clear cartridge filter, Summit2.5t heater,Hayward SWG t-9 cell, Nexxus Blanco lights, pentair bermuda gunite skimmer.

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: converting a concrete pool to a vinyl liner

    Yes, this shape lends itself very nicely to liner conversion. In my 13 years in liner manufacturing, hundreds of these have come across my desk. It's called a constant slope pool. They sell front mount liner track that you screw into the wall all around the pool. They come in 8' lengths and cost around $20 each.

    Be careful though--most liner manufacturers don't know how to make a liner to fit this style of pool. They tend to use their standard shrink formula which takes way too much material out of the liner and offers a horrible fit and a reduced lifespan of the liner.

    If you use a reputable liner manufacturer you don't have to worry about coving the bottom. I'm not a big fan of that idea anyway. Seems completely unnecessary. After all, aren't 99% of all shallow ends of vinyl liner pools just like the deep end of this pool?

    I don't know what you would need to convert the fittings to accept a vinyl liner; it's outside of my area of expertise. It seems like you have that covered though.

    So, in closing, I recommend leaving the bottom as-is and make sure to use a liner manufacturer with a solid reputation.

    Good Luck and feel free to PM me
    Making Liners Since 1997
    Pool Liner Factory Outlet

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    Re: converting a concrete pool to a vinyl liner

    Thanks to everyone for all the replies.

    This company gave me a quote for installing a custom heat seam welded 60 mil PVC liner:
    http://www.renosys.com/ The price was just under $13,000. It seems like the ultimate solution,
    but unfortunately is not within my budget.

    I have met with a local independent pool repair/builder guy who said he could repair my cracks
    for $2600 with some sort of mortar/cement product with a flex additive. I later asked him about
    a liner and he said he could install one for around $4500. I went to look at a pool where he
    had installed a liner a few years ago. The liner looked good, but the pool was a different style.
    The walls were steel with a vermiculite floor and the corners had a radius.
    I think his price is reasonable, but I am still undecided about the liner.
    I guess I am a bit leery as to how the four vertical corners will turn out. Will the liner bead
    stay in place in a 90 degree corner? I also think the liner may not be held tight against the wall
    in the upper 90 degree corners and may create a hollow space. I would really love to see a concrete pool
    like mine in person, with a liner installed.

    Cheers,

    Brad
    20' x 40' "old school" poured concrete,
    Square corners with constant slope floor.
    3.5' to 8.5' deep, 34,250 gallons,
    Nautilus Plus NSP 72, Sta-Rite P6E6E-206L pump.

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: converting a concrete pool to a vinyl liner

    I guess I am a bit leery as to how the four vertical corners will turn out. Will the liner bead
    stay in place in a 90 degree corner? I also think the liner may not be held tight against the wall
    in the upper 90 degree corners and may create a hollow space. I would really love to see a concrete pool
    like mine in person, with a liner installed.
    You don't need to worry about the corners popping out of the track--once they are in they are hard to get out. Other sections of the bead will pop out before the corners do. Make sure you use aluminum liner track instead of plastic though.

    It is common for bulging to occur in square and 6" radius corners. A few liner manufacturers use a special technique to minimize this effect (I really only know of one other). Bulging isn't the end of the world though. If it is very bad then the liner will fail prematurely, but if it is only an inch or two it is inconsequential. As long as the pesky little kids don't try to poke their finger through the vinyl, you'll be fine.

    sidebar: my father-in-law's liner is over 30 years old and the corners bulge out quite a bit and haven't failed.

    What size is your pool?
    Making Liners Since 1997
    Pool Liner Factory Outlet

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: converting a concrete pool to a vinyl liner

    Welcome to TFP!!

    Of equal importance as the quality of the liner is the quality of the prep work and install! Please make sure that the installers are not hacks
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: converting a concrete pool to a vinyl liner

    At this point, I am planning on just fixing the cracks and then refilling with water before winter.
    If I have the time, I will repaint, or wait until spring. Almost all of the cracks have previously been repaired
    with epoxy and/or hydraulic cement and some have been injected. The repairs have all re-cracked.
    There are even spots repaired with fiberglass mesh and resin. There are several long cracks that run vertical
    on the deep end walls and many long fine cracks on the floor. I have no idea how old the repairs are,
    but they could go back as far as 45 years. I bought the house 1.5 years ago and before that it was
    empty for almost two. I know that the previous owners were old and did not use the pool much towards the end.
    I would guess the repairs are at least ten years old or more.

    I have done a lot of research and am trying to decide what to use to fix my cracks:

    1) Hydraulic cement: A lot of folks have recommended this, but I am not completely sold.
    I think it will just crack again, although I think this is the cheapest option.

    2) Epoxy: I have found two products that I like:
    Pox-O-Fill (http://www.kelleytech.com/olympic/olymp ... .asp?ID=32)
    Wall-Nu (http://www.steelcotemfg.com/p-concrete- ... trowelable)
    Both are a two part 100% solids epoxy and are expensive.

    My pool walls and floors were separate pours, so there is a cold joint/crack in every 90 degree corner.
    I personally feel that these joints should be filled with something flexible. Currently, it looks like they
    are filled with epoxy, but are cracked in many areas.

    There are two products I have found that are engineered for this application:

    1) Deck-O-Seal (http://www.deckoseal.com/785.htm)

    2) Thermoplastic joint filler (http://www.kelleytech.com/olympic/olymp ... .asp?ID=30)

    These are both two part products and are also expensive. None of the pool guys I have talked to have even
    heard of these products. They said whatever they use on the walls they would use in the corners as well.
    Maybe I am over thinking all of this and should just use hydraulic cement on everything and call it a day.
    I am hoping that if I use the right product, I won't have to do this again anytime soon.

    Has anyone used these products? Any input or advice would be greatly appreciated?
    Unfortunately there is not one clear cut solution.

    Thanks,

    Brad
    20' x 40' "old school" poured concrete,
    Square corners with constant slope floor.
    3.5' to 8.5' deep, 34,250 gallons,
    Nautilus Plus NSP 72, Sta-Rite P6E6E-206L pump.

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: converting a concrete pool to a vinyl liner

    Hey Brad

    I have no experience with the epoxies, though they sound like they'd do the job. I would use Waterplug or Thorite because I have lots of experience working with hydrolic cement.

    You have to be careful with hydrolic cement because it sets up QUICKLY!! If you're experienced with mixing it, you might get ~ 5 minutes to 'work' it, the first time you mix it, you'll have maybe 1 min to apply it

    Whichever way you go - BE SURE TO FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS FOR PREPARING THE PATCH It's like painting, the surface HAS to be properly prepped to end up with a good job! For you, this means chipping out the old patch and any parts of the existing shell that are no longer structurally sound and creating a watertight bond (there should be directions on whichever product you end up using)

    We'll keep helping you with this, just keep us abreast as to how things are going
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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