We bought this house in '06, no idea how old the liner was, but it looked good.
2 summers ago, we started having issues with small leaks, which we tracked down and patched. Last summer, it got worse, we had to patch at least 7 or 8 leaks, and a couple of them were pretty large.
Over the winter, the pool drained almost all the way. I added water a couple of times, but soon realized that it was losing 8 hours worth of filling in two nights. Not being able to afford those water bills, and with the weather too cold to try to track down the leaks, I let it drain completely. I tried to fill it carefully this spring, and managed to get enough water in it for my son and I to find and patch 4 new leaks, as well as remove the patches from the last two years and replace them. We got about 18 inches of water in the pool, and then one day I got up to check the pool and add more water, and saw that I now had a rip about halfway up the wall that was about 2 feet long.
So, I ordered a liner from PoolSupplies.com - I am not the most handy guy in the world, but I can do things like building PCs and changing out brake pads on my car. I cannot afford to have the liner professionally installed.
Is this something I can do myself, and have it turn out reasonably well, so that it might last 5 -10 years, when I should be able to afford a premium liner and professional installation? How many people do I need to help me get the liner installed?
I am unemployed and in college full-time, so finances are nonexistent at this point. My mom and brother live with us, and they paid for the liner.
Also, due to the leaks, I have several low spots that need filled in. Is play sand OK for this? What is the best way to fill it in and get it compacted where it stays fairly level?
What else should I do to be prepared for installation when my liner arrives?
One last thing, what do I do about the rust on my walls? It's not real bad, but there are a few places that are starting to rust.
I am sure that I will have many more questions when the liner gets here. Thanks in advance for your help!