Liner in gunite pool

Jason.H.

Member
Aug 19, 2020
6
North Carolina
Hey everyone, our new to us pool was built in 1994 and was told it was gunite construction but it has a vinyl liner and liner was replaced 11 years ago. Is it common for a gunite pool to have a liner? Liner seems in decent shape other than some fading on the top in places and one corner where it is sagging below the coping about an inch down and 3 inches wide (not sure if that should be fixed or better to leave it as is).
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
14,843
Evans, Georgia
Interesting pool you've got there. Can we see pictures?

If the liner has lasted 11 years so far without leaking that's a sign of good chemistry management. Bad chemistry leads to brittle liners and problems.

I'm not sure if you'll know what you have (gunite vs vermiculite) until you replace (remove) that liner. If you can fix the drooping section until then it will buy you a bit more time.

My two cents.

Maddie :flower:
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,590
NY
Hey Jason and welcome. There are a few possibilities here and regardless of construction, a liner pool or a gunite pool would need repair every 10-15 years. If it truely is a gunite pool, the owners may have decided to add a liner when the plaster needed a much more expensive refinishing. $5k sure beats $10k-$15k if you aren’t against vinyl. Or there could have been leaks that were equally expensive to fix at the halfway mark so they threw a liner in because the structure was fine.

The other option is that it was always a liner pool with cement walls instead of steel. Many times people who don’t know anything about pools besides ‘it’s a pool !!’ confuse the two and refer to all cement pools as gunite. They will say it’s a gunite pool with a liner when it’s really just a liner pool that’s beefier. This could also be the case where the first liner lasted about 15 years and simply needing replacing.

Unless you can get a good inspection under the loose section, you won’t know for sure until you tear the liner out.
 

BMK

Bronze Supporter
Mar 29, 2016
446
SW PA
My guess is that it is a concrete constructed vinyl liner pool. This liner is 11 years old and seems like it still has a few years left on it. If the previous liner lasted the same amount of time, that would take it roughly back to the year of construction.

In many cases, that little sag you have can be an easy diy fix. If you havent tried already, you get your fingers just below the top bead of the liner and push up and in 'til it snaps back into the track. Easiest to do from inside the pool and when still pretty small.
Whether you do it or have it repaired, best to do it sooner vs later, as over time those little sags can become bigger sags, allowing water to get behind and more difficult to repair.
 

Jason.H.

Member
Aug 19, 2020
6
North Carolina
IMG_20200816_190135613~2.jpg
This is only photo I have right now, I'm at work. I'll attempt to push liner back in place. Chemistry wasn't great when we first moved in, previous owner always used trichlor tablets so way too high cya. I've drained and filled about 15k gallons and cya is still around 90. Will do another drain and fill soon. Is there any recommended products to use on exposed liner above the water line to keep it in good shape? Like vinylx or something that won't harm the water chemistry
 

CraigChing

Well-known member
Jun 15, 2019
69
Plymouth, Minnesota
If the sag in the liner isn’t too long (and it doesn’t sound like it is) you should be able to slip it back in. Your liner is on the old side, so it may not be so easy, but definitely worth trying. I did mine in two spots this past summer, just waited until it was hot out so the vinyl was more pliable and it slipped in very easily. Search YouTube and the forums here to learn the technique and it should be easy if your liner is pliable enough. Older liners can get brittle, so bear that in mind.