Needs some guidance on prepping for a new liner install


LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2007
Northern NJ
Last year I put a hole in my liner at the end of the season. DH was about to finally stop the leak with some waterproof tape, but we knew the liner would need to be replaced for this year. There is about a foot of water in the pool right now. I want to know how and when I should get ready for the liner replacement.

I haven't purchased the liner or scheduled an appointment yet because I know I need a warm, at least 70, and sunny day. We are still in the 50's and 60's here in NJ.

I know I need to drain the pool, guess I can use a wet/dry vac for that, but I don't want to do it too soon and run the risk of the walls collapsing. However, I don't want to get stuck at the last minute trying to do it. How soon before the install could I safely drain the pool?

Another concern is that, this was a gushing leak, so the ground under that part of the liner was literally washed away. There is actually a hole there now, so I need to know what I should use to fill it back in and level it out. Also, after doing some reading, I don't think there are earth mounds around the wall. Of course, I wouldn't know that until I remove the old liner. If that needs to be done or the ground needs to be smoothed out, is that part of the liner installation? (I am having the pool store where the pool was originally purchased do it)

My last dilemma is that I don't know what kind of liner I have. Since it is a plain liner and overhangs the outside of the pool at least 6 or 7 inches, I am thinking it is just a basic overhang liner. Anyway I can confirm this without removing a top rail? If I do remove a top rail, would I risk a wall collapse?

I have deduced that my pool is a Swim'n Play XL7000 based on where it was purchased and what it looks like. I asked for all the paperwork regarding the pool, but the only thing I got at closing was a CD from Namco on basic pool maintenance.

TIA for your help!

all your parts

LifeTime Supporter
Feb 26, 2008
ok i will try my best to answer
1) i would get an appointment to do the liner in the next like 3 weeks before they get to busy its sunny now i know this because i just put a liner into a 20x40 in-ground and it cane out great and its the second on of the year (im on long island)
2) if you only have a foot of water in the pool its not doing anything to hold up the walls. i would get rid of it now what we do is take a utility knife and tape it to a broom handle than proceed to cut several lines into bottom of liner that will get rid of the water
3)as for the under the liner it depends most have sand since you had a wash out you will need some sand go to homedepot pick up 100 lbs play sand and have it for the company
if your bottom is made from vermiculite you will need a bag of that instead of sand
4) what you have we call an overlap liner
i hope this helped


LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2007
Northern NJ
Yes, that helps a lot.

Would I be able to use a j-hook liner. or would I have to go with the overlap liner again?

Also, how would I be able to tell the difference between vermiculite and regular play sand?

One more question, if there are no earth mounds, would they build those up or would I need to purchase coves or something like that?

I know it's a lot of questions, but I want to get it right.

Thanks again!


LifeTime Supporter
Jan 23, 2008
Burbank, IL
I'm certainly no expert in this area but I don't see how anyone could tell you they will come and replace your liner without having every intention of making sure the sand base and cove are in good shape. I suspect they will take care of it.


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 8, 2007
Waaay NW MN
If the pool store is only being paid to replace the liner, you can bet they will not do anything extra - including fixing your cove/base. They may do it at an extra fee though. You should contact them beforehand and ask if they will also take care of that so they would be prepared with the supplies and equipment required to do so.

Another option you have is to purchase pre-formed coving and soft bottom. Just be sure your base is smooth and even, install and away you go. It's easier, but not cheaper in most cases.

Any pool can have a J Hook liner installed. I am biased as I have one now and really liked how easy it was to install. We had an overlap before. You get the nice looks of a beaded with the virtual ease of overlap. Just be sure to have the correct size - that does matter more in a J hook - overlaps can squeak by on some pools but not J hook. I love mine and will get another when its time to replace this one.


LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2007
Northern NJ
Thanks so much for the replies. I plan to go to the pool store either today or tomorrow to purchase the liner and make the install appointment. I will nail down exactly what all they will do for the $350 they said it would cost.

(I thought that was kind of cheap....)