Vinyl liner pools offer a variety of design options and a less costly alternative to concrete or fiberglass models. But the vinyl can be susceptible to damage from environmental factors, chemical imbalances in the water, and items introduced by swimmers. Proper maintenance is key to keep yours in top shape. If you’re not sure how to care for your lined model, these five tips will definitely come in handy.
Just with fiberglass or concrete models, the walls of vinyl liner pools can accumulate algae, dirt, and other debris. In particular, though, chlorine residue can be a problem because it may cause the material to degrade and fade more quickly. To prevent damage, make sure to brush the walls with a nylon brush regularly. Twice a week usually works well.
Scrub at Water Level
While dirt, sunscreen, and other debris can collect on your liner’s walls, the spot most vulnerable to grime is right at the water line. Allowing dirt to collect there can cause permanent fading and discoloration. Once a week, use approved supplies to clean the water line. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to see what works best. Typically, though, a soft sponge is the best option because it’s not abrasive enough to damage the material. If stains do occur, you may also need to use a cleaner specifically designed for vinyl liners.
Pools can run into a lot of trouble if their water chemistry isn’t properly balanced, but it’s a particular problem for vinyl models. That’s because excess chemicals can damage the material, causing issues like fading, discolorations, and tears. Make sure your pH level is between 7.2 and 7.6, while your free chlorine should read between 1 to 3 parts per million (ppm). Monitor the total alkalinity to keep it in the 80 to 120 ppm range, and ensure that the calcium hardness is kept between 150 and 250 ppm. Test your chlorine and pH levels daily; the rest of the levels may be tested weekly.
Choose Proper Tools
Vinyl can tear if it’s treated too roughly, so it’s important to choose tools designed specifically for your pool. In particular, pay attention to the cleaning equipment that you choose. You can find vacuum heads, automatic pool cleaners, and brushes made for use on your liner, so you don’t have to worry about tears or rips during routine maintenance.
Don’t Fully Drain
The biggest mistake that you can make with lined pools is draining it completely. If all of the water is removed, the liner can shrink due to the change in water pressure, causing rips, tears, or bubbles. Always check manufacturer instructions for guidance if you need to drain for maintenance reasons. In most cases, it’s advised to keep at least 1-foot of water in the shallow end.