Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

General Information

Q: Can I do a pool liner or pool cover replacement and installation?  

A: If this is your first liner or pool cover installation there are a couple of things to take into consideration: 

    • Are you physically fit enough to take on the project? Liners and covers typically weigh anywhere from 50 to 225 lbs.  You will need some help to maneuver the replacement pool liner into place and this is a difficult project for one person.
    • The installation will span a day or two,  so you will need to set aside the time.
    • Can you take accurate measurements?
    • If you can do these things and can follow instructions with some support from Pool Fits the answer is yes, absolutely: You got this!
    • The reward is the satisfaction and pride of accomplishment you’ll feel when you see how beautiful the pool looks.

Q:  What kind of liner do I need?

A:  It depends on what type of pool you have:

    • Aboveground Liner Patterns are typically Round or Oval shapes and typically installed fully above grade.
    • Onground Pool Liners are typically Rectangle, Octagon or Grecian / Emerald Shapes and installed completely above grade or partially below grade.
    • Inground Pool Liners come in many, many shapes and are typically installed fully below grade. 
    • Pool Fits can help you identify what type of pool you have and what type of liner you need.

Q:  When is the best time to install my pool liner?

A:   The best conditions for vinyl pool liner is installation are as follows:

    • Sunny day.
    • Moderate temperatures of between 70F/20C 85F/30C.
    • The sunlight and the air temperature help the vinyl to shape easily to the pool bottom.

Q:  What is the difference between gauge and mil?

A:   They are both references to the thickness of the vinyl material use in manufacturing a pool liner:

    • Gauge is a ‘nominal’ measure with no technical definition or meaning and can be a misleading reference as to the vinyl material thickness of a pool liner.
    • Mil means thousands (000’s) of an inch and is a very accurate measure of the thickness of the vinyl material thickness of a pool liner.

 Q:  What is liner bead track or bead receiver?

A:   The slot in the pool coping where the liner bead is inserted to hold the vinyl pool liner in place around the perimeter of the pool.

Q:  Why is my pool losing water?  Is my pool leaking? 

A:   There are several of reasons why a pool can be losing water and not all of them mean the pool is leaking.  If you have this condition, it is probably why you are considering replacing your vinyl pool liner.  Call Pool Fits and talk to a Pro, we can walk you through the process to determine why your pool is losing water!  

Q: How long does it take until I receive my liner?
A:  It depends on the type of pool liner.  Refer to the Pool Fits ‘Service Charter’ located on this site within the Business Center.

Q: Is it difficult to measure a pool liner and how accurate do the measurements have to be?
A:  You got this!  Pool Fits has the very best resources within our Knowledge Center:

Best of all you’ve got us . . . if you have a question, we’re here to help! 

Q:  Is thicker pool liner material better?
A:  It depends on the type of pool that you have and the application.  Browse our site or Talk to a Pool Fits Pro and we will walk you through the best choice for your replacement pool liner project.

Above Ground Liners

Q:  What are the different types of aboveground liners?
A:  Typically, Aboveground Pool Liners are either Round or Oval shaped with either Overlap or Beaded style of attachments.  Within these groups Above Ground Pool Liners can have several different bottom configurations, such as Flat Bottom, Expandable or Hopper

Q: How do I measure my aboveground pool for a liner?

A: It depends upon the shape:

    • Round Pools
      • The diameter is measured across the very middle of the pool from inside wall to the inside wall to determine the overall pool size.
    • Oval Pools
      • The overall length is measured from the center of each rounded end of the pool from inside wall to the inside wall and
      • The overall width measures the distance between the two parallel straight walls from inside wall to inside
    • The wall height is taken from outside the pool and is the distance vertically from the bottom of the pool wall to the top of the pool wall.

Pool Fits has a complete set of Measuring Forms for Above Ground Pools

Q:  What is a Floor Padding, Wall Foam and Pool Cove for?

A:  Floor Padding provides an important protective and vapor barrier between a vinyl swimming pool liner and the sand base to provide additional protection for the liner.

A:  Wall Foam protects your liner from any rust or corrosion that may have developed on the pool wall itself.  It also serves as insulation and will improve your pools heat retention.

A:  Pool Cove helps eliminate stretching, pulling and tearing at the base of the line wall as the liner transitions from the vertical wall to the horizontal pool floor.  Pool Cove is  easier to use than trying to mold your sand.

Q:  What is “UNI-BEAD”?

A:  Uni-Bead is a specialty bead designed to accommodate both ‘Standard Bead’ and ‘J-Bead’ applications.   Uni-Bead can be used ‘as is’ for J-Bead aboveground liner applications.  It can also be ‘field modified’ to accommodate Standard Bead above ground liner applications by removing the top J-Bead portion of the bead head entirely before installation.  This is done by ‘tearing’ the bead along a score mark, a continuous perforation in the bead, to remove the J-Bead portion of the bead.  This will leave only the standard bead portion of the bead, making the liner ready for installation in that application. 

Note:  Pool Fits recommends replacing Uni-Bead liners with E-Z Bead / Multi-Bead Liner Bead.  

Q:  What is an ‘overlap’ liner?

A: ‘Overlap’ refers to the method that the pool liner ‘attaches’ around the perimeter of the pool at the top of the pool wall.  In the case of an ‘overlap’ liner, there is excess material provided in the height of the liner wall to be folded over the pool wall at which time a snap on coping is applied to hold the liner in place. 

Q:  What is a ‘beaded liner’?

A: ‘Beaded’ refers to the method that the pool liner ‘attaches’ around the perimeter of the pool at the top of the pool wall.  In the case of a ‘beaded’ liner, there is a small flexible PVC extrusion welded to the top of  the liner wall which is inserted into a rigid PVC ‘bead receiver’ to hold the liner in place. 


Q:  What is an Onground Pool and how does it differ from an Aboveground Pool?

A:  An Onground Pool is a pool that is typically installed partially below grade.  While Onground Pools can be installed fully above grade they are usually installed partially above and partially below grade.  The shapes of Onground Pools are usually not Round and Oval, though they can be, typically they are Rectangle, Octagon or Octagonal, Grecian or Emerald shapes.

Q:  How is an Onground Liner different from an Aboveground Liner?

A:   Onground liners are typically made from Inground Liner raw materials or from the thickest Aboveground Liner raw materials.  Onground liners are almost always beaded liners and can have either Flat Bottom, Graduated Deep-End or Full Hopper bottom configurations.

Q:  What is a Semi-Inground Pool and how does it differ from an On Ground Pool?

A:  There really is no difference, Semi-Inground is another name for an Onground Pool.

Q:  What are the most common brands of Onground and Semi-Inground Pools?

A:  Kayak | Fanta Sea | Wilkes | Olympic | Esther Williams | Johnny Weissmuller | Driftwood | Champlain | Eternity | Rockwood | Radiant | Triumph | Gibraltar | Ultimate are the most popular brands of Onground or Semi-Inground Pools.

Q:  What type of bead does my Onground or Semi-Inground Pool have?

A:   It depends upon the brand of pool.  The four most common Onground Pool Liner Beads are Kayak Bead | Wilkes Bead | Esther Williams Bead and Standard Bead.

Q:  What type of corners does my Onground or Semi-Inground Pool have?

A:  It depends upon the brand of pool.  The three most common Onground Pool Corner Types are Square | 8-1/2” Cut Off | 6” Radius


Q: How do I order a replacement inground pool liner from Pool Fits?
A: It’s a simple five step process as follows:

Go to Shop:


Inground Liner Order Process


Q: How long does it take to install a replacement inground pool liner?
 Once we have your order it will be produced and shipped within 3 to 5 days. Please see our Service Charter for freight delivery times and additional service and delivery time information

Q: What is the best way to drain the pool in preparation for replacing your vinyl liner?
A: Typically we recommend the use a submersible pump to drain the pool water in preparation for the liner replacement.

Q: How do I remove the existing vinyl pool liner?
A: After the pool is drained, below the shallow-end, using a utility knife, cut around all of the face plates for the skimmer, lights, and return fittings.  Then cut around the base of the liner wall in the shallow-end, separating the liner wall from the liner floor.  Then cut across the shallow-end break-off point where the pool bottom begins to slope toward the deep-end of the pool.  Then begin cutting the shallow-end floor vinyl into 3’ wide sections and into a manageable length.  Next, with the utility knife, make two vertical cuts in the liner wall at the shallow-end break-off points on either side of the pool.  Remove the shallow-end section of the vinyl liner wall, roll it up and tie it up. Next, and again while you are waiting for the remainder of the pool to drain, remove the face plates and gaskets that seal the various fittings/ openings to the liner, skimmer(s), returns, step, and light, which should be accessible while the remainder of the water drains from the deep-end of the pool. Finally, once the entire pool is drained and using the utility knife, follow the same process used in the shallow-end of the pool in the deep-end. First, separate the liner wall from the liner floor.  Then begin cutting the shallow-end floor vinyl into 3’ wide sections and into a manageable length and subsequently removing the vinyl liner wall from the deep-end of the pool.   Sweep and or vacuum the pool floor to remove any debris, if necessary patch any areas of the floor that may be damaged, use wall foam if pool walls are damaged or are in rough condition, attach new gaskets to fittings and openings.

Tip:  As you are cutting those sections of the liner we recommend that you roll them up and use twine to tie them.  This will make it easier to manage with the waste disposal. 

Tip: Pool Fits recommends replacing all the gaskets and face plates when replacing the vinyl liner.

Q: What does the warranty cover on a new vinyl inground pool liner?
A: The warranty covers the craftsmanship of the inground pool liner, the seams and the bead attached to the top of the pool liner. It does not cover issues beyond the control of the manufacturing process.

Q: After removing the old vinyl liner and hanging the new pool liner, how do you know if the liner is positioned properly?
A: There are a few steps to this process, once the pool liner is hung and the bead is inserted into the liner track as follows:

    • Rectangle or symmetrically shaped pool with corners:
      • Check to see that the corners are all aligned, liner to pool.
      • Check to see that any labels on the liner which indicate where the shallow-end break-off points are aligned with the actual shallow-end break off points in the pool.
    • Freeform or asymmetrically shaped pool without corners:
      • Check to see that any labels on the liner which indicate where the shallow-end break-off points are aligned with the actual shallow-end break off points in the pool.
    • Finally use a vacuum or shop vac with the nozzle inserted between the vinyl liner and the pool wall (seal off the opening around the nozzle with a wet towel or duct tape), turn on and suck the air out from behind and under the pool liner, this should take just a few minutes. Visually inspect your replacement pool liner, you should have equal amounts of material in each corner, the seam lines should run parallel with the shallow end and deep end walls and the liner should be fitting the way it will fit when it is filled with water. If necessary, turn the vacuum off, remove the liner bead from the bead receiver track and move the material either clockwise or counter-clockwise, based on observation.  Replace the bead into the bead receiver track and repeat this process until the liner is fitting properly before adding water to the pool. 

Q: When should I attach the gaskets and face plates and cut the pool liner material out of the openings?
A: There are two steps here:

    1. For the main drain(s), wait until you have a few inches of water in the bottom of the deep-end pool hopper floor.
    2. For the other fittings and cut-ins, wait until the water is at least 12” up on the shallow-end wall but below the fittings. This will ensure that the liner is ‘locked in place’ before attaching gaskets, face plates and cutting in the liner.  


Q:  What is a Safety Cover 

A:  A Safety Cover is an engineered stationary winter swimming pool cover that installs tightly and flush with the deck of your pool. The cover is held in place by flush deck brass anchor pins.  The cover is tensioned across the pool with stainless steel springs that attach the cover to the brass anchor pins at each of the covers straps.   A Safety Cover prevents accidental access to your pool during the winter months and protects your children, pets and pool.

Q:  Why should I put a Safety Cover on My Pool? 

A:   A Safety Cover is an engineered solution to closing your pool for the winter months and off-season and is designed to fit your pool and to meet ATSM Standards in design, manufacturing and materials.  Simply pool it provides the best protection for your family, friends, pets and pool when the pool is not in operation. Safety Covers provide ‘peace of mind’! 

Q:  Should I Order a ‘Stock’ Safety Cover or a ‘Custom’ Safety Cover

A:  Fewer pools today are adequately covered with a ‘Stock’ Cover.  ‘Stock’ Covers are pre-made for Rectangle and Grecian shape pools with minimal options for deck obstructions, such as slides, diving boards, diving rocks, handrails and alternate deck materials.  ‘Stock’ Covers account for very common and basic step locations, i.e. Center, Left or Right and basic and common step sizes, i.e. 6′ and 8′.  ‘Custom’ Covers are designed for your specific pool and account for all the variations in step locations, deck obstructions and unique step sizes, types and locations.  In most cases, if you want your Safety Cover to fit your pool precisely, then you’ll be ordering a ‘Custom’ Safety Cover.  Pool Fits can assist you with this decision, usually be seeing a few pictures of your pool and maybe checking a measurement or two. 

Q:  Can I get a ‘replacement’ cover to fit on the existing anchors installed in my pool deck?

A:  Yes, and it is a very simple process.  You remove the hardware from your existing cover.  Pool Fits sends you everything you need to have the cover picked up at your home and we have a cover made to fit onto the existing Brass Anchors in your deck.  It’s that simple!