We are often asked about converting a concrete swimming pool to a liner pool, this article will discuss what is involved in making such a change.
It is not unusual for older, concrete built swimming pools to crack and develop leaks. Often the cost of repairing the leaks is so high that owners consider lining the pool with a vinyl liner to seal the leaks. Concrete pools are often painted with water proof paint and this is a job that needs renewing every 3 to 5 years and the desire to do away with the job of painting is another reason why owners consider converting to a liner.
It is not impossible to convert a concrete pool to a liner pool but is does involve a fair bit of work and it is not easy to get a perfect job. The first thing to know is that the pool shell fittings will all have to be replaced. That is the main drain on the floor, the skimmers and the inlets. This is because in a liner pool the shell fittings have a removable face plate with a pair of gaskets behind them to seal the liner around the fitting. You could compare this to wall-papering up to a light fitting. You take the face plate off, cut the paper around the fitting and cover the cutting with the face plate to make it look tidy. It is the same with a pool liner only it has to be water tight. So you will have to get out a pnumatic drill or hammer and chisel and break out those shell fittings back to the pipe behind them, cut the pipe and install new, liner compatible fittings. Then you will have to make good the holes you made getting the old ones out. In the case of the skimmer you will probably have to take the coping stones up and relay them.
The cost of the new shell fittings is not that high in the big scheme of things, about £100 for a skimmer, £10 for an inlet and £30 for a main drain. The main cost here is the labour if you dont do it yourself. It would take a day or two for one person to change these fittings and make good.
The next thing you will need to do is install a “liner lock” to the top of the pool. The liner has a beading welded on to it and that beading clips in to the liner lock at the top of the pool. Liner lock is about £1 per foot and needs to be firmly fixed with masonary screws. The liner will cover over nearly all of the liner lock and you will not notice it afterwards. If your pool has square corners you should round them off to a six inch radius either with sand and cement screed or a purpose made corner insert. These are about £100.00.
It is a good idea to puncture the floor of the pool to make it non-water tight. Liners can leak from almost anywhere and if the water gets behind the liner it it better that it soaks away in to the ground rather than build up between the liner and a water tight shell forming a bubble.
If the concrete pool has steps then your problems are greater. Whilst it is theoretically possible to make a vinyl liner with steps in it our advice is don’t do it. You will never get a good fit, the liner will not sit back neatly to the back of the treads and there will not be enough weight of water to hold the material on the top step down. If you have concrete steps you have two main options. One is to take them out and replace them with a fibreglass step unit. They are designed with a face plate to seal a liner to. They are not cheap though. The step unit will probably cost more than the liner. A typical 4ft radius semi-circular step unit is about £1,600. That is just for the steps, of course. You still have the labour cost to break out the old ones and install the new ones. The other option is to break out the steps and make good the wall to have a simple rectangular pool and use a ladder to get in and out. A ladder is about £200.00. You could seal off the steps and put a fibreglass corner step unit in, these cost a little less at about £1,400.
So having converted your shell to accept a liner you now have to buy a liner and have it installed. This is where PoolStore come in. You can see our prices by putting your pool dimesions in to our cost calculator by following this link. You can peruse our choices of colours by clicking this link. We offer a nationwide liner installation service. When you are ready to buy your new liner we are here to help.