Monthly Archives: March 2010

I have a stain on my vinyl liner. How can I tell if it is from algae or minerals?

This is a tough question. Below is a suggestion from one of the product engineers at the plant that makes the actual vinyl sheet.

The following approach could be used to narrow down the possibilities; however, there is risk of damage to the print pattern and liner material in doing so.

First, try direct contact on a small spot with some pH down in a sock to see if there is any change in the stain. If there is no change, the same approach can be tried with a neutral or high pH sanitizer (i.e. dichlor or calcium hypochorite).

If the pH treatment alone reduces the stain, it is likely a mineral stain. If the chlorine application reduces the stain, it is a microbiological stain, such as an algae.

If the stain is from algae growth on the back side of the liner, any success on removing the stain will likely only be temporary.

What would cause the pattern to flake off or rub off a vinyl pool liner?

To answer this question properly there must be a basic understanding of the procedures involved in the printing of your pool liner. The print pattern is applied by a process called “roto-gravure” printing. The inks used are solvent based and when applied to the vinyl, they actually bond themself to the vinyl by “biting” into the vinyl. Then a clear “top coat” is applied to increase abrasion resistance and provide an added layer of UV protection.

The cause of ink flaking off the vinyl is low water PH. An acidic environment will weaken the bond by softening the coating, and eventually the ink. The more acidic the environment, the greater the likelihood of damage. The effect is cumulative and irreversible. Once this softening occurs, the coating and ink are susceptible to abrasion and flaking.

Always keep your pool at the recommended PH of 7.4 to 7.8. Deviation from these levels will adversely affect the performance of your liner.

*The information provided comes from one of our liner manufacturers.

What is the best time of year to replace my inground vinyl pool liner?

Pool owners in need of a replacement liner often wonder when the best time is to replace and install their new pool liner.

If you choose to replace your liner in the spring, the key is to pick your day carefully.  It has to be warm outside, but the sun also has to be shining.  It is the sun beating down on the vinyl on a warm day that loosens it up and allows the material to vacuum into place properly.

We used to suggest installing liners on a day no cooler than 60 degrees and sunny for 20 mil liners.  Today, we suggest 70 degrees and sunny for 27 mil liners.

If you choose to change your liner in the fall, your pool will be ready to go on the first day of spring.  This prevents any waiting in the spring to get on anyone else’s schedule or for the weather to break.

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