New Pool Liner - What Is The Process?

I'm entering the third summer as owner of an inground pool, and I'm still learning how to maintain it!
Our liner currently has about 20 patches in it around the top where it's tearing away. When we bought the house, we knew nothing about pools or the need to replace liners - I wish we would have checked!
Anyway, it's clear that we need a new liner installed, and we want to do it ASAP this spring. (Professionally done, not ourselves)
One problem - I took off the mesh cover today and discovered a rip in the liner that is almost 3ft long, just right at the water level at the bottom of the skimmer (I assume some water drained down to the level of the rip).
I was told that I need to have the pool clear in order for them to measure for a new liner. Is that correct? But in order to have the pool clear, I need to fix the rips to raise the water level and pour chlorine in ($$$) just to have it pumped out to put in the new liner.
So what really is the process? I'm going to call 3 places to get estimates - what questions should I ask them?
Any hints from people who have had this done before?
--
Matt Kruse
http://www.JavascriptToolbox.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The pool contractor does not need to remeasure the pool before supplying a liner. He just checks the brand and size and looks it up in a catalogue of liners.
Plastic (vinyl) pool liners degrade in sunshine. Twenty repaired holes suggests this liner was far gone before you bought it. (Mine is nearly 20 years old, no holes yet.) --Or else the liner either fitted badly or was improperly installed.
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Or someone allowed a dog to swim in the pool.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Don Phillipson wrote:

Interesting - I will call the 3 installers tomorrow and check with them directly to see if they need the pool clear. If not, that would be great for me!

Any of the above could be true, I suppose. The pool is about 20-25 years old and I'm pretty sure it's the original liner. We got absolutely no documentation or information about the pool from the original homeowners. (They were not happy with us after the sale because we modified our offer after the septic inspection!).
There were plenty of patches when we bought the pool (again, something I hadn't noticed originally since I knew nothing about pools) and I patched 5 small holes last summer. We knew it would need to be replaced this spring. I just want to get it done asap so we can swim by the time it gets warm!
One other question - I assume the installers drain the pool, so it doesn't sit empty and cave in? If so, then where do they drain it? Do they run a big drain line down to the storm drains on the street, or will they expect to dump 20,000 gallons of water in my yard? We all have septic systems out here, and that probably would be a bad thing :)
--
Matt Kruse
http://www.JavascriptToolbox.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If installed under building permit, the plan for this pool also indicated where it would be drained, with special reference to the septic system tile field. Siphoning out through a single garden hose will lower the level at least one inch per hour. A pump naturally works much faster. The practical question is whether you drain to natural ditches, sewage drains etc.
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 22 Apr 2006 17:53:57 -0500, "Matt Kruse"

You DO not need to fill the pool.. you need to drain the pool... close the skimers turn on the filter pump and pump to waste from the main (bottom drain)...
I drain mine out to the street (no sewer..just a country road)...
Once drained you can measure for a new liner...(most are standard sized however...just make sure your is.. Mine is not as my children were small 35 years ago when I dug out and installed my own pool.. so I altered the shallow area ( depth and lenght etc..)
I am now on my 3rd liner...the original and the two replacements I put in myself with some help from my wife..and my handy dandy shop vac.. Only takes about 2 hours to install get all the wrinkles out and start adding water... Honest...then you have to do some cutting around the returns and skimmers and install plates etc... ends up an all day job with 90 percent of the day just enjoying yourself doing absolutely nothing...!
Liners are NOT (that) expensive...hauling in 5-7 tankers full of water IS however...
File away (KEEP) the measurements !...
All of my liners lasted about 15 years and NONE had ever needed any patches...BUT all three dry rotten above the waterline on the one side that is almost always in direct sunlite...
Call a few dealers and get some estimates.. Installing a liner is a very easy job.. just remember you will be paying for the liner, the water and the labor... The Labor should be the least expensive part of the deal..
Bob G.
.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Do you have any brownish stains on the bottom surfaces of the liner?
I had my 16 year old in-ground liner replaced 3-4 years ago because it was faded, developed a leak and had large brown stains in the shallow end that were impossible to remove. It did not take long after installing the new liner for the brown stains to reappear. It turns out that we had a mold of some sort in the vermiculite under the liner. This mold eventually leached through again and there is nothing I can do about it (as far as I know).
The installation warranty had run out and the installer could only feel bad for my situation. I really think they should have recognized this problem during installation. He did confirm that this is a problem especially since new liners are no longer treated (invironmental concerns) with a chemical that would have prevented the mold from leaching.
I would recommend that you consider this possibility before installing your new liner. Hopefully, my experience will save you the disappointment of spending the money on a new liner that is very unappealing to look at.
Jeff
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jeffrey Judd wrote:

In fact, we do get those. I was told it was probably a fungus under the liner, and there wasn't anything I could do about it. It seems to come mostly when there is a lot of rain, but it does actually go away when things dry up. I plan to ask the installers about this and see if they can look at the area when the old liner is out.

Even if they recognized the problem during installation, what could they have done about it?
--
Matt Kruse
http://www.JavascriptToolbox.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.