How Long Will a Swimming Pool's Vinyl Liner Really Last?
By 2009, we'd installed inground and above ground vinyl liner pools for 8 years. During that time, we found that one of the biggest misconceptions that vinyl liner pool owners have is how long their liner will last before it has to be replaced.
Frankly, most pool owners are led to an unrealistic sense of their liner's longevity because of its warranty.
So let me make one very clear statement:
Your typical pool liner warranty, be it 25 or 30 years, is a joke.
OK, so now that I've offended every liner manufacturer from here to China, let me explain.
How long does a pool vinyl liner last?
The average inground pool liner will last 5–9 years. The average above-ground pool liner will last 6–10 years. Liner warranties may last 25 to 30 years, but they're extremely prorated.
The reality of vinyl liner pool warranties
Let's assume that a pool's liner comes with a "25-year" warranty. If you read the actual warranty, you'll see that liner warranties are extremely PRORATED. This means they lose value with every year.
In most cases, 25-year liner warranties have a 2–5 year full warranty, and then the prorate kicks in.
Also, liner warranties do not cover the cost of filling the pool with water or the cost of labor.
To understand this further, look at the following example:
Your new vinyl liner inground pool has a 30-year warranty.
After 7 years, your liner seams separate. You hope to receive a large reimbursement for your replacement costs.
The person that built your pool then comes out to take a look at things and lets you know that the cost for a new liner is normally $1700, and the prorated deductions that the original manufacturer will cover at this point are only 10%, which comes up to be about $170 off the price.
The builder then informs you that you'll spend an additional $1200 on water plus another $2000 on labor.
In other words, your replacement costs after 7 years will be more than $4000.
Sounds like a good deal, doesn't it?
As you can see, liner warranties are pretty ridiculous, which is why pool owners are often disenchanted when they have to replace their liner before the 10-year mark.
So the question is...
How long will pool liners generally last?
Inground Pool Liners
The reality is that the average inground pool liner will last 5–9 years.
I've seen many cases where inground pool liners have lasted less than 7 years and other cases where they've lasted almost 20 years.
Although many pool builders argue that a properly installed liner will guarantee longevity, other factors such as water chemistry, chemicals used, and luck will also be a significant factor.
Above Ground Pool Liners
Above ground pool liners will last 6–10 years in most cases.
The factors that dictate their longevity are essentially the same as those of an inground liner.
Don't hesitate to add comments or questions below.
If you'd like to receive all the latest news and information regarding the swimming pool industry, subscribe to our blog.
If you'd like to learn more about the different pool options available to you, be sure to check out our free eBook, "Comparing Fiberglass, Concrete, and Vinyl Liner Pools in the Modern Age."
Editor's note: This blog article was updated on October 25, 2018.