How Much Does a Pool Liner Cost to Repair or Replace?

by Kim Causey
Man installing new pool liner on a concrete inground pool

Pool Liner Costs at a Glance

  • Overall repair/replacement: $1,000-$3,400; $2,200 average
  • Patch job: $350
  • Above-ground pool liner price: $100-$600
  • Inground pool liner price: $700-$1,500
  • Installation, above-ground: $250-1,400
  • Installation, inground: $1,000-$4,000
  • Repair prices: $100-$2,500

When the temperatures outside begin rising and the sun seems to be shining brighter, that’s all the enticement you need to return to the floating lounge chair with an umbrella-garnished drink in the cupholder and forget your worldly cares — of which there have been quite enough in recent times. Bringing your little recreational fantasy to a record-scratching halt, you notice there’s a hole in your pool liner and you’re leaking water. Suddenly, you’re worried not only about your slowly draining pool, but about the draining of your wallet to fix the problem.

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The scenario needn’t be as dramatic as all that in order to get you thinking about the cost of repairing or replacing your pool liner. You may not have sprung a leak, but instead are looking to spruce up your pool area and think a new liner is a way to do so, but wondering if the investment will be worth it.

As anyone who’s owned a home with a swimming pool can tell you, pools are a wonderful addition to your backyard oasis — but they also require lots of upkeep. Among these maintenance-and-repair checklist items is your pool liner.

Vinyl liners are used in pools that aren't constructed to provide their own waterproofing the way concrete, gunite and fiberglass pools are. Homeowners with pools can generally expect to spend between $1,000 and $3,400, or on average about $2,200, to repair or replace an inground or above-ground vinyl swimming pool liner. If you’re looking to just patch a small hole, that should only set you back around $350.

Pool Liner Prices

A liner for your above-ground pool typically costs between $100 and $600 for the liner alone. However, the specific cost can vary based on the size and thickness as well as the pool type. Inground pool liners, meanwhile, range in price from $700-$1,500, again varying in price depending on the exact type, the size and the shape.

Installation Costs

When pricing a pool liner, the product itself is only the beginning of the cost. In addition to the liner, you’ll need to pay to have it installed.

Above-ground pool liner installation will typically run you between $250 and $800. Most professionals will offer to install your liner as part of a package deal that includes labor and materials. So once you add labor and materials, you’re actually looking at spending a total between $350 and $1,400.

Installation for an inground pool liner by itself runs between $1,000 and $2,500. Add in materials and you’re looking at spending upwards of $4,000 to replace your liner.

When to Replace a Vinyl Pool Liner

It’s difficult to say exactly how long a pool liner will last, but most have a life expectancy between 15 and 20 years. Reasons vary as to why you might need to replace the liner instead of just having a patch job done — but, in any case, be sure to check your liner regularly to ensure you don't lose too much water or cause additional damage.

Here are four reasons to replace your liner:

1. It's Old

As the liner gets older, it can lose elasticity. The sun and weather as well as chemicals also damage the liner, causing it to wear down. Eventually, its color fades, and the liner can no longer support the weight of the water.

2. It Was Installed Wrong

The vinyl liner of a pool acts as a protective cover and, if installed incorrectly, it does not touch the ground and pool walls. This can damage the liner and cause rips.

3. It’s Been Cut

Vinyl liners are soft and they can easily be cut by sharp objects. These cuts are nearly impossible to repair, necessitating that the whole liner be replaced.

4. Chemical Corrosion

If the wrong mixture of pool chemicals is used, the resulting imbalance can eat away at the liner faster, causing you to have to replace it sooner than you otherwise might.

Vinyl-Liner Repair Prices

If you’re lucky, your pool liner may simply need to be repaired and not completely replaced, which can save you money. Some reasons for repairs and approximate costs to have them done include:

  • Holes, tears, and snags ($100-$500)
  • Sun damage ($500)
  • Wrinkles in the liner ($100-$250)
  • Popped-out beads ($130-$300)
  • Bulged liner (requires full replacement)
  • Leaks (up to $2,500, or full replacement)
  • Floor damage (varies)

Hiring a Professional

The cost of a new pool liner alone is significant, so deciding whether to hire a professional is also something you need to think about. The answer depends on your particular circumstances, but hiring a pro makes more sense if:

  • You need a complete liner replacement for your pool
  • You’re unsure about the exact location of a leak or the specific issue
  • You don’t have experience working with vinyl liners or associated materials
  • The fix is complex and will require expertise you do not have
  • You’re just not comfortable doing the repair or replacement yourself

You may be able to fix your liner yourself if you have already identified the problem and think it’ll be an easy fix. One example would be a small tear near the top that you may be able to fix with a do-it-yourself kit available at most home improvement stores.

It’s imperative to ensure you know what you’re doing, as some issues, such as wrinkling, can result from improper installation. To make sure the work is done correctly, you may want to hire an expert anytime the problem you’re fixing requires a complete draining of the pool.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a liner last?

A typical liner lasts between 10 and 15 years.

What’ the most popular pool liner color?

Deep Blue is the best-selling color.

Is a lighter or darker vinyl color better?

A darker liner will absorb more sunlight and, therefore, can keep the water warmer and make it more difficult to see debris and dirt in your pool. Lighter-color liners tend to not fade as fast and, as a result, look better for longer.

Why does my pool liner keep falling?

Pool liners shrink and lose elasticity as they age, and could be the reason yours is falling. Another reason could be that the coping is stretching open and can’t grab the liner correctly.

Over time, you’ll become more familiar with your pool, and the maintenance and repairs needed to keep it operating smoothly. Until then, it’s a good idea to observe a professional at work and confer with them to ensure the work is done correctly.

Since we’re all home now more than ever, being prepared for unexpected home repairs with a plan from HomeServe is important. Having a plan in place gives you the peace of mind knowing that you can simply call our 24/7 repair hotline for covered breakdowns. See what plans are available in your neighborhood.