In Ground Pool Liners
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    So you want the truth?  Try this.  I had a "liner installer" purchase an in ground pool liner from Integrity Pools in Fairfield, NJ. (As of 2005, I don't believe they are around anymore)  This professional installed the liner in '92, the old liner was some 12 years old and was leaking through many tiny holes.
  Shot of the 12 year old liner, before the deck!



 
On Sunday, mid August 1995 my son went up to the pool to get something and said the pool was half full.  We went up a and found the pool half empty.  I found a tear at the deep end of the pool, a big tear some 7 inches long right at the seam.

 

Shot of the almost empty pool, notice the dark line at the deep end.  This was 3 days after finding the hole Sunday.

 

We called Integrity Pools and discovered the wonderful truth of our "pro-rated warranty".  They called back a few days later and told us that the 3 year old replacement liner would only cost us some $700+ dollars.  HUMM.  We checked the receipt from the installation, the liner with installation only cost us $1600 and that included other extra work. (there was never a price for just the liner)  
With a 10 year pro-rated with 10% reduction each year (70% off) we figured the replacement would only cost us some $250 or so PLUS the labor charge of $300+ dollars. OH, NOT SO says Integrity Pools.  Read your warranty!  Yes they had our little card that we send it years ago to prove we "had a warranty".  Even thought NJ does not require any "end user" action to have a valid warranty.

Can you say tear at the seam!  Remember Integrity Pools left me a "warranty price" on my answering machine (still have the tape) even thought they never saw the pool.  Oh, if you read the warranty, they want the liner: DRIED, PACKED, SHIPPED TO THEM FOR INSPECTION!  Lets see, that would only cost some $500! by a "professional installer"  What a rip off of consumers!

According to the warranty the "pro-rated" 10% reduction per year is based on the "retail list price".

You know what the "retail list price" is.  Haven't you seen at the discount or dollar stores with tools with a printed "retail list price" of $35. begin sold for a few dollars.  The "suggested list price" is whatever the seller of the products thinks the price should be sold at.  Hence the rug outlets that sell $500 "list price" rugs for $200 are doing the same thing.  Jack up the original price so it looks like everything is sold at huge reductions.  Same for Pool Liners.

DON'T BELIEVE ME! Check on the web for the price of a 18'X34' liner.  You will find at "today's" cost is about $800 plus or minus.  So where, as in the court records state, did Intergity Enterprises, Inc.(Pools) get some $1350.00? (1997)

ONE:  This is a closed business!  What do I mean.  Get your pool liner warranty and call them.  They won't talk to you, only to a "professional installer". Humm... you pay for their product but my current liner company will not talk to me!  Only to the installer that installed the liner.  Ask them what their "retail list price" is on your liner!  They will respond with "call your installer".  This is how it works.  You are screwed, start to finish!  My 18' X 32' in ground pool liner cost some $800 (price goes up and down depending on the price of oil).  That's the price the "professional liner installer" will charge you.  They get it for some $650.   All of the other charge is labor babe.  They only work eight months out of the year, they charge a lot. So where is this "suggested list price"?  Well as this story started, with our half empty pool, Integrity Pools stated that a 3 year old liner (80 percent off full price) cost $740 to replace under warranty

TWO: List price is a fraud!  Well how did they come up with this price I asked.  Their response was that the "suggested list price" of my liner is some $1350.00.  Now wait, you said a liner for the pool would cost some $700/800.   Oh yes, that's what the "professional liner installer" would charge you or if you stopped off and picked up one at a pool store or order one on-line.  You can get a liner well below this "suggested list price", what a bargain.
Check the internet, call a few pool places.  All the prices for a 18' X 32' pool liner would be around $800.(princed in 1997)

Where in God's name did Integrity Pools get $1350?

Easy, after I sued them in small claim's court, Newark, NJ the owners stated that they take the production price and double it!  That's how they come up with "suggested retail price"  Don't believe me, check the court records!  Integrity Pools never said my liner was NOT defective as I have the phone message stating they would replace my liner under warranty, even without seeing it!  How nice of them!   Now lets get this straight, the Pool liner company sells the liner to the "professional installer" for some $625 (I'm not sure of the exact price but bet I'm real close).  Then the installer charges some $100+ profit and then hits you with another $500 to $700 to install it. Remember, for your warranty to be activated, a professional must install the liner.  Then some 3 years later your liner becomes defective, Integrity Pools of Fairfield, NJ will warranty you pool liner minus 10% per year against THEIR suggested list price.  Guess what, you loose no matter what, even at 90% off!  I still come up with $925 for a 3 year old liner.  Ah, excuse me, I can get a liner for $800.  Why pay $125. more and get only the remaining warranty or should I say useful life.  There is no warranty if you are looking for a reduced price.  DAH, don't know.  When I sued Integrity Pools for in September I showed the judge two estimates for installing the liner which totaled  $1400 price for a liner and installation.  If you have had any involvement with "pool installers" you will only get an "installation cost".  No separate items like costs for liner or labor.  Just a total cost.  So I asked the Judge how I can get a quality liner (had the thickness specs and stuff for the Judge to see) and installation for the same price of their "LIST PRICE".
Another item spoken in court by Integrity Pools, during the first year they will replace the liner free! No charge, including any tears that happen during filling.  The liner company that the installer could bring it back to get fixed.  That was said to the judge, even thought the Judge stated he didn't see that written in their warranty.  If you have a pre-one year problem, get Integrity Pools on their statement in court!
    As you can see I did some research on pool liners, and Integrity Pools had their lawyer there from 8am to 4:30 pm waiting for our case to come to the judge.  I hope that cost them a pretty penny.  A pre-meeting try at arbitration quickly failed.  The judge was tired by 3:45pm when our case was finally heard.  I presented my case.

How can a warranty product cost more then purchased through a "installer"?

Integrity Pools stood by their "warranty" even thought the judge had some interesting questions on the warranty, especially when the owners said that the liner would be replaced "free" if defective during the first year.
    The judge said at 4:25pm that a bomb scare was made to the building and we had to leave but he had heard enough and since Integrity Pools fulfilled their part of the warranty, my case would be thrown out.

THREE: Are all pool liner warranties like this?  After court I called my current pool liner company (with the same warranty wording, a percent per year off their current "suggested list price") and asked a few questions.  Sorry, please contact your installer.  I did and asked him the "suggested list price" of the liner he installed for $1400.  He had to check and said he called the liner company located in Somerville, NJ.  He said it was some $1200 dollars!  He stated that was done for "insurance reasons".  Liners very rarely fail but when dogs, animals (deer) or physical damage (trees and branches) get stuck in a pool and tear up the liner, the "suggested list price" helps the owner come out ahead against the insurance settlement.

FOUR: You're stuck! If you have a liner fail.. don't even bother if your warranty says "pro-rated against suggested list price".  Start calling around and get the best price.  See if you'll get a reduction if you pick up the liner, the installer will only charge you $70+ an hour to drive to the company and pick up a 2X6X2 foot box.  Get a thick liner and forget any warranty claims, they won't hold up unless your state will go against this closed business.

This is what a liner is suppose to do, hold water!
  My last liner installer had a good suggestion.  He had me (or he'd charge me to do it) create a curved edge at the square base of our pool.  Using portland cement and the small foam used as the base of above ground pools, I made the base of the bottom wall curved (somewhere I have shots of this). 

This way the liner was always supported as liners never fits the right angles at the bottom but is now supported by this curve.  Guess where my original old liner always sprang all it's leaks, at the bottom curve.  Guess where my Integrity Pools liner split, at the bottom curve.  He didn't have me do the vertical right angles though.  Don't know why.

    That's my story.  The Newark, NJ courts have my records.  Liner companies have only one customer they want to keep happy, themselves.  You can install a liner without much problem, it's a lot of tugging and setup. Yes it can take a professional, or someone that knows what they are doing.  Besides, how do you become a professional?  Are there tests, does the state regulate them?  Good questions.  None of the NJ pool liner installers state a license numbers like builders or plumbers.
 And if you haven't been told, once a liner gets hit with chlorine, it has to stay full with water or it shrinks quickly.   See the picture of the almost empty pool above.  Is it hard to install a liner.  Not really, if you are very good at construction techniques. Not saying you won't have problems.  Getting the wrinkles out is the biggest hassle.  Need to stay in the pool while it's filling and flatten them out.  Place foam made for pools around the walls, yep, duck tape them together and special glue is sprayed on the walls to keep it flat. Use lots of glue, don't want them to slide and make bumps.   Also, they used a shop vac by the filter intake to suck out the air, had it there  for hours. There are "part time" installers around.  No overhead to cost you more.  What, no warranty from the "professional installer", yea right.  The one I knew is a teacher.  Almost hired him but I wanted a "pro" in case the Judge had questions.

GUESS WHAT:  In 2006 I replaced the liner again.  A storm messed thing up and tore the side.

Yes, you can do it yourself with a few friends.  Lots of places on the web to buy liners.  Be ACCURATE and get a good long ruler.  You don't have to measure down to 1/4 inch, just an inch.  They allow for a LOT of stretching.

ONE:  Glue the foam to the sides.  I have a terrible water table problem.  It pushed UP the foam on the shallow end one very rainy week.  It made a real mess.  So GLUE the new foam to the sides if you have water getting underneath your liner.  Hate to say use NEW foam on shallow ends, but again, my deep ends did wrinkle.

 
1. The pool empty 2. I fixed the bad cracks with concrete repair 3. Some of the long cracks I didn't do anything to
4. duck tape ! 5. The box !  This baby is some 200 lbs 6. Open the box, they tell  you which side is the shallow side

 
7. I taped the side to prevent the foam from falling. 
Buy spray glue on-line and glue it good ! !
8. One last look 9. Unroll the liner, lift, don't drag it
10. Start at the shallow end.  SOCKS only ! ! 11. I have a top lock liner, I reused the metal edge  12. Find the corners and then LOCK THEM
Wait for it to almost hit the return line, then
cut the return line hole.
13. Do the edges, pull it tight 14. Make sure you can lock the corners 15.  Yea, it stretches.  The sides are very loose
The extra needs to be pulled from the floor

 
16.  Find that corner notch and position it. 17.  The corner by the intake.  Seal the edge.
 I didn't and had a terrible time making it fit later.
18.  Check and check twice the fit.
Slide if needed.  Lots of stretching to come.
19. The dead diving board. Note those wrinkles on the right.
They never went away.
20. Pulling it to the side to straighten the bottom wrinkles
Note I have no socks.  Need the friction now.
21. The vacuum
22.  As the water pulls the side down 23.  STILL pulling the sides until the entire bottom is filled 24.  Happy, only $450 for the liner.
About 3 hours work from opening the box.