Pool Liner FAQ
Q: What’s a “parachute” or “expandable” pool liner?
A: A parachute pool liner is a liner that is drastically undersized. They were very common a number of years ago, but not so much anymore. The idea was that you could have a one-size-fits-all, stockable liner. These days most companies custom make each liner to ensure your liner will last. Parachute liners typically don’t last as long as custom fitting liners because of all the stretching going on. There are a few companies making parachute liners though. Keep an eye out for “All Sizes in Stock”; the liners are probably parachutes.
Q: Do you sell to the public?
A: Unfortunately we only sell our pool liners through our dealers. Measuring and installation for a liner is a very complex, complicated process—something only a trained professional should attempt. Well, we’ve changed our tune a little. Since, with a few clicks of the mouse you can learn how to do just about anything, we decided to open our doors to the public that isn’t reached by our dealers. So, you can buy directly as long as you are not in a dealer’s territory.
Q: I’ve heard people use the term “gauge” for measuring vinyl thickness, but you only use “mil”. What’s the difference?
A: The term “gauge” is commonly used by liner manufacturers, but it’s wrong and misleading.
For the rest of the world, “gauge” is a measurement by which a thing (wire, sheet metal, etc.) is put into an actual gauge. The number of things that fit into the gauge determines the measurement. That is why a thicker thing will have a smaller gauge. For instance: if 14 pieces of sheet metal fit in a sheet metal gauge, then it is 14 gauge steel. The steel industry has determined what the size of the gauge must be, but there is no such gauge for vinyl.
Since there is no gauge for vinyl the actual thickness of “30 gauge” vinyl (for example) could be anything. It’s a legal loop-hole, and quite frankly, I think it’s a dirty trick to play on people.
Just so you know—30 gauge vinyl is typically 27.0mil to 28.0mil, but, again, it could be anything.