"> How Much Does it Cost to Replace an Above Ground Pool Liner – Above Ground Pools Know it All

How Much Does it Cost to Replace an Above Ground Pool Liner

A decent quality metal-walled above-ground swimming pool should last between ten and twenty years on average. The liner of the pool won’t last that long though and will need replacing.

The cost to replace a liner in an above-ground pool includes the new liner cost, labor to perform the changeout, water to re-fill the pool, and start-up chemicals. As of 2022, the average price range to have your liner changed is between $1000 and $3000 for everything.


This list will cover ALL possible costs of changing your pool liner. Most won’t need to do or pay for some of these things, but it’s good to know what you may have to do.

1. A new liner $300- $1200

Sadly, since 2020, liners have gone way up in price. Whatever you paid for your last liner, look to spend between two and three times more for it now.

Depending on what type of liner, the quality, and the size, the current range for a liner is from about $300 to $1200. For most, this will be the biggest expense for this job.


  • Heavy gauge liners last at least a couple of years longer than standard ones
  • Liners that are fully printed (printing everywhere) last longer than solid blue ones
  • Make very sure to buy a liner made in the US or Canada. Chinese-made liners cost much less but don’t last very long at all.

2. Having a professional perform the liner changeout $400 – $1500

DIYing a liner change is easier than installing the entire pool, but most choose to have someone do it (if they can find someone to).

How much a pool guy will charge for a liner change depends on a couple of things:

  • Size of the pool – The bigger the pool, the more it will cost
  • Shape of the pool – Ovals are trickier than round pools. The top parts can be harder to deal with and the liner is somewhat harder to set. Expect to pay more if your pool is an oval shape.
  • If there is a deck attached to the pool – Wood decks built to the top of the pool can make taking the top pieces off much more difficult. If you have a deck tightly built next to the top of your pool, expect to pay more to have the liner changed.
Oval above ground pool that is empty and surrounded by a wood deck
  • If your pool has a deep center or deep end – Custom deeper depths for above-ground pools take more work, experience, time, and effort to replace the liner. Yep, they’ll charge more for your deep end/center.
Above ground swimming pool top rails connected to a severely rusted top connector plate
These screws are completely rusted and will not come off
  • Top parts are rusted together – Depending on the age and model, it can take much longer to get rusted screws off when taking the pool apart for the liner changeout. If your pool hasn’t had a new liner in it for more than 10 years, expect to pay more to have it taken apart as needed for a liner change.
  • Wall corrosion – If your pool’s wall is rusted through and the pool guy can repair it, then that will be an additional cost.
  • Pool is semi-inground – A pool being somewhat in the ground may not make a liner change any harder, but it could too. If your walls of the empty pool are wanting to cave in during the liner changeout, expect to pay more. Sometimes a lot more.
  • If you live far away from where the installer lives – Don’t assume that an above-ground pool guy is living in your town or city. Some will only have one far away. Expect to pay a travel fee for him to come out and do your job.
  • The pool has an existing main drainChanging the liner with a main drain shouldn’t be a big deal for an experienced pool installer, but it does take some extra time, special attention, and usually needs at least one new gasket.


Most above-ground pools don’t have most of the conditions above. And if yours is just a simple pool with easy access to take apart, then expect to pay in the range of $400 – $1500 for the changeout (not including the liner) depending on your pool size.

If you have any of the above conditions though, you can add $200-$500 to the price. For cave-ins or full-piece wall repairs, it could be a lot more.

3. Replacement water Cost: Free – $1500

Everyone’s situation with how they fill their pool up is different. Some have good clear water wells, some pay for city water, and others have to pay for a water truck.

  • Filling with well water – This may not cost much at all. Just the electricity the well pump used to get the water out of the ground.
  • Fill with municipal water – Water companies vary in what they charge for water. Some are straight-up gangsters, but most are at least reasonable. A good range for most pool sizes, most will pay in the $100 -$300 range to fill their pool with city water.
  • Fill using a water truck – This will be an expensive option. The price varies depending on where in the county you live and how far they have to travel. Expect to pay in the area of about ten cents a gallon.

Using a 24’ round pool with 14K gallons as an example, it will cost somewhere around $1400 to fill with a water truck. And it will take at least two trips to do so.

4. Pool start-up chemicals $20 – $300

How much it costs to chemically start up a newly filled pool depends a lot on the quality of the water that you fill it up with.

Municipal or city water is already treated and balanced, so that shouldn’t take more than shocking it and maybe adjusting the pH. For an average-sized pool, this should cost only around $20 to do.

If you filled the pool with well water, then the cost depends on what it takes to get the water clear and balanced. Usually, metals are the issue, which takes some metal-out chemicals and extra chlorine.

The cost range to chemically balance a pool filled with well water is wide. It can just be the same twenty bucks as it is with city water or it can cost a few hundred dollars and some time to get the water clear and healthy.

NOTE: Even when well water is bad, it’s usually much less expensive to chemically treat it versus the cost of water trucked in.

5. Replacing the skimmer/return $50

Needing to replace the skimmer is not common with a liner changeout, but that is the time to do it if it’s leaking or old. When you buy a new skimmer, a new return jet comes with it, so you might as well replace that too.

6 Adding or replacing the liner guard $80 – $200

Sometimes referred to as gorilla or rhino pads, liner guards are not necessary but are popular.

Sometimes existing liner guards cannot be reused after the ground has been reworked during a liner change, so people choose to replace them.

If you had some issues with your pool’s bottom and think having a liner guard will help, during a liner change is the time to add one.

7 Adding or replacing foam coving $75 – $150

Foam coving is another add-on that is not necessary but has become popular. In most cases, existing foam coving can be reused, but not always. Sometimes it flattens out and needs replacing.

8 Wall foam and glue $50 – $150

I’m only a fan of using wall foam if it’s needed. And IF it’s needed, that’s when you are changing the liner. Learn about when you need wall foam here.

9 Coping strips $25 -$75

Coping strips are only needed if you have an overlap type liner. They often need replacing, so if you are replacing with a 1980s-style overlap liner, then odds are you’ll want to have some new ones on hand.

OPINION: I’m not a big fan of overlap-type liners. In the 80s, that’s almost all there was. Then they started getting replaced by j-hook types which are much nicer looking and overall easier for the DIYer to install.

For a little while, it looked like overlap-type liners used for standard bottom pools were going to go completely away and I was good with that. In the last 10 years or so, they’ve had a bit of a resurgence. I think mainly due to guys in the business having liners made in China AND the archaic nature of the manufacturer, Doughboy.

NOTE: You can replace an existing overlap type liner with a j-hook type. This will eliminate the need for coping strips.

10. Replacing rusty parts $20 – $500

Sometimes an above-ground pool looks to be in perfect shape. Then you take the top rails off and notice that underneath is a whole lot of rusty parts. Sometimes, those parts will need replacing.

Usually, the two main pieces needing replacement are the top stabilizer bars and top connectors. And usually, not all need replacing.

11. Replacing screws and gaskets $5 – $50

Sometimes the screws that these pool manufacturers choose to use for their pools are very poor and rust quickly. Sometimes they are great and don’t corrode at all.

If you find yourself having to replace some screws for your pool, don’t be like the maker. Spend an extra few bucks and get quality corrosion-resistant replacements. Stainless steel is what I would get.

Also, the gaskets for your skimmer and return fitting may need replacing. This will depend on how crappy the originals were.

12. Repairing the existing deck $ -$$$

Wood decks built high against above-ground pools get in the way of liner changeouts all the time. When they do, boards have to come off to get to the top of the pool.

When people build decks with no regard for future liner changes, they use poor-quality deck screws and build the deck in the way. This results in having to cut the deck out of the way. Repairing what was removed can cost a little or more.

13. Repairing a caved-in pool $200 – $1000

This is a worst-case scenario for above-ground pool liner changes. The pool is in the ground, gets emptied, the top of the pool starts getting removed, then the walls start caving in from the outside earth.

Fixing this requires only one thing – digging out the earth along to outside of the pool wall. This may sound easy but anyone who ever had to do it knows its pain. A pain that a pool guy like me will charge a lot to do.

Imagine having a 24’ round pool three feet in the ground that you are paying a professional like me to change the liner in. You bought a liner for $600 and I’m charging you $600 to install it. At $1200, you are in pretty deep.

Now when I start taking the pool top apart, it starts caving in on me. At that point, I give you the bad news. “It’s going to be another $500 -$1000 for me to dig this pool out” is what you hear. Yikes!!






15' Round

$250 - $400

$300 - $500

$20 - $100

18' Round

$300 - $450

$400 - $600

$20 - $200

21' Round

$400 - $600

$500 - $700

$40 - $900

24' Round

$400 - $600

$500 - $800

$40 - $1200

27' Round

$500 - $700

$600 - $800

$60 - $1500

30' Round

$600 - $800

$700 - $900

$100 - $1500

33' Round

$700 - $900

$800 - $1100

$150 - $2000

12x24 Oval

$300 - $500

$400 - $600

$20 - $200

15x30 Oval

$400 - $600

$500 - $800

$40 - $900

16x32 Oval

$450 - $650

$500 - $800

$40 - $1000

18x33 Oval

$750 - $1000

$700 - $1000

$60 - $1500

21x43 Oval

$900 - $1200

$900 - $1200

$100 - $1500

*Cost of water in chart is high based on the option of using a water truck. Most don’t fill with a water truck

*Cost of liner installation in chart is based on a standard liner change only. Dealing with a deck in the way, deep center, semi-inground, ect. will result in a higher charge.

*Cost of liner in chart ranges based on liner type, quality, and where you buy it.


Dan writes with the knowledge of having 35 years (and counting) in the above ground pool industry.

2 thoughts on “How Much Does it Cost to Replace an Above Ground Pool Liner

  1. Hi Dan,
    I have a 24’ round above ground pool that is buried about 2’ on one side. Is there a way to keep the sides from collapsing prior to emptying the water?

    1. The only sure way that I know of is to dig the dirt from the outside of the pool just by the wall. You can put the dirt back after the new liner goes in and the pool is re-filled.

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