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How To Identify Your Above Ground Pool's Liner Bead Type

Before you can order a new pool liner for your above ground pool you must first determine the type of liner you already have. To do this you'll need to look under the top rail or pool coping which surrounds the perimeter of your pool. If you can't get a good look under the top rail or pool coping you may need to remove it.

Vinyl pool copings are usually screwed into your pool wall. Find and remove the screws in a small section so you can pry up the coping and look underneath to determine your type of liner. Be careful doing this. Most pools have a 6-8" shelf at the top of the pool wall that might be fragile.

Once you have exposed the top rail/coping then you'll need to take a look at how the liner is attached to the pool wall. The way it is attached will determine whether you have an overlap, beaded or U/J bead liner.

Above Ground Overlap Pool Liners


What is an Above Ground Overlap Pool Liner?

Above ground overlap liners are pulled over the wall and rolled up on the exterior side of the pool. This style of liner will normally have a round or flat plastic coping that snaps over top of the liner to keep it in place. Above ground overlap liners are the most prevalent type and are the least expensive.

How to Determine if You Have an Overlap Pool Liner

In a pool with an overlap liner the liner will hang over the outside of the pool. Carefully look under the top rail/pool coping. Is any of the liner visible on the outer-side of the pool? If so, you have an overlap liner. If you still aren't sure look for plastic pool coping strips which are used to hold the liner in place.

Above Ground Standard Bead Pool Liner


What is an Above Ground Standard Bead Pool Liner?

The most popular type of above ground beaded liner is known as the "Standard Bead or Snap Bead" which tucks / snaps into a coping that is fastened over the pool wall. The required coping is called a Bead Retainer. This liner bead is designed for customers who are building decks around their pool and will not be able to dismantle the pool to change the liner in the future. Above ground beaded liners provide a clean finished look as they are not visible from the exterior of the pool.

How to Determine if You Have a Beaded Pool Liner

In a pool with a beaded liner you will notice a pre-existing track on the pool wall which the pool liner fits into. In most cases you do not need to remove the top rail to see this track. Once you have identified the track you should confirm that the beaded liner is inserted into the track and doesn't go over the wall. If the liner goes over the pool wall then you're dealing with an overlap liner.

Above Ground U/J Hook Pool Liner

U J Hook

What is an U/J Above Ground Bead Pool Liner?

The U/J above ground liner fits over top of the wall's edge directly (like an upside down letter "U" or "J"). Many of the U / J liners we carry are a universal bead that will work on either standard bead applications or U/J bead applications.

How to Determine if You Have an U/J Above Ground Bead Pool Liner

Take a look at your pool wall. If you have a U/J liner bead it will look like a hook that slides over the pool wall, not a track. The hook allows the liner to hang from the pool wall.

If you have further questions, feel free to contact one of our Liner Specialists at

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