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Emerging technologies assist vinyl liner and safety cover installers

History of pool measuring

Of course, it was not always easy to measure pools. It was a long road to get the industry to where it is today. When vinyl liner pools were first being installed, installers were usually expected to build the pool to a specific size based on a short list of standard dimensions (generally rectangles with 152.4-mm [6-in.] radius corners). Typically, the pool was not measured for the manufacturer of the liner or cover. Instead, the pool was designed around a standard liner size.

Building the pool to exact specifications 
was not always possible or desirable, so some manufacturers went as far as building the liner
in the pool, eliminating the need to accurately measure and recreate the measurements during the fabrication process.

Measuring rectangular pools, which were popular at this time, were pretty straight forward. Standard measuring sheets were developed to help the installer ensure they recorded all of the necessary measurements. Octagonal-, full-‘L’s and kidney-shaped pools all lent themselves to these measuring sheets as well. They generally included measurements of the pool’s wall lengths, diagonals, and depths—essentially the basic measurements to recreate the pool shape.

As consumers started to request more elaborate pool shapes, it became necessary for designers/ builders to communicate specific measurements to the vinyl liner or safety cover fabricator. This increased product efficiency as they were more often than not manufactured in a facility using state-of-the-art equipment rather than improvising the installation on the jobsite. This also eliminated many environmental influences of working outdoors.

Before digital technology, and prior to the ‘A-B’ triangulation measurement method, installers and manufacturers used a system where a rope was run down the middle of the pool with markings every 0.61 m (2 ft). Dimensions from, and perpendicular to, the rope to each side of the pool’s edge were recorded. This created a grid pattern that defined the pool’s perimeter. Over time, however, ‘A-B’ measuring became the preferred method for defining a pool’s perimeter.

Today, the task of pool measuring is shifting toward newer techniques not only as a result of recent advancements in computer hardware and software, but also because the current generation of industry professionals is more willing to embrace new technology.

The process of measuring pools has changed considerably and as more installers make use 
of these tools many will see their benefits. As technology continues to advance, it will be interesting to see how pool measuring will continue to evolve.

Jewell_HeadshotBrian Jewell, P.Eng., is an owner of Highbury Pools Ltd., a manufacturer of various swimming pool components in Arva, Ont. He oversees the company’s liner manufacturing facility and has more than 20 years’ experience
in the pool industry. Jewell received his degree
in mechanical engineering in 1998 and is a registered professional engineer in Ontario, Alberta, and Michigan. He can be reached via e-mail at

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