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General Questions

Vinyl Liner Questions

Safety Cover Questions

Custom Spa Cover Questions

Aqua Staircase Questions

Easy Entry Step Questions


General Questions

  1. Can I order products from Merlin directly?

No. Because many of our products require complex measurements and are customized based on your specific pool or spa and your backyard, we sell our products through professional dealers based around the United States. This way, you have an expert nearby to help you get the best fitting Merlin product for your pool or spa and the support of a local installer.

  1. What do you mean by limited warranty? How is it pro-rated?

A limited warranty is a warranty in which restrictions or conditions are set forth governing what is and is not covered under the warranty as well as the duration of the warranty and responsibilty of the manufacturer and the item purchaser for repair or replacement of the item if a warrantable issue should arise. The pro-rate periods of our products differ based on the type of product and model within that product line.

  1. How do I find a Merlin dealer near me?

On the homepage of our website, you can click a link that says “Click Here to Find a Dealer Near You.” or click HERE. This will take you to our dealer locator. We ask you a few short questions in order to match you with the best dealer suited for your needs within a 50 or 100 mile radius of your zip code.  

  1. Can I fill out the warranty online?

Yes. From the homepage, click the “Register Products” tab to the right of the menu bar. Fill out all warranty questions and click “Submit” to register the warranty online.


Liner Questions

  1. What’s the difference between a 20 and 27 mil liner?

The “mil” of a liner indicates the thickness of the vinyl. So, a 27 mil liner is thicker than a 20 mil liner. Beware of liners measured in gauge. Liner thickness is not measured in gauge so this is a way that some manufacturers make liners sound like they are thicker than they really are.

  • How will my liner look in the pool?

To get an idea of what your liner will look like in the pool, we have a virtual tour available for each of our patterns. Under the “Products—Vinyl Liners” tab, to the right of the video it says, “Click here to take our virtual tour.” You can then find the pattern you are interested in. Additionally, ask your dealer if they have any pictures of other projects that have used the liner in question.

  1. Will chemicals hurt my liner?

Not if used properly. Our standard vinyl was created to be exposed to typical chlorine and chemical use. We do strongly encourage you to keep your chlorine to recommended levels (usually 1-3ppm), and test your pool often to ensure your chemicals are balanced. We also recommend you not put a cover such as a solar cover or close your automatic cover on your pool directly after shocking, as it will trap the oxidation process generated by the shock and could potentially cause problems.   If you are worried about occasional chemical misuse, take a look at our AQUA-Max Vinyl, which has a different chemical make-up specifically targeted at resisting chemicals and bleaching. It also contains significantly more anti-fungal and anti-bacterial protection and much greater UV and weather resistance as well.

  1. Will brushes or pool cleaners hurt my liner?

Brushes with metal bristles or a combination of metal and plastic bristles should not be used in vinyl lined pools.
Always make sure the items used for maintainence of your pool are designed for use in your type of pool.

  1. Can I mix and match liner tiles and bottoms?

Yes, although the material used to make the wall portion of the liner has some bottom print on it from our manufacturer, for an up-charge, this portion may be able to be removed and a different bottom pattern can be welded up to the tile. This process will result in an additional seam below the tile line to accomplish this.

  1. What is the difference in a Value-Max and Aqua-Max liner?

Our Value-Max Patterns are discounted 27 mil. patterns which offer slightly thicker material at the same cost as 20 mil. vinyl. Our AQUA-Max line is an upgraded vinyl that offers much better chemical, heat and UV resistance, as well as twice as much anti-fungal and anti-bacterial protection. Our AQUA-Max patterns do have a slight upcharge.

  1. How long should my liner last?

Every backyard and every pool has a different set of factors which will effect the longevity of a vinyl liner. Things such as water chemistry and UV exposure as well as geography play a big part in this. With proper chemical levels and routine use and maintenance, most liners can last up to 10 years or longer.

  1. How often do you change your liner patterns?

We bring in fresh liner patterns each year based on the color and interior decorating trends of the time in order to offer you the most modern and attractive patterns available. Additionally, we discontinue patterns as well, which are our “While Supplies Last” patterns. If you are interested in a “While Supplies Last” pattern, make sure to check with your pool dealer to ensure it is still in stock.

  1. What is a Merlin Signature Liner?

A Merlin Signature Liner is a pattern that is unique to Merlin that you won’t find anywhere else.

  • Do you have plain liners?

Yes. We offer five solid patterns—Black, blue, dark gray, white, and dark blue.

  • Will I see seams in my liner?

At Merlin, we use a Silk Seam Process that creates a flatter seam than most in the industry. Our seams are easy on your feet and much less likely to catch debris. As for visibility, certain bottom materials will make seams less noticeable than others. Each liner is designed to have the least amount of seams possible as more seams means more labor to fabricate the liner. We do not use scraps of material to try to piece a liner together, all of our liners are designed for proper fit and are cut from rolls of virgin vinyl material never scraps.

  1. What size and shape pools can you make a liner for?

We can make a liner for basically any shape or size pool! We’ve made some of the most unique vinyl liners in the world including liners featuring bar stools, tanning ledges, negative/vanishing edges, lap lines, etc. We’ve made liners for large commercial pools to simple rectangles to complicated free forms.

  1. How can I fix a small rip or tear in my liner?

Vinyl patch kits are available at most pool retail stores, and most swimming pool dealers are adept at patching vinyl liners.

Safety Cover Questions

  1. Why do I need a safety cover?

SAFETY, SAFETY, SAFETY!!! Safety Covers are a great solution to secure your pool through the winter. They protect it from snow and debris, animal intrusion, and keep "little" family members out of harm's way when in the pool area. AESTHETICS, AESTHETICS, AESTHETICS!!! Safety Covers also provide an attractive alternative to other cover types like water bag style covers and can be used to protect more expensive automatic covers during the winter. Depending on the environment in your backyard, we offer different types of covers based on what you need. If you have a lot of trees and pollen in your yard, our XLS Solid Cover might be perfect for you. If you are tired of spending lots of money on chemicals to turn around a green pool every spring, our SmartMesh cover is for you. Other than being the final step in winterizing your pool, a safety cover also allows for a worry-free winter. Typically installed and removed by a pool professional, a safety cover will keep your pool not only safe from the elements, but safe from unauthorized entry as well.

  1. Can you make a cover for any shape and size pool?

Yes. At Merlin, we offer many solutions to unique pool configurations such as step-riser kits or cable systems to close the gaps at negative walls. We offer different anchor types depending on your deck material, and design solutions for practically any complicated pool.

  1. My dealer said the cover brand they sell is “just like” a Merlin SmartMesh™ cover. Is that true?

No. Merlin Industries invented and holds a patent on the revolutionary SmartMesh™ material. It is the only cover in the industry to provide 100% shade, and still let water through, filtering debris down to 40 microns.

  1. I live at the beach. Should that affect which cover I buy?

You should discuss your options with your installer as your pool requirements may be as unique as your geography.

  1. What is the difference between SmartMesh™ and Dura-Mesh covers?

Dura-Mesh offers the industry’s highest abrasion resistance, tear strength, burst strength and sunlight shading of any other standard mesh cover.  SmartMesh™ is in a league of its’ own. It is essentially a hybrid, offering the benefits of solid and mesh covers rolled into one. With SmartMesh™, you open a much cleaner pool like that of a solid cover (Since it provides 100% shade from sunlight which inhibits algae growth), but it is much lighter than a solid cover and still lets water through as with mesh, filtering debris down to 40 microns. As with all covers, SmartMesh™ covered pools need to be properly winterized and chemicals added.

  1. Why is the warranty less on the solid than mesh covers? 

The effects of the sun on solid material is much differerent on solid safety cover material verses mesh safety cover material.

  1. How can I confirm I’ve received the CORRECT mesh cover upon delivery, since the SmartMesh™ is more expensive than Dura-Mesh?

There is a noticible difference between the look of Dura-mesh and SmartMesh™. Please refer to your dealer's material swatches if you feel there may be a mix-up.  

  1. How much do each of these covers weigh?

Cover weights vary by material, pool size and hardware requirements. Most residential covers can be handled by two people.

  1. If I have a non-Merlin cover and want a replacement, could Merlin make the same cover matching the anchor points?

With proper measurements from a pool professional or better yet, by using the original cover as a template, yes, we can re-make almost any of our competitor’s covers using Merlin materials.

  1. Should I drain my pool when I am ready to put on my Merlin cover this winter?

NO. Never drain your pool in preparation for winter. If properly winterized, the water in the pool will be fine and it actually helps to support the cover in the case of a large snow load. Please discuss proper water levels with your installer. Your cover warranty specifically states that water levels lower than 18" from the top of the pool may void your warranty and can result in damage to the cover.

  1. Should I remove snow from my safety cover?

NO. Snow and Ice will collect on your cover in areas where climates allow. It should be left alone. Damage to the cover or personal injury may result when trying to remove snow or ice. If pool water levels are properly maintained under the cover (no more than 18" below the deck level), the weight of the snow and ice should rest on the water without creating an issue.

  1. I have rock surrounding my pool. Can that damage my cover?

In the case of rough coping around your pool (Be it rock, brick, etc.) we recommend an option called perimeter padding. This padding is attached with either clips or Velcro to the perimeter of the pool cover. This will provide extra protection from the edge of the pool. In some instances, it may be nessecary to pad the edge of the pool or certain areas of the pool like raised spas or water features with some type of padding that we do not provide. Just because a cover is ordered with perimeter padding, it does not mean that the cover is indestructible.

  1. Can you install a Merlin cover on an above-ground pool?

Above ground swimming pools are designed to support the outward pressure of the water in the pool. A safety cover can put pressure in the opposite direction which could lead to a collapse of the pool wall. Unless the deck around the pool is completely independant of the pool then a safety cover should not be installed

  1. How and where should I store my cover while it is not in use?

Storage of your cover should include a sealed container like a large storage tub or trash can or the storage location should be free of the threat of any rodents or insects. Rodents and insects can do substantial damage to the cover if they nest inside its folds.

  1. How can I fix a small rip or tear in my cover?

Your dealer sells patches to repair smaller rips in any of our covers. For larger damages, we recommend having your dealer send it in to our repair department for review.


Custom Spa Cover Questions

  • What tapers of foam inserts do you offer?

Standard and Deluxe are 4" to 2". Our Economy and Ultra covers are 3" to 2", other tapers are available by special order at an additional cost.

  • Can just cover inserts be ordered?

Yes, just inserts can be ordered for covers with skins in good condition. Specific dimensions will need to be provided to insure that the new inserts will fit into the skin. Cover skins should not be left without inserts in them as they may shrink and not allow for the inserts to be replaced.

  • Can a spa cover withstand heavy snow?

Severe snow loads should be removed from your cover by hand or with a snow brush, NOT a shovel. If your spa cover is in the path of snow sliding off of a pitched roof of a house, care should be taken to avoid a large load of snow falling onto the cover.

  • Do Custom Spa Covers meet ASTM Standards for Safety Covers?

Most of our covers, when properly installed, will meet or exceed the Standards for Safety Covers set forth by the ASTM in ASTM F1346-91. Covers that do not meet this standard due to size or lack of tie down method or other exception will require a waiver to be signed by the spa owner or dealer.

  • What are the R-values of spa covers?

Custom Spa Covers approximate R-values are as follows:
Economy - R10
Standard - R14
Deluxe - R14
Ultra - R15
ThermoLight - R8

  • What should I clean my spa cover skin with?

Cleaners and protectants made for marine grade vinyl should be used. Cleaners and protectants designed for use on auto dash boards or tires should not.


Aqua Staircase Questions

  • How do I hold the step down?

Each step comes with ballast bags made of our SmartMesh™ cover material. These bags feature a velcro closure and handles to move the bags. Other steps provide cheap sand bags with a drawstring closures. The Duke step comes with two bags, and the King step comes with three. We recommend filling the bags with pea gravel rather than sand making the bags easier to remove prior to winterizing. On pools with decks around them, the step should also be held in place by the deck mount.

  1. How much weight can the step support?

Our Aqua Staircase can easily support up to 700 pounds! As it is made using roto-mold technology, the step is one piece, rather than multiple, which makes it much more stable and durable.

  1. Can the step tear my liner?

Not under usual circumstances. However, we recommend you inspect the bottom of the step for any burrs that may have developed during shipping or delivery of your step or when you have moved your step around the outside of the pool. These can be easily removed and the surface can be sanded smooth. You can also put a floor mat (available from Merlin) beneath the step.

  1. The step is difficult to get out of the pool every winter when I want to cover it. Any suggestions?

They key to removing the step for the winter is removing the ballast bags as well as allowing the water to drain out of the step as you are lifting the step. Do not rush lifting the step out of the pool. Some pool owners decide to leave the step in the pool by laying it down under the water or removing the rail so it will not interfere with the pool cover.

  1. What colors does the step come in?

The Aqua-Staircase comes in white, blue and gray granite.


Easy Entry Questions

  1. Can I install Easy-Entry steps in an existing pool?

Yes! Our Easy-Entry steps are designed to be retro-fitted and can be installed in any existing pool when ordering a replacement liner.

  1. What sizes do the steps come in?

We have a variety of stock shapes and sizes, but can also have custom steps designed if your pool requires something a little more unique. Talk to your pool professional to decide what design would be best for your pool.



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