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Thread: upright came up, raising top rail

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    upright came up, raising top rail

    Can this be repaired?
    Last summer was first with a pool for me, it came with the house. Joined this group and thought I was doing okay and learning UNTIL...last July a friend was on the deck and started jumping around like crazy, trying to escape a wasp . Within a few minutes I noticed that the top rail in that area had come up out of place. (Long side of the pool, deck area.) Down below, the upright seemed to have come up.....I took pictures and went to the pool place that had sold the prior owner the pool; they said it was too old, they couldn't fix it. I used the pool (gently) for the rest of the summer. This summer I tried hard to find someone to look at it, but with no luck. Friends who have pools, and my ex-husband, who is now a "pool guy", have looked at the pictures and say it should be fixable. But 2 pool places said no. I have been trying to find a handyman to take a look, no luck so far.....I'm retired now and on social security, a new pool isn't an option. Have to either fix it or take it down. Any advice about whether this is really beyond repair or if it's fixable? I have to do something, can't let it just sit there .....thank you! (P.S. I have not used the pool this summer.)
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    15 x 30 x 52 oval above ground, Sunshine Pools, Miami model.....19 years old...Hayward pump....DE filter....well water

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: upright came up, raising top rail

    Welcome to TFP. This can definitely be repaired by getting several people together working towards one cause and fixing this with minimal damage. What looks like happened is that the deck was under the top rail and it raised the upright and displaced the wall from the track.

    I would drain the pool, remove the liner and start to dismantle the uprights and see if you can get the wall back into the track. You may have to sacrifice the deck to fix the pool or pull the deck boards.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: upright came up, raising top rail

    Thank you for your response! I've been so frustrated. The pool companies were so definite that it couldn't be fixed, and wasn't safe to use . And it didn't occur to me that the deck moving displaced the top rail, and that affected the upright..... I kept wondering what was wrong with the upright that it came out so easily; very much a newby........but what you say makes sense. I have one more question if you don't mind: the wall looks to me like it's in place, the bottom of the upright has come up and is angled out...the silvery strip in the picture (under the upright) looks like metal but it's just the edge of plastic sheeting that seems to be underneath the gravel; the track isn't visible......am I wrong? And thank you again. I see light at the end of the tunnel!
    15 x 30 x 52 oval above ground, Sunshine Pools, Miami model.....19 years old...Hayward pump....DE filter....well water

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    Re: upright came up, raising top rail

    some oval pools have steel straps that run under the straight line of the pool to the opposite end upright. I don't see a strap at the bottom of the upright. I assume it uses a block buttress. normally there is a steel L shape plate to hold the buttress. you will need to reset that. you might need a new liner too depending where the skimmer is located. if the skimmer needs to be removed so you can access the area you need to be repaired the re-matching up the holes for the skimmer will not be easy.
    look in the phone book for an above ground pool installer. You might be able to get one to come out and fix it. they normally are independent guys and have no interest in selling you a pool. they just install them. fall is there down season. they might be looking for jobs, no matter how small.
    24' round AGP, 14,600 gallon, Resin/Steel Wall/Vinyl Liner, Hayward Sand Filter 1 HP Pump

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: upright came up, raising top rail

    We would need better pics of the wall and upright to better answer your questions.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: upright came up, raising top rail

    I'm with Casey----the jumping/moving of the decking upwards on the top rail popped the wall out of the track. Your pool stores just don't want to hassle with it I think.
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
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    Re: upright came up, raising top rail

    My guess, and without being there, the best anyone can do is guess, is that when you friend was jumping, she pushed the ends of the deck boards down. They went under the top rail, caught the lip, and then popped it up when they sprung back. The decking is what is holding that section up. Uprights do not shift and get higher, they can only go lower. If you have a 4' upright, the highest it will be is 4' high, and that is when it is perfectly vertical. If the base shifts, then it will be LESS than 4' to the top.

    As wanetang said, It does not look like you have straps under your pool (if you did, and the deck pulled an upright up like this one, you would most likely see them in the bottom of your pool right now. You have a braced buttress there. Ideally it is right triangle. The leg is vertical, the bottom piece is horizontal (making a 90 degree angle at the pool) and the brace runs from the top to the bottom. Looking at the pictures, it looks like when the deck lifted that section up, it pulled the upright up, and caused that 90 degree angle to become greater than 90 degrees.

    Here is what I would do.

    Pull back that green carpeting (I would remove it altogether, it gets nasty, but that's just me).

    Take a look at the top rail, if it is hung up on the deck boards, then I suspect this is what did happen.

    Drain most (if not all) of the pool.

    Depending on how hung up the rail is, you may be able to push it off the decking so it can drop back down. If it is really hung up there, you may have to cut the decking (sawzall or a jig saw would work).

    When it drops, you need to check that the pool wall is in the track, the upright is vertical, and that none of the hardware is bent.

    -dave
    27' Round ABG (17,000 gal) - +/- 11 hours of full sun per day
    Hard plumbed Hayward Perflex EC-40 DE filter w/ 1 HP pump (Got a new one June 2015)
    Filered 4 hours per day (on a timer)
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    Re: upright came up, raising top rail

    Thank you so much for your answers. I tried to get better pictures, would have posted them sooner but had to fight with my computer to get them online. Now they seem gigantic!
    I still hope that the wall is in the track, I dug out a little trying to expose the bottom of the wall. (pic 3)
    There are braces, and the one on the affected upright IS at a different angle than the rest. (pic 1)
    I did notice that the bottom of the wall near that upright has developed a bulge that wasn't there (or I didn't see ) before. (pic 3)
    I did peel back some of the green mat (the pool is still covered) to see if the top rail was caught up on the deck...(pic 2)....it doesn't seem to be, but maybe it got caught long enough to do the damage, and then came free afterward somehow? There is a cutout in the deck by each post.
    I found some "pool installers" online, couldn't find any in the phone book.....closest one is about an hour away but I'm going to call and see what they have to say, can't hurt, thank you for that tip! One of the pool companies I went to told me outright that only one place around here will do repair work on above ground pools, and when I went to that place, they glanced at the pictures and said no, can't be fixed. I think you're right, they don't want the hassle. Thank you again, before I felt stymied at every turn and very clueless.

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    15 x 30 x 52 oval above ground, Sunshine Pools, Miami model.....19 years old...Hayward pump....DE filter....well water

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    Re: upright came up, raising top rail

    Oh boy, now that the lower portion of the outer skin can be seen clearly, that really shows a major issue. Having the wall bend out and buckle like that is not a good sign at all. It is going to prove difficult to repair that. Not saying it cannot be done, but it will not be easy. You going to have to drain the pool, and push/straighten that buckle out and put reinforcing over it, otherwise it will just buckle again as now its a weak spot. So sad to see this happened, and feel even worse that it's not an easy fix either.
    You just cannot straighten out that buckle, and not use any reinforcement. It will buckle again due to it now being the weakest link (so to speak). I can see why the pool store said it was not repairable........they are not far off in their opinion. I doubt you will find any professional willing to repair that due to the liability he will be taking if it fails again. The best course of action would be to replace the entire wall and liner.
    Ultra 16', Intex Sand filter/pump combo, 8' x 20' solar panels, solar blanket w/roll tube, 1" extruded foam floor with Gorilla pad, Liquid chlorine and stabilizer.

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    Re: upright came up, raising top rail

    So what has happened here is the wall was lifted out of the lower track. At the same time the upright was displaced from the front buttress that normally holds the front upright at a 90 degree angle forcing an oval pool into a straight line. The load was picked up by the back crossed buttress that runs on an angle. That back buttress is held in place by a buried concrete mason block. The back buttress prevented a total bottom blow-out of the pool. All oval pools want to be round naturally it is the buttress system on the straight runs that forces them to be oval. When the metal is bent on the wall, the wall develops a memory where the metal has been bent. Meaning resetting the buttress won't correct that metal memory on the wall itself. You will see creases in the wall where the pressure of the water is trying to force its way out the bottom of the wall. Undoing the crease will not change the metal fatigue (memory) that has occurred. Kinda like crushing a soda can. The corrugation (ribs) at the bottom of the wall is there to add addition strength to the bottom of the wall. Basically there to avoid metal creasing. In short the structural integrity of the wall has been compromised. At the very least you will need a new wall and liner.
    24' round AGP, 14,600 gallon, Resin/Steel Wall/Vinyl Liner, Hayward Sand Filter 1 HP Pump

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    Re: upright came up, raising top rail

    So sorry , but I have to agree with waynetang - that is a tough fix, if it is even possible. It will involved draining the entire pool at the least, and possibly a new wall.

    I will say, I don't understand how a person jumping on the deck would cause that to happen. In fact, I cant figure out what would cause that to happen, short of the bottom track failing (or someone making some really large waves in the pool)

    -dave
    27' Round ABG (17,000 gal) - +/- 11 hours of full sun per day
    Hard plumbed Hayward Perflex EC-40 DE filter w/ 1 HP pump (Got a new one June 2015)
    Filered 4 hours per day (on a timer)
    Pentair Aqualuminator - now working - and now dead once again, this time for good.
    Zodiac Wahoo

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    Re: upright came up, raising top rail

    Well, not what I wanted to hear , but thank you so much for your answers and explanations and time. I've been googling and reading so much today, from replacing walls to how to get rid of a pool altogether, that my head is spinning; have to try again tomorrow. Wish I'd asked my questions here last year when this first happened instead of going to the pool stores!
    I still kinda think the pool places just didn't want the bother: because they didn't see those pictures I just posted, from Sept 2015. They based their "can't be fixed" on the 2 pictures below, from when it first happened in July 2014. The wall then didn't have a bulge like it does now, at least not a pronounced one. Anyway, wanted to say thank you again, this is a great site.

    P.S. No big waves! Probably only used it three or four times, myself and 2 little grandchildren....non-wavers
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    15 x 30 x 52 oval above ground, Sunshine Pools, Miami model.....19 years old...Hayward pump....DE filter....well water

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    Re: upright came up, raising top rail

    Looking at the "old" picture again, it really looks to me like the upright is no longer bolted to the bottom track Somehow the horizontal support for that leg has failed, and allowed the upright to rip free.

    I am going to assume that your particular pool does not have tie straps that run under the pool - I say this for two reasons. 1, For the upright to have moved like that, your tie strap would have broke, and chances are your would see it through your liner. 2. If you have a tie strap, and it breaks, chances are you will see the entire buttress move, not just to part attached to the upright.

    I believe the horizontal section of that buttress (it's under the ground) has failed.

    This is what I would do in your situation.

    1) Drain the pool - do it now, that water is slowly but surely pushing that wall bottom out, it will get worse, and then fail when you cove gives up and the liner gets sucked under the wall.

    2) Expose that buttress - we need to see exactly what is wrong with it. Remove the dirt that is covering the horizontal leg.

    3) This is when you need to make your go / no-go decision. Depending on what is busted, rotted, what parts you can get, and how comfortable you are with making your own parts for items you cannot get, you will have to decide at this point to fix it, or call it a loss.

    4) If you are going to fix it, you will also need to determine the damage to the wall. It depends on how bad the crease is. You may be able to get a plate into that area to support the damaged wall. If not, then you are going to need a new wall as well.


    I would do steps 1 and 2 - draining is something that you are going to have to do no matter what the outcome is, and digging away some dirt is not hard, and does not cost anything. Just please, don't go digging until AFTER you drain the pool. Especially around those buttresses under the deck. If that wall breaks looks while you are under there, it will not be a good outcome. Drain first, then expose that buttress.
    27' Round ABG (17,000 gal) - +/- 11 hours of full sun per day
    Hard plumbed Hayward Perflex EC-40 DE filter w/ 1 HP pump (Got a new one June 2015)
    Filered 4 hours per day (on a timer)
    Pentair Aqualuminator - now working - and now dead once again, this time for good.
    Zodiac Wahoo

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    Re: upright came up, raising top rail

    The pictures pretty much say it all, just like the pool stores mentioned. Sorry to say, it's pretty much toast without doing a major wall repair or replacement.
    Ultra 16', Intex Sand filter/pump combo, 8' x 20' solar panels, solar blanket w/roll tube, 1" extruded foam floor with Gorilla pad, Liquid chlorine and stabilizer.

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: upright came up, raising top rail

    I'm going with getting the water out of that pool. If it lets go, you are going to,have one heck of a problem, especially if it causes excessive property damage, injury, or death.

    The pool is 19-20 yrs old. We've certainly seen some make it longer but this pool has pretty much lived it's life and seen better days.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: upright came up, raising top rail

    Thank you again guys. I'm waiting for a pump (supposed to deliver today) and in the meantime I've been draining with garden hoses (all I had)......just eyeballing it now, it's probably less than half full. (It wasn't full to begin with since I didn't open it this summer.) Once it's empty, I'll do what Phonedave outlined (thank you Phonedave for that very helpful list of what to do----got me focused.) Hoping for something salvageable, but I love my grandchildren (AND my property) and will err only on the side of caution. I'll let you know what happens either way. When I can see something, I'll send another picture.

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