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Thread: Vinyl liner and coping replacement - Pics Added!

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    Vinyl liner and coping replacement - Pics Added!

    Hello. Just found the forum, and have been impressed with all of the information here. I am looking for some guidance on vinyl liner replacement and a coping repair project. I have a 22X35 kidney shaped Fox pool, 8' or so deep end. It was installed in 1977, i believe.

    When i opened thee pool this spring, i found the level of the pool had dropped to just below the bottom of the stairs which has never happend before. I never experience any loss of water level over the winter, so i must have a leak, and i inspected the liner really closely at the water level and just above and cannot find a hole anywhere. I figured if i coudn't find it with a naked eye, it must be really small.

    Well, that's the easy part. There was only about a foot of water left in the shallow end, and the rising water table from recent rains floated my liner in the shallow end and it is now full of wrinkles. That also has never happened. We have had one wrinkle on the slope in the liner and it not very noticable. The liner was last replaced in May of 2000, so it has seen 9 swimming seasons.

    With only a foot or so of water in the shallow end, i attempted to move the liner to push the wrinkles to the sides, using a plunger and had no success at all. I found there is no water currently between the liner and the walls/floor either. It seems as though the liner has shrunk and/or somehow shifted or something.

    Thinking i could make it no worse, I drained the remining foot of water to see if the liner would be more pliable from some heat from the sun. I was able to move the wrinkles a little, however, it still seems to no longer fit and i don't know how it would stretch to the floor to wall joint with water in it.

    The plastic coping is really starting to show it's age. About a four foot section is cracked pretty bad where the top came loose from the concrete deck, and there are several other cracks and a hole in another section around the perimeter. The local pool guy came and looked at it and said the liner is brittle and needs to be replaced. He also said there is really no quick fix for the coping as that style is no longer made. He suggested replacing it with tile or brick, but it will be several months before he can get to it, and the job of replacing the coping is 'very involved'. Gave an estimate in excess of $4000 for the liner replacement, and no estimate for the coping. I have not discussed the repair any further with him.

    This brings me to my questions:
    1) The liner is not verly pliable any more. Should i expect to be able to move the liner at all with its age?
    2) If i just say what the heck and attempt to fill the pool will i just get wrinkles or should i expect worse since the liner is older and not very pliable.
    3) It makes a lot of sense to replace the liner after doing the coping repair. If i decide to do the liner now so we can enjoy the pool this summer, can the coping be repaired or replaced with tile or brick without damaging the new liner?
    4) Since it is a Fox pool, where the concrete deck is pretty much part of the wall structure (X brace), will i need to wreck out the entire deck to replace the coping?

    Thanks for any help! k

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Coastalish 'down easter'

    Re: Vinyl liner and coping replacement

    Welcome to TFP!!

    4K for a liner replacement sounds kind-o high

    I also don't understand changing to tile or brick If you have to get rid of the plastic coping, why not just go with aluminum which would match what you had there??? There would be some deck work involved to be able to remove and replace the coping, more details (or better yet, a pic, would help clarify this for me)

    There are things other than the liner on the pool that could cause a leak to that level - a broken plumbing line comes to mind, light conduit is another - if the plumbing is suspect, pressure test the lines.

    The wrinkles probably won't come out , did you use tri-chlor pucks for years? However, they are cosmetic and, as long as the liner isn't leaking, can be dealt with - ditto on the coping, if it's still holding the liner in place, you can wait till you can budget in the replacement, or until it fails to to it's job, before having to replace it

    The company I work for specializes in IG liner pools so I can probably give you lots of help with your pool, we're a little busy now opening pools so, please, understand if it takes me a few hours - a day to respond 8)

    Again, welcome here!
    Luv& Luk

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Vinyl liner and coping replacement - PICS added

    Thanks for the quick reply! I am attempting to post pictures, so bear with me if it doesn't work the first time. Never done this!

    Picture of the pool.
    The coping is pulled away from the concrete in four places.

    This one is the worst.

    This is another spot close to the stairs where the coping has pulled away and is broken as well.

    Pretty much each coping joint is cracked like this, and most have several cracks.

    Think there is any hope for this liner now that i drained the water from the shallow end? If i just add the water back, would you expect the water pressure to would tear it? it looks like it has shrunk. Will heat allow it to relax?

    I don't think the return lines are leaking. They were sealed up pretty good from winterizing, and the water level upon opening the pool was at least a foot lower than them. I guess the drain line could be where it leaked. We had a really wet spring/summer followed by a really dry fall/winter. With the clay in the soil, I could see where a leak may show up while the pool was closed that was not apparent before. As for the light conduit, after i opened the pool, the level was below where the cord goes through the housing by about 6", so i discounted that. I did add an inch or so of water and did dye check around the light and the stairs and could find no leaks.

    Yes, the previous owners used tri-chlor pucks, and i started out using them as well. Since then, i started using bleach, and supplementing with tri-chlor pucks to build up and maintain CYA level.

    My wife found a more inexpensive construction guy that also does pools in my area. He quoted 3600 for liner only, 8100 for liner and coping (sawcutting the concrete 2' from the coping), and 10K for liner, coping and replacing the entire deck (about 4' wide). I know the original decking is reinforced, and i worry a little about just going back 2 feet, and tying in the reinforcement to the new concrete.

    I have never seen it done, but i am somewhat handy, and I can run a concrete saw and jack hammer. Is it a daunting task to attempt to DIY the coping replacement? Where the heck do you even get coping? Is it flexible or do you have to bend it?

    Would you recommend going back with plastic or aluminum?

    Is concrete, brick or tile (to dress it up a little) very much more difficult?

    I think the existing coping will hold a new liner, if it is needed. Would it be a bad idea to replace the liner for this season, and do the coping in the fall?

    If i could demo the old concrete and install new coping, do you need a concrete guy who specializes in pool decks? My neighbor is a concrete guy, and has done concrete work for a pool construction company.

    Sorry for the long winded post. My wife and kids anxiously await me getting the ball rolling on our pool.

    Thanks, k

  4. Back To Top    #4

    In the Industry
    budster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Savannah Historic District

    Re: Vinyl liner and coping replacement - Pics Added!

    Well, this could be a challenge. Most coping, whether plastic or aluminum, has a "foot" that goes into the deck concrete to hold it on top of the wall panels. Quaker Plastics, a distant relative of Fox Pools, has just been sold to Cardinal Systems, and several products, such as coping options, may not be available any more. If the liner is that old, I would suspect that it has lost all elasticity, and would tear before it stretches. Look closely behind the plastic of the coping and see how it attaches. You might do as well by removing all the plastic covering and do something else decorative there.

    If you've got a closeup of the coping with the liner track, we might know more.

    "Leave the gun...take the cannolis"

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Vinyl liner and coping replacement - Pics Added!

    Budster, Thanks for the comments, and advice. I did take a few closeups of the liner track.

    I pulled the liner away from the receiver track This shows the coping is a 3" wide coping and of course the foot does go into the concrete. I'm not sure how far back, though. I assume the top of the pool wall has some type of flange and the coping is screwed to it. I plan on chipping away at some of the concrete this weekend to get a better look at it.

    I like the idea of trimming back the plastic covering, but several spots like this seam show the receiver track is just breaking.

    From the Cardinal Systems link and Quaker plastics, i saw they make a vertical mount receiver track, that screws into the pool wall. What if I removed all of the plastic coping (including receiver track), and installed an aluminum or plastic vertical receiver track in it's place. Would aluminum be a better choice for this? I do have a roll-bender that would be more than capable of rolling aluminum vertical mount liner track to anything from 100' radius to 6" (inside or outside radius).

    I could chip back to good concrete, and then use something like a Stegmeier form (for vinyl liners), to pour back a 'grout cap'. Has anybody tried this? If i tied the new grout cap back into the concrete using concrete nails (some kind of tiny rebar), I think it would work. I could not match the existing coping, but could go to a keystone profile, i think. Am i in over my head? k

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    In the Industry
    budster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Savannah Historic District

    Re: Vinyl liner and coping replacement - Pics Added!

    You are very much on the right track (no pun intended). I don't know about your skill level, but, as you are seeing, anytime you have to get into the concrete, you have issues such as the current condition of that stuff. Screw in is going to be your easiest option, so why not get a couple of proper screws and see if they will hold, as a test?

    "Leave the gun...take the cannolis"

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Vinyl liner and coping replacement - Pics Added!

    to mr flash, I'm going through the same thing with my pool and have the same coping (what a nightmare). Today, after lots of surfing, I found that kind of coping is not being manufactured anymore but found an alternative that does not require any concrete work and will adapt to your existing setup. Best of all, it's aluminum. I spoke with the owner and explained to him that I don't have the luxury to hire to have anything done. I'm somewhat handy and resourceful (not to mention my wife tends to only buy me tools for holidays and birthdays--to fix more sh*t) and he assured me that it would be well within my scope. My pool is approx. 16x34 and he gave me a guesstimate of $1K( I have to forward him pics to get a better idea) but anyway here's his E-mail I'm not employed by him or any other pool co. of any kind, but after quickly finding out just how pricey having a pool can be, I thought that maybe this could help you out.

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: Vinyl liner and coping replacement - Pics Added!


    Thanks for the advice. Great to have a forum that is this responsive. Unfortunately, i pulled the trigger already to go a different direction. I found a retro coping, manufactured by Florida Brick and Clay, that can be installed over the existing deck using a thin set mortar. I basically cut off the existing plastic coping and concrete that hangs over the pool wall.

    The retro coping installs right on top of the deck. It is 5/8" thick.

    I purchased a vertical mount receiver track (manufactured by Cinderella coping) and will screw it into the concrete usting tapcon concrete screws through the steel pool wall. Tiling my entire deck with .5" brick pavers. REally hope this freaking works! I have about $3500 and quite a bit of blood, sweat and tears invested in this project so far, but fortunately i have the help of a very good and handy friend.

    I am interested to hear how your coping replacement goes. Please post on the progress.

    Mr Flash

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Need some feedback

    10 days into this project, i'm needing some encouragement to finish. I think i've hit the tiling wall.
    The retro coping and bricks (1/2" thick wire cut, extruded brick) prior to start about June 6th.

    This is a picture of the pool with just the new coping added June 11th.

    So far (with the help of my dear wife, kids, and a good friend), we have laid over 2500 tiles on the existing deck. I have spent every last minute of free time at the pool. Last night, June 18th, i cut the final coping bricks for the work around the steps.

    Remaining is to mortar in the final 60% or so of the partial bricks, and coping around the steps, clean the brick and coping, seal them and grout. Then, i get to start working in the pool to ready it for the new liner; install the liner track, clean up mortar and grout that fell into the pool, and some crack repair in the deep end and encapsulating some rust on the pool walls. Goal was to host an opening party on July 4th, but that's going to be a stretch.

    Mr Flash

  10. Back To Top    #10
    el_steak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Ottawa, Canada

    Re: Vinyl liner and coping replacement - Pics Added!

    It's a superb job. You're going to have a brand new pool when you're done!
    14X24 ig vinyl pool 3ft-4 1/2ft deep - 7000 gal
    Aqua Genie skimmer and return - no main drain, 1 hp hayward pump, 27" Hayward filter with Zeobrite,
    Aqua Logic P4 controller + SWG, 2 lights
    192 square feet of solar panels controlled by P4, 5KW electric heater (just in case...)

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: Vinyl liner and coping replacement - Pics Added!

    Holy smokes that looks good!
    26,000 gal liner IG pool
    Doughboy with concrete construction
    Full sun most of the day
    1.5 hp pump system
    200lb sand filter

  12. Back To Top    #12

    In the Industry
    budster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Savannah Historic District

    Re: Vinyl liner and coping replacement - Pics Added!

    You are the man!. That's one great look. Congratulations.

    "Leave the gun...take the cannolis"

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: Vinyl liner and coping replacement - Pics Added!

    Thanks for the compliments. I mortared in the last bricks last night. Still have quite a bit to do with the deck (cleaning, sealing, and grouting). Taking the day off today (Father's Day) to do stuff with the family. My hands, knees and feet need the break anyway, plus it's flippin hot here in Oklahoma! Happy Father's Day to all you Dad's out there!

    Mr Flash

  14. Back To Top    #14
    Casey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    SW PA

    Re: Vinyl liner and coping replacement - Pics Added!

    Fabulous job so far! The pool is gonna look sweet and you'll enjoy it so much more knowing you did it yourself!

    Happy Father's Day!
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

  15. Back To Top    #15
    Heckpools's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    New Jersey shore

    Re: Vinyl liner and coping replacement - Pics Added!

    you want a job???

    great work man
    [center:3gj9kdnn]Matt Heck
    Serving Ocean co. NJ
    COMPANY INFO BELOW ... 2995187987[/center:3gj9kdnn]

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: Vinyl liner and coping replacement - Pics Added!

    All I can say is wow! Great job you should be very proud.
    20K gal.
    Hayward S-244T sand filter
    IG vinyl

  17. Back To Top    #17
    Butterfly's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    South Carolina

    Re: Vinyl liner and coping replacement - Pics Added!

    Yes, WOW! What a great job so far. Looks beautiful.

    Waiting for the rest of the pix
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
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  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: Vinyl liner and coping replacement - Pics Added!

    Thanks again for the support. Great community! Got about 80% of it grouted over the weekend. The 100F plus temperature here in Oklahoma have really shortened the amout of time you can do this type of work during the day. Once the sun hits the brick tile in the morning, you have to call it quits! The grout or mortar almost immediately dries! Hoping to finish the grout this week, and next will be to acid wash the remove the grout haze.

    I have to admit, this is a lot more work than i first thought. The herringbone pattern is an absolute nightmare to keep straight and involves about 4X more cutting than you would have to do with a traditional running bond or basket weave pattern. Being an irregular shaped pool (with the deck sloped away for drainage) made it really difficult to keep everything square. The bricks are a wire cut, extruded brick, and really difficult to clean off the excess grout.

    So basically i took a difficult situation and made it about as complicated as i could have. I will update pics when the grout is complete and haze removed. Was really hoping i would have the liner in before the 4th holiday, but I don't think that's gonna happen. Now my goal is to have it ready for my wife's birthday. Mr Flash

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Ontario Canada

    Re: Vinyl liner and coping replacement - Pics Added!

    WOW that looks amazing. You are doing a great job. It is going to be incredible when you are finished.
    FG Leisure Riviera Pool 30X15, 14 300 gallons, Sta-Rite 3/4 HP, Aqua Rite SWG, Kreepy Krawly.
    Beachcomber 360 Hottub, 345 gallons, UV Sanitization System.

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Re: Vinyl liner and coping replacement - Pics Added!

    wow, is right...that looks great!!!
    post more pics when you can. I wish we were brave enough to redo our ugly deck and coping
    keep up the great work!!

    30-40yr old prehistoric IG gunite 20 X 40 approx 30000gals
    now with new cool blue Diamond Brite and blue waterline tile (looking good for 40yr old pool)
    new Hayward 244T sand filter, 3/4 Hayward pump, Jandy heat pump
    pool skim (love it)

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