While vacuuming the pool, my heart sank when I noticed the straight side had bulged out on one side at one upright. The top rail was bulged out and the upright had about a 4" gap where the lower wall plate meets the buttress/upright. Don't know when it happened, so don't know how long it had been like that.
My educated guess is a broken strap. This is a used pool that was given to us. The previous owner had let it set for a couple years with no liner. The sand would hold moisture, so naturally the straps were rusted pretty good when we got it. I had sanded, grinded, and painted (Rustoleum) all of the surface rust on the frame parts but didn't do anything with the straps. Didn't think they were bad enough to just pull apart/snap from the water pressure on the walls.
Quick fix was to drive some horseshoe stobs into the ground a few inches beyond the end of the buttress and use a scissor jack (from an old Toyota) against the stobs to push the buttress/upright back in. Made it all the way back, to where the upper rail is straight. Odd thing is, the pool only bulged out on one side. It seems to me that if the strap had broken and allowed that upright to slide out, then the upright on the opposite side should've moved out since it has the same pressure as the one that did move. I keep checking and there has been no movement.
I'm hoping this will hold for the summer. I know it's not a permanent fix. But I busted my a** for the last 2 months + to get this thing up. The ground is hard clay that couldn't be leveled with a flat shovel. But with a pick hoe, shovel, water, laser level, and a lot of sweat, I got the entire pool within 1/2 inch all the way around. Believe me when I say I almost cried when I saw the wall bulged out.
As for a permanent fix, I know I will have to pull back the liner to get to the straps. Will I be able to anchor the liner below the skimmer/return area with something heavy, like bricks wrapped in cloth, to keep the liner from moving on that end of the pool as I drain it? I know if I remove the skimmer or return, I most likely will not get them back to the same place without wrinkle issues, if at all. I'd like to fix this thing without having to replace the liner. As for the straps, I've been looking online and haven't found them anywhere. I have found, through searching, some Simpson Strong-Tie strapping at Home Depot. The thickest I have seen is 22-gauge, maybe 1 1/2 inches wide. If I bolted them onto the buttress, do you think they would be strong enough?
I've seen that there is some experienced people on this board. Along with some creative ones. Any thoughts on my ideas? Any suggestions?