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Thread: Question about top rail removal

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Illinois
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    26

    Question about top rail removal

    Hi guys,

    I have some rust showing up on the top rails of my 24 foot above ground pool and I want to repair this problem before it gets out of hand.

    I have ordered an item called POR15 that will certainly stop the rust but in order to use it I have to remove the top rails for approximately a 4 hour period.

    My question has to do with the safety of removing these rails.....

    I don't want to drain the pool to make this repair but it looks as though the top rails are an integral part of the pool structure.

    Because of this it doesn't seem feasible to remove all of the top rails at once but I was wondering about removing two at a time (across from each other).

    Would removing two at a time cause any damage to the pool? As I said before, I would have to have them off of the pool for about a 4 hour period, then I could put those two back on and remove two more rails and repeat until the job is finished.

    If anyone could offer some advice I would greatly appreciate it. I hope to start the project this weekend but I don't want to proceed until I know I'm not going to watch my pool collapse when I remove the rails.

    Thanks in advance,
    Dave

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    crookm11's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Copperas Cove, Texas
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    422

    Re: Question about top rail removal

    Hi Dave,

    My pool doesn't have any top rails so I'm not sure but if you post who the pool is made by and the name of the pool you my get better advice.

    Mark Crook
    13,500 Gallon 24' x 52" Intex Ultra Frame
    Intex Sand Filter and Pump, Intex SWG (All hard PVC plumbed)
    TFTestKit-100---Pool School---The Pool Calculator
    Location: Copperas Cove, Texas --- My Pool Build---Useful Links for Intex Pool Owners

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Illinois
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    Re: Question about top rail removal

    Mark, thanks for the advice.

    The pool is a steel wall, epoxy coated made by Cantar. The top rails are 6" wide and approx. 50 inches long.

    Thanks again,
    Dave

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Alabama
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    66

    Re: Question about top rail removal

    I am not sure of the safety of it, but I CAN tell you this much. Yesterday, to reseat the beaded liner, we removed ONE top rail on our 24' AG (fully filled) pool. It shifted immediately upon removing the third screw and we thought we were not going to be able to get it lined back up enough to get the screws back in without having to drain. After much work and starting the screws at an angel, we were able to get it back on.

    I saw the same rust you're talking about and wondered the same thing.

    I'd be very afraid of removing two at a time after my experience with one.
    24' Vinyl, AG, Sand Filter, 1 1/2 HP Hayward PowerFlo LX, BB&B

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    May 2008
    Location
    Illinois
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    Re: Question about top rail removal

    pedsrn.....thanks for the advice.

    I did go out a few minutes ago and removed one of my top rails. I don't know if I just got lucky but nothing moved while the rail was removed and after brushing away the rust, it went back on without a problem.

    I did speak to one pool repairman that I've used in the past and he said I could actually remove all of the rails at once without any problems. I wouldn't want to put that theory to the test but I am going to try slowly and gently removing two of the rails and see how it goes.

    The rusting that Im getting is actually weird....

    The only place that I'm finding rust is right up under the lip of the rail that sits out over the water. I'm actually wondering if this is due to "splash up" and the fact that I have a salt water pool. The good news is that it should be a relatively easy and inexpensive fix using the POR15 system.

    Anyway, I really do appreciate the advice that I've been given. If I can do two rails at once, I should be able to repair the entire set of top rails in about a week, doing it after work.

    Dave

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Ottawa, ON, Canada
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    153

    Re: Question about top rail removal

    Quote Originally Posted by Likesspace
    I did speak to one pool repairman that I've used in the past and he said I could actually remove all of the rails at once without any problems. I wouldn't want to put that theory to the test but I am going to try slowly and gently removing two of the rails and see how it goes.
    If you do end up trying his theory, please make sure to set up a video camera just in case
    19.5k gallons in ground, P4 panel with turbocell SWG, 1hp Hayward superpump II, sand filter, Heater low nox 250k btu heater, solar cover on rocky roller

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Question about top rail removal

    On a round pool, I've actually had the top rails off before with no problems, the installation video I watched actually reccommended having all the rails loose and push on the walls to help it balance its shape, all the force is on the wall it self, and with a round pool, the force is equal, I'm not sure I would try it on an oval pool though.
    24' round x 54" Tahitian (Sharkline), 1.5HP Sta-rite Pump, 22" 250lb. sand filter with Zeo-best media, Hayward H250FDN heater, Del Clear Ozonator, SWG or Rola-Chem feeder, not sure?, Trident Automatic Pool Cleaner, 100Watt Nightlighter, Underwater light show and fountain, 2" Hard Plumbed.
    Wishin Isa Swimmin!

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    May 2008
    Location
    Illinois
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    26

    Re: Question about top rail removal

    First of all, I really appreciate the advice that everyone has given. I had no idea where to start and your responses helped greatly.

    I finished this job today and wanted to post a follow up just in case someone else had to do a similar job. That's what is great about an online forum......you can search to find the answers that you need.

    Anyway, I started off only removing one top rail at a time. I had no problem with a single rail so I then moved on to moving two of them at a time.
    Since I still did not have a problem I then removed three and finally stopped counting how many I was removing at once.
    In each case I never had a single problem with the pool shifting. I was able to simply lay the rail back on the top of the pool and set the screws back in place. Although this job did take some time it was fairly easy and painless and now I feel confident that my rust and corrosion problems have been taken care of.

    I'm also starting to think that I've found out why my pool started to rust...........

    At first I was certain that it was my salt water generator that had caused the problem but then I took off one rail that was rusted BADLY.

    It just so happened that this rail was at the exact point where I had mounted an eight gauge bonding wire between the pool and the pump motor.

    Now I've been involved in plumbing and oilfield work long enough to know about electrolysis and the joining of unlike metals is a sure fire way to bring electrolysis into the picture.
    Well since my bonding wire was 8 ga. copper and since my pool walls are galvanized steel......well duh!

    I have now removed the bonding wire since I'm not sure that it is even needed on an above ground pool.

    Not only did I coat the top rails with POR15 but I did the little rail thingies that hold the liner track in place as well, (some of them were rusted pretty badly).

    Everything that I did took a week, working after I had finished my workday, but now all of my top rails look like new, as does the track that hold the liner coping. All in all I'm very satisfied with how things worked out and it only cost me in the neighborhood of $75.00 for the POR.

    If anyone is seeing rust on their top rails I would recommend this fix. Simply google POR15 and do some reading on the product.

    It's not a cheap fix and it's not a fast fix but since top rails are about $35.00 - $40.00 each it is an inexpensive fix, relatively speaking.

    I hope this update helps someone out.

    Dave

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