Notes: In-ground vinyl liner pool with alum. coping, built around 1976. Location: CT
Dug up return line to repair a leak. While uncovered, found that the steel pool wall below the return fitting is wet and leaving a v.small puddle in the hole. Tried snugging up the cyclo-nut on the backside, but that didn't help (already fully tight). Also replaced the faceplate and gasket with new screws - didn't help either. Planning to remove and replace the entire fitting. It's not a big leak, but while hole is dug out, might as well do it now.
Looks like I have to pull the fitting out from the liner-side of the wall. Which I assume means, draining water below fitting, unclipping liner in the area that needs repair (assume I only unclip the minimum length I need to get my hands behind the liner?), unscrewing the nut behind the wall, loosening the 4 faceplate screws and removing the faceplate. Assume the fitting would now pull out from behind liner? Installation is the reverse.
**What I need are some tips to save time and hassle. I can handle/repair most anything mechanical, but have never messed with liner removal/re-install.
- how do I remove the liner in the "repair area"? Assume I need to pull "up" to unlock it from the bead lock in the coping? How do I pull the liner up and out easily without tearing the liner, or starting way down at a corner where it already has popped out of track?
- I have read articles about people using buckets or styrofoam coolers with a hole cut out at the top and a rubber seal at the end to prevent having to drain the pool below the fittings, but assume this makes it difficult to impossible to get behind a liner. I could see this trick working easily on a non-liner pool wall. The only thing I could see working would be a LARGE 4-sided box, large enough to allow behind-liner access. . . . but I don't think I'm going to build something that'll I hopefully only have to use once. I hate draining water this low to prevent liner shrinkage, etc. It's late in the season, and not a lot of sun, so should be OK. Any other solutions to not having to drain the pool?
- When I re-install the new SP-1408 fitting, should I put some silicone sealer around the flange that goes against the pool wall? If so, what's the best sealer you guys have found? Or, should I hand-cut a round rubber gasket for underneath the flange? I don't want to have the same problems again. What's the best way to "seal" the fitting against the wall?
- I haven't purchased the SP1408 fitting yet, but from the Hayward site, it looks like the faceplate gasket actually goes BEHIND the liner - between the liner and the SP1408 fitting. Is this correct position? Should I perhaps put a faceplate gasket both behind and in front of the liner? Where is it supposed to go to best prevent water intrusion?
- Once installed, what's the best way to stretch the liner and clip back in place? Assume I will need a hair dryer to heat the liner, stretch and tuck bead back in track? Any tips/tricks for getting liner back in place without damaging liner or making it "thinner" from stretching?
- Hopefully my fitting holes will all line up and I can screw the faceplate back on without issues.
- Any other tips/tricks that you pros could advise me on for this job? Want to do it RIGHT, and want to do it ONCE!
BTW - located in CT where we have long/cold Winters (if that makes a difference on how you would recommend sealing the fitting to wall). Can send pictures, if that would help anyone. Thanks in advance!