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Thread: Old pool liner separated from wall?

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    Old pool liner separated from wall?

    Hi all,

    It's spring here in upstate NY (at least, we bounce above and below freezing now) and I recently noticed that my vinyl pool liner has really separated from the walls, and is bulging out all over the place (both above and below water). There is still ice in the pool but it's not touching the wall (the whole surface used to be iced over) When I closed the pool in the fall, the water was about half way up. The vinyl liner was already in bad shape (faded and already had wrinkles, but at least it was attached okay), but I'm wondering if it's now toast.

    Also, I was quoted last fall that a replacement liner for my 16x32 pool would be about $3000 to install. Is that a normal price?
    ~20k gal inground vinyl lined pool
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    Re: Old pool liner separated from wall?

    When you say the liner has separated from the walls, what exactly do you mean? Is there a bulge in the side of the pool? If so, is the bulge rigid, or does it feel like there is water behind the liner? Is the liner connected around the top edge at the coping, or has it come out leaving an opening between the liner and the wall? If you can provide a picture, that would help too.

    As for the quote to replace for $3000, that sounds about right. Maybe even on the cheap side.
    TreeFiter

    Pool Technician
    Saugerties, NY

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Old pool liner separated from wall?

    I agree, it is possible water has gotten behind the liner and pushed it out. You may have a high water table right now due to snow melt. A picture of the problem area would be very helpful.
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    Re: Old pool liner separated from wall?

    2014-03-30 17.48.08b.jpg

    2014-03-30 17.48.39b.jpg

    water table is definitely high right now...lots of rain lately plus snow melt. Can't feel any water behind it though, just seems loose. There are also a couple tears at the corners, but those have been around all season, although the winter was tough on them and they got a little bigger.

    It's still in the coping
    ~20k gal inground vinyl lined pool
    Hayward Perflex DE filter
    Aqua bot cleaner

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    Re: Old pool liner separated from wall?

    You need a liner. The bulging is probably from water under the liner. If you don't feel water behind it, it just means the water table isn't that high, but its pushing it out somewhere below. The bulging doesn't concern me nearly as much as the tears do.

    Are there any tears that are at or near the water level?
    TreeFiter

    Pool Technician
    Saugerties, NY

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    Re: Old pool liner separated from wall?

    No, they are all up near the coping. I suppose I could patch them, but I kind want to do a bunch of repairs all at once...the pool's skimmer line was broken under the concrete sometime before I bought the house, so that is a problem. Plus the liner obviously and the concrete deck isn't in very good shape either. I was thinking about getting pavers in case of future PVC line repair...is that a good idea for NY winters?

    - - - Updated - - -

    IMG_3957c.jpg

    Just FYI...the pool didn't always look so terrible...this was last summer
    ~20k gal inground vinyl lined pool
    Hayward Perflex DE filter
    Aqua bot cleaner

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    Re: Old pool liner separated from wall?

    Pavers will work fine if they are installed correctly. I see a lot of really nice decks done with pavers, and they hold up pretty well. I think the key is a good crushed stone base underneath. I'm not sure you need to worry too much about more breaks underground. They don't happen all that often. Even if they do, its probably cheaper to cut out a section of concrete and repair that than it would be to replace the whole deck as a precaution.

    Depending on where the break is in the skimmer line, it could be fixed without taking up the deck.

    I would focus on getting the liner replaced. If its letting go in the corners, the rest of it isn't far behind. You could patch it, but it won't belong before the next spot lets go, and patches don't do much good on an old failing liner. If you wait too long and the liner fails, you risk ruining the vermiculite base underneath, and end up with a much bigger and more expensive problem on your hands.
    TreeFiter

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    Re: Old pool liner separated from wall?

    I agree, that a liner replacement ought to be done on this one. Patching doesn't look like a good option there at all.
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    Re: Old pool liner separated from wall?

    It looks like the tear in the first picture is below the water line, just above the return. Have you been keeping the water below the skimmer due to the leak?
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    Re: Old pool liner separated from wall?

    No, that tear wasn't there during the swim season. Not sure what caused it.

    My pool closing precautions didn't work very well this winter. I blew down the returns last fall with a compressor, filled them with antifreeze, and plugged them. But midway through the winter I let the water level in the pool rise too much (from rain & snow melt) and the ice expansion popped off the plugs, causing water to get back into the returns. Since the lines were empty, I'm hoping any freezing water just expanded down the line instead of cracking the PVC. I won't find out until the spring when I start the recirculation overnight and see if the water level drops due to underground leakage.

    And I also made a homemade gizmo for my skimmer (water bottle filled with dirt and rocks) and filled the box with antifreeze. But water still got in from the skimmer hatch and that iced up too. I won't know if I compromised that until thaw either.
    ~20k gal inground vinyl lined pool
    Hayward Perflex DE filter
    Aqua bot cleaner

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    Re: Old pool liner separated from wall?

    The cause of that tear is most likely just the liner doing what it is bound to do once it gets old and brittle.

    Based on what you have said about the lines coming unplugged during the winter, there is a very good chance you will have some issues. You might be doing significantly more than just replacing a liner.
    TreeFiter

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    Saugerties, NY

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    Re: Old pool liner separated from wall?

    Question: is pool deck repair typically done by a pool company or a mason? If I wanted a pool company to do all the work would it end up getting subcontracted and I would end up paying more?

    Also, if I am getting the deck replaced, what comes first? The coping needs to be ready before a new liner can be installed, I'm guessing.
    ~20k gal inground vinyl lined pool
    Hayward Perflex DE filter
    Aqua bot cleaner

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    Re: Old pool liner separated from wall?

    In my experience it is usually subcontracted out. The company I work for typically doesn't even get involved beyond recommending someone.

    The coping does need to be in place before the new liner, but you don't necessarily have to remove the coping to do the deck. It would be wise to have the pool company that will be doing the liner and your deck guy look at it to make sure the coping isn't going to have to be repaired or replaced.
    TreeFiter

    Pool Technician
    Saugerties, NY

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