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Thread: Liner protection under wedding cake steps

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    TimS's Avatar
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    Liner protection under wedding cake steps

    Last October, we bought a home with an existing AGP. This is my first experience with a pool, and it has been a real PITA at times. (Had not heard about TFP until a couple of weeks ago when a friend brought it up.) I've had some fun adventures with this thing, just like every other newbie, only my adventures have been much worse than anything experienced by anyone else since the beginning of time (again, just like every other newbie. )

    I just replaced the liner since I've been fighting a leak since July. I'm assuming that the leak was caused by the steps moving around on the liner. Originally, the steps were only mounted to the deck on one side (since there was only one handrail.) The kids love to hang on the steps and swing around, so even with 100 lbs of sand in the bottom step, they were constantly moving. I finally added a handrail to the other side. It looks a little strange, since the handrails don't match, but at least the steps don't move around anymore.

    The pool guys (and people on this board) recommend putting something under the steps to protect the liner. Since I have the old liner laying around, does it make sense to cut a portion of that liner to lay under the steps? It wouldn't add any padding, but at least the steps wouldn't be sitting on the actual liner? Would that be enough to protect the new liner, or do I need to go with a "plumber's mat" or something and if so, about what will it cost?

    Thanks.
    24' AG Round (vinyl replaced 0909) - 13500 gal - Sand Dollar Filter (150lb) - Dynamo DYNII-N1-1 1HP - Hayward HP380 Heat Pump - TF-100.
    Central Missouri

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Liner protection under wedding cake steps

    I don't have a pad under my steps. Never did but I did have issues with it moving around from the kids sitting and playing around them. It never failed, those steps moved around way too much until my ds suggested tying it down and I wondered why I didn't think of that and what I'd do without him!!

    Here is what I did and it has helped 100%!


    I have the rope tied to a support post under the deck. Works like a charm and didn't wear on my liner like it did last year! I think I paid a dollar for 50ft of that rope.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Liner protection under wedding cake steps

    Casey: I don't know if Billybob appreciates the rope idea but I sure do!

    Our steps have handrails but I hate the securing plates they sent with them. I've been wondering how to keep them from moving. I think I'll give your rope idea a try.

    Billybob: If you do a Google search for pool step mat or pad, pool ladder pad or mat, you'll find many different sizes and prices. I don't have one under our cake steps but have thought about it.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    TimS's Avatar
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    Re: Liner protection under wedding cake steps

    The way the kids swing around on them, mine move constantly. I'm surprised that a rope holds yours securely. It looks like the angle is great enough that there should still be a lot of play in it. Now maybe if I removed both handrails so they wouldn't have anything to hang on, and thus no leverage, the rope might work. Mine moved so much this year, that the liner had a spot where the pattern was rubbed completely off. I figured this was the most likely place for a leak, but I could never actually find it.

    The pads I find on google that would be big enough for my steps seem rather pricey for what they are. Of course the descriptions aren't very informative, so I don't know how thick they are, what they're made of, etc. Maybe they are worth that much. Of course spending $50 to protect a $500 liner isn't outrageous. I just hate spending that much when I have no idea what I'm getting. The advantage of using the old liner is that I already have it. If it would be effective, great. If not, then I'll have to buy something. I'm one of those people who likes to reuse things. I even considered gluing two pieces of the old liner together to make it thicker, but that wouldn't really provide that much more protection anyway, and still no real cushion.

    At the beginning of the summer, I bought some of that dark grey floor mat (about 1/2 inch thick) but it was so buoyant that I couldn't get it to stay under the steps. As soon as the steps moved, it would pop right out.

    Thanks.
    24' AG Round (vinyl replaced 0909) - 13500 gal - Sand Dollar Filter (150lb) - Dynamo DYNII-N1-1 1HP - Hayward HP380 Heat Pump - TF-100.
    Central Missouri

    Before I speak, I have something important to say.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Liner protection under wedding cake steps

    Since you already have the liner material I'd suggest go ahead and try it. You're certainly not going to hurt anything and it has to be better than nothing.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    TimS's Avatar
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    Re: Liner protection under wedding cake steps

    Has anyone actually tried this? Does it work? Am I nuts?

    My biggest concern with this (or with a pad for that matter) is that it will adhere to the step more than to the liner, and I still wind up with liner abrasion. I'm not sure how I would keep it in place on the liner as opposed to the step (where I could fasten it easily) short of gluing it down with patch glue (which would probably present more problems than it solves.)

    Is there any kind of "temporary" adhesive (or stickystuff or whatever) that would prevent a pad or something from moving around without damaging the liner or adding unwanted stuff to the water, while still being removable. Is this an inherent property of these pads, thus solving that issue?
    24' AG Round (vinyl replaced 0909) - 13500 gal - Sand Dollar Filter (150lb) - Dynamo DYNII-N1-1 1HP - Hayward HP380 Heat Pump - TF-100.
    Central Missouri

    Before I speak, I have something important to say.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Liner protection under wedding cake steps

    I don't know about your liner idea but the "real" step mats are made of a dense rubber material that's smooth on the top and tacky (for lack of a better term) on the bottom.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    TimS's Avatar
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    Re: Liner protection under wedding cake steps

    Thanks, Bama. Sounds like the mat might be the best answer.
    24' AG Round (vinyl replaced 0909) - 13500 gal - Sand Dollar Filter (150lb) - Dynamo DYNII-N1-1 1HP - Hayward HP380 Heat Pump - TF-100.
    Central Missouri

    Before I speak, I have something important to say.

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    Re: Liner protection under wedding cake steps

    Welcome to TFP!!

    You say you have a chunk of old liner? I'd suggest doubling over some of the old liner and securing it to the steps. To secure it, I'd use tech screws with washers (stainless steel ) to bond it to the sides, front and back of the steps, on the sides, NOT the floor!!! If there's a 'drain hole in the bottom of the steps, use a razor knife to cut an "X" in that area, so you can pull them back out in the fall

    The usual method is to lay down a mat, as per above posts,, but, if you've got some old liner material and the kids are constantly making the stairs move around, secure the padding tpo the steps, so that wherever the steps move, so does the padding
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    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

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    TimS's Avatar
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    Re: Liner protection under wedding cake steps

    Wouldn't fastening the old liner to the steps simply move the point of abrasion? I may be concerned about the wrong things, but my thinking is that I want the steps rubbing on something other than the new liner. If I fasten something (liner, pad, whatever) to the bottom of the steps, then that something will move with the steps and I'll still have the abrasion on the liner, right? Am I missing something?

    Hmmm. You did say double it over. What I think you might mean here is a bit hard to explain. I'm thinking fold the old liner in half so there are two layers. Fasten the top layer to the steps. DO NOT fasten the bottom layer to the steps. This way the bottom layer might stay put on the new liner, and the abrasion would be between the two layers of the old liner. Is that what you meant?


    Quote Originally Posted by waste
    ... I'd use tech screws with washers...
    What are tech screws? By default, I'd probably use wood screws for plastic, but maybe there's something more appropriate???

    Quote Originally Posted by waste
    ...(stainless steel )...
    Yeah, I used a couple of non-stainless bolts on the deck where they were not directly exposed to the pool, but even after only 2 months they are horribly corroded. They get a lot more water splashed on them than I would have expected. I'm glad I didn't try something like that in the pool.

    Quote Originally Posted by waste
    ...on the sides, NOT the floor!!! ...
    I didn't even want to fasten anything to the bottom of the stairs using those barbed plastic retainers with the large flat heads for fear of tearing the liner. All of the screws that are currently there are either recessed or positioned so that there's no way they could ever come in contact with the liner.
    24' AG Round (vinyl replaced 0909) - 13500 gal - Sand Dollar Filter (150lb) - Dynamo DYNII-N1-1 1HP - Hayward HP380 Heat Pump - TF-100.
    Central Missouri

    Before I speak, I have something important to say.

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Liner protection under wedding cake steps

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    Casey: I don't know if Billybob appreciates the rope idea but I sure do!

    Our steps have handrails but I hate the securing plates they sent with them. I've been wondering how to keep them from moving. I think I'll give your rope idea a try.
    Hope it works for you. I was amazed at how well it worked for me. Those steps never moved even though the kids were all over them, getting in and out constantly, whirlpooling and all. I will be doing it again next year too.

    The kids nor dog never got caught up on it either.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    TimS's Avatar
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    Re: Liner protection under wedding cake steps

    Quote Originally Posted by Casey
    Hope it works for you. I was amazed at how well it worked for me. Those steps never moved even though the kids were all over them, getting in and out constantly, whirlpooling and all. I will be doing it again next year too.

    The kids nor dog never got caught up on it either.
    I may have to try that. Without the ladder, the kids won't swing on it, so maybe they'd stay in place.

    Thanks for the tip.
    24' AG Round (vinyl replaced 0909) - 13500 gal - Sand Dollar Filter (150lb) - Dynamo DYNII-N1-1 1HP - Hayward HP380 Heat Pump - TF-100.
    Central Missouri

    Before I speak, I have something important to say.

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    cubbybeave08's Avatar
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    Re: Liner protection under wedding cake steps

    I bought a 4X3 rubber pad at the pool store last summer...It cost $25, but that is worth the piece of mind knowing that my steps are not rubbing a whole in my liner. Liner costs way more than $25...It is a good investment. IMHO
    Beave
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