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Thread: Vinyl Pool Liner Bulging

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    Vinyl Pool Liner Bulging

    We have had an enormous amount of rainfall over the last week and the ground is over saturated. We have had flood warnings for the last few days. My pool liner is bulging all around the pool. I suppose it is from all the water in the ground and the water table is very high right now. Is my liner destroyed? When I first saw it yesterday I was shocked.... Is there anything that I can do in the meantime to prevent this from getting worse? What steps should I take once the rain fnally stops? We are projected to get another 3-5 inches tonight. Please help. I apologize if this is not the right section. You guys have lead me in the right direction, so I just wanted to ask. I'd post pics but the rain is too heavy right now to get out there with a camera.
    24,000 G, Sand, IG, Vinyl

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    Re: Vinyl Pool Liner Bulging

    For now, there's not much you can do. As the groundwater subsides, you may be able to work the liner smoothly back into place but you also may end with a few wrinkles. Wish I had better news
    Dave S. - Forum owner
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    Re: Vinyl Pool Liner Bulging

    Eh, Wrinkles I can deal with. I'm hoping that the liner doesn't get torn up
    24,000 G, Sand, IG, Vinyl

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Vinyl Pool Liner Bulging

    Most likely you will just have some wrinkles left after everything settles down. If the liner was going to tear it probably would have done so already. If it is possible to raise the water level in the pool, that can help prevent the liner from getting any worse than it is now. By balancing the pressure from the inside and the outside you can minimize the bulging.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Vinyl Pool Liner Bulging

    Don't worry about the liner, if it couldn't take the ground water pressure, the pool would be empty now :P

    I'll assume that your pool is in a low lying area and you are getting 'surface water' as opposed to the water level in the ground rising. If so, you may want to take a look at this thread for draining the flow away from the pool.

    There have been a few other posts about fixing the wrinkles caused by water 'puddling' behind the liner - we are happy to help you resolve your issues and will stick with this thread.

    Wrinkles aren't a huge problem, but will weaken the liner - and if you can prevent them from occurring in the first place, the pool will be better for it and the liner will last it's expected life.

    We're here all winter to help you decide how to deal with this issue come next swim season
    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

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Re: Vinyl Pool Liner Bulging

    Yes I am in a very low lying area. Over the last week and a half we've had upwards of 15" of rain in some places around here. The water table is very high right now and the rain wasn't helping things at all. There have been two tropical storms in the last year since I bought the house and we didn't have this much rain from either of them. Glad to hear that this isn't completely uncommon or out of the norm. It sounds like everything could be fine with the exception of some wrinkles in the liner, which I can deal with. There are some well points in my yard and the pool is relatively shallow (5' deep end). A guy I know live down the street (slightly lower elevation) and they have a vinyl liner in an 8' deep pool, they have to run pumps on their well points very often to keep the water from pushing the liner up from the bottom of the pool.
    24,000 G, Sand, IG, Vinyl

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    Re: Vinyl Pool Liner Bulging

    If you have a dry well, I suggest getting a pump on it and sending the water as far away as possible.

    If the liner has shifted/torqued/twisted, as the pump is running, have your pool brush handy to try to gently push the liner closer to home as the water behind it is draining.

    Scott
    PoolGuyNJ
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: Vinyl Pool Liner Bulging

    I am having the same problem. My liner is out about a foot all the way around the wall and looks as if it will never be the same. This is our first time I have seen it this bad but the neighbor said its been happening for years (we just purchased this house this year) like this. I was told the liner is about 3 years old, how long do they last? Also what can be done for this, I think its called floating? I would love to find a fix or know of a fix so that when the liner has to be replaced we can correct whatever the problem is. I am sure the liner is not going to last doing this.
    Thanks for the help
    Betsy
    18k gallon in ground plaster with attached spa
    Pentair CCP 320 cartridge filter
    Goldline Aqua Rite SWG
    IntelliFlo VS pump
    Teledyne Laars ESC heater
    Hayward Pool Vac Ultra cleaner w/ skimmer Vac Plate and inline leaf basket
    Palm Springs, CA

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    Re: Vinyl Pool Liner Bulging

    How far down and has the bottom lifted? If the bottom hasn't lifted, the liner bead can be pulled out of the track enough to insert a small hose. Duct tape the sides of the opening so it doesn't open more. You may need a pot of HOT water to pour over the vinyl to soften it and make it easier to work with.

    Attach a pump and suck the water out. Chances are good, in this situation, you will be wrinkle free or at least will be nearly wrinkle free. Reinsert the bead when you are done. Remember the hot water.

    See if you have a dry well as I said in my earlier post. Use it.

    Average life of a liner in this situation is about 5 to 10 years. Lots of variables will affect it.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: Vinyl Pool Liner Bulging

    The liner bulges when the water table in the soil around the pool is very high. Depending on the lay of the land and your soil conditions it might be possible to install a french drain around the outside of the pool deck to allow water in the soil to flow away. Another way to deal with this is to install a dry well(s) around the pool with a sump pump(s) to keep it dry. That will keep the water table low enough that the pool does not have a problem.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Vinyl Pool Liner Bulging

    Scott,
    It has lifted all the way down and some on the bottom. Its really bad or so I think so because it makes me sick to look at cause it was so pretty this summer. How would I know if I have a dry well? The lady we purchased the house from did not tell us of one and I know the pool was put in when the house was built in 1986.
    18k gallon in ground plaster with attached spa
    Pentair CCP 320 cartridge filter
    Goldline Aqua Rite SWG
    IntelliFlo VS pump
    Teledyne Laars ESC heater
    Hayward Pool Vac Ultra cleaner w/ skimmer Vac Plate and inline leaf basket
    Palm Springs, CA

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    Re: Vinyl Pool Liner Bulging

    And I presume you didn't get the pool inspected prior to purchase. There would have been an audit describing it.

    Can you post a picture or a link to a picture(s) of the pool?

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Vinyl Pool Liner Bulging

    If the liner pulls away from the bottom of the pool it is often impossible to get it back into place correctly without tearing it. If the liner is fairly new (first three years) the odds of getting it back into place are reasonably good. But once it is five or six years old, chances are it will tear or crack before going back into place. If it is just starting to lift you can sometimes use weights (nothing sharp) to hold it in place.

    A dry well usually looks like a large covered pipe (perhaps 6 to 12 inches), or a barrel, heading straight down into the ground. Sometimes they stick up out of the ground a little and sometimes they are flush with the ground. Occasionally, they become buried just slightly. The pipe will go down to at least the depth of the pool and have holes in it near the bottom, though you won't be able to see that when it is full of water. A well built pool in a wet low lying area will typically have two or three dry wells arranged around it.

    Once in a while a builder will put a dry well underneath the pool, with a pipe running up to the equipment pad, but this setup is less common. In extremely wet areas there might even be a dedicated pump on the equipment pad, or the dry well pipe might hook up to the main pump. When hooked up to the main pump the idea would be to set the system for waste/backwash, switch the valves so you are only drawing from the dry well pipe and then use the pool pump to drain the water out.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Vinyl Pool Liner Bulging

    More often, there is a pipe sticking up from the deep end out of the deck or just beyond. It may or may not be capped. Its usually either 1-1/2" black poly pipe or flex pvc.

    If it's there, Jason's mentioning of it sometime being run to the pool pump and plumbed is a good idea for ease of use going forward.

    In the meantime, suck the water out from the sides like I said before and use a pool brush on a pole to gently push the water on the floor under the liner slowly towards the wall so it will get sucked out too. BE GENTLE or the water will disburse further under the floor, unsetting more of the liner. Sometimes it takes two brushes to keep control of the bubble of water.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: Vinyl Pool Liner Bulging

    Hi Betsy, welcome to TFP!!

    I typed out an answer last night similar to what Jason and Scott have said - but somehow lost it before I could post it (needless to say, I'm not very computer literate )

    If you've had heavy rains recently, the water table itself is less likely to be the problem and curtain or 'French' drains may prevent a reoccurrence of the problem by redirecting the water away from the pool (see my earlier post in this thread)

    If it's the water table rising, a well point(s) is the only way to prevent future problems - we can tell you what's needed to do it yourself or direct a hired hand in doing it I know there are posts on it here, but haven't the time until next week to search and cross link them (my plate is full with a dog recuperating from surgery and I also have my daughter this week - I only get to see her a few weeks each year)

    There's also info here on resetting a liner, but Scott's advice should work well, if you are diligent on brushing the liner, as the water recedes

    I currently work for a pool company that specializes in IG liner pools, and am more than willing to assist you in getting your pool back to perfect
    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

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Re: Vinyl Pool Liner Bulging

    Sorry its taken sooooooooooo long to get back to this but a lot has happened. After having a pool company and landscapes out with them telling us we needed to just replace the liner not fixing the problem that started this and the landscaper said to put in a french drain we think we have found the problem or I should say our dog did. On the side where the pool was getting so much water in back of the liner next to our neighbors house its had a lot of flowers and plants that the old owner had put in to the point that we have been thinning out because its was over grown. Our dog was after something and was digging which under covered a drain cover which we did not even know was there. It was full of dirt and stopped up. This drain is hooked up to our neighbors down drain from his gutters so when it rain all that water went into our yard next to the pool and not down the drain. We had it cleaned out and pulled up all the plants near it and so far with the storms we have had no water seems to be getting behind the liner.
    18k gallon in ground plaster with attached spa
    Pentair CCP 320 cartridge filter
    Goldline Aqua Rite SWG
    IntelliFlo VS pump
    Teledyne Laars ESC heater
    Hayward Pool Vac Ultra cleaner w/ skimmer Vac Plate and inline leaf basket
    Palm Springs, CA

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    Re: Vinyl Pool Liner Bulging

    Betsy, who could have suspected?

    I am so VERY glad that things have improved!

    Thanks for keeping us informed
    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

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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