Draining Vinyl In-Ground Pool to repair stairs?

yotatoy

Member
Aug 3, 2019
13
Mobile, AL
I finally got the parts in to fix my pool pump. My plan was to drain down my pools in the shallow end until I had the stairs fully exposed, then I was going to sand and repair the broken gelcoat on the fiberglass stairs. Then refill my pool (also to help get my CYA levels down). I am now getting nervous that my old liner will break or crack as I drain the water down. Is there any other way to repair the stairs? Or just let it ride with exposed resin until I am changing liner and fix the gel coat then?

Will post pictures of the stairs in next post from my phone.
 

mariane

LifeTime Supporter
May 8, 2012
897
Southeast Michigan
It depends on how old the liner is. Are you planning on replacing it next year or so? How long has the resin been exposed?
The cracking and shrinking occur when the liner dries out. If you are planning to replace the liner soon and it's not leaking, maybe wait till you are ready to replace the liner, then repair the stairs. It's possible if you keep the liner wet and only drain down to where you need to repair the stairs, not any lower, and then finish the job in one day, the liner could be okay.
I think some of the mods will be here soon to answer.
 

crushkittykitty

Well-known member
Mar 13, 2018
145
DesMoines / Iowa
how does the liner connect to the stairs ? can you take a pic from that side? I was thinking maybe you could seal the edge of the steps and pump just the steps out but I am by far not a expert. so
 

yotatoy

Member
Aug 3, 2019
13
Mobile, AL
The liner is cut in around the stairs. I had thought about the idea of blocking off and just pumping the stairs. But I am at a loss of how I could block it off and create a watertight seal to pump out that area while maintaining a wall strong enough to hold 3ft of water.
 

crushkittykitty

Well-known member
Mar 13, 2018
145
DesMoines / Iowa
How does the liner feel is it hard brittle or is it pliable?
How about draining it just to the top of the bottom step?
What happens if the liner cant take it do you have funds to replace it now?
Have you looked at some of the under water repairs for fiberglass steps?
I would consider repairing it when its really hot out (liner more flexible).
I was thinking like a piece of plywood cut to the size of the opening with it wrapped in plastic taking out every other screw and fastening it to the wall. 3/4 inch plywood to handle the pressure and still lowering the water as much as you think is safe.
I read some were that you can drain a pool to 2-3 inch depth in the shallow end without worrying about the liner moving the bottom step is how far off the bottom? (i would still put plastic up to keep alot of the dust and fiberglass out of the pool. )
I assume you would put in the new liner yourself have you priced a new liner?
mine didnt cost as much as I thought it would. under 700 I believe. installing a liner is easy put it in the coping line it up fill it up, me and the wife did it in one night. it cost more for the water then the liner btw
 
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yotatoy

Member
Aug 3, 2019
13
Mobile, AL
I think I'm just gonna let the steps ride until I replace the liner. Where did you find your liner at that price? Liner still feels soft and pliable, but I dont trust it. Pool guy last summer when we bought house said I probably have 1-3 more seasons left on the liner. I have a irrigation pump I can fill pool with, the water quality tested more or less identical in every pool chemical test as my city tap water did. I have the gelcoat to repair the stairs, once liner goes out I will order a new one, drain the water, repair the stairs first, then replace the liner, the fill her back up. Installing yourself did you have to put any negative pressure vacuum on the liner? Did you end up with any wrinkles?
 

crushkittykitty

Well-known member
Mar 13, 2018
145
DesMoines / Iowa
single shop vac and I did a break down of all the cost and were I got everything in the "under construction" section, I wish I would of put stairs in guess when redo the decking I will.
here is a link mine was pretty bad. pool rebuild. wrinkles I had one in the shallow end it has since been fixed this was end of season last year so we have yet to use the pool. I was so scared to cut the liner for the drains then i couldnt get the screws started and the water was so cold lol, but it all worked out