If you have a safety cover + vinyl liner caulk/seal the gap to keep water out

dstutto

Member
Feb 25, 2021
19
NY
Pool Size
3000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I have recently reinstalled an Endless Pool that I disassembled after about 7 years of service. I was somewhat surprised (appalled really) to see the extent to which the galvanized steel panels (standard pool panels I believe) had rusted in this indoor above ground pool (just the inside of the panels were corroded; the exteriors were pristine). It was clear that water was getting past the liner somehow (corners especially). What I have discovered is that it seems to go above the top of the liner in the tiny gap between the liner hanger and the liner, and then around the liner in that channel, and then it drains into the space behind the liner and the pool walls, and corrodes the walls.

This is the sticky part! The water leak/corroding panels can easily be remedied by caulking the gap between the liner and the hanger after the liner is installed. This should be standard practice but I don't believe that it is done. I'll be surprised if anyone says that they do this or had it done to their pool. In my case, the water intrusion is compounded by the presence of a tightly sealing safety cover. The safety cover creates a 100% humid condensing environment everywhere between the cover and the pool surface (precisely where the liner hanger is). As a result, in the 9 days since I filled the pool, the liner hanger channel behind the liner has become saturated with water (condensing water rolls down the coping back into the pool passing over the liner/channel joint and seeps into the crack). I was planning to caulk the gap anyway, based on my panel corrosion observations, but I didn't realize it would get saturated before the pool is ever used.

Now I am using small 1" strips of plain white copy paper to jam into the little gap between the liner and the hanger to dry it out enough so that the silicone sealant will adhere to the hanger and the liner, to keep out future water. An ounce of prevention ... I should have caulked the liner in place as soon as I had 1 foot of water in the bottom of the pool (so the channel and liner would have still been dry). Lesson learned. I hope someone else can learn from my mistake.

I realize that when the time comes to replace the liner (a long time with an indoor pool), that I"ll have to run a razor knife around the top of the liner hanger to cut the caulk free before removing the liner. That doesn't seem too onerous compared to the time and expense of re-galvanizing the panels with cold galvanizing spray paint, which I had to do before installing them.
 
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