Need advice on pool step gasket repair/replace


Well-known member
Sep 4, 2015
I had my liner replace back in April 2020, and have had leak issues since. I had contacted the old pool guy that put it in 20 years a go and has done my liner replacement before he had the old drawings so easy. He had his arm in sling said he wasn't up to speed and was going to have this other guy help him out. I was like ok. We complete bait and switch now i got this clown doing my liner. My old guy was there for most of it and everything seemed to go ok.

Noe i start noticing a leak about a inch a day. Guy comes out with scuba he looks for leaks finds some in light bucket fixes it with Aqua bond. still leaks just not as bad then it pool building time and i cannot get this guy back out. Finally around August he dives the pool again and we find a crack in fiberglass stairs Pool guy put aqua bond on crack so i think I'm good. Get a estimate but he couldn't get out there until after oct and he said would have to wait until spring. I also found some leaks by the gasket for the stairs so i tell pool guy and we agree to wait until fiberglass guy comes in spring to fix step and pump it with foam etc. Since we have to drain below last step I didn't want to leave it with skimmer not having water in it since we do get freezes and was afraid of underground lines.

Fiberglass guy come inspects steps no other cracks, he drills crack to stop spread did a great job with epoxy and spay foam to strengthen step. Now I got to wait weeks for pool guy and a helper to come a replace step gasket. Finally they do the gasket I'm working from home but i can hear them talking since i got the ring and camera is right over pool. they are going back and forth pool guy want to use 2 gaskets helper says I've never seen that before. Pool guy leave to go get more gasket material. I'm sitting in back the helper who is freelance i know from the other liners. He's telling me "I have never see someone do two gaskets" but I really didn't think much of the comment.

Fill it up OMG is leaking like 3+ inches a day. I know its from steps as you can feel the bubble of water in back of liner. I try and get him out a million and one excuses tells me he is going to show never shows and I putting a ton of water in. Now its like memorial day having folks over this thing just needs so much water and he wont come. I think back to what the helper guy was saying about two gaskets and no one has ever done that so I start researching pool step gaskets. I find this drawing which is exactly what type of plastic retainer i have. If you look closely, the SINGLE gasket goes in BACK of liner and the 6 teeth of the plastic dig the liner into the gasket sealing the steps. However what he did was put two gaskets in; one in the back like you supposed to and one in FRONT of liner. So now the teeth are digging into the gasket not the liner and I got all kinds of leaks with the leak detector. No I'm really mad call him and other pool guy he just wont come out so I know its wrong. I ended up starting in the middle of each section taking out 3 screws, pulling the extra gasket in front out replace screws move on down. Finally get all of the probably 20' of gasket out from bottom and sides. Here what the gasket looked like you can see where the teeth grabbed the gasket not the line like the illustration shows.

This fixed the 3" per day leak but its still leaking at steps as you can feel the water. I was able to get pool putty and fix some of the larger leaks I could find but with Oct here I need to disassemble this and repair it correctly so really need some help from anyone that's done this type of repair.
1) Do I need new gaskets and where the heck to get them
2) where can I get the stainless screws they are not normal Lowes screws weird thread.
3) Should i get some underwater pool rtv to make sure this really seals. What brand? I know it has to be special so deal with chorine
4) Do I need new faceplate and where to purchase?
5) Which do I start with bottom or sides?(My thought was bottom)

I'm taking a week off so I need to purchase supplies so ill have them. My plan was too
1) take off faceplate and gasket and inspect the fiberglass and vinyl, my gut says the vinyl got ripped during install
2) use some pool RTV to apply thin coat on both sides of gasket for better chance of no leaks
3) Replace screws with mucked up heads.

This has been a two year horror movie, thousand's$$ in water probably, since Charlotte NC charges you for the water and the sewage per gallon. I need this to be done professionally(by me) as no one will touch this I've tried they wont even look at it for a estimate. The wait time for a heater or pump repair is 4-6 weeks they wont go near a vinyl pool and 1-2 year wait for a new pool in charlotte NC. Pretty crazy but forces me to do it. I'm very handy and don't consider this too big a deal just want some words of wisdom from the group if your done this before and what I may make a mess out of.


TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
Morris Cnty NJ
The issue your gonna have is with the old holes. Inyopools has the gaskets and screws. You can use 3m 5200 for a bead to seal it. Its 1 gasket behind back track then liner then tooth plate screwed on. Then cover strips. Theres no other way. If necessary you may have to glue a 2" strip to the liner for support. Have to be very careful with colser weather you can loose your liner stretch I would keep on a vacuum while doing the repair thru skimmer throat if doing now
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