Vinyl liner wrinkles --> tear during rapid fill??

JPG

Member
May 25, 2014
7
Pottstown, PA
Hello All,

I have drained my above ground pool and have started to fill it up again using my garden hose. I have lots of wrinkles on the floor as can be seen by attached pics. Some are about 1 or maybe up to 2 inches tall. Even though I have read that wrinkles don't cause major problems, I have tried very hard as I'm filling up the pool to remove these wrinkles, and I've had very limited success. As you can see from the pics, due to the wrinkles the floor does not extend entirely to the very edge of the pool and the walls are not 100% vertical. They are also sagging somewhat.

Tomorrow I'm scheduled to get a delivery of about 7k gallons of water to quickly help me fill it up and try to get some use out of it before the summer is over.

Question:
  • Will getting a water truck to fill up the pool likely tear the liner or cause it to come off completely because the forces are not being applied in the expected manner?
I'm wondering if I should call off the water truck, empty out the pool again, and start all over.

Thanks,
JPG.

Here are the pics

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zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
12,625
Houston, Texas
How long was the pool empty, how old is the liner, and how did you try to remove the wrinkles? Have you watched any of the videos on how to set an above ground pool liner? Once you have more than a couple of inches of water in the pool you will not be able to get rid of the wrinkles without draining and starting over. Most of the videos of liner installations have a couple of people wearing socks in the pool and kicking the liner into place with their heels, and the liner is held tight to the walls using a shop vac..
 

JPG

Member
May 25, 2014
7
Pottstown, PA
Hi zea3,

The liner is as old as the pool - roughly 8 or 9 years old. This past Monday the 20th (6 days ago) I started to drain the pool, and late that evening I got it to about 1 or 2 inches of depth. That's when I noticed these big-time wrinkles. I'm fairly certain (though not 100% sure) that the wrinkles were not anywhere near as bad prior to me draining the pool.

Since Tuesday I've been slowly going through short cleaning / draining / cleaning cycles. I finished cleaning it and removing all the water completely about 5 hours ago. After all the water was gone I got on my hands and knees and started to push out the wrinkles from the center outward. I also attempted to use a blower to push out the walls and the wrinkles, to no visible result.

Shortly after I started to fill up my pool again, both getting on my hands and knees to push out the wrinkles, and also using my feet to pull on the liner floor towards the walls, and then gently kick the seam between the wall and the floor all the way around the pool. I did this for about 2 - 3 hours.

I have not watched the videos but I've read several online articles on how to remove the wrinkles. At this point my main concern is structural, not aesthetic.

Will this liner break as the truck dumps 7k gallons into it?

Thanks,
JPG.

PS. I have a shop vac and read about using the suction force to remove the wrinkles by getting "in between the liner and the wall" but for the life of me I cannot figure out how I could get a shop vac in between there.
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
12,625
Houston, Texas
As long as the liner is not brittle and they don't try to dump all the water in at once it should be ok. They should be able to control the flow so they don't damage the pool. As far as setting the vacuum goes, you would need to remove a top rail and coping strip opposite the skimmer and return slip the vacuum nozzle between the liner and pool wall.
 

JPG

Member
May 25, 2014
7
Pottstown, PA
Looks like I asked the wrong question. The liner did not tear, but as you can see from some of the pics further below, the walls started to buckle considerably. That's when I told the guy to stop filling it.

I have about 16 inches of water in the pool. Do you think it best that I drain the water while I look for someone to repair this situation, or just leave it alone? One local pool repair guy said leave it alone, another place told me to drain it to about 1 or 2 inches.

Thanks,
JPG.

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MommaHuffman

Member
Jul 28, 2020
23
Palmyra, PA
I am a newbie here and awaiting installation of my new AGP. Looking at the pics you just posted of your wall, I personally would be really weary about leaving that wall in that condition! I wish you the best and am also very curious as to what comments you get here from others who have more experience with AGPs.
 

AJ.A

Well-known member
Jun 19, 2020
52
NE Ohio
That is from the liner pulling down on the wall as it is filled. Mine did something similar to that but once it had a couple feet of water it corrected itself. It was not as bad as your buckling though. Personally I would roll the dice because its older and what choice do you have? I'm concerned about you getting the liner back over the top of the wall once it has water in it. Using a hose might be better too sobits slower. I have also seen people talk about only filling in the day so the liner is flexible.

I would wait for someone else to chime in that has changed an overlap liner on an AG pool.
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
12,625
Houston, Texas
You did not mention the previous damage to the pool wall when asking about whether the liner would tear as the pool refilled. The structural integrity of the pool was compromised from the crease at the skimmer. When you started to refill the pool the weaker of the two materials gave way. Instead of stretching the liner as the pool filled, the already damaged metal began to buckle. If you want to save this pool you can take the pool down and attempt to repair the wall by reinforcing it with another piece of sheet metal riveted to the same section of wall. You will have to match up the skimmer and return openings and cut the same size openings in the new sheet metal. You will also need to replace the liner.
 
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cj133

Well-known member
May 6, 2018
306
NJ
I very may well have missed it, but since when is it safe to refill a pool that has been empty for several days with an old liner?
I was under the impression old liners would shrink when the pool was drained and would not re-stretch again. This certainly would cause the pool wall to collapse.

To me, that pool is done. :(
 

Casey

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 16, 2007
11,515
SW PA
This is why you dont drain a pool to clean it. That's a hard lesson to learn. As soon as I saw the first liber pic, I knew it was an old liner.