Above Ground Pool Liner Pulled Away

by pma
(Indianapolis, Indiana)

We had a new liner installed 2 years ago in our above ground pool. The liner has pulled away from the top in one spot - what is the best way to fix this problem.



Hi. I will have to give you a couple of different answers since I do not know if you have a beaded liner or an overlap liner.

The key to both repairs is to work in the heat of the day. The more direct sunshine you have on the affected part of the liner the better. Liners tend to become very pliable when it's hot, especially in direct sunlight.

With an overlap liner you might be able to just remove a few top rails, top plates, rods and coping. You should then be able to pull the liner back over top of the wall and reassemble. If the liner overhang was tucked back into the pool you should still have plenty of liner to work with.

Vinyl Liner Overhang

If the liner were pulled over once and trimmed off you may be out of liner, in this case, draining some water out of the pool may be necessary. The more water that is taken out of the pool the more liner you have to work with, and stretch, if needed.

If the pool is full of water you may have difficulty connecting the last top rail. It may take a lot of pulling and tugging by several people. The pool will spread just a hair or two. If you can't make the last connection, letting water out of the pool will help. You would need to drain just enough to take some pressure off the top. This is usually not a lot. You just need to keep draining and trying until it goes back together.

A beaded liner usually needs water taken out of the pool. You drain until the liner will pull up and go back into the bead, and you drain no more. The combination of direct sunshine and lowering the water will allow you, at some point, to pull the liner up, and insert it back into the bead.

Now you just need to make sure it stays there. Start by making sure it is securely set in the bead receiver. Many times, when a liner pulls out, it is because it was not fully seated. Other times it is because the bead receiver is too big for the bead. Someone used to make an insert that would tap in behind the liner bead, making a tight fit. It is probably still made. I have made my own in a pinch by cutting down pieces of pool coping. Any plastic cut to the right size, and wedged in behind bead, should work.

In either case, filling the pool back up should be done in direct sunlight, this really helps.

And never drain a vinyl liner to the point where it starts to shrink. You are only compounding your problems at this point. Plan to leave at least a foot of water in the pool. A vinyl pool can be drained to this point and refilled many times without liner damage.

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