Problems Installing Top Rails

by Shaun M
(Washington , Seattle)

When I put in the wall on an oval 18x33 above ground pool the wall shifted, after we built up the coves, as a result one upright pad is only half on the patio brick. So the inside part is not over the brick anymore. Is this a problem and should I take out cove and fix now?

The second problem is we put on the straight side caps to hold the wall. When we did this it was very tight and the wall had to be bowed out slightly and haven't even got liner in or stabilizer rails yet... is this normal?

Thanks Shaun



Hi Shaun. What you are experiencing is exactly why I recommend completely assembling the pool without the liner. By installing all the uprights and top rails before you spread the sand and install the liner you can see exactly how the pool is going to look. If it is not right it's much easier to fix at this point.

pool assembled before liner install


When the ends posts don't fit your blocks you need to decide exactly where the end posts need to be. Are the blocks positioned correctly or did the posts move into a correct location. The best way to tell is to build the pool and take a close look. On oval pools the sides need to be straight and both ends need the exact same shape. Each transition corner needs to be the same. Some pools come off the sides with the top rail straight at the four corners. Some pools will start the end sections with an arc. Either way, make sure all four corners are identical and the sides are straight. Next, check the arc the bottom rails make at the ends. This needs to be uniform and consistent.

You should also inspect the gap between the bottom rails. If you have a half inch gap, it should be a half inch at every connection, not an inch here and a quarter at the next connection.

The wall being to tall is usually because the track is set to high. See if you can take some dirt out from under it. I have, however, seen a few pools where it seemed the walls were to tall for the frame. It would take a small bow in the wall to allow the top rails to go on. That "small" bow would push out with the water pressure as the pool was filled.

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