Esther Williams Pool with Bowed Sides

by Donald Rhodes
(Coventry, RI)

I had a 15' x 30' Esther Williams installed last fall and the pool wall is creased on the straight sides at the bottom. The walls are bowed outward a lot at the top. The pool edge does not look straight.

I went back to the store and looked at their display and it looks perfectly straight and level. The owner and installer said this is normal.

Looking at the instructions I feel they did not dig down the right amount for the center of the pool and the cross straps. does this make sense? I have a new $5500.00 pool with bent walls?



Hi Donald. If your pool does not look like the display pool then I would agree, you have a problem.

The sides of an oval pool should be straight up and down. Stick a level on the braces, are they straight? They should be.

The normal problem would be improper leveling, or blocking, under the back side of the brace assembly. It is impossible to tell for sure without photos but it does sound like you have a problem.

Hopefully you can get them to make it right.

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Oval Pool Brace Problem

by Mr. P Slater
(Bray Park Qld)

I have a problem with my above ground pool. It is an oval shaped pool and has 6 braces, 3 on each side. My problem is that 2 of the braces are leaning outwards and I am worried the pool will collapse flooding into the neighbors yard who has their pool next to our fence.

What should I do ??



Hi Mr. Slater. Yes, this could be a problem. It depends on how far the braces are leaning out. If it is just a little, and it has been that way for years, it will probably be just fine. If it seems to be getting worse, or if it is really leaning, then I would drain the pool and fix it.

When draining the pool to do these repairs you have a couple of choices. If it is a good time to change a liner, it's pretty easy. You drain the pool, toss out the old liner, and straighten the sides. Re-leveling braces requires work both inside and outside of the pool. The blocks behind the braces will need to be raised. When this happens the inside channels will need to be settled back into the ground and the sand re-packed around them.

Doing this much work on the pool structure is easier without the liner to worry about. If you want to re-use the liner it can still be done, just not as easy. When draining the pool be sure to leave a couple inches of water in the bottom. This will hold the liner in place, keep it from shifting and shrinking, and make the re-fill much easier. That means someone will have to be in the pool holding the liner back out of the way while the repairs are being made.

Depending on the age of the liner, it will probably still want to shrink, even with a couple inches of water in it. If the work is done on a warm sunny day, and done in one day, and refilled in the early afternoon, it should still be OK. Don't leave the pool empty thinking you will get to the job in a few weeks. Don't do the re-fill at night, the liner will need the sun to stretch back out.

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Oval Pool Sides Leaning

by Ty
(Manitoba)

I got a "free" 18 by 33 pool from a family member and have been putting it together for the last month or so.

Everything was going well, liner was in relatively wrinkle free, level walls etc. started filling, half way I cut out the skimmer and return as well as all the plumbing to the sand filter. Still no issues, so I continued to fill. No issues at all until a day after it was filled.

The sides looked like they were leaning! I know the pool was 18 feet across after the liner was installed because I measured it, and now they are almost 19 feet away from each other! Both sides look to be leaning about the same, so I'd guess each side is leaning about 6".

I've been keeping an eye on it for a week now and they haven't moved since. I'm wondering its safe to swim in or should I drain most of the water and add another block to each of the buttresses in order to level the posts? If at all possible, I'd like to swim in it for a month or 2 and then drain and repair it at the end of summer.



Hi Ty. You said you have blocks under the braces, that's good. That means your pool is not in immediate danger.

I would put a level on each brace upright and see how bad off they really are. You can also eyeball down the sides of the pool and get a good idea how bad the posts are leaning.

It would be unusual for all of your support blocks to have settled exactly the same amount. But if so, and nothing has moved since it was first filled, you should be OK to use the pool.

Correcting the problem posts might be as easy as lowering the water by just a foot and pounding a wedge between the block and the brace channel. Using a wedge you would only raise each brace enough to become plumb.

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One Section of Upright Out of Plumb on Oval Pool

by Jayson Robinson
(Rochester, NY)

We purchased a home last fall with an old oval 16x32 pool that's about 18 years old. It's a Cornelius Mirada that we're in the process of completely renewing. It's cheaper to retrofit this one than it is to put up a completely new one due to zoning requirements ( there's a deck involved ). A couple of the uprights and wall are out of plumb on one of the straight sides of the oval.

It's currently drained about half way and one of the side walls is a way out of plumb. The top is leaning out. The oval measures 17' 4" side to side across the top of the pool at the point of the out of plumb wall. It has survived at least 2 winters in this condition, so I'm not really worried about it falling down right now. I also should note that even with the pool completely full as it was last fall it was still 17' 4".

That all being said I figured the best time to get it rectified is while we have everything apart for the liner installation. What should we do to bring the wall back into plumb? Since it's bowing out does that mean we need to move the buttress and supports up? What's the best way to block it after we do that? The side of the pool that is bowing looks like it was built up with #2 stone to make it level with the other side.

Thank you.



Hi Jayson. There is not much you can do until the pool is empty and the liner removed. At this point you need to check and see if the side supports are held together with a connecting strap. If so, you probably just have a patio block under the back of each support.

Before raising and resetting the rear block make sure the inside of the support system can sink, or lower back into place. If the front does not lower, the entire brace assembly will raise.

You will need to pull the sand back off the pressure plates and dig out around them a little. This should work.

If you do not have straps connecting your side supports you will need to measure the distance across the pool, near the bottom, at each support. Make sure they are all the same distance apart.

The block system will be much more advanced and you may decide to simply install a wedge between the brace channel and the block. This works just fine.

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