Signs Of A Bad Pool Installation

by Mike

What are some signs to look for to suspect that a pool is unstable and may be a candidate for collapse. I have just installed a 27x48 and filled it with water and so far all looks ok as far as I can tell. How long should it take for something to happen from an incorrect installation job?

thank you

Hi Mike. The most important thing is that the pool is level. You can measure from the top rail to the water level in several spots around the pool. If it's all within an inch you are probably just fine.

A pool that's not round is another problem people often encounter. This one is easily detected as you are installing the pool. If all the pieces fit correctly, and all the holes lined up the way they were supposed to, the pool is probably round and level.

When a pool is not round or level the installation will likely be full of problems. Pieces won't fit and the wall won't stay in the track, things like that.

Most pool problems are noticed soon after the pool is full. The ground settling and the pool slowly becoming un-level can happen over weeks or even years.

Comments for Signs Of A Bad Pool Installation

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Jun 07, 2011
The Purpose of Pool Straps
by: will

I had a hole in my semi in ground 18x36 liner which caused water to run underneath the pool. I went to repair the beaded liner and took half of it off and found that two of the straps were bowed up out of the sand. Are these straps necessary or can I cut them and place them back under the sand. What is the purpose of the straps?

Hi Will. The straps keep the sides of the pool from pushing out. If your pool is at least half way in the ground you probably do not need them. Otherwise the straps are a very important part of an oval pool.

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Straps on Above Ground Pool Pushing Through Liner

Just had 15×30 above ground oval installed and within two days I notice straps pushing though the liner. I called the pool installer and told him what was going on, he said because my pool is sitting on wetland this is causing the problem and I might have to install a pump underneath the pool to help with this problem with the water. I told him that does not make sense to me because the pool we had there before never had a problem, he said the old pool didn't have straps where this one does. To be honest it looks like he didn't dig deep enough to bury the straps. So he came out and fixed it now the other side is showing, is this normal or is my gut telling me he didn't do it right? Pleas help.


This could be a very serious problem. You never want an above ground pool liner coming in contact with metal of any kind. Especially oval pools with pressure plates or strapping.

I am not buying the installers story, it sounds to me like they were not properly covered with sand or some sort of pool base. Stay on this until the situation is solved, I think it is all on the installer and I hope he makes it right with you.

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Pool Posts Not Centered On Blocks

by Lynn
(West Seneca)

We Just had a 27' above ground pool installed today. When I arrived home from work I noticed that the support posts were not centered on the blocks. I also noticed that some of the support posts were not completely on the blocks.

I am not a pool installer, however, I think this is not right. The pool only has several inches of water in it. Thought it may be best to not fill the pool anymore because the posts should probably be more centered on the blocks.

I sent the person that installed our pool a text along with pictures of the posts. We have not paid this person yet. I think we should wait till he corrects this problem.

What is the proper way to install the support posts on the support blocks?

Thank you in advance for your advice.

Hi Lynn

This is not something I would be too concerned about. It's very difficult to keep the posts centered on the blocks. For forty years the majority of my pool installations went up without the use of blocks. Firm Arizona soil did not require them. But when ground conditions required them, I used them.

I would lay out the bottom rails, connect everything and make the rim round. I would then mark all the uprights, move the rails, and set the blocks. They would all be perfectly level, set with a transit. But by the time the wall was in the track, and the sand spread, and the liner set, some of the uprights were not centered on the blocks. It just happens that way.

It would be difficult to build the pool and then center a block under each upright. Possible maybe, but not the way I would do it.

Your biggest concern should be, is the pool level? Start measuring from the top rail to the water level all around the pool. As you fill the pool keep checking the level. It should stay well withing an inch the whole time it is filling.

Moving the blocks under the uprights is not as easy as you may think. Bad things can happen when you go tampering with the footplates and the pool cove. If the pool is level, if the ground is well packed under the bottom rails, if there are no gaps under the rails or posts, I would leave it as is and start checking the level as the pool fills.

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Pool Liner Coming Down

by Chris

We had a liner put in our pool. When the water started filling the liner came loose. The pool guy already cut for the skimmer. Can it be fixed?

The pool guy said the liner was too small but the Doughboy dealer said it was the right size. Is there any way to save the liner? It is a 16x32. There is about 3 inch overlapping around the rest of the pool.

Hi Chris

Did the pool guy stretch the liner into place, the way Doughboy recommends? This is the key to installing their liners. It's not the only way, just the best way.

Doughboy liners are known for being a little tight, so that they appear too small. But when properly installed that is a good thing. The liners fit perfect with no extra liner causing wrinkles.

It sounds like the liner was not stretched, or if so, was done on cloudy day. These liners really like direct sunlight. There is a world of difference in how the vinyl works between cloudy and sunny.

I would put the blame 100% on the installer and he should fix it. You should never cut a skimmer opening until you know that liner is going to fit. If the liner needs to stretch, and you are loosing the sun, you shut the water off and turn it on the next day. You never fill a pool in need of stretching once the sun has gone down.

If he can fix it, using the sun, without buying a new liner, I would let him try. It sounds like he does not have much to work with.

I tuck all my excess liner back into the pool so there are two layers of liner pulled over the wall, this makes it much less likely to pull down. I also have about two inches showing on the outside with 4-6 inches tucked back into the pool. That's having plenty of liner to work with.

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