Bottom of Pool Wall Buckled

by Dan
(nh)

Bottom of Pool Wall Buckled

Bottom of Pool Wall Buckled

This winter the bottom of pool wall buckled (actually creased, folded over on itself) around almost half of the pool. As a result I have a 3-4 inch gap between the top of the pool wall and the bottom of the top rail. The crease at the bottom of the pool wall is up to an inch deep in places. From what I can see the liner looks fine. How did this happen and is the damage repairable (and how) or does the pool need to come down?



pool wall crease

Hi Dan.

It looks like the ground froze at some point over the winter. When the ground froze, it expanded and raised the pool bottom rails. This would cause the crease in the wall. When the ground thawed it must have lowered the pool back down, accounting for the gap at the top.

To repair the pool you would need to drain it. I would leave a little water in the bottom so the liner does not shrink and so wrinkles don't develop. Leave a few inches of water if possible.

You would then need to remove the top rails, rods and coping. One person would need to hold the liner back out of the way while another person hammered the wall out flat. A rubber mallet could be used or a piece of 2 x 4 being hit by a regular hammer. You may even need someone on the outside holding a board against the pool while you are pounding it flat. If you start at the very end of the crease and slowly work towards the bad spots it should work.

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Above Ground Pool Wall Collapse

by Mac MacDonald
(Fredericton, NB, Canada)

Above Ground Pool Wall Collapse

Above Ground Pool Wall Collapse

The pool was installed in 2003 and the wall below the skimmer collapsed some 2 years ago, and more last year, but this year it has collapsed to the point I will have to do something.

Can the side walls be straightened out?

What will cause this to happen? How do you prevent this to happen again?

Hi Mac

This can definitely be fixed without much problem. I would guess the cause is one of two things. The ground under the pool may have expanded during a hard freeze and pushed the footplates and bottom rail up. It that's the case, they may lower by themselves, or you may have to dig dirt out from under them. This can usually be done with the pool full by scraping dirt out from under the footplates and bottom rails. When this is done the pool should lower and the wall should pop back into shape.

It is sometimes necessary to drain the pool to make these kinds of leveling repairs, if so read this page first.

Leveling an Above Ground Pool

If there are blocks under a post that needs to be lowered the pool will probably have to be drained. But once the leveling is fixed the wall should easily pop back into shape.

The other possibility is if the pool were completely full when the water froze. If it goes into the skimmer and freezes, and then the pool water lowers by just a small amount, the ice attached inside the skimmer will pull the wall down, bending it like shown in your photo.

If that's the case the wall should easily push out and pop back into place. This should happen automatically with just the pool water pressure. If not a small amount of pressure from inside the pool might do it. As a last resort you could lower the water level to about six inches and push the wall back into place. If it won't go it probably means the rails are to high and need lowered.

One of the best ways of preventing this is putting one of the skimmer plates over the skimmer, blocking it off during the winter months.

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