Pool Drained and Liner Shrank

by George
(Webster NY)

My winter cover was shredded and all of the leaves and debris ended up in the pool itself. I emptied the whole pool and cleaned it out.

I started to refill the pool and am having trouble getting the liner to go back into place. Any suggestions on how to stretch the liner back to where it was?

Hi George.

above ground pool drained

A vinyl liner should never be completely drained because they shrink and in most cases cannot be refilled. Most of the time, within the first couple of seasons, you could get away with this. After that vinyl liners begin to loose their elasticity. With older liners it is best to leave at least six inches of water in them when doing the type of cleaning you attempting.

The only way you will be able to get the liner to stretch back into place, if it is even possible, is to make the best use of direct sunlight. Vinyl liners will only loosen up and begin to stretch when they are warm. The hotter the better when it comes to stretching out an older liner. Full mid day sun is the time to start refilling the pool. Get in the pool on your hands and knees and try pushing from the center to the edges to get the liner bottom stretched and get more liner to the walls. The walls will probably have a large gap between the liner and the pool edge, this is normal because the liner has shrunk. If the liner is hot enough it might stretch back out.

If the liner is still stretching and you run out of sun, shut the water off. Without the sun the liner will not stretch and will begin to pull out from the top, or begin to pull the walls down. Start the water the next day when the liner has warmed back up.

If all this fails, it's time for a new liner.

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Jul 01, 2010
Shrinking liner
by: George

Thanks. I realize that emptying the pool was the wrong way to go. We were on the fence on whether we still wanted the pool. Kids are grown and we don't use it that much.

We will be removing the pool during the summer.

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