Pool Wall Separating

by Mary
(Lincoln, me)

This spring we noticed the 28 ft. above ground pool has buckled and separated the outer wall, where the screws hold the wall together, the holes for the screws have pulled completely out. Is there any way to fix this problem?

I didn't know if it was possible to re-drill new holes? We do have to replace the liner. It has a hole somewhere because all of the water has drained out. I hope to fix it, have had the pool 4 years but it is an older pool.

Hi Mary

You could probably go about fixing it a couple of different ways. There is probably room between the existing bolt holes to add more. This would be one way to go. If the wall still looks solid, except for where the holes are spreading, this would probably work.

Another way to reinforce the wall would be to get about an eight foot section of pool wall and put inside your existing wall. It should fit into the bottom track on the inside of the pool. Behind the uprights, the ones on both sides of you existing nuts and bolts, you would drill new holes. Any flat metal would work for this purpose if a pool wall could not be found. You should also add a few new bolts to the existing row of bolts just to make sure everything is lined up the way it was.

The important thing to remember is that a 28' pool holds a lot of water. If the repair does not hold, that's a lot of water to loose at one time, especially if someone is in the pool. Be sure what ever you do is going to work or you are better off replacing either the wall or the whole pool.

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Sand on Pool Bottom

I just had my liner changed last month. I have been finding loose sand accumulating on top of the liner. I vacuum and it comes back again. Sounds like there is a leak? I am watching the water level.


A tear, or hole, in the liner will allow some sand to accumulate on the liner. These are the easiest holes to find as they are usually quite large and right in the area of the sand. The ground around the hole becomes mushy fairly quickly making finding the hole even easier.

multi port valve on sand filter

The other possibility of sand in the pool is if it is coming from a sand filter. If the filter laterals have holes in them, or if your spider gasket in the valve assembly is bad, sand will shoot back into the pool through the return.

If the sand is all over the pool bottom it is probably filter sand. Sand from a hole usually stays in a small isolated area.

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Replacing Liner Again

by Kim Bartley

We have a 16x32 Doughboy pool. This year we have to replace the liner. Over the winter (Ohio winter) the water in the pool slowly went down until there was no water at all.

We are now getting prepared to install a new liner but the bottom of the pool in a small section came off the bottom track and I noticed it was dented outward at the bottom a little. Can we pound this out and just put the side back in the track and would it be OK to then put the new liner in?

We also have a DE filter for this pool. Filter seems to run great but when I attach the sweeper it will not work at all and the filter seems to run high? Do I need a new filter too?

Hi Kim

You would probably be just fine pounding the wall flat and putting it back into the bottom track. You could go one step farther and install some sheet metal into the bottom rail. Several feet of 12" wide sheet metal taped to the sidewall acts as nice reinforcement for damaged walls.

stretching a liner into a Doughboy Pool

Be sure to review our pages about liner installations before you get started. They might prove very helpful to you. These pages would be a good start.

Expandable Liner Installation

Above Ground Pool Liner Installation

Vinyl Liner Replacement

When filters operate fine until the cleaner is attached it is usually an air leak issue. Check that carefully and also check whether or not the cleaner hose is collapsing anywhere. If you are sending too much suction to the cleaner you might be collapsing the hose.

If the pressure slowly goes down, while the cleaner is doing its job, you might just need to pull your tank apart and give the elements a good cleaning. DE filters need a good cleaning a couple times a year.

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Timberline III Top Plate

I am assembling a Doughboy Timberline III. The plate on the upright does not seem to hang over the pool wall. The pool wall just presses up against the top plate on the vertical uprights.

Is this correct?


Yes, that would be correct. While most top plates do go over top of the retaining rods Doughboy did have a model or two where they did not.

Most of the time when we built this model we would stretch the liner in over the metal rods as opposed to building the entire frame like we normally would. We found that the uprights liked to fall over when we took the top rails off, and that is not good.

We would install the wall and tape the metal rods over it to hold it up. We would then stretch the liner in over the rods. When we tucked the liner under we had an assembly line process going on. I would cloths pin the liner in place and then go back and install the coping. Someone would follow behind me and install the metal rods. The third person would be installing the uprights and the top rails.

I'm pretty sure this was the Timberline III, but not completely sure. I think the Sand Dollar also had top plates that did not hook over the wall, but they had enough screws at the bottom of the uprights to keep them from falling over.

It's been a while so I am not really sure, but yes, it is very possible the plates were not meant to hook over the wall.

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Above Ground Pool Supports Buckling

by Barbara

This busy time of year is making it impossible to even get a return call from pool repair companies. The winter before last our 4 year old 15'x 30',48-50" deep oval pool sustained damage by too much ice on the cover and in the pool(?). After a terrible blizzard the sides were pulling in substantially until we slit the liner as instructed to release pressure. Spring time we had the pool checked and liner replaced, all seemed OK.

This year we filled pool and have used maybe 3 times and now and have noticed 2 panels out of track and buckled at bottom, 1 more adjacent panel bowed inward, and 3 vertical support beams pulled upward off of concrete blocks, approx 3" at worst, in skimmer area.

I have also noticed the struts on left side appear to have pushed outward at the ground level to the lawn edging which is now serpentine shape instead of straight.

On the right side of the pool the top rail is crooked and the sides appear to be pushing outward, so one side is pushing outward the other pulling upward.

To avoid flooding our neighbors we have begun draining pool. Hopefully we can get someone honest to fix things before October, but what else should we try or do to avoid further damage? What possibly caused this and what might it take to repair short of disassembling and starting all over, which my husband and I would sure like to avoid? But it may come to that. Thanks for any help and direction you can give us.

Hi Barbara

I am so sorry to hear about your problems. It sound to me that it is a combination of severe weather and a poor installation.

Without photos it is impossible to tell just what is going on. I would sure wait for the advice of a pro, and hope he knows what he is talking about.

All I can see is the pool needs to be taken down and reassembled. But that's the thing, I can't see it. I hope you have a better assessment from someone who can.

I do think draining the pool for the time being was the right thing to do.

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Pool Side Popped Out

by Dawn

Pool Side Coming Out

Pool Side Coming Out

Our pool panel that connects it to the next panel came loose. The "track" it was in is broken. Can we screw the tracks into the support post and cover them with another piece of metal to reinforce?

The pool company is no longer in business to replace the panel.

Hi Dawn

I'm sure with enough reinforcement that this can be fixed.

Do do it right you will have to drain the pool, of course. If you plan to use the same liner be sure to leave some water in the pool, at least a couple of inches. This will keep it from shrinking and becoming unusable.

It's best to have a person inside the pool, pulling the liner back, while the repairs are being done, as opposed to draining the pool all the way.

Do the repairs in one day and fill ASAP, in direct sunlight.

A good sized metal patch, riveted in place, using plenty of duct tape to cover any sharp edges, should do the job.

If you engineer something solid, and keep in mind the liner is going to shrink, you should be fine.

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Wall Coming Out of Top Rods

by Debbie C
(Pittsburgh PA)

I think this happened from the kids 'pushing off'. I have a 27ft above ground pool. About 5ft of the wall is out of the track that encircles the top of the pool. There's about a 1 inch gap - - there's no way I can stick the wall back into the track.

We had a hard winter...maybe that had something to do with it, too. I had the pool for 6 years and never lost as much water as I did this past winter.

Anyway, I'm concerned with the wall of the pool....Any advice?

Hi Debbie

It should be fairly easy to fix but you will have to remove the top rails. Before taking the tops rails off you should probably drain the pool down to about half way.

With the top rails off you should be able to reset the rods in place and reinstall the top rails.

pool wall out at top

If your wall looks like this you have more serious issues. This kind of wall damage is caused by the wall buckling during a winter freeze. If the top of the pool is frozen and the water below it is allowed to leak this is what happens. The fix would be to drain enough water out of the pool so the liner can be pulled back and the wall straightened.

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Esther Williams Bottom Rails

by Fred

I received a used 24' round Esther Williams Carousel pool. It has the extruded aluminum side wall panels. I did not get a bottom rail. New ones are very expensive, and I have been told that it is not load bearing and only required to assist with installation.

Do I need the bottom rail? Can anything else be used in its place?

Hi Fred

The bottom rails are not load bearing, and the pool should stand without them, but I would consider building it next to impossible without them. The bottom rails are a very important leveling tool. Making sure each footplate is perfectly level, and then leveling the ground between them for the bottom rail is a very important part of building a pool.

The rails also support and guide the wall as you assemble it. This would be difficult without something to hold the wall in place and keep it in a true circle.

In theory, however, a pool should stand without bottom rails, and it should hold water. The reason I know this is because Wall-Mart sold a cheap pool years ago that had no bottom rails. It was a pain in the butt to build, but once done, they did hold water. This same pool had no uprights or top rails, just a cheap wall, a liner and coping.

If you were to use something like landscape edging material and make a circle it might work. You could use blocks, the plastic edging with stakes, probably any number of things. This is not something I have done so I am just guessing it would work. It sounds to me like a lot more trouble than it's worth, I would order the new parts.

Comments for Esther Williams Bottom Rails

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Jun 10, 2012
Esther Williams Pool panels
by: Jim

Any idea where to get a couple extruded aluminum panels for an Esther Williams pool ? After 15 years, only a few panels pocked here and there. Thanks

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Dented Support Post

I have a support post dented from a mower or 4 wheeler. There is no damage to the pool wall and feels very strong just indented. I am concerned about the integrity of the pool. Should I be worried or is it more of an aesthetics issue, I can back fill a bit and add some bushes and it would cover with no problem.


It should not be a problem. As long as the pool is level there should be no pressure it, it's just there to hold the top rails in place.

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