Pool Wall Buckled

by Mark
(Smithville, ON)

We moved into our new home and found the pool wall was starting to buckle outwards in a couple of spots. I presume this is from someone kicking off the interior pool side as the rest of the pool is in mint condition.

I'm taking a 'wait and see' approach as I really don't want to empty the pool to fix it.

Given the strength of the other supports, should I be concerned about this pool collapsing - it is close to the house...


Hi Mark

A buckle usually implies some sort of crease in the wall, where dents from kicking off are just that, dents. They are round in shape, slightly larger than a heel. I have seen these on occasion, and no, they are not a cause for concern.

Creases are usually caused by the liner pulling down hard on the top of the pool wall, or from the bottom rail being too high. The bottom rail could have been installed that way or the ground freezing over the winter caused the ground to rise. Creases near the top can be caused by a pool being drained, the liner shrinks, and when the pool is refilled the liner pulls on the top of the wall. Ice in a pool can have the same effect. It pushes hard against the side wall and if the water level lowers by just a little bit, the wall is pulled down.

Most buckles, dents or creases do not cause the wall to collapse, but you should keep an eye on them. Damage near the top is not a problem as there is not much water pressure up there. From the midway point to the bottom of the pool is where the pressure is the greatest.

Without photos it's impossible to say how save the pool is but most of the time you will be fine until the next liner change, when you can flatten it out.

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Pool Wall Buckle

by Cathy

Pool Wall Damaged Near Footplate

Pool Wall Damaged Near Footplate

We just installed a 24 foot round Mighty Sun Rushmore pool. There is a dent at one of the uprights. Is there a way to fix this?

Hi Cathy

The dent appears to be there because that post is a little too high. I would drain about half the water out of the pool and very carefully lower the post. When I do this I use a spade or a long crew driver and remove dirt from under the footplate and the bottom rails on both sides. As the upright lowers the wall should pop back into shape by its self.

The block makes it a little more difficult but it needs to be lowered. That will allow the upright to go into it's proper position.

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Pool Wall Bow or Buckle

by Steve
(North Carolina)

Bow in Pool Sidewall

Bow in Pool Sidewall

Whichever you want to call it? This is a 3 year old pool that we purchased used and are reinstalling. We have leveled the blocks the post are on with a transit and leveled all the sand under the liner. We have made sure the circle measures the right distance from post to post to ensure roundness.

We purchased a new liner and upon putting it in and filling with water you can see from the picture what the walls are looking like. What causes this and how do we fix it. Keep in mind the pool is filling and the vacuum is on. Would it be safe to keep filling the pool.

Hi Steve

Most of the time the water pushes the wall into place as the pool is filling. When this does not happen it probably means the ground under the rail, or footplate, is a little too high. I have had to use a screwdriver and scrape some dirt out from under them on occasion to get the buckle out of a sidewall.

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Sidewall Buckled A Foot Down

by Rick

It seems that my liner had a small hole in it and I didn't realize it before I closed it for the winter. About a month ago I noticed the outside metal liner buckled about a foot down.

What I think happen was the leak froze in between the liners and the outside buckled due to this. Is this fixable or has to be replaced? Help.

Hi Rick

This seems to happen a lot in colder climates like yours. I've never seen it in person because things like that never happen in sunny Arizona. But I have seen a ton of photos and heard a lot of stories. It seems the ice is pushing very hard against the walls of the pool, sort of pinching the liner between the ice and the sidewall. As the water level drops, the ice lowers and the liner tends to pull down with it, pulling on the top of the wall.

pool sidewall buckled

The fix is pretty easy. When the ice is gone and things are warming up you can try to straighten the wall. It's possible it will go back into shape without having to take anything apart. Most of the time some top rails will need to come off.

Straightening the wall can be done by hand, on occasion, but usually it takes a mallet and a 2 x 4. Hold the board on one side and hammer flat with the mallet on the other.

Be careful with the liner. An overlap liner is usually the easiest. You can release it from the top and work behind it if needed. Be careful about releasing beaded liners. If they have to be released, in order to make wall repairs, do so on a warm sunny day when the vinyl is pliable.

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Bowing Of Pool Wall

by Don
(Central IL.)

After finishing the install of our 18' x 33' above ground pool, I noticed that about an inch and a half above the bottom track the wall has a slight bow to it, approximately 2 inches wide.

I called Sharkline and was informed that after the pool was filled with water, it tried to shift and settle outwards, couldn't, and this was the end result.

At one point the wall in the track started to dent. I had read in some other posts that the ground was too high in a situation like that. So I took a putty knife and "sliced" out a little earth from under the track all the way around the pool. This caused the dent to vanish and the bow to disappear in most places. But it is still there in others, just not as prevalent as first noted.

Have you ever seen this before, and is the pool structurally sound to withstand harsh winters?

Thank you for your time.

Hi Don

It sounds like you did the right thing by lowering the rails a little. Could it still need to be lowered more in a couple of spots? That might help, if not then I am sure the pool will be just fine. There are times that once the creases are formed they will not just pop out on their own.

Many years from now, when you change the liner in the pool, you can work on them. They will go away with a hammer and a block of wood. Until then I would not worry about them.

Comments for Bowing Of Pool Wall

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Apr 21, 2024
Thank you for this information
by: AnonymousCanadian

Thank you so much for all these posts and pictures. We bought a house with an above ground pool about 2 years ago. Our pool liner ripped during the winter (it was very old) and because of its age and poor installation, one of the walls looks like it's buckling. I was so worried that we would need to dismantle the whole pool or get a new wall, but your informative posts here have reassured me that our next step (restoring the pool with more secure blocks, levelling the pool, installing a new whole liner) will likely fix the issue and the buckle isn't cause for concern. It's about midway up the wall, on the lowest side of the pool where the frame has sunken down the most.

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