Pressure Plates and Straps Felt Under Liner

by Dusty
(Topeka, KS)

We recently installed a 15 X 30 X 52 oval pool and within a week we could feel the hold-down plate edges and one of the straps. The pool was set on blocks and leveled to plumb. The sand bottom was tamped prior to installing the liner. What are our options for correcting this? Thanks

Hi Dusty

This could be a very dangerous situation and the pool should be drained immediately. The sharp edges of any metal could tear the liner and the entire pool could empty itself in a matter of seconds.

above ground pool pressure plates

If there is no liner damage you could probably leave an inch of water in the pool. This would help to keep the liner from shrinking and shifting. It would make refilling easier.

You would need to pull the liner back on each side. A few helpers on the inside of the pool could hold the liner back while someone made the repairs on the inside of the pool. The pressure plates and straps should be covered with plenty of sand. There should be no chance of the liner ever coming into contact with these parts.

If the sand is low all the way across the pool you are better off taking the liner out and redoing the entire base. Add more sand and do some packing and watering. Get the base to where you know it is solid before putting the liner back in.

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Sand Settled Around Pressure Plates

by Todd

I just installed my 15' x 30' AGP and tamped the sand base well over the course of two weeks prior to install. Now that the pool has been filled for a week I can see the outline of the pressure plates and bottom of the uprights along the straight sides.

I can also see where the straps attach at the uprights. Apparently I didn't tamp quite enough near these parts. Anyway, it is expensive to have water trucked here so I am wondering how far down I have to drain the pool in order to gain access. If I have three people in the pool on a warm day to hold back the liner while I put in sand where required how far down do I have to drain the pool do you think?


Hi Todd

If you mean you built the pool on a base of sand, as opposed to just using sand to cushion the liner, that could easily be your problem. Sand will never pack solid, it tends to do a lot of shifting, and is not a suitable base for an above ground pool, especially an oval pool.

straps showing under liner

One thing you might consider is placing plastic over the pressure plates and putting your sand over the plastic. That should prevent any future settling. This page shows a good example of pressure plates being covered with a pool pad and sand going over top of that.

Diamond Star Installation

Now, back to your question. I would leave about an inch of water in the pool, two inches at most. It is true that three people could hold back more water but be very careful. The vinyl is easy to stretch. Too much pulling, for too long of a time, will put stretch marks on the sides of your pool. Be careful also of finger nails. Water is very heavy and it is very possible to get a really good grip on the liner and poke a nail right through it.

It is better to drain a little more water and not run the risk of causing liner damage. You do want to leave enough water in the pool to keep the liner from shrinking or shifting, but not any more.

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by Tish
(Granite, City, IL )

I just had an Oval 18' X 33' X 52" above ground swimming pool installed on 7/16/12.

I am just wondering if it is normal to feel the Buttresses while we are walking and swimming in the pool?

Thank You


Hi Tish

No, it is not normal to feel any oval brace structure under the liner as you are walking around.

What you are probably feeling are the pressure plates. They lay on top of the side brace channels. These pressure plates need to be covered with plenty of sand. The liner should never be allowed to come into contact with them.

Other parts you may be feeling are the channels in front of the pressure plates or possibly the connecting straps. All these parts are metal and most have sharp edges. They will cut right through a vinyl liner real fast.

If you actually feel metal under the liner I would drain the pool immediately, this is dangerous.

If the liner tears in this area it is likely to create a large hole that will drain the entire pool in a matter of minutes, or less.

I hope you get this taken care of before bad things happen.

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