Replace Pool Liner or Not

by Pamela Littlefield
(Memphis Tennessee)

Hi, At the begining of spring I had a local pool company install a 24' round pool for me. After they bulldozed and prepped the ground for the frame and before they put the sand in, I had voiced my concerns about the ground being so soft.

The mud was a consistency of pudding. The Installer said that this was ok, that once they put the sand and water in I should stay out for about 6 weeks to give it time to draw the moisture out. So, we stayed out.

As the moisture began to dry out the bottom of the pool sunk and developed grapefruit size dip holes all on the bottom of the pool.

They told me that they would do a relevel at the end of the season and am currently waiting for them to call back to set a date.

My questions are:

1. Do they have to take the liner completely out to do this? (They are telling me the can pull back the liner and do half at a time). Also, before installation they told me it would take 5 yards of sand for the bottom so I ordered 6 so I would have a little extra sand for other projects and they only used 4 yards. I don't think they put enough sand in it to begin with.

2. Does it damage the liner or cause dry rot if they drain the pool due to the chemicals in the water. Basically, is it ok to reuse the liner. I have been told that I need to get them to give me a new liner?

3. What are the advantages of using foam board over the sand bottom for a more flat surface?

Hi Pamela

I have never installed

pools in Tennessee but in my home turf I would prefer to wait a day or two for the ground to dry. I would never set a pool on water and I would never tell a customer to stay out of the pool for six weeks. Ouch, my customers want to swim the next day, not in six weeks.

Aside from that I agree with most everything else they are telling you. If done correctly they could smooth out the bottom and still use the same liner. Liners begin to loose their elasticity starting in the second year. If it were in the third season I would demand a new liner. In your case I would give them a chance.

I would not remove the liner and I would leave the skimmer and return attached. So I would be pulling the liner back and working it half at a time. This way I can keep the liner centered and use the exact same placement over the wall. The key is to not let the pool sit empty for more than a day. If drained, fixed and refilled in a day or two it should be no problem.

I would tell my customers to order 3 yards for a 24' pool. That equals about 4 1/2 tons which is about right. I would much prefer having a little more sand than I needed rather than not having enough, so it was not uncommon for me to leave a little in the drive. I would measure the sand by wheel barrows full and stop when I had enough. So there is probably plenty of sand under the liner to work with.

At this point in time I would not pursue the foam. At a later time when the sand has completely settled, and you need a new liner, you might consider it.

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