Torn Liner Catastrophe

by Ron
(Panama City, FL)

Torn Liner Catastophe

Torn Liner Catastophe

Hello, I'm in a heap of trouble! As the photo reveals, a severe tear in my liner has resulted in near 100% water loss--about an inch of water still remains.

The pool measures 33'x18'x4' and is approximately 20-years old and has spent that entire time in-ground. The manufacture of the pool is unknown.

A small tear in the liner occurred just above water line and with the below freezing temperatures here in the panhandle, the moisture buildup between the liner and wall must have expanded enough to produce the results you see, which occurred yesterday evening sometime.

With the sandy soil where I live, I'm sure it didn't take long to drain. The visible corrosion is surface rust, and extends between the liner and wall--at least as far in as I can see without further tearing the liner.

The weather forecast shows less than 50-degrees for the rest of the week, with rain forecasted for Thursday. Can repairs to the wall and a liner installed be done with the way the weather is? And, if waiting until it warms up to start work is the only option at this point, then what can I do to prevent a possible cave in?



Hi Tom. While keeping water in the pool until you have a new liner, and until the weather warms, is your best option, I'm not sure how you will accomplish it. The tear appears to big to patch. It would seem that draining and changing your liner ASAP is

your best option.

When the old liner is out you should take the time to sand and paint the walls to prevent further rust. If any of the rust has gone through the wall an aluminum patch can be made and taped over the hole.

You biggest concern will be the chance of the dirt caving in on the pool. Rain increases the chance of this happening. To much movement on the wall while changing the pool liner can also cause cave ins. If they occur the only solution is to start digging the dirt out from around the outside of the pool. The wall will pop back into shape once the dirt is removed. Nothing is being ruined when this happens, it just adds many extra hours to the installation time.

Something I have done successfully over the years, when in ground pools looked like they were ready to cave in, is this. I would install the liner in over the existing framework of the pool, without taking anything apart. As the water fills, you let the liner down a little at a time. When the water is a few inches from the wall you would cloths pin the liner to the outside of the tip rails in many different places.

The pool can then be filled to above the dirt level. When the pool is nearly full the rails can be safely taken off and the liner tucked into place.

For more information about installing liners in this war see these pages.

Above Ground Pool Liner Installation

Expandable Liner Installation

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