Will Liner Collapse If Left Empty

We have a 24' x 52" round pool with a liner that was put in two years ago. The pool itself is 12 years old.

We had a problem with leaves and stuff getting into the pool when the cover went in this winter during a huge snowstorm. We have emptied it totally to get to the gunk on the bottom.

When I called to get the water trucked in for filling, they said it was possibly going to collapse due to the liner pulling away from the wall while empty then being stretched when filled. Is this true? Should we not get the pool filled?


Yes, this is very true. A vinyl liner will shrink when left empty. The older the liner the less it will be willing to stretch back out. You are lucky that your liner is only two years old, it should be fine. After that they can be very difficult to refill.

I would start the filling with a garden hose, and if full sunshine. It is the sun that soften the liner and allow it to stretch.

Get at least a foot of water in it this way, even if it takes a couple of days. With a foot of water you will know how the liner is going to fit. If it stretches out and is flat against the wall, without pulling it inward, you are probably just fine to order the water truck.

If the liner is to tight, you may be able to release it a little from the top, if it is an overlap liner.

But I would definitely hold off on the water truck until you know if the liner will be reusable or not.

Comments for Will Liner Collapse If Left Empty

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Jun 27, 2012
by: Michelle

Thanks for your comments. I'm hoping to try to fill the pool just a bit..we can't fill it too much because we have a well and burned out the pump trying to use the hose for the pool years ago. What else can we look for if we can't really get much water in there?

Hi Michelle.

I know what you mean about the well water. I once spent about two weeks filling my pool just a few inches a day.

I would spend a few days if needed, but get a good six inches of water in the pool. You want the liner flat against the wall before it is ready to fill the fast way.

Sep 22, 2016
It Streched
by: LaVonne

I had no idea that a liner could or would shrink if you drained it. I had the same problem. Cover was shredded during a storm and leaves and such ended up in pool. It was so dirty that it would have been near impossible to have cleaned it without draining it first.

It took me almost 3 days to completely clean it by myself after garden hose had drained it down to about ankle deep.

I then refilled with water. Unfortunately I had it completely filled before I noticed the water level kept going down. I looked all over for leaks when i discovered the liner around the returns had stretched downward out from under the fittings.

After reading that it can collapse the walls, i do feel lucky that did not happen.

I have no idea if there was away to fix this and i have not read where this happened to anyone else. Everything I have read just talks about how it can shrink and collapse walls, not pull out under the returns.

So I have ordered a new one and will soon replace. This liner was 8 yrs old and was doing fine, no dry rot or any problems. I feel really lucky about this, since this pool was installed by me and help with a few friends. It has been up these 8 yrs with no problems. Don't remember how old it was when we bought it used.

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