Wrinkles in a pool liner are usually caused by one of three things.
- Ground water under the liner.
- Pool has been drained and refilled incorrectly.
- Chemicals break down the vinyl liner material.
The process to remove wrinkles in a vinyl pool liner will differ based upon the specific cause of the wrinkles.
Ground Water under the Pool Liner
Ground water is the general term used to describe water beneath the surface of the earth. Underground streams change paths all the time. In some cases these underground streams form underground lakes or ponds. Ground water can be present even during drought conditions. However, ground water poses the biggest threat to vinyl pool lined swimming pools during times of heavy rainfall.
When ground water gets underneath your liner in sufficient amounts it will offset the water pressure on top of the pool liner. When the water pressures above the pool liner and below the pool liner become equal the pool liner will “float” or rise up off the bottom of the pool. When the ground water dissipates the liner will usually be forced back into position by the pool water remaining on top of the liner. The problem is that the pool liner usually will not settle back into place perfectly. Instead, wrinkles will form as the liner slowly falls back into place. There are two ways to handle these types of pool liner wrinkles.
If the wrinkles are really bad you will probably need to drain and reset the pool liner. This may not be possible if the pool liner is over 5 years old or if you have a chlorine or salt pool system. This is because chlorine or salt systems damage the vinyl in the liners very quickly and cause them to be significantly less elastic. If you have a drinkable pool water system on your pool this will not be an issue. You should hire a professional to reset your pool liner. It is difficult to do and requires specialized industry knowledge in most cases. Incorrectly resetting your pool liner can destroy the liner.
If the wrinkles are less than five feet long and in the shallow end of the pool there is a simple way to correct the problem. Some people use a toilet plunger to pull the wrinkles out but there is a much easier way. Put on a pair of used work boots or shoes with rubber soles and climb into the pool while wearing the shoes. Stand with one foot on either side of the wrinkle and apply pressure to your toes while pulling your toes away from each side of the wrinkle. This will pull the wrinkle out and the water pressure should hold it in place. You will need to work larger wrinkles to the wall of the pool in order to get them out completely. In my opinion, this is the easiest way to remove a pool liner wrinkle.
Pool has been Drained and Refilled Incorrectly
Vinyl pools should never be drained lower than 10 inches of water in the shallow end of the pool. When the pool water leaves the shallow end of the pool there is no longer any water pressure to hold the liner in place. As a result, the pool liner will be pulled into the deep end of the pool and away from the walls. If a vinyl pool is drained completely you must refill the pool while using a pool liner vacuum to prevent wrinkles and weakening or destruction of the pool liner. If your pool liner has lost its elasticity through aging or chemical damage you may not be able to reset the liner at all. I would highly advise you to get a professional opinion from a pool professional before attempting to reset a pool line on your own.
A proper liner reset should alleviate all the wrinkles in the swimming pool.
Chemicals Break Down the Vinyl Liner Material
Vinyl pool liners will become damaged over time by chlorine or salt systems. These harsh chemicals start damaging the vinyl material used to make the pool liner on the first day the liner is installed. These chemicals continue to attack the vinyl material 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the life of the liner. Within the first two to five years of pool liner installation the pool liner will begin to show significant amounts of color fading. You will see the color of the pool liner under the waterline slowly bleached to white. Over the next 5 years you may notice wrinkles in the pool liner that resemble a spider web appear on the bottom of the pool and usually around the main drain. These wrinkles cannot be repaired or removed. These wrinkles will eventually cause pool liner failure which will dump tons of pool water behind your pool liner. It is important to replace your pool liner before liner failure occurs.
These types of wrinkles can be prevented from happening on your next pool liner by purchasing a “drinkable pool water” system when you purchase your next pool liner. Pool liner years can be increased significantly in this way. Drinkable pool water systems do not use chlorine, salt or any other chemicals to keep your water clean. Because there are no chemicals in the pool the liner will not fade or display chemical breakdown. Search Google for “drinkable pool water” to learn more about the technology.
If you would like more information about pool liner wrinkle removal or pool liner fading please feel free to contact me, Chris Ward, via www.lazydaypools.com.