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Winter Liner Care

 How to prevent your swimming pool from getting water behind the liner.


When water gets behind the liner the water will cause the liner to float. When the water is removed from behind the liner, wrinkles are often left in the liner. It is very costly and time consuming to remove the wrinkles from the liner and it is possible that the wrinkles will become permanent in the liner.


If you own a vinyl liner pool and the ground on your property is clay, you are probably familiar with water under the liner causing it to float. In the spring because of excess ground water caused by melting snow and heavy rainfalls, it is especially important to protect your pool liner from getting water behind it.


There are three ways to minimize the problem and to minimize costly repairs from water behind the liner:


Keep your pool full all year. The weight of the water in your pool keeps the water under your liner from accumulating. Washington Pools recommends that the water is lowered four inches below the skimmer it is important not to let the water level go below the recommended level. If you notice the pool level dropping during the winter due to a leak be sure to fill the pool back up to four inches below the skimmer.


Do not let your pool overflow when it is closed for the winter. Refer to the diagram below. On the upper right, you will notice an adjustable collar on the top of your skimmer. The collar acts like an expansion joint that allows the concrete to move with the frost to prevent damage to the skimmer. The problem is water can escape through this collar if the pool is allowed to overflow and the water ends up under your pool causing the liner to float. Your pool will never fill up enough to hit the concrete deck, it is overflowing when it hits the skimmer collar about 6 inches down.


The water needs to be maintained on top of the cover. The water on top of the cover can also cause water to leak out of the skimmer during the period that the pool is closed. When the cover fills with rainwater the pool is filling. As water accumulates on the top of the cover, the water underneath is displaced causing the water underneath to drain out of the skimmer collar. That explains why you may have drained your pool cover in the spring and found the pool was emptier than when you closed it in the fall. The pool cover sinks deeper in the pool as it fills with water and pushes the water underneath the cover up the walls. The water escapes out of the skimmer, so you never see the pool deck getting wet. It is important to keep only six inches of water on the cover, so if it rains two inches then you should pump two inches off the cover.


Important tip for removing the cover in the spring. When you take the water off the top of the cover to open your pool in the spring it helps to fill the pool up at the same time. Using a submersible pump, remove the water off the cover and at the same time place a garden hose underneath the cover to fill the pool up. This will maintain the level of the pool to four inches below the skimmer.


It is your responsibility, as a pool owner, to monitor the water level in your pool while it is closed. Washington Pools recommends if you own a pool in clay, you should maintain the water level in your pool by not letting the water rise above the skimmer extension, or to lower more than four inches below the skimmer. You can use a submersible pump to lower the water; these are inexpensive and are available at a hardware store. You can call Washington Pools in the winter to remove the water if you prefer.


Please try not to forget about your pool when it is closed. It is very important to maintain the water level in your pool all year.



Diagram showing the skimmer extension: