Pool Liner Pulling Away? (Here's What You Can Do)

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

Your pool is going to be a unique construction that will most likely require a liner. That liner is supposed to stay flush with the walls of your pool. That’s the only way to ensure that your liner protects your pool and keeps water in. So when you see your pool liner pulling away from the corners, it can be very hard to feel safe swimming. You need to get that pool liner back on its track.

The reason why your pool liner is pulling away usually deals with air in the pocket between the liner and the pool’s casing, or because it slipped off the track due to shrinkage. To fix this issue, you will need to pull it back into place and ensure that there is no water, air, or debris between the liner and pool.

A slippy liner is fairly common, contrary to popular belief. This guide will help you understand why this happens and how you can fix it.

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Why Did My Liner Start To Pull Away?

There are several reasons why a liner would start to pull off the track. The most common reasons include:

  • There is excess air and water in between the liner and pool shell. This can suggest that there is a leak around the area.
  • Your liner may have shrunk. Sometimes this can happen in colder temperatures, in newer models. It also can happen if your liner is starting to age.
  • The liner slipped out of the track. It’s a common occurrence, especially if your liner is a little bit tauter than most.
  • In rare cases, this can also be a sign of a badly-installed pool liner. This is only true when your pool is extremely new, like within the realm of a month’s recent installation.
  • Your liner is beginning to fail. When pool liners age, they tend to stiffen and warp. If you notice signs of discoloration

It’s important to remember that most pool liners are typically cut slightly short. This is to prevent unsightly wrinkles in your pool liner and to ensure that it will remain taut. So, don’t panic too much as this is a fairly common problem.

How To Fix A Liner That Has Started To Pull Away

For the most part, resetting or “pulling” a liner is going to be the same as long as the issue that you have is similar. While there may be nuances to each different type of liner, the process is generally the same. Here’s what you need to check and do:

  • First, check to see if the liner didn’t just slip out of the tracker. Sometimes the track gets loose and just lets the liner pouch out. If this is the case, you might need to carefully put the liner back in and maybe get a new tracker. In some cases, just adding a retainer strip can help.
  • Use a vacuum or air filter to clean out the track. A small grain of grit can sometimes case the liner to pull away. Removing any dirt that you can get out of there is important.
  • Drain the pool. You usually don’t have to drain it completely, but draining your pool can help you work with your liner more easily,. Just drain it to the level where you see the looseness against the wall or corner, if you need to.
  • Check to see if there is air or water caught in between the liner and wall. If there is, use a wet vacuum to remove it and dry it off. Otherwise, you might end up with water damage and rust. This is particularly true if you notice that there is debris mixed in with the water.
  • Before you decide to stretch the liner, check to see if you can put it back in the track. Once in a while, you might just be able to get your pool liner to stay put. This is particularly true if you have a good liner lock.
  • If your liner still is stuck and pulling away, boil some water. Make sure it’s very hot. The heat is what will make the vinyl stretchy enough to mold into the size and shape you need it to be.
  • Pour the water over the liner and wait until it’s cool enough to touch. Don’t get burned here. Some folks suggest using a hairdryer, but this can get dangerous.
  • Using your bare hands, manually stretch the pool liner into the track and wipe away any additional water. The heat will give your vinyl enough stretch to make it happen.
  • If the pool liner won’t stay in the coping or on the track, call a professional. The good news is that this usually isn’t a very common outcome. Most pool liners can be fixed via DIY means.

When Should You Call A Professional?

While most pool liners can be stretched and locked back into place on your own, the truth is that there are occasions where this may be more suited for a professional to help out with. If you cannot get your pool liner to stretch on your own, or if your pool liner shows signs of a tear, then you will probably need to call a professional.

It’s also worth noting that pool liners that pull away can also be a sign of a failing liner. If your liner is older than 10 years or shows signs of discoloration, then you might want to call a professional to see if it’s time to get a new pool liner. Though this can be bad, the good news is that the liner replacement is as expensive as this repair can get.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Pulled Pool Liner Professionally?

This can be an easy repair or a hard repair, based on what the cause is. Most pool liner tucks will only cost between $80 to $120 to fix professionally. It’s seen as a routine maintenance call by most pool companies. If you need to replace a pool liner, then it will cost between $1,200 to $4,000 to do. This depends on the size of the pool, as well as the number of hours it’ll take.

There is another potential way for you to fix a pool liner without paying a cent, but this is only true if your liner is still under warranty. If your liner slipped, call the pool company you got it from. You might be able to get a stretch and repair for free. That’s what the warranty’s for!

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Related Questions

What is a pool liner retainer strip?

A pool liner retainer strip is a type of device that acts as a “glue” between the pool liner and the wall. These are usually used as a way to replace the beading that once kept the liner in place. They can help if your pool liner regularly slips. It’s a sign your beading has worn thin and that you may need a retainer strip installed.

Can FlexSeal fix a pool liner?

Yes, it can. While it is not ideal and may look more unsightly than the options we mentioned, FlexSeal can fix a loose or torn pool liner in a pinch. However, you need to make sure to choose FlexSeal tape, as regular patching FlexSeal may take a bit longer to work.

Is it bad to have wrinkles in your pool liner?

While they are not exactly pretty to look at, wrinkles in your pool liner rarely cause issues. With that said, there is some anecdotal evidence that having a wrinkly liner can make them age a little faster. This is because there is a higher chance of liners being rubbed the wrong way, which can lead to wear and tear over time. Generally speaking, you should try to avoid wrinkly liners whenever possible. It’s just smart to do.

Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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