There’s Water Behind My Pool Liner — What Do I Do?!

Have you noticed an accumulation of water behind your pool liner? This is a common problem for many above ground pool owners and can cause both short-term and long-term issues that need to be addressed. The swimming pool experts at LinerWorld are here to explain how you can identify and prevent problems before they get worse.

What happens when water gets behind my pool liner?

One of the most common issues associated with water collection behind a pool liner is known as a “floating” or “lifting” liner. The water causes the liner to lose its original seal, which then can cause soft spots, wrinkles, and other imperfections that lead to a lifted, floating liner. In most cases, this floating pool liner will be the physical indicator of what’s going on behind the scenes.

Now the question is whether you should repair or replace your pool liner. Depending on the age and quality of your liner, sometimes it can be saved if properly addressed. In other cases, the stress and pressure of the displacement may require you to invest in another liner. It is important to carefully inspect your liner for rips, tears, or weak spots before refitting.

How does water get behind my pool liner?

There are many different ways for water to come between your swimming pool and swimming pool liner. Typically, it is not the fault of the installation process but rather the fault of Mother Nature. Identifying the cause of the issue can help stop and prevent future problems. Below are some of the more common causes:

    • Metal Wall Oxidization: Oftentimes, vinyl liner pool structures are made with galvanized steel panels which are a strong, but potentially leaky option long-term. Because the metal walls are underground, they can oxidize over time and be damaged by pool or groundwater. This can cause leaks that allow water to enter between the liner and walls.
    • Water Depth Issues: When pool water depth is too low (such as during winter months) or the water table levels too high (such as after heavy rainstorms), the differing amounts of pressure can allow water to enter.
    • Liner Hole or Leak: If there is a significant amount of water behind your pool liner in one or more areas, it’s possible the liner itself has a leak. If the leaking water does not have anywhere to drain, it can remain collected between the liner and pool walls or foundation, creating the appearance of a floating liner.

How can I fix the issue?

Depending on the severity of the situation, there are different steps you can take to help:

    • Hire a professional to remove the water and check, reposition, or replace the liner properly
    • Ensure the pool water level is maintained at the correct height
    • Unblock or replace the pool’s vacuum pipe
    • Install an additional vacuum pipe
    • Avoid draining the pool unless absolutely necessary, as this can create structural issues
    • If the liner is the issue, consider investing in a new liner to avoid future headaches

If you have water behind your pool liner and it looks like a new liner might be the next step, LinerWorld offers a wide variety of bold and colorful pool liners to meet your needs. 

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8 responses to “There’s Water Behind My Pool Liner — What Do I Do?!”

  1. Steve Hopgood says:

    I have a liner that has some alge brown stains on it , ive been cleaning it and emptied the pool to do this, all ok but due to the heavy rainstorms weve just had, there is now water below the liner at the deeper end. The liner is still in serviceable condition as I can see but the chlorine has over the years removed the tile effect on the liner and now just white. Have you any suggestions to resolve this, thanks.

  2. Carol Cipolla says:

    My liner exposed because of a hole in the metal wall.

  3. Norma que says:

    I just had my liner replaced and it’s floating what’s the right thing to do.?

    • Pool Guru says:

      We recommend hiring a professional to remove the water, check the liner for tears and leaks, and properly reposition or replace the liner. Also, look at the pool’s vacuum pipe or install an additional vacuum pipe for your pool. It’s important to avoid draining the pool unless it’s absolutely necessary so that you don’t create structural issues.

  4. Mike says:

    I noticed my metal pool wall has 2 small holes in it. I saw some water slowly dripping out of it. I looked directly in the pool to see if the liner had holes, and it did not. My thought was how is water in between the liner and pool wall? We had lot’s of rain in the last few days, this is when i noticed the water drips right after. My AG pool is set in ground about 1′ in where i see the holes. I have not seen any water loss in my pool. I’m at a loss right now. Could rain water gotten in between the liner and metal pool wall and found a small hole in th metal to escape from?

    • Pool Guru says:

      Hi there, Mike. Without seeing the pool or doing an inspection, it’s hard to know for sure.

      When it rains, water can seep into the ground around your above-ground pool and find its way between the liner and the pool wall through small gaps or seams. And as you noted, rainwater can also seep out through holes in the pool wall.

      We recommend you continue to monitor the pool and consult with a local professional pool technician or a local pool service company. They can provide a thorough inspection and suggest appropriate solutions to ensure your pool remains in excellent condition. Thanks!

  5. Shawn says:

    I have a weird one. ive had a lined pool for going on 15 years. Its is a poly walled pool or plastic panel pool to my clear. So no metal. The foundation was laid direct on top of solid rock. They had to bring in a jack hammer to make the hole deeper. 2 years ago there was glass dropped in it and we had it replaced due to not being able to get all the glass out. The last couple months we noticed water building up below the liner at the bottom of the pool. I see no visible rips or issues of any kind. We have had no heavy rain at all and we’ve never had ground water issues in the past. We have not ran the pump as much as of late and the pillow affect has went away on its own in about a weeks time.
    The one and only thing i changed was we had a splitter valve on one of the jets ti run water to a slide which i removed and now is the jet only. I also inspected the hole for that jet and see no cracks or issues. Little confused. Anybody have any thoughts?
    I think the wife may have ran it low one day to where it was lower than the skimmer box. How low it to low before the weight of the water will not hold the liner down? Our pool is only 6 foot deep. 7 feet if you consider to the deck.

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