Notes: In-ground vinyl pool liner with alum. coping, built around 1976. Location: CT
Dug up return line to repair a leak in the pipe. While uncovered, found that the the steel pool wall below the return fitting is wet and leaving a v. small puddle in the hole. Tried snugging up the cyclo-nut on the backside of the wall, but that didn't help (already fully tight). Also replaced the faceplate and gasket with new screws - didn't help either. Planning to remove and replace the entire fitting. It's not a big leak, but while the hole is dug out, might as well do it now.
Looks like I have to pull the fitting out from the liner-side of the wall. Which I assume means: draining the water below fitting, unclipping liner in the area that needs repair (assume I only unclip the minimum length needed to get my hands behind the liner and pull the fitting?), unscrewing the nut behind the wall, loosening the 4 faceplate screws and removing the faceplate. Assume the fitting would not pull out from behind liner? Installation is the reverse.
**What I need are some tips to save time and hassle. I can handle/repair most anything mechanical, but have never messed with liner removal/reinstall.
- how do I remove the liner in the "repair area"? Assume I need to pull "up" to unlock it from the bead lock in the aluminum coping? How do I pull the liner up and out easily without tearing the liner, or starting way down at the corner where it already has popped out of the track?
- I have read articles about people using buckets or stryofoam coolers with a hole cut out at the top and a rubber seal at the end to prevent having to drain the pool below the fittings, but assume this makes it difficult to impossible to get behind a liner. I would see this trick working on a non-liner pool wall. The only thing I could see working would be a LARGE 4-sided box, large enough to allow behind-liner access. . . . . but I don't think I'm going to build something that I'll hopefully only have to use once. I hate draining water this low to prevent liner shrinkage, etc. It's late in the season, and not a lot of sun. . .so should be OK. Any other solutions to not having to drain the pool?
- When I re-install the new SP-1408 fitting, should I put some silicone sealer around the flange that goes against the pool wall? If so, what's the best sealer you guys have found? Or, should I hand-cut a round rubber gasket for underneath the flange? I don't want to have the same problems again. What's the best way to "seal" the fitting against the wall?
- I haven't purchased the SP-1408 fitting yet, but from the install instructions on the Hayward site, it looks like the faceplate gasket actually goes BEHIND the liner - between the liner and the SP-1408 fitting. Is this the correct position? Should I perhaps put a faceplate gasket both behind AND in front of the liner? Where is it supposed to go to best prevent water intrusion?
- Is there a more suitable replacement return fitting other than the SP-1408 (even if from a mfg. other than Hayward - Pentair, etc)? I looked at the SP1423, which is available with 2 separate flange gasket OR a "sandwich" gasket for the wall. However, the flange diameter is smaller than the SP1408, and this wouldn't be preferable, if there are any issues with the condition of the wall underneath the fitting.
- Once installed, what's the best way to stretch the liner and clip back in place? Assume I will need a hair dryer to heat the liner, stretch and tuck bead back in the track? Any tips/tricks for getting the liner back in place without damaging liner or making it "thinner" from stretching?
- Hopefully my screw holes in the liner will all line up and I can screw the faceplate back on without issues. I know the fitting OD is keyed, so this 'shouldn't' be an issue.
- If anyone can't walk me through the complete procedure, I would appreciate tips for any of the individual steps (removing/unlocking liner in repair area, etc). I need to get this fixed before buttoning up pool for winter, and before liner gets too cold/'unstretchy' to R&R without damage - already in the 40's at night here in CT.
- Any other tips/tricks that you pros could advise me on for this job? Want to do it RIGHT and want to do it ONCE. Can send pictures, if that would help anyone. Thanks in advance.