Pool Care Pool Troubleshooting

How to Fix Pool Liner Wrinkles?

Nothing beats the slick and soft feeling a pool liner offers your feet as you swim. But these liners tend to get wrinkled. And dealing with wrinkled pool liners is a common occurrence if you own a pool fitted with a liner. Therefore, it would be best if you knew how to handle the situation.

Removing pool liner wrinkles isn’t a complicated process; it has a series of DIY methods range from filling your pool with water, using a toilet plunger, walking around the pool, draining the water, and warming your pool. You can do most of these on your own, but they could require a bit of work. But in the end, it will all be worth it.

In this post, I will highlight some of the tips to help you remove pool liner wrinkles from your pool so you can get back to enjoying it. It may just be your next successful DIY project. Read on.

What Are the Causes of Pool Liner Wrinkles?

Wrinkles in your pool liner are never a pretty sight to look at. They can be caused by various reasons, as listed below.

Heavy Rainfall

The common one is heavy rainfall that results in excess water in the soil around the pool area. The high water table lifts the liner from the pool floor, and once this groundwater recedes, the liner develops some wrinkles.

Incorrect Water Chemistry

When the water pH goes below 7, the acidic water is easily absorbed by the liner, which then expands, leading to wrinkles.

Moreover, high chlorine levels lead to the development of wrinkles; it could be widespread or a localized problem. You will also notice bleaching or lightening of the vinyl.

Water Leaks

Water leaks are another dangerous cause of pool liner wrinkles. It causes the vinyl to contract and thus making it hard to reset it without developing wrinkles.

Incorrect Linear Size and Installation

Sometimes the problem may arise from the very beginning. If you purchase a pool liner of the deep for your pool depth and size, excess material folds over, the wrinkles soon develop. Also, during installation, if done incorrectly, you will notice some wrinkles.


Usually, puckering is caused by the undissolved granular pool chemicals dropped into the pool or chlorine tablets that contact the vinyl liner. They tend to destroy the vinyl, and wrinkles are a common consequence.

Underground Erosion

Though rare, some pools have soft floors and, below them, active underground water. They could distort the floor, and the pool’s base slips away as it cannot support the weight of the pool water.

Sometimes, the high water table liquefies the subsoil under the pool, so the pool liners take all shapes. Pool liner wrinkles characterize the low, depressed areas.

What Can You Do to Remove Pool Liner Wrinkles

It is time to try one of these tips once you notice liner wrinkles in your pool. The wrinkles shouldn’t linger in your pool for a long time since it will only get more challenging to remove them when you decide to. Nobody likes when their feet touch the ugly wrinkles in a pool. Here are some suggestions to help you get rid of the wrinkles yourself.

Increase the Pool Water Level

The wrinkles may have developed because the pool has not been in use for a while. If that is the case, or the water level has gone low, you must fill it with fresh water.

While doing this, try to work out the wrinkles. Use a hose filter to remove any contaminants that might be water you’re using as the source.

Heat Your Pool

Many pool liners tend to wrinkle in cold water. That can be explained by the colder temperatures, which cause hardening of the liner, ultimately wrinkling.

Therefore, heating the pool is a feasible consideration before you try anything else. The water should be heated to at least 90 degrees to soften the liner. Once you accomplish that, use a plunger or your feet to work out the wrinkles.

Water Chemistry Balancing

If you have equipped your pool with a vinyl liner, it is more likely to wrinkle at low pH. If the pH level of your pool is not between 7.2 and 7.8, vinyl tends to absorb the acidic water and expands, resulting in wrinkles.

Also, too much or inadequate sanitizer will cause damage to the liner. Extreme chlorine levels in your pool will dry out the liner and make it less soft and pliable.

Furthermore, improper water balance adversely affects the liner’s health. If you want to prevent the weakness and bleaching, I would advise you to pre-dissolve your shock or use a fast-dissolving shock.

Use a Plunger

To many people’s surprise, a toilet plunger can be instrumental in removing pool liner wrinkles. It’d be best if you get a new, clean plunger for this particular task, and place it on one side of the wrinkle and plunge. This method effectively removes the wrinkles.


I consider this one of the easiest ways to get rid of some wrinkles of your pool liner. Put on shoes with a soft sole and walk across these wrinkles ensuring that you gently stretch them as you go.

This way, you are guaranteed to remove the minor wrinkles. Some, however, may prove to be more challenging.

Drain the Water

In some extreme cases, the liner wrinkles could be so bad, leaving you no other choice but emptying the pool.

You can use a siphoning method for an above-ground pool, a submersible pump, pool pump spigot or a sand or DE filter multiport port set to waste or backwash.

Find the ideal place to direct the draining water, somewhere that cannot get flooded. You could inquire with the sewage services in your area to know if it’s save to direct the water into the sewer lines.

Once you have completely drained the pool, use a vacuum to suck out the wrinkles one at a time. While you are at it, ensure the liner is consistently wet and not damage the liner.

Check Pool Area Drainage and Landscape

You can check around the pool area for any water that could be draining into the pool. Also, note any shrubs, trees, or bushes that could direct water to the pool area.

You may be required to shore up your ground not to shift as this may cause wrinkles. Once the ground is shored up, the wrinkles are less likely to return.

Blow out the Liner

Blowing out the liner is one of the desperate methods you can apply when the rest are unsuccessful. The pool will first have to be drained so you can blow out the liner. One of the suggested ways to do this is using a Shop-Vac.

Be keen to use it in reverse by placing the hose between the frame and the liner and then turn it on. The process pushes the air between the frame and liner, pushing the wrinkles out.

Once that is done, use the suction the other way round, pulling out excess air that has been pushed under the liner.

Watch for Leaks

Small water leaks, though minor, are considered dangerous causes for wrinkles in pool liners. The leaks will allow water to go underneath the pool liner, and thus the liner will be forced up in some places. If you notice water leaks as the cause of the wrinkles, locate the leak as soon as possible.

Worst-case scenarios will require you to drain the pool to patch the leaks entirely correctly. And then you can now deal with the wrinkles.

Seek Professional Help

Sometimes you can try all these methods to work on your pool liner, to no avail. At this point, it would be best to call in a professional.

Regularly draining the pool to fix the wrinkles can damage your pool’s structure, besides hefty water bills that will break the bank.

Calling for a professional can spare you further expenses as they can troubleshoot the problem and possibly offer a long-lasting solution.

Replace the Liner

Your last resort will be to replace the liner. The wrinkles may be there to stay, regardless of your efforts to get rid of them. If that is the case with your pool liner, you may be forced to replace it.

Ensure the new pool liner is correctly installed, not to notice any wrinkles developing shortly after installation.

Can You Prevent Wrinkles in a Vinyl Pool Liner?

Of course, it’s possible to keep your pool liner free of wrinkles with the following tips:

Reduce Daily Chlorine Levels

Low pH and high chlorine levels are very detrimental to your pool liner overall, and more often than not, the wrinkle cannot be reversed. Therefore, it would be best to reduce the daily chlorine levels. That’ll not only prevent pool liner wrinkles but also save you time and money.

Manage the Run-Off Area Surrounding Your Pool

It’s a feasible preventive measure for wrinkles as a result of a high water table. Often, gutter run-off is the main culprit. So, ensure that you redirect the water from downspouts away from the pool.

Unfortunately, some cases may require massive alterations to your topography and the landscape surrounding your pool to remedy the situation.

Correct Installation

During installation, ensure you monitor it for any wrinkles and point it out to the builder. That’ll spare you time and energy trying to get rid of wrinkles from your newly installed pool liner. Furthermore, ensure that the pool liner you intend to install is ideal for your pool size.

Seek Professional Help

Ensure that you always check with a professional if you are unsure about anything. The installation should also be done by a professional so you can have peace of mind.

Things to Remember When Dealing With Pool Liners

Pool liner wrinkles are not only unsightly but are also very uncomfortable when swimming. If they are left to stay longer in the pool, they tend to become harder to remove. It’d therefore be vital you remove them as soon as possible.

The tips above will come in handy with a bit of work on your part to ultimately get rid of them. In case of any problem you encounter, do not hesitate to seek the services of a professional. And once they are removed, you can always go back to enjoying your pool like before.

Don’t install the off-shore vinyl liners; they come filled with high levels of ingredients and calcium carbonate, which can do more harm than good. These liners have higher chances of expanding when in low pH conditions and develop more severe wrinkles. They are, therefore, not recommended.

Final Verdict!

Unfortunately, dealing with pool liner wrinkles is a problem for any pool owner with a liner in their pool. The tips above are tried and tested ways that will help get rid of the unsightly wrinkles leaving your pool satisfyingly smooth. Once you notice any wrinkles act fast to avoid having to deal with a bigger problem later. And as you can see above, there are some things you can do to prevent the wrinkles.

About the author

Sharif Miah

Hi! I'm Sharif, the founder of Globo Pool® and I have been working in the pool & hot tub industry for the last few years. I love to share my experiences with people & hope you are enjoying my information and lessons!

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