Above Ground Pool Wall Came Out of Track – What to Do?

Above Ground Pool Wall Came Out of Track

Did you or a professional finish installing your pool, fill it with water, and now a day or two later the walls of your above-ground pool have come off of the bottom tracks? And now you’re wondering, did I or did the professional screw up?

If your stomach is currently twisted up into a knot about this situation, hopefully this knowledge will be a good remedy for your stomach: an above-ground pool coming out of the track is not a problem. In fact, most above-ground pool walls are off the bottom track and they are fine. And for soft-sided pools, they don’t even have a bottom track and they are fine.

Wait, really? That sounds too good to be true. Well, in this article I will explain why you generally don’t have to worry about your pool wall coming off the track, the times when you should care, and how to fix the problem.

Most above-ground pool walls come off of their bottom tracks

Above-ground pools with metal walls need to be installed on bottom tracks. These tracks come in pieces and attach to a connector plate. Connector plates are crucial because they not only hold up the bottom track, but they are also where the pool uprights attach to.

If installed correctly, the bottom connectors will be placed on a leveling block which is how the bottom track (and the rest of the components connected to it is made level.

So, attached at each end of a bottom track there is a connector plate, with an upright attached to the connector plate, and the connector plate is sitting on top of a leveling block. It should be like this all the way around the pool.

If you’re having trouble visualizing this, check out the video below.

The walls of the pool (a continuous piece of metal) is unrolled and sits inside the bottom track. This is how you can set up the pool walls such that your pool has its round or oval shape.

Since the bottom tracks are only supported at their ends, the space in the middle where they are not close to a connector plate has no support. As such, it is to be expected that they can sag down. And since the metal wall above it is rigid and supported in other places, it will still retain its shape and positioning even as sections of the bottom track are sagging down.

As long as the pool wall didn’t drop out of level, then the bottom track sagging down and appearing like the walls have come out is a non-issue structurally, but may look worse aesthetically.

Can I get the track back in place?

You can, especially if it looks really bad, but as long as your pool is level then you don’t have to either.

A very lazy solution is just to cover up the sagging tracks with dirt so that you can’t see them anymore.

A more proper solution is to actually prop it back up and then place dirt or a rock underneath to give it the support it needs to stay straight.

To push it back up, all you might need to do is grab the track piece that is sagging and push it back up. Sometimes it can be a bit difficult to do this, so you may need to be very forceful or downright violent to get it to work.

If you are struggling to get the track back up, don’t worry about it. Plus, it’s kind of scary to be this aggressive with the pool especially if it’s still filled with water.

I recommend just covering it up with dirt, waiting a few years until it’s time to change the liner or drain the pool, and then taking this opportunity to finally push the track back up when the pool is empty. Or if the problem is serious, disassemble your entire pool and redo the installation.

If a sagging bottom track is a non-issue, what is it really doing?

Good question, because so far I seem very nonchalant about it and so what value is this component providing?

The primary function of the bottom track for an above-ground pool is to help your pool walls form their round shape without collapsing. That’s mostly it.

I think what most people expect it to do – such as holding the pool up and keeping it level – is accomplished by the combination of the components around the bottom track such as the connector plate, leveling block, and pool upright.

In actuality, once the pool has been set up and the walls have formed their circular shape, then the bottom track doesn’t serve much of a purpose anymore.

This sounds ridiculous to some people, but think about this. Not all above-ground pools have metal walls. Soft-sided pools, for example, do not have a bottom track. And they are able to stand up and hold water just fine, and continue doing so in millions of backyards at this very moment.

When you should be concerned

So far I have mentioned that if the pool walls were to separate from the bottom track at points between connectors, then it is not an issue except aesthetically.

Where it does become an issue is when the wall separates from the track at a leveling point (that is, where the bottom track attaches to a connector with a leveling block underneath). This potentially means that your pool is either off level or out of shape (not perfectly circular anymore).

This can occur when you are trying to install the walls and a section of wall slides out of place, or perhaps the wall moved as the pool was filled with water and the pressure of the water caused it to shift slightly.

What we’re worried about is not the structural integrity of the pool at this moment, but rather that your pool might be unlevel or out of shape which could lead to structural issues down the road.

Fixing a pool wall that has come off at a leveling point

First, you need to determine whether your pool is off level or out of shape. If it’s really bad, you can just tell by looking at it, no measuring instruments needed. Otherwise, you need to use a laser level or other such precise measuring tool to confirm if anything is off.

If your pool is off level by more than two inches (the distance from the pool frame to the waterline is not uniform all the way around the pool), or one section of the wall is sticking out further than intended by 6 inches or more, then you definitely have a problem.

There is no easy fix to this problem. You need to drain the pool, remove the liner, and you can try to shift the wall back onto the bottom track from here. However, you also might need to just disassemble the pool and just redo the installation from scratch, starting all the way from leveling the soil.