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How To Repair Above Ground Pool Wall

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Some Extra Comments About Holes In Metal

How To Repair Rusty Pool Walls

You cannot replace the walls integrity with just a patch of metal

During my 35 years of working on above grounds, I have tried all kinds of repairs. Some held nicely and others failed miserably.

As an example, a 24 round above-ground pool has about 14k gallons in it. At 8.3 pounds per gallon, this is over 116,000 pounds of water weight. For you country folk out there, this equates to the combined weight of more than 25 Ford F-150 pick-up trucks. Dont think for a second that if you pop rivet an 8×8 piece of sheet metal to the inside of the wall that it will restore the walls original ability to hold that much combined weight. It wont.

Just overlapping a big piece of sheet metal over the inside of the pool wall wont do it either. The only way to be sure is to bolt a full piece of wall over the old one and bolt both sides to the existing wall from top to bottom.

You can take your chances with what you think will work and hey, maybe it will hold for a while. Maybe forever. I have tried everything that you are thinking of right now and can tell you there is only one way to guarantee the fix an advanced full wall repair.

This is why I recommend using just tape for patch repairs. Anything more substantial to keep the piece of metal in place is just a waste of time.

Once theres rust, the corrosion will continue

Some will go through a lot to sand down all the rust, treat it, and then maybe re-coat everything with a fancy anti-corrosion paint. And thats a lot of work.

What Is Causing The Leaks

Discovering the hole in the pool can be hard. However, the leak must be found and fixed to prevent water wastage and chlorine pollution in the nearby surroundings. There can be many causative factors for pool leaks, but for above ground pools, the main one is wear and tear of the vinyl lining.

When a sharp object hits the side/bottom of the pool, they can cause a tear in the vinyl surface. Vinyl tears are easy to patch up, but ensure to do so quickly to prevent the hole from enlarging. Speed is essential when repairing pool leaks to stop the other damages and problems earlier discussed.

How To Fix A Leak In An Above Ground Pool

Unfortunately above ground pools do leak. Leaks can be due to age, wear, damage all sorts of things. This guide will help you to first determine if you actually have a leak in your pool, then find it, and finally repair it.

Fortunately, the fix to your leaking above ground pool may not be as hard as you think.

It just comes down to 1) Determining if the pool is really leaking 2) Finding the Leak and 3) Fixing it!

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How To Repair An Above

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Here’s an intensive guide to repairing an above-ground pool wall. Before replacing your pool with a new one, you might want to check these helpful fixes that can save you money.

A well-maintained above-ground pool can last for many years with minor maintenance. Some repairs, such as mending a liner or replacing a pump or filter, can be done quickly and easily, while others require more work.

A corroded pool wall might cause problems, including puncturing the pool liner or making the pool dangerous. While you can fix it, removing the rust and repairing the pool wall requires some effort on your part.

The Hole Was Caused By An Outside Rust Spot

Above ground pool wall replacement parts

For one reason or another, a pool wall can get a spot of rust on the exterior. This can be from a manufacturers defect in the wall or a scratch that removed the protective coating.

Eventually, the rust spot continued to corrode and made a hole in the wall. This is not good but the best-case scenario when it comes to holes made by rust.

Also Check: Cyanuric Acid Reducer For Pools

Above Ground Pool Skimmer Repair Kits

FIts the most common skimmer size.

-Skimmer panel: 12 1/2″ W X 12″ H outside, 6″ W x 5 5/8″ H opening.

-Compatible with: Hayward SP1091LX, SP-2094, 1094SPA, 1094H, 10950M , Hydrotools 8940. Also compatible with: Olympic, Aqua Leader, American Products, Pac Fab, Pentair, Swimmaster, Season Master & other 10-screw face-plate skimmers.

-Includes stainless panel, heat-resistant Cobalt steel drill bit, 8 sets stainless hardware, assembly diagram

Note: The two center holes on the sides are for pre-assembling the skimmer to the panel prior to assembly of the skimmer face plate and are not visible when the face plate is assembled.

Mid-size panel fits the most common standard skimmer, but is 5″ larger under the skimmer vs our standard panel for additional reinforcement of the pool wall.

-Skimmer panel: 12 1/2″ W X 17″ H outside, 6″ W x 5 5/8″ H opening

-Compatible with: Hayward SP1091LX, SP-2094, 1094SPA, 1094H, 10950M , Hydrotools 8940. Also compatible with: Olympic, Aqua Leader, American Products, Pac Fab, Pentair, Swimmaster, Season Master & other 10-screw face-plate skimmers.

-Includes stainless panel, heat-resistant Cobalt steel drill bit, 12 sets stainless hardware, assembly diagram

Compatible with Doughboy style skimmers which have a vacuum port below the skimmer opening on the face plate.

-Overall size: 14 3/4″ W x 16″H

-Center opening: 8″Wx 5 5/8″H

-Includes stainless repair panel, heat-resistant Cobalt steel drill bit, 12 sets stainless hardware, assembly diagram

Above Ground Pool Wall Repair

We took down a 10 year old 21×41 swimming pool 4 years ago. I want to put it back up but am concerned about the wall. There is some rust and I was gong to sand down the wall, spray it with Rustoliem and possible cut out sections and add steel in those spots.

Now my question is this, we are amateur when it comes to installing and this will be the first oval pool. Should we treat the wall and hope for the best or toss it?

Hi Samantha

If there are no spots in the wall that are rusted through, like where you can see daylight, then I would say you are fine to use it. Sanding and painting is a great idea and will surely prolong the life of the pool.

An easy way to do an above ground pool wall repair of this type is to assemble the pool first. With the pool up, and all the top rails in place to keep the wall from blowing down, it’s easy to sand and paint.

If your wall has rust holes all the way through it is still possible to use, just a little bit more risky. There are ways to tape sheet metal to the inside allowing for many more years of use.

I talk more about wall repair on this page.

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Testing For A Pool Leak

You can carry out a DIY test to check whether water loss in the pool is more than the amount caused by evaporation. This test can also help you spot the source of the leak. Place a 5-gallon container in the water on the second step of the pool. Fill the can with water so that it is the same height as the pools water level.

Turn off any recirculating pumps and wait for 24 hours. Compare the water level in the pool versus the 5-gallon plastic container. If the pool water level has receded more than the water level in the container, there is likely to be an underground leak.

Fix From A Rock From Mowing The Lawn Or Something Sharp Was Thrown At The Pool And Made A Hole

Above Ground Pool Repair – wall came out of track and leaning forward

Step 1 Make sure the liner wasnt damaged as well In many cases, a hole can be made in the wall of the pool, but not the liner.

Check inside the pool where the hole is to see if theres a hole in the liner. If theres a hole, patch the liner with an underwater patch kit right away.

Step 2 Check the edges of the hole for sharpness If any part of the ripped metal is sharp, then that can cut the pools liner and has to be addressed.

If the edges are sharp, then you will have to smooth them out or flatten the hole. Because most holes are too small to use a tool to smooth them out from the outside of the pool, you will have to access that area of the wall from the inside.


A Drain the pool down to where the hole is Right now your liner is pressing against the wall by the weight of the water its holding. To be able to get between the inside of the wall and the liner, youll have to drain the water thats holding it.

B Take the top of the pool apart above where the hole is So you dont damage the pools liner, youll have to gain access to the inside of the wall between it and the liner. This means you have to take the top of the pool apart so you can be able to make space to separate the liner from the inside wall.

Remove whatever parts of the pools frame it takes to get to the top of the liner. Once done, you can now move the liner inward to gain access to the hole from the inside of the wall.

Recommended Reading: Winstar Hotel Pool

Where Is Your Wall Rusted

Skimmers or Returns: Light surface rust is not uncommon around vinyl pool wall skimmers. But when it rusts through the metal and theres nothing left to seal up to, it becomes impossible to stop the leaking. For mild cases, scrape and sand the rust with a belt sander or sanding block, with a helper holding a board on the other side for support. Then paint over the area with a rust protecting paint, two coats. Use wall foam around the skimmer, to protect the liner, but dont put it under the faceplate. Replace the return and skimmer faceplates and gaskets, using one gasket between the liner and the wall, and the other between the faceplate and the liner.

For heavy rusting around vinyl pool skimmers, where you can no longer stop the leaking, you can abandon the skimmer location, and install a new skimmer, patching over the hole with sheet metal on both sides. You can buy 10 rolls of sheet metal at any hardware store. Cut the steel with shears or heavy scissors, into a round cornered patch, 20% larger than the hole and use construction adhesive to secure it. Then duct tape over the edges , to protect the liner. And then, install a new skimmer into a hole cut in a nearby location. This will usually also require a new pool liner at the same time.

When possible or necessary to do so, patching a pool wall on both sides will be stronger. Wall Foam can be used to hide and soften pool wall repairs, or is also used as a rust barrier, to protect new pool liners.

How To Fix A Leak In An Above Ground Pool Liner

With your the above ground pools leak located, youll need the following to fix your leak:

  • Scissors or box cutter.
  • Liner vinyl
  • Cut off an extra piece if you have an overlap pool liner or visit your local pool store for a sample piece.
  • The patch kit vinyls dont always hold that well.
  • Heavy duty vinyl liner glue.
  • Look for a glue that can be applied underwater, that way you wont need to drain the pool any further.
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    Winter Damage To Above Ground Pools 2018

    Winter came early to the Northeast part of the United States and brought some freezing temperatures with it. I will be busy this year repairing and replacing many above-ground pools, and pool liners. Winter damage is done by the ice and snow but not the cause of it, the blame lay elsewhere.

    Above-ground pools that were winterized correctly and werent leaking will not be an issue. Some swimming pools will have to get replaced due to buckled and torn pool walls. Even pools with sever skimmer damage that can get repaired will need a new pool liner.

    At a minimum, I will be replacing a lot of above-ground pool liners. I wont get into my usual rant about weak or thin above-ground liners sold with most packages, just know, if you are replacing a pool liner or even your entire pool due to this past winter, and you do not want to do it again, buy the best pool liner you can. RELATED ARTICLE

    When You Need An Advanced Wall Repair

    Above Ground Pool Repair

    1 If the rusted hole is lower in the wall of the pool An above-ground pool holds water above the ground. And water is really heavy. This means that the wall of the pool is holding in tens of thousands of pounds of water weight.

    The wall of the pool has a lot of outward pressure from this water weight. And that outward pressure increases towards the bottom of the wall all way around. This is because the body of water has a downward weight as well. Duh!

    So, the further down you go with a body of water, the greater the downward weight. This increased downward weight combines with the outward pressure the wall has the further down the wall you go.

    If youre not following me, thats ok. Just know that the further you go down the pool wall, the more weight it has to hold. This means that it is more likely to fail and split open from the water weight the further down the hole is.

    If the hole in your rusty walled pool is toward the bottom of the pool and it looks really badly rusted, then I would recommend doing a full piece of wall repair.

    2 If the rusted hole is big If the rusted hole in your above-ground pool is bigger than say four inches, then I would consider doing more than just patching it.

    Remembering that a pool wall holds an extreme amount of water weight, the bigger the hole , the less overall integrity of strength. This is especially true if the rust hole is more vertical. This means its ability to split from the outward water weight is greater.

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    How To Instantly Patch Any Pool Liner

    Youve probably never sat by your beautiful pool, sipping a cool beverage, wondering how to patch a pool liner. Its far more likely youll be all set to jump in for a refreshing swim, but stop dead in your tracks when you notice the yard by your inground pool feels swampy. Maybe youll glance out the back window just before your first sip of coffee in the morning, and see a growing waterfall has sprung from the side of your above ground pool.

    If youre reading this, you may have just discovered the need to patch your vinyl pool liner, and thats never a fun discovery. You may even be freaking out a little. Take a breath. Unless you have a very old liner, a massive tear, or a tree fell on your pool, you can probably patch it.

    Above Ground Pool Wall Repair Services In Your Area

    Above ground pools are a budget-friendly alternative to inground pools. But even if they don’t last as long, that doesn’t mean you have to replace them regularly or worry about breakages. Good maintenance and quick repairs can help them last for decades. Find a local above ground pool repair service who can help.

    Above ground pools need many of the same repairs as other pools, such as filtration repair and tune-ups for the heater or pump. Even the walls can be repaired when you see cracks, leaks, or rust. Local above ground pool repair companies can also provide regular servicing. That means you don’t have to worry about equipment failures or issues that can grow before you notice them.

    Professional above ground pool repair can extend the life of your equipment, deck, and the pool itself. Type in your zip code and HomeAdvisor will find above ground pool repair services in your area.

    Read Also: How Much Does An In Ground Salt Water Pool Cost

    Youre Going To Have To Do Some Poking Around

    This blog post is about advanced wall repair for above ground pools, but before I can tell you about that you must find out if you need it. Most of the time the discovered rust on the inside of the pool wall is just surface rust and not much of an issue. With surface rust you can maybe get some sandpaper, sand the rusty areas smooth, and then use that can of Rust-Oleum you found and the wall is good to go.

    What if its more than just surface rust? Maybe the rust is falling off in small pieces and looks pretty bad and deep. Whats important here is the walls integrity. The wall of an above ground pool wall has to hold thousands of pounds of water so if the rust has eaten its way deep into the steel or aluminum, it may no longer be strong enough to hold the water. A wall can look pretty bad and still be fine, but if there are spots where it has rusted all the way through then that is bad and cause for alarm. To find out, take a medium-sized screwdriver and poke at the rust. Scrape off any loose pieces of rust and firmly poke those areas. If the screwdriver pokes completely through the wall, then thats not good. It may not be the end, but its not good.

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