Hole in Pool Sidewall

by Christina
(Apple Valley, CA)

We bought a used 24' round above ground pool and put the frame up only to find out that the liner had holes in it, we ordered a new liner, and while we were waiting for the new liner to arrive we had a very bad wind storm that knocked the frame down and bent the metal wall. When we picked it up we noticed in one of the places that it bent and left a small hole. Is there any way it can be repaired?

Hi Christina

Holes in a sidewall can easily be repaired. What you are describing could probably be taken care of with just tape or aluminum tape. Another way to fix it would be to tape a piece of aluminum, or metal over the hole. A piece of flat stock about the size and thickness of the base of a pie pan is just fine. In a pinch I have made repair patches out of cookie sheets, pie pans and a beer can. It just takes a pair of tin snips. Hardware stores also carry 12 and 18 inch flat stock that is used for bending into fascia wraps and other types of house trim.

These are a couple pages of related reading that might be helpful.

Pool Wall Repair

Pool Wall Rusted

Comments for Hole in Pool Sidewall

Click here to add your own comments

May 26, 2017
Hole in pool wall
by: Anonymous

Hi, we recently purchased a second hand above ground pool and after setting the pool up realized that the water jet return hole in the liner didn't line up with the one on the pool wall. The skimmer lines up. My question is can I patch this hole and then recut the hole for the return jet or do i have to purchase a new liner? Ive seen that you can repair small tears but this is a large hole for the hose. Any help would be great. Thank you!


The return hole in the liner can be patched. It is best to do this on the back side of the liner.

May 18, 2018
Sidewall hole
by: Keith

My above ground 4' pool has a hole the size of
A quarter about half up the side. Is it an easy


It is very easy to tape a flat piece of metal to the inside of the wall. In a time of need I actually cut open a can of Bud Light, flattened it out, and taped it in place. So yes, you can easily fix it.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask the Pool Pro.

Hole in Pool Wall

by Charles
(Long Islan N.Y.)

I have a 13 yr old pool that has a place in the wall rusted through. The hole is about the size of golf ball. I had the liner replaced about 4 yrs ago and foam backing was put in. I lost water over the winter and pool is now almost empty. Should I replace the pool or repair the hole? I don't see any hole in the liner. Is the pool wall in danger of collapsing?

Hi Chuck

Small holes in the pool wall can be easily repaired. A flat piece of metal can be taped to the inside of the wall. Any hole a couple of inches wide should have about a two foot square piece for an adequate repair.

The other factor in deciding whether or not to repair a hole in the wall would be the location. The lower on the wall the hole is the more pressure there is on it. From the middle of the wall up the pressure decreases and the chances of wall failure decrease. Repairs on the lower areas of the side wall can still be made, you just need to more aware of any rust issues and use larger patches.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask the Pool Pro.

Hole in Steel Pool Wall

by Melissa
(Honesdale, PA)

We have a brand new above ground pool and the steel wall has about a 1 inch hole in it. I'm assuming a rock kicked up from the mower and caused the hole?? Does the whole pool have to be replaced? or can it be patched? Is it safe to swim in, surprisingly it did not puncture the liner. Thanks for any input.


Hi Melissa

A hole like that, in an above ground pool sidewall, can be easily repaired. I would drain the pool water down to about six inches below the hole. I would then pull the liner back and tape a piece of metal over the hole on the inside of the pool.

Read more about repairing a sidewall on this page.

Pool Wall Repair

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask the Pool Pro.

Patching Light Hole In Sidewall

by Rheal Girouard
(Ottawa,Ontario, Canada)

I'm replacing my AG pool liner, I have a light in the wall.

I want to fix the hole where the light was and not use the light anymore.

What would you recommend to fix the hole??

Thank you, Ray

Hi Ray

Patching a hole up high on the wall like where your light should be located is pretty simple. You would just need a piece of metal about the thickness of a cookie sheet. In fact, I have used cooking trays to make wall patches out of. They are fairly easy to cut with time snips. Hardware stores sell flat stock metal that would also work just fine.

Cut the metal to be about three to four inches larger than the hole all the way around. This patch can be duct taped to the inside of the wall.

Occasionally in my early years of pool building the tape would let the patch fall into the pool before the liner filled and held it tight against the wall. I learned that if you run a couple pieces of tape up and over the top of the wall, this never happens.

Doughboy pools have been using this method of closing off unused openings for skimmers and returns for over forty years with no problems. They even include pieces of actual wall material pre-cut into squares for this purpose. The nice thing about these were that they matched the color of the wall. I would save any of these that were not used to use for situations just like yours. We could use them to block off light openings or to block off a rusted return opining so that we could cut a new one in a better section of wall.

Comments for Patching Light Hole In Sidewall

Click here to add your own comments

May 28, 2016
Doughboy Pools
by: Bob

Bought a Doughboy pool Copper Canyon model. Going to install it here in june 2016. For some very strange reason when you go on the Doughboy site you won't find any company info only a phone number. You will get an email saying thank you for choosing Doughboy pools and here is a list of retailers in your area. That's a joke my nearest one was about 100 miles away! I requested The companies main office, ceo info and anything including the mfg facility where the company is actually located. My requests have been ignored and no further contact was made. I believe this company is like so many others that buy from copacker and sell it under their own name. These 25yr and longer prorated warranty's are really gimmick to boost sales. Now I'm very suspicious. While here in NYS we don't have a better business bureau per se, we do have the NYS attorney General's office for complaints on business operating in this state. This will be my next step if I don't receive the info that I requested. As a consumer I have a right to know what I am really buying and who from and where the product originates.I want to know if its made here in the USA and where or overseas and shipped in and from where. This company needs to be transparent with the consumers requests. After all its our money that keep THEM in business. Word of mouth advertising can make you or break you.

Hi Bob

I got this from the Doughboy website "Our production takes place in our 660,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Arkansas. Here we continually explore new design concepts and product advances. We start with the basics – the raw materials. Starting with raw materials allows us to monitor all phases of the production process, assuring everything meets our stringent standards of quality. We produce the finest above ground pools, filtration systems, skimmers, and related accessories for your investment dollars. Doughboy Recreational is, and has always been, proud to be made in America!"

Doughboy operates strictly through it's authorized dealers, they always have. They are by far the best American made above ground pool sold. It's not hard to do business with a Doughboy dealer. Don't drive there, just call them. They can answer questions and order parts all over the phone.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask the Pool Pro.

Hole In Bottom Of Above Ground Pool Wall

by Fishdc

I have a rust hole in the very bottom of my aluminum above ground pool wall. Our pool guy told us the pool is gone, as this is dangerous and could split open with kids in the pool and send them all gushing out over the sharp metal with the 10,000 gallons of water.

Is there a safe way to repair or should we get a new pool? He said a hole in the bottom is worse than in other spots.


It is very true that holes near the bottom of a pool wall could easily burst open at any time. This is not likely to happen with a properly repaired wall. What is more likely to happen is the repair will hold up just fine and a spot you did not repairs will burst. So examine the entire wall very carefully before deciding to make any repairs.

If your wall is just weak near the bottom reinforcing it should get you many more years out of your pool. Hardware stores sell metal coils in different widths. If you were to get about 70' of 24" flat metal and tape it to the inside of you pool wall it should be as good as new, or better.

You start by pulling back the pool cove so that the bottom rail is exposed. This flat stock metal will be inserted into the bottom track, just inside your existing wall. The top edge of the metal then gets duct taped to the side wall to cover any sharp edges. The cove gets replaced and the new liner installed. It's pretty much that easy.

Most of my career as a pool installer I was just as leery of doing any kind of wall repair. Even though I thought the idea was probably safe, there was no way I could put my name behind the job and be held responsible for it. It was much later that I started experimenting with wall repair and realized that when done properly, it's nothing to be afraid of. Done properly, the pool was not going to collapse and I was not going to get sued. I would just charge the appropriate amount of money to buy the right material and do the job right.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask the Pool Pro.

Hole at Bottom of Side Wall

by Nick
(Warrior Run PA)

Hi, I'm just wondering if someone can help with this. I have had two pool guys come look at my 18 ft round pool and got two different answers. There is a hole about the half size of dime at the bottom of the sidewall where you can see the liner.

It seems like that is the only spot it is leaking from. One has told me he will patch from inside and replace the liner. I would have to pull back the dirt, wire brush sand and undercoat pool, and cover back up.

That would be a lot more expensive this way. The other said to use underwater patch, patch and duck tape the outside. He said I can do it myself.

First off, is this safe, we have 4 children who enjoy the pool all year long. If I can do it that way it would save me money wise.

So what do you think, is it possible to just patch liner and patch from outside? Or replace whole liner or pay the other guy 90 bucks an hour plus I have to do all the outside repair myself? Please help.

Hi Nick

There is another way to go, somewhere in between your two options. I would never patch a wall from the outside using just duct tape. That would be useless.

I would drain the pool down to just below the hole, being sure to leave some water in the pool. I would patch the liner from the backside and tape some flat stock steel on the inside of the pool wall.

If you do the repair and refill the pool quickly the liner would not be damaged. You will need someone to hold the liner back out of your way so you can get in behind it to work. While you are there check as much of the wall as you can see. Check the outside very closely also.

If this is a hole in an otherwise perfect wall you should be fine. A badly rusted wall can burst at anytime, check it carefully and use good judgement.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask the Pool Pro.

Rust Hole in Side Wall

by Kiki

Hi - My husband/I noticed a good size rust hole about 3 inches wide by 1 inch high at the bottom of our side wall. He patched it with an aluminum plate and some tape and it appears we are not losing water. I visited our pool store and the owner said how dangerous it was to swim and we should not use the pool for the rest of the season. He also mentioned he could not install one until the Fall so it really wasn't a sales pitch. I don't want anyone getting hurt so I'm not going to allow anyone in it this year. Is it safe to just go in and wade around?

Hi Kiki

I have repaired many sidewalls, probably many in worse shape than yours. You did not say whether you drained the pool and installed the aluminum from the inside or just taped it to the outside. If was taped to the outside, stay out of the pool and drain it. A liner coming into contact with a rusted hole in a sidewall could burst at any time.

Another big factor is what does the rest of the wall look like? Are there more areas ready to break through. Does the inside need sanded and painted to prevent future rust? There are many ways to repair a wall and we do it all the time.

I would need a lot more information before I could say it was safe, but I can say if properly repaired it should be.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask the Pool Pro.