Pool Wall Rusted

by David

I have a 24' x 4' deep above ground pool, I have noticed that the sidewall is rusting pretty bad at the bottom. Is there anywhere to purchase a new sidewall?

Thanks for your help

Hi David.

If you can find a local pool store that carries the same brand of pool that you have they might be able to order a wall. Ordering a wall gets very expensive and is probably not your best option.

Most of the time when the wall is shot so are the bottom rails, footplates and uprights. Pool stores will tell you it is cheaper to replace the entire pool than to special order these parts. When you add the cost of the new liner, pool wall and any other parts you are getting in the price range of a complete pool package.

If the rusted wall is your only damage so far there is a way to prolong the life of your pool a few more years. With the liner out of your pool, start by sanding away as much of the rust as possible. I would then spray the wall with a rust inhibitor paint.

The last thing I would do is tape some 16" wide aluminum flashing to the inside of the wall. Start by pulling back the coving that is in the pool. The flashing can be inserted into the bottom rail and rest flat against the wall. The top edge should be double taped.

Squares of this flashing material can also be taped over any rust areas that are not near the bottom of your pool.

Skimmer and return areas are a common place for rust. The skimmer can be moved to a good section of wall and the original opening covered over in the same manner.

rusted above ground pool wall

Comments for Pool Wall Rusted

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Jun 01, 2018
Cutting new hole in metal wall for water return
by: Anonymous

Area rusted out where it is now. I know how I'm gonna patch where the existing return is. Can I use a hole cutter to make a new 2 and 3/8" hole for new water return.


I use a 2 1/2" hole saw.

Aug 17, 2018
Rusted Hole on Bottom of Pool Wall
by: Fred in Fla

Hi, I have a 15 ft round above ground pool that has a 3 in hole through the outside wall about 2 in from the bottom. What are the possible repair options that I have? Fred in Florida.


I use flat stock metal on the inside of the pool. The bigger the hole the more metal you need. I hold this in place with duct tape.

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Rusted Wall From Pinhole

by Paul
(Pittsburgh PA)

I have a 6 year old 27' pool and I just found a hole about the size of a silverdollar had rusted thru the pool wall about 6 inchs below the water line. After investigating I found there is a pin hole in liner. It had to have been there for several years. This is located under the deck.

I always drain the water for winter below the skimmer so I was never able to tell there was a leak. I added water a few times during summer thinking evaporation. or kids splashing water.

The pool dealer says the wall corroded from the leak and it will not be covered under the so called "Lifetime Guaranty".

Can walls be fixed or where can I order just a wall. I can't seem to locate anything online. The pool is a Seville 54" by Artesian Pools.

Hi Paul

I would not try to replace the wall, that is very difficult and expensive. Patching it would be so much easier.

Holes near the top of the wall are easy to take care of. You need a piece of flat metal about the size and thickness of a large cooky sheet.

You would lower the water level, pull off a few top rails, pull the liner back and tape the metal to the wall with duct tape.

Make sure all the edges are well covered with tape and the the metal is securely fastened to the wall. You would then reset the liner, install the top rails and fill the pool. It's all pretty easy, in most cases.

Hopefully the deck will not cause you any problems, they can prevent you from removing top rails depending on how they are built.

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May 10, 2016
...and the liner?
by: chris

I have almost the same exact issue. One key difference is that the pool dealer and repair guy, neither of which has seen the damage yet, except photos I sent, are saying that my liner will have to be replaced as well.

They claim once you peel back the liner it will shrink and need to be replaced instead of just re-setting it.

Any thoughts?

Hi Chris

A liner in the first couple years can easily be drained and refilled. A liner older than that just needs to have some water left in it. 6" is good and more is better. You drain, repair and refill asap.

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Tiny Rust Holes

I have two 1/8 inch rust holes near the bottom of my 52 inch oval. How dangerous is this?


This can be very serious. This is how walls split sending water and people all over the yard. It can be very dangerous. Tiny rust holes can be easily repaired so there is no sense in taking a chance with them.

small rust hole in above ground pool

I have repaired small holes with as little as duct tape, but flat sheet metal taped to the inside of the sidewall is a much better option.

The photo shows a small rust area that could easily be taken care of by taping a 12" x 12" piece of thin flat stock over it.

If the entire area were rusted through that would be a different story. In this case there might be a pin hole or two. It is also best to sand and paint before taping the patch over it.

If your sidewall shows rust all around the lower portion a 24" wide sheet of flat stock metal would probably be the best repair you could make. This would be inserted into the bottom rail on the inside of the bottom rail. It could then be duct taped to the wall around the top edge. If this were done all the way around your pool it would probably be about as good as new.

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Repair Above Ground Pool

by Cindy

My pool is about 8 years old. Last year a cinder block poked a hole in the side wall and liner. We fixed that, this year the patch came off, the sides buckled because of the bad winters, and I noticed that there is rust around the bottom of the walls and they are creased. One of my uprights moved off of the concrete slab.

Should I just take it down or try to repair it?

Hi Cindy

I think I would at least replace the liner. While the pool is empty the wall can be sanded and painted, or repaired, the bottom smoothed out and the upright put back on the block. Unless the wall has very serious issues there is no reason not to reuse it. Minor rust issues like shown below are very easy to take care of.

rust on above ground pool wall

Any creases in the pool wall could be flattened out while the pool is empty also. This page may help a little with an above ground pool wall repair.

Pool Wall Repair

A pool would have to be in very bad condition before I would consider not doing repairs. There does, however, come a time when all above ground pools are better off sold as scrap metal. Only you can decide when that time has come.

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Rust On Bottom Of Sidewall

by Lee
(Tulsa, Oklahoma 74104)

We found a rusted area (from output hose that has leaked this year) to the lower area of our outer metal base.

We see daylight and now not sure how to go about fixing this mess, it is a pretty small area, approximately the size of a silver dollar but the rust is approx 12" long. How do we go about fixing this?

Hi Lee

Rust can be a very dangerous thing for an above ground pool. It is the major cause of ruptures, where all your pool water empties into your yard in a couple of minutes time, and your liner is ruined in the process.

If it were my pool I would start draining it immediately and plan to make the needed repairs. The repairs needed depend on how far down on the sidewall the rust is. The lower on the wall the more dangerous the rust area will be. The lower on the wall you go the more pressure there is pushing out.

Be sure to leave at least six inches of water in the pool so the liner does not shrink. Do the repairs quick and refill the pool as soon as you can, preferably in direct sunlight to help the liner stretch a little and fill back up without any problems.

When the pool is drained you will want to remove a few top rails. You then remove the rods and coping and pull the liner back out of way.

The repair consists of attaching a piece of flat stock metal to the inside of the pool wall. How big a piece of metal you need, and how you attach it, depends on how bad the hole is and where it's located.

It sounds to me like about a three foot by three foot piece of metal duct taped to the inside of the wall would be all you need. Another way to attach a piece of metal is to use rivets. This should be done for more serious rust areas. A larger piece of metal could be used, and it could get attached with bolts, in really bad situations.

You mentioned the hole is low on the wall. You may want to try and push the metal into the pool bottom rail and then just tape the top edge. This method does a great job of reinforcing sidewalls.

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Pool Bottom Track Rotted

by Mari

Hello Pool Pro, We are replacing our oval (12X18) pool liner. While replacing sand for the cove area, we noticed parts of the bottom track are rotted on one end. The support poles seem to be sturdy enough, but we are concerned the pool wall could collapse from the floor out in the rotted area between the supports.

Do you think the pool is safe if we place extra sand under the liner at the damaged end (cove area to avoid liner slipping through wall) and put some sort of support on the outside to build the wall base stronger? Thanks so much!

Hi Mari

I think you are 100% correct. The bottom rails themselves are not that much of a structural component. They are important when installing the pool because they keep the wall in place, but once the water is in they become less important.

There was a pool sold a while back, a cheapie pool, that did not have a bottom rail. The trick was to get the wall to stay in a circle shape long enough to get the sand spread out and then put the liner in. I hated those pools but it does put into perspective the importance of the bottom track.

Your pool has been up a while and the shape is well set and established. All you need to do is make sure you have a solid cove and that you have at least enough dirt on the outside to cover the bottom rail. Packing soil, or other landscaping, around the outside of the pool is one of the best ways to add years of life to it.

The only rust you need to be really concerned about is lower side wall rust. This is usually holes rusted through the wall in the cove area. This should be taken care of ASAP as it can cause nasty pool failure.

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Two Bottom Rails Rotted

by Mark Ternosky
(Kenvil NJ USA)

I want to replace the faded pool liner, no leaks just faded. I noticed two bottom wall rail tracks completely rotted to dust. Can and should I replace them. It is a 17 year old 24 foot round pool in very good shape.

Hi Mark

The bottom rails are more to make the initial installation possible as opposed to a structural part. Normally a wall will have a coving on the inside and probably some dirt packed around the outside of the pool. This is more than enough to hold a wall in place.

If you can find the parts, and feel like taking the pool down to make the change, you could. But it is not needed. Support the wall on both sides and you are fine.

Be sure to inspect the wall carefully. Most of the time if the rail has corroded so has the wall. Be sure you are not putting a new liner into a wall that is about to burst. Reinforcing a wall is much easier if done before it bursts.

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