Rusted and Cracked Sidewall

by Barb
(Westminster co.)

How can I patch a crack with rust on the side of my pool without emptying it? The crack is at the bottom and about 5 inches long. Not gaping open YET! Can I use some sort of tape after sanding the rust down?

I'm trying to get one more year out of the pool. Everything on the pool is almost new except the sheet metal.

Hi Barb.

Rusted or cracked sidewalls can be extremely dangerous because they can burst at anytime, especially when they are on the lower portion of the wall. Unfortunately there is no way to safely repair the wall from the outside. A large metal patch needs to be taped over the damaged area on the inside of the wall.

If it is the cost of the water that makes you not want to drain the pool there is not much you can do about that. If it is the danger of shrinking the liner and having to replace it there are precautions you can take.

A vinyl liner should never be completely drained because they will shrink and become unusable. So you will want to leave a few inches of water in the pool. You will also want to do the drain and refill all in the same day, preferably a warm sunny day.

Taking the water down to a few inches will still cause a certain amount of shrinkage, but with direct sunlight the liner should easily be able to stretch back out.

With a few inches of water still in the pool you will first need to remove several of the top rails. You will probably need to remove at least five to allow sufficient access to the lower wall for repair. Once the rails, rods and coping are off someone will need to be inside the pool to hold the liner back away from the wall. Another person will need to be between the liner and the wall doing the repair.

The repair should consist of large piece of coil stock, either steel of aluminum, duck taped over the damaged area. This material can be bought at most hardware stores. It is also a good idea to pull the cove back and lay the metal into the bottom track. Between being in the track, and having the cove put back over top of it, the patch becomes part of the wall and should take care of that area indefinitely. The rest of the exposed areas of the patch can be covered with duck tape. Use several layers to make sure no sharp edges come into contact with the liner.

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