Tear in Wall

It is winter now and I noticed a buckle in the pool wall below the skimmer. Looking closer I see a tear in the metal wall about two inches starting from the bottom of skimmer. The question is can it be repaired.


Yes, tears in above ground pool side walls can be repaired. Holes in or around the skimmer are usually caused by rust. If that is the case you should probably place a large sheet of metal over the entire skimmer area and cut a new hole. This method, is of course, only effective if you are doing a liner change.

If you are not installing a new liner and just want to repair the hole, that can usually be done also. You would need to drain the water down about half way. You would then pull off a few top rails and get in behind the liner. I would not pull the skimmer off as it might be impossible to get it back on using the same liner. It is very possible for the liner to shrink just enough to not fit again.

A cookie sheet or anything like that can be cut into a square and used for a patch. Duct tape is just fine for holding it in place. Apply the tape to the patch and slip it in behind the liner. In most cases this will hold the wall together until the next liner change.

If a major rust issue is the reason for your tear use extreme caution when repairing. It is not at all uncommon for a rusted wall to just give out and split from top to bottom. This creates a lot of water in the yard fast and can be dangerous it the pool is being used.

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Torn Pool Wall

We have a 2yr old 24ft above ground pool. The liner came out from under the rail and the wall tore. Any fix for a torn wall or do I have to replace it?


I am going to include a response I just gave the other day. It explains about holes and tears in above ground pool sidewalls. They do happen and they can be repaired. I do suggest you use caution and your best judgment. The larger the tear the bigger the patch needs to be and the more chance you have of it bursting when the pool is full of water.

A side wall that has completely, or almost completely deteriorated from rust is far more likely to burst than a good wall with just a small tear in it. These can be hammered out flat with a hammer and a 2x4 and then patched with flat stock and duck tape.

Below was my answer to a very similar question.

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

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Rupture in Pool Wall

by Peter Violette
(Poland, Maine, USA)

Rupture in Pool Wall

Rupture in Pool Wall

Two winters ago when we winterized our pool, we put the top on too tight, that combined with the excessive snowfall that Maine got that year, caused my pool to buckle so much that the wall ruptured, it is about a foot long.

In the picture you see that it is laying on the ground.(its not as destroyed as it may seem) I took off the top rails so that they don't get bent from the collapsing wall. Is it possible to repair this rupture? It is the only thing that is wrong with the pool and I don't want to spend the money to get a new wall.

Hi Peter

This is the only type of tear in an above ground pool sidewall I really do not recommend fixing. When a wall bursts open, it tears in an upward fashion as shown in your picture. That's the type of wall damage that you should not try to patch over.

There is an option I think might work for you, much less expensive than a new wall. Some pools now days are sold with a stainless steel service panel. This is about a 5' section of wall with the skimmer and return holes cut into it. A piece of wall like this could be bolted to the inside of the pool, covering the damaged area. A service panel will come with one set of holes, for nuts and bolts, at each end. I would add another row of bolts on each side. You should be able to hide the bolts behind an upright. The skimmer and return holes could be taped over as you would not be using them.

The service panel could be replaced with a section of regular sidewall if that is more readily available. You would just need to make all of your nut and bolt holes, not a big deal since you would be doing a lot of drilling anyway.

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Replacing Section Of Sidewall

by Larry Copeland

My above ground pool was installed in 1998. It's a 15x30 and the side wall has busted due to a leak from the return.

I took a section of wall out, approx 15 ft, and want to scab a piece of wall back in its place. Do you think that would be OK to do? Everything else seems to be fine.

Hi Larry

I would not have a problem doing that. But you do need to be careful. There is a lot of water pressure exerted against the walls of the pool, and pool walls do fail from time to time. So repairs of this nature are done at you own risk.

Have you seen the pools with the rustproof skimmer panels? That's basically what that is. They are only a few feet long, but they do sort of scab into place. They use a double row of nuts and bolts at each end and provide the skimmer and return with a flat mounting surface on a piece of metal that will not rust.

I've never been a big fan of these panels, but some pools do have them. So, yes, there is nothing wrong with your idea. Be sure to use the double row of nuts and bolts at each end and you should be just fine.

Hopefully you have found some used pool sidewall that you can use. They are probably pretty easy to come by at either pool stores or people getting rid of their pools on Craigs List. If you are using something other than pool wall make sure it is thick enough to do the job. You really do not want to be in a pool when a wall decides to burst.

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