How to Perform Above Ground Pool Repair?

Above Ground Pool Repair

We all know that it’s the pool walls that hold water. If you maintain your pool to be at a decent quality, then it can last between 20 to 30 years. After this period, the top rails start rusting. Sometimes, the uprights and pieces of bottom track will also start to rust. The pool walls that hold the pool waters get corroded. Because of this, the pool looks no more lively and will not please the swimmers.

Usually, it is when you change the liner that you will observe the rusty pool. This is because, when you change the liner, you will need to first drain the pool. And then, you will need to remove the liner. As soon as you remove it, the empty pool exposes the rusty and unpleasing walls. When you look at the rusty condition, you will surely ask yourself if this is normal or is it something that seriously needs to be fixed. Hence, you would want to get the pool into normal condition.

If you are really wanting to fix such issues, then this is the right place to guide you. Here, we will guide you how and when to perform advanced above ground pool repair.


How to confirm it needs repair?

Before you conclude that your pool needs a repair, you should first confirm if the discovered rust is just resting on the inside surface of pool walls or is it something more.

If it is just a surface rust, then it is not an issue that you should worry about. You can manage it with a sandpaper by sanding the rusty areas to turn into smooth surface and then following it up by Rust-Oleum. Then, your pool walls are good to go.

However, if you have found it to be more than just a surface rust, then it is something you need to be serious about. In certain cases, the rust gets so deep that it starts falling off in layers which means that the corrosion has gone quite deep. If this is the case, then you should doubt the strength of the pool walls. It is the pool walls that hold thousands of gallons of water and if they start getting weak, then they may lose strength then the wall may collapse.

To know how deep the walls are rusted, poke them with a screw driver and scrape off the rust. If you find that the screwdriver has just removed the rust, then it means that the wall still has strength. So, you still have chances to repair the wall. On the other hand, if the screwdriver pokes completely through the wall, then it means that the walls have lost their strength.

Test if holes are bad

After you have poked the rusted walls with screwdriver and discovered few spots, you should now check whether they are located high up or closer to the pool’s wall. If they are far away from the wall then, you can cut a small square of some kind of metal sheet or a roofing tin and place it over the hole there by, securing it with a duct tape.

On the other hand, if the rusted hole is too near to the wall, then the issue is serious and probably requires more than a simple patch job. Such deeper holes should be deeply concerned because the water creates more outward pressure, blowing out almost near to the top. Hence, a simple patch job will not hold the taped metal sheet, thus blowing it out to the top. If it holds, then you can manage it for some more time till the situation worsens.

When does the situation worsen?

When can you say that the situation has worsened? Let’s suppose that there is a lot of rust at the bottom of your pool wall. So much, that the walls are full of deep rusted holes and you really doubt the strength of the walls.

Then, you will be left out with only 3 options:

1. Tape metal sheets

This method is for those who have already purchased a replacement liner and have no money for a new pool. This option does not guarantee any success and you have to just hope that all goes well.

Even if it is successful, you cannot guarantee that the solution will be long term. Any time in the short period ahead, the problem might reoccur.

If the patch repair has gone unsuccessful, you will be out of the cost of the new liner and may lose all the water along with the chemicals.

  1. Drain the pool.
  2. Remove the existing liner.
  3. Take a screwdriver and poke it all over the walls to find for holes.
  4. Cut small metal sheets to desired patches based on the holes sizes.
  5. Place the metal sheet pieces over the holes to cover them and secure them with a tape.

2. Get a new wall

The next option is for those who do not want to take a chance of getting into losses. The idea is to build a whole new wall altogether.

For above ground pools, replacing a wall is not an easy task as the pool manufacturers do not show interest in offering models that are more than two years old. Every year, they come up with latest trendy models and the old models begin to shade off from the market.

However, we never know that if you get lucky enough, you might get the replacement wall that perfectly matches your pool. In such cases, you must be prepared to pay the expensive prices as you will be left with no other choice.

3. Repair the wall

The third option is very rare and highly expensive. It is to repair the wall. This procedure is too costly because, there is a lot of work involved in it. You will need to remove the rust that is very deep, until the walls look good. You will need to remove all that the walls hold. This kind of repair is rarely done as very few people know how to do it.

Guaranteed repair method

The only way to guarantee the success of a rusty wall repair is to strengthen the impaired wall’s integrity from the top to the bottom, and just not in the local bad rusty spots.

  1. Drain the pool
  2. Remove the liner
  3. Replace entire damaged above ground pool wall. This is not an easy task as you need to find for an entire piece in the market. Ensure that the wall piece is at least 4 inches long or more so that it covers all the bad areas of your pool wall.
  4. Bolt the new piece of wall to stay against your existing wall. Buy about 30 stainless flat head steel bolts and nuts, and four pieces of metal steel channel.
  5. Now, place the new wall that you bought from the pool makers and place it against the inside of existing wall. See that you position it to cover all the bad areas and fit properly against the existing wall from the top to the bottom.
  6. Line up the metal channels at the edge of the new wall piece and drill holes so that you can mount it.
  7. Bolt the channels with the nuts and bolts, through the drilled holes so that the new wall stays together above the existing wall. Ensure that you bolt it tight.
  8. Make use of a duct tape to clasp the bolts on the inside from the top to bottom, just like how you did with the pool’s existing wall bolts.
  9. As a final step, replace the coves at the bottom.

This is not an easy repair, but will be undoubtedly successful and will give you long term security. This method will not only give you guaranteed results but is also economical.


An above ground pool repair is neither easy, not much economical. If the situation is just a surface rust, then you can manage it by sanding off the rust and thereby patching up the local holes that are not too deep. However, if the rust is so deep that you cannot handle, you will be left with no much options.

The repair works for damaged above ground pools are rarely done for rusted walls and in most cases, you will need to replace the wall piece, which is again a difficult task. If you get the perfect wall piece that matches the size of existing rusted wall, then you will need to position it against the existing damaged wall such that it covers all the damages and then bold it with flat bolts and nuts.

Bryan Mallory

My name is Bryan Mallory and I have over 25 years of experience in swimming pool, spa maintenance and repairs. With my experience and knowledge I can return your pool back to its best and keep it in peak condition.