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Above Ground Pools – Repair All Metal Side Wall Problems

This page will explain to you all kinds of steel side wall repairs, here are just a few: side wall rusted around the skimmer or return jet, rusted to the point of rupture, and actual rupture of wall.

OK, let’s get started, we’ll start with the most common of all side wall problems and that will be rusted around the skimmer and return jet. First thing to do is drain the pool to about six inches below the skimmer or return jet, while the pool is being drained, take off the top rails above and on both sides of the skimmer, you might have to take two sections off on either side of the skimmer or return jet. Once that is done, take off the coping (plastic piece holding the liner in place). By this time the pool should be drained enough to take the skimmer or return jet off the side wall. (All references to the skimmer, return jet and holes in the side wall, will be referred to as skimmer)

Now, that’s all done, gently pull the liner up and over the side wall and expose the rusted or damaged skimmer hole. Next you determine how much you have to cut out to get rid of the rust, example, let’s say you determine that you are going to need to cut a hole 12 X 12 inches then you will need a piece of galvanized metal 24 X 24 inches to cover the 12 X 12 hole. The galvanized metal should be at least the same thickness or the next size up. If your not sure take a piece of the wall you cut out, for sizing.

OK! You got the galvanized metal and your ready to put it in place so all you have to do is cut the hole for the skimmer, you can use the skimmer as a template to cut the hole. Your next step is to position the replacement piece so that your skimmer hole is level, the easiest way to do this is measure from the top of the side wall to the replacement on both sides the measurement should be the same. Then use some duct tape to hold it in place. A little trick to keep all those metal filings from going between the wall and liner is to put an earth magnet on the drill bit while drilling and use a medium speed on your drill and the magnet will not fall off. Once in place you can get your drill and rivets ready, the size of rivets you should use is anything from 3/16 to 1/4 inch, get a big box because you will be spacing them 1 inch apart.

Let’s get on with the drilling layout, with a tape measure make a line 1 inch in from all edges and a second line 3 inches in, now on the one inch line put a hole in each of the corners, next from each corner hole you measure 1 inch both horizontally and vertically. Now from here we measure three inches from each corner hole and drill another hole, but before we drill anymore holes we want to put in a couple rivets to hold the replacement in place solidly. As you noticed the holes are two inches apart continue from each corner until you reach the center.

Now for the three inch line we put a hole in the corner and one hole in each direction two inches from the corner hole if you have done it right it should be in between two rivets on the one inch line so that all the rivets are staggered. Once you have all the rivets in place you can drill the holes for the skimmer. The final step is to duct tape all the metal edges so their is nothing sharp to pierce the liner when put back in place. Now all that is left to do, is to put everything back together the way it came apart.

This concludes the instruction for repairing the rust around the pool skimmer and the return jet and any hole in the side wall, for instruction on how to replace a whole section please read on.

Heaven forbid, you actually have had a blow out, if your liner got ruined then it is an easy task to take it out and repair the section before putting in a new liner, if you were lucky and your liner just got stretched a bit then things get a bit trickier. If you were really lucky you probably noticed a soft spot in the wall and checked it out and realized it was going to need repair soon. If any of these scenarios fits your problem then the remedy is at hand. Read on.

First, you will have to take about half the pools top rails off. Of course if you are replacing the liner than they all have to come off. Next remove the coping and lift the liner over the side wall. Now depending on the size of the hole, you will need an extra two feet of galvanized metal the same size in height as the existing metal. Cut out the rusted piece and put in your new piece. Now from the end of the new sheet of metal measure in three inches and score a line from top to bottom on both ends, and a similar line nine inches in from the ends.

Also, make sure your lines don’t line up with one of your upright supports, if they do slide your panel one way or the other so that they don’t line up, OK, starting from the top measure down one inch on the three inch line and two inches down on the nine inch line and mark a drill hole, and you continue on both lines two inches apart till you reach the bottom. Drill three or four holes, then put in some rivets from the inside out, you want the flat part on the inside of the pool, and then continue drilling. When you have finished with the rivets put some duct tape on them and on the edge of the metal and put your Pool back together again. I hope these instructions helped you get more years of pleasure out of your pool.

If you have any questions please submit them at Above Ground Pools and Decks

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