My current 16 x 32 pool was built 28 years ago. Still has the original liner. It’s a Wilkes, and is buried about 1’ all around, but has an 8’+ deep end. It's heavy-duty steel. The top rail is OK but clearly the weak point in this pool.
I can see steel flakes poking the liner (inside of the wall must have rusted -- outside of it had little rust). There are no leaks, but someday that 28-year-old liner will fail. I’m not sure whether I’ll be able to just replace the liner (with some sanding, painting, and foam around the inside of the steel walls), or if I’ll have to replace the whole pool.
I had the original company that built it out to look at it recently. He thinks that I can probably just replace the liner with said work on the walls (for a “few thousand”). He's supposed to check with the manufacturer to find out if there are any parts to work on the top rail. He also said that pools are not as well-made today as mine was, and that he thought that Wilkes was the best then and they still make a great pool -- but to replace mine with another Wilkes would be about $18k!!! They also sell Doughboys which are reputed to be real expensive.
This house needed a lot of work when I bought it. It was for sale for more than 2 years partly due to the condition of the house, and the pool surely didn’t help. It’s in a historic town, only 2 pools in my ‘hood, and not many in the whole town.
I was shocked by the $18k price to replace! An in-ground pool will raise my taxes substantially (and they’re already too high!). What would you do / what options would you consider? I'd like to delay doing anything as long as possible, but it seems like I should investigate now before it fails.