Rust on Pool Panel

pmsmith2032

Well-known member
Jan 11, 2011
163
Northern Illinois
Awhile ago I noticed a small rust spot (about the size of a dime) on one of our pool panels (see below). I assumed it was surface rust as the water level in our pool doesn't seem to be dropping more than normal. Today my wife started pushed on the spot and it is weeping water. I can't seem to find a hole in the liner. Is this definitely a leak? Do I need to drain the whole pool to repair?

On another note I see some rust along a couple of panels (not same panel) where the panel meets the ground. This area seems to be dry. I'm assuming this is rust from snow/rain? Is this common? Should it too be repaired? Pool is 7 years old.

Thanks!
 

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Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Unfortunately, rust seems to find its way into our lives ….. and equipment. :grrrr: For that spot, your actions depend on it's location and where the water is coming from. If there is no actual leak from within the pool (no water loss at all), then you could wait until closing to repair … or spring I suppose when you drop the water level anyways. If you find that water is somehow making it past the liner and to that rust spot, you have two issues to resolve - a leaky liner and rust spot. You'll want to fix the liner ASAP of course, then address the rust as noted a moment ago. If that rust spot is high near the waterline, or maybe even about midway, you can drain some water and perhaps get behind that liner to apply a metal patch. Of course do your best to clean or cut out that rust spot and paint/seal it with a rust prohibitor. If the spot is near the bottom, it gets more challenging and you may have some decisions to make.

The other locations could certainly be weather/location related. Many AGPs develop some rust here & there. The quicker you catch it the better.
 

pmsmith2032

Well-known member
Jan 11, 2011
163
Northern Illinois
Thanks! Is there any way to find out for sure if the liner is leaking or not? Like I said, I can't see/feel a hole in the liner but I want to be sure. Rust spot is midway up the panel.
 

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zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
13,017
Houston, Texas
The rust I had on my pool started out like this. I believe the water came from condensation between the liner and the wall. My liner had horizontal wrinkles in the wall from chronic low pH back when I was using 2 floaters packed full of trichlor to try and keep the chlorine up before I found TFP. My liner did not leak, but my rusted areas where always moist. From the photo the rust at the bottom looks like surface rust. There may be too much water pooling at the base of the pool when it rains. You'll need to check it next time it rains to see how long it takes to drain away from the base of the pool.

To make repairs you will need to drain at least half the water, below the rust spot on the middle of the wall. Hindsight being what it is and all, I would schedule a weekend with good weather and a few available friends to drain the pool completely, pull back the liner, sand off the rust inside and out, patch with sheet metal where needed, and hit the entire inside of the wall will rust inhibitor. Odds are the inside of the wall looks worse than the outside. If you registered the pool you may want to pursue a warranty claim and see if it is cost effective for you.

I've attached a photo of my former pool to show what the wall looked like where the rust started, and how the inside of the wall looked after the pool came down. You can see small "blisters" starting to form on the surface. They eventually turn into weeping rusted through spots if left untreated. Unfortunately I did not repair my rust problem and lost the pool.

089.jpgThere is a lot of condensation on the outside of the wall in this picture, but you can also see areas that look like a blister with a ring around them. That is how my rust spots looked at the beginning.
IMG_0032.jpgThis is the largest area of rust I had. The rusted through portion where you can see liner poking out is about the size of a softball.
IMG_0059.jpgOutside section of wall with the torn edge where the rupture occurred.
IMG_0060.jpgSame section of wall flipped to show the inside. This is what was going on behind the liner on approximately 1/3 my pool wall.

It took about 5 years for my pool to get to point where it ruptured, so I don't think you need to drain and repair today, but pick a time where you can plan ahead, gather the help and materials you need and fix it right. Or look around and find someone to fix it if you don't want to do it yourself.

Here is some information on rust repair: https://www.inyopools.com/Blog/advanced-wall-repair-on-an-above-ground-pool/
 

pmsmith2032

Well-known member
Jan 11, 2011
163
Northern Illinois
I actually ended up finding a pin hole in the liner with the aid of googles. My plan now is to use a Boxer pool liner repair kit I purchased to temporarily patch the hole (underwater). Then, when I close the pool for winter, drain the pool, permanently patch the liner, and sand/paint the panel. Any issues with this process? Will I have problems removing the temporary patch?
 

phonedave

Well-known member
May 30, 2012
779
Montville NJ
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Turbo Cell (T-CELL-5)
I actually ended up finding a pin hole in the liner with the aid of googles. My plan now is to use a Boxer pool liner repair kit I purchased to temporarily patch the hole (underwater). Then, when I close the pool for winter, drain the pool, permanently patch the liner, and sand/paint the panel. Any issues with this process? Will I have problems removing the temporary patch?

I would patch over the patch. Don\t try to pull it off. The adhesive bonds with the liner material, and the liner is likely to be stiffer (more brittle) since it has been exposed to UV and Chlorine. Trying to take the temp patch off my rip the liner.

-dave
 

mariane

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 8, 2012
1,098
Southeast Michigan
If you use Boxer 100 and a piece of liner, that will be a permanent patch. It should adhere well. Make the patch 1 inch or so in size, put the glue on the vinyl fold it like a toco with glue inside and then dive down to the hole, rub well to get it to stick. Make sure all the edges are glued down. It works well under water.
When you repatch later, the original should still be in place. Make the 2nd patch at least 1/2" to 3/4" larger around all the sides of the original patch.

Also be aware when you drain the pool, that liner will shrink some. If it's old (ours was 12 years old) you will not be able to stretch it back into place if you leave it dry for a long period of time. Especially in the sun.
 

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pmsmith2032

Well-known member
Jan 11, 2011
163
Northern Illinois
I'm getting ready to close the pool and want to fix the rust. What is the best way to do this? Do I have to drain the pool completely? Can I take the liner down in just that area?
 
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