5 Most Commonly Replaced Above Ground Pool Parts

Hello and welcome above ground pool owners to the (sometimes) not-so-wonderful world of above ground pool replacement parts. I do not want to sound like a Debbie Downer but it can be hard to ID and track down parts for your beloved above ground pool.  Owners of Vogue and Atlantic models will be the first to tell you that tracking down bottom rims for a 15 year old pool has the fun factor of a root canal.

The similar design and build material of pools provide a list of “Most Wanted” parts likely to be replaced over its lifetime. If you have inherited an above ground pool or are just looking to educate yourself, we will run through a list of the most commonly replaced parts.  We also want to give you an idea of the function of each part within the pool design.  The components of a pool also vary in material according to the pool grade so we’ll include an explanation of the three main build materials of pools and their relative durability.

Bottom Rims

A pool’s bottoms rims may be the most commonly replaced part on our list. The rims are the bottom linkage arm between the upright bases. This vital part is likely to deteriorate due to it being steel which is installed in-ground.  The rims are exposed to standing water, lawn care chemicals and dirt leading to decay. Why a manufacturer would design a steel part to be pressed into bare ground, likely exposed to constant wet conditions and expect it to last for years, is over my head. It seems more like planned obsolescence than sound design, but I digress.

Obviously these parts are prone to rust and break apart because of metallic oxidation. Though the rims are made of galvanized steel, that will only go so far whenTOP RIM faced to constant barrage of the aforementioned elements. I have seen some rims so badly worn that they crumble to dust once they are handled. The good part is that the bottom rims are also available in resin versions but they are always more expensive and will not retrofit to steel bottom rims pools.

So you may ask, why are bottoms rims so important to my pool? As usual, great question. The bottoms rims are the channel guide in which the steel wall sits.  This channel helps provides shape for the pool as well has a sturdy foundation for the wall. Without the rims the wall has a likelihood of bowing, leading to a possible wall failure. Needless to say, wall failure is the very last thing you want unless you like cleaning flood damage.

Top CapTOP CAP

The top cap is a decorative and protective facade cover meant to jacket the upright’s top plate. Among the parts on our list, the top cap is the most likely to simply go missing. The part is generally not screwed to the pool but instead snapped to the top ledge. Because of this they tend to fall off after a few years. After they have fallen off a few times, some pool owners do not bother to reinstall or the family dog has their way with it.

The cap itself is not intrinsically important to the pool’s structural integrity. Its main duty is to protect critical joint parts (i.e. top plates) from the elements and prying hands. Kind of like a  vehicle’s hood, a car can drive without it but the uncovered motor is more likely to rust and eventually fail.

TOP CAP SUPPORTLet us not forget about the Top Cap Supports which act as a buttress and a decorative accessory to the top cap joint. These supports provide a base for the top cap to add stability to the top cap. Their design also provides a fuller molding of the top cap to wall face. Not all pools are designed with top cap supports so do not panic if they are not on your pool. Straight and Curved are the two types of top cap supports; oval pools use a combination of both while round pools strictly the curved style.

Top Ledge

Also known as that thing your kids jump off of into the pool (by the way, not recommended.) The top ledge is more than a step for your daredevil 8-year-old; it is part of the safety, structure and aesthetic design of the pool.

The top ledge is a 5 – 8” wide plank made of steel, resin or aluminum that spans the wall’s top edge between uprights.  A top cap snaps to each end of the ledge to cover each upright section. The purpose of the ledge is to hide the top rims and wall edge (surprisingly sharp) from swimmers whilst entering and exiting the pool. The ledge also acts as a mooring point for securing pool steps, railings and ladders.

There is no set time for top ledges to last on a pool. A lot has to do with the material the ledge is constructed of; aluminum will last the longest, then resin and steel brings up the rear. Even with weather coating, steel will rust from rigorous use that can scratch it coated surfaces to reach the raw metal. If your pool is salt water or you are considering a switch to it, forget about it. Salt water will oxidize the steel top ledges faster than your wallet can replace them.

Top Plates & Bottom Plates

I would liken the top and bottom plates to that of your knee or elbow in that they are the main joint of each limb of your pool, the upright being the limb.  The top and TOP PLATE BOTTOM PLATEbottom plates are the joining pieces that meet the two wall rims, upright, and top ledge. Each section of wall depends on the sturdiness of this little plate to keep it in line.

A chain is only as good as its weakest link and a pool is only as good as its rustiest bottom plate. A big burden is put on these two connecting parts and if it is not in good condition an upright assembly can give way. A failed upright turns an above ground pool into an on-the-ground flood.

Upright

Yes, you guessed it, it keeps the wall upright. We are learning too quickly! Uprights are the vertical posts ringing the pool every 4 – 5 feet. They provide a link between the top and bottom rims set as well as secure the wall. Uprights are usually steel but on the higher end pool models are made of resin and aluminum.

The common demise of these parts are the classic rusting of steel parts but also can break due to stress.  Breakage is probably caused by an uneven dispersal of weight on the upright which results from a domino effect of other parts within the pool placing burden on the upright.

The Material

Steel

Galvanized steel was the industry standard in above ground pools for decades. For the most part it has the lion’s share of pools being produced today.  It is inexpensive to produce and fabricate into modes making it ideal for entry level and economy pools.  The downside of our sturdy friend is that even with weather coating and galvanizing it may rust. When your bottom rims or even walls begin to rust, I would start searching for the factory warranty papers.  Steel is the most likely to be replaced of the three pool materials.

Resin

This is a high impact plastic that eliminates the possibility of a rusting pool frame. It is considered a relative “New Kid on the Block”  since it has grown in popularity only in the last decade.  Initially the cost of production made the price prohibitive to pool owners. Resin is also the preferred choice for homeowners wanting the option of saltwater generators. Though resin is used for all the parts, the walls are fabricated from galvanized, weather coated steel. For example, our Matrix resin pool is all resin is top to bottom except for the steel walls. This is because there is just no beating the reliability and sturdiness of steel in this sheet form.

Because of resin’s higher cost, manufacturers offer it in “hybrid” designs.  This mix of resin and steel components keeps the price affordable for the average homeowner.  The idea is to use resin on the more vulnerable parts like the top ledge and the bottom rail; while using the less expensive steel on low impact parts. In hybrid pools, steel is usually found in the uprights and its stabilizers  An example of our Hybrid pools take a gander at our Heritage, Venture, and Opera.

Aluminum

High rollers only, please.  For the discerning prospective pool owner, this is the Cadillac of above ground pools.  If you plan on using the pool for a couple decades then this would be the choice for you. The most expensive on the list is also the most durable owing mostly to the natural rust resistance and strength of aircraft grade aluminum.

If your plan is to partially submerge your pool into the ground, aluminum is the only way to go. The extruded metal is the only material strong enough to hold up to both the water pressure pushing out and dirt pushing on the wall. For an example review our Bermuda Aluminum Pool.

For any more information regarding above ground pool consult our above ground pool section, pool comparison video or give our techs a call.  We can be reached at 877-372-6038.

If you need to identify a specific pool model, check out our article titled Identify My Above Ground Pool. Or, email us at agparts@inyopools.com

125 thoughts on “5 Most Commonly Replaced Above Ground Pool Parts

  1. I have a semi inground pool with a resin coping around it. I am planning on builfinding a brick wall about an inch off the pool wall and would like the cap the brick with bluestone. Can I take and leave the coupling off?

    1. If by “coupling” you mean the top rails of the pool, then yes you can take them off. If you mean the stabilizer railing under the top rails, then generally no. They need to stay to keep the pool’s shape.

      1. I mean the bulky plastic (in my case) coping. I was told it’s sole purpose is for safety that you do not get cut on the walls edge.

  2. Hi Matthew,
    I just moved into a home that has a 24ft round above ground pool. We just put in the liner and everything seems to be going great. On the outside there are vertical beams / posts. It seems there is no covers on them. They are roughly 4-5 feet tall and go all the way around the entire pool. Any type I should look for in particular? Any links that would help me find something like this? And are they easy to install?

    1. The company doesn’t make this size any more, so would probably have to have one fabricated but don’t know where.

      1. Doughboy pool parts are sold only through their own dealers. Unfortunately, Inyo does not sell any parts compatible with Doughboy pools. The only plan is to keep contacting local dealers or warehouses to find old stock of the part.

  3. My AGP is full of water & I just received my replacement parts for it. They are the stabilizers & top rails & plates. My question is do I have to empty my pool to replace these parts, or can I do 2 at a time. Please reply, THank you

    1. The pool does not have to be drained to replace the parts mentioned. But I would caution to only replace the parts one section at a time. For example, if you need to replace the whole set of top plates, remove the old then install the new; do not remove all the top plates then begin to add the new.

  4. good day. looking for top caps for my above ground mermaid pool. my pool is a 21′ above ground mermaid pool . can you help

  5. Good evening everyone!! I recently purchased a pool used off a guy. I am pretty sure it’s a trevi pool. I spoke with someone who said the top and bottom plates are the same. I get the top plate but how does the bottom plate work

  6. I so hope you can help me. Im looking for top ledge replacement parts. The company we bought the pool from went out of business. It’s about 10 years old ( I think). It’s a meridian 30 foot round. It’s rusting under the ledge and I’m afraid the kids are going to get cut. Please help

    1. The name does not ring a bell but you can always try sending in pictures of your pool to upload@inyopools.com so our above ground parts team can track down the part. We will need a picture of the pool’s wall pattern, upright, top cap, and top ledge to help us identify the make and model of the pool.

  7. I’m looking for help to find a stabalizer that got broken when we tried to set up an older gifted above ground pool. We have found the coping we need but that is all. Any help would be appreciated.

  8. New aluminum wall pool has a scrape on the outside shell. Is there something I can put on it to make sure it doesn’t become a problem?

    1. Here is an answer from Dan, our A/G pool specialist:

      “I don’t think it matters with an aluminum wall as they don’t corrode in the same way a steel wall does. I suppose you could paint it with something though as long as it doesn’t make it look bad.”

  9. Hi, I have what everyone calls a “Penguin Pool” it is a 24×28 above ground pool. It has an aluminum deck that walks around it and has a track that the liner slips into. We are trying to find out the right type of liner to use. I know it is not an overlap. We are thinking about getting a uni-bead liner I also know it’s not a J Hook

    1. Those pool types normally have a proprietary liner. Your best shot is to contact the dealer from which you bought the pool or the manufacturer of the pool to find a replacement

  10. are there different models of the Atlantic pool? The top ledges and upper rail are getting seriously rusted out. the pool is a 24′ round with 52″ walls and is perhaps 8 years old the joiners wont stay on the pool we have opted for duct tape applied seasonally. We had added bead receiver and a lovely beaded liner, this was a huge mistake as the wall has split and rusted vertically at each junction of the bead receiver. Steel pools kinda suck as they rust out in so many places. We would like to replace top ledges and top rails do you have these parts available?

  11. Not sure where to put this, but we can’t find parts anywhere on line. We are looking for replacement parts for our 24’ Artesian Pool [FS07-52W-0024].

    Here are the parts we need:

    QTY Part Description Part Number
    1 Seat Clamp Base 31633-350-00000
    3 Seat Clamp Top 31636-350-00000
    1 Top Seats 31648-350-05300
    38 Coping 33787-299-00000

    Please let us know as soon as possible if you know how to order and a total cost. Thank you for your time and appreciate the website as well!

    1. We tried searching for those part numbers but they do not cross reference to anything in our system.

      If you want us to identify the parts submit a picture of the wall pattern, upright and top cap through this email address so we may search for the parts: upload@inyopools.com

  12. I need top plates for a doughboy pool The ones that were on it have completely rusted out and we need to replace the liner. Liner has already been purchased. it is 18 years old and is 28 foot round.

  13. I am desperately looking for top caps for 30 ft above ground artisan swimming pool. Would you happen to have any?

    1. Cindy, we may have parts for your Artesian Pool but we will need to identify the which model you have. Forward pictures of your outside wall pattern, upright, top ledge, top cap and any other additional information to upload@inyopools.com. We will have our parts department review the pictures right away.

  14. I am desperately seeking replacement “top caps” for a 27′ Pacifica Platinum pool that was purchased from Rec Warehouse in 2003. I can provide pictures/measurements if someone thinks they might either have some or may know who might. Thank you!

    1. Hello Brad,

      I checked with our parts department, and unfortunately, the Pacifica Platinum is not a pool for which we carry parts. Your best shot at finding replacement parts is contacting the manufacturer or an affiliated dealer.

  15. Have a Buster Crabbe 52″ Sonata. Looking for replacement uprights. If not available a suitable alternative upright. Thanks in advance.

  16. Hi, we help a lot of people keep their old pools chugging or adjust to their newer cheaper made pools. It may sound a bit odd but we used self-tappers to keep those top clamps in place. It is not an ideal solution but it is better than losing them or the dog chewing them up.

    1. Hey, sometimes you gotta do, what you gotta do to keep your pool in working shape. Just because a solution is not pretty, that does not mean it will not work.

      Have you tried using simple duct tape as a safer/not punching holes in your pool solution?

    2. Hi Pool lady,

      I have an intex rectangular ultra frame pool. The U-shaped support legs are rusted and Intex is out of those legs (no big surprise). Any suggestions on what to replace them with? The pool is 52″ deep. (9′ by 18′ by 52″)

      thanks

  17. Matthew, thank you for sharing such a great list of parts; I found it very helpful. Specifically, however, you talk about how the bottom rims are probably the most commonly replaced parts for an above ground pool, and I am in that boat needing to replace them. I was just going to take them off and leave them, but you say that these rims are the channel guide in which the steel wall sits. I can see that if I were to take these away, I would take away valuable support to the pool and could cause it to break it’s shape completely. I will definitley not take them away but be sure to get them replaced.

  18. Is anyone had a situation as where the outer wall of an above ground pool would derail from the bottom track ? This pool is only two years old and the outer wall on one pillar side has a gap of 1/2″ in the bottom. Wish I could post a pic. Nevertheless would anyone would consider this as a sloppy installation by the company ? They are trying to blame my deck that was previously built as been too close or touching the pool.

    To make my question clear: only one wall has a wall that has derailed. I see a hole or gap in the ground and I estimate the grounds were not compressed enough. The sand may have move because of the winter thaw, however the installers should know better. What do you think ?

    GL

    1. Hello Gilles, a picture would really help in this instance. Can you post a picture to a Dropbox or some other file-sharing website and post the link below? I want to get a better understanding of the problem.

  19. I own a 21′ round concord silhouette above ground pool and am looking for replacement top rails. Material is beige resin. A couple of the rails sustained hail damage that put holes right through the rail. Can anyone with finding a direct replacement? Thanks!

    1. I am sure we can track down the 21′ Round Concord Silhouette rails for you, even though we do not have them listed on the website at the moment.

      To help us identify the parts submit a picture of pool’s wall pattern, upright and top cap/top ledge to the following email upload@inyopools.com.

      I will have our aboveground pool parts desk start the search once I get your photos.

    1. Unfortunately, it is hard finding the right parts for aboveground pools using dimensions alone, but we have other ways of getting you the right part. If you want us to identify the pool/parts submit a picture of the wall pattern, upright and top cap through this email address so we may search for the parts: upload@inyopools.com

  20. the top caps on my recently installed 21′ ambassador ( atlantic ) pool pop off easily from the inside of the pool . These caps “bite” the top rail only at two points on the inside edge of the pool’s top rail. Seems kind of a “mickey-mouse” design. This Ambassodor pool is a replacement for my previous pool ( doughboy ) which lasted 23 years. The top caps on the Doughboy were solid and could not simply ( and randomly ) be pulled off the top rail as the Ambassador top caps can. Is there a top cap which secures more firmly for the ambassador pool which can replace the current top caps? I appreciate any constructive comment. Thanks !

    1. Hello Callie,
      After checking with the manufacture it looks like there is only one style of cap that fits to your parent’s Atlantic Ambassador. We have heard that complaint before of that cap’s design; some times it feel like the manufacturers do that on purpose to make sure you have to buy parts.

      1. I have a 15 ft round concord we just put up. It was very difficult because we were replacing an old pool that had flat metal side rails. This new concord pool had wide thick side rails and even though the old pool was a 15 round the new 15 round didn’t fit into the precut circle in the deck that totally surrounds the pool we were able to cut out parts of the deck to accommodate the uprights all accept one that would require cutting out the mail bean on the back edge of the deck so we nailed a short 4×4 to the top of the deck that we attach the top metal bracket to so we could put the top rails on. But not sure how to handle the bottom support (under the deck) part where the upright rail should be.

      2. SOMEONE PLEASE HELP I HAVE AN OLDER ABOVE GROUND POOL CAN’T FIND A NAME ON IT AT ALL.
        15 X 30 WHAT IS THE METAL OR TIN PIECE THAT GOES OVER THE COPPING UNDER THE METAL WIDE FLAT
        RAIL . NOT ALL WIDE BENDS ON SIDE.
        IT KINDA OF LOOK LIKE THE BOTTOM RIM NEED 6 PIECES HERE’S ANOTHER CATCH THEY NEED TO
        BE STRAIGHT. HELP CAN’T FINSH POOL PLEASE PLEASE HELP !!!!!!!!!!!!

        1. I could tell this was a dire situation due to the Caps Lock. If you do not know the make and model of the pool, then we will need to see the pool to ID it.

          If you want us to identify the parts submit a picture of the wall pattern, upright and top cap through this email address so we may search for the parts: upload@inyopools.com

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