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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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. My above ground pool was oval all aluminum installed by quality pools back in 2004. Got hit by a tree due to high wind. I was told that Quality/American pools does not exist anymore. Most parts that I need is the floor frames, floor plates and rail frame side covers. So far, parts of this pool does not exist anymore. Any ideas where I can find the parts?

  2. I have a above ground 24×54 round metal pool from intex. My liner was old and leaking, so ordered new liner. Liner I received was not same liner on pool. My original liner went over the top railings like a sleeve. This new one is an over lap which needs clips to hold liner on. I can not find any clips or clasps to hold liner onto hollow poles like railinter. Can you help?

  3. I have a 15′ round Opera Pool. The bottom rims are rusted and need to be replaced. Do you carry these rims?? Getting ready to change the liner and would like to replace the bottom rims too. Thanks

  4. So I have a two year old doughboy seascape pool and when removing the bottom rail there are two or three that have some slight rust. I tried looking up those replacement part but have not had any luck. Help!
    Some of your videos have given me confidence on installing myself since I am loosing confidence on some of the professionals for lack of organization and communication. Thanks!

    1. I hate to ruin your day but we do not carry Doughboy Pools or their parts. They are very strict policy when it comes to internet companies, they do not share diagrams or anything with us. To find replacement parts you will have to go directly through Doughboy.

  5. I have an above ground pool and the top rails have started to rust on the underside. Can I remove one at a time to try to paint or coat them to get a few more seasons out of them?

  6. I have a matrix resin pool 33 foot across and one of the uprights has come off the base and is hanging from the top. I have a replacement upright, but am wondering if there is a way to put the new one in without draining the pool or anything as drastic. Can I replace one upright in some way?

  7. For the past few years, the uprights on our above ground pool have been moving. We notice the movement during the winter months. I’m not sure if the pool was installed wrong, maybe the ground was not prepared correctly. We had someone from the pool company “rig” up two of the uprights, making them attach to the bottom rail/bracket. I just noticed today that 3 of them on the one side have risen up away from the footer (pretty much a paver under the upright). I’m not sure if the uprights are moving up, pulling it away from the ground or the paver sinking due to the weight of the water in the pool is causing the upright to pull away from it’s base. Any ideas on the cause and how to fix the problem. We have also noticed, looking at the liner design during the summer months, the level looks off.

    Thank you!

    1. The uprights cannot move up by themselves or by poor, off-level installation. This is probably due to frost heaving. There may be something you can do about it but you’ll first have to research frost heaving in your area as the condition can result from a different combination of things.

  8. Yourself should really to be a component of a contest for a personal of the maximum optimistic top quality world-wide-web-web-sites on the world-wide-web. I’m shifting within the guidance of suggest this website web-site!


  9. Will the top caps you offer fit a doughboy??? I can’t find ANY replacements for them. I REFUSE to go to our dealer…. they are complete assholes and the rudest, unprofessional business.

    1. We have had them since we got the pool in 2010. they are cracking and look like crap… the pool also looks like crap without them.. so exposed…

  10. What paint (specifically please) do you suggest/recommend to use for the galvanized steel top cap around my Symphony Series 27′ A/G pool?

  11. Matthew, I have a pool 24’x52″ round model is Evolution. The company we purchased pool from went out of business but I do not have bottom rails for this pool. Instead it sits inside the bottom base pieces of the stabilizers every 3-4 ft. My dad oroiginally purchased the pool and just recently gave it to me. He said it never had bottom rails just were it sits inside the stabilizers every 3-4 ft. Have you every seen these type feature?

  12. I’m looking for the end caps for the top caps on a leisure bay 24′ round pool they are to piece caps with the piece in need being on the or toward the in side of the pool do you have any idea where I can find these

  13. Needing a resin 7″ straight top rail for our 18x33x52 oval Venture pool by Wilbar installed 2011.Length 41 1/2 ” Saw PTN # 29698 on inside of broken rail. The parts department at Family Leisure in Indianapolis where pool was purchased have not been helpful.

  14. We are looking for a top cap or COPING COVER 7″ – T3525 BEIGE FOR SYMPHONY SERIES POOLS. I have found only one site that has them and they only have 2. We need 5. Can you help?

  15. Looking for the right size rails for a 28 foot Wilbar International pool. I don’t have any more specifics than that. Can you help?

  16. Greetings, I have a Buster Crabbe pool Aquasport 52 and need the decorative top rail pool caps. Do you carry them?

  17. Could you tell me how many Wilbar bottom rails (part #10295) I would need for a 28′ pool? We bought a used one and are going to reassemble it but some of the rails were corroded and/or broken. Thanks.

    1. Can you send in pictures of your wall pattern, upright, top cap, and top ledge to (upload@inyopools.com)? With those pictures, we can try to match your pool and replacement parts.

  18. in 2011 we purchase a 27′ round SUNBAY pool from a the POOL PLACE in Chattanooga, within the first year we noticed that the ground would stay damp around one side of the pool next to the pump. We called and had them come out 3 times to work on the lights inside the pool, thinking it was leaking. Last time we had it removed, then still the same problem, they came out twice and replaced the square frame on the overflow and gaskets, thinking this was the leak. During the next 5 years we had to continually add water to the pool as it would drop below the overflow square. Went back last winter and they told us we must have a leak in the liner, so we purchased the liner in January 2017, waited for the weather to be warm enough and they came this week to replace the liner. OH MY GOODNESS. On the back of the pool the whole wall has rusted so much that there holes all the way through the pool walls, and on the bottom there is mold where there have been leaks from rocks that the installer found that punctured the flooring of the liner. Now we are being told the company SUNBAY is no longer in business and we don’t have a warranty on either of the wall or the liner. The POOL PLACE suggested that we just purchase a new pool from them and they will let us have the pool wall at their cost. I am sick to my stomach over this and don’t know where to turn for any help. Do you have any suggestions?

    1. Email us a picture of your pool’s top caps, top rails, wall pattern and upright to (upload@inyopools.com). We will give it our best shot to find the replacements parts, or we can try to point you in a direction.

  19. I am looking for top ledge replacement parts for my 2013 Aquarian Nuance 16 x 26 x 52 oval pool. Mine are rusted out. I can not find them. Can you help?

  20. I need to replace some top caps, I am not finding the exact match on your list . It is 5 and one half at the widest with a single screw into the wall bracket.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recommended Resources

Liner types and above ground pool decks

November 14, 2017
Liner types and above ground pool decks In this video, we take a look at different above ground pool liner types...
Watch Now

Identify My Above Ground Pool

Identifying the make and model of an above ground pool can be frustrating when looking for replacement parts. That frustration will...
Read Now
Should I buy a used above ground pool?

PSC Ep. 52: Should I buy a used above ground pool?

In today’s episode of Poolside Chat, Rob and Matt tackle another common swimming pool question: Is it a good idea to...
Read Now

Looking for pool parts?

Shop Motors Shop Filters Shop Pumps Shop Salt Systems Shop Lights Shop Cleaners
Copyright © 2020 INYOpools All rights reserved