Most steel pools built today are installed with a thin sheet of foam between the rusting steel wall and the liner. This foam is meant to hide the rust from the unsuspecting consumer. It is a feature that actually allows and promotes liner damage in many ways. Wall foam can make it easier to puncture your pool’s liner.
Steel Pool panels today are not like the steel panels manufactured years ago. In many cases it is simply cold rolled steel with cold galvanization (spray paint) and raw sheared edges. It is absolutely impossible for any individual to truthfully tell a consumer that a swimming pool made from this material will not rust.
Some companies actually tell their prospective customers that their steel panels are coated in copper; again, a falsehood. The truth is that during the manufacturing process, a minute amount of copper is used to aid in the galvanization process, referred to as "copper bearing" steel. Research it yourself!
Steel rusts! It always wants to go home, back to the Earth where it came from. That's why it rusts. Million Dollar bridges, guard rails, automobiles, and Steel Pools (often even well before it even becomes a pool in your yard). Don't let your pool look like this!
Steel Pools came into being during the early 1950s. They were easy to manufacture, inexpensive, and could be installed by most do-it-yourselfers and start-up pool companies. It was 1950's technology at its best. Sad to say, not much has changed over the last 60 years, and the market share of steel wall packaged pools has significantly declined as the industry turns to more advanced and stronger non-corrosive materials. Not only in pool walls, but pumps and filters too!
Locally there are several companies selling the same steel pool wall produced by a single manufacturer. Different brochures, different names, same pool. Some claim to add a “coating” that is supposed to stop rust. All of these are being advertised with thousands of dollars in pricing variation. Basically a "What the market will bear" approach to the same outdated product.