How to Level an Above Ground Swimming Pool

Leveling the ground to install a new above ground pool is the absolutely correct way of starting the project. If your pool is already up and it either started out unlevel or shifted into that unfortunate position, there is only one solution, and that is to take it down and begin again. The pressure of the water inside of a round pool pushes evenly on the walls. That is what the designers planned on and took into account when figuring out the pool’s structural integrity. An imbalance puts extra pressure on one area, which may collapse under the strain.

Here is what you need to do to leveling an above ground swimming pool.

Things You’ll Need: A Level, A Hammer, A Nail, A Wooden Stake, A 2-Inch Thick by 4-Inch Wide Board (As Long as Half the Diameter of Your Pool), A Shovel, Patio Blocks, A Transit (If Available), Heavy Black Plastic, Grass and Weed Killer.


  1. Locate your pool within close proximity of your house, where you will have an unobstructed view of the area to ensure the safety of the structure and the users. It must be on level ground and not on or near a hillside. There should not be any trees or power lines overhead, and the area needs to be free of potential underground problems like buried cables and pipes, huge tree roots, or creatures like crabs or gophers. You will have to run electricity to the site, and it should get full sun during the day.
  2. When leveling the site, use a transit. If one is not available, then you need to make a leveling tool. Use a long 2-inch thick by a 4-inch wide board whose length should measure half of the diameter of your pool. You will need to drill a 3/4-inch deep hole into the underside of the board near the end.
  3. Pick the center point of your pool site and use your shovel to remove the sod in a 3-foot area. With the center area cleared, it should be the lowest point within the pool area. Hammer a small wooden stake flush into the ground at the dead center. Next, hammer a nail into the top of the stake and place the hole in the long board on top of it.
  4. With the board touching the ground at dead center, place your level on it and slowly begin to walk the board around the entire pool area. Remove all sod in the pool area with your shovel so that the board moves freely all around the circle. Always take soil away from the area to achieve level ground, and never use fill dirt to raise it to level.
  5. The weight of the water in the pool will compress any fill dirt and cause instability and probable collapse, which voids the manufacturer’s warranty. Remove all rocks, tree roots, or sticks. The entire area must be totally free from anything that could puncture the bottom of your pool liner. If you plan to do landscaping near the pool, extend your leveling process by as much as you will need.
  6. Next, you should spray grass and weed killer over the entire pool site area to make sure nothing grows under the pool. Cover the ground area with black plastic, which will serve as a weed barrier.
  7. Add the correct amount of masonry sand into the center of the pool area and spread it out, wet, and repeatedly tamp until the sand is firm and at an equilateral height of 4 inches.
  8. Check your new pool instructions to see how many support posts your pool has and how close they are to each other. A standard size within the pool industry is 4 feet between posts. You will need to bury that many patio blocks so they are flush with a ground level on the perimeter of the pool and spaced according to the instructions equidistant from each other. Place your leveling tool between sets of embedded patio blocks and check one last time for level everywhere.

Leveling an above ground swimming pool is a crucial step in setting up your pool for a safe and enjoyable swimming experience. A level pool will prevent the water from accumulating in one area and causing the pool to become uneven. Moreover, it will also help to prevent the water from spilling out of the pool, which can cause damage to the pool and surrounding areas.

Leveling an above ground swimming pool is a necessary step in setting up a safe and enjoyable swimming experience. Follow these steps to level your pool correctly and ensure that your pool is stable and safe. Remember to always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific pool model, as these steps may vary slightly depending on the pool’s design.

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