Hi, This is my second Intex ABP. We had a 12' round by 42" deep with the metal frame which lasted us about 5 years. The new one I set up is the 16'x48" round Ultra frame pool with the Krystal Klear saltwater system. I set up our last pool on fairly level ground that I had laid plywood on to prevent rocks from puncturing the liner. One side was about 2" higher than the other but we never had any problems because of it.
I really wanted this pool to be on level ground so here is what I did. I built a 17'x17' square frame out of pressure treated 2x6's. I tilled up the ground and leveled that as best I could. I then did any adjustments I needed so that the frame was level. I wanted a good solid base to put the sand on so I put in 8 sheets of 4x8 plywood and then I put in 4 yards of sand to fill the frame. I then got a straight board that reached across the frame and drug it across the top of the frame to level everything up. I thoroughly wet the sand to compact it and then set the pool up. The bases of the posts looked small so I set them on 6"x6" squares of treated 2x6 so there would be more surface area on the sand and less chance of the posts sinking into the sand.
So initially as the pool filled everything was looking good and level and stable. When the pool was filled I had one side that was about 1.5 inches lower than the other side which seemed ok based on my previous experience. However, what is happening now is that the posts are settling differently and the top of the pool frame is at different heights. The greatest difference from the lowest to the highest spot is about 3 inches but there are different heights as you go around the pool.
My question(s) are is this ok for the integrity of the pool? I know Intex stresses that the ground be absolutely level but how crucial is this? Our old pool seemed fine not being perfectly level. I really don't want to drain the pool (it is 5,000 gallons). I was planning on keeping the pool up year round and that is why I took the extra time to prepare the base. But I will take it down this year to try and fix the problem. It is driving me crazy looking at the uneven top because I am a bit of a perfectionist but if it is ok I think I can wait until fall to fix the problem.
Any advice on what I might have done wrong with the initial setup or what I should do now would be greatly appreciated.