Another Leveling Thread - Perimeter vs Middle

outpost

Active member
Jun 1, 2020
44
Long Island
Searched and read and searched some more and still unsure so figured I would just ask. Putting up an 18 52 round Intex ultra xtr. Cut grass out of 20' circle. Have spent days leveling cutting the earth down to the lowest point. I'm using a homemade water level as well as a 2x6x10 with a 3 foot level taped to it. I had to remove a number of very large (12" diameter in some cases) roots from a very old tree that was cut down about 10 years ago to get within 1" level of the lowest point. Most of the roots I removed are still completely solid and not a hint of rot yet, I was pretty surprised. While I removed any of them that were sticking up past my level point, I know there may still be a few more hiding an inch or more below the surface in some areas that will eventually rot - hopefully long after the pool wears out. Additionally, while I filled the root holes I did dig out and hand tamped them, I am sure after filling the pool I will still have some wavyness across the bottom surface of the middle of the pool. I am putting 3/4 foamboard under the pool so it will hopefully help make any wavyness a little more gradual.

My question is - if I am randomly up and down about 1-1.5 inches throughout the middle of the pool under the foamboard due to root fill settling and continual degradation over time of roots I couldn't see .. but I make sure all my pavers under the legs are dead level - do you think the results will be acceptable? (More concerned about visually looking round and even water level across the liner pattern as well as safety - I am less concerned if I feel a hump under my feet).

Thanks for any input!
 

scout123

Bronze Supporter
Feb 18, 2018
377
Chattanooga, TN
That's what I did. I got my circle mostly level using a tiller and shovel. I then found the lowest spot and dug in my first paver. I moved around the circle leveling each paver to the one before and, fortunately, when I put in my last paver it was level to the first one I put down. Then, i went back to my circle and worked on it a little more, but it's not perfect. I had some little hills and valleys, but nothing horrible. I put down foam, a tarp, and my pool. It's level. When walking around in the pool, I can feel some of the little hills and i have a few dips, none extreme by any means, but noticeable when walking. It doesn't bother me at all.
 

kellyfair

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jun 29, 2016
2,735
Tampa, FL
Your plan sounds fine. You don’t want a big dip in the middle, because your liner is not made to stretch like that, but a level perimeter and a bit of lumpiness in the middle should be fine.
 
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outpost

Active member
Jun 1, 2020
44
Long Island
So far so good, An entire day adjusting paver pads with my homemade water level and I am within 1/8" all around. Pool is looking super level by eye test also, comparing against fence behind it on one side and house siding line behind it on another .. Lets see if it stays that way when its full :)

Hayward WM skimmer install on deck tomorrow.
 

outpost

Active member
Jun 1, 2020
44
Long Island
Thanks everyone. So by eye everything looks perfect. My water leveling was done over probably 2 full days and I think as I got around to one side it was hotter or maybe I came back from lunch or recalibrated or whatever and I am actually off about 1 pool square on one side of the pool. Frame is still dead straight and not leaning or anything. I may build a support jig and lower the pavers on that side a little only because it is the side that my new skimmer is on and I put the skimmer pretty high - and the other side is a full square higher than that even... I'm going to have a lot of water in this pool!
 

outpost

Active member
Jun 1, 2020
44
Long Island
Heres a shot of finished level .. or what I thought was level, maybe my house is crooked :)

IMG-1665.jpg

Here is the skimmer installed (just installed and water level not raised yet)

IMG-1667.jpg

My keep-it-simple plumbing - I will probably Tee one of the original two suction holes into the skimmer return with its own ball valve to keep most of the suction to the skimmer but allow for waterflow in case the level drops.

IMG-1668.jpg
 
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outpost

Active member
Jun 1, 2020
44
Long Island
Looks good, I see you went one panel further over than I did with the skimmer, I was planning on the same but then changed my mind last minute, prevailing winds in the summer come through the yard right towards the panel closer to the return. Right now I have the hayward return shooting slightly to the left across the pool, its creating a very nice swirl and surface junk isn't even making it one pass around before getting sucked in the skimmer so I'm pretty happy with it overall. (other than it leaking where the widemouth adapter meets the main skimmer body).