How Do You Level an Above-Ground Pool Full of Water?
The answer is anything but simple; however, completely worth the effort. Aside from a full pool weighing far too much to consider moving, there are too many safety issues with the often-used simple fixes. Many discussion boards mention simply cutting the legs or lowering the high side of the pool. Unfortunately, this can lead to undue stress on the track/frame and usually stresses the liner on the legs that are fixed as it can lead to odd angles unseen from the outside of the pool. Do not try any tricks such as cutting the legs or hoisting legs up onto supports. This will cause irreparable damage to your pool and is a huge safety hazard to your family.
Indulge me for a moment while considering the following: your family and friends are enjoying an afternoon in your pool, some sitting just a few feet away relaxing on a sunny evening. All of a sudden the side of the pool starts to rip open or the pool starts to lean due to the waves caused by the kids playing. Before anyone can take action, kids and over 8,000 gallons of water flood the yard, dousing those sitting near the pool. Screams are heard, expletives are yelled, kids are coughing from the water in their mouths and nose, and hopefully, there are only some minor injuries.
How do you prevent this, and keep everyone safe? It’s quite simple, though perhaps time-consuming, but to avoid a tragic pool bursting, you have to start by draining your pool. Not only will this prevent a potential burst, but it will also prevent the track/frame of the pool from warping which can cause stress on the liner.
How to fix an Unlevel Pool
If your water level is off by more than two inches you should consider correcting the issue. Here is the best solution to having a fun and safe pool season:
- Drain your pool!
- Take the pool apart and move it aside, then allow the ground where it was to dry.
- Make sure the area your pool’s track/frame will be on is level. Even if you have to hire someone to do this. The ground will need to be dug down. Do NOT add dirt or sand to build up any low spots to match the high spots. The weight of the pool and water will compress it making all of your work for nothing:
How do you level your Above Ground Pool?
- Use a 5 to 6 foot 2x4, and a heavy-duty level. You will have to ensure the beginning, middle, and ends of the 2x4 are all level between each of the cement pavers.
- Invest or rent a builder’s level with a laser sight, or a manual builder’s level. This will involve the assistance of another person; however, it can be much faster with better results.
- Rent a 360-degree laser level and you can do the leveling on your own.
- Each ‘joint’ of the pool frame needs to be on a level surface overall. Get cement pavers for each joint or leg of the track/frame, and ensure they are level with each other and the surface of the top of the ground around it. You will have dig down to make the pavers level with the ground it. 8x8 inch or larger cement pavers are the favored material for this. The cement pavers must be larger than the legs of the pool to compensate for any slight movements of the pool while filling it or at times when kids do cannonballs or make large waves in the pool.
- Cement is not recommended for a pool to go on. It can cause wear and tear on the bottom of the pool. Most cement slabs have a slope to help drain water so are unsuitable for pools.
- Put the pool together according to the instructions, then start filling it!
Closing an Above Ground Pool
When the pool season ends, you can leave it up and winterize it as seen in this link. If you decide to take the pool down and store it be sure to drain and clean the pool, then store the liner and frame in a dry place. If you are able, store the pool inside or large receptacle for storage. Be aware often, when pulling it out of the garage for the next pool season, people have discovered small holes from rodents chewing through the vinyl or even reports of mice families using it as home! Additionally, cover the leveled area with a heavy-duty tarp to inhibit animals using it as a bathroom, securing the tarp with additional cement pavers. If you have a pump, be sure it is completely drained and stored out of the elements.
Taking the steps outlined above will ensure your above-ground pool can be used the entire pool season, and potentially for years to come without the concern of a potential burst or warping of the track/frame. It’s the least you can do to keep your investment and family safe.