how to fix an unlevel above ground pool

The summer season is right around the corner, and you probably want to ensure your experience with the pool is flawless. However, not many people have the right technical skills to ensure that their pool is free of problems.

So, its where this above ground pool levelling problems guide is going to come in for your needs.

There are various issues that may occur in your above ground pool, and each has varying levels of repair required. With the right techniques and information, you will have the pool ready for you and the family this summer.

Above Ground Pool Leveling Problems

Setting up and developing any type of pool is not a simple process – with the exception of the pool your kids love to use. Thus, it’s not surprising for you to notice homeowners want to make their pools individually.

So, it’s not surprising to hear someone complaining about struggling with an above ground pool levelling process. A few of the common above ground pool leveling problems include:

Wrinkled pool liners

These are an issue because the damaged liner is not likely to hold water the right way. The wrinkled liners likely have damage, and won’t be able to sit on surfaces that are not stable. The other key issue with such liners is that they are not suitable for use over time. They might become prone to damage, due to the creases.

However, you might find it difficult to fix the wrinkled pool liners, as these will probably require a complete replacement process. There are various useful techniques that you can use to check if your pool has wrinkles.

The first useful technique would be to observe the pool physically. Consider draining out the entire pool, as this will make the fill-up process a breeze.

Compromised Verticals

An above pool vertical is the structure which you use to hoist the pool on a stable surface. You may have to choose verticals that are made using heavy duty materials for longevity.

So, ensure you evaluate the structure of the pool verticals on a regular basis. Doing so will help ensure that you can identify any form of damage ahead of time before it occurs.


It’s because the verticals are crucial in the stability of the pool. And since you probably spend hundreds of thousands of dollars purchasing the pool, ensure the verticals are properly stable. So, you have to be careful with these components.

The ideal above ground pool vertical should be stable, and free from instability issues. You may have to get it replaced every once in a while, to ensure its stable enough to hoist the entire family.

Usually, most above ground pool brands make these products using products such as aluminium alloy. These are excellent for longevity, and are lightweight at the same time.


Any leakages existing in the structure of the pool is likely to lead to various above pool levelling issues. You want to set up a pool that does not have any leakages, and ensure that you do try to identify these ahead of time.

In some cases, determining the presence of the leakage is not an easy process. You may have to break down the entire pool to determine leakages such those that are under the pool.

You can also install a water pressure meter on the pool, and this will make it easy to check if the water decreases. While buying a pressure water meter might seem like an added cost, the overall result makes it a beneficial investment.

The leakages often occur due to various reasons. A few of these common reasons to consider include:

  • The material construction – the material structure of the pool is a crucial factor to consider. You want a pool made using heavy duty material for longevity.

  • Poor storage – ensure you store the pool liner using the right measures and techniques. Doing, so will ensure it stays safe from damage that can occur from hard surfaces.

  • Setting up the pool on the wrong surface – failing to set up the pool on the correct surface is likely to make it prone to damage. Avoid any surfaces that contain water or sharp objects.

Loose Fittings and Connections 

Just as the name suggests, these are the components that you use to set up your pool. They are important in its stability, and you have to ensure they are well installed, down right to the last bolt.

You may have to hire a professional service provider to help you with this process. You have to hire such a service because they know what it takes to set up your pool the right way.

More so, you may have to choose fittings that are made by a legitimate brand company. They will provide you with the right fittings to suit the structure and design of your pool. Plus, the amount of water and people you expect to accomodate in the pool is likely to be important.


Its because placing several people in a single pool can sometimes place increased pressure on the structures and components. So, you may have to be careful with the fittings and connections that sit in your pool.

Uneven Ground 

Not many people are aware of the challenge involved in developing an above ground pool. There is lots of prep work required – more than just setting it up and ensuring the above ground pool stays level.

Uneven ground for your above ground pool can be a significant issue to consider. Any issue, even an inch or less of unevenness is likely to cause various problems. Any level higher than this is also likely to lead to advanced issues. Any pool that is badly off level might not last for the right duration.

You may have to break it down, and get the pool redone after a few months. However, this can be a significant challenge, and pose a challenge to the structure of your pool.

So, ensuring the ground is level is the first step in setting up your pool. It does not matter if you want to set up a circular or rectangular pool. You have to get the procedure right to ensure the pool will last for years.

Levelling the ground is possible, but can be a difficult and time consuming procedure. If you want to do this process right, we recommend the following steps:

Specific Steps Involved

To give you a clearer picture, here’s how the steps go:

  • 1. Get the ideal spot where you can place the pool. Consider choosing a flat area, and ensure that you find out about the local laws relating to setting up such a pool.

  • 2. Ensure that there are no power or utility lines running underneath the pool surface. Also, ensure that the place you put the pool is level, so that you don’t swamp out on your yard.

  • 3. Once you choose the right spot, get a levelling tool and use it to choose the right spot for placing the pool. You can do this using sight alone.

  • 4. Put markers, such as stakes, which you will use to distinguish these places.

  • 5. Ensure they are on the same level, with the terrain in the ground, and dig up each slope high. Don’t add earth and any other material to the low sections. If you have slopes that are severely sloped, consider getting heavy equipment.

  • 6. Get a levelling tool and use it to determine if the elevated spots are similar to that of the lower areas.

  • 7. Remove any debris from the ground, and this includes any debris such as branches or rocks using a rake.

  • 8. Get a garden hose, which you shall use to make the earth wet. Making the ground wet will make it easy to make it compact for the setting of your pool.

  • 9. Get a lawn mower or hand tamper, and use it to make the soil compact.

  • 10. If you are using sand or any other base material, put it over the tampered ground section. Ensure you consult with the brand manufacturer about the amounts of sand or stones that you want to put under the pool. Crushed stones are ideal because you can also use them for levelling applications.

  • 11. To help control the presence of fungi and weeds around the pool, ensure that you use herbicide and fungicide on the ground. Then, let it sit unused for a few weeks, before you can set up the pool for use.

  • 12. If your preferred location contains products such as sod, you may have to clear it up.

Here are the few steps involved in this process:

  • 1. Kill the grass in your chosen spot, especially where you want to put the pool. Then cover it up using some tarpaulin or plastic sheets. You have to do this at least 2 weeks before you install the pool.

  • 2. If the grass fails to die, you may have to remove the sod. Perform this process once the ground is wet, or perhaps after watering. You can achieve the best results by completing this process after a rainfall.

  • 3. Proceed to remove the od using a grub hoe, or perhaps using a sod cutter, which is ideal for large spaces in your yard.

PRO TIP! Ensure you remove the grass where you expect to install the above ground pool. Failing to do so means that grass may keep on growing, and this may compromise the stability of your pool.

Damaged Pool Structures

You never know it, some pool making brands tend to sell unusual products, and its not often easy to determine if it’s faulty. More so, determining if the above ground pool has damage when it’s still new can be difficult.

It’s a process that requires professionals skills and the right techniques to ensure the best results. If the above ground pool is particularly large, this process might take up a few minutes and might require different tools.

So, ensure that you have a fully functional tool box to help you make this process convenient.

Lack of Technical Pool Installation and Setup Skills

If you don’t have the right skills and technical experience to set up your pool the right way, it’s highly likely that you will struggle at some point. So, you may have to find a way to boost your skill set.

The traditional above ground pool has various different components you have to consider. These components have to be set up the right way if you want to avoid any complications.

However, not many homeowners have the right resources or technical experience for this process. They only know about the thrill that these pools can bring to the traditional leisure time experience.

We highly recommend this YOUTUBE VIDEO by Craig Hofferman. The video has over 10 million views, and you will gain lots of insight required to set up your above ground pool the right way.

Yes, that’s right! There is more than meets the eye when it comes to setting up your above ground pool. That said, if you have no technical experience, you can still invest in the services of a professional pool installation company.

Pavers Under Above Ground Pool

These days, pool installers and DIY enthusiasts like to use levelling blocks around the rails on their pool connectors. They use this approach if they manage to ensure the ground is level and smooth for the above ground pool. However, some pros might choose to skip this process:

  • But for those that setup these blocks, they usually do this process through:

  • Place the bottom rails of the pool down on the ground, to determine where the connectors will sit on the ground. Use some white chalk to mark these spots, remove the rails, and put the block on these positions, before setting the rails.

  • Perform the same procedure, and ensure you don’t detach the rails once you have set them up on the ground. You will just have to insert the levelling blocks under the connectors. That said, using this approach can be a complex procedure, especially if you are a novice.

Otherwise referred to as pavers, patio blocks are excellent to use as leveling blocks. They are suitable because they are durable, but some prefer to use the makeshift block types. The common examples in this category include concrete blocks and wood that have undergone pressure treatment.

More so, these blocks are also excellent for keeping uprights in a stable position. So, ensure that the levelling block you want to use for this process offers adequate support. Avoid using wood or concrete for this process.

The main issue with using levelling blocks is ensuring that each aspect is level. Using a hand level leaves you prone to various errors, as you may have to use varying reference points each time.

The best solution for you would be to use a builder’s level. The main reason for this is that it features a similar reference point for every block. It’s a unique design which ensures you can use the blocks in a level position.

How to Setup An Above Pool on Grass 

You can easily install some above ground pools over areas that are grassy. While this is a possible feat, it’s not a suitable procedure.

For starters, the grass might keep on growing, and compromise the quality of the pool lining. Since there is a protective layer underneath, you might feel the presence of uneven sections or even sharp rocks.

Plus, since grass will be trapped, you won’t find it easy to remove once it’s damaged. You might even get a whiff of the smell or rotting grass. You should be prepared to see bags or other animals that get into the ground if you want to remove it – not necessarily a good scene!

Thus,  ensure you remove the grass first if you want to install the pool over a particular location. However, if it’s not possible, then try moving the base material over the grass section of your garden.

How to Level an Above Ground Pool with Water in It

Its also another common challenge that even seasoned pool owners experience. Its not easy if you want to remedy a poorly uneven ground over a pool that you have alread set up. In most cases, this process will involve you breaking down the pool, before you can make it smooth enough for your needs.

When this occurs, the pool liners might require replacement. You may also try using, and this might mean that you have to redo the entire pool again. So, the best solution for this issue would be to purchase a new liner for replacement.

However, if the ground level is compromised, you can fix the problem without having to breakdown the entire pool. The only issue is that not all professionals have the experience to do this process properly.

You can perform this process through the following steps:

  • 1. Drain the pool of all the water. Then, never level the ground if the pool has water. Doing so will be challenging, and can lead to injury.

  • 2. You have to identify the right section of the pool that sits on the low section.

  • 3. Find the location of levelling blocks on the lower side, and detach them first.

  • 4. Then, locate the bottom connectors of the pool and pry the walls until it gets to the correct position.

  • 5. The next set up is to setup the levelling blocks once again.

  • 6. Do this process once again for all the low areas of the pool.

  • 7. Also, keep the dirt underneath the walls that were in the raises section.

  • 8. The next step is to refill the pool with water, when you notice the lower areas are similar to the high positions.

PRO TIP! It’s easy to work on the lower sections of the pool. The entire process might also require less effort to adjust the height, than to decrease the lower sections of the pool.

Then again, the entire process would be convenient if the ground is smooth and well-levelled.

How to Level the Ground for a Pool Without Digging 

You should be aware that levelling the above ground pool might require some digging to ensure the best results. That said, the same level of won’t be required if you have an in ground pool, which is different in many ways.

If you want to avoid any type of digging, it’s not an easy process if you have an above ground pool. The only way this process would be complete is if you have a garden that is completely even on your hard. And, this is not a feat that is easy to achieve.

However, if the slope of the ground is not level even by an inch, you can modify the base material to get the right level.You might have to level things such as crushed stones or sand for the best results. A useful resource for this process would be foam. The same applies if you are using concrete material.

But, a small amount of digging might still be required to ensure the best results. There is no other option other than for you to dig any high sections so that it becomes a level ground.

Mistakes When Levelling An Above Ground Pool?

There are quite a few factors to consider when it comes to levelling your above ground pool. Ensuring these factors are right will provide the best installation results. However, taking mistakes into consideration is also a crucial factor. So, a few key mistakes to consider include:

Building Up The Low Areas With Dirt from Other Places

Its probably the top mistake pool owners make when installing above ground pools. If you are pushing the dirt around the pool site, the dirt might eventually settle and compromise the pool level. Its an issue that might occur if you fill the pool or perhaps a few months in the future. So, you have to use the right techniques to ensure the lowest positions on the pool sit on the right type of soil.

Using Large Amounts of Mason Sand

The ground should be level when you want to set up your above ground pool. Usually, the sand is a buffer that helps to hoist the pool liner to the ground. More so, the goal of the sand is to not only level the pool, but to also provide a stable surface for use.

Placing the Track on Sand

The best way to set the sand would be on the interior side of the pool track, and avoid the under track section. If you set the track on sand, this might cause it to wash out, and the pool might eventually sink. So, it’s an issue that might compromise the durability of your above ground pool.

Failing to Compact or Trowel the Sand

The first step to consider is that you have to compact the sand using the right tools, such as a plate compactor. Then, get a hand trowel to work on the sand, to provide a smooth finish.

Failing to this right the first time, means that your feet will sink into the sand, and lead to divots. The divots might eventually cause wrinkles around the liner, and this might also decrease the longevity of your pool.

Putting Patio Blocks on the Uprights

It’s also another common issue among above ground pool owners. Its particularily common as most of them feature manuals that recommend this approach. We have come across various calls each year about torn liners, only to later on find out that it was a patio block.

So, the solution would be to perhaps level the entire site, and put the right set of uprights for the above ground pool


above ground pool levelling faq

What should I put under my above ground pool to level?

There is really no specific item that you should put under your above ground pool to level. You may only have to find a flat and stable platform for placing the pool. Doing this will ensure that its free from issues such as weeds or changing terrains.

What is the best way to level an above ground pool?

The best way to level an above ground pool would be to break it down completely and fix it all again. You never know the amount of damage sitting underneath the pool, so you may have to break it up.

Does an above ground pool have to be perfectly level?

Ye, the above ground pool has to be perfectly level. The main reason for you doing this would be to ensure the pool is free from issues associated with balance and proper placement.

Can you level an above ground pool with water in it?

No, its not possible to level an above ground pool with water in it. The other suitable option for you would be to find a way to break down the pool, and re start the process.

Can you put an above ground pool on grass?

Yes, you can put an above pool ground on grass. However, it’s not a good idea because the grass probably forms a large layer underneath the pool. So, ensure you remove any grass or find a better surface before performing this process.


Overall, setting up an above ground pool is a simple process when you have the right resources and information. Thus, this is why our guide has been evolving around the above ground pool levelling problems.

When you have information on these pool set up issues, you will find it easy to use your pool for years. Plus, you won’t experience the hassles associated with calling a pool service to help remedy these issues.