How to set up above ground pool on unlevel ground

Having an above-ground pool gives you the freedom to enjoy a refreshing bath whenever you want. Additionally, it does not need to occupy a large area of your backward permanently. Thus, it works like an excellent solution to having a pool at your home.

However, most people have unlevel ground that makes it harder to set up a pool. In this case, you need to make sure your pool can get proper support from the floor as well.

This article will cover how you can set up an above-ground pool on the off-level ground. However, it includes leveling the ground to make it easier supportive of your pool walls.

So, let’s start by discussing the problems you may face with a pool on an uneven surface.

Why Should You Level your Ground Before Setting up an Above-Ground pool?

levelling above ground pool

If you are considering setting up your pool with concrete blocks to level your ground, then it is a mistake to avoid. It is because your above-ground pool requires full support to prevent breaking the pool liner and other accessories. Furthermore, it can cause irreparable damage to your pool and a safety hazard to your family.

Here are the reasons why It is necessary to level your ground before setting up pools:

Uneven Water Level

The biggest problem faced by the pool owners on the unleveled ground is the leveling of water. You will find yourself with a shallow and deep end. It will create various safety issues as your kid may not manage the increased water level at one of the lots of the pool.

Additionally, there is a risk of damaging your pool appliances due to the increased and decreased water levels at different points. On top of that, you are not going to like the unevenness of the water in your pool. Therefore, it is a big no situation for the pool owners who want to enjoy their baths peacefully.

Potential Risk of Breaking Your Pool

if you are setting up a pool on uneven ground, you expose your expensive pool to the risk of breaking. The varying water level can increase the pressure at one end which may severely impact the pool walls. In the worst-case scenario, you may end up losing your bathtub due to excessive force on a single side.

It will not only be a financial loss, but you will have to deal with the mess created by the flowing water from your pool. You may destroy your backyard with the water and added chlorine.

It Won’t be Comfortable

Let’s be honest here. You will never feel comfortable in a pool that does not even provide you with enough water to relax your whole body. There will be more water at one end while the top of the other end may stay all dried up. Hence, it is not something that you can deal with.

Damage the pool liner

If a pool liner is set up on the unlevel ground, there is a chance that it will make the liner tear or will cause wrinkles on pool liners. It can damage the pool’s apparatus as well.

Set up above ground pool on the unlevel ground

As we mentioned earlier, you can level your ground to set up your swimming pool in your backyard. It allows you to make changes on your floor to support any pool without compromising with water level or your comfort.
Here are the easy steps that will help you level an off-level pool conveniently:

  1. Choose the Location and Clear The Ground

    The first step is to choose where you want to set up your pool. Once you decide, clear the ground by getting rid of grass, debris, pebbles, and stones. It is crucial to cut the grass with a sod cutter as you do not want to get any more holes or uneven areas to cover. Thus, you must use it properly to clear the ground to measure the rough spots.
    Finally, You can use a rake to clean the other dirt and debris from the ground.

  2. Measure the Uneven Surface

    The next step is to measure your ground’s depth to know how much you need to dig it. It is better to use a measuring device to measure the holes to level the ground. You can use an extended length of the board, wooden plank, or stick to check the bumps and uneven spots on the bottom.
    If most of the holes are deep, then it is better to dig the floor so that you do not need to fill them.
    Additionally, it is much more reliable than other methods.

  3.  Dig the Ground As Required to Fix the Bumps and Holes

    Use the requirements to dig the ground as much as you need. Keep digging until you get to the level of the deepest hole. This is the best and recommended way to level ground for your above-ground pool, as it will be a more future-proof solution.
    It is better to sink your pool 2 to 3 inches in the soil to make it more stable.

  4. Use Sand for Final Touch

    You will need some sand to cover the ground that you just leveled for your pool. It will provide better support to your pool and will also protect the liner of your pool. You must get enough supply to cover at least 3-inch of the layer so that you can provide a strong foundation for your pool.
    After spreading the sand on the ground, use a rake to spread the sand all over the area evenly. After that, add some water, and leave it to dry so that you can get an even ground for your above-ground pool.

  5. Compact the Sand

    You would not want to leave any chances of getting a weak foundation. A strong base is very important for your above-ground pool, as it will help your pool to last longer. Therefore, you must compact the sand to make it perfectly settled and harder.
    You can use a Plate Compactor or Lawn Roller to do the job. You can easily manage one of these from your local gardening or landscaping supplier.

    Tip: It is better to leave the sand to settle down for a day at least. 

  6. Add Base Protector

    Pool liners are expensive and much hassle to replace. So, after the above steps, you should install base protectors for your ground pool there. It will avoid the chances of getting your pool liner punctured. However, it also adds another layer of protection to your pool as well. You can use concrete pads, sand pads, commercial pads, solid foam, liner foam pads, etc.

  7. Start to Setup the Above Ground Pool

    That's it. Now you can set up your pool on the perfect ground. Regarding the pool manufacturer's instruction, there could be some variation with the instruction, but you covered most of it. Regarding the base protectors, you should check the manufacturer's manual before selecting one.
    No more solution is further required and you can now enjoy the perfect bath in a balanced pool!

  • Sod Cutter, Rake, Rototiller, etc. for removing weed or grass
  • Shovel for ground digging
  • Leveling tool for checking the level and an Extended length of the board
  • Lawn Roller, Plate Compactor, or any other alternative to compact the surface (You can rent one)

How to Level Ground for Pool without Digging

On a scorching hot day, it is not easy to dig deep and level the ground of a pool. So the easiest way would be to level it without digging and hurting your hands!

The benefit of such a pool is temporary placement. While digging, the big hazard would be choosing a place on a permanent basis. This type of pool sits well without breaking the bank and you can abandon it at any time, with no upfront cost at all. 

The best part is, if you are ready to put your hands on a few tools and ready to go for long-tiring hard work alone, then you can build such a pool. 

We sorted out the following tools you will be in need of while working, so keep in mind to have them

Required Tools

  • 12-foot-long wooden planks
  • Duct tape
  • Metal ring-type screws
  • Metal rebar
  • Rack
  • Hammar
  • Rope

Step 1: Check the initial depth of the surface

Checking the initial depth of the surface for above-ground pool setup

At the very first moment, you will need to remember to check out the initial depth of the surface. That being said, the ground should be leveled ideally in every corner that is up to 2 inches from the shallow end to the deep end. However, this is not a big deal to accomplish. To perform so, you will need to screw up wooden planks which are 2 feet wide and 4 feet long. Once you are done, then you will get to see, that this entire process will make your pool diameter pop up a little bit at least up to 2 feet longer than before. 

Step 2: Pour Sand and Use Wooden Plank

Pouring sand an add wooden plank

Now the time comes up to pour sand on it. So, bring sand to the yard and spread out the sand nicely. Here the important deal is to make them level. Here, the wooden planks are required to sit or stick to the surface very well. To do so the first step is to bring the boards and make a long hole in each of them. Afterward, you are going to find a hammer to use for knocking the metal rebar after placing them sideways on the board. 

Step 3: Inspect the Level


On the third step, inspect the level of your pool and use your metal rebar. If you get to see that your pool is labeled well then wrap up the duct tape alongside the board. So when you have wrapped it all around the board, then you will be in need of the ring-shaped 

Step 4: Screw and Tie

Screw and Tie

Now you are going to screw up at the end of the board, and to do so use as many screws as you need. Finally, tie the light rope to the screws and make sure the wooden planks won’t wobble. 

Note: While you are dealing with sand to level up across the pool surface, the Rake would be handy to use. 

Never cover the area with loose sand this will cause problems and this could void the warranty of some of the pool manufacturing companies according to their Warranty Statement.

Alternative Way to Prepare the Area

There are alternative ways to prepare the pool area without digging the surface. To do this, you may consider the below materials:

  • Concrete Pads
  • Commercial Pads
  • Solid Foam

When you have unlevelled ground, you may consider using concrete pads to level the ground. The disadvantage of using a concrete pad directly under the above-ground pool is, that it can damage the pool bottom and liner due to the pad’s hard and rough surface. In that case, commercial pads are used over concrete pads. This will help to release the moisture in the bottom and these pads are resizable.

Solid foam is another option for a level the ground. You can use it directly under your above-ground pool or can be used over concrete pads if budget is not a problem.

Level Ground for Pool without Digging
Level Ground for Pool without Digging

How unlevel can an above-ground pool or any Intex pool be?

If your pool is unlevel by more than three inches, definitely, it will not last for a long time, because, the outward pressure on one side will push one side of the wall, and the chances that, it will be out of shape very soon, damage pool liner and not good for your kids, also, if your above ground pool is unlevel in such extent, this will look very bad for everyone. So, the acceptable unlevel ranges could be one and half-inch to two inches maximum.

This is also applicable for an Intex above-ground pool too.

When Should I Consider Levelling the pool? 

Even if you avoid an uneven pool design’s unpleasant look, you can not avoid the unbalanced water level in your pool. Additionally, it is dangerous to use such pools as even a single stone can make things worse for you. There are many instances where the pool’s structure is damaged due to the displacement of a stone or stakes.

That is why manufacturers of these pools provide clear instructions to set them up on leveled floors or ground.  If you avoid your ground’s unevenness, you can not enjoy a balanced water level in your pool.

Intex Pool Unlevel by 3 Inches

Your Intex pool is unlevel by 3 inches, and you know it will bring vulnerable damage to it. But the problem is: that you don’t know how to level it up. 

Well, we are here to help you. Before letting you know how to fix it, first, let’s learn about the pool tolerance level. 

The ideal pool tolerance level is 2 inches. Anything above it will be faulty and vulnerable to your pool, and you must limit it to 2 inches. 

So, how do you level up your Intex pool? Here is the step-by-step guide:

Required Tools and Equipment

Make sure you have these pieces of equipment at your fingertips:

  • Few Leveling Blocks
  • Something like an old tarp to put under the Intex Pool
  • Shovel
  • A tape measure
  • Hammer

Determine How Much Unlevel Your Intex Pool is

You can easily do it by gauging both sides of your pool. There are many tools you can use, such as a spirit level gauge or transparent water level pipes. If you are not familiar with the water level test at all, check the video below.

Drain the Water

Once you take an accurate measurement, it is necessary to drain the pool water entirely, if your Intex pool is unlevel more than 3 inches.

Add Leveling Blocks

After draining the pool, it’s time to put the leveling blocks on the pool bottom to level it up. It would be best if you dig the surface. In return, you can make your pool straighten, keeping the blocks or soil on it. 

Measure and Verify the pool level Again

Finally, verify whether the pool bottoms seem to level up or not before refilling your pool with water. Wander around your pool and notice the minor differences. 

If everything is ok, you are ready to refill your pool. Otherwise, you need to redo the above steps again, which costs money, effort, and time.

Things You Can Put Under Your Intex Pool

Most of the above-ground pool uses Vinyl liner, so you need to be careful before putting something under Intex or some other brand pool. The most common materials you can put under an above-ground pool are listed below:

  • Concrete Pads – Mostly used on pool’s leg and recommended to use a cushion between pool base and concrete for safety
  • Commercial Pads
  • Solid Foam
  • Carpet Padding
  • Floor Underlayment

You can’t use sand under Intex Pool, as the Intex team clearly mentioned of “Warranty Void” if you are using sand. Because sand can easily wash out during heavy rain or any other disaster.

Final Words 

Setting up a pool on an uneven floor can put you in a lot of trouble. It may weaken the structure of your pool and make danger for you and your loved ones. Therefore, leveling the floor is the best option to avoid this problem. Although it takes some time and effort to balance it, you can enjoy a safe and comfortable bath in your pool whenever you want.

The method that we discussed above will help you improve the one at your home conveniently. Additionally, you can take someone’s help in digging and enhancing the pool level as well. Hence, you can protect the material and your experience by considering this solution.

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