Above-ground pools are a more affordable alternative to in-ground swimming pools. However, if you want it to last a long time, then they need to be installed correctly. So, you need to have a level surface for your swimming pool to sit on properly.
According to the report of Business Insider, there are 10.4 million residential pools, and 309,000 public swimming pools across the United States. But, installing an above-ground pool generally requires some time and effort as you need to level out the ground in your garden where the pool will be installed.
So, first, you should know how to level ground for pool. And this can be done by yourself, however, for much larger pools, we would recommend you to hire a professional. Because you need to level the ground for your pool properly to ensure a safe and reliable swimming experience.
In this article, we have shared a 5-step easy process on how to level ground for pool, so that you can confidently install your above-ground pool. Also, we have covered the tools and materials required for this process and how you can choose an area for your pool.
So, let’s get started.
Table of Contents
Tools And Materials Required To Level Ground For Pool
There is a lot of discussion about the tools and materials you need to level the ground for your above-ground pool. And leveling a particular area in your yard to install a pool is not that difficult with the right tools available.
However, if you don’t have the necessary equipment, then you can consider hiring a professional to do the job for you. So, to level the ground for your above-ground pool, you will need:
- Sod Cutter
- 2×4 Planks
- Hand Tamper Or Rolling Tamper
And you should read the pool’s manufacturer instructions and follow those to learn how to install your above-ground pool in the best way possible. Also, you need to level the ground on a firm area in your yard that doesn’t contain mud, sand, or loose soil.
How To Level Ground For Pool: 5-Step Easy Process
When it comes to leveling the ground for your pool, first you should decide is whether you want to hire a pool professional or you want to do the job on your own. And if you have the right tools, then it is a relatively straightforward process. So, here are the 5 easy and simple steps on how to level ground for pool.
1. Choose Your Area And Remove Any Debris Or Grasses
First, you need to choose the flattest area in your yard that is away from any large trees, power lines, sewage lines, and cables. Then you should make sure that the ground is firmly packed with soil that is sturdy enough for the above-ground pool of your requirement.
Now, you can use a rake to remove any large debris or rocks from that area that could damage your pool.
Also, you need to use a shovel or sod cutter to remove any grasses or other vegetation from the area. And you can even use a wheelbarrow to remove debris from the work area.
And rocks and roots in the ground can damage your pool liner, so it is very important to clear the area before installation. Also, if you want you can even hire a professional to do this work for you.
2. Use 2×4 Planks And Check Which Part Of The Area Is Not Level
Now, you should place 2×4 planks from the center of the work site to the outer edge and you have to use as many planks as required to reach the border.
Then, place a level on top of each 2×4 plank and use these levels as guides to find out which part of the site is not level.
After that, you should use stakes to mark these spots before you start to dig. However, do not try to estimate or judge the level of the ground by eye.
You should always measure it precisely because being off even by an inch or two could have severe consequences for your above-ground pool.
And there is also another option of using stakes and twine, where you need to place the level on top of the string to make sure the ground is level.
You should place one stake at the center of the work site and one at the outer edge, then you need to tie twine between the stakes.
3. Take Out Or Add Soil To Level The Ground
When you are clear where the ground is unlevel, then you need to use a shovel to level the ground. This step can be really annoying as the soil needs to be taken out or added one scoop at a time.
First, you need to find the deepest spot of the work site, because this depth is where the rest of the ground will need to be leveled out to meet.
We would not recommend you to add a large amount of soil to those lowered areas because the above-ground pool will generally flatten the earth, which can possibly create an uneven surface.
And if the pool site is being topped off with sand, you need to dig the pool area at least 2 inches into the ground. And you should continue taking out soil until the entire area is completely flat.
Because it is more effective to remove soil or dirt from the raised areas rather than add new dirt to the lowered areas. And you need to continue moving the 2×4 planks to ensure the whole area of the pool site is level.
However, if the work area is in the shape of a circle, then you should use a 2×4 plank to rotate it 360 degrees from the center to the outer edge. The ground would be considered even or flat when the level stays consistent throughout the rotation.
4. Use A Rake Or Lawn Roller To Remove Any Remaining Rocks Or Debris
When the ground is completely leveled, you can use the rake or lawn roller to go through the work area again to remove any remaining rocks or debris that surfaced during this leveling process.
And after the area is totally free of debris or rocks, you should use a hose to moisten the soil. It will take almost an hour of low-pressure watering and when the area is moist, you need to use a hand tamper or a rolling tamper to compress the surface.
Finally, you should recheck the ground to make sure that it is thoroughly leveled and even because this is the time to make final adjustments.
And after compressing, there is also an option to completely smooth the area out with sand. But, it is very important to thoroughly read the above-ground pool’s instructions before taking this step.
5. Install The Pool On Your Own Or Contact A Pool Professional
After the ground is leveled properly, you should know how you can install the above-ground pool. To install the pool correctly on your own, you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions or you can contact a pool professional for assistance.
Because they would also examine the ground to make sure that it would not cause any problems for the pool liner.
Also, you can contact a landscaping company to spray the work area with herbicides or fungicides to keep growth at a minimum around your pool.
However, if the area for your above-ground pool is still not even or flat, then a professional can assess any damage and also work to level the ground so that your swimming pool will be set up fast and your kids can start enjoying the water in no time.
Why Even Ground Is Required For Your Above-Ground Pool
A level ground plays a very important role in ensuring your above-ground pool is safe, sturdy, and ready for use. There are various aspects of an above-ground pool that can be affected by the evenness of the ground where your pool is installed. Also, even or level ground plays an important part in determining the longevity of your above-ground pool.
- Uneven Water Level: If you build your pool on uneven ground, it can result in an uneven water level, which will give you a shallow and a deep end in your pool. And it can be really dangerous for weak swimmers or smaller children who cannot touch the bottom. Also, pool equipment, such as pool cleaners, can easily get stuck in the shallow end, which can impact the pool’s cleanliness.
- Structural Integrity Of The Pool: The other significant risk with a pool built on uneven ground is the added pressure it usually places on particular sections of your pool liner and wall.
And as the weight is not distributed evenly on all sides, it can also cause the pool walls to buckle, twist and even break, so your pool can get destroyed. And it can send a flood of water through your yard, putting anyone who happens to be nearby the pool at risk of injury.
How You Can Choose An Area For Your Above-Ground Pool
When you are planning to start leveling out the ground for your new above-ground swimming pool, you will first need to choose an area where you want to install the pool. And here are some important factors that you should consider while choosing the perfect location for your pool.
- If you choose an area that is already relatively flat, it will reduce the amount of labor or effort required.
- You should consider a semi-shaded area so that you can enjoy the sun’s rays and if needed, you would also have the option to be protected from them.
- Never place your swimming pool on a deck, balcony, or platform, because these structures could collapse under the weight of a filled swimming pool.
- Also, try to avoid areas that are directly under trees, because those areas are abundant in organic debris which can increase the general maintenance of your swimming pool.
- The area should be away from septic or sewage lines, underground cables, and power lines, and you also need to allow four feet of space to surround the pool.
- And you should make sure that the pool is not set up on mud, loose sand, or loose soil and the ground should be firm and compact.
You should also remember that wherever your pool is located, the chemicals in the pool’s water, such as chlorine, will eventually damage the nearby grass. Because the pool water will definitely be splashed, which will spray the chemicals and can also negatively impact the surrounding plants.
Wrap Up On How To Level Ground For Pool
Leveling the ground for your above-ground pool is definitely not an easy task, so we would recommend you to have a professional verify the area for your pool to ensure that it is truly level before you have your pool installed.
And it will also make sure that your pool water level is even and that there is no possibility of damage to your pool walls or liner.
Also, if you are concerned about safety or you are not completely sure about your ability to successfully level the ground for your above-ground pool, then it is always best to hire a professional. And if you do it on your own, then take the time to do it right.
We hope that our article has helped you to know how to level ground for pool and when the ground is level, you can install your pool, fill it with water, and enjoy.
But, if you have any questions regarding this topic, please let us know in the comments below.
FAQ: How To Level Ground For Pool
As it is a difficult and laborious process for a lot of people, they have lots of questions in their minds. Here I have tried to give brief answers to some of the most commonly asked questions in the FAQ section of this article.
Q1. Can You Set Up A Pool On The Unlevel Ground?
Ans: An uneven ground actually means that your pool water level will be off, and your pool liner can sometimes get damaged if it is not lying flat. And this can easily result in tears or rips within your pool liner and you should certainly avoid it. Also, many other things can go wrong if your pool is installed on an uneven or unlevel surface.
Q2. What Causes Above-Ground Pool Collapse?
Ans: An above-ground pool collapse is generally caused by the results of ice damage, however, it can also happen when a lot of snow accumulates on top of your pool and the frame cannot handle the weight.
Q3. How Many Years Do Above-Ground Pools Last?
Ans: The average life of an above-ground pool may be shorter than you think or expect at about 7-15 years, however, if you buy it from a quality brand and maintain and clean your pool properly and regularly, it can last many years longer than that.