Last Updated: February 24, 2020
Summer has arrived, and you are so excited because your new pool has been set up. Then you notice that the water level is higher on one side than the other. That means the ground under your pool isn’t perfectly level.
One inch off?
Level ground is essential for above ground pools. If one side is an inch lower than the other, the water level will be higher on that side. Water will then splash out with any roughhousing, or any jumping into it. That isn’t a huge deal, but you will need to add water frequently, and it will take its toll on the sidewall after a while.
Two or more inches off?
If the two sides are off by two inches or more, it becomes a serious problem. No matter what you do with water, it will always remain level, so a two-inch difference puts a lot of water pressure against the wall of the lower side. The walls are made to support the weight of the water evenly. When one side is holding more than the other, it will begin to bulge under the weight. If left that way, the wall will collapse. The amount of water in your pool will determine how quickly this will happen. It could be hours, days, or weeks.
How to fix it
Leveling a pool after it has water in it is very difficult. Some people will tell you that you have to empty the pool, disassemble it, and start all over at the beginning. This is why we stress the importance of using the appropriate tools to get the ground prepared, and double- and triple-checking that it’s level before you install the pool for the first time.
There is a way, however. It is a hard job that will take at least two people to do. Keep in mind when you take on this task that your goal is to get the majority of the weight off one side and evenly distributed throughout. It is impossible to get a pool with water in it perfectly level, so do the best that you can.
Since you will be handling rough material, we recommend that you wear a pair of work gloves to avoid any injury to your hands. They will also give you a better grip.
- Work gloves
1. Drain some water
You are going to be lifting the lower side of the pool, so you need to get rid of some of the weight. We recommend that you drain the pool until it’s only half full.
2. Remove blocks
When you installed the pool, you put leveling blocks under the slab. You’ll want to remove them from the lower side.
3. Raise the wall
Once you have removed the blocks, you will need to use your shovel to pry. Place the tip under the lip of the slab and push the handle down to lift it.
4. Replace blocks
While you are holding the slab up, have someone replace the leveling blocks underneath. They will be challenging to get in, so you’ll need a hammer to help.
You will need to repeat this process for every set of leveling blocks on the lower side of the foundation.
6. Fill the hole
You should have a hole left where you lifted it. Fill it with soil. Water it down with a hose to make sure that it’s packed in there good. If it’s not packed tightly, the pool will shift, and you’ll have to do it all over again.
7. Refill the pool
Refill the pool to your desired level.
We cannot stress strongly enough how important it is that your ground is perfectly level before you install your pool. It can be hard work and time-consuming, but it’s a lot easier without any weight on it. Things don’t always go as planned, though, so if you find that your pool is uneven after you fill it, don’t despair. It is fixable. It will just take hard effort and determination on your part. When finished, you have earned a well-deserved break. Refill the pool and cool off!
Header image credit: Intex