How to install an above ground pool on unlevel ground

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How to install an above ground pool on unlevel ground
Give your kids the ultimate summer hangout in their backyard! (boy in a swimming pool image by Wimbledon from

Not all homeowners can afford to have in-ground pools installed, so many have turned to installing cheaper, above-ground pools instead. But when it comes to installing an above-ground pool, proper installation on level ground ensures that your pool lasts a long time. Do not panic because you purchased an above-ground pool only to discover later that you do not have a level area in your yard; you can still install your above-ground pool once you create a level spot with a bit of excavation.

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Things you need

  • Shovel
  • Level
  • Filtered sand
  • Board
  • Garden hose
  • Dirt tamper
  • Pool liner
  • Nylon broom
  • Utility knife
  • Screws
  • Screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Choose a site for your pool. Avoid areas with steep slopes or areas over septic tanks, subterranean wiring and plumbing and overhead wiring. Obtain a building permit from the local authorities once you chosen a site.

  2. 2

    Remove the sod from this site in an area a foot larger than the diameter of your above-ground pool. With the sod removed, continue digging on the higher side of the pool and use a level to check constantly until you create an all-over level surface.

  3. 3

    Place filtered sand into the levelled pool site. Create a 2-inch layer of sand and use a board to smooth the sand down across the prepared area. Place the board in the middle of the site and push it around in a circle to smooth down and level the layer of sand.

  4. 4

    Pack down the sand. Get the sand wet with a garden hose and use a dirt tamper tool to create a tight, hard layer. Check the area for levelness again and apply more sand as necessary to fill low spots.

  5. 5

    Assemble the pool walls per the manufacturer's instructions. The instructions vary from one type and make of above-ground pool to the next and following the instructions included with your pool prevents problems later.

  6. 6

    Apply more sand along the inside edges of the pool walls. Push extra sand up against the pool walls to create 6- to 8-inches ramps or coves up the inside of the pool walls.

  7. 7

    Unfold the pool liner and allow it to sit outside for a few hours to relax the wrinkles and creases. Once flattened out, stretch the pool liner over the walls of the pool and drop into place in the opening. Use a clean nylon broom to push the liner down against the ground and walls and remove wrinkles.

  8. 8

    Add two inches of water to the pool using a garden hose. Get inside the pool and use your hands and bare feet to smooth out any wrinkles remaining in the pool liner. Have an assistant outside the pool pull on the liner as necessary to remove creases and bubbles.

  9. 9

    Continue to fill the pool until the water level reaches two inches below the skimmer or pump holes on the pool. Use a utility knife to cut the liner for installation of the pool skimmer and pump fixtures.

  10. 10

    Set the fixtures for the pool pump and skimmer into place according to package directions, as the directions for this step also vary according to make and model of the pool. For most models you will simply set the devices into place with appropriate seals and secure into place with screws.

  11. 11

    Assemble the top rail of the pool walls. Depending upon the pool model, you may need to attach the rails to the support brackets along the outside of the pool or simply snap the top rails into place along the top of the pool walls to prevent the liner from slipping out of place.

  12. 12

    Continue to fill the pool a few more inches--until the water level sits in the middle of the box opening for the pool skimmer. At this point, you can set up the filter system and turn it on.

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