How to level an above ground pool with water in it

Above ground pools are a cheap and simple approach to chill in the scorching heat of the summers. But if the ground under your above ground pool is not leveled from both the sides of the pool water will come out of the pool, and the pool walls can become weak and end up to fall, causing you a huge damage.

Therefore, before installing a pool, you need to make ground level for above ground pool making it look well compacted.   

So, we are listing below the necessary procedure on how to level an above ground pool with water in it and without draining water from it.

How to level an above ground pool with water in it

Many times, unleveled pools are drained out, to level an above ground pool and reinstalled afterward. The entire process to level an above ground pool with water in it requires additional time, money, and effort in that case.

We hope you can now easily level an above ground pool and relax in a leveled pool for a good fun time.

Reason behind unleveled pool: 

There are ample reasons which can make your above ground pool installed in a wrong way.

  • Firstly, if your liner starts to get creases
  • Secondly, when the uprights of your pool are not vertical or deformed
  • Lack of DIY makes the ground to be uneven. If your pool base is unleveled, uneven, off level, unpleasant, rough, or even if it has footprints. It may not lead you to a successful installation of an above ground pool.

Many times it gets difficult to level an above ground pool with water in it. Therefore, we aim to teach you how to fix an unlevel pool without draining.

We have mentioned two methods to level an above ground pool with water in it and without draining the water.

The necessary things that you may need to level an above ground pool with water in it are mentioned below:

  1. Hammer
  2. Wheelbarrow
  3. Shovel
  4. Garden hose
  5. Grovels

What to put under above ground pool to make it leveled

Before we finally come to the main point, how to level an above ground pool with water in it.  Let’s have a look at what to put under above ground pool to level.


inspect the area of the ground. Make sure you work the low sides more. Check the corners as well as the middle of the ground. Clean the unwanted rocks or grass from the ground using a shovel to make it completely clean.


Take some sand and put into the low area of the land to equal up the level of the ground. To carry out this task wheelbarrow and shovel will help you to carry the sand and smoothing the level of an above ground pool.

If you have uneven walls in your pool, you can even make use of bricks to place it under walls for maintaining the level of pool.

Make sure, that you work carefully on how to make level ground for an above ground pool. It will influence the durability of your above ground pool in the long run.

How to level an above ground pool with water in It – Detailed Steps of Leveling Your Pool

If your pool is uneven only a few inches, you can no doubt level it without bringing it down, but it’s not an easy job.

Most experts who do pool installation are not even aware of how to go about it – so, always remember that, you may have to drain at least little bit of water as it is tough to level a filled up pool.

Consider the steps below to level an above ground pool by draining the water:

Drain little bit of water out and start with the process to level an above ground pool with water in it.

Make use of a garden hose to drain your pool up to a specific level, ideally halfway down. Because, to level above ground pool already up will be harder than a half filled one.

If you don’t know how to drain above ground pool, here it is with the simple way in short:  

  • Firstly, switch off the water fill valve and the pool’s filter
  • Open the cleaning out port and put the garden hose into the port.
  • Thread the hose to your house back and connect one of its ends to the submersion pump.
  • Place the pump and hose in the inner area of the pool.
  • The pool will start to drain.

Precautions to take while draining the pool to level an above ground pool 

  • Make sure you don’t forget to clean the hose after using it as it gets contaminated.
  • Wear your gloves and other defensive apparatuses for a strong grip and to protect your hands from any damage.
  • If the walls of the pool are uneven i.e. one wall is high or lower than another, evacuate the leveling blocks properly. Clean the leveling sections from under the pool (uprights) on the most reduced side of the uneven pool.
  • Closely check the pool wall from each base connector to the right dimension using your shovel.
  • Return the blocks that you removed, hammer them down to enter the space.
  • Repeat the same procedure around all the low sides of your above ground pool.
  • Include and pack soil under the pool where you lifted the wall after you’ve finished. You can do this by including soil make use of your wheelbarrow to bring the soil without much stretching.
  • In the end refill your pool and pray that you filled the uneven surface well.


Do not bring down the high side of your pool. It is little complicated. And do not try to level an above ground pool already up which is totally unleveled.

How to re level above ground pool with water in it making use of sand

Once you have decided your swimming pool area and you have the sand. Start transferring your sand to the site, by dumping more of it on the lower end.

In case you have to level an above ground pool more than 2″ from low to high side, consider removing soil from the higher end first.

Take a straight 2×4 length that is 1 or 2 feet longer than your pool diameter. If your pool is 15 ft wide so the perfect size is 16-foot 2×4 by attaching two 8-feet 2×4’s together with brace pieces fastened on each side. Deck screw we suggest you to make use of to fasten the brace pieces.

Make sure your long 2×4 is straight. Use length 2×4 with a level on top of it to approximately level out your sand.

Bring in more sand or distribute the sand we ever required with a rake or shovel. Make a 3/8″ hole right in the center of the 2×4 assembly. Drive in a 3/8″ rod through the HOLE right in the exact center of where you want your pool to be.

The 2×4 will then “spin” on this rod, letting you to perfectly level an above ground pool. Start removing off the sand with the level on top of the 2×4. This can be done alone or with two people.

Pull the 2×4 toward you so as to fill in the area disturbed where you are kneeling.

If it is still empty shovel on some more sand.  In case there is good access, rake the sand off to the side. And in no you will be able to level an above ground pool already up.

The sand is soft, and must be nicely compacted. Letting a half inch rain to drop on the sand or use a garden hose to nicely wet down the swimming pool.

Then, tamp down the sand with either a tamper or a home-made tamper consisting of an 8″ by 8″ wood block. Your sand should tight enough so you can walk on it without making any footprints.

Leaving footprints behind while walking on sand means your ground still needs leveling. Do not ignore the edges you should compact your ground at least a foot or two ahead till where the pool parameter will be.

Basically, you need to bring the sand up same height to level an above ground pool, wet it down, compact it, wet it down some more by letting rain on it and tamp it down again.

Recheck your level of sand after tamping down – if needed add more sand, re-level it again by repeating the same process wet down and tamp again.

It may sound like a lot of work, but it happens much quickly than having to drain the swimming pool and start all over.

This was all about on how to level an above ground pool with sand. We hope this information helps you in the best way.

Above ground pool leveling problems

Some of the ill effects of an uneven above ground pool already up are if you find you’re already up pool unleveled, you need to level an above ground pool as soon as possible.

That is why we have written this brief up on how to level above ground pool already up.

  • It is dangerous for kids.
  • Unleveled pool base can cause damage to your pool which can’t be repaired in future.

How to level an above ground pool on grass

  1. Put a metal stake in the middle of the pool. Check it up with your building code office that you comply with local ordinance rules. As some municipalities require pools to remain at a particular distance from property lines or existing buildings, including your home.
  2. Tie a string of 6-inches longer than the radius of the pool to the stake. Tie a spray paint can to the other end of the string. Tick mark perimeter of the area to be leveled with the spray paint
  3. Clean all the grass, sod and other vegetation from the marked pool area with shovels or sod cutter. Use a wheelbarrow to move the debris away from the work space.
  4. Make a wooden plank level. Acquire a 1-inch by 6-inch plank of wood 6-inches longer than the radius of the pool. Duct tape a 4-foot carpenter’s level to the plank centered on one of the 1-inch sides. Hammer a 4-inch nail half way into a 1-inch side of the blank, opposite the carpenter’s level. Cut off the head of the nail.
  5. Take out the metal stake from the center of the pool area. And place a 2-inch square stake, flush with the ground. Hammer the wood plank’s 4-inch nail into the center of the 2-inch square stake so it can revolve around the pool area.
  6. Look for the lowest point of the pool area. It is a level which will bring the rest of the area down too. When the leveling process is going on, it is not wise to add soil to increase the yard since the weight of the pool water push out the fresh mound of soil, unless a good retaining wall is constructed. For pools, dig down to the lowest point.
  7. Move the wooden plank around the pool area. Dig down and level as needed until you can revolve the plank 360 degrees with it staying leveled throughout.
  8. Spread 1-inch to 2-inch layer of crushed lime stone around the pool area. Make it wet using garden hose and tamp. Use a wood plank to level the limestone base.
  9. Remove the wood plank and 2-inch wood stake. Fill up the hole with soil and limestone till it comes up to a leveled base. This was all about how to level an above ground pool on grass.

How to level a hill with dirt for above ground pool

The manufacturers of both in ground and above ground pools have getting queries from the installer about the lack of pool options available for sloppy and hilly backyards.

There has been a   new “hybrid” pool, introduced that is much stronger than a typical above ground pool and can be installed semi-in ground, which is a perfect match for sloppy and hilly backyards.

We now come on to the installation trick to install such pools to help speedy and smooth installation process.

We use cap blocks below each panel point and mark the ground with paint every 4 feet and place an 8-by-6-inch solid cap block using a transit level.

We then place a small level on each block and assemble the panels on top of these caps without worrying about the leveling of panels after assembly.

Every builder functions differently, but ‘ZETTLE’ finds it takes more time to level the entire pool if the panels are bolted together, especially on sloppy area. 

The easiest way we recommend to level the panels is before they are bolted together.

Constructing a pool in a hilly area needs some engineering to be done. You need to do all the calculations so that the design of the wall is strong enough to stand back on the earth.

Above ground pools should be built on solid earth, and never built on top of fill dirt, next to a hill. As you all know that the drainage system of the hill is another carefully planned matter.

Depending on the height of the wall, the county or city inspectors may require copies of the engineering done and also a grading plan for the entire area.

Our DIY above ground pool leveling kits work excellently for sloped backyards. Raised walls can be easily built to cantilever over the edge of our pool walls, to expand your usable space.

Just like the excavation for our in ground pool kits, terraced levels are simply over dug, a wall is erected, with kickers or braces extending into the hill and the walls are filled from backside.

Walls can be any kind concrete or stacked stone or block. Materials and wall height will all depend on the engineering calculations, considers soil types, water table and the volume of earth behind the wall.

In most cases, it’s easier and cheaper to build two small retaining walls, than to build one tall wall.

Therefore, applying the above mentioned process you can level an above ground pool as well as install an above ground pool.

How to level an INTEX above ground pool already up 

how to level ground for intex above ground pool

Following is the step by step process on how to level for INTEX pool:

1- Look for the flattest spot in your yard that you can find. Try choosing a point that is already nearly leveled will make your job easy. It will also reduce the amount of sand you will have to purchase.

2- Cover that particular spot using a piece of plastic sheet or a tarp. Secure it in place. Leave the plastic sheeting in place to kill the grass and make that area ready for the pool. Make sure the place you have chosen is wide enough for the pool you will be setting up.

3- Making use of a level on a long board try to find the high and low spots of the area you have chosen. If there is more than two inches of difference between the high side and the low side you clean the dirt to make the spot leveled.

The board you select should be the same length as the width of the pool you want to install. So if you are putting up an INTEX inflatable or metal frame pool with a width of eight feet you would need a board that is eight feet long.

4- Dump sand on the chosen spot, but make sure that the sand is a few inches deep on the low end of the spot. Rake the sand after each load has been dumped, then use your level to check the status of the site. Continue adding sand to the location until you level an above ground pool ground.

5- Wet sand to make it compact and tamp it down. You can rent a lawn roller at your local hardware store and run it over the sand to pack it down and make it look compact.

This will end the job to level an above ground pool. This was all about how to set up INTEX pool on uneven ground.

Tips on how to level a ground for pool without digging

To Level an above ground pool without digging is the cheapest way to level ground for pool.

Below are some points to consider on how to level ground for easy set pool.

1- To level an above ground pool area, you need to start from the lowest point.  Bring the rest of the area down up till the level of the lowest point. You do not want to make the lowest point up to the highest point because this will make the ground under your pool unstable and can create problems with your pool.

2- Do not cover the area with loose sand this will cause problems to level an above ground pool.

3- Set up the pool track outside of the area where the sand will be placed. If you place the pool track on top of sand then the sand can wash out from below and your pool track and your pool will be at risk.

4- When the sand is placed inside the pool track it should be packed before putting the pool on top of it.

5- Avoid putting patio blocks under your pool uprights to level an above ground pool spot.

6- If you use a grass and weed killer on the area make sure that the grass is completely dead and pulled away before you install the pool.

This is the whole process of how to level an above ground pool without digging. We hope you find it useful.


After having read the above mentioned article on how to level an above ground pool with water in it, don’t avoid taking into consideration the importance of preparing and leveling the ground for your swimming pool.

If you start it wrong or leave your ground uneven and start the pool installation process at this critical stage, your pool will never look quite accurate and it is even risky creating a safety hazard in your yard that could give up any time.

Take your time and go through whole process to fix an above ground pool that is not level in a step by step order and understand at what level does my above ground pool need to be and your pool will last for seasons.

This was all about how to level ground for pool. We hope you find this information helpful.


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