How to Install Above Ground Pool?

by Brandy
(Fort Worth, Tx USA)

We purchased a used 15x42 metal pool. We are trying to install. We have leveled the ground with masonry sand, put the bottom (cirle) rail together and are in the process of putting up the side supports. We are stumped at this point....Do we put the side wall up first (the metal part) or do we put the side supports on first? And at what point do we start installing the liner? Thanks Brandy



Hi Brandy. Let me start by directing you to this page.

Above Ground Swimming Pool Installation

The steps that we do go like this.

1. level the ground
2. connect and level outer ring
3. pile sand in center of pool
4. install pool sidewall along with some pool structure to hold it up
5. spread out the sand
6. install the liner

If you are trying to install the pool on a base of sand you may be in trouble. The rail should be on firm, level ground. Having the bottom rail on sand allows it to shift, move and fill with sand, making it hard, if not impossible, to install the sidewall. The sand gets spread out after the wall is installed.

I always build the pool frame, or some type of support structure, as I am installing the wall. This prevents the sidewall from blowing over before the liner can be installed and the pool frame finished. If I am going to stretch the liner over the pool frame, like I usually do, I would install the uprights and top rails as I am installing the sidewall. Sometimes I install the liner over just the pool stabilizing rods. In that case I install the rods and tape them in place as I am installing the sidewall. In either case, I never have more than ten feet of wall in the bottom rail without some type of support holding it up. This is true also as I am installing the liner, the pool is taken apart and put back together a little at a time.

Above Ground Pool Liner Installation

Comments for How to Install Above Ground Pool?

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Apr 28, 2013
oval pool side wall
by: joe

I am installing a 21x41 foot pool, we started the side wall today and when we got all the way around we were short by a foot. What did I do wrong and how do I fix it?



Hi Joe. A foot is a long way off. It is normal to be within an inch or so. You will have to remove the entire wall in order to set your rail gaps correctly.

Check the end rails and see if you have enough adjustment to make up a foot. My guess is the problem is in the sides, and that really complicates things.

Take careful measurements between all of your side braces. Make sure they are the way they should be. Also check and make sure all the bottom rails are in their correct places. You will normally have several different lengths to deal with, double check everything.

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