How To Re-level Sand Base Under Pool

by Marilyn
(Cleveland, OH)

The ladder we put in our pool this year for a pool party caused a hole in the bottom of our liner. We didn't realize it until night time when there was about a foot of water left in the pool.

We fixed the hole with a patch, but the sand under the bottom had seeped out and there is a decline level under the pool liner. How do we level that part out? Do we have to empty the pool totally?



Hi Marilyn. This page touches on your problem a little.

Pool Out of Level

pool drained for repair
The answer to your question is no, you do not want to completely drain your pool. This could easily result in you having to replace the liner with a new one. They shrink so fast, and depending on the age of the liner, they may not stretch back out.

I would use the method illustrated on the pool out of level page. Leave enough water in the bottom of the pool to hold the liner in place and to keep it from shrinking. Have one person hold the liner back out of the way while another person adds more sand and smooths it out.

If you do this during the heat of the day you are better off. The liner will probably shrink just a touch, but re-filling immediately in the sun should not be a problem.

This is also a good time to add a second patch on the bottom of the liner. A patch applied to the under side of the liner is just about guaranteed to never come off. The pressure of the water will hold it in place forever.

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Pool Bottom Bumpy

I just recently had 24ft above ground pool installed. They used a sand base (masonry sand). The top of the pool appears to be very true, but the bottom of the pool has a lot of dimples in it along with some high and low spots (not more than an inch of variance) that I can see while underwater. Is this normal? Is there any way to smooth it out now?

I've smoothed out a couple spots by hitting them with my hand while underwater. I've never owned an above ground pool and I'm just trying to make sure this isn't going to get worse or create a potential problem. Thank you.



Hi. I would say you are probably just fine. Smoothing the sand base before installing the liner is a fine art. Not everyone is going to get it perfect. I use a large push broom on the sand until it is as smooth as possible. I then install the liner from the outside of the pool. The bottoms on the pools I install are quite smooth, but again, this is an art.

pool sand ready for vinyl liner

installing vinyl liner


The first time you change the liner, you will smooth the sand again, and it usually turns out much better the second time.

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Wall Is Level But Not The Sand Bottom

by Jennifer
(Appleyon, wi)

We are installing a 24' X 52" above ground pool. The walls all around are level per the laser level. However, when we started to fill the pool the water is getting deeper on one end then the other.

Is it a huge issue if the sand bottom is not level but the pool itself is?



Hi Jennifer. It may not be a huge issue but there are some concerns you should be aware of. Liners have a problem being installed wrinkle free with an un-level base. One side filling before the other pulls the liner and causes wrinkles on the shallow end.

If the rails were set level it's pretty difficult to get the ground in the center area too far off level. You can visually see where it's a little high and low. It's also advisable to use that laser across the entire pool area so this does not happen.

Just to make sure it's just the bottom out of level start checking as soon as the water starts coming up the wall.

You can measure from the top rails to the water level all around the pool. Keep doing this as the pool is filling. If it is filling level, and the liner is smooth enough, you have nothing to worry about.

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