Above Ground Swimming Pool Installation

Pool Installation Photos

The photos below are a quick overview of an above ground swimming pool installation. All pool models are different as are the yards they are installed in.  These are the basic steps that should apply to all pools and yards without being model specific.  The first photo shows the vegetation being removed with the use of a sod cutter.  When all the vegetation has been removed and the ground raked it is time to check the level.  Photo three shows me holding the receiver end of my laser transit.  I then use the sod cutter again to loosen the dirt from the high areas.  I move the dirt into the lower areas and pack well with the sod cutter.  Now the entire area is raked smooth and is now ready to install the above ground pool on.

The next photo shows the bottom rail and foot plates passed out.  I then use a tape measure and work my way around the pool connecting the rails and placing them in a perfect circle.  With this done it is time to use the level again. Make sure all the plates are individually leveled, as well as the ground underneath the rails.  This step is extremely important.

Before I bring the sand in I treat the ground with vegetation killer.  The sand is then piled in a circle near the center of the pool area. Do not spread the sand out at this point.

As the wall is being installed it is important to install some of the pool frame at the same time.  Sometimes we use the pool uprights and top rails or in this case we are using the interlocking rods.  The walls will not stand up by themselves so some framework is needed.  This is one of most common mistakes people make when doing an above ground swimming pool installation, they let the wall fall down.

When the pool wall is back to the point you started you may have extra wall or maybe not enough.  Notice the close up view of me adjusting the rail gap at the bottom connector.  Make any needed adjustment over several different connectors in order to keep the rail gap uniform.  Only when the wall is bolted together and secure with rods or pool frame do I start spreading the sand. I start at the outer edge with 6" cove and then a uniform 2" over the rest.  I then smooth the entire area with the flat side of my rake and follow that with a large broom.  Once the sand is completely smooth I will not be back in the pool again.  The pool will be completely full and the sand well packed before anyone is inside.

From the outside of the pool we drape the liner over the wall.  If we have used the pool framework for structure we use plenty of duck tape to cover any sharp edges.  Using the interlocking rods, as in this case, we hold them in place with tape.  Also tape the nuts and bolts on the outside of the wall to prevent tearing the liner.  The liner is pulled over the wall until the bottom is laying smoothly on the inside. This method will keep all the wrinkles out of the pool.  As the pool fills we lower the liner until the water is out to the edge of the pool.  At this point turn the water off and put the liner in place. We work around the pool just a few rails at a time so the pool wall will not blow down.

With this done add a foot or so of water before you install the skimmer and return.  Finish filling and jump in.  These steps are the basics for an above ground swimming pool installation.

If you have pool installation questions be sure to visit our Ask the Pool Pro pages.

remove all vegetation raking ground
check level lay out bottom rail
make pool round level each upright
treat the ground put sand in center
insert wall into bottom rail install top rails
reset rail space spread sand
smooth sand install pool liner
set liner finished pool


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