One Side of Pool Sinking

by Richie

We installed a 12x24x48 oval pool a number of years ago. Within the last two years, one side has significantly dropped about four inches. We have a "sink-hole" in one section as well.

We will be draining it in several weeks, but want to know the best method to shore it up again.

The side that is sinking was initially built up with a medium that is like rock when poured, but when combined with water, turns into a very hard cement-like substance. I don't recall what the name of the medium is, but I'm also not sure how to fix this now without starting from scratch.

Hi Richie. Unfortunately there is no easy way to re-level an oval pool without taking it all apart and starting over.

The side braces are such an important part of the pool integrity you do not want to take short cuts.

I would remove the pool and re-level the entire area, then reset the pool. It is more work but you will like the results much better than if you try an easy solution.

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Older Pool Sinking

by Keith
(Omaha, Nebraska)

I purchased a pool in 2003, and had it professionally installed. Just recently I noticed that one side of my 18 ft pool has become much lower than the other side, and is quite noticeable.

I was present during the install, and it appeared that the installer was knowledgeable. I am located in Nebraska, and have very heavy clay soil. They used concrete pavers under each post, and leveled the pool accordingly.

I also noticed the liner on that side has slipped behind the coving, all along the low side now. Is this a problem that needs immediate attention, or can I wait another month to address it while the pool is being closed for the season?

I am very concerned about the liner being behind the coving. I have read that you can lower the water level to a few inches, and then carefully, using a shovel raise each post and re-level using dirt. Is there any other material that would work better, for example rock, etc, under the pavers? That part of the yard slopes away very gradually, and I think some very slow erosion has been going on. Thanks!

Hi Keith. It sounds like the pool has held up well for nearly 8 years so I would not put any blame on the installers, it is probably, like you say, just the ground slowly sinking.

The repairs can easily be made and it is probably not an emergency, unless the liner is resting on the pool framework in any one place. Cove damage can be dangerous when the liner comes into contact with the metal pool frame. The liner gets cut and all the water empties real fast.

After 8 years it might be a good time to replace the liner in the spring. If you plan to keep your existing liner be sure you are careful. Like you said, leave water in the pool. You should also drain and refill in the shortest amount of time possible. Another tip is to do your re-filling under high noon sunshine, this helps to warm the liner and helps it to stretch back out. As liners get older they loose their elasticity and cannot be left empty. Knowing this ahead of time you should be just fine.

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The Pool Slanted

by Colleen White
(Elmwood Park Illinois)

I have an 18 x 48 Summer Escapes Metel Frame Pool. Our yard had a slope at the back by 5 inches. We leveled the ground using sand. We laid the ground cover and then built the pool on Saturday. We started filling the pool at 6pm.

It holds 6600 gallons of water according to the manual. I shut the water off at 1am on Sunday and restarted the water again at 9am on Sunday morning, well we were sitting on our deck we noticed the pool was starting to lean so we measured the water levels all the way around the pool and found that there was a 5 inch difference were we had put the sand.

We have drained the pool and it is sitting empty, we are lost as what to do to make the ground level. We did not remove the grass under it because there is an older tree with roots running all over the yard so we could not dig down. What can we do to raise the one side of the pool to the height of the other side.

Money is very tight and we need to fix this or sell the pool. What ever we put down has to be sturdy enough to support the metal frame/legs of the pool. The pool can be picked up and moved to another part of the yard while we level the spot out. Please help, we are desperate.

Hi Colleen. The pool needs to sit on firm level ground. This a rule for all types of above ground swimming pools, including metal frame pools.

It sounds like you can't dig down to level so you need to build up. This can't be done with sand. Sand shifts and is not stable. You need something that will pack solid.

In most places this means hauling in clean fill dirt or possibly crushed granite. Dirt and granite will both pack solid. The area should be raised, including at least three foot beyond the pool, and then watered and packed. When the area is solid a little sand can be brought in to finish smoothing the area and then the pool can be installed.

Locals in your area may know of the least expensive way to bring in a substance that will pack and be a good base for you pool. Ask around, and hopefully it won't be that expensive.

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