Bottom Rail Measurement for an Above Ground Pool

We have a 28 ft. above ground pool, what is the measurement of the bottom wall rail?


The measurement across a 28' above ground pool should be pretty close to 28'. The best way to measure the bottom rail is with a radius measurement.

I put a screw diver through the end opening of a long tape measure. I then find a center point. Once the ground is leveled I lay the bottom rail out and start connecting it. I use the method shown on this page.

Above Ground Swimming Pool Installation

I start by laying the bottom rail out on a 14' radius. Every rail is set at 14'. When I get to the end I usually have some adjustment to make. It might be several inches off from connecting, in either way; I might be too big or too small. I go back and reset all the bottom rails at a slightly different radius. It might be 14' 1" or it might be 13' 11", you just never know, every make and model is different.

The other thing to consider is the gap at the end of each bottom rail. The most common maker of a 28' pool is Doughboy and they are pretty uniform in their bottom rail gap. The rails should all be about an eighth of an inch. That is the small space between the end of the bottom rail and the stop tab in the footplate. If all of your rails are set with a small gap you should be able to connect the last bottom rail with a 14' radius, give or take just a touch.

The most important thing is that the radius is the same all the way around. If you install the wall, and you are off by a few inches, you must start over. It is so important that your gaps are all the same and that your radius is the same, this makes for a perfect pool. As long as it is perfectly level, that is.

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30 Foot Pool Measurements

by Tammy Pitt
(Pelzer, SC, USA)

We are thinking about getting an above ground pool and using the company that my friend just used. When purchasing a 30 ft x 52 inch above ground, do you measure from the inside of pool wall (liner to liner) across in diameter?

When we tried walking it in a straight line from the side of the pool (one end to the other) my husband took 25 steps.... he has a size 12 foot.

Can you please help? Need to know before I purchase b/c I do not want to pay for a 30 ft pool and then get a smaller size not knowing how it is measured. Thank you so much!

Hi Tammy.

This page shows how a pool is laid out.

Above Ground Swimming Pool Installation

A pool is usually measured from the inside of the wall to the inside of the wall. This measurement can very by several inches. I do all my pool measuring with a radius. I put a center stake in the ground and hook a tape measure to it.

A 30' pool will have a radius of 15'. This may vary by a couple of inches either way, but not much more.

You just need to go out into the yard and choose a center point. Drive a stake into the ground, a nail into the stake, and hook a tape measure to it. Mark an area with a 15' radius and you have a very realistic idea of how large your pool will be.

When they come to install the pool take a look at the boxes. They should all be labeled 30'. The liner box will be labeled 30' x 52". There should not be any way they could substitute a smaller size pool.

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