Problems Installing 21' Above Ground Pool

by Amy

My husband and I spent the entire Memorial Day weekend working on the area for our 21' above ground pool. We had no choice but to build up the area a little, but we used crushed limestone with sand on top.

We put patio blocks under the bottom plates that were in the areas built up. We leveled, leveled and checked with the level numerous times. Everything looked level.

So, we put the pool up and started filling it yesterday. It seemed like one side was going to be deeper, but not too bad so we kept filling it. My husband started filling it this morning and let it fill all day.

I came home from work and looked at it, and it looked very uneven. When I went around the back side of it, the area that is the deepest is actually leaning back. I told my husband to shut off the water and we needed to drain it.

Now I am at a loss...what do we do now??? The pool is an Aqua Leader Evasion round pool, it has mostly plastic parts (which break rather easily) I have already spent 100.00 on replacement parts. (We bought the pool used)

Do we have to completely empty the pool? I cannot afford a new liner. How can we possibly tell if the pool is level from one side to another when it is 21' across?

We thought we were doing so good, but in reality we did horrible!

Hi Amy

I have a couple of answers for you without more information and photos.

To measure how far off level a pool is you just need to measure from the top rail to the top of the water. Do this all the way around the pool. Hopefully you will find it all well within an inch of being level.

If it is not level, and you plan to make changes, you could chart the work that is needed by measuring at every upright and note it on paper.

You mentioned limestone and sand. Limestone is great if it is well packed. The sand should only be under the liner, not the pool frame. If the sand were spread out before the pool was installed that may have been your problem.

Comments for Problems Installing 21' Above Ground Pool

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May 30, 2012
Measured water level...
by: Anonymous

Hi, I did measure the water level to the top plates around the whole pool this afternoon. It looks like we are off almost 4" overall. There is sand under the entire pool, but most of the footplates have patio blocks under them. We only filled the pool about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way before we started emptying it, and we never cut any holes or openings in the liner.

Are we in danger of the liner shrinking if we were to take the whole pool down and start completely down and start over? What would you recommend at this point?

It is quite obvious that parts of the pool are very low and others are quite high. I think my husband made it worse by adding patio blocks under the track when the wall wouldn't stay in the track at one point, because that side is very high. Could you please give some advise? Thank you so much, I love your site!


Hi Amy

Not cutting the liner is the best thing you could have done. A liner does not start loosing it's elasticity until after the first season or two. You will be fine to drain and make repairs.

I would remove the sand from anyplace it is under the rail. This is not good. Replace it with blocks or dirt.

Do that and level the pool to within an inch and you will be fine.

Jun 22, 2012
Releveled the pool...
by: Amy

We went around and leveled the whole pool once again. We installed more patio blocks including under the track, not just the uprights, and we dug them down to the ground so they are not sitting on the sand. The pool is all level within an inch. Now that it is up, there are a few uprights that are not straight. A couple are leaning in, and a couple are leaning out, not substantially, but it is noticeable. I have repeatedly checked the pool, and it seems solid and sturdy. I have swam in it, and observed my kids in it. The walls don't seem to move around, and I have told my kids that there is no rough housing allowed in the pool, and they are aware as to why. I fully intend to take the pool back down once fall comes and figure out what the issue is, but do you think it will be alright for the summer? It is an Aqualeader pool. I appreciate your input. Thank you

Hi Amy

It sounds like you are just fine. The pool being level is the important thing.

Uprights lean in and out for two reasons. The screws that hold the rails in place may just need to be reset. Loosen the screws, push or pull the upright into place and tighten the screws.

The other reason is the post is either too high or too low. A good visual look across the top rails should tell you if any uprights are high or low.

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