An easy way to level the ground for an above ground pool?

topic posted Tue, June 19, 2007 - 10:59 AM by  Sabine
Hey ya'll,

Can I pick your delightful brains again? I bought an 8' diameter inlfatable pool with pump/filter etc. The ground under this little beastie has to be level to within an inch. There is not a single spot in my yard that is both 8' across and flat. It's full of dips and potholes, not one big slope or anything. I can't just remove the grass, because my soil is heavily unconsolidated sand anyway (and I don't know if I am physically up to that challenge between the heat and my arthritis). Here's what I was thinking of doing, and please tell me if this is stupid or you have additional ideas or something all-together different:

1. Staking off the area after finding a center spot that is level (I have a 4' level I can do this part with)
2. Laying down two tarps approximately 10' by 10' and using boards to get them as flat as possible
3. Pouring water to find the depressions
3. Filling in the depressions with sand and getting them as consolidated as possible
4. Placing the pool on top (maybe another tarp at this point, to protect the sand?)

Any adive or ideas that you have would be greatly appreciated!
posted by:
  • Make a very simple device called a water level... It is basically a clear tube filled with water. Water ... as you know seeks its level .. So all you do is place the tube across the area you want to level then attach a stake to each end of the tube so each (OPEN) end is verticle and points up a few feet fill with water so the water rises halfway up the verticle tubes ....

    Stake one tube to the LOW end of your hill... Measure the verticle distance from the waterline to the dirt. Now move the other end of the waterline to the high end... (note your vertical parts of the tube have to be greater than the diference in levels) Now measure down from the waterline on the high side... that is how much you have to remove...

    Once you get close to one inch then your method of watering the ground will be good.
  • Another thing... Once you get the site leveled and you want to level the surface you could also do this... Place 2 (flat not warped) 2/4 x 10's edge up into the ground so the edge is just barely 1/4 inch above ground level... make sure they are parallel and level to each other (level down the length, across the parallel and on the diagonals.) and 8/12 feet apart... Then you can pour sand across the surface and Drag a 2x4 (again make sure its not warped) across the top... this is essentially the same method that you use to rough in and level flat a pour of concrete.
  • Thanks for the suggestions guys. (Steve, I just had a deck built, unfortunately it's 2' too small). I've picked a spot that is more or less even around the perimeter with the depression (slight) in the middle, to keep the water pressure from the sides. The issue will be getting the perimeter level and protecting the sand. I was thinking about doing exactly what was mentioned above - putting a little water in the pool to get a feel for the level. But yes, as you said Cliff the sand washing away with rain is an issue. That's why I was going to have it between tarps, but even still I don't know if that it will keep it from eroding.

    Haaaa, at this rate I'm about ready to hire someone to come pour a 10' x 10' concrete slab. I don't know how much it would cost, but I'm sure I could use it for other things if the pool doesn't work out. Less ground to mow also!

    Thanks again for all of the advice, I'm taking notes.
  • Hi Dan:

    LOL! I learned a lot by watching my parents change toilets and by watching dad change brakes on cars and helping him with car engines (mostly distributor caps and shock absorbers, etc) and helping mom mix paint while she painted the walls inside and outside the house, etc.

    It's kind of good and that's how I turned into a DYIer and that's also how I learned how to cook easy meals and how to measure and to sew a little and be more creative without having to RELY on how to books.



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