Over the years I’ve seen my share of horribly built above ground swimming pools. Many of them were severely misshaped, all their uprights leaned to the side and the resin connectors were cracked and did not hide the screws. The biggest way to mess up an above ground pool installation, though, is for it not to be level.
The most “off level” an above ground can get is around three to four inches off. This means when the pool is filled, on the one side the pool structure is three or four inches higher above the waterline than on the other side. Chief Obvious nature fact: Water is always level with the earth. Since water can only be level, an “off level” swimming pool will look really bad when you fill it.
I don’t usually see above ground pools that are off more than four inches, because they will almost always cave in when the level is off by more than that. Most above ground installation manuals will say that a pool should be level within an inch, but I try to get it level to an eighth of an inch or so. Above grounds with liners that have patterns or tile lines will start to look “off level” at about the half inch mark as the naked eye can compare the level pool waterline against the pattern of the liner. (more…)