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Top 5 Mistakes Installing An Above Ground Pool

How NOT to install an above ground pool
Avoid these common mistakes when building your above ground pool.

Mistake 1: Building up the low areas with dirt taken from the higher areas.

This is probably the top mistake we see people make. If you are pushing the dirt around to level out the site for the pool, eventually the dirt will settle and your pool will no longer be level. This might happen right away when you fill the pool, or shortly down the road, one thing is for sure, it will happen. Pool Pros always digs out to the lowest spot so the entire pool is sitting on virgin soil.

Level pool by digging down to virgin ground

Mistake 2: Using too much mason sand.

The ground should be dug level on virgin soil always. The sand is simply a buffer from the pool liner to the ground. The purpose of the sand is not to level your pool. If you are using sand to level things out you will have nothing but problems.

Too much sand under pool.

Mistake 3: Setting the track on sand.

The sand should be inside the pool track, never under the track. If the track of the pool is set on sand, it will wash out and the pool will settle or sink, reducing the longevity of your pool.

Track and Uprights sit on virgin soil.

Mistake 4: Not compacting or troweling the sand.

First the sand should be compacted with a plate compactor, and then hand troweled to a smooth finish. If this is not done, the first time you get into the pool, your feet will sink into the sand creating divots in the sand which could lead to wrinkles in your liner, and ultimately shorten the lifespan of your liner.

Mistake 5: Placing patio blocks under your uprights.

This is another very common mistake, especially because most install manuals will actually recommend this. We get countless calls every spring for torn liners and when we get to the site we see a patio block that has heaved out and cut through the liner. Pool Pros never uses patio blocks. Again we level the entire site down to virgin soil and place the uprights and track right down on the ground.

Note: This is only a mistake in our area and climate; do to our ground movement during winter. In other parts of the country, I’m sure this is a fine practice, just not here in the Frozen Tundra:)

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Sep 15, 2023

I have a 10 x 30 inch pool, how do I make dirt underneath level AND compact


Luego Gold
Luego Gold
Jul 05, 2022

And what about people that cannot Dig Down?


Green Bay, WI 

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