How to Fix an Unlevel Inground Pool

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Inground pools offer a fantastic way to relax and unwind in the comfort of your own home. 

However, as time goes by, you may encounter a common issue: an unlevel pool. 

If you notice your inground pool’s slope becoming uneven, it’s crucial to address the problem to maintain its structural integrity and ensure safety.

This blog will guide you on how to fix an unlevel inground pool. Additionally, you’ll also explore various reasons behind an unlevel inground pool and tips to avoid pool leveling issues.

So, let’s dive in and discover the secrets to a level and problem-free inground pool!

7 Reasons for Uneven Inground Pool

1. Soil Shift

One of the most common reasons for an unlevel inground pool is the settling of the ground.

The ground underneath an inground pool can shift naturally over time due to various factors, like soil movement, seismic activities, or erosion.

This can lead to uneven settling and an unleveled pool.

This issue is more common in areas with expansive soil, where changes in moisture content can cause the soil to expand or contract, affecting the pool’s position.

2. Poor Installation or Construction

Another common reason for an uneven inground pool is poor installation or construction.

Proper pool installation is crucial to ensuring an inground pool’s long-term stability and level.

If the pool is not properly leveled during the initial installation, it can lead to an uneven surface.

This can be caused by mistakes made during the excavation process or improper placement of the pool walls and floor.

In some cases, the pool may have been installed on unstable or unsuitable ground, leading to unevenness over time.

To fix this issue, it may be necessary to hire a professional to assess the construction of the pool and make any necessary repairs or adjustments.

3. Structural Problems

The pool’s construction may settle with time, especially in places with softer or less compacted soil.

Because of this settlement, parts of the pool may sink, resulting in an uneven pool surface.

Poor compaction during pool building might contribute to the pool sinking over time in some circumstances.

Furthermore, environmental factors such as changes in water levels or drainage concerns might worsen the sinking problem.

4. Water Leaks or Drainage Issues

Water leaks or drainage issues can also contribute to an unlevel inground pool.

If there are leaks in the pool structure or plumbing system, water may seep into the ground and cause the soil to shift, leading to an uneven pool.

Additionally, poor drainage around the pool can result in water pooling in certain areas, causing the ground to become saturated and unstable.

It is important to regularly inspect and maintain the pool’s plumbing system and address any leaks or drainage issues promptly to prevent further damage and maintain a level pool’s surface.

5. Soil Erosion

Soil erosion is another common cause of an uneven inground pool.

Over time, water runoff can wash away the soil around the pool, causing the ground to become uneven.

This can be especially problematic if the pool is located on a slope or in an area prone to heavy rainfall.

To address this issue, it may be necessary to upgrade the area around the pool and implement erosion control measures, such as installing retaining walls or drainage systems.

Regular maintenance and monitoring of the pool area can help prevent soil erosion and maintain a level surface for your inground pool.

6. Pool Pump or Filter Malfunctions

The functionality of the pool’s pump and filter system is crucial for maintaining proper water circulation and distribution.

If there are issues with the pool’s pump or filter, such as uneven water flow or inadequate water distribution, it can cause water to accumulate unevenly within the pool.

This uneven water distribution can affect the pool’s weight distribution and lead to an unlevel pool surface.

7. Tree roots or other underground obstructions

Another reason for an uneven inground pool is the presence of tree roots or other underground obstacles.

As trees grow, their roots tend to spread and might disrupt the ground beneath the pool.

These roots can push against the pool structure, causing it to shift and become uneven.

Moreover, rocks or debris buried underground could also affect the pool’s stability.

It’s crucial to identify and remove any tree roots or obstructions that might be impacting the pool’s level.

By doing so, you can prevent further damage and create a safe swimming environment for everyone. Regular inspection and maintenance can help address these issues before they escalate. 

How to Fix Unlevel Inground Pool

Step 1: Gather Tools and Materials Needed for Fixing an Unlevel Inground Pool

Long 2×4 Lumber or Long Straightedge: To check for levelness and identify the unlevel areas of the pool.

A pool pump: You’ll need this to drain the pool before starting any repair work.

Laser level or transit: For precise measurement of the pool’s surfaces and to guide the leveling process.

Shovel: To remove or add soil or sand during the repair process.

Sand or Soil: To adjust the pool base and fill in low spots. The choice between sand and soil depends on the type of pool and its specific requirements.

Tamper: To compact the soil or sand for stability.

Wheelbarrow: For transporting soil or sand to the pool area.

Water hose: To refill the pool once the leveling process is complete.

Pool chemicals: Essential for maintaining water quality and preventing algae growth.

Step 2: Assess the Level of the Pool

To assess the level of your inground pool, you’ll need a long 2×4 or a straightedge, along with a carpenter’s level or a laser level. 

Place the 2×4 or straightedge across different areas of the pool’s surface, such as the floor and the walls. 

Use the carpenter’s level or laser level to check if the 2×4 is level. As you go around the pool, take note of any areas where the 2×4 is not level. 

These are the spots that require leveling to correct the unevenness. 

By carefully assessing the pool level, you’ll be able to identify the specific areas that need attention and have a clear understanding of the extent of work required to successfully fix an unlevel inground pool.

Step 3: Drain the pool and Remove any Debris

Before you can begin leveling your inground pool, it’s crucial to drain the water and clear away any debris.

First, turn off the pool pump and disconnect the power supply.

Next, attach a hose to the pool drain and direct it to an appropriate drainage area.

Once the pool has been drained, use a shovel to remove any leaves, dirt, or other debris that may have accumulated.

Step 4: Identify the low spots and high spots in the pool

With the pool drained and debris removed, it’s time to identify the low spots and high spots in your pool.

To do this, you can use a laser level or a transit, which will help you determine the current level of the pool.

Begin by placing the level or transit at various points around the pool, ensuring that it is level.

Take note of any significant deviations from the desired level and mark these areas for further attention

Step 5: Level the pool using a laser level or transit

Now that you’ve identified the problem areas, it’s time to start leveling your pool. Begin by focusing on the low spots you marked previously.

Using the shovel, carefully remove any excess soil or material from these areas until they are level with the surrounding surface.

Be cautious not to remove too much material, as it may lead to the creation of new high spots that will need attention later.

Gradually work through each marked spot, ensuring that the ground is even and stable.

Regularly check the level as you proceed to achieve accurate results.

Once you’ve successfully leveled the problem areas, you’ll be on your way to having a well-balanced and safe inground pool for enjoyable swimming experiences.

Step 6: Fill the low spots with a leveling compound

Once the low spots have been leveled, it’s time to fill them in with a leveling compound.

For filling in the low spots on the pool floor, use either sand or soil, depending on your pool type.

Sand works well for vinyl liner pools, while soil is more suitable for concrete or fiberglass pools.

Use a trowel to spread the compound evenly, ensuring it covers the entire region and seamlessly blends with the surrounding surface.

Step 7: Compact the leveling compound and recheck the level

After applying the sand or soil, it’s essential to compact it properly to ensure stability.

Use a tamper to firmly press down on the compound, removing any air pockets and creating a solid base.

Once the compound has been compacted, use the laser level or transit again to check for levelness.

Repeat the leveling and filling process if necessary until the pool’s surface is uniformly level.

Step 8: Refill the pool

When the leveling process is complete, it’s time to refill the pool and monitor the water level.

Use a water hose to slowly refill the pool.

Be careful not to damage the newly leveled surface.

Keep an eye on the rising water level to make sure it stays constant throughout the pool.

Adjust the water flow as needed to maintain an even water level.

Once the pool is full, allow it to stabilize for a few days before returning to regular use.

Step 9: Test the pool

Once the pool is filled, test the water chemistry and make sure all pool equipment is working properly.

This will allow you to confirm that the leveling process was successful and your pool is ready to be enjoyed.

Preventive measures and Tips to avoid future pool leveling issues

Fixing an uneven inground pool is undoubtedly a time-consuming and costly process. In order not to have to go through this ordeal again, it is important to take preventive measures that can help maintain the level of your pool. Here are some tips to avoid future pool leveling problems:

1. Proper site preparation:

Before installing a new inground pool, make sure the site is properly prepared.

This includes proper grading and drainage to prevent water accumulation and soil erosion, which can lead to leveling problems.

2. Choose the right pool construction materials:

Opt for quality materials that will withstand ground movement and shifting.

This includes the use of reinforced concrete, which is more resistant to cracking and settlement compared to other materials.

3. Water chemistry:

Test your pool’s water chemistry regularly to ensure it remains balanced.

This includes monitoring pH, alkalinity and sanitizer levels.

Imbalanced water chemistry can lead to corrosion, scale and other issues that can affect the integrity of the pool.

4. Filtration and circulation:

Proper filtration and circulation are vital to maintaining clean and clear pool water.

Be sure to clean or backwash the filter regularly and ensure the circulation system is working optimally.

5. Skimming and cleaning:

Remove debris from the pool surface with a skimmer and vacuum or brush the pool regularly to prevent algae growth and the build-up of dirt and debris.

6. Regular maintenance and inspections:

Schedule regular inspections of your inground pool for early signs of leveling problems.

That way, you can fix them promptly before they escalate into bigger problems.

Also, keep track of routine pool maintenance tasks like balancing water chemistry and cleaning the pool regularly.

7. Avoid excessive weight around the pool:

Beware of heavy objects or structures placed near the pool area.

Excessive weight can put pressure on the floor, possibly causing it to shift and the pelvis to become uneven.

8. Monitor soil moisture levels:

Keep an eye on the soil moisture levels around your pool. Excessive dryness or saturation can cause soil movement, so it’s important to maintain balanced moisture levels.

By implementing these preventative measures, you can reduce the likelihood of future pool leveling problems and enjoy a level and stable pool for years to come.

Final Thoughts on Fixing Unlevel Inground Pool

However, there are several methods to fix an unlevel inground pool.

The most common solution to fix an unlevel inground pool is to fill in the low areas with soil or sand and then adjust the water level accordingly.

This method helps smooth the surface of the pool and restore its flatness, ensuring a safe and enjoyable swimming experience.

Regular pool maintenance and water balance are essential to prolonging the lifespan of your pool and minimizing the risk of future leveling issues. 

Remember to prioritize safety and precision throughout the leveling process, and consider consulting pool experts for more complex projects. 

With these guidelines, you can enjoy your inground pool with confidence and peace of mind.

Frequently asked questions about Unlevel Inground Pool

What if the water level is uneven in an inground pool?

If the water level is uneven in an inground pool, it could be a sign of an underlying issue that needs attention. Uneven water levels can lead to various problems, including unlevel pool surfaces and potential damage to the pool structure.

Is it possible to fix an unlevel inground pool?

Yes, you can fix an unlevel inground pool. First, find the cause, like ground settling or tree roots. Then, level the pool floor or use leveling compounds. Get help for major repairs. Regular maintenance is vital for a stable and safe pool.

How can I prevent my pool from becoming unlevel in the future?

To prevent your inground pool from becoming unlevel in the future make sure to take some essential steps. Firstly, during installation, ensure the ground is adequately prepared and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines diligently. Use high-quality materials to build and maintain the pool. Regular inspections will be part of your routine to catch any issues early on. You should be mindful of maintaining proper water balance and keeping an eye on nearby trees and vegetation. Implementing drainage systems will be crucial to managing water and avoiding soil erosion. Taking these proactive measures will help you keep your pool level and ensure a safe and enjoyable swimming experience for years to come.

How long does it typically take to level an inground pool?

The time it takes to level an inground pool can vary depending on several factors, including the size of the pool, the extent of the unevenness, and the method used for leveling. In some cases, leveling a pool can be completed in a day or two, while more complex leveling projects may take several days or even weeks to complete. It’s essential to assess the specific requirements of the pool and plan accordingly to ensure a thorough and precise leveling process. Hiring professional pool contractors can expedite the process and ensure that the pool is leveled correctly and efficiently.

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