Level an Above Ground Pool Without Draining (Easy Way)

How do you level an above-ground pool with water in it? The question is common among many people. It seems like the obvious answer would be to drain the water, but this isn’t always possible or practical. Luckily, there are other ways that can level your pool for you!

In an above-ground pool, water splashing up over the edges would cause the ground to become “soft”. Your pool legs/posts will sink into the ground, so you need to find a way to raise them and level your pool again.

This method would be useful for pool owners whose;

  • above ground pool sinking on one side
  • want to level an Intex pool after filled
  • above ground pool uprights leaning
  • how to level a pool that is already filled
  • fix unlevel above ground pool
  • above ground pool leveling problems
  • Intex pool unlevel by 3 inches and Intex pool legs sinking

Let’s get started,

Things You Will Need

Ratchet Strap: The legs of your pool may bulge out if the water is leaning to one side. To prevent this, we recommend installing a ratchet strap around the whole pool.

Pavers: Buy some pavers to put under the leaning side which can get from your local store for around 70 cents.

Floor Jack: A heavy-duty floor jack to lift the pool.

Two by Two Wooden Leg:  This piece is used to lift the side of your pool using a floor jack. Measure the width and height of your pool legs. Create two wooden legs that can go in between the pool legs and serve as a support when lifting with a floor jack.

Leveler Tool: To check if both sides of the pools are leveled properly.

Best Way to Level an Above Ground Pool Without Draining

The first step to level an above-ground pool is to determine how level your pool currently is. In order to find the level,

1. Measure the Slope

Using the tape measure,

  • Take a measurement of the water depth in one corner of the pool.
  • Take a measurement of the water depth at the opposite end of the pool.
  • Using both measurements, subtract them.

This can help calculate the slope of your pool based on its dimensions. Once you know where your levels sit relative to one another, then it’s time to level your pool.

2. Secure the Pool with a Ratchet Strap

You need a ratchet strap if you are not already using one. Ratchet straps can be used to secure the side of your above-ground pool.

By doing this, the legs would be prevented from bulging out from pressure to one side. Choose a strap that is strong enough to hold the weight of your pool.

Once you have identified which side of your pool is sagging, you can start lifting it up.

3. Lift The Pool With Floor Jack

This will be a little easier if you have another person to help out. First, place the floor jacks under the pool and fit your plywood lifting the legs of the pool.

Get them high enough for leveling. Place them on a flat and hard surface.

4. Add or Remove Blocks

If your pool is too low, then you need to add some more blocks. If it’s just a little high, remove the existing blocks or add small pavers under the legs to level it out.

Once you have lifted the pool, depending on the sagging inch, add or remove blocks.


Avoid placing your fingers underneath the pool base when adding or removing weights, as they may slide out or fall down, causing injury.

For safety purposes, always wear heavy-duty mechanic work gloves for protection.

5. Measure the Height with Leveller Tool

Once you have the pool at the desired height, measure with your leveler tool. At the center of the leveler tool is a bubble level indicator.

The height of your pool should be adjusted inch by inch until the bubble level is at the center.

6. Repeat the Process on Every Post

Once you have adjusted the level at one end of your pool, repeat the process on the other sides that your pool needs leveling.

Use the leveler tool for an accurate measurement.

How To Prevent Uneven Water Level in Above Ground Pools?

When a pool is not level, it can be difficult to use. In many cases, the cause of this misalignment may require you to make some changes in order for your above-ground swimming pool to be usable again.

You will need to do an assessment of what caused the problem and then take steps that are necessary in order for your pool to be level again.

Dirt: Check to see if there are any obstructions in the ground under your pool. it’s possible that some dirt got under the edge of the liner as it was being installed.

Holes: Fill in any holes surrounding the pool with concrete to make sure they don’t act as an imbalance point for leaning pools

Grading: Poor grading before the installation of an above-ground swimming pool on unstable soil.

Pool legs height: One of the most common causes for a pool to be unlevel is that one or more legs are lower than others which will cause it not to sit level when filled with water.

Slope of your Yard: Use the level to check the slope of your yard before installing the above-ground pool. Make grading and adjust as necessary.

You can learn more about pool leveling by watching the videos below:

As you use a different set of plywood show in the video below, have someone assist you in order to prevent the plywood from sliding, which can cause issues with holding it up.

Common Questions Among Pool Owners

How unlevel can an above-ground pool be?

You should be concerned if it exceeds two inches. It is not possible to swim in an Intex pool that is three inches off. Additionally, as pressure builds up on one side, the uneven walls will eventually cause the pool to sag.

What to put under the above-ground pool to level?

Sand, Concrete Slab, Crushed Stone, Carpet padding, Using Pavers, Interlocking Foam Tiles, Solid Foam, Use a Rolling Tamper

How do you measure an uneven pool?

  • Visual inspection of your Intex pool will reveal how many inches your pool is off-level.
  • Count the number of squares on one side and on the other side of an Intex pool wall.
  • Using a tape measure the depth of water at each opposite corner of the pool. Subtract both measurements.

You may be able to level out your pool using the tips in our guide without draining the water.

It is crucial to check multiple parameters during the installation of your above-ground pool.

In any case, if the above method does not work, you must drain the water. If necessary, grade the floor and level it with concrete.

The peace of mind that you get from having the perfect pool is priceless.

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