How to Fix an Unlevel Inground Pool

Pool owners often overlook the importance of leveling and stabilizing inground pools. However, neglecting the pool deck and basin can cause cracks, an uneven waterline, and plumbing problems. How do you fix an unlevel Inground Pool?

  • Assess the in-ground pool for unevenness
  • Use a transit or laser level to identify low spots in pool
  • Adjust supports or add shims
  • Gradually fill the pool, checking the levelness
  • Repair pool surface damage
  • Refinish/resurface pool as needed
  • Add new tile/coping for finishing touches
  • Fill while checking for leaks

Pool owners often overlook the importance of leveling and stabilizing inground pools. However, neglecting the pool deck and basin can cause cracks, an uneven waterline, and plumbing problems


An unlevel inground pool can be more than just an eyesore; it can pose significant safety and structural risks if left unaddressed. From uneven water levels to potential structural damage, the consequences of pool unleveling can be far-reaching. In this guide, we’ll explore the essential steps to fix an unlevel inground pool, ensuring it regains its stability and functionality. By understanding the importance of addressing this issue promptly and following a systematic approach to repairs, pool owners can enjoy a safer and more aesthetically pleasing pool environment. From assessing the problem to completing necessary repairs and maintenance, restoring an unlevel pool requires careful attention to detail and a commitment to long-term pool care.

How to Fix an Unlevel Inground Pool

To fix an unlevel inground pool, begin by draining the pool if necessary and gathering the required tools and materials, including a transit or laser level. Assess the extent of the problem by identifying signs of unleveling and determining potential causes such as ground shifting or poor construction. Use the leveling equipment to adjust the pool supports or add support where needed, gradually filling the pool with water and checking for levelness. Finally, address any surrounding structures and perform regular maintenance to prevent future issues.

Structural Integrity of an Inground Pool

The advantage of leveling and stabilizing inground pools is the preservation of the pool’s structural integrity. When the pool’s foundation shifts, the weight and pressure of the water distribute unevenly, putting more stress on some areas of the pool walls and floor.

Uneven surfaces can cause cracks and weakening of the structure, leading to damage that may require expensive repairs. Expanding polyurethane foam fills voids and stabilizes concrete, improving weight distribution and preventing more settling.

A level base also plays a critical role in preventing leaks. Uneven surfaces can lead to gaps or breaches in the pool liner, causing water to seep out. These leaks not only waste water but can also undermine the surrounding soil or concrete, leading to further instability. Maintaining a stable base for your inground pool is paramount for its structural integrity, reducing the likelihood of costly repairs or replacement in the long run.

Uneven surfaces in and around the pool can lead to tripping hazards, increasing the risk of slips or falls. Sometimes, voids form under the plastic or fiberglass steps in the pool, causing the steps to flex or bow. In many cases, concrete leveling can fix this problem. When the underlying concrete base of your pool is uneven, it can cause stress and cracking to the pool coping due to uneven pressure distribution. Damaged coping can allow water and debris to infiltrate the pool shell, potentially causing substantial harm.

A pool with a solid foundation will endure the test of time and require less attention to repairs and upkeep, saving homeowners time and money in the long run.

Identifying Signs of an Unlevel Pool

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Pool Re-Leveling

Identifying signs of an unlevel pool is crucial to addressing the issue effectively. One common indicator is uneven water levels around the perimeter of the pool, which may be visible upon visual inspection. Additionally, bulging or sinking areas in the pool’s structure can suggest uneven settling or shifting.

Using a transit or laser level can provide precise measurements to confirm unevenness in the pool’s surface. Gaps between the pool edge and surrounding structures may also indicate a lack of levelness. Taking note of these signs early on allows for prompt intervention to prevent further damage and ensure the pool’s safety and functionality.

  1. Visual Inspection: Look for any noticeable changes in the pool’s water level around the perimeter. Signs of an unlevel pool include uneven water levels, bulging or sinking areas, and gaps between the pool edge and surrounding structures.
  2. Measuring: Use a long straightedge or laser level to check for inconsistencies in the pool’s water level. Measure the distance between the water surface and the straightedge at various points around the pool to identify areas of unevenness.

B. Determining the Extent of the Problem

  1. Depth Measurement: Measure the depth of the water at different points in the pool to determine if there are significant variations in depth.
  2. Checking Pool Structure: Inspect the pool’s structure, including the walls and floor, for any signs of cracking, bulging, or settling. These can indicate areas where the pool has shifted or settled unevenly.
  3. Assessing Surrounding Structures: Examine the deck, coping, and surrounding landscape for any signs of settling or unevenness that may be affecting the pool’s level.

C. Potential Causes of Pool Unleveling

  1. Ground Shifting: Soil movement due to erosion, settling, or seismic activity can cause the pool’s foundation to shift unevenly.
  2. Water Saturation: Excessive water accumulation in the soil around the pool can lead to uneven settling and pool unleveling.
  3. Poor Construction: Improper installation or inadequate support during the pool’s construction can result in structural issues that contribute to pool unleveling.
  4. Tree Roots: The growth of tree roots near the pool can exert pressure on the surrounding soil, causing it to shift and the pool to become unlevel.
  5. Climate Factors: Freeze-thaw cycles, extreme weather conditions, and temperature fluctuations can also impact the stability of the pool’s foundation over time.

Preparing For Unlevel In-ground Pool Repairs

Preparing for repairs is a critical step in addressing an unlevel inground pool. It begins with gathering the necessary tools and materials, including leveling equipment such as a transit or laser level, as well as any additional support materials like shims or concrete mix.

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Transit Level for Grading |

Ensuring safety precautions are in place is paramount to prevent accidents or injuries during the repair process. This involves clearing the work area, securing the pool perimeter, and adhering to safety guidelines when working with tools and equipment. If draining the pool is necessary for repairs, careful planning for proper drainage and handling of pool water and chemicals is essential to avoid environmental damage. By adequately preparing for repairs, pool owners can facilitate a smoother and safer repair process, leading to a more stable and enjoyable pool environment.

A. Gathering Necessary Tools and Materials 

  1. Leveling Equipment: Transit or laser level, straightedge, or water level.
  2. Tools: Shovels, rakes, wheelbarrow, and any necessary hand tools for excavation and adjustments.
  3. Materials: Concrete mix, sand, gravel, shims, wooden blocks, pool wedges, and other leveling materials.
  4. Safety Gear: Work gloves, safety goggles, ear protection, and appropriate footwear.

B. Ensuring Safety Precautions are in Place

  1. Clearing the Area: Remove any obstacles or debris from around the pool to create a safe working environment.
  2. Securing the Pool: Erect temporary fencing or barriers around the pool area to prevent access during repairs, especially if draining the pool.
  3. Electrical Safety: If working with electrical equipment or pumps, ensure power sources are turned off and outlets are safely covered.
  4. Handling Chemicals: If draining the pool, handle pool chemicals according to manufacturer guidelines and dispose of them properly.

C. Draining the Pool (if Necessary)

  1. Assessing Water Level: Determine if draining the pool is necessary based on the extent of the repair work and the current water level.
  2. Drainage Plan: Plan for proper drainage of the pool water to prevent flooding or damage to surrounding areas.
  3. Using a Pump: Use a submersible pump or drain system to remove water from the pool efficiently.
  4. Safety Precautions: Follow safety guidelines when working with pool drains and pumps to prevent accidents or injuries.

Leveling an In-ground Pool

Leveling the pool is a meticulous process that requires careful attention to detail. Firstly, utilizing a transit or laser level is crucial to identify low spots and areas of unevenness on the pool’s surface accurately.

Once identified, adjustments to the pool supports or the addition of support materials such as shims or concrete blocks may be necessary to achieve proper leveling. Gradually filling the pool with water while continuously monitoring for levelness ensures that adjustments are made effectively. It’s essential to repeat adjustments as necessary, as achieving a perfectly level pool may require several iterations.

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Pool Off Level

Throughout the process, maintaining a consistent water level and verifying levelness from multiple angles is key to ensuring an even surface. Addressing any irregularities promptly helps prevent future issues and ensures the pool’s stability and safety.

Additionally, proper leveling contributes to the pool’s aesthetic appeal, creating a visually pleasing environment for swimmers. Taking the time to level the pool correctly pays off in the long run, enhancing the overall enjoyment and longevity of the pool.

A. Using a Transit or Laser Level to Identify Low Spots

  • Utilize a transit or laser level to accurately measure the elevation of the pool’s surface and identify any low spots or areas of unevenness.

B. Adjusting the Pool Supports or Adding Support Where Needed

  • Based on the measurements from the level, adjust the pool supports or add additional support such as shims, wooden blocks, or concrete mix under the pool structure to level it properly.

C. Gradually Filling the Pool with Water and Checking for Levelness

  • Begin filling the pool with water slowly, periodically pausing to allow the water to settle and using the level to check for levelness. Adjust the supports as needed to maintain an even water level.

D. Repeating Adjustments as Necessary Until the Pool is Level

  • Continuously monitor the pool’s levelness as it fills, making any necessary adjustments to the supports or leveling materials until the pool is completely level around the perimeter.

Addressing In-ground Pool’s Surrounding Structures

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Foundation Pool Deck Repair | Uneven Pool Deck

Addressing surrounding structures is integral to ensuring the stability and safety of an inground pool. Begin by thoroughly inspecting the deck or coping for any signs of damage or unevenness, such as cracks or shifting.

Once identified, it’s important to make necessary repairs or adjustments promptly to prevent further deterioration and potential hazards. Repairing or leveling the deck and coping not only enhances the pool’s aesthetics but also reinforces its structural integrity.

By addressing surrounding structures alongside pool repairs, pool owners can create a cohesive and secure pool environment for their enjoyment and peace of mind.

A. Inspecting the Deck or Coping for Damage or Unevenness

  • Conduct a thorough inspection of the pool deck and coping to identify any signs of damage, settling, or unevenness. Look for cracks, gaps, or areas where the deck may have shifted or sunk.

B. Making Necessary Repairs or Adjustments to Surrounding Structures

  • Once any issues with the deck or coping have been identified, take appropriate measures to repair or adjust them as needed. This may involve filling cracks, leveling uneven areas, or reinforcing support structures.

Refinishing and Finishing Touches After leveling an Inground Pool

Refinishing and adding finishing touches are essential steps to complete the restoration of an inground pool. Begin by repairing any damage to the pool surface, such as cracks or chips, to ensure a smooth and durable finish.

Next, consider refinishing or resurfacing the pool as needed to restore its appearance and functionality. Finally, add finishing touches such as new tile or coping to enhance the pool’s aesthetic appeal and create a cohesive look. Taking the time to refinish and add finishing touches adds the final polish to the pool restoration process, leaving it looking and functioning at its best for years to come.

A. Repairing Any Damage to the Pool Surface

  • Assess the pool surface for any cracks, chips, or other damage that needs to be repaired. Use appropriate materials and techniques to fill and smooth out any imperfections.

B. Refinishing or Resurfacing the Pool as Needed

C. Adding Finishing Touches Such as New Tile or Coping

  • Enhance the aesthetic appeal of the pool by adding new tile or coping around the perimeter. Choose materials and designs that complement the overall look of the pool area and ensure proper installation for durability and longevity.

Testing and Maintenance After leveling an Inground Pool

A. Filling the Pool Completely and Checking for Leaks

B. Balancing the Water Chemistry

C. Regular Maintenance to Prevent Future Issues

  • Establish a routine maintenance schedule to keep the pool in optimal condition and prevent future issues. This includes tasks such as cleaning the pool, skimming debris, vacuuming the pool floor, and inspecting equipment for any signs of wear or malfunction.


In conclusion, addressing an unlevel inground pool requires a systematic approach that encompasses assessment, repair, and maintenance. By identifying signs of pool unleveling early on and taking prompt action, pool owners can mitigate safety risks and prevent further damage. Regular maintenance, including balancing water chemistry and performing routine inspections, is crucial in ensuring the pool remains level and safe for use. Additionally, seeking professional help when needed can provide expertise and guidance to address complex issues effectively. By prioritizing pool maintenance and promptly addressing any signs of unleveling, pool owners can enjoy a safe, stable, and aesthetically pleasing pool environment for years to come.

JimGalloway Author/Editor


Uretek- The Importance of Leveling and Stabilizing Inground Pools


  1. What are the signs of an unlevel inground pool? Signs include uneven water levels, bulging or sinking areas, and gaps between the pool edge and surrounding structures.
  2. What causes an inground pool to become unlevel?  Causes can include ground shifting, water saturation, poor construction, tree roots, and climate factors like freeze-thaw cycles.
  3. Can I fix an unlevel pool myself?  It’s possible for minor issues, but complex problems may require professional assistance to ensure proper leveling and structural integrity.
  4. How do I level an inground pool?  Use a transit or laser level to identify low spots, adjust supports or add shims, gradually fill the pool while checking for levelness, and repeat adjustments as needed.
  5. How long does it take to level an inground pool?  The time varies depending on the extent of the problem, but it typically takes several hours to a few days to complete the leveling process.
  6. How much does it cost to level an inground pool?  Costs vary based on factors like the severity of the issue, labor rates, and materials needed. It’s best to get quotes from professionals for an accurate estimate.
  7. How often should I check my pool for levelness?  It’s advisable to check for signs of unleveling during routine pool maintenance and after significant weather events or ground disturbances.
  8. Can leveling my pool prevent future issues?  Proper leveling, along with regular maintenance and monitoring, can help prevent future problems such as structural damage and uneven settling.

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