Above Ground Pool Installation Guide

Oval above ground pool installation

I have searched the entire internet looking for above ground pool install guides, videos, and instructions. In this article, I list all the videos and advice I found worth sharing. I’ve also included all the tips and tricks I have learned and developed while installing pools and above ground pool liners over the course of my career.

The number one reason I am writing this post is to help all those who intend to install their own above ground swimming pool. It is my goal to make this the most informative detailed resource available on the internet.

There is ample information to dissuade those who thought maybe they could do it. Some wives out there know what I’m talking about. There is also enough information for real backyard enthusiasts to get the job done right. I have put together an above-ground-pools-resource-guide that contains more information on this topic, as well as maintenance, repairs, cleaning, chemicals and more, click here.

If You are Shopping Pools – Have a Look at my Above Ground Pool Reviews

Above Ground Pool Install Inground

Necessary Tools & Requirements for a Good Above Ground Pool Installation

If your planning to do an above ground pool install yourself, the first thing you need is good health. I’m not kidding! You will not only be shoveling, digging, and bending, but when it comes to putting up the wall, you will be lifting over a hundred pounds. Even with help, the pool wall is awkward and hard to manage. The bigger the pool, the heavier the wall.

I hope for your sake, you are only installing an 18 or 21 round with an aluminum wall! Your back and health are worth a hell of a lot more than 1-2k to have it done for you.

Friends and Neighbors

Your going to need help! I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer, but seriously, this is not a one man job. I would never build a pool with less than two strong people. I would say three is good, but four or five is better. Rolling out the wall is touch enough, but you will also be moving a minimum of 2 tons of sand for your pool base.

Tools and Equipment

With the following tools and equipment, I can build most above ground pools in one day.

  • BFH (Big ***ing Hammer)
  • Rubber Mallet (optional)
  • Cordless Drills – At least one impact drill
  • #3 and #2 Phillips Screwdrivers, and bits for drill
  • Medium and beefy Flathead Screwdriver
  • Socket set 1/4 – 3/4 – (I like to use 1/4 inch drive, and get a 1/4 inch bit for drill)
  • Wrench set 1/4 – 3/4
  • Vise Grips
  • Pliers
  • Heavy Duty Duct Tape
  • Twine
  • 100 foot tape measure
  • Pocket tape measure
  • Chalk
  • Spray Paint (sprays upside down)
  • 24 pieces 3 foot Rebar
  • Stakes (minimum 8 inches)
  • 10 foot 2 x 4 (optional)
  • Channel Locks
  • Utility Knife / Box Cutter
  • Gardening or Landscaping Gloves (optional)
  • Drill bit set (occasionally needed)
  • Apron for holding screws (easy to find at most hardware stores)
  • 3 foot level
  • Line level
  • 8 or 12 foot level (optional)
  • Shop Vacuum (optional)
  • Site Transit and Site Stick (optional)
  • Laser Level and detector
  • Flat Shovels (at least one that has 8 inch face)
  • Pickaxe
  • Leaf Rake
  • 14 or 15 Tine Bow Rake
  • 3 foot Aluminum Landscaping Rake
  • Large Tamp
  • Trowels (optional)
  • Pushbroom (optional)
  • Garden hose with nozzle
  • Pump (optional)
  • 10 45 gallon plastic barrels or kiddie pool (optional)
  • Wheel Barrel (optional)
  • Plate compactor (optional)
  • Sod Cutter (optional)
  • Skid Steer (optional)
  • Hand Cart / Dolly (optional)
  • Sit and Spin (kids toy) or Lazy Susan, 10 pieces of 3/4 x 3 foot PVC piping, small sheet of plywood, and length of rope (optional)

Choosing the Location for Your Above Ground Swimming Pool

They cover some of the following information in the videos below. But I do go a little deeper, and add a few other things to look out for when considering the location of your new pool.

Legal Considerations / Building Restrictions

If you are going to pull a building permit, these are some things you should consider.

Check for easements and wall clearances. The building code in most states and towns, requires your pool wall to be 10-15 feet away from a neighbors property line, and 5 feet from away from septic tanks and leeching fields. Some counties will not allow you to place your pool anywhere except in the back yard, directly behind the house. You may also need to be a minimum of 10 feet from your own house.

If you have any concerns, bring a plot plan with you, and mark the location where you intend to place the pool. Along with any of the items mentioned above (septic tank etc…) when applying for the permit.

Nowadays you can get applications and even apply for permits right online. Look for the building department on your cities website.


If applying for a permit which will require a few inspections, fencing may be an issue. While most pools are at least 52 inches tall nowadays, and many building inspectors find that meets the code for minimum barrier to entry, others do not.

If your inspector says your pool does not meet the required code for minimum barrier to entry, either due to height, or because they are just stupid, you will be required to: A. put up one of those cheesy perimeter fences that mount to the pool wall.  B. Install a perimeter fence around your pool, a minimum of 48 inches tall, which is shorter than the pool wall, and makes no sense. Or C. Fence in your entire yard.

Best to know ahead of time. Restocking fees are enormous do to the cost of shipping swimming pool kits. Most companies will not take anything back that is not in the original unopened packaging it arrived in.

Sloping Yards & Semi- Inground Installations

If you have a sloping yard, by the time you dig into the slope, a 52 inch pool wall will no longer meet the 48 inch barrier to entry requirement on one side . You can over dig the high side by 4 feet to over come this problem.

If you are doing a semi-inground installation, you will most likely need some kind of fence. You are allowed to use cheap temporary fence. Like the orange mesh you sometimes see around construction sites, just held in place with wood stakes. But this is a serious safety hazard long term.

More kids drown in little splasher pools that are 1 to 2 feet tall, than inground or above ground pools combined. This is due to the the lack of requirements for a barrier to entry.


You can not pull this permit, it has to be pulled by the electrician. Most town and counties now require the entire pool to be bonded. The water, the equipment, the ground, and the pool itself. This is almost never included in an above ground pool install.

If you have to runs a service to power the pool pump, you will need a trench, and an electrician to install it. Both these services vary in price from one area to another, but cost between $500 – $2000. Depends where the fuse box is in the house, if the basement is finished, how long the run to the pool is, are there any walkways between the pool and the house. Of course you can do this yourself too.

I’m just telling you what to expect if you pull a permit. Heck, I know people who have ran their pump with an extension cord for the first season.


You only need a permit if you intend to build a pool deck that attaches to the house. Free standing decks do not require a permit.

Sloping Backyards

The main concern here is water run off. Water can undermine your pool base (sand), and the ground under the patio block placed under the uprights. You do not want to locate your pool at the end of a long slope. Unless you plan to install a break, or drain up hill to divert run off.

This is especially problematic for oval pools, as the side support are hollow, and can wash out really easy. The hollow channels of the framing funnel water right under the liner, washing out the sand, leaving your liner up against sharp metal edges.

Eves, Overhangs, and Roof Downspouts

Roof downspouts you can be redirected, but be careful not to place the pool near eves and overhangs. Especially those that collect a lot of rain water. Same concern as above, water run off.


For the same reason as above, sprinkler heads should be properly positioned away from the pool wall and pool structure. We will go over this again shortly, but Sprinkler liners are often torn up in yards that are out of level by more than 10 inches.

Tree and Power Lines

Power liners are an obvious safety concern. You do not want any power lines over the pool. Also be careful with skid steers and dump trucks that will be coming in and out of the yard. It is easy to take down your cable or phone lines if your not keeping a close eye on them.

In the pool industry, trees are know as the enemy. Do not position the pool under or around any trees or bushes. The roots from trees and bushes can grow up under the pool and damage the liner.

Leaves are a problem even if the tree is not directly over the pool. But when directly over the pool, they collect a lot of dirt, dust, and bugs, and one heavy rain is all it takes to overwhelm your filter, and throw your water chemistry all out of balance. If you have to place the pool near a tree, trim back what you can.

It’s funny how things turn out. I service pools with no trees in the customers yard, but the neighbors trees have them surrounded. That little sapling next door, might become the bane of your existence in 20 years.

1 – 800 – Dig Safe

Make sure you do not place the pool over a line that leads to your septic. It may need to come out or be repaired someday. Dig Safe is a free service. They make sure there are no hazards below ground. If you plan to install a pool, even if your yard is flat, get the ball rolling by calling them.

When planning your location, do not pick a spot where trees where recently removed. Tree roots rot out, and then the ground sinks.

Also do pick a spot where the ground has been disturbed recently. It may still be settling, and will upset your installation before long.

Filter and Pump Location

You may want the filter and pump near the house, especially if there is power close by. However, The pump will be making noise when it runs, so if it is under the deck, where you and your guests will be relaxing, I suggest running some power out to the far side of the pool.

There are a couple other schools of thought when we talk about pump and filter location. Since the skimmer hole is near the pump and filter, some say to put the skimmer opening and filter equipment on the opposite side of the prevailing wind.

If the wind usually blows East to West, you place equipment on the West side. This way any debris on the top of the pool gets directed to where the skimmer is pulling in dirt.

For oval pools, you usually want to place the skimmer on the round end, rather than a straight side.

Stuff the Pool Didn’t Come With

Sand / Pool Base

For the pool base and the cove, we use and recommend washed mason sand. Mason sand because it is compactable. Washed, to remove elements that are aggressive toward metal.

You will use different amounts for different size pools. Your looking to get a base of about 1-3 inches, and a cove of 4-8 inches. for a 21 round or a 12 x 24 oval, you might order 3-3.5 ton, for a 15 x 30 or a 24 round you would get closer to 5 ton. The videos below will contradict me a little. But I would use above tonnage as a baseline.

You might have some extra sand when you finish. It is not always an exact science. They don’t actually weigh it at the yard, so be prepared to have to get rid of a little extra. You can usually spread it around the outside of the pool when it is completed.

Patio Block

I buy a bunch of 4 x 8 blocks and break them in half. I spike the pointy end of my pickax in the ground, score the block on the other edge of the pickax, and snap them in two on the big flat blade of the tool. You can use larger blocks, however, bigger block are more prone to heaving. If you do not have a heaving problem, you can use bigger block. It just means more digging and work when you get ready to install the patio blocks.

Each patio block has to be level. North to South, and East to West.

Filter Sand or DE (Diatomaceous Earth)

If you have a sand filter, you will probably need to buy filter sand. It is different than regular sand and should be purchased at a pool store. If you bought a DE filter, you will want to have some on hand as soon as the pool is built. Do not run a DE filter with no DE in the filter.

Digging and Excavation

Mark the dig site with paint, and use a slide level to figure out the grade (slope height). I usually do this with the homeowner well be fore I dig or build the pool.

You need an extra 12 inches all the way around the pool. So if your installing an 18 round, you figure the radius (1/2 the diameter), and add one foot. So for an 18 round, we would put a spike in the middle of where the pool is going, and come out 10 feet.

Do yourself a favor now, and add a little extra, somehow the circle always comes out smaller. The steeper the slope, the larger measurement. If you have a large slope, you might need to add as much as an extra two to three feet.

Here is the process for figuring the grade. I have all the gadgets, but find it quicker to use a slide level, than to set up my transit.

Drive a stake into the high side of the slope, then drive a stake into the low side. Tie twine from one stake to the other, and get the twine level with your little 5 dollar slide level. Now just measure the distance from the twine to the ground at both stakes locations. Subtract the smaller number from the bigger number, and that’s how far out of level your dig site is.

If your wondering why I didn’t just set up my transit, it is because I don’t dig or build my pools the same day. I usually figure the slope with the customer on day one, so I can give him a proper installation estimate, and give them an idea how much dirt and sod will be left behind.

Alright, now we are getting ready to build a pool. You have everything you need, you have your spot picked out, you know your grade. Now it’s time to sweat. In the tool list you will see I included a sod cutter. There is no way in God’s creation, you will ever catch me using one.

The only reason I would ever consider it, is if there were truly no way to get a skid steer in the backyard. I will take down fences, or have the homeowner take down their fence. There is just no way. Even if I agree to do it, I am going to charge a fortune, and then hire me some extra labor.

The first step before we even start leveling is to remove the sod. You will want a skid steer with teeth on the bucket. I just strip the sod away, and put it where the homeowner told me. Now with the sod removed, you can see the site better, you don’t have to look for the paint any more.

I set up my laser level, and my helper keeps taking measurements with the site stick and laser detector while I dig. I get it within an inch all the way across. We use shovels to fine tune the dig and remove any high spots.

You can use the 2 x 4 from the tools list, with the biggest level you have (minimum three footer). And work until you have the site level.

When digging, come in from the low side, and remove the high side. Careful not to over dig, you do not want to be building a pool on soft dirt. I will bring a little of the high side, and bring up the low side a few inches, but no more than that, and I compact it real well with the machine and after with a 19″ gas powered plate compactor.

Keep scraping and checking the grade until you get it. THEN… Double check that you have the room you need to install the pool. Especially if you rented a skid steer. You don’t want to return it until your done, so again, make sure the pool will fit.

Stone Dust Option

If I dig a site with a lot of stones, real rocky soil. I will bring in a load of stone dust to build a pad with. The whole site is going to settle some. If you did a good job digging and prepping, it will settle evenly. Have you ever heard the expression “farmers grow boulders”. As a field settles over time, boulders appear to grow up.

You don’t want those rocks growing up under your pool liner.

I will also use stone dust occasionally with oval pools. After you dig the site for an oval pool, and get the site flat, you still have to dig down 4-7 inches to bury the straight side frame supports on a few models. I prefer to build a pad out of stone dust. It makes digging and installing the framming much easier.

If you use dust, remember to compact it

Final Step Before the Build

Use the 14 Tine Bow Rake, and rake up any stones and rocks. If you feel something close to the surface, get it out. Any and all roots have to go too. Use the Bow rake and a regular rake to get the site prepared.

Above Ground Pool Install Information

Video 1. 1 of 2 – Preparing and Beginning to Install a Round Pool

In this video I borrowed from Family Leisure Pools, it explains some prep work and begins the installation process. I really like all information about what to expect. It talks about lawn damage, slight imperfections in the pool base, and that there will be a pile left from the excavation.

In this first video below, notice that they already brought in the sand and leveled it, before rolling out the wall. I prefer to either, pile it in the center of the pool until the wall is up. Or, throw it up over the wall, once the wall is up. You will understand why I do it this way later on, when I explain my method and the use of the sit and spin kids toy.

They didn’t mention it, but if you look close, you can see they used some sand under the patio blocks. If you over dig when placing a patio block, do not use dirt to raise the height, use the mason sand, and tamp it before remeasuring. If you have any stone dust on site, I actually prefer using it to raise patio block.

Also, they made rolling out the wall look stupid simple. It is the worst part of the whole job. They don’t give any tips in this video about managing the wall, but look for tips in one of the next couple videos.

Video 1. 2 of  2 – Overlap Liner Install and Finishing the Installation + Safety Info

In this next video, they give some great advice for installing an overlap liner. As well as tips for filling the pool. Such as not to fill the pool at night. You also want to be careful if your using well water. Well water can be really cold, and will also cause the pool liner to contract.

I sell pools all over the US, and I get calls all the time from people who have buckled their pool wall. My liners are the thickest you can buy, so when they contract, there is a lot of power.

If you run into this problem don’t panic. Pump out the water until the buckles start to relax, and come out, and then do not begin refilling your pool until it is warm and sunny. All buckles will come out as the pool fills. If you have a really tight spot that gets no sun. Pour boiling hot water across the section, and it will relax immediately.

I like the foam shoes tip too. This guy walks around kind of casually, but we walk like Jagger. If you ever see Mick Jagger on stage, he doesn’t walk heal to toe. He walks soft, bringing his heal and toes down at the same time. You need to walk like Jagger to keep your sand bottom smooth.

They also conclude this video with some great safety tips, and building code information. If you read through the top half of this post. Watching this next video should help drive home some of the points I made.

Video 3. 1 of 2

The first thing they discuss is becoming familiar with your hardware, opening the packs and identifying the different sizes. Do not wing it, and guess where each screw goes. It is also a good idea to open every box and make sure you have everything you need. Check and count how many uprights there are, this is how many patio block you will need.

They use a sod cutter and a rototiller to clear away the sod and level the site. If your a young strong individual, have all the time in the world, and are looking for a workout, by all means have at it. I call you crazy!

You might also notice they raked and cleared the site before they were done digging…. Oops. Just get to do it again.

They also brought in way to much sand, I guaranty they edited out them taking out the extra sand before putting up the wall.

I am not picking on them, we have done the same thing. There is some good advice here for supporting the wall as it is installed. They use garden stakes and clamps. I use rebar and duct tape. They don’t say it in any of the videos, but hear me now. DO NOT TRY TO INSTALL A POOL ON A WINDY DAY. Just don’t do it.

Video 4. 2 of 2

In this next video they give some good information on smoothing the pool bottom, building a cove, and preparing the liner for installation.

Were you wondering why the other two guys were in the pool while he was smoothing the bottom with the landscaping rake? Yeah, me too. They should have gotten out before the wall bolts went in.:D An extra guy definitely helps with the tamping, and troweling. I like to tamp, then trowel. Troweling a big pool is time consuming, but it provides a better finish.

I could end it here and say your all set. But I will go over some important elements in more detail below. Tell you how I do things, so you can choose for yourself, how you want to attack each stage of the build.

My Process and Tip on Building an Above Ground Swimming Pool

Step 1.  Lay out the Track and set the Patio Block

You dig is done (Design & Planning), and the site is level to within one inch. Your area is free of stones and roots. All your boxes are open and you have become familiar with the parts and the hardware. Take a bottom connector plate and put one on each bottom rail. Now lay them all out, and connect them all together.

In one of the videos they showed you how to insert the track into the connector plate. It has to go all the way in until it rests the stop tab. After all the bottom track are together and you have a nice circle, go around and make sure all the bottom track are still on the stop tabs.

One of the reasons the wall bolt holes never line up is the circle is to big. Mainly because care was not taken to double check that all track are indeed on their stops. EVEN after doing your cross measurements to make sure you have a circle. (if you get xyz measuring your circle North to South, you should get the same measurement East to West, and everywhere in between, if your circle is indeed round). Make sure the bottom track are all where they should be. Now stake the outside of it, so it doesn’t move.

Now that your track is laid out, you can see where all your patio block are going.

I use a transit and site stick to find the highest area. I put my first patio block under the connector plate that is the highest. I make that patio block flush with the ground or just a 1/8 inch higher, and then remeasure that connector plate. This is the measurement I use to set all the rest of the block.

If all your patio block are at least two inches thick, and you graded the pool area to within 1 inch, North to South, East to West. You should be able to get your pool level. If the wall track droops in between the connector plates, pack some mason sand under it for support.

In between Step

Now that my track is all laid out and level, I install the uprights. This is where my technique differs from the videos. One of my guys has already go ahead of me, and banged in a 3 foot piece of rebar on an angle behind each connector plate (outside of the pool).

I come along and screw an upright onto the bottom of each connector plate (all but one), and duck tape the rebar to the back of the upright to support it. Without the duck tape and rebar, the upright would fall over.

All my rebar is covered in tape to prevent it from scratching the uprights.

Now I break off a 10 inch piece of duct tape and hang it on the top of each upright. This way, as I roll the wall out, I can duck tape it to the upright for support.

Next we need everything in the pool before the wall goes up. For bigger pools I will wheel barrel in a lot of the sand, and place it in the middle, piled high as I can. I also bring in the plywood, 1/4 inch pieces of PVC, a couple shovels, tamp or two, my 3 foot landscaping rake, and the Sit and Spin kids toy.

It’s Time to put up the Wall

In the first set of videos, they place the pool wall on a piece of cardboard, and they roll it out like they are spreading hot butter on toast. In the second set of videos they upgrade to a piece of plywood in the center of the pools and roll it out easy as you please.

In all fairness you will notice like five guys helping roll out the wall in one of the videos.

Here is my method. My plywood is cut two feet by two feet, and I bolt a rope to one end to make it like a sled. I lay out 4 or 5 pieces of PVC piping and place the sled on that, laying out another 4 or 5 pieces of PVC ahead of the sled. Then I put the sit and spin on the plywood, and the pool wall on the sit and spin.

We pull the sled a long the PVC tracks spinning the wall as we go.

We start the wall by lining up the wall bolt holes with the center of the connector plate. The one we didn’t put the upright onto yet. By lining up the bolt holes behind the upright, we can hide all the hardware.

Most skimmer holes are within 5 feet of the edge of the wall. With the wall standing up, look to see which way you will have to spin the wall, and make sure the skimmer opening is on top. You need to know this to determine which upright to leave off. Only you know where the equipment is going, and that’s where you start the wall.

If you left the wrong upright off, just swap it out… Simple!

Do not be surprised if the bottom of the wall kinks and bends as your rolling it out, do what you can to limit this, and just straighten it out before it goes into the wall track.

PRO TIP: As your rolling out the wall, put a top wall track on before you tape the wall to the upright. This will give the wall a lot more support. These channels will have to come off before the liner goes on, but you will find managing the wall much easier.

Bolt the wall together… If the bolt holes overlap, go around evenly kicking out the bottom of the wall, if they don’t quite reach, have someone go around the outside of the wall kicking in evenly. If your close, use a thin screw driver like an awl to line up the holes..

Nuts go on the outside of the pool. Use a lot of duct tape to cover the heads of the screws. I usually use 3-10 layers.

Pool Base and Cove

I feel like the videos were pretty good about this. I evenly spread the sand, using it to build up the deep end. Meaning any low areas. Sometimes you are off by a little more than an inch on the grade. You can now use the sand to make things right. Remember… Water Don’t Lie… When your done and the pool is full, the water will tell you if the pool is level.

Get the cove and bottom level and reasonably smooth, then wet it down. Water compacts the sand. Don’t get it to wet of you’ll have to wait for it to dry out. No use tamp like you seen in the videos. I prefer to trowel the bottom. But you seen two videos where they never did.

Installation of an Above Ground Pool Liner

This is a big deal and care must be taken. Definitely do not install the liner if it is colder than 70 degrees. If you can’t get a 70 degree day, that means the nights are still in the upper 40’s. Meaning nobody is going swimming in an ice bath. Wait for a nice sunny day.

Like one of the video said, lay in out in the sun for a little bit prier to installing it. Make sure there in no glass or sharp objects around. If it is in the upper 80’s and sunny, don’t lay it out more than 5 minutes. It can get droopy and stretch out on you. They are designed smaller than your pool so they stretch, and you don’t have wrinkles. But to much and you will have a baggy poor fit.

The cooler the weather, the more rays of sun it needs.

While you have it out in the sun, find the wall seam. Its a vertical seam on the wall of the liner where the it was welded together. As you role up the liner to put in the pool, do it so you place this seam away from the skimmer or return holes in the pool wall.

To properly center the liner in the pool, find the seam where the wall and floor meet, and make sure it is the same distance away from the pool wall, all the way around the pool.

Another concern you have to be aware of is twisting. You want the bottom and the top of the liner to be straight. The way you do this, is by finding the vertical wall seam and making sure it stays vertical, if your wall seam is diagonal, your liner is twisted. Take the top of the liner back off the wall and get the top of the wall seem directly over the bottom of the wall seam, making the wall seem straight.

All the while, you need to be taking care not to leave foot prints in the sand. Walk like Jagger.

Almost all my liners are universal bead, which means you can either hang them on the wall like a v bead, or push them in the bead receiver. If I send you bead receiver, I probably just send a regular beaded liner. No white bead receiver means it hooks onto the wall.

I usually work to hang the liner on the inside (cause I can walk like Jagger, even at 260lbs), while my crew taps the top wall track on with a rubber mallet and installs the top connector plates. You don’t want to use weight to install the top track, you want to tap hard and fast.

Most pool kits come with what they call combing or coping (long white plastic strips). This is only to be used on overlap liners. If your installing one of my pools, you can throw it out.

Use cardboard and duct tape to cover the skimmer hole, place your shop vac hose in through the return hole behind the liner, about 4 inches above the sand cove. To close to the cove and you will suck it up with the vacuum. Now place some tape around the vacuum hose, sealing it to the pool wall.

Turn the vacuum on and start kicking the liner into the cove. If you notice the liner is not centered well, shut the vacuum off, let the liner release, and make adjustments. You should be able to get most wrinkles out of the floor and wall.

Focus mainly on the floor, and start adding water, you are about to see how level your pool is. Once you have even one inch of water on the bottom, you will no longer be able to get packing creases or wrinkles out of the pool.

You may have been wondering about the trash cans, or the kiddie pool in the tool list. When I show up to replace a liner, or build a pool, I start filling my trash cans. Pool hoses are notoriously slow to fill. So O bring a powerful pump, inch and a half hose, and get water on the bottom as fast as possible.

Until I have an inch of water across the bottom of the pool, I cannot leave, or shut off the vacuum. You don’t need to worry about the walls, as long as the liner isn’t twisted, they will all stretch out as the pool fills. I have been know to cheat by placing a sand bag or two, to hold the liner taught where needed. I have to get onto my next job… Time is money.

Once the liner is in, you can finish attaching the toprails and caps.

Attaching the Skimmer and Return Jet

I do not like the method discussed in the one video that addressed this. If you attach the skimmer to early, essentially nailing it in place before the entire liner is stretched into place. It may pull and and stretch more than it should. With cheap thin liners you can get away with this. Thin liners are more stretchy. I recommend filling the pool half way before hooking them up.

It usually requires an extra trip for me, but that’s the way I do it. Usually. If it is like upper 80’s and sunny, I will stomp my foot in the cove and button it up.

Mind what I send earlier about filling the pool at night, or with well water.

Installing Oval Above Ground Pools

Hey Mike, what about oval pools I can hear you asking? There is really to much to cover, but if you apply the same principles you learned in this article and from the videos, you will be fine.

The only real difference is building the straight sides. You build the center first, square up the two straight sides and lay out the ends. One thing that makes building them easier, is the straight side uprights are already in place, and really sturdy, so you can manage the wall easier.

I will give you a tip on installing the liner too. Look for the floor seams, there are usually two of them, about two feet apart running down the center length wise. Use those seams to install the liner as square and true as possible.


All pool kits come with instruction. They are usually in the hardware box. Take your time building the buttresses for oval pools. No matter what pool your building, make sure the bottom track meets all the measurements, and is round, or squared properly. Also be sure to use the proper hardware where you are supposed to. You may find a screw that works for what your doing now, but later find you can do with whats left.

Manage your job site, and safety first always. Never, ever, never let anyone rest a screwdriver or anything on the toprail of the pool. If that tool falls those 52 inches, I promise you, the sharp end of that tool will be sticking through your pool liner. 😀

Please check our online pool store for pool packages and supplies. Thx

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By MGK Pool Service

30 year veteran in the pool industry. Having had many career path changes over the years. I began in the pool industry, and looks like I will finish my working life in the pool industry.

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