Pool Care Pool Troubleshooting

How to Smooth Bottom of Above Ground Pool

If you get wrinkles in the above-ground every time, you fill it even before you can fill it with water. Or they appear from nowhere, don’t worry, it’s something you can solve quite quickly. All you need is some simple tricks on how to smooth the bottom of the above-ground pool, and you’re good to go.

You can start by using the suitable above-ground pool base materials on a leveled ground – something that stays flat and level. Next is to fill the water as you smoothen the bottom with your hands and feet. If there were some wrinkles left, you could also use a plunger to pull the liner and smooth the bottom.

Now you have the idea behind the smooth bottom of an above-ground pool. But those are just points that I’ll discuss in this post. Let’s jump right in.

Easy Tips on How to Smooth Bottom of Above Ground Pool

The process starts from the ground preparation to after installation. It’s essential to start with an empty above-ground pool and work your way up. If your swimming pool is already complete, I will discuss how to smoothen it in the last subheading in this post.

Use the Best Above-Ground Pool Base Materials

When preparing the ground for setting up your above-ground pool, make sure you get the right, flat spot and use the best base materials. It needs to be firm and also smooth to the liner.

The material texture must be smooth to prevent it from tearing through the pool liner. The two most common types of materials used in laying setting up a base ground for an above-ground pool even by ground pool experts include:

  • Mason Sand
  • Stone Dust

Mason or Pool Sand

Mason sand, mainly referred to as pool sand, creates an exceptionally smooth bottom layer. That’s why it’s the most popular choice.

When you lay your pool line on this fine mason sand, it feels like most in-ground pool bottoms—the tamping during installation compacts the sand even more to give a stiff but smooth layer.

Mason sand costs vary from state to state; it’d be best to check with your nearest local landscape supply company to know local charges.

Stone Dust

Stone dust is made from crushed stone and gravels crushed into dust. It creates a hard, stable, and cement-like bottom to support the pool liner.

It’s an excellent material, but until when the sharp pebbles start to poke into the pool liner. However, you can prevent this by laying a protective layer between the pool liner and the base material. You can either go with Rolled Foam or Armed Guard.

Note: After laying the sand, use a leveler to ensure the base is level before you can set up the pool. Visit here to learn more on pool ground leveling.

Fill the Water as You Smooth the Pool Bottom

The trick starts after you’ve completed setting up your above-ground pool. Start filling the water and get in the water. You can use a regular garden hose – using more than one can quicken the process.

Jump in the pool with you when the water reaches about an inch with the water on. Get down on your knees and work on the wrinkles using the hands. You can wear your clean swimsuit.

Start from the center and work outwards. Keep one hand close to your body and flat on the ground for stabilizing the liner. Use your other hand for pinching or pushing the line towards the edges.

Once you reach the edges, get back to the center and work your way to the edges again. Keep working on the pool line in circles until it one side at a time. Repeat this until the water starts to cover you.

As the water fills the pool, the movements will help make the bottom smoother and smoother. If it’s becoming hard to work on the large wrinkles, the water might be too much.

Turn off the inlet and remove some water using a bucket or siphon it out using a drain hose. It’d also help if you had a helper stretch the liner out a few inches or feet around the outer edges.

Now, you should be able to see the wrinkles reducing and the liner becoming smoother. If there are still some roughness and wrinkles, try using your feet to push them away from the center. Walk from the center, pushing the wrinkles to the edges.

When the above-ground pool liner bottom is all smooth, turn the water intake back up. Wait until the water reaches an inch or two and step out of the swimming pool. Allow it to fill to the right level.

Balance Pool Chemistry and Use a Plunger to Smooth

If, even after filling your above-ground pool, the bottom pool liner is still rough with wrinkles, there might be an issue with your pool chemistry.

Too much chlorine can act on the vinyl pool liner and cause the pool liner to wrinkles. Unbalanced pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness could also cause the problem.

Test the pool water using pool water test strips, a liquid test kit, or a more accurate digital pool test kit. If you don’t want this obligation on your shoulders, take a sample of your pool water to a pool store near you for testing. Of course, this method will cost you, but the results will be accurate and detailed.

Once you have the results, use the chart below to know if the levels are ideal, low, or high.

  • Free Chlorine 1-3 ppm
  • Total Alkalinity 80-120 ppm (parts per million)
  • Water pH 7.2 – 7.6
  • Calcium Hardness 150-250 ppm
  • Cyanuric Acid 30-50 ppm

If any of these chemicals are out of range, you will need to balance them. If the water pH is high, add a pH reducer; if low, add a pH increaser.

The same goes for Total Alkalinity and Calcium Hardness. Remember to start with total alkalinity as it affects the pool pH directly.

If the sanitizer is over 3 ppm, you have to stop its supply. If you have a chlorine feeder, shut it off. You can also take advantage of the sunlight, which reduces the concentration of chlorine. There’s also the option of diluting the water, but you’ll have to balance the water again.

If you want to know more on how to test and balance your pool water, click here.

Now that your pool chemistry is balanced take a clean toilet plunger and pulling out the pool liner wrinkles. The best way to do this is to place it on one side of the wrinkle and plunge away from the center.

Related questions

How Much Can An Above-Ground Pool Liner Stretch?

Above-Ground Pool Liner can stretch about 2-3 inches without touching it. You can still force it for another 2-inch stretch. However, be careful not to over-stretch it.

Is a Pool Liner Pad Worth It?

Of course, a liner pad is an excellent choice for an above-ground pool liner. It keeps the bottom smoother while also giving it added protection. Unlike the traditional foam used as pads cut easily by sharp objects and roots, the liner floor pad has excellent sturdiness and durability.

Final Verdict!

If you want a smooth bottom for your above-ground pool, you have to start from the foundation. Find the best base materials that would give the liner firm support with a smooth texture. Also, consider smoothening the bottom as you add the water. Don’t just hook up the inlet hose and leave it to fill it. Get in and work on the wrinkles as you fill the water.

About the author

Sharif Miah

Hi! I'm Sharif, the founder of Globo Pool® and I have been working in the pool & hot tub industry for the last few years. I love to share my experiences with people & hope you are enjoying my information and lessons!

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