How Much Does A Swimming Pool Weigh Filled With Water?

An above ground swimming oval shaped pool filled with clear water.

A swimming pool that has been filled with water is going to be so heavy that no person would be able to lift or move the pool unless the water has been completely drained. Even the smallest of pools including kiddie and toddler size pools will give an incredible challenge if someone is attempting to relocate it after filled.

How much a swimming pool weighs would depend on how many gallons of water it contains.

One gallon of water weighs 8.34 pounds. If you have an average size swimming pool that holds 15,000 gallons of water your swimming pools water would would weigh 125,100 pounds. All you must do is multiply the number of gallons of water by 8.34 to get your total weight.

This is only the weight of the water that is inside the pool walls and does not include the liner, poles, ladder, pump and other parts that are associated with the swimming pool.

Gallons Of WaterWeight Of Water
1,000 Gallons
(Miniature Pool Or Hot Tube)
8340 Pounds
2,500 Gallons20,850 Pounds
5,000 Gallons41,700 Pounds
10,000 Gallons83,400 Pounds
15,000 Gallons125,100 Pounds
20,000 Gallons166,800 Pounds
25,000 Gallons208,500 Pounds

Level Ground Is Important

The weight of the water is a major factor when adding water to your above ground swimming pool.

When installing any above ground swimming pool, it is crucial that you level your ground prior to setting it up. It may even be necessary to let the ground settle after cultivating the area if it required major renovation. This could include tree and stump removal or large amounts of dirt being brought in.

The extensive weight of the water inside the pool pressing on the newly renovated soil as water is being filled can cause problems quickly resulting in possible damage the pools liner and walls. In instances when the ground gives way too much, swimmers can be at risk of injury should the pool collapse from stress.

How Level Should An Above Ground Pool Be?

Now that you see how much water weighs, you can see the upmost importance of having level and stable ground prepared before putting up any above ground swimming pool.

This goes for all sizes of pools, maybe with the exception of baby pools that are one time uses that are drained after play time. If you have a small 12 foot round swimming pool that is 36 inches high it would require 2548 gallons of water to completely fill.

That means a 12 foot round pool filled with water would weigh over 20,000 pounds. With that kind of water weight if the ground is not precisely level the pool will not be able to feel evenly. Once water is being added water will have more weight on one side of the pool and it will push on the walls causing an unsafe and unpleasant looking swimming pool.

How Level Does My Water Need To Be?

It is very important to get the level of your swimming pool as close to perfect as possible during installation. This is hard to do with a naked eye. One method is to use long 2 by 4’s and a level to help accomplish this.

If you do not take the time to get this right the first time, you might have to drain and start over once your pool is halfway filled and you notice the water level is off by too much.

INYO Pools recommends that you drain the pool and start over if the water is more than 3 inches off once filled. This is too much weight on one side of your swimming pools walls and can cause sidewall failures as well as injury if not fixed.

1/4″ Off LevelGreat! Your pools water is level enough.
1/2″ Off LevelGood! Your pools water is level enough.
1″ Off LevelStill Ok. It may start to be more noticeable from the outside of the pool.
2″ Off LevelFair. Your pool should be fine, however it will be noticeable by guests and will not look as glamorous as a level swimming pool would. Structural damage to your pool is unlikely.
2.5″ Off LevelAnything above 2 1/2 to 3 inches off I would recommend draining, re-leveling and adding water again. Especially over 3 inches. This is when the weight of the water can begin to cause danger to people and damage to your swimming pool.


The weight of the water is extremely heavy when you consider that every 1 cubic foot of water contains 7.48 gallons of water. Every cubic foot of water weighs 62.38 pounds and when you consider how many cubic feet the side walls are, if you have a pool that is not level the walls have to be strong enough to withstand this weight.

Even a level swimming pool will endure enough weight on the walls without adding more pressure against them.

Before installing your swimming pool, or if you have an installed above ground pool that is not so level already – You should make it right for the safety or your friends and family that use it everyday. It also will cause some wear and tear on your swimming pools side walls and can reduce the overall life of the pool.

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