First of all I want to say what an excellent site this is. I spent all day yesterday online looking for a good pool care guide and this is exactly what I'm looking for. I knew I needed to sign up.
Ok, so my parents' pool has not been open since the 2008 season, and this year they want to open it since they are now retired and have more free time. They are trying to save some money, so I suggested to help them open the pool ourselves.
So yesterday we started: removed the winter cover, cleaned and stored it. Of course once the cover was removed we saw the pool, and it is not too pretty but still manageable. There is lots of gunk on the bottom, but the water is transparent enough for me to see all that gunk clearly in the shallow end(3 ft), although the deep end (6 ft) floor is barely visible. I can still see the drain though. Currently the water level is about 1 ft above the shallow end floor i.e. 2 ft below normal. I then removed all the winter plugs and put back the filter/pump screws, pressure gauge, lubed the o-rings, etc.
The pool is inground, vinyl, about 12000 gallons. The filter is a sand filter (Jacuzzi Laser 250L) and the pump is MagneTek brand(couldn't locate a model #)
I figured all we needed to do was get the pump and filter running, then vacuum it, and start adding chemicals. The problem is I can't get the pump to start. When I flip the switch the pump begins to softly hum for about 10 seconds, then it clicks off. The water that I added in the pump skimmer doesn't move. At first I thought that maybe the pool needs to be filled up all the way, but my folks said that when it was professionally opened, the pool guys got it all started before the water level reached the top. My next idea was to place a running garden hose in the skimmer to 'trick' the pool into thinking that it was full, but I got the same response from the pump. This made me skeptical about adding more water to the pool.
Is there a way for me to get the filter started without filling the pool all the way? Do I need to add water directly into the filter, in addition to the pump, to jump start it? Or could the problem be more serious, such as a bad pump that needs to be replaced? How else could I test to see if the pump is viable?
Also, what should I do in the meantime? There is still lots of dirt in the pool, and I am worried about algae with the weather in the 80s now, but I have no pump/filter to circulate chemicals or to vacuum. Should I just add some chlorine and mix it manually?