Cover's off, what???


LifeTime Supporter
Mar 23, 2012
I'm SO excited! I've been asking a few questions over the last couple of months. We bought a house with a pool, and it's been opened and inspected. The multiport valve was replaced, but the cover was put back on after inspection until we closed on the house. I have a (recommended) test kit, chlorine from WalMart, borax, and will get muriatic acid tomorrow. So, we took off the cover, but now what? The water and pool doesn't look too bad. A little algae, but I was expecting a lot worse. Lots of dust and pollen, worms, and a few leaves. Clear enough to see the bottom, and the water does look blue, so it's not too dirty. I read the articles in pool school, but still have some questions.

1. The pump hasn't been running in about a week. Do I need to prime it or anything before I start it up? Should I just turn it on and see what happens?

2. At the inspection and opening, the pool people told me I'd need to add about 4 pounds of DE for the filter. I know I add it in the skimmer, but that's about it. Is there any rule of thumb for what volume of DE equals a pound? Should I dampen it before adding it to the skimmer? Anything else I should know before I add it?

3. Should I brush down the pool and vacuum it before I take my first test readings? Or test the water as is, and then start the clean up?

4. About backwashing. When I first turn on the pump, I'm under the impression that I should note the pressure reading on the filter, and then backwash when the pressure rises a certain amount. Is that correct?

I think that's it for now, but I know I'll be posting and questioning a lot over the next few days!!!

Thanks in advance for everyone's help. You've already been so helpful!!

I would get my pump and filter running and do an initial test to see where things were. Then get your ph into range and prepare to bring the pool up to shock levels as per pool schools "how to shock". Use the pool calculator to manage what you add to your pool.

As far as backwashing a de filter, I can't help you... I have a sand filter myself and haven't used a de before. Pool school also has information regarding care of your de filter... should help you answer those questions.

You will need to clear the pool of all the debris that you can. Organic debris in the pool makes your chlorine work harder to clear it out... more debris= more chlorine= more $$ spent.

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Jun 23, 2009
SouthWest Alabama
1) you're most likely going to have to prime the pump if the basket is not full of water.

2) If it was backwashed when it was shut down, you need to add DE. If it wasn't backwashed or broken down it doesn't need it. If you're not sure, either call the last person touching the filter and ask or break it down and clean it.

3) either way will work but I'd just run the pump a little while and then run tests.

4) that is correct. Backwash after about a 25% rise above the clean pressure reading.