First Opening - Priming and getting it started?


Well-known member
Apr 3, 2016
Baltimore MD
The purpose of this thread is to just lay out my plan (in order) since this will be my first time opening up my DE filter / pump system myself. Mostly I'm concerned about the priming of the pump and how to get it going. I have read the other opening thread but I feel this is going into more detail on exactly what I need to do for my DE filter.

1. Fill pool and allow water to flood into the skimmer (gizmos are still present).

2. Add the DE filter (not the DE) to the filter gray egg shaped container and tighten metal belt around the outside (I remember pool guy hitting it with a rubber mallet)

3. Remove plugs on returns and polaris jet (central return). Remove gizmos in skimmers.

4. Add pressure relief valve / pressure gauge on top of filter system (closing crew removed it - I guess I can do that any time before)

5. Take small plugs from the pump basket (where they were stored) and screw into bottom of Jandy pump.

6. Turn on breaker from house and breaker at the pool location.

7. Fill pump basket with water until it floods over.

8. I assume I should move the valves around too to allow water to enter all of the piping?

9. Now would be the time to turn on the pump, however I am confused about the antifreeze which should be in the skimmer lines. If I turn on the pump at this time with it set to backwash, would the antifreeze go right on to my dry DE filter and then out into the yard? Would that be ok to prime the pump with it set to backwash? After the red liquid stops showing from the hose, I can stop the backwash setting and resume normal filtration setting?

10. I'd then adjust the valves to get each pipe filled and flowing (fountains, Polaris line, bottom drain - set to be a return.)

11. After the system is running properly i would add fresh DE to the skimmer and then fine tune the chemistry (which has been adjusted all winter).

So mostly I'm concerned about this priming step and whether it is as simple as pouring water into the pump basket and turning it on. But things get more complicated with the antifreeze/backwash plan. They only added about a gallon of antifreeze, so perhaps I should just let it go into the pool and start off with my chlorine a bit high to be ready for it.

Any thoughts or comments are greatly appreciated. I'm aiming to do this on Saturday!:p




Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2012
That plan looks good. Flushing the antifreeze is a good idea to avoid high chlorine demand at start up. Yes, priming is as simple as putting the hose in the basket, letting it fill up the plumbing and the basket, put the lid on and turn on the pump. I generally open the air release valve on top of my filter when priming to let the air out rather than having it push through the plumbing.


Well-known member
Apr 3, 2016
Baltimore MD
It was successful.

One of my main concerns here was how to prime the pump and get rid of the antifreeze at the same time. I wasn't sure how to tackle that.

I think this is pretty clever:

Antifreeze was only in the skimmer lines. None in the return/send line of the bottom drain. So I primed the pump bypassing the skimmers (valve was off). So water was coming into the pump from the bottom of the pool, filling the DE filter system and was sending to the returns, which also had no antifreeze. Once the system was up and running, i backwashed in this same setting then slowly opened up the first skimmer and then the second skimmer valve. Instantly i could see my check valve fill with red and soapy foam, out it went into the yard. It worked! Slowly opening the skimmers allowed the backwash process to not guzzle on too much air.

After a brief manual vacuum, a brushing, some baking soda (TA was low), and some polaris time, this this is crystal clear and ready to roll. I even passed the OCLT. If only it wasn't 55 degrees!

On a side note my only other problem was a leaking cleaner line pressure gauge. I swapped it out with a new one from Lowes and the total cost of my pool opening was under $20!