New Home/Pool - No Experience - Seek Help?


New member
May 6, 2017
Springdale, Arkansas
Hi all!

I'm the proud owner of an awesome new home with a sparkling greenish/brown pool. The only experience I've ever had with pools is swimming in them. ;)

The previous owner closed the pool for the winter without a cover and until a couple of weeks ago the water level was really low. After the Noah's ark level of flooding recently, the pool is now full.

My first task this week was to install a DIY pool fence to keep the little one from trying to kill himself. He's since moved on to other means... (I found a toy screwdriver plugged into an outlet today)

I have no experience with plumbing or water features let alone pools, but I have always been a DIY guy. I'd like to have a pool ready to jump in by Memorial Day and would love to learn in the process so I don't mind doing all of the work myself. My big concern is breaking something expensive.

It sounds like my first task is to test the water chemistry levels with the Taylor Kit I bought and then figure out the SLAM chemical amounts using the calculator. I'm pretty confident I can handle that task.

But the next task of "turning on all of the equipment" is where I'm a little scared. In what I've read, I've seen terms like "drain", "filter", "skimmers", "Vacuum to waste", and "backwash" that I have no idea how to accomplish.

So my big question: Should I have a professional company come out and "open" the pool for me this year and learn about the system after it's up and running instead of doing it all from the beginning with no reference points?

The previous owners left no documentation, so I plan on downloading and reading through the manual of every piece of equipment in the back yard over the next couple days.

See my signature for all of the information I've found in the 3 days I've lived here.


Gold Supporter
Apr 3, 2017
Phoenix, AZ
We don't do the whole pool opening/closing here in sunny Arizona, but I will tell you based on my experience here, you don't need to hire anyone to teach you how to use your pool. Post some pics of the pool and the pad where all the equipment is with specific pictures about your "what the heck does this do" items, and we'll get you all sorted out. Hiring someone only delays your learning process, and you need to be in total control of this thing.

It can be intimidating at first but you have found the right place and there are soooooo many helpful people here. You and this pool will be in total sync in no time.

Test results too, run the full set!

Welcome to TFP!


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
Welcome, and congratulations on coming here before the pool store drained your wallet! :wave:

Testing actually comes second. Any time you test, you want the water to be circulating for half an hour or so before you draw a sample. So first up is to get the pump and filter going.

A leaf rake and a pool pole are what you need to scoop all the waterlogged compost off the bottom. Then you can vacuum. And somewhere in there you'll be adding chemicals. Getting as much crud out of the pool manually speeds everything up.

It seems like you've already discovered Pool School, since you filled out your signature and already have one of the approved test kits, but just in case... Start with ABCs of Pool Water Chemistrys Then find the chemistry page and read those articles. You can skip the test kit one, since you already reached the conclusion and have a good kit. Then read up on the SLAM. You might also find Pool School - Visual Encyclopedia of Pool Equipment helpful to put names on things when you post questions.

We're here to help!

If you start with some pictures, your pool cleanup could make the cut and end up in Recovering my old inspirational links Check out some of those evil-looking swamps. You can do this.

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