New house, old pool - opening questions


Bronze Supporter
Mar 15, 2017
Chicago/Northwest, IL
We bought a house in mid February. The pool was professionally closed last year, drained to below the returns and covered with a tarp, and looks to be in great shape. We removed the tarp this week and the water is crystal clear. Before that, the pool was abandoned over a winter (foreclosure) and we don't really know what mechanical condition it's in. I know from the pics in the real estate listing that at some point last year, the pool was filled and looked great. The seller renovated the house and had a lot of work done on the pool. (new tile, plaster, & deck) I spoke to the contractor who did that work an he told me they pressure tested everything before closing the pool and it all tested ok. I knew going in that the filter pump and heater were bad.

This is my first pool, and I've gotten tons of great info here. Thanks to everyone for that! I only have about 4,000 questions left. I won't ask them all right now. My immediate concern is that at some point before we moved in, the tarp over the spa slipped inside and a lot of water and debris got in there. I pumped and scooped and scrubbed as much as I could, but there's still a lot of staining on the sides and bottom. Any suggestions on a cleaning product or method? Will filling and chlorinating help at all? Beyond that, I've replaced the bad filter pump with a variable speed pump and installed new filter media. I'll be installing a new heater next week. It's still pretty cold here, but I'm hoping to get the pool filled and running soon so I can make sure everything else is working. I'm expecting to be able to at least use the spa soon. Any info is appreciated!

I attached pics of the pool (from the listing) and the equipment pad as it was when we moved in. I've since cleaned it up and replaced the filter pump. Out of the image to the left is where the bad heater was bypassed.
820-24.jpg IMG_20161120_154353.jpg


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
Bedford, TX

Welcome to TFP... A Great resource for all your new and old pool questions... :snorkle:

I can't help with your initial question, but just wanted to say hi and that you have an very beautiful pool and setting...

But, your equipment pad could use some work... Is everything just laying on the dirt or is there a concrete pad somewhere under the leaves??

Thanks for posting,

Jim R.


Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
Evans, Georgia
What a great pool and lovely yard you have there!!

I would suggest bringing your chemistry up to normal levels except bring the FC up to SLAM level and see if that helps lighten the staining. Brush it daily while the chlorine is higher than normal. You may that the tannin from leaves causes stains but they tend to leave in time.

If they don't we can try a few other tricks.

Yippee :flower:


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
Sebring, Florida
Will filling and chlorinating help at all?
Yes, that is the best approach as Yippee says above. It may take several days or even a couple of weeks but elevating your chlorine is the first and best step.

I don't see any test results???

Post up a full set for us and we'll help get your squared away.

Please read "The "ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool's the foundation for managing your pool.