New Owner, Old Pool, Where to start


New member
Jun 28, 2010

I am new here to the forum and owning a pool. We moved into a house with a 18,000 gallon or so pool which hadn't been used for 25 years (appx). It is an enclosed concrete pool with a fiberglass liner. Long story short, the previous owner (father in-law) used it one year and then never again for the last 25 years or so. We had some delamination issues repaired and are now tackling the mechanical systems. The mechanical system is in the void between the pool foundation and the foundation of our home. We reach it through and old basement window which was removed to access the pool equipment.

It has a Swimquip HRP sand filter, Swimquip XV VI pump, and Coates electric pool heater. I added some pictures FYI.

My questions are:

1) Should we start by just adding some water to pool and then starting pump to check for leaks? If so, how much water? Just enough to pull from the bottom drains? Should we have the sliding valve on backwash when we do this?

2) Or should we replace sand first since it has likely been in there for 25+ years. If this is the case, it looks like we have to remove all of the bolts on the middle of the casing to replace the sand. Anyone with tips on this? What to watch out for, so as not to break anything etc.

3). The sliding valve appears to be sticky, what can we lube this with? WD-40, pool lube?

4). Is there anything on the pump which needs to be lubed/checked before attempting start up?

5). Any other suggestions ?

I know lot's of questions, I hope you all have lots of answers.



Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
Sebring, Florida
Welcome to the forum. :lol:. Wow! That's old stuff but it looks in pretty good shape. Thinking out loud, I believe I would check to see if the pump will run. I would pour just a little water into the pump strainer basket (if you have one) and turn it on. Only let it run for less than a minuite but confirm it powers up.

Let us know how that works first. If it doesn't power up, I would get that fixed before I did anything else.

For better help, you'll need to get some better pics that better illustrates your equipment.


TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
Silver Spring, MD
Replacing the sand does indeed require removing and replacing all of those bolts. If you are mechanically handy it isn't too much trouble, though it might take a while. The only issues that aren't totally obvious are: Be careful taking the sand out, the laterals are buried in the sand and are delicate. Fill the bottom half of the filter with water before starting to add sand back in. When replacing the bolts get them all started and then tighten them out of order, skipping around the circle, so you are never tightening bolts that are close together right after each other. Also, there should be a rubber gasket that seals the top, this needs to be clean and lubricated with a silicone based pool/plumbers lube right before reassembly.

The push/pull valve should be opened up and all the o-rings checked and lubed. If it is binding, chances are that one of the o-rings needs to be replaced.

There should be a pressure gauge on the filter. Chances are it needs to be replaced.

On the pump, check that the shaft spins reasonably easily before turning on.

You can't really test for leaks until the pool is filled to normal operating depth. It is worth doing a visual inspection of everything, but you won't know about leaks for sure until the pool is full and the pump is running.