Getting an Old Pool Ready for Use?

I have an above ground pool that has not been used for at least 5 years. We just moved into that house and want to use the pool. The pool has a pool cover but it has been weighed down by algae, bugs, and lots of dirty water. I need suggestions on what to do with the pool cover and all that dirty water and how to start using the pool. Thank you.


Sarah from Shreveport

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By Maxine (Guest Post)
June 17, 20080 found this helpful

The cover isn't going to be any good after all that time, so get rid of it. (You can cut it into pieces and haul it to the dump). Drain all of the water out of the pool, get inside, and start scrubbing. You can get cleaner at a pool supply, but we've been known to use Comet. Rinse well. Re-fill with water and start over with the chemicals.

To pump the water, you can use garden hoses as siphons. This is a slow process, so get a couple of them going. Even better is a portable sump pump with hose attached. Do this in the best possible weather. If you anticipate wind, wait to do it. You don't want the pool empty when it is windy, because it's centrifugal force that holds it all up. Ask me how I found that one out....

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By Kaiti (Guest Post)
June 18, 20080 found this helpful

If you have a specialty pool store nearby, ask them what they recommend chemical wise. I don't personally like harsh chemicals, but its a necessary evil when it comes to pools and making sure to kill bacteria that is in the liner and water.


Write down any questions you have and take the paper to the store and write down their answers. We would take care of my mom-mom's pool while she was gone, and it was like a checklist to make sure everything was covered, which I liked.

Good Luck, my husband says I got a spoiled pool-girl attitude. haha.

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 116 Feedbacks
June 19, 20080 found this helpful

Good luck with this. There are lots of on-line sites for pool care, but you might be better off having a professional clean it just this once. Being that it has been unused for so long, there may be necessary repairs that you are unaware of.


When the pro is there, if you go this route, be sure to pay close attention and ask LOTS of questions, then you'll be better prepared to take care of it on your own later.

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By Sarah (Guest Post)
June 20, 20080 found this helpful

See, that's the thing, we live in a small town where there is no professional that can come and do it. I wouldn't mind at all to pay the price and let them do it but we don't have anybody that will do it..

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By Debbie (Guest Post)
June 24, 20080 found this helpful

I had a similar situation when we moved. Shock will be your best friend providing the filter works. Try to get the shock that is closest to 100%(you don't need the stuff that isn't chlorine)
Be prepared for lots of advice. Professionals can be helpful but they are in the business to sell you produce. Find a source that you trust and use your instinct.


Once I got my pool up and running it of course was one thing after another. But I now swear by shock , chlorine & tablets. I never really worry too much what the other stuff is(on the test strips) UNLESS it is causing a problem with the way the pool looks. Hope this helps.
get a good nights rest and try to be patient. If I can do it-anyone can!

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April 23, 20090 found this helpful

In the same position as you except ours has only been neglected a year or two. So far we have siphoned all the water out of the pool, Now our plan of attack is to go ahead this weekend on getting in and scrubbing.

I was just going to use diluted bleach. never thought of the comet, wouldn't that be too hard on the liner with it being abrasive? Rinsing really well and using a wet/dry vac to vac up that water and refill. Good Luck

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