Just Filled Pool With Water, Now What

Having a backyard swimming pool can be a great way to be active have fun, or just relax. It can be a full-time costly job if you don’t have any experience no matter how big your pool is. Just Filled the Pool With Water, Now What?

Follow these steps:

  1. Skim the surface for debris
  2. Vacuum pool bottom
  3. Test H2O chemistry
  4. Balance pH, chlorine, alkalinity, & calcium hardness
  5. Shock pool to kill bacteria & algae
  6. Run the filter system continuously for 24-48 hrs.
  7. Establish daily filtration routine (8-12 hrs.)
  8. Inspect & maintain equipment regularly


Nothing quite like the excitement of seeing your pool filled with water for the first time. After all the planning, construction, and anticipation, the sight of a crystal-clear pool can be incredibly satisfying. However, the journey doesn’t end with filling the pool. Proper maintenance is crucial from the very beginning to ensure your pool remains a safe and enjoyable oasis. Neglecting essential maintenance tasks can lead to water quality issues, equipment damage, and costly repairs. By taking the right steps immediately after filling your pool, you set the foundation for a pristine swimming environment and prolong the life of your investment. This guide will walk you through the essential steps to take right after your pool is filled, ensuring it stays in perfect condition for you and your family to enjoy.

Just Filled Pool With Water, Now What

After filling your pool with water, the next crucial steps are to ensure its cleanliness and chemical balance. Start by skimming the surface to remove debris and vacuuming the pool bottom to eliminate any settled dirt. Test the water chemistry, including pH, chlorine levels, alkalinity, and calcium hardness, and adjust as needed to maintain optimal balance.

Shock the pool to eliminate bacteria and algae, then run the filter system continuously for 24-48 hours to thoroughly circulate and clean the water. Establish a daily filtration routine for ongoing maintenance and regularly inspect and maintain pool equipment to ensure efficient operation. These steps will help you enjoy a clean, safe, and inviting swimming environment.


Step 1: Initial Cleaning

After filling your pool with water, the first step is to ensure it’s free from any unwanted debris. Start by skimming the surface of the water to remove leaves, insects, and other floating debris. This not only makes the pool more inviting but also prevents the filtration system from becoming clogged. Use a long-handled skimmer net to reach across the pool and collect all visible debris.

Next, it’s essential to clean the bottom of the pool, where dirt and small particles tend to settle. Use a pool vacuum to clean the pool floor thoroughly. Manual vacuums can be attached to your pool’s filtration system, while automatic or robotic vacuums can be left to do the work on their own. This step ensures that the entire pool is clean and ready for the next stages of maintenance. Keeping the pool clean from the start helps maintain water clarity and prevents the growth of algae and bacteria.

Step 2: Balancing the Water Chemistry

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Ensuring your pool’s water chemistry is balanced is crucial for maintaining a safe and enjoyable swimming environment. Begin by using a pool testing kit to measure the pH, chlorine levels, alkalinity, and calcium hardness of the water. Accurate readings from your test kit will guide you in making the necessary adjustments.

Adjust pH Levels

The ideal pH range for pool water is between 7.2 and 7.6. If the pH level is below this range, add a pH increaser (sodium carbonate) to raise it. Conversely, if the pH level is above the ideal range, add a pH decreaser (sodium bisulfate or muriatic acid) to lower it. Maintaining the proper pH level is essential for preventing irritation to swimmers’ eyes and skin and for optimizing the effectiveness of chlorine.


Total alkalinity acts as a buffer for pH, helping to keep it stable. The ideal alkalinity range is 80-120 parts per million (ppm). If your pool’s alkalinity is too low, add an alkalinity increaser (baking soda). If it’s too high, you can lower it by adding muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate. Proper alkalinity levels prevent rapid pH fluctuations, which can lead to maintenance issues and discomfort for swimmers.

Calcium Hardness

Calcium hardness refers to the concentration of calcium ions in the water. The ideal range for calcium hardness is 200-400 ppm. If the level is too low, add a calcium increaser (calcium chloride) to prevent the water from becoming corrosive and damaging pool surfaces and equipment. If the calcium hardness is too high, you may need to partially drain the pool and refill it with fresh water to dilute the calcium concentration.

Chlorine Levels

Chlorine is essential for disinfecting your pool water and keeping it free from harmful bacteria and algae. The ideal chlorine level is between 1-3 ppm. To maintain this range, add chlorine tablets or liquid chlorine. Regular testing and adjustments are necessary to ensure the water remains sanitized and safe for swimming.

 Shock the Pool

Shocking the pool involves adding a high dose of chlorine to the water to eliminate bacteria, algae, and other contaminants. This is particularly important after filling your pool for the first time or after heavy usage. To shock your pool, follow the instructions on your chosen chlorine shock product, typically adding it in the evening when the sun is down to prevent UV degradation. This step helps to reset the water chemistry and ensures a clean, clear pool ready for regular use.

Step 3: Shock the Pool

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Shocking the pool is a critical step in maintaining clean and safe water, especially after filling your pool for the first time.

Why Shock?

Shocking the pool involves adding a large dose of chlorine or another chemical to rapidly raise the chlorine level and oxidize contaminants. This process eliminates bacteria, algae, and other organic materials that regular chlorine treatments may not fully address. Shocking ensures that your pool water is sanitary, clear, and free of harmful microorganisms.

How to Shock

To effectively shock your pool, follow these steps:

  1. Choose the Right Product: Select a chlorine shock product suitable for your pool. There are various types, including calcium hypochlorite (cal-hypo), sodium di-chlor, and non-chlorine shock (potassium monopersulfate).
  2. Read the Instructions: Carefully read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the shock product packaging. This will provide specific guidance on the amount of product to use based on your pool’s size and current chlorine levels.
  3. Prepare the Pool: Ensure the pool’s filtration system is running. This helps to distribute the shock evenly throughout the water.
  4. Add the Shock: Typically, it’s best to add the shock in the evening or at dusk. This timing minimizes the loss of chlorine due to UV rays from the sun. Dissolve the shock product in a bucket of water if recommended by the manufacturer, then evenly pour it around the perimeter of the pool.
  5. Allow Time to Work: Let the pool water circulate overnight. Keep the filtration system running to ensure thorough mixing and distribution of the shock.
  6. Re-Test the Water: After allowing the shock to work for 12-24 hours, test the water again to ensure chlorine levels have returned to the safe range of 1-3 ppm before allowing swimmers to enter the pool.

Shocking your pool regularly, typically once a week or as needed, helps maintain optimal water quality, ensuring a safe and pleasant swimming experience for everyone.

Step 4: Run the Filter System

Proper filtration is essential for maintaining clean and clear pool water. After shocking your pool, the next step is to ensure your filtration system is running efficiently.

Initial Run

After filling and shocking your pool, it’s crucial to run the pool filter continuously for 24-48 hours. This initial run helps to circulate the water thoroughly, ensuring that any remaining debris, contaminants, and chemicals are filtered out. Continuous filtration during this period is essential for distributing the chemicals evenly throughout the pool, which helps in balancing the water chemistry effectively.

Regular Filtration

Once the initial run is complete, establish a routine for regular filtration to maintain water clarity and quality. Aim to run your pool filter for 8-12 hours a day. The exact duration can vary based on factors such as pool size, usage, and environmental conditions, but a general guideline is to filter all the water in the pool at least once a day.

  • Timer Use: Consider using a timer to automate the filtration process, ensuring consistent operation each day without needing manual intervention.
  • Monitor and Adjust: Regularly monitor the pool’s water quality and adjust the filtration time if necessary. During periods of heavy use or extreme weather conditions, you may need to run the filter longer to maintain optimal water clarity.
  • Backwashing and Cleaning: Regularly backwash your filter (if you have a sand or DE filter) or clean the filter cartridges to ensure the system operates efficiently. A clean filter is essential for maintaining good water flow and effective filtration.

By consistently running the filtration system, you help to remove debris, distribute chemicals, and prevent the growth of algae and bacteria, ensuring your pool remains a safe and inviting place for swimming.

Step 5: Inspect and Maintain Equipment

Maintaining your pool equipment is essential for ensuring efficient operation and prolonging the life of your pool components. Regular inspections and maintenance help prevent breakdowns and costly repairs.

Check Equipment

Regularly inspecting your pool equipment is crucial to ensure everything is functioning properly. Here’s what to look for:

  • Pump: Check the pool pump for any unusual noises or leaks. Ensure it is running smoothly and that the water is flowing correctly through the system.
  • Filter: Inspect the pool filter for signs of wear or damage. Make sure it is clean and functioning effectively.
  • Heater: If your pool has a heater, check it for proper operation. Look for any error codes or signs of malfunction, and ensure it is heating the water to the desired temperature.

Routine Maintenance

Routine maintenance is key to keeping your pool equipment in good working order. Here are some important maintenance tasks to perform regularly:

  • Clean Filters: Depending on the type of filter you have (sand, cartridge, or DE), follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning or replacing the filter media. For sand filters, this involves backwashing. For cartridge filters, this means removing and cleaning or replacing the cartridges. For DE filters, it involves backwashing and adding new DE powder.
  • Inspect Pumps: Regularly check the pump basket and impeller for debris that could restrict water flow. Clean out any debris and ensure the pump is operating efficiently.
  • Lubricate O-rings: Lubricate the O-rings on your pump and filter to ensure a good seal and prevent leaks. Use a silicone-based lubricant designed for pool equipment.
  • Check Hoses and Connections: Inspect all hoses, clamps, and connections for signs of wear, cracks, or leaks. Replace any damaged parts to prevent water loss and equipment failure.
  • Monitor Water Flow and Pressure: Keep an eye on the pressure gauge on your filter. High pressure can indicate a clogged filter that needs cleaning, while low pressure can signal a problem with the pump or a blockage in the system.

By regularly checking and maintaining your pool equipment, you can ensure that your pool operates efficiently and remains in good condition. This proactive approach helps prevent unexpected breakdowns and extends the lifespan of your pool components, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable swimming season.

Step 6: Ongoing Maintenance

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To keep your pool in pristine condition, ongoing maintenance is essential. This includes regular water testing, cleaning, and monitoring of water levels.

Weekly Testing

Consistently testing your pool’s water chemistry is crucial for maintaining a safe and enjoyable swimming environment. Here’s what to do:

  • Test Kits: Use a reliable pool testing kit to check the water’s pH, chlorine levels, alkalinity, and calcium hardness.
  • Adjust Chemicals: Based on the test results, adjust the chemical levels as needed:
    • pH: The ideal range is 7.2-7.6. Use a pH increaser if the pH is low and a pH decreaser if it is high.
    • Chlorine: Maintain chlorine levels between 1-3 ppm. Add chlorine tablets or liquid chlorine to maintain this level.
    • Alkalinity: The ideal range is 80-120 ppm. Use an alkalinity increaser or decreaser as needed.
    • Calcium Hardness: The ideal range is 200-400 ppm. Adjust with calcium increaser or dilution if necessary.

Regularly testing and balancing the water chemistry prevents issues such as algae growth, bacteria, and water cloudiness.

Regular Cleaning

Maintaining the cleanliness of your pool is vital for both aesthetics and hygiene. Follow these steps:

  • Skim the Surface: Use a skimmer net to remove leaves, insects, and other debris from the water surface daily.
  • Vacuum the Pool: Vacuum the pool floor regularly to remove dirt and debris that have settled at the bottom. Use either a manual or automatic pool vacuum.
  • Brush the Walls: Brush the pool walls and steps at least once a week to prevent algae buildup and remove any dirt that the vacuum might miss. Pay special attention to corners and areas with less circulation.

Regular cleaning keeps the pool inviting and reduces the strain on the filtration system.

Monitor Water Levels

Keeping your pool water at the correct level is important for the efficient operation of the pump and skimmer. Here’s what to do:

  • Ideal Water Level: Maintain the water level halfway up the pool skimmer opening. If the water level is too low, the pump can run dry and get damaged; if too high, the skimmer won’t function properly.
  • Regular Checks: Check the water level at least once a week, especially during periods of heavy use or after rainfall.
  • Refill or Drain: Add water to the pool if the level is low, or use a submersible pump to remove excess water if the level is too high.

By staying on top of these ongoing maintenance tasks, you ensure that your pool remains clean, safe, and ready for use at all times. Regular attention to water chemistry, cleanliness, and water levels helps prevent problems and keeps your pool in excellent condition.

Step 7: Safety and Accessories

Ensuring the safety of your pool area and enhancing its functionality with the right accessories is key to creating a safe and enjoyable swimming environment. Here’s how to go about it:

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Safety Measures

Pool safety is paramount to prevent accidents and ensure a secure environment for all swimmers, especially children and pets. Implement the following safety features:

  • Pool Covers: Invest in a durable pool cover to prevent accidental falls and keep debris out of the pool when it’s not in use. Automatic covers are convenient and provide an added layer of safety.
  • Pool Alarms: Install pool alarms that alert you when someone enters the pool area or falls into the water. There are surface wave alarms, sub-surface alarms, and wristband alarms for children.
  • Fencing: Surround your pool with a fence at least 4 feet high, with a self-closing, self-latching gate. Ensure the gate latch is out of reach of young children. This is often required by local regulations.
  • Safety Equipment: Keep life-saving equipment, such as life rings, a reaching pole, and a first aid kit, easily accessible near the pool area.


Enhance your pool’s functionality and convenience with the right accessories:

  • Pool Covers: In addition to safety, pool covers help reduce evaporation, maintain water temperature, and keep the pool clean. Choose from solar covers, winter covers, or safety covers based on your needs.
  • Skimmers: Invest in a good quality skimmer to remove floating debris like leaves and insects from the pool surface. Handheld skimmers are great for daily use.
  • Automatic Cleaners: Consider robotic or automatic pool cleaners to reduce the time and effort spent on manual cleaning. These devices can scrub, vacuum, and filter the pool, making maintenance easier.
  • Pool Heaters: If you want to extend your swimming season, add a pool heater. Options include gas heaters, electric heat pumps, and solar heaters.
  • Lights: Install pool lights for evening swims and enhanced ambiance. LED lights are energy-efficient and come in various colors for aesthetic appeal.
  • Ladders and Steps: Ensure easy and safe access to your pool with sturdy ladders and steps. Non-slip surfaces are particularly important for safety.

By implementing these safety measures and adding the right accessories, you create a safer and more enjoyable swimming environment. Safety features like pool covers, alarms, and fencing protect your loved ones, while accessories like skimmers, heaters, and lights enhance the functionality and enjoyment of your pool.

This table provides quick solutions for common pool problems, helping you troubleshoot and resolve issues efficiently to keep your pool in top condition.


Maintaining a clean and safe pool requires dedication and consistency, but the rewards of a refreshing and enjoyable swimming environment make it all worthwhile. Consistent maintenance is the key to keeping your pool in top condition. By regularly testing water chemistry, cleaning the pool, and monitoring equipment, you can prevent issues before they arise and ensure a safe and inviting swimming experience for all.

As you embark on this journey with your newly filled pool, remember to enjoy every moment responsibly. Regular maintenance may seem daunting at times, but the joy and relaxation your pool brings will make it all worthwhile. Take pride in caring for your pool, and it will reward you with endless hours of fun and enjoyment for years to come.

So dive in, splash around, and make unforgettable memories in your clean and safe pool!


  1. How often should I test my pool water?  It’s recommended to test your pool water at least once a week, especially during the swimming season. However, during periods of heavy use or extreme weather conditions, testing more frequently may be necessary.
  2. What is the ideal pH level for pool water?  The ideal pH range for pool water is between 7.2 and 7.6. Maintaining pH within this range is crucial for water balance, swimmer comfort, and the effectiveness of sanitizers.
  3. How often should I backwash my pool filter?  The frequency of backwashing depends on factors such as pool size, filter type, and usage. As a general guideline, backwash your sand or DE filter when the pressure gauge reads 8-10 psi higher than normal. For cartridge filters, clean or replace the cartridges as needed.
  4. How do I prevent algae growth in my pool?  Regularly shock the pool to kill algae and maintain proper chlorine levels. Brush and vacuum the pool walls and floor regularly to remove algae spores. Keep water chemistry balanced and ensure proper filtration and circulation.
  5. How can I reduce water evaporation from my pool?   Using a pool cover when the pool is not in use is the most effective way to reduce water evaporation. Additionally, planting trees or installing windbreaks can help reduce evaporation caused by wind.
  6. What should I do if my pool water is cloudy?   Test and balance water chemistry, shock the pool, run the filtration system longer, and clean or backwash the filter. Additionally, ensure proper circulation and regularly clean skimmer and pump baskets.
  7. How do I winterize my pool for the off-season?  Before closing your pool for the winter, balance water chemistry, clean and vacuum the pool, lower the water level, and add winterizing chemicals. Install a winter cover to protect the pool from debris and harsh weather.
  8. How can I improve energy efficiency in my pool?  Use a variable-speed pool pump, which consumes less energy than single-speed pumps. Opt for LED pool lights, which are more energy-efficient. Additionally, consider investing in a solar pool heater to harness renewable energy for heating your pool.


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