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Before the summer or spring can begin with a jump into your pool, it must be filled with water.

For someone who has never had any contact with that area, the procedure is not obvious at first glance.

Therefore, many beginners ask themselves before the pool first filling “What to do?”

In the following sections, you will find information on what needs to go into the pool water, as well as a listing of the necessary equipment and other useful hints.

The necessary equipment after the first filling

In order to adequately maintain as well as clean the pool after the initial filling of your pool with water, some tools are essential.

All the items listed below contribute in one way or another to the longevity of your pool’s material in combination with a hygienic as well as visually appealing water circulation.

  • Pool water test: To determine the chemical composition of the water, there are conventional test strips or digital meters. You should make sure that at least the pH and the chlorine value are measured, whereby depending on the individual circumstances, it makes sense to check other factors regularly.

A particularly accurate measurement can be made with this meter:

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  • Pool landing net: With the help of a pool landing net, you can primarily clean the surface of the pool from coarser debris. These include, for example, fallen leaves or dead insects, which often use swimming pools as a source of water.
  • Filter system: Whether a sand filter or a cartridge filter is used depends on several circumstances, such as the size of the pool and the respective load of dirt. In principle, a filter system helps to remove even smaller particles that contaminate the pool water.

Don’t have a sand filtration system yet? Try this one:

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  • Pool chemistry: Both agents for lowering or increasing the pH value and chlorine for extensive disinfection are strongly recommended for water care. Furthermore, an algaecide, which is commonly referred to as an algaecide, prevents the formation of algae, which can be responsible for a greenish coloration. Flocculants, on the other hand, bind even the smallest dirt particles, making them filterable.
  • Protective goggles: Particular care should be taken when handling chemical pool care products, as these can sometimes have a corrosive effect, depending on the respective dosage. Likewise, if too much combined chlorine, also known as chloramine, is present, the use of protective goggles is advisable because it can cause irritation if it comes into contact with the eyes.
  • A pair of chemical protective gloves: Similar to the recommended safety glasses, this item serves as a precautionary measure when handling potentially harmful chemicals. In addition to being handled carefully, the dosage should also be based on the manufacturer’s instructions so that there are no risks to health.

With these protective gloves, your hands are guaranteed to stay protected:

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  • Cover: A pool cover fulfills several important purposes in the subsequent regular maintenance of the pool. These include, on the one hand, protecting the water from contamination by leaves and other foreign bodies during prolonged periods of non-use and, on the other hand, a regulating function with regard to the water temperature. A cover prevents fluctuations, which in turn keeps the chemical composition in an optimal balance.
  • Pool vacuum cleaner (recommended): The use of a pool vacuum makes physical pool maintenance immensely easier, with different models being useful depending on individual needs. Manual pool vacuums are the least expensive, allowing you to clean the bottom of the pool from the edge of the pool, but this option is only suitable for smaller pools.
    An automatic pool vacuum is connected to the filtration system just like a manual one, but it cleans the pool independently afterwards and can therefore be used for larger pools.
    If, on the other hand, you prefer to clean the bottom and walls of the pool and do not have a filter system or a comparatively large pool, a robotic pool cleaner is recommended. This operates completely autonomously, although the cleaning capacity is limited by the dirt collection container.

With an excellent price-performance ratio convinces this pool robot:

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Pool initial filling: instructions in 5 steps

After you have purchased all the necessary equipment for the initial start-up and further physical as well as chemical pool maintenance in specialized stores or on Amazon, there are a few steps to complete when filling your pool for the first time.

On the one hand, these will ensure sound hygiene in all areas and guarantee the longevity of the materials, and on the other hand, they will have a positive visual impact on the overall appearance of your garden.

As soon as you’re done with inflating the pool or just setting up the swimming pool in general, you can begin with step 1.

Step 1: Connect the filter system

Before you initiate further measures, a professional connection of the respective filter system should definitely be carried out. Normally, in this case, a manual from the corresponding manufacturer is enclosed, the instructions of which must be followed carefully in order to avoid possible malfunctions. A correctly connected filter system helps the other pool care products to achieve their optimal effect.

Step 2: Test the pool water

In order to make the regular process of water maintenance ideally as less time-consuming and labor-intensive as possible, especially to spend relaxing hours in your pool, it is recommended to adjust the pool water accordingly after the initial filling.

The first step is to check the chemical composition of the water for its properties, which can be done using a test strip or a digital meter. In the best case, these tools cover both the pH value, the chlorine content and other factors such as water hardness or alkalinity.

Step 3: Adjust pH

Adjusting the pH is a prerequisite for further effective treatment of your pool water. It should be in a range between 7.0 to 7.4, with 7.2 being considered the golden mean. When using pH-Plus or pH-Minus granules or liquid concentrate, it is essential to follow the individual dosage instructions of the respective manufacturers.

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Step 4: Shock the pool

A pool shock causes a basic disinfection of your pool water, although this does not replace the regular addition of, for example, chlorine tablets in a float.

In order to permanently eliminate organic foreign bodies such as bacteria, algae and the like for the time being, dose the agent with regard to the respective manufacturer’s recommendation and pay attention to the rapid solubility of the same. An optimal chlorine value corresponds to approximately two milligrams per liter.

Step 5: Add algaecide and flocculant to the water (recommended)

Although this point is not mandatory, it is highly recommended for an ideal water setting. An algaecide, also known as an algicide, prevents or combats the proliferation of algae, which can cause a greenish discoloration of the water. Flocculants, on the other hand, make the smallest dirt particles, which under normal circumstances are not captured by the filter system, filterable by binding them.

Initial pool filling: well water

For the initial filling of your own pool, many pool owners use water from a well, as it is readily available and usually rather inexpensive in comparison. However, depending on where you live, there may be local impurities that cause the quality to lag behind that of the tap water in question.

Either a metal neutralizer is added to the pool water during initial filling to prevent damage as well as discoloration caused by metal dissolved in the water, which includes iron oxide, or you decide to make the financial investment in tap water to fill your pool.

Metal neutralizer helps against brown water:

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FAQ: Frequently asked questions about initial pool filling answered

How much chlorine must be added to the water when filling the pool for the first time?

In this case, a distinction should be made between the shock chlorination that takes place and the regular application of chlorine. As a rough guideline, whereby the specifications of the respective manufacturer must be observed, is for fast dissolving chlorine granulate with a shock chlorination at approximately two milligrams, per liter of pool water.

Ideally, chlorine is then added in tablet form in a dosing float, whereby the proportion of free chlorine, which has a disinfecting effect, is set at between 0.3 and 1.0 milligrams per liter.

What water care rules should be followed after the initial filling measures?

In addition to regular physical care of the pool through the use of a landing net, a pool vacuum cleaner, as well as the daily operation of the filter system for several hours and its maintenance or cleaning, some options of chemical water care should be considered.

Measuring the pH and chlorine levels at certain intervals, as well as adjusting them if the test results are not ideal, is mandatory, as is the addition of fresh water when the pool is in increased use.

The pool is green after initial filling, what now?

A greenish discoloration of the water in your pool is in most cases due to an infestation of algae. After cleaning the pool walls as well as the bottom, a new shock chlorination is urgently recommended, whereby the sand filter system should then be continuously operated for at least one to two days and, if necessary, backwashed. It is also advisable to check, and if necessary adjust, the pH value and other indicators.

Can active oxygen be used for the initial pool filling?

The use of active oxygen is an alternative to the administration of chlorine, whereby the disinfecting effect in this case is due to an oxidation process. However, in principle, the agent reacts more sensitively than chlorine, especially at high water temperatures or fluctuations in pH.

For hygienic reasons, you should therefore by no means dispense with the initial shock chlorination after filling your pool in order to obtain germ-free water with certainty. If you decide to use active oxygen after that, it is available in specialized stores or on Amazon, for example.

Do saltwater pools have to be treated differently?

Starting up a saltwater pool follows almost the same steps as a normal swimming pool. The exact differences can be found in our guide on “How to start up a saltwater pool“.


The first filling of one’s own pool is often associated with a variety of questions for newcomers. These range from the required aids for physical pool maintenance to the use of appropriate pool chemicals.

The latter, in combination with the use of a landing net, a filter system as well as a pool vacuum, offers optimal conditions for a flawless routine to develop following the initial filling, leaving as much time as possible for relaxing or adventurous hours in the cool water.

Next up: Leveling the ground and installing the pool liner.

Larry has been a true water rat since childhood. Pure pleasure turned into a passion. That's why he is the first point of contact for friends and acquaintances when it comes to pool-related problems. He is an integral part of the PoolHandbook editorial team.