Owning a fibreglass pool can provide you with endless hours of enjoyment and relaxation. It is important to understand that proper maintenance is essential to keeping your pool clean, safe and functional. In this beginner’s guide, we will cover the basics of pool maintenance for fibreglass pools, including circulation, cleaning and maintaining correct water chemistry.
Proper circulation is a vital aspect of pool maintenance. It ensures that the water is constantly moving, which helps to distribute chemicals, prevent the buildup of debris, and maintain optimal water quality. Here are some key points to consider:
1. Run the pool pump
The pool pump is responsible for circulating the water. It should run for a period of time to turn over the water twice in one day. In most cases this is for anywhere between 4-8 hours daily and will depend on pool size and the pump installed.
2. Check the filter
Regularly inspect the filter for any signs of damage or clogs. Clean the filter or backwash when the pressure is high and replace the filter element (cartridge) every two years approximately. If you have a media filter, change the media every 5-10 years depending on usage and performance.
3. Time of operation
If you have solar panels on your roof, consider running the pool during the course of the day, your pool pump is likely one of the top two items in your household that uses electricity. Offsetting this cost whilst using the solar panels can save you hundreds of dollars each year. We strongly advise not connecting your pool to off peak tariffs, as this power supply is becoming more and more fluid in relation to when and when it does not operate.
Cleaning your fibreglass pool regularly is essential to keep it sparkling, clear and free from debris. Here are some important aspects of pool cleaning to keep in mind:
Use a leaf rake to remove leaves, twigs, insects, and other debris from the pool’s surface. Perform skimming as often as needed, preferably daily, to prevent debris from sinking to the bottom. Leaf debris left on any pool surface for an extended period, may lead to organic staining on your pool, and will incur unnecessary time, effort and money to rectify.
Brushing the pool walls and floor helps to remove algae, bacteria and other unwanted buildup. Use a pool brush designed for fibreglass pools and brush all reachable surfaces at least once a week.
Use a pool vacuum or an automatic pool cleaner to thoroughly clean the pool floor and walls. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper operation and ensure that the pool water is clear of large debris before vacuuming.
4. Clean the skimmer and pump baskets
Regularly check and clean the skimmer and pump baskets to remove any debris that might hinder proper water flow. Clean these baskets weekly or as needed. Replace them as soon as you notice they break or become brittle.
5. Backwash the filter
If your pool has a glass filter, periodically backwash it according to the manufacturer’s instructions to remove trapped contaminants and keep the system working efficiently.
Maintaining proper water chemistry is crucial to ensure a safe and enjoyable swimming experience. Here are the key components of water chemistry maintenance:
1. pH level
pH measures the water’s acidity or alkalinity. The ideal pH range for a fibreglass pool is between 7.2 and 7.8. Test the pH level regularly using test strips or a testing kit, adjusting the pH level if necessary, using pH increaser or pH decreaser. pH decreaser is also know by the name of Hydrochloric Acid, Pool Acid, or pH Down. pH increaser is also known by the name of Soda Ash.
2. Total Alkalinity
Alkalinity acts as a buffer or stabiliser to the pH level. The recommended range for total alkalinity in a fibreglass pool is typically between 80 and 120 ppm (parts per million). Use alkalinity increaser or decreaser to adjust alkalinity levels where required.
Chlorine is vital for sanitising the pool water, controlling bacteria, viruses, and algae growth. Test the chlorine levels regularly using test strips or a testing kit and maintain them within the recommended range (usually 2-4 ppm).
4. Calcium Hardness
Calcium hardness refers to the level of dissolved calcium in the water. Extremes in these levels can cause irritation to skin, eyes and even sore feet. For fibreglass pools, the ideal range is typically between 200 and 400 ppm. Raise it using calcium hardness increaser, and to lower use either calcium hardness reducer or in some cases fresh water
Stabiliser is a chemical added to the water to help maintain the longevity of chlorine in the pool water. Chlorine is dramatically depleted by the suns UV rays, and without this in the pool, you will often find low chlorine levels, leading to unhealthy pool water, and the likelihood of a algae infestation. Please note, that this may or may not be an essential for your pool, and is subject to the equipment that you have chosen to install. It would be advisable to check with your pool professional first.
6. Shock Treatment
Shocking the pool periodically is necessary to eliminate organic contaminants, and maintain proper sanitation. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the chlorine shock product for proper dosage and application.
Regularly test the pool water for pH, alkalinity, chlorine and other key parameters using a reliable test kit. Test at least once a week or more frequently during periods of heavy pool usage or extreme weather periods.
Water level maintenance
Keep the water level in your pool within the recommended range, usually halfway up the skimmer opening. If the water level is too low, use a garden hose to fill it up. If it’s too high, backwash where possible, or syphon off some of the excess water. It is strongly advised you do not top up the pool with tank water, unless absolutely necessary.
Seek Professional Assistance
If you’re unsure about any aspect of pool chemistry, consider seeking advice from a professional pool service technician who can help you maintain the water balance. By following these guidelines for circulation, cleaning, and water chemistry maintenance, you can ensure that your fibreglass pool remains clean, safe, and enjoyable for years to come. Remember, consistent and diligent maintenance is key to preserving the beauty and functionality of your pool.
For the best result
It would be highly recommended that you take your pool sample to your local pool store or schedule a visit from a professional like Poolwerx. They can keep a record on file for later reference should you ever need to refer back to this information, and keeping a record will make ongoing maintenance a lot more comprehensive.
Note: This guide is intended as a general overview of pool maintenance for fibreglass pools. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions and consult with a pool professional for specific advice regarding your individual pool’s maintenance needs.