Swimming Pool Maintenance: Fiberglass & Vinyl Liner Pool Kits



Owning a fiberglass pool kit is a most rewarding investment. It is the finest pool available and the easiest to maintain.

You now have a pleasant spot for healthful relaxation and family fun . . . an ideal center for informal outdoor social gatherings . . . a natural "spa" for mental and physical therapy . . . a muscle tuning and body building area . . . an architectural feature that enhances the attractiveness and value of your property.

Like your new automobile, you may have a tendency to over-maintain your fiberglass pool kit when it is new. Our recommendations for maintenance are designed to allow you more time for enjoyment of your pool . . . at the least expense.

After you have owned your fiberglass pool kit for one year you develop your own standard of care to suit your individual family way of living.

Clean, sparkling water in a clean fiberglass pool shell should be your objective. This objective can be attained the easy way or the hard way.



DO NOT DRAIN YOUR POOL . Your fiberglass pool kit is designed to remain full of water at all times. If the pool is drained without proper directions, hydrostatic or ground pressure outside the pool could cause the structure to buckle or crack. All damage to the pool shell resulting from improper pool drainage is the owners responsibility.

If it becomes necessary to drain the pool, contact your Dealer or the Pool manufacturer.

For best operation, keep the water level in the center of the rectangular skimmer plate on the pool wall. Low water level may cause the circulating pump to loose prime resulting in pump damage, high water level reduces or eliminates the skimmer effectiveness.


The "bathtub" ring which forms on the pool wall or tile caused by body oils, suntan lotions and air borne contaminants can easily be removed with swimming pool tile cleaner or other non abrasive commercial tile or vinyl cleaners. Do not use abrasive cleaners, steel wool, metal scrapers, brushes or tools as these may cause permanent damage to the gel coat finish. Dulled gel coat above the water line may be restored with a heavy cut automotive polishing compound either power or hand applied followed by a coat of wax. The gel-coat finish of your Fiberglass Pool can be scratched like any other gloss surface. The gelcoat is seven to eight times thicker than a normal coat of paint so it is not likely that scratches will be more than superficial.

Hair line cracks which may develop over a period of time are not uncommon. They only penetrate the gel coat and do not effect the pool's structure or result in leakage. Scratches and hair-line cracks are repairable. Contact your dealer for more information. Most of the dirt and debris that sinks to the bottom of your pool can be brushed toward and into the main drain and will be trapped in the filter. Heavy amounts of dirt and debris should be vacuumed out.


Pool vacuum . The pool vacuum works on the same principle as a carpet vacuum for your home. The pool vacuum uses water suction instead of air to remove dirt and debris from your pool's floor.

Vacuum Instructions:

  • 1. Turn on the pool pump and, if so equipped, turn the skimmer or vacuum valve open and the main drain closed.
  • 2. Remove the skimmer lid and basket. Note: If so equipped, leave basket in place and install the vacuum plate.
  • 3. Attach the vacuum hose to the vacuum head and attach the vacuum pole to the head.
  • 4. Sink the vacuum head to the bottom of the pool, then fill the vacuum hose with water by holding the open end of the hose over a return inlet until all the air is removed from the hose.
  • 5. Insert the open end of the vacuum hose through the skimmer top into the suction outlet. Note: if the pool is equipped with a dedicated vacuum wall fitting, insert the open end or the hose into the fitting.
  • 6. Vacuum pool slowly from shallow to deep end. Note: Do not vacuum large leaves or debris as it may clog the plumbing lines.
  • 7. When vacuuming is complete, empty and replace the skimmer basket and re-open the main drain valve.
  • 8. Check the filter pressure gauge and if required, back wash or clean the pool filter.

Pool Skimmer . Water flows from the pool through the skimmer then into the pump. The pool skimmer is designed to break water surface tension and remove floating debris as it floats by the skimmer opening. The flapper (weir) inside the skimmer throat allows debris to flow into the skimmer then keeps it from drifting back out. Be sure the weir opens and closes freely. If stuck in the closed position, water from the pool cannot flow freely into the skimmer and pump damage may result. Debris is caught in the skimmer basket and should be removed and emptied as required. Excessive debris can clog the basket resulting in ineffective skimming and or damage to the pump.

Main Drain . Water from the bottom of the pool flows through the main drain to the pump. The term main drain implies a way to remove the pool water, however its primary purpose is to circulate deep water, not drain the pool.

Return Inlets . The adjustable return inlets return filtered water back to the pool. Adjust one return inlet down and to the left of center. Adjust the other slightly up and left of center. This allows both deep and shallow water circulation along with clockwise water rotation.

Pump and Motor . The pump and motor pull water from the main drain and or the skimmer, then pushes the water through the filter and, if so equipped, through the heater, brominator or chlorinator then back to the pool return inlets. If allowed to run dry, the pump and adjacent piping can be damaged.

Strainer (next to pump) . The lint and hair strainer basket collects lint, hair, etc., and prevents it from entering the pump and filter. Clean as required. Before removing lid to strainer basket, be sure to turn motor to pump OFF. After strainer lid is re-secured, turn pump on, and open air relief valve on top of filter. Silicone based grease or aqua lube on the O-ring in the lid will assure you of a better seal. Sandy dirt collected in the bottom of the strainer housing can be washed out by removing the 1/4 inch plug at the bottom of the strainer housing and flushing with a hose.

Time Clock . The time clock turns the pump motor on and off at adjustable pre-determined times. For best results the time clock should run the pump 6 to 8 hours when water is at swimming temperature and 3 to 5 hours at lower temperatures. It is best to set the time clock to cycle on and off twice in a 24 hour period to better balance circulation, filtration and sanitizer disbursement.

Light . Consult your dealer for bulb replacement and instructions.

Filter . Your pool filter is designed to mechanically clean your pool water by trapping tiny particles inside. The cleaner the water, the less sanitizer and water chemistry adjustments will be required. Your Dealer will advise you regarding care and maintenance of the filter system for your pool.

Filter Pressure Gauge . The pressure gauge located on top of the filter tells you the condition of your filter and circulating system. With the filter clean and the suction and return valves open, check and note the gauge reading. When the gauge rises 10 pounds above this starting pressure, it is time to clean or backwash the filter. If the gauge falls below the starting pressure, check the skimmer and hair and lint strainer for debris. If the reading remains low, check for an air leak at the hair and lint strainer lid. If low pressure persists, check for cracked or broken piping on the inlet side of the pump.

Follow manufacturer's and dealer instructions for operation and maintenance for other pool equipment and accessories.


There are 4 components that make up pool water chemistry; PH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness and T.D.S.

  • Potential Hydrogen (PH ) is the relative acidity or base of your pool's water. For example: low PH would be acidic and high PH would be base. The human tear has a PH value of 7 and is classified as neutral. The ideal PH value for your Pool is 7.2 to 7.4. PH levels should be checked bi-weekly.
  • Total Alkalinity (T.A.) is composed of the minerals in your pool water that buffer PH and is measured in parts per million (1 P.P.M.= 1 part per million parts of water). If the mineral levels are too high, then the PH will constantly drift up. If the mineral levels are too low, the PH will drift down or fluctuate. The proper total alkalinity level for your Pool is 70 to 80 P.P.M. and should be checked weekly.
  • Calcium Hardness (C.H.) is the relative hardness of your pool water, and is measured in P.P.M. If the water is too soft, it will be aggressive and erode pool equipment such as heaters, ladders and even the gel coat finish. If the water is too hard, deposits will form on the pool equipment and finish. 300 to 350 P.P.M. is the proper hardness for your Pool and should be checked monthly.
  • Total Dissolved Solids (T.D.S.) are the sum total of all materials in solution in your pool water, and is measured in P.P.M. T.D.S. should be checked annually by a pool store professional or service company. T.D.S. above 1,500 P.P.M. reduces sanitizer effectiveness and causes the water to become abrasive. Note: During periods of heavy rain or high swimmer loads, all of the above water chemistry valves, except T.D.S. should be checked more frequently.
When tests show all the above water chemistry items to be within the recommended ranges, it is in balance. Balanced water will be clean, clear, blue and sparkles. Eye and skin irritation will be reduced, and pool equipment and gel coat surface life will be extended. Balanced water improves sanitation effectiveness and reduces or eliminates the necessity of adding costly water chemistry supplements. Prolonged improper water chemistry and high sanitizer levels can lead to pool equipment and gel coat damage which may not be covered by your warranty.


  • Step 1. Adjust PH level to 7.4 - 7.6 by using testing kit supplied with your fiberglass pool kit.
  • Step 2. Add Chlorine Stabilizer per instructions on label of stabilizer container.
  • Step 3. Super chlorinate with chlorine per instructions on label of chlorine container.
  • Step 4. Turn on your pump which will initiate filtration. Run the pump continuously for 24 hours.
  • Step 5. Clean your filter medium by hosing off your cartridges or backwashing. (See filter instructions.)
  • Repeat steps 3 and 4 until water is clear.


Bromine and chlorine are the most popular pool water sanitizer for your Pool. Alternate sanitizer are available and can be effective. Contact your Dealer or pool professional regarding alternative sanitizer.

Bromine and chlorine kill bacteria and control algae in pool water when maintained at relatively low but constant levels. At higher levels, they become shocking agents that kill algae and oxidize organic waste such as body oil, urine, perspiration and air borne contaminants.

Bromine is less caustic and aggressive than chlorine resulting in reduced eye and skin irritation. Bromine will not fade bathing suits or yellow blonde hair. Bromine adds gentle action will prolong the gel-coat pool finish and equipment. The primary advantage of chlorine is lower product cost.

If bromine or chlorine levels are allowed to fluctuate from low to normal, algae has an opportunity to flourish at the lower levels then become uncontrollable at the normal levels.

Do not use your pool skimmer as a sanitizer feeder. Not only can this lead to damage to your pool equipment, it is inefficient and costly. Bromine and chlorine can both be fed to your pool water through relatively inexpensive in line feeders. Chlorine can also be fed through a floating chlorinator. Do not use chlorine on indoor pools. The gases from chlorine in water are carcinogenic.

Bromine Sanitation . Fill your brominator with bromine tablets and set the feeder to full open. Run the filtering system 24 hours a day and periodically test the bromine level until the bromine readings reach 3 P.P.M. then adjust the bromine feeder to half open and set your pump time clock to the selected operation time. Check the bromine level 24 hours later. If the bromine reads high or low, adjust the feeder accordingly and recheck 24 hours later. Bromine levels should be checked at least bi-weekly after the initial adjustments.

Chlorine Sanitation . There are 4 generic types of chlorine readily available for residential pool applications.

Chlorine type pkg. Primary use Ingredients
Calcium Hypochlorite Granules Tablets Shock Feeder 65% calcium 35% chlorine
Sodium Hypochlorite Liquid Shock 12% chlorine 88% saltwater
Trichloro Tablet Feeder 95% Chlorine 5% cyanuric acid
Dichlor Granular Shock 85% chlorine 15% cyanoric acid

In line, Off line, and floating chlorine feeders are available for dispensing chlorine to your pool water.( See bromine sanitation for chlorine feeder instructions)

Chlorine is rapidly exhausted by ultra violet light. This results in excessive consumption in summer's direct sun. Cyanuric acid (stabilizer or conditioner) may be added to your pool water. Cyanuric acid acts like an invisible blanket that stops U.V. attack, and is most effective when kept at 40 to 60 P.P.M. Cyanuric acid does not degrade or evaporate so caution should be used not to add too much. High levels of cyanuric acid reduce chlorine effectiveness and distort water chemistry values.


Organic contaminants including saliva, urine, body oil, sun tan lotion and air borne particles build up in pool water and combine with sanitizer. The result is bromanines (Bromine) or chloramine (chlorine) which give off a strong odor and can dramatically reduce the sanitizer effectiveness. These contaminants can be eliminated by oxidizing or shocking the pool water. Bromine and chlorine sanitized pool water can be shocked by adding an appropriate amount of chlorine or potassium mono persulfate (oxygen shock). See product container for proper application. Do not add shock products to your pool water in one location as this may result in damage to the gel-coat surface. Add small quantities in several locations around the pool. When using gradual chlorine for shocking, dissolve the granular in a large pail of water, then add the liquid to the pool water. Your test kit will indicate the need for shocking. It is also recommended that you shock your pool water after heavy rains and high swimmer loads. Turn off your sanitizer feeder and operate the pool filtering system for 24 hours after shocking.


The water that goes into your pool has its own characteristics. The surest way to determine its chemical makeup is to have your water analyzed by a pool supply company or your fiberglass pool kit dealer. Normally, once your water is balanced the predominant chemical you will need to add to your water is stabilized chlorine.

Monthly chemical check by your pool professional is recommended. Follow the directions on the chlorine/bromine label but remember that the dosages are designed for plastered pools which have greater chlorine demand. An extra dose of chlorine called "super chlorination" or "shocking" is periodically required in some locations to maintain proper water chemistry. Once each two weeks in summer months is normal.


A good quality test kit will pay for itself several times over by giving you control of your waters chemistry balance and sanitizer level thus eliminating the need to constantly add products to resolve water problems. Your test kit should be able to test PH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness and sanitizer level. The kit should include a cyanuric acid test for chlorine sanitized water. The kit should also include charts indicating the type and amount of products required to adjust your pool water chemistry. Read the test kit instructions and practice its use. A little practice will soon instill confidence.


DO NOT MIX DIFFERENT TYPES OF CHLORINE; FUMES, SMOKE AND FIRE MAY RESULT. DO NOT ALLOW CHLORINE TO COME IN CONTACT WITH PETROLEUM PRODUCTS OR ACID; FIRE OR EXPLOSION MAY RESULT. Store pool chemicals in tight containers separate from one another in a well ventilated area. Measure and add chemicals separately. Do not mix with one another before adding to your pool water. Follow manufacturer's instructions listed on product containers.


Algae cannot adhere to your Pool finish, but can grow and flourish in the pool water. Algae blooms may first appear as cloudiness before it turns color. There are three primary types of algae: green, mustard (yellow or light brown) and black (blue-green). Black algae requires a rough porous surface to survive so it is of no concern in your fiberglass pool kit. Bromine and chlorine at normal levels are effective algaestats (able to control algae growth). Chlorine at 10 P.P.M. is an effective algicide (able to kill algae). See container labels for proper application. Chlorine can be used in a bromine pool for shocking or algae killing. Commercial algaecides are also available. Contact your dealer or pool professional for further information. Properly maintained water chemistry and constant sanitizer levels will effectively reduce or eliminate algae problems.


Most fill water contains trace to measurable amounts of metals. Because these metals are completely dissolved in the water, they are invisible. Fiberglass acts as a magnet, attracting these metals and plating the gel-coat surface. This plating will not rub or brush off and appears as blotches or shading and may even take on bizarre appearances such as hand or foot prints. Iron deposits appear reddish or light brown, copper will be green or blue green, magnesium or cobalt is black. This plating can be removed almost immediately with the addition of metal removing agents to your pool water. Note: sequestering agents are not effective. Two products are very effective in removing these deposits. Metal Magic by Proteam Products and Jacks Magic by Crystaline Products. Metal Magic attacks all metals and converts them to a metal salt which is removed in the filtering process. Follow label instructions for proper application. Because calcium is a metal, occasionally metal magic will cause the calcium in your pool water to form cloudiness. Continuous filtration may remove this cloudiness. If not, a flocking agent can be used to settle the sediment to the pool floor where it can be vacuumed out. Contact your Dealer or pool professional for further information on flocking agents.

Jacks Magic will effectively remove iron deposits from the pools surface but will not remove it from the water. An additional Jacks product must be added to coagulate the metals into a filterable mass. Pools sanitized with chlorine must have chlorine levels reduced or removed for Jacks Magic to be effective.



  • If you elect to have a pool service maintain your pool, please have them review this manual. It is important to have your pool service company follow the water chemistry values for your Fiberglass pool.
  • In some areas of the country, winterizing your Pool is recommended. Contact your Dealer for specific information.
  • The pool accessories and attachments on your Pool are manufactured by others and have separate warranties. Contact your dealer or accessory manufacturer for specific information.

Now that you are a Pool owner, neighbors and friends will want to enjoy your pool. Here are a few reminders to keep your pool from becoming the neighborhood community pool.


Like anything new, your fiberglass pool kit will be shown off to your friends and neighbors. Why not? . . you're justifiably proud of your pleasureful fiberglass pool kit and you want them to see it. Yes, you may even want them to swim in it.

If you want to enjoy your own privacy with your pool and not let it become the community "swimming hole" you had better consider some of these suggested pool rules. (These can be copied and passed out to your neighbors, etc.).


(The manufacturer in all his wisdom suggested we give these to all who might use our new pool! We hope you will!!!)

  • 1. Phone before you come over. Guests, illness, etc. can make it impossible to accommodate more guests.
  • 2. Kids are welcome ONLY when accompanied by at least one parent.
  • 3. Could you bring your own towels?
  • 4. Help us, actively, keep the pool clean. Just ask, we'll show you!
  • 7. No cats, dogs or pets of any kind. (Animals, as a rule, have 100 times more bacteria than a human. Besides, they don't talk.)

Try to establish guest rules up front. Most people do not want to take advantage of your hospitality, but it is very difficult to establish rules after they have become a habit. Now sit back and enjoy your new fiberglass pool kit!