How Do You Clean a Fibreglass Pool?
Fibreglass pools are easier to clean, but they need regular cleaning. Cleaning a pool is important for the safety of swimmers and the longevity of the pool. Pool water is vulnerable to dust, debris, leaves, algae, oil, and makeup from the swimmer’s bodies. The chemicals you add to your pool to maintain water quality also leaves behind residue overtime. All these build up and affect the quality of water. You will also notice stains on the sides of the pool.
Pool cleaning options.
Manual pool cleaning
Manual cleaning will require some time and labour on your part. The good news is that fibreglass pools are not prone to attracting dirt and algae. If you plan to clean your pool manually, you will need equipment like a telescopic pole long enough to reach your pool’s walls and floor. You will have to attach a skimmer net to the telescopic pole so that it can trap any floating leaves or debris.
A pool brush can be attached to the pole to scrub away dirt from the walls and floor of the pool. Always use a nylon-bristled soft brush to clean fibreglass pools. Cleaning a fibreglass pool is a gentle activity which does not involve harsh brushing or strong chemicals. You do not have to indulge in any rigorous brushing. Never use steel brushes. It will damage the walls of the fibreglass pools.
A manual pool vacuum with a hose which has sufficient length to cover all areas of a pool will be required to clean dirt from the surface of the pool. The vacuum head of your pool vacuum cleaner should be capable of being attached to the telescopic pole.
You will also require chemicals especially meant for cleaning fibreglass pools. Be careful to avoid harsh chemicals. Harsh chemicals will damage the smooth gel coat of your fibreglass pools. Skimming the pool every day, brushing it twice a week and vacuum cleaning it every couple of days will keep your swimming pool water clear.
Automatic pool cleaning
If the thought of manual cleaning scares you or if your pool is large you can invest in automatic cleaning equipment. Automatic pool cleaning equipment is slightly expensive but the investment will save you time and effort in the long run. Some automatic pool cleaning equipment are mentioned below:
Suction side cleaner
These cleaners are hooked to your skimmer. They move around the pool floor collecting dirt and debris. Some types of cleaners can also clean the walls of your pool. These cleaners are economical and easy to run. They can be cleaned and maintained easily. Their working depends on the pool pump, and they can increase the load on your pool filter.
Pressure side cleaners
These type of cleaners cost more than the suction side cleaners, but they are more effective at picking up debris and cleaning the pool. They are hooked to the opposite end of the pool filtration system. They are propelled by the force of the water from the return jets. The pressure side cleaner contains a filter bag to collect dirt and debris. This equipment is available in different types. You need to select a model suitable for your pool.
Robotic pool cleaners
These sophisticated pool cleaners run on electricity. Robotic pool cleaners have long cords and they run on low voltage. Robotic pool cleaners have brush and vacuum attached, and they do their scrubbing and cleaning independently without depending on your filtration system. They require regular cleaning and maintenance to function effectively.
Now that we have looked at the various cleaning equipment, let’s look at what are the types of debris usually found in pools.
Stains will always appear in your pool. There are many causes of staining. The salt added to a saltwater pool and iron from liquid chlorine can cause yellow-brown stains. Excess cobalt oxide can cause small black spots on the surface of your pool. Any imbalance in your water chemistry can increase staining.
You need to maintain a water pH balance of 7.2 to 7.4. The alkalinity of water should ideally be between 80 and 100 parts per million. Calcium hardness should be maintained at 200-400 ppm. Stable calcium levels in the water will prevent clouding, calcification, corrosion, and the pool surface’s staining. The ideal chlorine level is 1 ppm. Testing water regularly and adding the necessary chemicals can help your swimming pool remain stain free.
Even if your water has proper chemicals your swimming pool is vulnerable to stains from organic and non-organic sources. Leaves, berries and dirt can stain your pools. You can scoop out any floating leaves and debris using the telescopic pole. Dirt and bug corpses can be vacuum cleaned. This will prevent stains on the waterline.
Sunblock and oils on the swimmer’s bodies cause bathroom ring stains. These can be removed by applying commercial pool tile cleaners. Make sure to purchase cleaners suited to fibreglass pools. Another option is to use sponge and detergent mixed with water. Stubborn bathroom ring stains can be removed using a mixture of water and oxalic acid.
Rubbing a vitamin C tablet will dislodge any rust caused due to contact with metal. A brush with soft bristles can be used for any excess rust. If there are signs of rust infection than placing ascorbic acid powder in the filter can solve the problem.
Metal stains like cobalt staining and calcium scaling are also common in fibreglass pools. Calcium crystals build up on the top of the pool to cause calcium scaling. You can use a stain eraser or scaling treatment suitable for fibreglass pools to solve these problems.
Algae and dirt
The best thing about fibreglass pools is that they do not trap dust and algae in their surfaces. But still, body oils, suntan lotions and airborne particles can settle down on the pool surface. Overtime slight algae may develop due to the moisture. But cleaning them is easy.
Just use a pool rake to sweep the algae towards the drain. Due to the smooth surface of fibreglass pools, algae and dirt gets dislodged with gentle sweeping. You can spray mild vinyl tile cleaners on the dirty areas of the pool. Strong cleaners should never be used on fibreglass pools. The cleaner and scum should be wiped away with a non-abrasive cloth.
Precautions to be taken while cleaning the pool
Fibreglass pools should be cleaned gently to prevent long term damage to their surface. Avoid using metallic vacuum cleaners. Steel wool, metal scrapers or brushes should never be used to brush away any dirt. These tools can permanently ruin the gel coat of the fibreglass pool. You should never try to drain your fibreglass pool without expert help. A fibreglass pool can be damaged when drained without proper precautions. Clean the filter regularly and maintain water level at 3 inches (ca. 8 cm) above the bottom of the skimmer opening. This will enable the filter system to skim the floating debris from the surface of the pool.
Clean your pool stains as soon as you notice them. Keep your pool covered when not in use. A pool cover can be of great help in keeping your pool clean. You can use decorative stickers to cover stubborn stains. If the pool becomes too dirty seek expert help in cleaning the pool.