If you're in the market for a new swimming pool, a fiberglass pool is definitely the way to go. Long lasting, easy to maintain, and essentially preassembled as a self-contained installable unit, a new fiberglass swimming pool with its many options in size and shape can be the ideal solution to your dreams of swimming pool ownership. But before you take a dip, there are some things you’ll need to do to prepare for your new pool. In the post below we will outline the steps you need to take to get everything ready for the acquisition of your new fiberglass swimming pool.
The first step in the process will be to determine the future location of your new pool. There are many considerations involved: the size of your yard or property, the sun exposure, and any existing physical obstacles that might interfere with pool installation and future use. It’s important that you consider the number of people you expect to use your pool as well as the specific activities in which they will be participating. All of this should be taken into consideration when determining the size and shape of your future pool, and whether you want to install a deck or patio alongside the pool itself.
Preparing Your Yard
Once you have determined the preferred location of your new pool, you can start preparing your pool site. You will need to address any obstacles that might interfere with the installation process in order to clear the necessary space for the new pool. You should contact your local utility companies to make sure that there are no underground cables or pipes in the area where they will be digging. Once you have a general idea of where you want your pool to be and have taken steps to ensure the area is clear, you will need to contact a professional pool installation company or service to help you with the next steps.
Finding a Professional
The next step is to contract a professional to help you with the installation of your new pool. This is an important step, as you want to make sure that your pool is installed correctly. There are many companies that offer swimming pool installation services, so be sure to do your research before making a decision. Barrier Reef supplies our high-quality fiberglass pools to a large network of dealers nationwide, and those independent dealers are usually ideally placed to help you with installation.
Preparing for Installation
Once you have completed the aforementioned pre-preparation steps, you’ll be ready to move toward actually breaking ground on your installation. This is where your professional pool company will typically step in and manage the process going forward, doing all of the actual work.
A vital step in the process will be to have your soil tested. This is an important step because it will determine the type of foundation your new pool will need. A professional can help you with this step and will be able to advise you on the best type of foundation for your new pool.
The next step is to apply for all the necessary permits. This can be a tricky process, so it's important to have all your ducks in a row before you start. Your professional pool company should have all the necessary information on the legal requirements for your locality and should be able to help you with this step.
When the required building HOA permits have been obtained, the next step is to ensure any necessary swimming pool utilities are in place. Depending on the requirements of the specific pool being installed, this will include services such as electricity, gas, and water. You will need to have these things prepared to be turned on before your pool can be installed.
Once you have found the perfect spot for your new pool, the next step is excavating the area. Your professional pool installation company will provide this service for you as part of the installation process.
Leveling and Support
After the area has been excavated, it will need to be leveled off so that your new pool will be level when installed. You will also need to add any support that is required, making sure that the area is well-supported so that your new pool doesn't settle over time. This step is crucial, as it will ensure that your new pool is stable and safe. A subbase is a layer of material that helps support the weight of your new pool and keeps it level. The most common type of subbase for fiberglass pools is gravel (typically 3/8” clean crushed rock).
Finally, after all the preparation, it's time to install your new pool. With a fiberglass pool, installation can be as simple as lowering the pool shell into the excavated hole. During the installation of an in-ground pool, the installers will use stakes, string lines, and laser levels to ensure proper placement and level as the unit is lowered into place.
Plumbing and Electrics
The next step will be to install the plumbing for your new pool. This will include features like the wall drains, the skimmer, and various return lines as required by your chosen pool model. This service may be provided by your professional pool installers. This step will be followed by a similar process to install the electrical service required for your new pool. This service will power items such as lights, pumps, and filters. As with your pool’s plumbing, an electrical contractor may be required to perform this step. Your pool installers will guide you through this process.
Fill with Water and Backfill
Once the pool unit is installed, you will need to fill your new pool with water! This is usually done with a hose from your home or by having a professional water service truck deliver the water for you. Backfill is added simultaneously with the addition of water to the pool in order to ensure that fiberglass swimming pool is well-supported and retains its shape while filling. Continually checking how the pool unit is leveling is essential during this process, to ensure that as the pool is filled it settles and remains as level as possible.
Once your new pool is full of water, you can add any appropriate chemicals or accessories that you want (always seek the advice of a pool service professional when determining the specific needs of your chosen swimming pool unit). Once the pool water is safely prepared and ready for human use, all that's left to do is enjoy and maintain your new swimming pool.
If you have any questions about pool installation or preparation, please don't hesitate to contact us. At Barrier Reef Pools, we specialize in fiberglass pool manufacturing and encourage you to browse our selection of fiberglass swimming pools. We always strive to provide our customers with the perfect fiberglass pool to fit their homes and needs. Visit our website to learn more about our fiberglass pools.
Fiberglass pools tend to be easier and less expensive to own than other types of pools. They require fewer chemicals and less electricity to correctly maintain and seldom suffer from stains when properly managed. But that doesn’t make a fiberglass pool immune to staining.
Wipe It Off
Pool stains need to be cleaned as soon as possible since they become more difficult to remove the longer they are left unaddressed.
The first step is to try to wipe or scrub the stain/discoloration off the fiberglass. Be careful not to use abrasive scrubs, hard brushes, or harsh chemicals… use a soft sponge or cloth, and try to only use products specifically intended for use on fiberglass pools. Rough materials and harsh chemical abrasives might inadvertently damage the gelcoat of the fiberglass pool shell surface, compounding the problem.
If the stain or discoloration cannot be wiped away or removed by simple scrubbing, you will need to further determine the cause and type of the stain. Please contact your local certified pool maintenance company.
Is the stain organic, or inorganic?
If you are unsure of the nature of the staining, you can use a commercial stain identifying kit (chemical testing agents you add to the pool water) to determine what sort of stain you’re dealing with. But in many cases, the cause of the stain will be easy to visually detect. Before using any chemicals please contact your local certified pool maintenance company for more information.
Common Sources of Organic Fiberglass Pool Stains
- Leaves, twigs, brush
- Fruit or berries from overhanging or adjacent plants or trees
- Algae: though this isn’t technically a stain, black algae can appear as black spots growing on the pool shell.
Common Sources of Inorganic Fiberglass Pool Stains
Metal staining was formerly a real problem on older models of white fiberglass pools, though it’s no longer as common on modern pool shells.
Identify the Type of Metal-Based Stain by the Color:
- Iron (rust - orange, brown, or tan)
- Copper (verdigris - green or blue)
- Manganese (brown, black, or purple)
- Cobalt stains (black spots on the pool shell surface)
Though “cobalting” is technically not a stain, it is a condition that occurs when pool water penetrates pinhole gaps in the gelcoat and chemically reacts with the resin beneath by osmosis, creating crystallized areas of black discoloration on the fiberglass pool shell.
"Calcium scaling" also isn’t technically staining. It’s a condition caused by calcium crystals that accumulate on the surface of the pool. Though not itself a staining agent, it can still cause discoloration and damage the fiberglass pool shell if allowed to build up on pool surfaces.
Removing Fiberglass Pool Stains
Organic stains can often be removed with simple contact cleaning, by brushing.
If a brush doesn’t completely eliminate the stain on the first try, be aware that really tough stains may require multiple contact cleaning sessions. The passage of time (plus consistent exposure to UV sunlight) will aid you in encouraging stubborn stains to fade naturally.
Repeat the scrubbing process regularly as necessary. Most organic stains should fade and disappear when treated. If they don’t, consider having the stain professionally treated by a certified pool maintenance company or try contacting them first if uncertain.
Often you can eliminate most rust stains by scrubbing the area with a chlorine tablet (don’t rub too hard, lest you damage the fiberglass surface). Another option is to apply a Vitamin C tablet directly to the stain itself, which can act to chemically dissolve the stain. Use a soft-bristled brush to remove any excess rust.
If your fiberglass pool has been sufficiently contaminated by rust that you have multiple rust spots and extreme staining on your pool shell, you can fight back by running ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) powder through your pool filter. Be sure to follow your pool manufacturer's specifications for the best results. And again, if the staining is too great for you to remedy, a call to a professional fiberglass pool maintenance company may be in order.
One way to remove copper-based, turquoise-colored verdigris stains is by scrubbing them with a mild commercial tile cleaner. Afterward, you can follow up by treating your pool water with chelating or sequestering pool chemicals (specifically intended for copper stain removal). Always follow the chemical manufacturer's instructions regarding amounts and the proper dilution level based on the water content of your pool. These products will cause any copper still in the pool water to form clumps that can be removed by cleaning or filtering the water.
Most non-ferrous metal stains can be removed by scrubbing them with a mild commercial tile cleaner.
You can remove calcium carbonate by adding a fiberglass pool safe scaling treatment to the water.
Calcium silicate build-up almost always requires a professional fiberglass pool safe scaling treatment. Consult the professionals at a certified pool maintenance company for a list of options.
Ring Around the Pool
An ugly discoloration (like that of a bathtub ring) can appear around your pool’s waterline, caused by an accumulation of suntan creams, body oils, and excess metals from your pool maintenance chemicals.
Remove oily stains from the waterline by scrubbing with a soft cloth or sponge. You can prevent oily buildup by using an enzyme in the water. You’ll have to filter the water and restabilize your pool’s chlorine and PH levels afterward. NOTE: it’s always a good idea to consult a fiberglass pool maintenance professional before using such additives.
Avoiding Fiberglass Pool Stains In The Future
The best offense is a good defense: prevention is the best way to combat fiberglass pool stains. Since these actions are a common part of standard pool maintenance it’s likely that you are already performing them regularly: maintain your water chemistry in the ideal range, add water treatments and preventatives whenever necessary, and regularly check your pool's pH to keep it at ideal levels. Clean your pool regularly by sifting or vacuuming any foreign matter (dirt, leaves, insects) to prevent waterline staining, and carefully removing any foreign metal objects from your pool before they have a chance to rust or corrode from water exposure. Be sure to run the filter system throughout pollen season and while deciduous trees are shedding their leaves, to circulate the water and prevent foreign matter from settling onto the fiberglass surfaces of the pool shell long enough to stain it.
If you are forced to deal with the unsightly staining of your fiberglass pool, do not despair. There are many ways to eradicate such stains, as we have outlined here. If you're unable or unwilling to try to remove the stain yourself, consider contacting a professional company that specializes in cleaning and maintaining fiberglass swimming pools.