Caring For Your Swimming Pool Equipment


Info provided by Latham Pools

Fiberglass Pools Use & Care Manual


Pump and Motor

Your pump is constructed to give you years of trouble-free service. These are some of the basic instructions:

1) Do not run your pump dry. The warranty on your pump and motor is null and void if the pump has run dry. If the strainer cavity is drained of water during the cleaning of the strainer basket, it must be “primed” prior to starting the system again. This is accomplished by filling the pump pot with water and then quickly sealing the lid. If your pump does not maintain its prime, call your authorized fiberglass pool dealer for instructions.

2) Save all instruction tags and warranties on your pump and motor. It is a good idea to copy all information from the motor in the event a replacement motor or parts are needed.

3) Prevent the motor from getting wet. When hosing down your deck, keep water away from the motor. Rain and/or water off the eaves of the house can also damage the motor. A cover over the motor will insure longer life of the motor. This cover should allow adequate ventilation so the motor does not run hot.

Your circulation system should run for four to six hours per day in the summer months. You can circulate your pool during the day or night depending on personal preference. During the winter months, it is advisable to run your circulation system two to four hours per day. You should circulate the pool at night to help prevent the equipment from freezing during severe weather.

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, typically once per week. Before removing lid to strainer basket, be sure to turn the motor off. After cleaning and resecuring the strainer basket, prime the pump and turn the motor on. Open the air relief valve on top of the filter to remove air which may be trapped in the filter. Silicone based grease (Aqua Lube) on the o-ring in the lid will assure you a better seal. Sandy dirt collected in the bottom of the strainer housing can be washed out by removing the plug at the bottom of the strainer housing with a water hose.

Surface Skimmers

Read your factory instructions on operation, maintenance and warranty. Your surface skimmer is designed to remove all those things that float on the surface of your pool. They are collected in the basket inside the skimmer. This basket should be periodically removed and cleaned.

Replacing Underwater Light bulb

1) Turn off the breaker at the electrical panel.

2) Be sure the light is turned off.

3) There is one screw which holds the light in place. It is located at the top of the light. Remove this screw.

4) Pull the light out of the niche.

5) Unwrap the cord from around the light.

6) Place the light on the deck.

7) Remove the light bulb and replace it with a new underwater light bulb.

8) Place the light back in the pool and resecure it to the niche. Do not test the new light bulb until the light is replaced in the pool. The light bulb will explode and cause the whole light fixture to have to be replaced.

Decks, Walkways, and Patios

Keep all areas adjacent to the pool as clean as possible. All dirt, dust, debris, etc., on these areas are blown or tracked into your pool, increasing the chlorine demand. Hosing off these areas with water is the accepted method of cleaning them. Keep wash water out of the pool as much as possible.

Pool chemicals in concentrate can etch and/or stain your deck area. Be careful not to spill pool chemicals on these surfaces. If you should spill chemicals on the deck be sure to rinse the area with large quantities of fresh water.

Occasionally, in the summer months, you may encounter algae growing on the deck area. Should this occur, wash the area with an algaecide solution (1 part algaecide to 8 parts water). Rinse thoroughly after cleaning.


Swimming Pool Surface Care

Info provided by Latham Pools

Fiberglass Pools Use & Care Manual

The surface of your fiberglass pool is the finest available and the easiest to maintain if you follow these simple directions.

Above the Water Line

The “bathtub” ring, caused by body oils, suntan lotions, and contaminants from the air, is easily removed with warm water and an approved swimming pool surface cleaner for fiberglass, vinyl liner or painted pools.

Do not use abrasive cleaners, steel wool, metal scrapers, wire brushes, or metal tools as these will permanently damage the gel coat finish.

Dulled spots can be restored by first using a body compound (Dupont #7 or similar) followed by a coat of wax (Fiberglass boat wax or similar).

The gel coat finish on your fiberglass pool can be scratched, just like any other gloss surface. This finish is seven to eight times thicker than a normal coat of paint, so it is not likely that scratches will be more than superficial. Generally you do not need to concern yourself with them.  

Hairline cracks in the gel coat finish of your fiberglass pool are not uncommon. Patch and repair kits are available from your authorized fiberglass pool dealer.

Below the Water Line

More brushing and circulation is our recommendation, rather than vacuuming. A large percentage of the dirt, dust, soil, etc. that sinks to the bottom can be caught by your skimmer and filter by continually circulating your pool on low speed. If you run your pool on a timer, simply brushing the sediment will often allow the circulation system to remove dirt from your pool. Heavy excesses, after a storm, heavy rain, etc., should be vacuumed out (see below). Use your leaf rake to remove leaves. Vacuuming your pool removes all debris from the pool. The following steps are the recommended method of vacuuming. If you have questions concerning this, contact your authorized fiberglass pool dealer for help.

1) Remove skimmer lid from skimmer.

2) Attach vacuum hose to vacuum head on your pole. Sink vacuum head and pole into pool.

3) Fill vacuum hose with water by holding hose in front of return inlet until all bubbles stop coming out of the vacuum head under water.

4) Vacuum hose must be full of water before plugging it into the skimmer.

5) Insert vacuum hose into the suction outlet of the skimmer or into the vacuum plate.

6) Vacuum pool. Do not remove vacuum head from water until you are finished vacuuming pool. Vacuum from the shallow end to the deep end. Do not vacuum metal caps or large leaves as they may clog the plumbing lines.

7) After vacuuming is complete, disconnect the hose from the skimmer. Remove the vacuum head and pole from the pool. Rinse the vacuum hose with fresh water (not from the pool). Do not hang the vacuum hose in sunlight as this will shorten the life of the hose by about 50%. Coil the vacuum hose and store it in the garage or storage room. A large garbage can makes an ideal outdoor storage container for the vacuum hose and vacuum head.

8) Empty skimmer basket and replace lid on the top of the skimmer.

Maintaining Water Level in Your Pool

Info provided by Latham Pools

Fiberglass Pools Use & Care Manual

For best operation, keep the water level in your pool near the center of the skimmer. A lower level can cause damage to the pump and filter by allowing air into the system. A higher level reduces the efficiency of the skimmer.



Your fiberglass pool is designed to remain full of water at all times. If it is necessary to drain your pool, contact your authorized fiberglass pool dealer for professional assistance.

If the pool is drained without first relieving hydrostatic pressure on the pool shell, the pool shell will buckle and crack. All damage to the pool shell resulting from draining the pool without professional assistance of your authorized fiberglass pool dealer is the owner’s responsibility.

Testing Swimming Pool Water

Info provided by Latham Pools

Fiberglass Pools Use & Care Manual

Proper testing procedures insure accurate chemical readings.

1) Read and carefully follow testing instructions enclosed with your test kit.

2) Rinse test kit tubes with pool water before filling the tubes for testing.

3) Take water sample for testing 12 to 13 inches deep in pool. Do not take water sample from the surface water in the pool; this will effect the accuracy of the test.

4) Always read the test results against a white background.

5) Always test chlorine first, then test the pH.

6) Keep your test kit in a cool, dry place.

7) Replace test agents each year. The reagents lose their accuracy due to exposure to heat and sunlight.

When to Test

1) Chlorine residual – Every day, if no marked change every other day or twice per week.

2) pH level – Every day, if no marked change every other day or twice per week.

3) Total alkalinity – Every four to six weeks.

4) Calcium hardness – Every two to three months.

5) Metal content – Every two to three months.

6) Cyanuric acid, total dissolved solids – Every six months. The pool water should be tested for chlorine residual, pH level, total alkalinity, calcium hardness, copper and iron after each rain of consequence or upon addition of more than eight inches of fresh water.

Total Alkalinity

Info provided by Latham Pools

Fiberglass Pools Use & Care Manual

Occasionally, pool water should also be tested for “total alkalinity.” Total alkalinity is a measurement of the total amount of alkaline chemicals in the water. It refers to the degree of resistance to pH change of the pool water or its “buffering capacity.” The proper alkalinity is between 125 ppm and 150 ppm.

Low alkalinity waters make pH control difficult because of lack of buffering capacity (or poor resistance to pH change). Alkalinity must be increased in these waters to offset the possibility of the pool water reverting to acid.

Many waters are of high total alkalinity and high pH. To get these waters into the swimming pool “comfort zone” it is necessary to destroy a portion of the alkalinity so the pH can be lowered. This can by accomplished by the addition of muriatic acid.

Other factors of vital importance are metal contents, calcium hardness, cyanuric acid and total dissolved solids. These factors should be checked by your pool professional at least once every six to eight weeks to be sure they are within proper ranges.

Handling and storing pool chemicals (Most pool chemicals are stable, retaining their effectiveness and strength for a considerable period of time when stored properly).

1) Keep all chemicals out of the reach of children.

2) Date all chemicals on the container.

3) Keep the original lid on all chemical containers and make sure all the lids are tightly sealed. Store chemicals in a cool, dry place.

4) Chlorine chemicals are concentrated chemicals which can be dangerous if not handled properly. Do not mix them with anything except water.  

5) Use plastic, glass, china or enamelware scoops, measures and spoons . . . and be sure they are clean and dry.

6) Measure and add pool chemicals separately, according to directions. Do not mix one with another before adding them to the pool.

7) Most pool chemicals are harmful to shrubs, grass and foliage in concentrated form. Keep pool chemicals away from plant life near the pool.

8) Hands should be clean and dry when dispensing pool chemicals. Wash hands thoroughly after treating pool.

9) Real all labels carefully before using pool chemicals and always follow directions exactly.

pH Levels

Info provided by Latham Pools

Fiberglass Pools Use & Care Manual

The ideal level for pool water pH is 7.4 to 7.6. Water that is neutral – that is neither basic nor acidic – has a pH value of 7.0. This is mid-point on the 1 to 14 pH scale.

Above 7.0 pH, pool water is alkaline. The higher up the pH scale the pool water tests, the more alkaline it is.

Below 7.0 pH, pool water is acidic. The lower down the pH scale the pool water tests, the more acidic it is. Maintaining your pool slightly on the alkaline side (Note that the recommended 7.4 to 7.6 pH level is above the neutral point, thus alkaline) is important for a number of reasons.

When pool water is too alkaline (above 7.6) disinfecting chemicals work more slowly. They may not do their proper killing job even though tests of the water may indicate 9 proper residual. Also, scale may form on or in pool equipment and piping, and especially pool heater coils.

On the other hand, if pool water becomes acidic, it irritates the eyes, corrodes the equipment and piping, and can result in pool interior surface stains.

To test for the pH of the pool water, follow the instructions provided in your test kit. Do not add test chemicals directly into the pool and do not put the pool water back into the pool after testing. High chlorine residual in your pool can affect the water’s pH reading. If your test kit does not have a chlorine inhibitor, take the pH reading before adding chlorine. Do not hold your finger over the top of the test tube while mixing; body acid can cause a false test reading.

General Chemical Information

Info provided by Latham Pools

Fiberglass Pools Use & Care Manual

The amount of chemical “residual” which must be present in pool water is expressed as so many parts of disinfectant per million parts of water, abbreviated “ppm.” The same quantitative measure us used to express the amount of any other chemical added or present in the water.

Chlorine is the most widely used and accepted disinfectant for swimming pools. When chlorine is used as a disinfectant, at least 0.6 ppm and preferably 1.0 ppm of “free residual chlorine” MUST at all times be present in pool water to kill bacteria and algae and maintain the water’s purity. Critical though this “residual” is for pool purity, it is a very small amount of chemical. Less than one drop of chlorine in every 1,000,000 drops of pool water is enough to disinfect the pool, providing the chemical is 100% active. 

Here is a list of the most common factors affecting the in-pool longevity of chlorine.

1) BATHING LOAD – The number of swimmers who use your pool. The greater the number of swimmers, the more disinfectant is used up.

2) SUNLIGHT – The greater the sun’s intensity, the faster the dissipation of disinfectant “residual” unless the pool is stabilized.

3) WATER TEMPERATURE – The warmer the pool’s water, the shorter the life of chlorine. This process is greatly accelerated when the water temperature exceeds 85 degrees.

4) WINDS AND RAIN – Carry dust, bacteria, algae spores and other debris into the pool, over working the chemical disinfectants and reducing their ability to sanitize.

5) pH BALANCE – As the pH of the pool water rises, disinfectant action slows down. More disinfectant must then be added to maintain the proper “residual.”

To maintain your pool’s bacteria killing residual, disinfectant chemicals may be added by hand or by a chemical feeder. Feeders may be adjusted to increase or decrease the feed rates of disinfectants, depending upon the chemical demand of your particular pool.

Granular disinfectants are simply sprinkled into the pool water. Begin at the deep end. Move completely around the pool, distributing it evenly throughout the pool. Some granular disinfectants must be pre-dissolved before adding them to the pool and may cause the water to become cloudy.


Total Alkalinity


Water Chemistry

Info provided by Latham Pools

Fiberglass Pools Use & Care Manual

There are two primary systems involved in maintaining water purity: the water chemistry system and the filtration system. Both of these systems must perform properly; one cannot be substituted for the other.

When you fill your pool for the first time, the water may appear cloudy or turbid. Don’t be alarmed. Since your pool is filled with drinking water, the same water you use in your home, you assume it is sparkling clear. Appearances can deceive. In small amounts, such as a glassful, most tap water will indeed appear clear. In much larger amounts, such as a full pool, that clarity often disappears.

Water which is perfectly acceptable for household use may be totally unacceptable for your pool. This is the reason your pool water must be professionally tested and balanced every six to eight weeks.

There are five basic steps of water chemistry to be performed at home. They are as follows:

Step 1: pH Control

pH, which is the measure of acidity or alkalinity of the water, is determined by your test kit. Proper pH maintenance is extremely important as it is responsible for the correct bacterial action of the chlorine, swimmer comfort and prevents deterioration of the equipment and the pool itself. A proper pH reading is 7.4 to 7.6. Ideally, your pool should be maintained at the higher level of 7.6.

After testing the water, if the pH is too high (above 7.76), chlorine efficiency is reduced, scaling of the surfaces and equipment may occur, water may become cloudy, and shorter filter runs may occur. To correct this condition, a pH decreaser is added directly to the water. There are two common forms of pH decreaser: liquid muriatic acid and granular sodium bisulfate (Lo N Slo, pH Down, pH Minus). The granular form is the one recommended for your pool. Never add more than one pound of sodium bisulfate or one pint of muriatic acid per 10,000 gallons of pool water without professional guidance.

If the pH is too low (below 7.4), chlorine dissipates more rapidly, water may be irritating to swimmers, and corrosion of equipment and surfaces may occur. To correct this situation pH increaser is added directly to the water. pH increaser (BalancePak 200, pH Plus, pH Up) is commonly called soda ash. Never add more than one pound of pH increaser per 10,000 gallons of pool water without professional guidance.

Step 2: Continuous Disinfection

Chlorine treatment is to maintain water purity. A good average chlorine residual is 1.0 ppm. The pool may be carried as low as 0.6 ppm or as high as 2.0 ppm. The lower level would be more subject to system failure and the higher level would increase operational costs. Therefore, the recommendation of a 1.0 ppm operating level is a good compromise that will assure water purity and low operating costs.

The use of compressed tri-chloro-s-trazine-trione, (Bio Guard Stingy Sticks, TabGard Tablets, Sun Sticks, Sun Tablets, etc.) insures even levels of continuous chlorination. Usage rates will be approximately one half to one pound of chlorine per 10,000 gallons of pool water per week. As with any pool chemical, follow the use directions on the container. Never mix different types of chlorine.

Step 3: Super Chlorination

Super chlorinating or shock the pool is a chemical treatment to eliminate non filterable wastes from the pool water. A granular chlorine product such as calcium hypochlorite (Burn Out 65, Shock Out), lithium hypochlorite (Burn Out 35, litho-Shock), or sodium-dichlor-s-trazine-trione-dihydrates (Sun Booster) is used to obtain a chlorine reading of 8.0 to 10.0 ppm. Super chlorinating chemicals are available in convenient one pound packages or in bulk packages of 25 to 75 pounds.

Calcium hypochlorite should always be pre-dissolved before adding it to a fiberglass pool to prevent bleaching or staining of the surfaces. Calcium hypochlorite is used at a rate of one pound per 10,000 gallons of pool water.

Lithium hypochlrite is a quicker dissolving chemical which may be added directly to a fiberglass pool. It is used at a rate of one pound per 6,000 gallons of pool water. 

Sodium di-chloro, like lithium hypochlorite, may be added directly to the pool. It is used at a rate of one pound per 10,000 gallons of pool water.

Step 4: Prevention of Algae

Contaminants in the rain and wind can quickly deplete the chlorine supplies in the pool. A high quality algaecide (Algae Inhibitor, Algaecide Concentrate) acts as a chemical back up system in the event the chlorine becomes exhausted from the pool.

Following a one time initial treatment (normally one quart per 25,000 gallons of pool water) add a maintenance treatment (normally two ounces per 5,000 gallons of pool water) directly to the pool every other week or every week.

Step 5: Prevention of Staining

In order to prevent staining of the interior pool walls, a metal chelation product (Pool Magnet, Metal Hold, Metal Magnet) is used. This product aids in the removal of metals introduced to the pool by fill waters, rain, and corrosion of metal equipment.

Following an initial treatment (normally one quart per 10,000 gallons of pool water) metal chelation products are added on an every other week basis (normally two ounces per 5,000 gallons of pool water). Never add this product with a shock treatment.



Viking Pools Winterization

Swimming Pool Winterization

- Never drain your pool below the skimmer opening.
- Never let your pool overflow.
- Remove the pool water from all equipment and all plumbing pipes that are at or above the frost line. All pipes need to be blown out and main drains need to be air locked.
- Do not remove water from a pool cover without simultaneously adding the same amount of water to the pool.
- Never allow exterior water to overflow into your pool.

We recommend that you consult with a plumber that has been trained to winterize swimming pool equipment.

Viking Pools Wintrization PDF