By Marcelle Dibrell 

With the official end of summer this September came the official end of the swim season for most of the U.S. For pool maintenance firms, that end marks one last burst of business before winter settles in and service techs get a slight reprieve until it is time to re-open the pools in spring. 

That is because for locations that experience any type of appreciable winter season, it is time to close those pools to protect surfaces and equipment from damage
due to freezing conditions. 

By Marcelle Dibrell

When it comes to everyday circulation needs, less is best should be the motto.

This is because of the Pump Affinity Law, one of several affinity laws that expresses the relationship between head, flow rate, shaft speed, and power and are all involved in a pump’s performance. 

There are three relationships given by the law that are relevant to the discussion of pumps. The first is that the shaft speed is proportional to the flow rate. The second is that the pressure or head is proportional to the square of the shaft speed. The third is that the power is proportional to the cube of the shaft speed. 

By Marcelle Dibrell

As a pool service professional, telling customers that you do not vacuum pools isn’t likely to win a lot of extra business. But the fact is, effective, efficient pool service often does not include vacuuming anymore. Many service techs even charge extra for vacuuming. Given the exorbitant amount of time this service requires, they see it as a billable item. 

They will tell customers that while they could vacuum, the pool is only going to retain its pristine cleanliness for that day of service. Why waste the time? Why not get an automatic cleaner to keep the pool clean every day?

By Marcelle Dibrell

Every now and then, it is useful to compare your business practices with those of your peers. 

Is your pricing structure comparable to other service professionals? Are you paying about what others in your area are paying for chemicals? Are you providing pool care services that make your business stand out? 

That’s why Service Industry News presents an annual three-part industry survey to help pool maintenance professionals keep their fingers on the pulse of the industry. 

By Marcelle Dibrell

In honor of National Drowning Prevention Month, Service Industry News has a gift for service professionals to give to their valued customers.  Our 2018 Homeowners’ Issue, which promotes water safety and drowning awareness, is once again entirely free for distribution to pool owners nationwide. Service Industry News is committed to stopping drowning this year, but we need your help to get the word out. 

By Marcelle Dibrell

Testing remains the single most important tool in a service professional’s arsenal for ensuring both the safety and balance of the water. 

In fact, for a pool and spa service professional, water chemistry testing is the only way to know that you have achieved water balance and sanitation. It is not enough to visually confirm that the water looks clear, and is therefore in good shape. Clear water is not an indicator that bacteria or algae is not present, and it says nothing about whether the water could be damaging to the pool’s surface, plumbing and equipment. 

But testing is only useful if the tester is observing the proper testing techniques. That is the only way to ensure any level of accuracy or precision. It is essential to follow a simple standard operating procedure for sample collecting and testing. 

As busy as pool and spa business owners may be, it makes good business sense to join industry associations. 

In the pool and spa industry, there are foundations focused on education, certification, and standards; associations for networking, camaraderie, and assistance; alliances for safety; councils for lobbying and governmental advocacy; groups that strictly offer insurance; and organizations that offer some combination of these. 

Members of these organizations are apt to be loyal; like Coca Cola versus Pepsi fans, or Mac versus PC users, a lot of members are inclined to stick for life.

Not all pool and spa service professionals are willing to perform new pool chemical start-ups. In an increasingly litigious world, the wide array of plaster problems that may result, either from poor plaster workmanship techniques, or improper water chemistry, may cause some service technicians to decide that it is simply not worth the risk.  

There’s also the fact that the interior cosmetic finish of a pool or spa is handcrafted in an uncontrolled environment. So even if the plasterer did a perfect job, and even if the water chemistry is spot-on, some environmental conditions can lead to discolorations, crazing, cracking and surface staining.