In this final survey issue of Service Industry News, the regional trends with respect to chemicals and maintenance equipment are reviewed.  

Specifically, the survey results report the prevalence of different types of sanitizers being used, including liquid chlorine, trichlor, dichlor, and calcium hypochlorite, and the costs of using each, on a regional level. 

Also addressed is the usage of various automatic pool cleaners, such as pressure side, suction side and robot.

The results are in and once again, show some interesting trends.

Across the country, trichlor tabs are the most common method of chlorination, with liquid chlorine a close second.  It hasn’t always been so, but compared to liquid chlorine, trichlor is slightly cheaper.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled the new standard that determines what constitutes an “employee” now applies retroactively.

The May 2 decision of the Ninth Circuit, in Vasquez v. Jan-Pro Franchising, Inc., has major implications for California employers who rely on independent contractors, including pool service companies and builders.  

The decision means that the legal test created by the California Supreme Court in the Dynamex decision that makes it more difficult to classify a worker as an independent contractor, may now be applied not only to cases going forward, but also disputes from up to four years before the test was created.

The “ABC” test helps employers determine whether a worker is legally an employee or can be classified as an independent contractor.  To prove that the worker isn’t an employee, a company needs to show: (A) the worker controls his own work; (B) the worker performs work outside of the scope of the company’s normal business; and (C) the worker works in an independently established occupation. 

This May, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a revised policy statement on drowning prevention. The document provides guidance and best practices to help pediatricians work with families and communities to decrease the risk of drowning.

Chief among the revisions is the new recommendation that children should begin learning to swim by age one.  

The new recommendation is based on a 2009 study that was published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, in an article entitled “Association between swimming lessons and drowning in childhood: a case-control study.” The study found that there is an 88% reduction in the risk of drowning in the 1- to 4-year-old children after participation in formal swimming lessons.  

With the swim season upon us, Service Industry professionals are hard at work keeping America’s backyard swimming pools in tip-top shape. Industrious service techs have a grueling schedule. Some are working 12 hour days, off to their first accounts at dawn (customers allowing) and they don’t stop until they drop. 

For most, the work doesn’t end with the last visit to a customer’s swimming pool. No, then it is time to review billing, ordering, new client quotes, scouting and more. And in their “spare time,” they are attending meetings and getting new product educational training. 

By Staff Writer

The benefits of belonging to a trade association are not always fully apparent until the decision is made to actually join. Many people join an association with the expectation of attaining a specific goal. 

It is also true that an association may offer many unexpected benefits. 

By Staff Writer

The last issue of Service Industry News discussed swimming pool startup procedures, focusing on the two popular methods to start up plaster swimming pools. 

That’s because for years, plaster-surfaced pools have dominated the market, but with all that is available now, they are not necessarily the best. 

Today’s consumers are presented with a variety of pool surfaces and finishes that provide additional strength and durability. 

While no immediate change occurred to the 2019 pool pump rebate program as a result of a March 5 meeting between pool and spa industry leaders and officials from Southern California Edison, industry members emerged optimistic that a new deal could be implemented.

Terry Snow, the Independent Pool and Spa Service Association’s Legislation and Regulation Committee chair, was among the industry representatives who felt positive about their ability to influence SCE to include the broader industry in the rebate program. 

By Marcelle Dibrell

Southern California Edison has made some unexpected changes to its rebate policy on the sale and installation of variable-speed pumps.

Rebates are no longer available to the customers of the majority of pool service professionals that operate in Southern California. Currently, homeowners may receive their rebates for the purchase of a variable-speed pump only at Leslie’s Pool Supply. 

By Marcelle Dibrell

Although cyanuric acid has been used alongside chlorine in swimming pools since 1956, a great deal of confusion remains about how it works. One of the biggest problems is a surprising lack of peer-reviewed studies concerning cyanuric acid’s effect on chlorine’s ability to kill algae. 

The pool industry is only lately becoming aware that cyanuric acid slows chlorine’s ability to kill bacteria and some microorganisms. For example, it is only in the last few years that the CDC has recommended lowering cyanuric acid to less than 15 ppm prior to superchlorinating in the event of a fecal incident.