By Marcelle Dibrell
As winter is rapidly drawing to a close, it’s time for service professionals to begin thinking about opening their pools for the swimming season. For those pools that were truly closed for the winter, this can be a big job.
As always, the sheer quantity of pools emerging from hibernation will have service firms begin the yearly process of gearing up by hiring new employees and training them for the jobs ahead.
Depending on the region, for some firms this is a fairly lucrative time of year. According to the 2013 Service Industry News Survey, firms offering spring openings charged an average of approximately $300 for this service last year.
Opening a pool for the summer months can sometimes be quite labor intensive.
In regions that experience a true winter, opening a pool for the season means removing pool covers, reinstalling equipment, servicing weather damaged equipment, assessing pool shell and deck damage, and returning water chemistry to safe operating conditions.
In other locals, spring openings can merely mean ensuring proper sanitizer levels and bringing neglected water back into balance.
Wherever the service technician lives, the swimming season will be here shortly, and now is the time to begin ramping up business and getting customers excited about readying their pools for the season.
After all, opening pools in the spring is a great business opportunity, whether the pool has been completely shut down for the winter or simply operating on greatly reduced bather load.
And as we anticipate the seasonal profits, it’s also the time to train seasonal employees on proper water chemistry and equipment service.
That’s because opening a pool for the season gives service firms the opportunity to give the pool area a complete annual checkup, allowing new employees to truly learn the ropes.
It’s a great idea to allow new hires to shadow pool care veterans on their service routes, especially as they are opening their pools for the season. Spring openings provide them with an opportunity to learn all of the fundamentals of pool care, from equipment care to total water sanitation and balance.
While there is a lot of work involved in readying a pool for the season, the most important aspect of pool care is swimmer safety, which is based in part on proper water chemistry. And no matter where the pool is located, when opening a pool for the swimming season, the single most important chemical parameter to maintain is the proper level of water sanitizer.
That’s because the pool professional’s primary goal is to facilitate sanitary swimming conditions; that is, to control bacteria and algae. A full discussion of sanitizers will be included in the May 15.
This issue will instead be focused on the second most important job of the pool and spa professional: To create balanced water that is non-damaging to pool surfaces and equipment and that is simultaneously sparkling clear and appealing to swimmers.
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