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Specialty chemicals matter to service pros

By Marcelle Dibrell 

Homeowners hire pool and spa technicians for myriad reasons but perhaps the main one is that they simply cannot get their pools as polished and pristine as the professionals can. 

That is because, in addition the pool pros knowledge of proper water balance and disinfection, they also know something about specialty chemicals. They know the products that work — and the ones that are simply snake oil. And within each class of chemicals, they have their favorite brands. 

Let’s face it: not all enzymes were created equal; not all sequestering agents prevent stains, and some spa purges seem to do literally nothing.

And it is that singular knowledge of the specialty chemicals that actually work that can be the difference between a technically clean pool or spa, with one that really sparkles and shines. 

Specialty chemicals are particularly useful for the accounts that are serviced once a week, because inside of one week, too many outside factors can deteriorate the pool’s condition. Wind, rain, children and dogs all play a part in both the appearance and cleanliness of the water. 

And while chlorine is the pool pro’s best friend, it has limits. Chlorine can certainly kill algae, but it cannot clear the dead algae. Chlorine is totally useless at preventing metal staining and, in some cases, it is actually the cause. Chlorine is great at killing bacteria, but is generally ineffective against biofilms.

This is where specialty chemicals come to the rescue: the enzymes and clarifiers, the phosphate removers and the flocculants. 

These chemicals do things that general water treatment simply cannot do, compensating for the limitations and constraints of standard water management.

Specialty chemicals are the topic of this issue of Service Industry News because, while it is possible to chemically maintain a pool with just the basics — chlorine, bicarbonate and acid — it is not easy. And with just a once weekly service call, without specialty chemicals, it probably cannot be done. 

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