Service Industry News

For more than 29 years, Service Industry News has served as the voice of the pool and spa service professional. A twice monthly newspaper, the staff covers featured stories on equipment installation, trouble-shooting and repair; water chemistry and business issues facing the industry; and news pertaining to the interests of the pool and spa technician.

In addition to the newspaper, we have produced three technical books used throughout the industry as training and reference guides. The Professional Pool Technicians' Guide to ChlorineGuide to Alternative Sanitizers and the Guide to pH, Alkalinity, Water Testing and Water Balance are compiled from articles that originally appeared in our newspaper.

We've also updated and republished an industry classic on pool care, Charlie Taylor's Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Pool Care. This light, easy-to understand and illustrated book has long been a part of any complete library on pool care. Now, it's also available in Spanish!

Call 949-916-0292 to order a subscription or purchase any of our products.

Perfecting pools & spas with specialty chemicals

By Marcelle Dibrell

It’s all about preventative maintenance.  That’s the key to ensuring the health of any system, and the health of a pool and spa system is certainly no exception. 

Practicing preventative maintenance is what separates the wheat from the chaff among service firms.  A service company with a maintenance system based purely on emergencies has its place in the market, but better yet that the emergency was avoided in the first place.

This mean solving the problem before the impact becomes significant because so many problems encountered in the pool environment are totally avoidable.  Having a good preventative maintenance plan established saves time, money, and builds consumer trust.

The goal is to spend the least amount of time possible babysitting the pools while continuing to maintain them sparkling clean and safeguarding their sanitation.

Obviously, service professionals cannot be at every pool and spa all of the time, but that doesn’t change their responsibility to provide a safe swimming situation.  Usually, that can be handled with a weekly visit with a focus on chemical sanitation, water balance and proper circulation. 

Of course, there are plenty of circumstances that can make things go wrong between visits, but that doesn’t mean that steps can’t be taken to minimize the impact.

Dirt and debris from any number of sources can wreak havoc on the water chemistry, even with the best of filtration systems.  Rain and run-off and bather load can dramatically impact chlorine or oxidizer demand.

Pools face any number of challenges from heavy organic and bather contamination, dirt, algae and metal staining.

But changing weather is a fact, and pools are meant to be used, so beyond sanitizer, water balance, and proper filtration, good service professionals are always on the lookout for ways to combat potential issues before they become a problem.

For example, if a pool is heavily used, or is surrounded by dense trees and foliage, the professional knows that there will likely be a high sanitizer/oxidizer demand.  Is there a specialty chemical that can work alongside the sanitizer so the technician isn’t required a daily visit?

For areas with high mineral content in the source water, the professional knows there’s a strong possibility for metal staining or mineral scaling.  What chemicals are available to keep the pool surfaces looking pristine?

In especially windy areas, everyone can predict that fine particulates will certainly be entering the pool.  Knowing that this will occur, is there a chemical that can be added to reduce the turbidity?

And of course, there is also the dreaded algae, which can enter the pool through any number of ways.  Beyond chlorine, what chemicals are available to prevent an algae bloom from getting a toehold and then a foothold on previously perfect-looking pool?

Life is not too hard for many pool operators, thanks in large part to the abundance of specialty chemicals that have been designed to address these concerns. 

In general, anytime a chemical product is designed to perform a specific purpose, it is labeled a specialty chemical.  In the pool and spa industry, specialty chemicals usually refer to enzymes, algicides and algistats, stain and scale removers and preventers, and water clarifiers.  In this edition, we will review these major groups beginning with one of the most important: algicides and algistats.      

Paid subscribers have full access to the complete coverage on pool and spa specialty chemicals. Contact our circulation department at 949-916 0292 or email for details.