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.

To close or not to close? That is the question

By Marcelle Dibrell

With the swimming season drawing to a close, service professionals in many regions of the country are gearing up for one of the busiest and most profitable times of their year. 

That’s because while day-to-day pool care may not represent much of a hassle for some pool owners, closing the pool for the winter season is simply too much trouble and many would rather leave it to a professional. 

Obviously, the decision to close a pool is based on regional weather conditions. For example, freezing conditions are a given in the Northeast, and almost all service professionals in that region of the country offer winterizing packages because it represents such a large profit source.

For pool service professional, Gary Axford, of Plymouth Massachusetts, winterizing pools is a huge part of his business, and he closes about 400 pools a year.

Meanwhile, according to our 2014 Service Industry News survey, only 27 percent of service professionals winterize pools in the Southwest. In areas such as Texas, the decision to winterize a pool is sometimes seen as a matter of personal preference. However, it is likely that many pool owners regretted not properly winterizing their pools during last year’s freak winter ice storm, which  left many without power and froze north Texas for days.  

In fact, it was just such a storm that put Texas service professional John Bush in business almost 30 years ago. 

“It was in the low teens for several days and lots of pipes and equipment froze and busted,” Bush said. He has been a pool service technician ever since.

Freezing temperatures will do permanent damage to pools, pipes and equipment if left unprotected during the off-season, and veteran service professionals know that the best time to protect their customers’ assets is before the first frost. 

And while closing a pool for the winter isn’t rocket science, the job can be intimidating to many pool owners, who would rather simply pay someone else to handle it.

That’s why closing pools for the winter is big business for many service professionals, second only to what they charge to open the pool for the season. 

In the Northeast, for example, 100 percent of the service professionals responding to our survey indicated that they provide a winterizing service for their customers. For this service, technicians responded that they charge a median price of $250, with a high of $500 and a low of $150.

Meanwhile, in the Southeast, 75 percent of the service professionals responding to our survey indicated that they provide a winterizing service for their customers. For this service, technicians responded that they charge a median price of $250.

In Florida, service professionals indicated that they do not provide a winterizing service

But in the Midwest, 100 percent of technicians responding to our survey indicated that they provide a winterizing service for their customers. For this service, technicians responded that they charge a median price of $363, with a high of $500 and a low of $225.

In the Southwest, 27 percent of the service professionals responding to our survey indicated that they provide a winterizing service for their customers. 

For this service, technicians responded that they charge a median price of $175 with a high of $250 and a low of $125.

In Southern California, service professionals indicated that they do not provide a winterizing service.

However, in the slightly colder Northern California, 6 percent of the service professionals responding to our survey indicated that they provide a winterizing service for their customers. 

For this service, technicians responded that they charge a median price of
$450.

Paid subscribers have full access to the complete coverage on pool closings. Contact our circulation department at 949-916-0292 or email serviceindustrynewscd@yahoo.com for details.