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!

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From good to great using specialty chemicals

By Marcelle Dibrell

While it is possible to chemically maintain a pool with just chlorine, cyanuric acid, calcium chloride, bicarbonate and acid, it is not easy. Weekly service calls include cleaning, checking equipment, testing water chemistry, and make adjustments. But without the use of specialty chemicals as a form of insurance, keeping the water chemistry stable and the water clear, let alone safe, can be a difficult. 

In the hot summer months when the sun is at its zenith and pools are getting used, chlorine consumption can be high. Many service firms rely on a combination of trichlor tabs and frequent shocking to get their pools through the week. But regular use of stabilized chlorine will bring cyanuric acid to levels that can make chlorine ineffective against algae. 

There are many areas of the country that count on frequent backwashing, partial drains and refills, or heavy rain to provide dilution to offset this problem. However in places where severe drought discourages heavy water use, service firms have to be more careful.  If the swim season is short, regular use of stabilized chlorine is not usually problematic.

Unfortunately, the swim season is long where the country is in drought and some pools experience increased trouble with algae as the month’s progress. The reason is simple. The cyanuric acid has built up to a point where recommended chlorine concentrations are inadequate to combat algae. 

This is where a range of specialty chemicals becomes particularly useful for service technicians. More and more pool professionals have become aware of the value of adding phosphate removers at the start and end of the season to prevent an algae bloom in the first place. Such is also true of regular additions of algicides for preventative maintenance.

Personal experience has shown that powerful enzyme formulations help keep chlorine working. And in the case of a dreaded algae bloom, clarifiers and flocculants are essential in swiftly restoring the water’s sparkle.

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