Posted on

Part 3: 2021 Pool Chems, Testing Survey

Part 3: 2021 Pool Chems, Testing Survey Part 3: 2021 Pool Chems, Testing Survey

Service Industry News 2021 Survey Part 3 Participation Rates

Responses to our survey came in from 25 states. As we have come to expect, responses were heaviest from the areas with the highest number of pools. The top states in order of participation were California, Florida, Arizona and Texas.

For statistical purposes, we divided the country into seven geographic regions, based on their location and the number of responses we received.

The following is the way we broke it down:

Northern California — From the Oregon Border south to Bakersfield. Northern California represents 11 percent of the responses we received. We also included Oregon in this region.

Southern California — From the Mexican Border north to Bakersfield. Southern California represents 28 percent of the responses we received.

Southwest — Arizona; Colorado; Nevada; New Mexico; Oklahoma; Texas; and Utah. The Southwest represents 26 percent of the responses we received.

Florida — The pool and spa service industry is large enough in this state for it to qualify as a separate region. Florida represents 12 percent of the responses received.

Southeast — Alabama; Arkansas; Georgia; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maryland; Mississippi; North Carolina; South Carolina; Tennessee; Virginia; and West Virginia. The Southeast represents 13 percent of the responses we received.

Northeast — Connecticut; Delaware; Maine; Massachusetts; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; and Vermont. The Northeast represents 7 percent of the total number of responses we received.

Midwest — Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Michigan; Minnesota; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; North Dakota; Ohio; South Dakota; Wisconsin; and Wyoming. The Midwest represents 4 percent of the responses we received.

The average is actually the median Whenever possible, we use the median figure for determining averages. So the “average” price for the various levels of service represents actual prices that someone is charging. Half of the reported pricing is higher than the median, and half is lower.

When responses from a region were considered insufficient to give us an accurate reading, we dropped that region from our pricing survey. And whenever possible, we provide “highs” and “lows” for each level of service, to give you an idea of the ranges of pricing we were seeing. When considering dollar amounts, we rounded up or down to the nearest whole dollar.

To make it easier to evaluate business practices, all prices are organized by region.

Not all regions of the country respond to this survey section at the same level, but those that did will find these pricing guidelines useful in evaluating their business practices.

In general, the data that inspires the most confidence is based on higher participation and came from Southern California and the Southwest.

The following is a regional breakdown for chemical prices as well as auto cleaners, by percentage. We also include common testing methods and the use of salt water chlorine generators and other specialty equipment.

Northern California

Northern California includes the space from the Oregon Border south to Bakersfield. Northern California represents 11 percent of the responses we received for the survey.

For chlorine testing, respondents from Northern California indicated equal preference for DPD and test strips with 58 percent usage. OTO and ORP are used by 8 percent of those who responded.

Service professionals from this region indicated a strong preference for liquid chlorine to sanitize pools, with 83 percent of regular technician usage. They get this chlorine at a price close to the national average for $3.60 per gallon. Trichlor is also routinely used by 67 percent of Northern California professionals responding to the survey. Northern Californians pay $3.30 per pound of available chlorine for trichlor.

Calcium hypochlorite is used by 58 percent of those responding to the survey, and they pay an average of $1.72 per pound of available chlorine – the lowest in the country. Dichlor, used by 33 percent of respondents, purchased in 50-pound increments costs an average of between $4.64 and $4.49 per pound of available chlorine, depending on whether it is anhydrous.

Service technicians from Northern California reported that at least one of the pools on route has an automatic cleaner. In fact, 100 percent responded that an average of 90 percent of all their pools is so equipped. Their cleaners tend to be pressure side at about 54 percent, while 26 percent are suction side, and 20 percent are robots.

Salt water chlorine generators are also fairly popular in Northern California. Fifty percent of respondents affirmed that at least one of their pools has a chlorine generator, with an average of 15 percent of all their pools using a generator for its sanitation.

Thirty-three percent of respondents indicated that about 10 percent of their pools utilize UV; 17 percent of respondents said 3 percent of their pools incorporate ozone; and only 8 percent of respondents indicated that their pools have AOP systems on less than 1 percent of their pools.

Southern California

Southern California includes the region from the Mexican Border north to Bakersfield. This region represents 28 percent of the responses we received in this year’s survey.

Relative to the responses received from other areas of the country, the response from Southern California was particularly heavy, so the data from this region is the most reliable.

For testing methods, responses to the survey indicate that Southern California services techs use almost all forms of chlorine testing methods but most rely on test strips: 61 percent use OTO, and 55 percent use the DPD method, 29 percent report to using OTO, and 6 percent reported using ORP.

Liquid chlorine is used predominantly over other chlorine sources, with 97 percent usage. Trichlor is used at a high rate as well, with 77 percent usage. Dichlor is used by 35 percent, and calcium hypochlorite is less used by only 23 percent of those who responded to the survey.

Southern Cal ifornia service technicians pay a median price of $3.25 for liquid chlorine. Trichlor is priced at about $3.19 per pound of available chlorine. Southern California service professionals pay an average of between $4.00 and $4.73 per pound of available chlorine, depending on whether it is anhydrous. The median price of Calcium hypochlorite is $2.66 per pound of available chlorine.

About 97 percent of service professionals report that at least one pool on their route contains an automatic cleaner with an average of 80 percent of their pools equipped. As in years past, a large number of them, 93 percent, reported that the pools they service have suction side cleaners as opposed to only 6 percent employing pressure side cleaners. Robotic cleaners are used in 1 percent of the pools of those who responded.

Southern Cal ifornia service professionals regularly see chlorine generators. About 96 percent of them have at least one chlorine generator on their route, on an average of 20 percent of their pools.

Nineteen percent of respondents indicated that about 2 percent of their pools utilize UV; 16 percent of respondents said 1 percent of their pools incorporate ozone; and only 6 percent of respondents indicated that their pools have AOP systems on 4 percent of their pools.

Southwest

For our survey, the Southwest region of the country includes the following states: Arizona; Nevada; New Mexico; Oklahoma; Texas; and Utah. Responses from Hawaii were included in this region. The Southwest represents 26 percent of the responses we received in this year’s survey.

Responses to the survey were particularly heavy from Texas and Arizona, and are thus more reliable of the maintenance preferences of those two states in particular.

Service technicians responding to the survey reported a higher use of test strips than for all other testing methods: test strips are is used by 55 percent. About 52 percent of respondents use DPD and 28 percent use OTO to assess chlorination levels. ORP is used by only 7 percent of those who responded.

Respondents from this region indicated a preference for trichlor tabs as a chlorination method: 83 percent use trichlor. This area pays an average price of about $149.99 for 50 pounds, or $3.33 per pound of available chlorine. Liquid chlorine is used less frequently with 66 percent claiming usage. Here, the cost of liquid chlorine was reported to be $3.25 per gallon.

Calcium hypochlorite is also widely used by 59 percent of those responding to the survey, where they pay a relatively low median price of $2.15 per pound of available chlorine. About 24 percent of respondents use dichlor, paying a median price of between $3.56 and $4 per pound of available chlorine, depending on whether or not the dichlor is anhydrous.

Many professionals in this region have pools equipped with automatic cleaners. One hundred percent reported that at least one of their pools has a cleaner with a median of 95 percent of all pools employing a cleaner. Slightly more service professionals reported the use of pressure side cleaners over suction side cleaners, used in 50 percent and 46 percent of pools respectively, with 4 percent of pools using robotic cleaners.

Chlorine generators are common for service professionals in this region. While 97 percent of those responded have a generator on at least one of their pools, an average of 17 percent of all their pools are so equipped.

Fifty-five percent of respondents indicated that about 5 percent of their pools utilize UV; 59 percent of respondents said 11 percent of their pools incorporate ozone; and 14 percent of respondents indicated that their pools have AOP systems on less than one percent of their pools.

Florida

The service industry in Florida is large enough for it to qualify as a separate region. Florida represents 12 percent of the responses received.

Floridians have typically reported a high use of liquid chlorine in years past, and again this year they reported relatively high trichlor use. About 85 percent of Florida service professionals reported relying on liquid chlorine. Compared to the rest of the country, they get a great deal on the chemical at an average price of $1.00 per gallon.

Trichlor use is just as common, used by 85 percent of respondents, averaging $144 per 50 pounds, or $3.16 per pound of available chlorine.

Fifty-four percent of service professionals reported using calcium hypochlorite at $2.48 per pound of available chlorine. Because only 7 percent reported using dichlor, data was insufficient to provide pricing.

Responses to our survey indicate that service professionals in Florida primarily use DPD as their means of accessing chlorine concentrations; 99 percent of respondents use this method. Test strips used by 46 percent of respondents and OTO and ORP were used by 8 percent of respondents.

Salt water chlorine generators are commonly encountered by Florida pool techs. A total of 99 percent of professionals responded that they have at least one pool on their route with a generator, and of the pools reported for this region, 40 percent employ a chlorine generator.

Most Florida pool professionals encounter automatic pool cleaners in the pools that they service. A total of 99 percent reported an average of 63 percent of their pools have a cleaner.

Every year, Floridians usually report among the highest use of suction side cleaners in the country. . Suction cleaners were reported by 39 percent of respondents, while pressure cleaners are employed by 33 percent of those responding, and robotic cleaners used by less than 28 percent.

Thirty-eight percent of respondents indicated that about 14 percent of their pools utilize UV; 31 percent of respondents said 3 percent of their pools incorporate ozone; and 23 percent of respondents indicated that their pools have AOP systems on 1 percent of their pools.

Southeast

The Southeast includes Alabama; Arkansas; Georgia; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maryland; Mississippi; North Carolina; South Carolina; Tennessee; Virginia; and West Virginia. The Southeast represents 13 percent of the responses we received in this year’s survey.

Service professionals in the Southeast reported the highest general use of calcium hypochlorite over any other part of the nation at 93 percent. But a large number of service professionals also use trichlor and liquid chlorine: 64 percent use trichlor and 50 percent use liquid chlorine in this region. Dichlor was reported to be used by 57 percent of survey respondents.

It is interesting to note the Southeast has softer water than much of the rest of the nation, which could explain why higher amounts of calcium can be added to the water to protect plaster pools.

Most service professionals in the Southeast reported that they purchase calcium hypochlorite in 100 pound increments at a median price of about $169, which is $2.60 per pound of available chlorine. Trichlor is purchased in 50-pound increments at about $171, or $3.80 per pound of available chlorine – the highest in the country. Meanwhile, a gallon of chlorine costs about $3.28.

The average price of dichlor is between $5.38 and $6.36 per pound of available chlorine – the highest in the country.

Respondents from this region seem to favor the DPD method for testing chlorine: Seventy-one percent of this area reported using DPD, while 57 percent also uses test strips. ORP and OTO was used by 21 and 29 percent of respondents, respectively.

Service professionals in the Southeast report to working with chlorine generated pools more than many other parts of the country. 100 percent of service professionals have at least one pool with a chlorine generator on an average of 49 percent of the pools that they service.

A large number of the respondents from this region also reported that their pools are equipped with automatic pool cleaners: one hundred percent responded that at least one pool serviced has a cleaner with about 40 percent of all of their pools are so equipped.

More professionals in this region reported using pressure side cleaners at 55 percent. Suction side cleaners and robots are in use in 15 and 30 percent of their pools respectively.

Fifty percent of respondents indicated that about 4 percent of their pools utilize UV; 57 percent of respondents said 2 percent of their pools incorporate ozone; and 36 percent of respondents indicated that their pools have AOP systems on 2 percent of their pools.

Northeast

The Northeast includes Connecticut; Delaware; Maine; Massachusetts; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; and Vermont. The Northeast represents 7 percent of the total number of responses that we received in this year’s survey.

About 75 percent of those responding to the survey reported that they use trichlor to sanitize the pools they service. Dichlor use is also common in the Northeast, where it is also used by 63 percent of those responding to the survey. Meanwhile, calcium hypochlorite is used by 63 percent of respondents, and liquid chlorine by 100 percent.

Respondents from the Northeast declare an average liquid chlorine cost of $2.70 per gallon, and $152 for a 50-pound bucket of trichlor tabs. For trichlor, this works out to $3.36 per pound of available chlorine.

For Dichlor, respondents indicated they pay between $4.72 and $5.58 per pound of active chlorine, depending on whether or not it is anhydrous. They pay a median price of $2.42 per pound of available chlorine for calcium hypochlorite.

For testing purposes, most professionals reported to using test strips, employed by 88 percent. However, DPD is also a popular testing method with 63 percent of respondents using this method. Only 13 percent of the respondents from this region reported to using OTO, while 25 percent said they used the ORP testing method.

According to our survey, 75 percent of the technicians from the Northeast region of the country have at least one salt water chlorine generated pool, in use on an average of 25 percent of the pools they service.

All of the service technicians reported that at least one of their pools is equipped with an automatic pool cleaner, at 36 percent of the pools they service. Of those that use automatic cleaner, 22 percent are pressure side cleaners. As usual, this region also asserts the highest national use of robotic swimming pool cleaners at 75 percent. Only 3 percent reported that their pools are equipped with a suction side cleaner.

Forty-two percent of respondents indicated that about 10 percent of their pools utilize UV; 25 percent of respondents said 3 percent of their pools incorporate ozone; and only 8 percent of respondents indicated that their pools have AOP systems on 3 percent of their pools.

Midwest

For our survey, the Midwest region of the country includes the following states: Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Michigan; Minnesota; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; North Dakota; Ohio; South Dakota; Wisconsin; and Wyoming. The Midwest represents 4 percent of the responses we received. For an area so large, the relatively low survey participation provides the least statistical accuracy.

Service technicians responding to the survey reported a higher use of test strips than for all other testing methods: test strips are used by 80 percent. About 20 percent of respondents use all other test methods.

Respondents from this region indicated an equal preference for trichlor and liquid chlorine as their disinfection method: 100 percent use both. They seem to pay a lower average price for trichlor, at an average of $135 for 50 pounds, or about $2.98 per pound of available chlorine.

About 40 percent of respondents reported using calcium hypochlorite. This area pays an average price of about $3.38 per pound of available chlorine for calcium hypochlorite. The cost of liquid chlorine was reported to be $2.88 per gallon.

Data was insufficient to provide pricing on dichlor.

All professionals in this region declare they have pools equipped with automatic cleaners: 100 percent reported that at least one of their pools has a cleaner with an average of 35 percent of all pools employing a cleaner. Slightly more service professionals reported the use of suction side cleaners over pressure side cleaners, used in 16 percent and 11 percent of pools respectively, while 73 percent reported to using robotic cleaners.

Chlorine generators are common for service professionals in this region. While 100 percent of those responding have a generator on at least one of their pools, an average of 25 percent of all their pools are so equipped.

Eighty percent of respondents indicated that about 2 percent of their pools utilize UV; 40 percent of respondents said 1 percent of their pools incorporate ozone. Interestingly, numerous service technicians said they were not at all familiar with AOP.

Information contained in this survey is presented for informational and historical purposes only and is not meant to encourage readers to set prices in restraint of trade or in violation of any laws.

Regional Automatic Cleaner Usage

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

LATEST NEWS