come in, they can find ….
come in, they can find unique solutions since they are looking at it from a whole new perspective,” Stankowitz said.
Talking Pools is about information sharing and last year that aspect really came to the fore with the confusion that was caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic.
“When COVID started, it was unclear whether the pool industry was essential. We had to work together to get pool service companies to stay open,” Stankowitz said. Working together, Talking Pools group members contacted legislators in states where pool-related businesses were ordered closed and not considered essential.
They successfully had that legislation changed.
“Without these kinds of pool groups, we wouldn’t be able to help one another as much because we wouldn’t be aware of what was going on. We had folks from all over the country reaching out to one another,” Stankowitz said.
In 2020, they also had 600 masks manufactured and shipped to professionals that work on swimming pools across the United States at a time when masks could not be found.
And with industry trade shows cancelled, Talking Pools held the first pool industry virtual trade show on May 2, 2020, with the Talking Pools Shelter-In-Place Trade Show Event.
Stankowitz estimates that there were probably several hundred who “attended” the show in real time and many more who have watched it since.
Talking Pools members have also contributed to elevating professionalism for pool and spa service technicians when members of the group contacted the CMAHC (Council for the Model Aquatic Health Code) and had the designation of Aquatics Service Professional added to their member classifications.
As a group, members have been involved in developing innovative ways of solving old problems.
For example, at the 2019 International Pool Spa Patio Event in New Orleans, Stankowitz proposed the unconventional idea that aluminum sulfate could be used as a method for removing cyanuric acid from pool water.
Since then, members of the group have been involved in collecting raw data from the field to show that when aluminum sulfate (alum) is added to pools in a specified way, it could be capable of removing Cyanuric acid from swimming pool water.
“I can’t wait to see what I learn from the group every day,” Stankowitz said.
The Certified Pool Operator – CPO Facebook Group is a private group for Certified Pool Operators everywhere to chat, share tips, ask questions, etc. It is exclusive to those who have passed the CPO course, and administrators require verification with a CPO card. Started by Steve Sherwood, Wayne Ivusich is an additional administrator and Rudy Stankowitz helps monitor the page.
It is international, with members in Australia, Central and South Africa, Canada, Mexico, few places in South America, Bulgaria, Romania, Spain, Italy, and more.
As a group, they don’t promote specific manufacturers.
For example, while Ivusich is the Director of Education for Taylor Technologies, he tries to remain as neutral as possible.
“If someone asks what’s the best test kit, I’m not going to answer that question,” Ivusich said.
But if someone does endorse Taylor, Ivusich says he’s always happy to hear it.
Ivusich says it the CPO Facebook page is a great tool for service techs because there’s almost always someone available to answer questions.
“These days, social media is just the fastest way to communicate with people in the industry,” Ivusich said.
The CPO Group is also a platform for those who teach to provide webinars.
“While it can’t really replace the value of face-to-face interaction, I consider it a supplement to tradeshows,” Ivusich said.
Webinars have featured all kind of industry experts, educated in water chemistry, equipment and even construction, with well-known speakers such as Rudy Stankowitz, Bob Lowry, Kim Skinner, Greg Garret, Eric Knight, and more.
The 14 PSI Industry Club Facebook group is made up of industry members who discuss all facets of the pool business. Members concentrate on information and education so that pool professionals can stand out among their peers.
Ken Hampe, 14 PSI’s creator, says that the group is “where you can go after work and talk about your day. Whether it’s about pools or not, we have similar lives so we have similar issues.”
Members of the club talk about pools, but they talk about other things as well, and they keep it casual – not everything is PG. But they do try to keep politics out of it.
It is an outlet for pool people to ask questions, post projects they are proud of, gain information, post research, and if they want to let off a little steam about work problems, they can do so there.
People post about VGBA Compliance, equipment error codes, plaster cracks, and usually get answers within about 30 minutes.
The group includes quite a few industry experts who lend their thoughts when people have manufacturer specific or chemistry questions.
Wayne Ivusich from Taylor Technologies frequently contributes when people have test kit questions. Ken Moyer from Brenntag is a member, so if there are chemical supplier questions he participates.
Members say the best part about groups like this that they can learn a lot about fields that they don’t necessarily deal with all the time, such as remodels and construction.
And frequently, members can get their problems solved faster on the group page than the amount of time it takes waiting on hold for a manufacturer rep.
The name 14 PSI comes from the fact that atmospheric pressure, or one bar equals 14.5 psi. When pools are operated at sea level, with a basic pool pump and filter, to equalize the atmospheric pressure, a clean cannister will register 14 psi, an old timer rule of thumb.
Advanced Swimming Pool Service Techs
This is not for the average pool tech, but rather the best of the best, and behavior and questions should reflect as such. This private group is not for the faint of heart. Started in 2016, the group is administered by Steve Sherwood, CEO at Sherwood Pool Consulting Group and has more than 200 members.
All Things Aquatics
All Things Aquatics” group is like the “water cooler” of the aquatics industry. This public group is there to have open discussions about the positive impact water workers can have on the pool and aquatic industry. Discussion topics range from keeping homes or local pools safer and preventing drownings to dealing with no budget as an aquatic leader, and much more. It’s a public group administered by Wesley King with more than 800 members.
Ask the Masters
Ask the Masters is a group that exists to invite professional builders from all around the world and from all types of industries specifically related to watershape, landscaping, design and construction.
They welcome open constructive criticism and answers to questions industry professionals may have. The 'Masters' have years of experience with award winning work and have completed hours of certified training in architecture, construction, and design. They are here to guide you with best practices to help everyone grow as professional builders and designers. It’s a public group with nearly 4,000 members.
The Business of Swimming Pools
The Business of Swimming Pools is a group that was created to discuss and post content for small business owners. This group is not intended to talk about pool problems, algae, basket sizes, or to ask questions about phosphates or any other chemical, compound, or formula. This group is specifically and only related to the Business of swimming. Pertinent topics include: marketing, human resources, business banking, Insurance, operations, and growth strategy. It’s a private group with more than 600 members.
Honest Pool Chemistry
This group is for swimming pool service techs only. This group is about water chemistry and anything that is swimming-pool related. Expert Robert Lowry is there to help answer those hard questions. Learn tips and tricks from the knowledge people bring to this group. It’s a public group with 1,000 members.
Pool Chasers Group
This is a peer-to-peer, business-owner- to-business-owner, networking, and support group. There is no promotion allowed. This is a community where people can connect with their business peers and jam on business and life as an entrepreneur and most importantly swimming pool and spa talk. It’s a private group with close to 2,000 members
Pool Girl Power
This is a Facebook group for female pool pros, with different perspective and unique issues. This group was created for female pool technicians to help and encourage each other. It’s a private group with 200 members.
Pool Industry Mastermind
This is a positive energy pool industry group for all members of the pool industry to help make the world a better place, share ideas, and create and grow some really great relationships. It was founded by Allan Curtis, Ask the Pool Guy/Legendary Escapes/Michigan; David Owens, Owens Custom Pools/ Oregon; Sandi Maki, Ask the Pool Girl. It’s a private group with 3,600 members.
Pool Services Sales & Marketing Tips
Pool Services Sales & Marketing Tips is a Facebook group to help build small businesses. This group is for those in the business of pool services; business owners constantly looking to improve and scale marketing efforts; those interested in networking with other pressure washers to see what marketing works for them; those interested in building relationships with other people in your field. Building relationships is the key to successful networking, and more leads means more money. It’s a private group with 2,500 members
Swimming Pool Group For Professionals
This is a group for swimming pool professionals only. No advertising or spamming is allowed. They accept all people, of all races, genders, water testing, brand, and vacuum preferences. It’s a private group with nearly 4,000 members.
Swimming Pool Industry Jobs
Swimming Pool Industry Jobs is a Facebook group dedicated to pool and professionals looking for jobs or looking to fill positions.
Members are invited to post job descriptions or resumes. This is a private group with 1,900 members.
Swimming Pool Industry: Retail World
This Facebook group is for those who want to get down to the nitty gritty of when 2 lucrative, but highly stressful worlds collide. Here, the swimming pool industry meets retail. It is for store owners or employees, or anyone who deals with the retail aspect of this intense and ever- changing industry. This is a private group with greater than 450 members.
Swimming Pool Industry Workers
Swimming Pool Industry Workers is a closed group for swimming pool Industry workers and pool professionals only. It provides a platform to share knowledge and experience, ask questions, meet or talk to manufacture reps or others in any specific region or across the globe.
Jason Broswell, the group’s administrator, believes that membership is a way to give back to the industry and raise the standard for pool professionals as a whole.
“We all started out green at one time knowing less than we do now. Never stop learning and never stop contributing to the next generation coming in,” Broswell said. With over 8,000 members, this is one of the largest Facebook pool and spa industry private groups.
Swimming Pool Repair and Services
This Facebook group is an online community of swimming pool contractors, pool service, pool repair companies and manufacturers. With 4,200 members, it is one of the few public groups, meaning anyone can see what group members post.
Swimming Pool Service and Repair Techs
The Swimming Pool Service and Repair Techs is a Facebook group for anyone who is currently or has ever been involved in any aspect of the pool industry. With over 3,400 members, this is a private group.