By Marcelle Dibrell
In our final installment of a threepart survey, Service Industry News presents the results of a questionnaire made available to 10,000 pool service professionals about chemicals, testing, and specialty equipment at the pools you service.
For those concerned about the rising cost of chemicals, this survey issue should be particularly useful in comparing prices.
As we are all too aware, the cost of chemicals has gone up, and by a lot, amidst the 2020-2022 trichlor shortage that has impacted the entire country. But by how much? That varies from region to region, with service techs from the Southeastern portion reporting some of the highest prices – many over $260 for a 50-pound bucket of trichlor; while for service techs from Southern California, for the same quantity of chemical, the price has increased by 40 percent compared to last year.
(Interestingly, many of those responding to our 2022 survey added that the price they reported on trichlor would be the correct price if they could actually find it.)
As trichlor prices rise, so too have all other forms of chlorine. For example, the price of sodium hypochlorite has more than doubled for service technicians in Arizona and Texas. Even Florida, where the price of liquid chlorine has long hovered at about a dollar, has seen a slight price increase.
For those interested in comparing apples-to-apples, it is useful to compare the price of these sanitizers in terms of price per pound of available chlorine. That way, you can determine which chlorine source provides the best bang for your buck. For example, according to survey responses from Southern California, it makes equal sense to go with either liquid or trichlor. But in Florida and elsewhere on the East Coast, because of the enormous disparity in pricing between trichlor and liquid chlorine, in terms of available chlorine, liquid chlorine is much less expensive.
The results of the first survey, published June 1, 2022, focused on billing practices: how do you bill and what do you charge, with additional information concerning employee wages.
The results of the second survey, published June 15, 2022, concentrated on specific labor and repair charges: what is your hourly repair charge, and what do you command for large specialized jobs such as acid washing, vinyl liner replacement, as well as pump and heater installation and more.
This, our final 2022 Service Industry News survey edition focuses on chemicals, testing, and specialty equipment that may be employed at the pools you service. Specifically, what chemicals do you use, how much do you pay for them, what is your preferred testing method, and what types of supplementary disinfection systems (salt water chlorine generators, SWCG’s, ozone, UV, and advanced oxidation processes, AOP) assist in the work you do every day.
We also include data about the types of automatic cleaners (suctioncapacity side, pressure-side, and robots) that are at the pools you service. As has been noted in years prior, preferences for the type of cleaner – be it pressure side, suction side, or robotic, is regional.
Chlorinating products and their price levels; automatic cleaner types; specialty chemicals, and preferred water testing methods are all the topics of this special issue of Service Industry News.