What are your essential pool tools?
By Marcelle Dibrell
The right set of tools can help a pool pro do the job properly and completely on the first visit. Because you run your business out of your truck, you’ve got to be a repair shop on wheels. Whether you work alone or you run a business with employees, you’ll want to outfit yourself and your team with the basic and not-so-basic set of tools to get the job done quickly and efficiently.
So, what do service pros need to get the job done?
Because the lion’s share of work as a service tech takes place in residential spaces, access to electrical outlets is likely, but you can’t always count on it. That’s why it’s a good idea to have batteryoperated power tools around to avoid having to start and stop jobs. To that end, you’ll want a cordless drill – and if you can invest in an underwater drill, you’re in even better shape.
A heat gun is useful for softening pool liners that have popped out of place.
A blower vacuum is pretty important for a variety of reasons, and there are some that come highly recommended. The vacuum option makes it easier for setting vinyl liners. Industrial-grade vacuums can completely remove the sand and water from a standard sand filter or clear up the sludge from the bottom of a mucked-up pool. Meanwhile, the blower setting is useful for winterizing plumbing.
Grinders are a regular part of a service tech’s equipment, for smoothing tile and plaster and removing surface stains from time to time.Again, spring for an underwater cordless grinder for extra convenience.
Pool service involves a lot of pipe fitting, so you’ll want a reciprocating saw, because it will save hours of work cutting pipes by hand. That said, you’re still going to want an old-fashioned hacksaw, and also, get an inside pipe cutter.
Another must-have is a pressure washer, which will help get rid of algae and surface staining in record time.
Every pool will need to be drained, so a water pump is essential.
A battery-operated rotary hammer is a great tool for installing safety covers.
For safety’s sake, if for nothing else, an electric test meter is a good tool to have on hand. That way, you can tell if electrical devices are getting any juice before beginning work on them.
And don’t forget to keep extension cords on hand.
Most of the hand tool a pool tech uses are pretty standard. You have your drivers of every shape and size, your pliers, your channel locks, and your Allen wrenches.
Multi-Tork makes a set of highly versatile sockets and specialty tools designed to make filter care easier, safer, and faster. As a service tech, you’ll definitely want a magnetic pole tip for retrieving metallic items dropped into the pool.
Make sure you also have a well-stocked arsenal of supplies, such as glues, putties, and adhesives. PVC glue is essential for installing pumps and any other kind of plumbing work. A variety of tapes will be needed: duct tape, electrical tape, masking tape, and of course, Teflon tape for waterproofing threading.
But in addition to all of these items, there are a lot of new or innovative products designed for pool service professionals. We asked our readers what kinds of tools, equipment, and even software they use for their pool and spa service business. Based on those recommendations, this issue of Service Industry News is dedicated to useful tools of the service professionals’ trade.