There are few things more rewarding than sitting by your pool on a hot summer day… and few things more aggravating than getting your towel, lotion, and drinks together only to walk out and find your pool an unhealthy green color. Caring for your pool can be a frustrating necessity that comes with having your own backyard oasis but I am here to help and let you in on a few tips & secrets about weekly pool service. This is Part 1 of a 2 part article:
Yes, you read that correctly- most weeks we know what chemicals your pool needs before we walk into your backyard.
When your hire us for weekly pool service we test your pool water week after week, month after month, and hopefully year after year. We become extremely familiar with the personality of your pool water and in doing so, come to know what to expect with each week’s tests. You see, pools have their own traits and personalities and tend to behave in certain ways and each pool is consistent or inconsistent in its own way. In turn, when we add chemicals on the same day every week, the swimming pool water gets what it needs every week and avoids the wild water chemistry swings that become costly to correct with extra chemicals. If you’re on our Folsom pool service route, we visit your pool at least 49 times a year and after we’ve had a pool on service for six months we can pretty much predict what chemicals it will require to adjust and balance your water chemistry. Our pool techs REALLY get to know your pool!
So why even test the water if we know what the results are going to be?
When you visit the doctor she examines you and she (hopefully) has a good idea of what’s happening but she still requires blood work. As your pool doctor, we test your water to substantiate or refute our water balance hypothesis. When test results validate our expectations, we add the chemicals to balance. If results are unexpected, we add additional chemicals to adjust and accordingly balance the water. Like the doctor, we review our water chemistry test results to corroborate or correct our theories. On the majority of our visits our theories are confirmed by our water testing results and we add the chemicals we planned on adding to keep the water clear, healthy and balanced. But, as they say, that’s why they play the games. It rains, it gets windy, people do all kinds of things in the water. It gets blazing hot in Sacramento. Fires blow smoke, soot and ash into pools. All of these things effect swimming pool water and change is constant. We (the staff at Mike the Poolman) are swimming pool professionals. This means that we test the pool every week to make sure things are as they should be. Well, *almost every week (see part 2 )
Pool Service is easy…
This is where pool owners get into trouble- most homeowners are sharp enough to
effectively care for their own pool- it’s not heart surgery. But think about your job- most days aren’t you doing the same things over and over? After a while even the most difficult tasks become routine- you know what to expect at work…
My wife is a perfect example: she works for a service that incorporates businesses. When it came time to incorporate my [now our ;) !] business I felt overwhelmed as the paperwork was confusing and complicated (for me). After having submitted incorporation papers for hundreds of companies over her career, she practically yawned while doing ours. It was so easy for her yet it was incredibly intimidating for me.
Caring for your pool is the same. When we service your swimming pool every Wednesday for 25 weeks in a row we become extremely proficient and come to know what to expect from your pool. If you can test your water on the SAME day every week you too will come to know what your pool will need and you won’t need a weekly pool service. If you can’t be consistent (especially when it most counts!) you’ll end up spending extra money caring for your swimming pool.
“My pool tech only spends 5 minutes in our backyard…”
By far the most common question pool service companies hear is “Why is my pool guy only here for a few minutes?”
Much like you know your children, we know your swimming pool- very well. Each one of our “children” have many similarities but each one is still a bit unique from the other. We know after a big Sunday wind which pools will be wrecked, which homeowners will empty their baskets and which renters don’t. We know which pools will require extra clarifier and that one particular pool that the dog swims in year around. If your “pool guy” is paying attention he already has a good idea of what your pool needs as he is getting out of the truck. When a pool technician has been servicing your pool for more than a few months he should be efficient and nimble at his job, especially when he already has a good idea of what the pool requires.
If you’re on a limited pool service plan (that doesn’t include weekly netting and vacuuming), a pool tech can empty baskets, test the water, look and listen to the equipment and, if he’s prepared, he’s brought the necessary chemicals to add to prevent a second trip from the truck, all within 5- 7 minutes. If the baskets and pool sweep are empty, it takes him even less time. Ask your pool tech how many times he’s completed all his tasks but walked around a pool just to look like he’s doing something because he knows the homeowner is watching!
Does the company servicing the pool really make a difference?
Of course they do. If you’ve hired a true professional he treats each pool as if it were his own. One of my favorite pronouncements was from a pool service tech friend in El Dorado Hills. Whenever she took on an account she would tell her new customer, “This is now my pool, I let you swim in it.” Is this arrogant? Yes, but, that’s the person I want caring for my pool! She takes an enormous amount of pride in her water chemistry and wants all of her equipment running efficiently and effectively to keep her pools in order and ultimately for her customer’s well-being. My advice: if you’re going to hire a pool service, hire the person with a little attitude because they take their trade seriously.
If you wait to hire a pool tech after issues occur its going to be costly in extra chemicals, labor and filter elements to get the pool back in order. We give preferential treatment to our weekly pool service customers- when issues arise we help them before we handle our repair only customer’s. They are loyal to us and we are loyal to them. Our weekly service clients understand that they would rather have experts who come each week to make sure everything is balanced and the equipment is operating effectively. They understand that pool service can be viewed as a perfect manifestation of, “a stitch in time saves nine.” Taking care of the pool properly week after week with a pool service expert will help to prevent serious problems from arising and when issues do come up, you have a trusted professional who already knows your pool, its history, and can quickly get it back on track.
In part Part 2 I write about saltwater pools, rainy day pool service and more. Check back Feb 25 to read it here: Pool Service Secrets & Tips (from a Pool Pro), part 2