Thanks in advance for your time and any insight. I've already learned more than my fair share from following this forum, it's been a wealth of information. Luckily I found this site when we first built our pool, so I've been fortunate enough to apply these pool care methods from day 1 and my pool has been a breeze to take care of.
And I think the ease of my pool's maintenance is what motivated me to start a small pool service route. My main profession is as a city firefighter, and like many other firemen I wanted a part time job on the side to help supplement my income. I started the business 6 months ago and I really enjoy it. I have 8 pools now with the goal of having 20, keeping it small and local. Most of the pools I have acquired were from clients who were dissatisfied with their previous provider, saying they were gone within 10 minutes and they didn't feel like they were getting their money's worth. They said they just vacuumed out the debris and threw in a couple of chlorine pucks. And after testing the pool's water I believe them because the CYA levels would be way over 100, beyond what my kit could read. I'm assuming it was due to the constant supply of stabilized chlorine in the floaters.
It makes sense to me why service guys use the pucks, because if not you have to get the FC levels really high with liquid chlorine so that they don't bottom out before your next visit 7 days later. But how do you compensate for the creeping CYA levels? Do you just have to explain to the client they will have to drain and refill every 6 months?
I really want to incorporate the methods I use in my own pool and the methods taught here on this forum, but is there a reasonable method to accomplish this with as a paid pool service guy? I generally am at each pool for approximate 30-40 minutes once a week.
I have 3 clients that add liquid chlorine to there pool 3-4 days after my visit. On the door I leave a hanger with instructions of how much to add and when, and I leave the chlorine next to their pool pump. This seems to work ok, but I know I'm having to make an educated guess about the amount of chlorine to add without being there to test the water. And for some clients it won't work because they're either not willing or not able to add the chlorine themselves. And sometimes I've returned the following week and the homeowner has forgotten to add the chlorine.
I'm open to the idea of visiting each pool twice a week, once for the full service and once for just a chemical test. I understand an added day for each pool hurts the productivity and profit margin, but I can possibly charge more to help compensate for the added time. My goal is to have 20 clients that are willing to pay a little more in order to get more (my services compared to the competition).
Also, I've read on this forum about the time limits in between chemical additions. For example, we're supposed to wait approximately an hour in between the addition of chlorine and muriatic acid. How is this accomplished as a pool service guy? It's not reasonable to spend that much time at each pool.
I know there's a lot of questions in the post, but if there are any service guys/gals reading this can you please tell me how you go about your route? Thanks again for your time.
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