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Thread: Pool Professionals, what do you charge for weekly pool maint

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    Heckpools's Avatar
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    Pool Professionals, what do you charge for weekly pool maint

    Wasnt sure where to put this....

    Im just curious what the guys, or gals in the pool business charge for weekly pool cleanings?
    Do you include chemicals in your price?
    Is the first cleaning of the season more then the rest of the summer? & do you charge per hour?
    Do you have different rates for differant size pools?
    Do you give any discount for paying in full for the season up front?


    also, i know location has a huge part in this, so also mention where your from!

    Thanks
    [center:3gj9kdnn]Matt Heck
    "HECK OF A POOL SERVICE LLC"
    Serving Ocean co. NJ
    COMPANY INFO BELOW
    http://maps.google.com/maps/place?hl=en ... 2995187987[/center:3gj9kdnn]

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    Re: Pool Professionals, what do you charge for weekly pool maint

    We charge $375.00 for most pools, Matt! But that is Reverse Osmosis, and we only get to do it every two years or so.

    Around here (Southern California), the going rate (in the San Diego area) seems to be $100.00-125.00 a month for cleaning and chemicals on the typical pool. One guy that we work with charges $48.00 a month for chemicals only (he has 1,500 accounts-do the math!) and has the customer brush and skim for the savings of using him from the others. Filter cleanings go for around $100.00, unless the customer signs up for a semi annual service, for which they get a discount. Larger pools or ones that require twice weekly servicing are obviously more.

    These are for residential pools, of course. Most of the larger commercial pools around here seem to have staff that takes care of the pools daily.

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Professionals, what do you charge for weekly pool maint

    Quote Originally Posted by simicrintz
    One guy that we work with charges $48.00 a month for chemicals only (he has 1,500 accounts-do the math!)
    One Guy = Boss with some employees, I hope , otherwise that is a nice chunk of change but would mean avg'g 4 to 5 pools per hour, working 12 hrs a day, 30 days a month

    Then again @ $72K a month should allow enough to cover chemical costs and few beers in between , may just be what the Dr. ordered

    I'm following this thread out of interest in pools and maybe one day becoming a pool boy on the side, so ty for sharing Bruce

    Matt, how about you? What are the going rates in NJ?
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

    Pool School, TFTestKits, Pool Calculator

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    Re: Pool Professionals, what do you charge for weekly pool maint

    Quote Originally Posted by Heckpools
    Wasnt sure where to put this....

    Im just curious what the guys, or gals in the pool business charge for weekly pool cleanings?
    Do you include chemicals in your price?
    Is the first cleaning of the season more then the rest of the summer? & do you charge per hour?
    Do you have different rates for differant size pools?
    Do you give any discount for paying in full for the season up front?


    also, i know location has a huge part in this, so also mention where your from!

    Thanks
    Hey Matt (got the name right this time )

    It's been 16 years since I was doing weekly service in Richmond, Va., but I'll proffer my 'take' on this anyway.

    Sounds like you're thinking about going into the weekly service biz - for the most part it's cream $$

    Weekly service takes ~ 1/2 hour per pool (yeah, I know... some take longer, but some are quicker) and isn't labor intensive.

    You can base the charge on your usual service fee (the company I worked for in Ct. charged $85 for 1/2 hour and $130 for a full hour) and multiply that by how many weeks the pool will be open. If you go that route, you'll not get many customers But it is a starting point for your calculations. Or you can look at what your vehicle and labor costs (including insurance, maintenance, gas, and whatever the loan payment is on the truck/ van, cost of reagents[if you do a full test on a regular basis] and 'wear and tear' on your vac, pole, brush, etc.), prorated for each pool and do some simple algebra.

    In Va., the charge was $35/ week, if done 'a-la-carte' or $500/ season (May - Sept) which included opening and closing the pool, extra weeks were charged at the $35 rate.

    Of course you should knock off ~10% for full payment up front (standard business/ accounting practice)

    Anything up to or under a standard ~20 X40 should be at the 'standard' rate and a surcharge would be applied to a pool larger than that. The chems are the pool owner's issue, if they don't have the chems on hand that you need, you charge them for what you use off your van (you can do like my former boss did and sell them a 'bundle' at the beginning of the season, at the 10% discount, with the expected amount of chems they'll need -- a case of shock, D.E.[if applicable], tri-chlor tabs, pH up, alk. up, dry acid, a couple quarts of algaecide....) - the money making potential is almost endless

    However, you come here and want to do the best you can for your customers It wouldn't be too hard to make a package that fits your clients' needs and your desire to both make a profit and not scr@w them

    When, and IF, I get my own pool service company going, I'll teach my customers about BBB and point them here - I might not have too many weekly service customers, but I know who they'll call when they have a structural or equipment problem

    Something I've been thinking about is a monthly service, wherein I'll come and vacuum/ clean the pool, test the chems and adjust accordingly, and 'check out' their pool/ system for potential problems.

    Most folks who sign up for weekly service either don't really care about their pool (and wouldn't come here nor bother to spend a few minutes a day to care for it) or are just too busy with work or it's a weekend home. While I have sympathy for such folks, they can keep my bank account 'in the red'

    Sometimes Ma Nature will work against you If you have 5 pools to do on Tuesday and it's pouring rain, you have to do them Wednessday, with the 5 pools you do on Wed. - you have to be preparred for that! Also be preparred for a customer you clean on Monday to call you Friday AM needing an 'emergency' clean for their Friday afternoon pool party, it happens (charge them 15 - 25% more for the call)

    I probably didn't hit all the points, but this is a good start and hope it gives you a decent idea of running a weekly service route. I'm here ~ every day and I hope you know you can always bounce ideas or questions off me

    Hey Dman, I took an hour to type this, so yours came in long before mine ;p)
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Re: Pool Professionals, what do you charge for weekly pool maint

    Quote Originally Posted by simicrintz

    Around here (Southern California), the going rate (in the San Diego area) seems to be $100.00-125.00 a month for cleaning and chemicals on the typical pool. One guy that we work with charges $48.00 a month for chemicals only (he has 1,500 accounts-do the math!) and has the customer brush and skim for the savings of using him from the others. Filter cleanings go for around $100.00, unless the customer signs up for a semi annual service, for which they get a discount. Larger pools or ones that require twice weekly servicing are obviously more.

    These are for residential pools, of course. Most of the larger commercial pools around here seem to have staff that takes care of the pools daily.
    That's about the range most of our pools are in - a few are higher (big pools), a few are lower. We do an extra chem-only stop in the summer on non SWCG pools (included in our weekly rate), as liquid Cl just won't stay around all week.

    We don't stab everyone for a "$100 Conditioning charge" at the beginning of each season - we charge for what is needed (by measuring). We also never use algacides - and for most pools, algae is rarely a problem.

    $75-$100 for a complete filter tear-down, and $35 for a SWCG cleaning.

    All pools require Borates (we use Boric acid - cheaper and easier).

    We require a working sweep in all pools and rarely vac. Each pool gets brushed/netted/basketed and a pad check. Most pools run 15-20 minutes, then 5-10 to the next pool. Routes that are tight (closer together) are better. We rarely vacuum, and if we have to and it becomes regular, we'll charge by the hour for it. Frankly, keep your dogs out of the pool, and its never a problem.

    Right now it's a little rough and taking longer than normal, as the leaves are falling and several of the pools require us to get out the "Power Tool" (Leaf hopper) - but thank god that part of the year is almost done.

    It's funny - some people want the service - good service, but aren't willing to pay for it. We only offer good service and drive for zero complaints (some people however, you cannot please). I had one prospective customer call me and say, "I'm paying for a $100/mo for a service now and he does a cr** job - how much do you charge?"

    I replied, "On average, $120-$125/month"

    He said, "There's no way I'm paying that for a pool service!", and then proceeded to hang up on me.

    Let me get this straight - you're unhappy with your current service - so much so that you're complaining about how bad it is, but you're not willing to pay for good service? There's some real irony in there somewhere...

    - Jeff
    ~45Kg Pool with attached Spa, NSP-72 DE, Minmax 400 Heater, Tahoe Blue Pebbletech, Jandy SWG via Aqualink RS-8, The Pool Cleaner (black)
    Pumps: X3 Hybrid Pump (switches to SPA), 2HP Spa (additional, when SPA is on), and a 1HP For Waterfall
    8, 4x12 Solar Panels on the roof of the pool-house (~12' up)
    CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK: "I'M SORRY. I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUND OF HOW AWESOME I AM" (Thanks to TFP!)

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    Re: Pool Professionals, what do you charge for weekly pool maint

    Quote Originally Posted by taekwondodo
    It's funny - some people want the service - good service, but aren't willing to pay for it. We only offer good service and drive for zero complaints (some people however, you cannot please). I had one prospective customer call me and say, "I'm paying for a $100/mo for a service now and he does a cr** job - how much do you charge?"

    I replied, "On average, $120-$125/month"

    He said, "There's no way I'm paying that for a pool service!", and then proceeded to hang up on me.

    Let me get this straight - you're unhappy with your current service - so much so that you're complaining about how bad it is, but you're not willing to pay for good service? There's some real irony in there somewhere...

    - Jeff
    Some people don't understand that owning a pool is really just a hole in the backyard for X amount of ones disposable income a month to end up in every month. Owning a pool costs money and has a monthly expensive associated with it. Those that don't understand that can never be made happy.

    Even a chemical free pool has a monthly expense because the water has to be filtered and circulated (electricity), oxidized every Friday (1 quart Clorox per 10K gallons), and water tested (test kit and reagents).
    Pool #1 IG 24k Diamond Brite plaster with spill-over spa. Jandy Aqua Link RS One Touch with built into pool floor cleaner. Jacuzzi Magnum pump/basket feeding Hayward top mount Zeosand filter. Jacuzzi Magnum pump/basket for Spa Jets. Heat Siphon pool heat pump. Dolphin Robotic pool cleaner.

    Pool #2 IG 35K 20X40 Vinyl. Hayward top mount Zeosand filter with Pentair 3 HP IntelliFlo VS+SVRS. Chemical Free pool using Water Doctor Copper Ion Generator, PoolSkim, Polaris 9300 Sport robotic pool cleaner, Heat Siphon pool heat pump, solar blanket, Ameri-Dome 50X30 dome enclosure during Winter.

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Professionals, what do you charge for weekly pool maint

    Quote Originally Posted by iPhone
    oxidized every Friday (1 quart Clorox per 10K gallons).
    Not much oxidation going on there That's only 1.5 ppm of fc per week.
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

    Pool School, TFTestKits, Pool Calculator

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    Re: Pool Professionals, what do you charge for weekly pool maint

    Quote Originally Posted by iPhone
    Some people don't understand that owning a pool is really just a hole in the backyard for X amount of ones disposable income a month to end up in every month. Owning a pool costs money and has a monthly expensive associated with it. Those that don't understand that can never be made happy.

    Even a chemical free pool has a monthly expense because the water has to be filtered and circulated (electricity), oxidized every Friday (1 quart Clorox per 10K gallons), and water tested (test kit and reagents).
    Welcome to TFP!!

    You are certainly correct in that a pool not only costs quite a few$$$ up front, but also requires some monthly outlay of cash

    One of the things we try to do here is to make pool ownership a less expensive thing. One can spend less than an hour each week on the pool, monitoring your chems and understanding the basics of pool chemistry (that we teach here)

    Unfortunately, lots of pool owners, won't even TRY to take their pool into their own hands Those folks rely on a combination of the pool store 'professionals' and a weekly pool service, which, as we're discussing here, may or may not be any good

    Congratulations to you!, for coming here and learning the difference between blueberries and dingleberries, when dealing with 'supposed' pool pros
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Re: Pool Professionals, what do you charge for weekly pool maint

    Quote Originally Posted by iPhone
    Some people don't understand that owning a pool is really just a hole in the backyard for X amount of ones disposable income a month to end up in every month. Owning a pool costs money and has a monthly expensive associated with it. Those that don't understand that can never be made happy.
    We try to make the customer understand that a pool is an integral part of the home's value - if the pool looks bad, or hasn't been kept well - then it reflects on the value of the home.

    Some people don't want a home with a pool.

    Some people may want a home with a pool, but think its a novelty and don't really care how bad a shape its in as long as they can swim in it (I had one of my few "ex" customer's kids doing "tail-whips" with their bikes off of the roof of their home into the pool).

    A lot of people understand this concept, but are too busy to take care of or don't really want to know how (some higher-end people actually like having a good service).

    Some people make the effort to understand how to care for a pool - in those cases great! But you'd be surprised at how small that number is...
    ~45Kg Pool with attached Spa, NSP-72 DE, Minmax 400 Heater, Tahoe Blue Pebbletech, Jandy SWG via Aqualink RS-8, The Pool Cleaner (black)
    Pumps: X3 Hybrid Pump (switches to SPA), 2HP Spa (additional, when SPA is on), and a 1HP For Waterfall
    8, 4x12 Solar Panels on the roof of the pool-house (~12' up)
    CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK: "I'M SORRY. I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUND OF HOW AWESOME I AM" (Thanks to TFP!)

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Professionals, what do you charge for weekly pool maint

    I'm no professional, but I can tell you what I was paying.

    $75/week. Brush one week, vacuum the next. Test with strips, add some acid. Drop another puck or two into the floater.

    Backflush and recharge DE filter, $75.
    Annual "stabilizer" another $75 - even if CYA is already at 220 or so....
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Pool Professionals, what do you charge for weekly pool maint

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320
    I'm no professional, but I can tell you what I was paying.

    $75/week. Brush one week, vacuum the next. Test with strips, add some acid. Drop another puck or two into the floater.

    Backflush and recharge DE filter, $75.
    Annual "stabilizer" another $75 - even if CYA is already at 220 or so....
    You would be surprised at the amount of business we get from people who HATE their "previous" pool service - about 30% of our customers are switchers and have absolutely nothing nice to say about their previous pool service, and are leery about the whole thing in general. Most of these pools have CYA in the 200+ range, Ca issues (severe scaling), etc...

    Here's a picture of one that we took over - guy was being charged $150/month, and the filter hadn't been touched in ages:


    Sometimes its tough overcoming the perception that all pool services are cr*p. But every one of our customer's love us and we just do a good job, and don't rip 'em off with $75 recharges (that's a tear-down fee for us, recharges are $10-$15 - and in many cases we won't charge for it unless there's a lot of time involved (rolling out a BW hose, etc...)).

    But it is one of the worlds greatest jobs!
    ~45Kg Pool with attached Spa, NSP-72 DE, Minmax 400 Heater, Tahoe Blue Pebbletech, Jandy SWG via Aqualink RS-8, The Pool Cleaner (black)
    Pumps: X3 Hybrid Pump (switches to SPA), 2HP Spa (additional, when SPA is on), and a 1HP For Waterfall
    8, 4x12 Solar Panels on the roof of the pool-house (~12' up)
    CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK: "I'M SORRY. I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUND OF HOW AWESOME I AM" (Thanks to TFP!)

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    Re: Pool Professionals, what do you charge for weekly pool maint

    Water was actually able to get through all that sludge? Was their pool actually clear when you took it over or was it cloudy?

    I helped one of my better half's best friends start up a pool at the house they just moved to. When I opened the DE Filter pulling the top half off, DE started falling out onto my legs and feet. I have no idea when the last owner had cleaned the DE Filter or Screens, but they we using to much DE for a long time. You know your in for trouble when there are two unopened 50 pound boxes of DE in the pool shed.

    If people have anything other then a Sand Filter, do you require a Filter tear-down before taking the account? I mean how do you know what your getting into unless you open a DE or Cartridge Filter?
    Pool #1 IG 24k Diamond Brite plaster with spill-over spa. Jandy Aqua Link RS One Touch with built into pool floor cleaner. Jacuzzi Magnum pump/basket feeding Hayward top mount Zeosand filter. Jacuzzi Magnum pump/basket for Spa Jets. Heat Siphon pool heat pump. Dolphin Robotic pool cleaner.

    Pool #2 IG 35K 20X40 Vinyl. Hayward top mount Zeosand filter with Pentair 3 HP IntelliFlo VS+SVRS. Chemical Free pool using Water Doctor Copper Ion Generator, PoolSkim, Polaris 9300 Sport robotic pool cleaner, Heat Siphon pool heat pump, solar blanket, Ameri-Dome 50X30 dome enclosure during Winter.

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    susa's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Professionals, what do you charge for weekly pool maint

    > difference between blueberries and dingleberries

    that reminds me, most here have never eaten cloudberries



    an excellent combination with vanilla ice cream!

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    Re: Pool Professionals, what do you charge for weekly pool maint

    Quote Originally Posted by iPhone
    Water was actually able to get through all that sludge? Was their pool actually clear when you took it over or was it cloudy?

    I helped one of my better half's best friends start up a pool at the house they just moved to. When I opened the DE Filter pulling the top half off, DE started falling out onto my legs and feet. I have no idea when the last owner had cleaned the DE Filter or Screens, but they we using to much DE for a long time. You know your in for trouble when there are two unopened 50 pound boxes of DE in the pool shed.

    If people have anything other then a Sand Filter, do you require a Filter tear-down before taking the account? I mean how do you know what your getting into unless you open a DE or Cartridge Filter?
    I generally ask when the last tear-down was and make an educated guess between the PSI and the look of the water. However, all pools in questionable shape get them when we take over.

    I had one green-2-clean where the customer had been taking care of his pool for 12 years by himself (CYA was through the roof, estimating 300-400). When I asked when the last time he pulled apart his D.E. filter, his reply was... "Pulled apart?"

    It was almost a solid black block of DE inside...
    ~45Kg Pool with attached Spa, NSP-72 DE, Minmax 400 Heater, Tahoe Blue Pebbletech, Jandy SWG via Aqualink RS-8, The Pool Cleaner (black)
    Pumps: X3 Hybrid Pump (switches to SPA), 2HP Spa (additional, when SPA is on), and a 1HP For Waterfall
    8, 4x12 Solar Panels on the roof of the pool-house (~12' up)
    CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK: "I'M SORRY. I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUND OF HOW AWESOME I AM" (Thanks to TFP!)

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    Re: Pool Professionals, what do you charge for weekly pool maint

    I don't mean to change the subject but I just have one question regarding the pool to which the dirty filter cartridges belong. Was the pool safe to swim in when they look like that? Ok, another question. Was the filter even working?
    IG pebbletec pool: size of pool: 27,000 gal; filter: cartridge - Hayward Superstar Clear; pump size: 1.5 HP; TF 100 Test kit - got it on 7-29-10; The Pool Cleaner-4-wheel suction model; Pool calculator: http://www.poolcalculator.com/; bleach calc: http://troublefreepool.com/files/BleachCalc262.exe

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    Re: Pool Professionals, what do you charge for weekly pool maint

    The pool had significant mustard algae, high (~100-150) CYA, and no chlorine in it when I took over. PSI on the filter gage was 35 (It is now 8). Not much water was moving through the system. The owner was renting out the property and was paying someone $150/month to take care of his pool for the last several years. pH was well above 8, and there was significant scale on plaster that should have been in much better shape for a pool less than 10 years old.
    ~45Kg Pool with attached Spa, NSP-72 DE, Minmax 400 Heater, Tahoe Blue Pebbletech, Jandy SWG via Aqualink RS-8, The Pool Cleaner (black)
    Pumps: X3 Hybrid Pump (switches to SPA), 2HP Spa (additional, when SPA is on), and a 1HP For Waterfall
    8, 4x12 Solar Panels on the roof of the pool-house (~12' up)
    CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK: "I'M SORRY. I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUND OF HOW AWESOME I AM" (Thanks to TFP!)

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