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Thread: Predicting Chems

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    Predicting Chems

    My wife started a swimming lesson and water aerobics business a few years ago when she was laid off from her job. As she began to grow, she and I began to care for the pools that she works out of. We began to build a reputation and have now gotten the opportunity to break into the pool management business. We have had 3 pools contact us, asking us to put in bids. We have been working 3 pools, two indoor and one outdoor. We have not had to buy chemicals. We are confident in most of the bid (from my construction background), but have been stumped on how to make a reasonable bid on chemicals / how to predict a high end figure on how much chemicals a certain pool will use. Is there a formula (gallons, bath load, sunlight, avg temp, etc)? Are there any rules of thumbs? Thank you for any help.

    Located in Northern VA, season runs from Mem Day to Lab Day, average temp around 90.

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    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    South Central NJ
    Posts
    3,192

    Re: Predicting Chems

    Caring for commercial pools is a very different experience. The rules are very different in many places. You can't just extrapolate a residential system's needs. The bather demographics will vary at each facility.

    Will each facility be willing to show you past contracts, chem usage quantities, etc... Don't go blind. If you can't get that kind of information, pass.

    Are either of you CPO certified? Most states require one be on staff and available.

    Are you willing to carry a multi million dollar liability policy? Who manages the life guards? How are repairs handled at each facility? How are bills paid?

    Much of what is taught here is relevant but there is also a lot more documentation and several different procedures.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Predicting Chems

    We are both CPO certified. We have our liablility policy in place already, my wife manages the lifeguards (WSI, CPO, L Guard, CPR Ins.), and repairs that are beyond our scope is subd out to a reputable contractor that we currently use.

    Looks like I will contact these places and have them provide that information.

    Thanks

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    Re: Predicting Chems

    I would bid on a chemical cost plus basis.
    Glenn - Pickering, Ontario
    Circa 1980 Vinyl In-ground 80,000 Ltrs. ~ K2006 Kit ~ Hayward Pump/Navigator/Sand Filter ~ Raypak 255 Gas Heater

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    Re: Predicting Chems

    A lot is going to depend on how well you understand the chemistry. The cost difference can be rather large between knowing how to use the minimum amount of chemicals and using chemicals inefficiently.

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    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    South Central NJ
    Posts
    3,192

    Re: Predicting Chems

    I like Durhamhouses's solution for chems.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Predicting Chems

    Your post indicates that you have been taking care of the pools for a while. If you have been adding the chemicals and you have a good understanding of the chemistry and the bather load, then I would think that you would have a reasonably good idea of what chemicals will be needed.

    However, I do think that charging for chemicals and other supplies and equipment separately is usually a good idea. That way, you don't have to estimate and end up undercharging or overcharging.

    Either way, most customers would like to have some idea of what to expect as far as what it will cost so that they can compare proposals.

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: Predicting Chems

    The company I use tops most customers up to the following at the beginning of the summer:

    2x 8kg Calcium
    1x 8kg Alka+
    1x 1.4kg Stabilizer/Conditioner
    4x 4L Muriatic Acid
    1x 18kg Granular Shock (65% cal-hypo)
    1x 8kg Maxi-Pucks

    For spa as well:

    2x 4L Liquid Chlorine
    1x 2kg Mini-Pucks

    ----

    Chem usage:

    Usually 3 cups of shock every week.
    2-3 pucks every week
    maybe 1-2kg of alka+ and calcium per month
    usually 1kg of stabilizer before the swim season
    maybe 1 bottle of muriatic acid per month

    --

    Every pool is different. It REALLY depends on what is happening at your pool. One year I had algae problems and lost a bunch of water, which increased my chemical consumption. Maybe try looking at the chemical logs to predict how much they use.
    8000 gallons, Sand, IG, Plaster, Salt

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: Predicting Chems

    Monkeymansam, Exactly. That is what I have been trying to tell these pools. They have had the same pool guy for 13 years. The guys keeps his logs with him and they dont want to let him know that they are changing. Just kinda a bad situation I guess. Thank you, that helps.

    JamesW, Yes that is true. However I maintain my other pools, as part of a contract we have to do lessons and water fitness out of the other pools. They buy the chemicals when I tell them they are low. I know the consumption for the pools I control, however, as everyone has already stated, every pool is different. Expecially since we only have one outdoor pool and two indoor. Obviously a big difference. Prior to those pools, I cant remember the pools I maintained when I was a lifeguard. That was 10 years ago lol. This is a good opp for us and I didnt want to over bid, but also didnt want to lose money either. The people that own the pools, know nothing of the pool they own.

    It seems the way to go (being they cant provide info) is to bid separate for the first year then the following bid on chemicals also. Or possibly put in the contract that if we go over the figure set aside for the chemicals, we would need more money. They dont have the info, I cant guess.

    Thanks for everyones info, if you have any other advice/info, feel free to share. The more the better

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