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Thread: CPO Certification - which one, and for what?

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    CPO Certification - which one, and for what?

    So...I've been maintaining this Camp pool and learning about pool chemistry for 5 years now, and one of my Board Members asked me the other day if I was interested in becoming a Certified Pool Operator. I hadn't thought about it, but I've been looking into some sort of professional pool training / certification, and I'm wondering...

    Between the NSPF's CPO, the APSP's "Service Education and Certification Program", which would be more appropriate for a single-site pool maintenance guy / operator? Are there others?

    Is there any regional differences or preferences among training programs?

    What about conferences, etc?
    In-ground Plaster 40' X 80' 144K gallon pool w/ 2 pumps (old Challenger bronze and newer Challenger II plastic) and 2 large sand filters (Pentair Triton 140's). Built in '85, in bee-yootiful shady Buffalo Gap, West Texas.

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: CPO Certification - which one, and for what?

    I have a friend who has a green swamp Intex pool - he is a CPO. He wouldn't listen to me when I tried to help him - more accurately he listened and tried it for a day or two - but he said, and I'm not making this up. "The bleach made my water taste bad..."

    Yikes! The pool is so cloudy you can't see 1' deep. <sigh>

    To be fair, my friend seems to understand the basic chemistry - just not CYA. He also says he had a number of pools over the years he cared for and owned and this Intex is the only one that kicked his butt. He started with a green swamp and just has never gotten it back from the opening this spring. The Intex filter is junk which doesn't help.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: CPO Certification - which one, and for what?

    Yeah, I'm in the middle of composing a reply to Texas Health Dept survey, asking them to at least look into the CYA / FC relationship and revise their min/max FC standards...
    In-ground Plaster 40' X 80' 144K gallon pool w/ 2 pumps (old Challenger bronze and newer Challenger II plastic) and 2 large sand filters (Pentair Triton 140's). Built in '85, in bee-yootiful shady Buffalo Gap, West Texas.

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    Join Date
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    Re: CPO Certification - which one, and for what?

    As noted in the links in this post, Texas has a maximum FC for commercial/public pools of 8 ppm and in this post Texas is seen to allow up to 100 ppm CYA. So that's not bad compared to most other states. Only Florida goes higher in FC, up to 10 ppm. New York bans CYA even for outdoor pools while Massachusetts has a 3 ppm FC limit.

    If you do take the CPO course, read Certified Pool Operator (CPO) training -- What is not taught to fill in or correct some details. In addition to the NSPF CPO® and the APSP CMS, CST and CSP® certifications, there is also the IPSSA Water Chemistry Certification Exam though that's more of a qualification exam for membership and not a full certification program.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: CPO Certification - which one, and for what?

    Thanks for the info!

    I guess my basic question is this: What are the practical differences between CPO, CMS, CMT, CSP, CPT, etc?
    In-ground Plaster 40' X 80' 144K gallon pool w/ 2 pumps (old Challenger bronze and newer Challenger II plastic) and 2 large sand filters (Pentair Triton 140's). Built in '85, in bee-yootiful shady Buffalo Gap, West Texas.

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    Join Date
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    Re: CPO Certification - which one, and for what?

    The CPO® course, book and exam are oriented towards operators of pools so focuses of pool chemistry, filtration, testing, etc. and not on repairs or installation. The APSP course spends somewhat less time on those topics, but adds those relevant to service technicians so covers electrical systems, pool structures and finishes, heaters and controls, and customer service. The APSP courses have different levels with higher levels getting more intensive with regard to troubleshooting problems and to repairing equipment. CMS is the most basic of the APSP certifications and is available as a correspondence course as well as live (2-1/2 days), CST is more intensive (4-1/2 days) and is only available live, while CSP is only an exam, but presumes experience and/or education equivalence. So the CPO® is for operators of pools, usually commercial/public pools, while the APSP certifications are for service technicians, most commonly for residential. The ISPPA exam is mostly about water chemistry and is primarily for service technicians that maintain residential pools, but not necessarily repair equipment or modify plumbing (at least in terms of ISPPA training and certification).
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: CPO Certification - which one, and for what?

    Thanks chemgeek, that answers my questions nicely!
    In-ground Plaster 40' X 80' 144K gallon pool w/ 2 pumps (old Challenger bronze and newer Challenger II plastic) and 2 large sand filters (Pentair Triton 140's). Built in '85, in bee-yootiful shady Buffalo Gap, West Texas.

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