Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: My first customer as a pool cleaner

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Winter Haven, FL
    Posts
    103

    My first customer as a pool cleaner

    I have recently received a request to clean someones pool, it's an outdoor pool with no screen. I have one nearly the exact same at my own house, so I would be familiar on how to keep it clean. However, the guy cleaning it prior "gave up" on it, because he can't get it blue, which worries me a little bit as he does this full time from what I understand. But I know with TFP methods I can get it blue, as long as the pump/filter is in good shape.

    I have never done this before, even though I am very passionate about my own pool's maintenance, and it is something I enjoy and could see myself doing full-time. I understand the chemical aspect, but I am wondering on what type of price range I should be charging for an outdoor pool w/ no screen.

    One thing that worries me is my current pool has no screen, I was calling around to get estimates on how much it'd cost to clean my pool, 3 companies wouldnt touch it, and one would but wanted to charge 140 a month.

    I assume 2 trips a week minimum without a cage over the pool, the guy is older and can't really clean it much, so I would probably have to go a little overboard on the chlorine to ensure it holds enough until I return.

    The pool is approx. 12k gallons I believe, it's slightly small, square shaped, has a kreepy krauly, with a sand filter and hayward pump. I want to do this as I am trying to get a pool maintenance company going on the side, so this could get me on the right track as this guy lives in a subdivision with alot of other pools.

    Current equipment: Pickup truck, Long cleaning pole, skimmer, brush, leaf net, 4 liquid chlorine 12 gal jugs, plenty of muratic acid, extra vacuum lines with a manual vacuum that I never use.

    I believe I could transition to this easily, but I'd like a pool professional's opinion on where to start, what type of pricing should I offer (i know this is a hard question to answer accurately, I live in FL btw), anything I am missing here? Thanks for your help in advance.

    -Leland

    (Admins: I wasn't sure which forum this would go in, please feel free to move this if need be.)
    16x32 27k gal oval gunite pool, 24-inch Hayward sand filter, 1HP pump

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    SouthWest Alabama
    Posts
    22,347

    Re: My first customer as a pool cleaner

    It's extremely hard to get any kind of pricing structure for caring for a pool. This, for the most part, is a owner forum and as a rule we don't pay people to care for our pools.

    The first place to start before you even talk prices, is to get a set of good test results. That will tell you how much work you're going to have to do to begin with.

    If you have to visit the pool twice a week you should figure an hour a visit. You also want to stipulate whether you provide the chems or they provide them. Also a charge for extra visits and chems above normal.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Winter Haven, FL
    Posts
    103

    Re: My first customer as a pool cleaner

    Thanks for the reply! I agree, as a pool owner, I would not pay someone to do it either! I enjoy the process, which is why I'd like to do it as a side job since I live in an area where pools are at every other house.

    I think my biggest concern is the no screen on the pool and how that would affect pricing. I will contact some pool companies locally and prod them for some pricing maybe and see what they would charge and go from there. It just worries me a little bit that the bigger pool maintenance companies won't pick up a pool with no screen! Haha. I've seen the pool and no trees at all around it, so that is good.
    16x32 27k gal oval gunite pool, 24-inch Hayward sand filter, 1HP pump

  4. Back To Top    #4

    In the Industry

    X-PertPool's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Exeter, PA
    Posts
    1,385

    Re: My first customer as a pool cleaner

    Prices are highly subject to area and even then they can vary a lot. To just give you an idea I charge around $42 per cleaning which includes: Vacuuming, cleaning baskets, back-washing and adding sanitizer. Balancing chemicals are additional if needed.
    -Kevin
    X-Pert Pool Service
    x-pertpool.com
    X-Pert Pool on Facebook and @XPertPoolServic on Twitter
    22,000 gal / 16' x 32' / Vinyl / Hayward s244t /Pentair SuperFlo 1 hp

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Winter Haven, FL
    Posts
    103

    Re: My first customer as a pool cleaner

    Quote Originally Posted by X-PertPool
    Prices are highly subject to area and even then they can vary a lot. To just give you an idea I charge around $42 per cleaning which includes: Vacuuming, cleaning baskets, back-washing and adding sanitizer. Balancing chemicals are additional if needed.
    Thanks alot for the info! I am a little nervous about this, yet very excited!

    Do you charge the same price for a pool with a screen than a pool without?
    16x32 27k gal oval gunite pool, 24-inch Hayward sand filter, 1HP pump

  6. Back To Top    #6
    kkendall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Phoenix
    Posts
    64

    Re: My first customer as a pool cleaner

    Quote Originally Posted by lelandapple
    the guy cleaning it prior "gave up" on it, because he can't get it blue, which worries me a little bit as he does this full time from what I understand.
    I don't know squat about pools, but just a hunch -

    some guy coming by every couple weeks (or even once/week) on a pool where you're already behind the 8-ball wasn't enough to get ahead of it. It may take a visits every day / every other day to get the pool back where it needs to be.
    * 18.5 K Gallon, 8ft deep, IG, Pebble Radiance * Pentair VS 3050 Pump w/420 Cartridge Filter
    * Blue Square Q-360 In-floor Cleaning System * UltraPure UPP25 Ozone Generator
    * Pool startup: 09-04-2012 * TF-100 Test Kit

  7. Back To Top    #7
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)
    Posts
    18,768

    Re: My first customer as a pool cleaner

    You're going to need a test kit. I'd bet large sums of money that the CYA is way into triple digits, which is why the other guy gave up. He couldn't get FC high enough to get ahead of the algae. He might have even made things worse, if he used dichlor shock instead of bleach!

    You'll be working blind without test results. Sure, you can dump gallons and gallons of bleach into the pool, but you may still not get FC high enough.
    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!

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Winter Haven, FL
    Posts
    103

    Re: My first customer as a pool cleaner

    I have a TF test kit already, was one of my first purchases for my pool so I am good on that front. But good point, I bet the CYA is through the roof. I live right down the road from this place, so a visit 2-3 times a week shouldn't hinder me too much. Thanks guys.
    16x32 27k gal oval gunite pool, 24-inch Hayward sand filter, 1HP pump

  9. Back To Top    #9
    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    'burbs of Augusta, Georgia
    Posts
    6,482

    Re: My first customer as a pool cleaner

    I'm curious as to what not having a screen means to you? Most of the rest of the country have pools without "bird cages" over them (something I've seen in FL but rare elsewhere). Does this pool have massive trees or something around it that will leave a lot of debris causing you more time in labor than usual?

    Do pool cleaners charge just on a "per visit" basis so that if it requires more attention it costs more, but ideally if well maintained it will cost the owners less hence they keep the service ongoing?
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain

  10. Back To Top    #10
    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Mint Hill, NC
    Posts
    2,589

    Re: My first customer as a pool cleaner

    My impression of the screen houses in FL was that they were mainly for mosquito control and shade...
    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

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: My first customer as a pool cleaner

    I constantly think about how much I would love to get paid to balance my neighbors pools. The cleaning part isn't as interesting to me, but it always seems that it would be tricky to get started and come up with an efficient schedule that provides the quality we obtain with our own pools. I definitely hope this venture goes well for you!
    Aaron
    [ Vogue Vectra 24' AG | Hard plumb: Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 1HP 2-speed, 27" sand filter & Pentair MiniMax 100 NG | Taylor K-2006 | Central IL ]
    Powered by: TFP, PoolMath & TFTestkits

  12. Back To Top    #12

    In the Industry

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    near the swamp
    Posts
    804

    Re: My first customer as a pool cleaner

    Just an FYI since you're in FL, you may need to check on your state's licensing board. I know FL is one of those funky states where you have to have a contractors license for just about anything, and I believe read somewhere they're trying to enforce you to have one just to add chemicals and clean pools now.

    yup http://www.poolspanews.com/2012/012/012n_florida.html

    not yet passed, at least to my knowledge YET

  13. Back To Top    #13
    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    'burbs of Augusta, Georgia
    Posts
    6,482

    Re: My first customer as a pool cleaner

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320
    You're going to need a test kit.
    Not only a good test kit, but if you're going to do this as a business, that test kit should be a dedicated pool business use only one. You'll have to keep records of your business expenses (refills on reagents for example) for your taxes.

    side note: I recommend the TF-100 kit.
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain

  14. Back To Top    #14
    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Mint Hill, NC
    Posts
    2,589

    Re: My first customer as a pool cleaner

    Plus - as discussed in other threads - the way recommended here for daily maintainers of pools doesn't work well for those who go only weekly. You can't get the proper FC levels to hold over a week using these methods - just because this works for us - doesn't make it the way you will need to do things.

    You can however be the pool whisperer to those pools no one else can solve...
    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

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: My first customer as a pool cleaner

    I thought about this as a business. I think the only way to do it is to install a chlorine pump system. Otherwise you are going to have to go out there too much. At $40-50 a visit, normally you are talking at least 30 minutes of travel time and then maybe 30 minutes on the pool itself. Plus chemicals are still going to cost 60-80/month. So you are only making like 15-20/hour for your time.

    You will also need liability insurance in case you do something bad (or your client does but blames it on you)
    17,800 gallon, IG pool, 595 sq feet (17x35x4.5 avg rectangle), Hayward 525 cartridge filter, diamondbrite, 2 hp 2 speed hayward tristar filter, Stenner 45mhp10 automatically chlorinating

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    240

    Re: My first customer as a pool cleaner

    Do you have a ball park on how much liability would be a month? thanks
    25k I/G ecostar ccplus Polaris plaster

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Winter Haven, FL
    Posts
    103

    Re: My first customer as a pool cleaner

    Quote Originally Posted by YippeeSkippy
    I'm curious as to what not having a screen means to you? Most of the rest of the country have pools without "bird cages" over them (something I've seen in FL but rare elsewhere). Does this pool have massive trees or something around it that will leave a lot of debris causing you more time in labor than usual?

    Do pool cleaners charge just on a "per visit" basis so that if it requires more attention it costs more, but ideally if well maintained it will cost the owners less hence they keep the service ongoing?
    The pool does have trees near it, which can cause issues with keeping it clean. Let me give you an example.

    My pool has no screen, and i have 2 large oaks that are next door to me in my neighbors yard and he just loves them I asked if he would think of trimming them and I would even go in on the price of it to help out. Where I live is nearly tropical, every neighbor has large trees, but my neighbor right next door has the 2 oak trouble makers for me. I see debris from multiple types of trees in my pool everyday.

    Anyways, this requires A LOT of leaf cleaning, literally daily. Also, my vacuum will get clogged much quicker than a pool with a screen. I have to carefully time when to run my vacuum or else I come home and it's jammed up with leafs. Leafs can also cause increased algae growth if not cleaned. Not having a screen causes multiple issues. Also I believe having no screen is more direct sunlight where with a screen you would have a 15-20% sunlight reduction potentially saving more chlorine/chemicals (I just heard this but it makes sense). Frog eggs in my pool daily as well (ANNOYING!). It's just more maintenance than a pool which has no outside environmental debris going into the pool
    16x32 27k gal oval gunite pool, 24-inch Hayward sand filter, 1HP pump

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    240

    Re: My first customer as a pool cleaner

    lelandapple: Did you get my private message? just wondering how everything worked out for you.
    25k I/G ecostar ccplus Polaris plaster

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Winter Haven, FL
    Posts
    103

    Re: My first customer as a pool cleaner

    Yes marty, and replied, thank you.
    16x32 27k gal oval gunite pool, 24-inch Hayward sand filter, 1HP pump

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •