Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Reasonable pool service fees

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Jacksonville/Oregon
    Posts
    12

    Reasonable pool service fees

    Just bought a new house with an in-ground pool that is at least 12 years old. It is chlorinated, uses a Polaris 380 as pool cleaner, has a Pentair Meteor Sand filter, propane gas heater and solar heater. The pool contains about 18,000 gallons of water. I have had 2 pool serviceman. The first one I dismissed because I learned that he overcharged me for a simple float that regulates automatic filling of my pool (using well water, not city water). He also told me that the head float on the Polaris needed replacement when one month later another pool serviceman told me the same thing and showed me that the float was full of water. Which one is the apparent crook--probably the guy that charged me $110 for parts and labor for the water supply float.

    Now I have been recommended by Pentair to a pool service that has a variable contract based on Season and frequency of visits. Of course I will not mention the name of the company. They sent me a contract that i believe is incredibly misleading and/or terribly written. I am pasting a portion of that below. My question to the forum readers is whether or not I am totally confused and need a nursing home or is this contract outrageously written and making no sense, when one calculates the costs per year and compares one service type with another. I am still in the learning process about all aspects of the pool so I thought until I had a chance to read and understand a pool service might be an interim answer.

    Pool Cleaning Service Agreement / Contract & Menu

    The following is an itemization of what our monthly fees may be for Pool Cleaning Service:

    Menu of Options
    (please initial by the service of your choice)

    ____ 1. Weekly Service (Chemicals Included)................................................... ................................$210.00

    ____ 2. Every 2 Weeks Service (Chemicals Included)................................................... ....................$145.00

    ____ 3. Two Cleanings per Month (Chemicals Included)................................................... ........ .......$130.00

    ____ 4. Variable Yearly Cleaning Service with: ............................................................ .....................$180.00
    Summer - Weekly
    Spring and Fall - Every 2 Weeks
    Winter - Once a Month

    A.June, July, August, September.................................Weekly
    B.March, April, May, October, November..................Every 2 Weeks
    C.December, January, February...................................Once a Month

    ____ 5. Variable Yearly Cleaning Service with: ............................................................ ......................$125.00
    Summer - Every 2 Weeks
    Spring, Fall, Winter - Once a Month

    A.May, June, July, August, September, October, November.....Every 2 Weeks
    B.December, January, February, March, April...........................Once a Month

    Above are for yearly contracts only.

    When I analyze this for the cost per visit, I get $74.48 per visit for customer selecting Option 4, $93.75 per visit for option #5, and I do not see any difference between cleaning pool every two weeks versus twice a month (option 2 vs 3) and yet their fees are different. In fact, for option 2 above, at a monthly fee of $145, service every 2 weeks all throughout the year would mean $66.92 per visit. But I cannot conceive in Oregon of needing service every two weeks during the winter and perhaps even during the spring and fall.

    is this totally nuts or am I losing it.

    Thanks,
    Stephen
    Southern Oregon

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)
    Posts
    18,768

    Re: Reasonable pool service fees

    Sounds steep to me. That's about double what it costs in SoCal!

    Realistically, the price of one month's service could get you set up with a test kit and all the tools - vacuum, hose, pole, nets, brushes. Two months more would pay for a year's worth of chemicals.

    There's a steep learning curve up front, maybe the first month, and after that it's really easy. A couple minutes a day to skim and empty the baskets, test and add chlorine. Less than an hour a week to brush and vacuum, unless your pool is surrounded by trees or something.

    I'd do it myself and save if I were you.
    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!

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    East Texas
    Posts
    8,993

    Re: Reasonable pool service fees

    I'll pass.
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
    2 Speed Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 85 g.p.m. 22" 250lb. sand filter hard plumbed
    Pool Rover Jr., Pool Blaster Max, Diver Dave TF100 Test Kit/Speed Stir
    Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker, Liqour Chiller, & Drink Mixer & Party Tub----Collect 'um all!

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Jacksonville/Oregon
    Posts
    12

    Re: Reasonable pool service fees

    Richard, thanks for the quick reply. I am now highly skeptical of the honesty and integrity of those "serving" the customer in my area. My inclination, along with what you have said, is to do it myself.

    I did initially purchase the aquacheck 7 test strips made by HACH and am keeping a log of the results vs time. I then did purchase, before joining this site, the LaMotte Color Q test kit. I have used it about a dozen times. I realize that this forum seriously prefers the Taylor TTF-100 (may have got the letters wrong) but the Color Q results seem reasonable. Here's what I have done so far.

    1. Read the Polaris 380 manual and fixed (myself) the problem with the feed hose becoming tied in knots or loops. The Polaris I inherited was not cut the proper length, nor were the swivels put on correctly re the arrows, nor was there a scrubber or a flow restrictor. I have to buy the filter screen which also is missing. Now the Polaris works fine. It is 12 years old per the serial #.

    2. Ascertained that the cyanuric acid level is way too high (300 or more per strip) and Hi per Color Q. After a dilution down to 1:4, the cyanuric acid level was ↓ 99. Therefore, my plans are to empty the pool by 50%, have city water delivered (I am on a well with high calcium hardness) and recheck the pool chemistry, and make changes from there. I have switched from granular chlorine (Triclor) to calcium hypochlorite to avoid ongoing cyanuric acid build up. I would rather pay for the chemicals to lower calcium hardness than pay for water ($400 for 10,000 gallons) + the hassle of having to empty part of the pool and wasting water.

    3. I have equipment in the form of a pole, net for leaves, hose. I need brush. I have a vacuum head.

    4. I know how to empty the skimmer and the bag on the Polaris.

    5. I need to understand the procedure for emptying the filters on the pool pump, and the solar pump (I imagine turn off pumps, shut gate valves to and from pumps, empty filter.

    6. I understand how to backwash → rinse → filter the sand filter. The baseline PSI of the Pentair is 10.

    I plan to be active on this forum, learn and share. It is hard to find competent people in all walks of life. Lastly, I will keep my posts much shorter in the future.
    Stephen B. Strum
    Jacksonville, Oregon
    16,100 gallons, in-ground, chlorinated pool using well water (low producing well), sand filter Pentair Meteor, Polaris 380 pool cleaner with booster pump, Propane and passive Solar heaters.

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Columbia, SC
    Posts
    8,494

    Re: Reasonable pool service fees

    Quote Originally Posted by StephenStrum View Post
    I plan to be active on this forum, learn and share. It is hard to find competent people in all walks of life. Lastly, I will keep my posts much shorter in the future.
    No worries on longer posts, it generally gives all the information necessary.

    I'll pass on any comments on the LaMotte Color Q test kit as I don't have any personal knowledge of it and it's operation.

    As someone who also ended up with a pool with high CYA (mine was only 200+) I understand what you are going through.

    You seem to have a firm grasp on the concepts and are also handy, so an excellent person to save the pool service fees and do it yourself. Once you whip it into line you will find it only takes minutes a day.

    You understand the downside to using the calcium hypochlorite and seem prepared to monitor and keep it in check. I think most here will try to convince you to use liquid chlorine. I lugged jugs to my pool for the first few months and then installed a Stenner pump to inject chlorine automatically.

    Welcome to the site and I look forward to your participation.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Jacksonville/Oregon
    Posts
    12

    Re: Reasonable pool service fees

    Thanks Tim. I can Google Stenner pump or have you share with me key info about this. If this is a device to add liquid chlorine, which I assume it is, please feel free to share. What is surprising to me is that all the granular and tablet chlorine that contains stabilizers that are metabolized to cyanuric acid should be a real focus of concern to those with pools. My understanding is that the high cyanuric levels of over 100 are a health risk since fungal and bacterial organisms are being protected from the cidal killing effects of chlorine by the cyanuric acid. Please educate me if I am incorrect re anything I say. As a physician, I am astounded that given the routine use of Dichlor and Trichlor leading to build up of cyanuric acid that 1) there has been no easy workaround to prevent this and 2) that apparent solutions (pun intended) like the Stenner pump to add liquid chlorine (not containing stabilizers that are ? metabolized (or are) cyanuric acid have not been given sufficient attention. I was excited when I found a product at Costco that did not indicate cyanuric acid on its labeling (Ket-TEK All-In-One chlorinating Granules see http://www.kem-tek.com/kemtek_produc...ting-granules/). I even called the company's tech support to verify this and they said NO cyanuric acid. As an MD, I would think that any chlorinating product--tab or granular--should indicate cyanuric acid as a potential MAJOR issue with warnings about health risks if cyanuric acid levels exceed 100. I was not aware of this a few years ago when my sister developed a systemic fungal infection requiring 30 days of anti-fungal treatment. The infection she got occurred after using a spa at a retirement community. I would speculate that perhaps high cyanuric acid levels were present and set her up for an infection.
    Stephen B. Strum
    Jacksonville, Oregon
    16,100 gallons, in-ground, chlorinated pool using well water (low producing well), sand filter Pentair Meteor, Polaris 380 pool cleaner with booster pump, Propane and passive Solar heaters.

  7. Back To Top    #7
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: Reasonable pool service fees

    If there is no CYA in the granules, then it is cal hypo which adds calcium instead which is also bad if it gets too high. Stick with the liquid chlorine.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  8. Back To Top    #8
    Casey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    SW PA
    Posts
    10,157

    Re: Reasonable pool service fees

    There is no other way saying this but just saying it...

    Read Pool School. Start with a couple links a day and re read them if needed and ask questions and then move on to the next couple Pool School links once you grasp what you have read. Take care of the pool yourself and add an FAS/DPD test to your kit and dive in.

    I would never, ever spend that much money on pool maintenance. If you're willing to do so, I wish I lived closer to you as I could make some major cash for 5 minutes a day and 45 minutes weekly brushing and vac'ing your pool! I'll even go to Wally World and bring the loot for that cold hard cash!
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

  9. Back To Top    #9
    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Columbia, SC
    Posts
    8,494

    Re: Reasonable pool service fees

    Quote Originally Posted by StephenStrum View Post
    Thanks Tim. I can Google Stenner pump or have you share with me key info about this. If this is a device to add liquid chlorine, which I assume it is, please feel free to share.
    It is a chemical pump that many of us utilize to inject liquid chlorine (bleach @ 8.25% or chlorinating liquid @ 10/12.5%)..

    HERE is the thread on my pool history and Stenner pump install
    .

    I have had it in for about 3 weeks now and I have yet to manually add bleach directly to my pool.

    Quote Originally Posted by StephenStrum View Post
    What is surprising to me is that all the granular and tablet chlorine that contains stabilizers that are metabolized to cyanuric acid should be a real focus of concern to those with pools. My understanding is that the high cyanuric levels of over 100 are a health risk since fungal and bacterial organisms are being protected from the cidal killing effects of chlorine by the cyanuric acid. Please educate me if I am incorrect re anything I say. As a physician, I am astounded that given the routine use of Dichlor and Trichlor leading to build up of cyanuric acid that 1) there has been no easy workaround to prevent this and 2) that apparent solutions (pun intended) like the Stenner pump to add liquid chlorine (not containing stabilizers that are ? metabolized (or are) cyanuric acid have not been given sufficient attention. I was excited when I found a product at Costco that did not indicate cyanuric acid on its labeling (Ket-TEK All-In-One chlorinating Granules see http://www.kem-tek.com/kemtek_produc...ting-granules/). I even called the company's tech support to verify this and they said NO cyanuric acid. As an MD, I would think that any chlorinating product--tab or granular--should indicate cyanuric acid as a potential MAJOR issue with warnings about health risks if cyanuric acid levels exceed 100. I was not aware of this a few years ago when my sister developed a systemic fungal infection requiring 30 days of anti-fungal treatment. The infection she got occurred after using a spa at a retirement community. I would speculate that perhaps high cyanuric acid levels were present and set her up for an infection.

    Quote Originally Posted by StephenStrum View Post
    Thanks Tim. I can Google Stenner pump or have you share with me key info about this. If this is a device to add liquid chlorine, which I assume it is, please feel free to share. What is surprising to me is that all the granular and tablet chlorine that contains stabilizers that are metabolized to cyanuric acid should be a real focus of concern to those with pools. My understanding is that the high cyanuric levels of over 100 are a health risk since fungal and bacterial organisms are being protected from the cidal killing effects of chlorine by the cyanuric acid. Please educate me if I am incorrect re anything I say. As a physician, I am astounded that given the routine use of Dichlor and Trichlor leading to build up of cyanuric acid that 1) there has been no easy workaround to prevent this and 2) that apparent solutions (pun intended) like the Stenner pump to add liquid chlorine (not containing stabilizers that are ? metabolized (or are) cyanuric acid have not been given sufficient attention. I was excited when I found a product at Costco that did not indicate cyanuric acid on its labeling (Ket-TEK All-In-One chlorinating Granules see http://www.kem-tek.com/kemtek_produc...ting-granules/). I even called the company's tech support to verify this and they said NO cyanuric acid. As an MD, I would think that any chlorinating product--tab or granular--should indicate cyanuric acid as a potential MAJOR issue with warnings about health risks if cyanuric acid levels exceed 100. I was not aware of this a few years ago when my sister developed a systemic fungal infection requiring 30 days of anti-fungal treatment. The infection she got occurred after using a spa at a retirement community. I would speculate that perhaps high cyanuric acid levels were present and set her up for an infection.
    From what I can ascertain very few people in the pool industry acknowledge or understand the relationship between CYA and Free Chlorine. As with the medical community, research dollars go to places that will yield additional sales. In the pool industry noone wants to address the CYA relationship with chlorine and its ability to sanitize organisms because that would result in fewer sales. That you can maintain a safe an sanitized pool with plain old bleach doesn't jive with their ability to sell products.

    I'm one of the new guys here, having bought a house with my first pool in November. But this website as well as another opened my eyes to another way of caring for my pool.

    As has been suggested, everything being taught here is covered in the pool school. Your understanding of the science should allow you to cover the material quickly.

    Again, welcome to TFP
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

  10. Back To Top    #10
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    9,198

    Re: Reasonable pool service fees

    Hi Stephen, welcome to TFP. I am going to reply within your quote in red.
    Quote Originally Posted by StephenStrum View Post
    Richard, thanks for the quick reply. I am now highly skeptical of the honesty and integrity of those "serving" the customer in my area. My inclination, along with what you have said, is to do it myself.

    I did initially purchase the aquacheck 7 test strips made by HACH and am keeping a log of the results vs time. I then did purchase, before joining this site, the LaMotte Color Q test kit. I have used it about a dozen times. I realize that this forum seriously prefers the Taylor TTF-100 (may have got the letters wrong) but the Color Q results seem reasonable. Here's what I have done so far. The two most recommended kits are the Taylor K2006 and the TF100. Both kits are high quality FAS/DPD test kits which allow you to test chlorine levels in excess of 50 ppm. Very few test kits available in stores test above 5 ppm for chlorine.

    1. Read the Polaris 380 manual and fixed (myself) the problem with the feed hose becoming tied in knots or loops. The Polaris I inherited was not cut the proper length, nor were the swivels put on correctly re the arrows, nor was there a scrubber or a flow restrictor. I have to buy the filter screen which also is missing. Now the Polaris works fine. It is 12 years old per the serial #.

    2. Ascertained that the cyanuric acid level is way too high (300 or more per strip) and Hi per Color Q. After a dilution down to 1:4, the cyanuric acid level was ↓ 99. Therefore, my plans are to empty the pool by 50%, have city water delivered (I am on a well with high calcium hardness) and recheck the pool chemistry, and make changes from there. I have switched from granular chlorine (Triclor) to calcium hypochlorite to avoid ongoing cyanuric acid build up. I would rather pay for the chemicals to lower calcium hardness than pay for water ($400 for 10,000 gallons) + the hassle of having to empty part of the pool and wasting water. If your CYA is truly 300ppm then replacing 50% of the water will get you to approximately 150ppm which is still too high. The recommended range for CYA is 30-50 ppm. You would need to replace approximately 80% of the water to lower the CYA to around 50ppm. You mention using cal-hypo as an alternative, however calcium will also build up in the water and cause problems such as scale and calcium clouding. There is no chemical to reduce calcium, like CYA the only way to reduce it is to replace the water. We recommend liquid chlorine since it does not add CYA or calcium to the water. It does add a very small amount of salt, but in all my years on TFP I have never seen a case of excess salt due to liquid chlorine use.

    3. I have equipment in the form of a pole, net for leaves, hose. I need brush. I have a vacuum head.

    4. I know how to empty the skimmer and the bag on the Polaris.

    5. I need to understand the procedure for emptying the filters on the pool pump, and the solar pump (I imagine turn off pumps, shut gate valves to and from pumps, empty filter. Yes, that is pretty much how you empty the pump pot baskets. Unless you have a lot of plant debris in the pool you should be able to go a long time between cleanings. Get a tube of silicone pool lube and lube the o-rings on the pump pot lids every time you open them. It allows you to check the o-rings for wear and the lube makes it easier to open the pump pot lids.

    6. I understand how to backwash → rinse → filter the sand filter. The baseline PSI of the Pentair is 10.

    I plan to be active on this forum, learn and share. It is hard to find competent people in all walks of life. Lastly, I will keep my posts much shorter in the future.
    We are glad you are here. Feel free to answer any questions you may have. We have a lot of articles in Pool School but at this point the most important one for you to learn is ABCs of pool water chemistry. Also please indicate in your signature whether your pool has a plaster finish, fiberglass finish, or a vinyl liner.
    TFP Moderator
    Helpful links: TF Test Kits,TFP Pool School, PoolMath
    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
    Love TFP? Become a
    TFP Supporter!

Posting Permissions

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