HOA pool...is our pool guy doing the right things?

Harbortown

Member
Jun 23, 2020
7
Fort Myers
Hi, I'm new to an HOA board and our pool guy is charging over $2000/month for a relatively small pool. He claims that the insects and leaves cause the DE filters to be clogged, requiring them to be flushed weekly. Plus, he charges for coming over 5x/week to skim the water and vacuum/clean, etc. Is there such a thing as a prefilter that can trap the insects, etc. to reduce the clogging? It seems like everything I've read indicate that the DE filters should only need to be flushed a few times a year. Any tips, suggestions are appreciated. Thanks!
 

Dtkokay

Well-known member
Dec 31, 2019
259
Houston, Texas
There should be at least one skimmer, each of which has a basket that catches larger debris before it gets to the DE filter. You can also put a sock in the skimmer basket, which helps catch finer debris.

Assuming this guy isn't lying, it's possible the skimmers don't have baskets in them. But any decent pool guy should know that.

I think he's pulling a fast one and would explore other options.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
18,959
Northern NJ
The maintenance requirements of your pool depend on the way it was constructed, the equipment it has, its environment, and the bather load. If your pool users expect a perfectly clean pool every morning then it may require the pool guy to swing by and clean anything that blew into the pool overnight.

Have you gone out in the morning before the pool guy comes and see the condition of the pool? Have you shadowed him a few times to see things through his eyes?

We recommend a DE filter be backwashed when filter pressure rises by 25% over clean filter pressure and not by a schedule. The filter can get loaded up and need a backwash in a few days if have a storm blow debris into the pool or if your landscapers blow stuff into the pool. There is a constant battle between landscapers and pool guys.

Show us some pics of your pool and equipment and we can help you understand it. Whether your pool guys time and cost is reasonable depends on what your homeowners expect to find with their pool.
 

jb

Well-known member
Jul 2, 2011
68
North Texas
If you have a pool that is open to the community I think you need somebody there everyday to check/clean monitor it. I can't comment on price.
 

Rossterman

Well-known member
Jun 5, 2016
482
Martinez, CA
As a first step, You need to determine how many hours he’s onsite and actually working Before you can determine iF he is overcharging you. 20 each 1 hr visits x $40/hr= $800 so $2000 is crazy. If he’s there 2 or more hours each time, it’s a whole different story. That being said. In my gut it smells a little fishy to me.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
19,768
What is a relatively small pool?

Does the price include chemicals?

How much time is spent per visit?

How many people use the pool?
 
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Harbortown

Member
Jun 23, 2020
7
Fort Myers
Ok. Thanks for all of your input. We're investigating some of the areas of concern that you've all been kind of enough to mention. The pool is 30 x 50. The price doesn't include chemicals. Less than 10 adults/day use the pool for a few hours at most. He comes for about an hour/day/5x/week. Then, he charges 2 hours per DE flush twice/week. In his defense, there are a lot of insects here. Maybe a digital flow meter would help confirm the necessity of the flush? Is there such a thing a pre-filter for the larger insects?
 

RMcGirr83

Gold Supporter
Nov 19, 2018
877
Tuscola, TX

Harbortown

Member
Jun 23, 2020
7
Fort Myers
There should be at least one skimmer, each of which has a basket that catches larger debris before it gets to the DE filter. You can also put a sock in the skimmer basket, which helps catch finer debris.

Assuming this guy isn't lying, it's possible the skimmers don't have baskets in them. But any decent pool guy should know that.

I think he's pulling a fast one and would explore other options.
I know what a skimmer basket is, since I used to work at a pool...but this pool doesn't have anything that looks obvious to me. The pool was built in the early 80s. There are multiple little vent-like plastic parts with pipes under them (3 x 5") around the edge. Then there's a large floor filter. All the water from the inground pool goes to a room where it comes out of large pipe. The water flows through a dozen or so DE filters.
 

Harbortown

Member
Jun 23, 2020
7
Fort Myers

proavia

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Feb 6, 2015
1,925
Chandler AZ
Any chance you could post pictures of the pool and equipment?

For the pool, post pics of any inlets at/near the surface and also any covers in the deck near the pool. For equipment, post pics including an overall view of the equipment and also close up pics of eachpiece of equipment.

That being said, your HOA pool may need to be maintained to commercial pool standards based on state, county and/or city mandates. You may wish to investigate what those standards are and if they apply to the HOA pool.
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
12,551
Houston, Texas
Some pictures of the pool and equipment would help us figure out if what the pool guy is doing is excessive or not. It doesn't sound like a standard pool build from what you describe.
 

Harbortown

Member
Jun 23, 2020
7
Fort Myers
The maintenance requirements of your pool depend on the way it was constructed, the equipment it has, its environment, and the bather load. If your pool users expect a perfectly clean pool every morning then it may require the pool guy to swing by and clean anything that blew into the pool overnight.

Have you gone out in the morning before the pool guy comes and see the condition of the pool? Have you shadowed him a few times to see things through his eyes?

We recommend a DE filter be backwashed when filter pressure rises by 25% over clean filter pressure and not by a schedule. The filter can get loaded up and need a backwash in a few days if have a storm blow debris into the pool or if your landscapers blow stuff into the pool. There is a constant battle between landscapers and pool guys.

Show us some pics of your pool and equipment and we can help you understand it. Whether your pool guys time and cost is reasonable depends on what your homeowners expect to find with their pool.
 

Harbortown

Member
Jun 23, 2020
7
Fort Myers
IMG_1511.jpegIf I had to guess, these "skimmers" are probably the biggest issue. Does anyone know whether it's acceptable to modify these to put something like screen under them to prevent the debris from getting in?
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
19,768
I know what a skimmer basket is, since I used to work at a pool...but this pool doesn't have anything that looks obvious to me. The pool was built in the early 80s. There are multiple little vent-like plastic parts with pipes under them (3 x 5") around the edge. Then there's a large floor filter. All the water from the inground pool goes to a room where it comes out of large pipe. The water flows through a dozen or so DE filters.
All of that sounds odd and unusual.

Pictures would be helpful.

How is the water quality?

For the price, you should expect really good water quality.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
19,768
View attachment 148981If I had to guess, these "skimmers" are probably the biggest issue. Does anyone know whether it's acceptable to modify these to put something like screen under them to prevent the debris from getting in?
How many of these things are there?

Can you show pictures of everything?

When was the pool built?

Do you have a permit to operate from the health department?

Are the chemistry records available for inspection?
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
19,768
Those are not acceptable submerged suction outlets.

If those things have any suction on them at all, it's dangerous.

You need to have the entire operation reviewed by a qualified local professional expert.