How do the pros do it?

Jul 19, 2022
15
CA, USA
We got our pool nearly a year ago and have been learning a lot. With the peak of summer upon us, the pool has been demanding much more chlorine.

A pool company came out and gave us the full rundown and said what they charge for their services if we wanted. They said they come once per week. We have been doing this all ourselves and no major issues, but it doesn't take more than just 3-4 few days in the summer to start getting that algae if we don't top up the chlorine (we use liquid only). How would a pool company even keep up if they are coming once per week? Is it because they just throw the pucks in that dissolve more slowly?

We do have our CYA up to 30-40ppm. The weather is generally in the 80s-90 during the day. Lots of direct sun, yard is clean so not much really goes in other than a few leaves and bugs. Also, the pool is hardly used. Maybe once or twice per week for a short dip. Actual parties with 5+ bathers maybe once per month. That said, we are going through 1 gallon of liquid chlorine every other day or so with just stagnant, barely used water. We just cleaned all 4 cartridge filters too. Pump runs about 8.5 hours per day.

I'm fine with maintaining by putting chlorine in every other day or so, but hoping you all may have some insight. Perhaps this is normal, but I just wonder how a pro manages to come once a week for less than an hour, and supposedly it stays pretty clean until they are due to come back. If I were to spend 1 hour on my pool per week, it'd be green for sure.

Thank you
 

Toxophilite

Silver Supporter
Feb 23, 2022
1,034
Dickinson, Texas
Pool Size
15500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
If you ever look in the back of their truck it will be stacked buckets of cal-hypo powder. So, they rely on pucks keeping the bare minimum for the week and "shock" with the powder in attempt to make up for the week of low CL levels. When the pool does get algae, high CYA, high CH, eventually, it is an act of nature, not their maintenance regime, and something that's a separate ticket to treat. The work is just vacuuming and dumping strainers. I hired one many years ago with my AG pool when I worked non-stop and could barely have time to check the floater for tabs. Then, some folks are just not able to take care of their pool. Everything has a trade-off value in this world.
 

Newdude

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
18,194
NY
You are 100X more pro than the folks with a name on the side of their vehicle.

They do 'dump and pray'. When it doesn't work, they charge you lots more to super dump and pray. When that eventually wrecks the pool beyond chemistry repair, they make you drain and start charging you immediately to balance it again.

You know exactly what you're doing, and why. Or. At least you will once you get a grip of the Pool Care Basics
 

Getitrite

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
Bronze Supporter
May 30, 2020
94
Cape St Claire, Anne Arundel, Md
Pool Size
21000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-60 Plus
You know exactly what you're doing, and why. Or. At least you will once you get a grip of the Pool Care Basics

As you make your way through Pool Care, pay particular attention to Swimming Pool Test Kits Compared. Doing your own testing with an appropriate, reliable test kit is a Cornerstone of Trouble Free Pool Care. When providing assistance, the experts will be looking for data obtained from one of those kits.

:testresults:
 

SoDel

Well-known member
May 27, 2022
373
Coastal Sussex Delaware
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Turbo Cell (T-CELL-5)
I can give a quick rundown of what two different sets of pros did for me:

Show up. Dip test strip, glance at it it, throw it in the grass. Leaf net, vacuum. Drop a couple trichlor pucks in the skimmers (yup, don’t adjust the SWG, seems complicated anyway, and if you’re not the one paying for equipment replacement or water, trichlor in the skimmers works well). At closing, pool chemistry is whatever it is so if you’re not the one who pays for the early finish failure, ok to close up as is and off to the next one.

They’d still be at it if they weren’t so expensive. I had an inkling at the time that they were supposed to be doing something more but the water always looked fine so I chose at that time not to get involved in yet another maintenance item at the homestead.

Unless you really don’t have the time to do it yourself, do it yourself. A pool is expensive and my experience with “pros” is they will do a lot of talk and sell you the moon, sun and stars, do things to make it as easy as possible for themselves, and the consequences are your problem.
 

SoFlo Tech

In The Industry
Feb 5, 2022
14
South Florida
Well I must say you guys all had pool techs that were way below par.
I do not do any of what you are saying above. Test strips?! Pucks in the skimmer? ‘Dump and Pray’?
I guess I am an anomaly. I do none of the above.
It comes down to proper training and taking the time to do the job correctly.
Sorry you guys didn’t find qualified pool techs. But we aren’t all lazy.
 

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Donldson

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 12, 2009
5,357
NW Ohio
we aren’t all lazy.
I don't think anyone is accusing every individual pool tech of being lazy. Certainly most work very hard at their jobs. But what are their jobs, exactly?

You see, the issue is that the pool industry is built on quantity versus quality. There's not much that can be done about that, any company attempting to change things will charge more and thus fall apart. So the job of a pool tech is to visit X pools every day. Not "give each and every pool the best care and do as many pools as you can during your hours". No, that would rightly be insane. But it also means a pool is a set amount of time on a schedule. Green pool? Well, you've got 10 minutes so better dump in a ton of shock and hopefully it's better next week. On to the next pool.

Whether a pool tech works hard or not is irrelevant, it's whether they are capable of putting in the time and effort each pool requires. When I was a tech I had few pools. I kept my workload moderate and spent extra time at each pool. I'd probably even have been called lazy if the number of pools I worked on each day was revealed to other pros. But I spent that time working on each pool like it were my own. And the model failed, because I wasn't charging what was required to spend that kind of effort on a pool. It was clear I needed to make compromises and I decided I was in the wrong business.
 
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