Paying full price for pool closure, can I ask the guy to teach me or is it unethical?

Clyde

Well-known member
Jun 6, 2016
49
Western Connecticut
Hi. I live in a fairly expensive part of Connecticut. Again, this year I had the pool guy close my pool. The cost for the "close" was around $425, which, I suppose is not bad. But the he tacked on chemicals, tax, etc., and the price jumped to $721!! Now I realize the the pool guy has kids to feed and clothe, but it's not my job to support his high lifestyle.

Although the threads on this site are excellent, I am having a hard time feeling comfortable doing the closing on my own. I am fully confident that if I watch someone do it, and take good notes, then I will be fine doing it on my own.

Next year, if I hire the pool guy the close the pool, is it OK to ask him to teach me as he is going along, or is that unethical? It will be clear that my intention is to do it myself going forward, and I figure if I am paying him full price, what's the harm? Or will he tell me to go pound sand and won't allow me to watch and ask questions?

Thanks in advance,

Clyde from Connecticut
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,407
Central California
Nothing unethical about your plan. Especially if you are up front about it. Tell him you need to learn how to do this yourself, and ask him if he would be willing to teach you. Offer him an extra $50 for his trouble. If he's smart, he'll realize you're only going to use him one more time, or not even that if he refuses, so he might as well take the money. If he balks, I'm sure there are others that will be glad to help you for the right price.
 

Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,376
Monmouth County, New Jersey
Clyde:

Without seeing your set up, I do not know if $425 is a fair price. Although, the difference between $721 and $425 is pretty significant if this includes winter chemicals and sales tax. Can you break down the receipt? Next year, I would ask him kindly to only close your pool and you can bring to SLAM level, or normal levels with Poly60. This is all that is needed at closing. There are no magic potions, winter pills or anything else required.

There are a lot of good people in the industry, as well as bad people in the industry. I have heard this before that CT is an expensive state, or at least certain parts when it comes to pool closings and pool openings. I do not believe anyone in business will teach a homeowner how to close their own pool, but I could be wrong. In addition, going through the schooling and remembering everything will be difficult.

Closing your own pool will require reading, watching, experimenting and finally feeling comfortable doing it on your own. There are things that I know I can do on my own (like swapping out a pump), and fixing certain items when it comes to swimming pools, but sometimes I am overwhelmed with everyday life, that it is just worth to pay someone a fair price for the equipment and services. I have a friend in the business that comes to the rescue when I am in a pinch. Quite honestly, he is not that expensive for the service call, and yes, he has to feed his family as well.

In the end, you have to set a price you are willing to pay for the service. I am in total agreement that $721 is high, even for CT. If you can get away with $450, which includes tax, then in your area, that is not a bad price. If this will keep you as a customer, then please call the person and have a heart to heart conversation with him on how you feel.

If not, then you will need to invest in a Cyclone, the correct adapters, and give it a go. The total set up will run you around $400. That is assuming you create a modified cover.
 

Pool_Medic

In The Industry
Apr 1, 2018
1,052
Bangor Maine
Showing clients how to close their pools is fairly common. Be there when it’s done and take lots of notes, possibly even video taping it. Pool companies have on avg 30-50 new pools a year in their area as potential new clients. If your pool is a complicated close, water fall, huge safety cover or anything like that costs can and do climb. Pool companies have fixed costs of vehicles, gas, equipment and the like that sets their prices.

It comes down to whether you feel comfortable doing it yourself and investing in a cyclone to help you close it.
 

Rich D

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
525
MA
Just for a reference. My pool Co. Travels over 1 hr from CT to close my pool and charges 461.00 for the close and 564.00 for tax and chemicals.
 

Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,376
Monmouth County, New Jersey
Travels over 1 hr from CT to close my pool
Time lost & wear and tear on a vehicle constitutes a higher charge and is easily justifiable. It is just that CT is an expensive state, along with MA. Everyone deserves to make a living, but in this case, the amount charge is a bit high.
 

Neemer

Gold Supporter
Oct 10, 2017
200
Mid-Atlantic
When I called a pool guy last year and scheduled closing, I told him up front I wanted him to teach me how to do it. He did, I paid him, and we're both happy campers. He made some $$$ out of the deal, and there are more than enough people willing to pay year after year to keep him financially secure.
 

Adamphotoman

Well-known member
Aug 18, 2018
155
Dieppe New Brunswick
I found a GOOD company in my area. Canada is expensive. A Cyclone alone is close to $800 CAD. I decided to pay the company. I should get 10 closings for the cost of the Cyclone, and it comes with 2 warm bodies that can help with tipping the Heat Pump. Every time they come I learn something.

Phone around and talk. We have about 135,000 people and 15 Pool companies. The one I use is willing to blow out the lines and add antifreeze. I use my own sourced chemicals. I balance the pool. I lower the level. I put on the safety cover. They supply the antifreeze. they also help with the plugs and taping the skimmer off.

My cost was $106 with 15% tax included. Two warm bodies were here for 1 hour.
The good company fit me in between $500 closings - other clients.
 

winnw

Member
Aug 24, 2017
8
CT
Interesting that they charged you that much, just had my closing in CT West of Hartford and it was 350 bucks including all the chemicals and everything.