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Hire Craftsmen, Not Salesmen

Posted by: Pete the Pool Guy

Pool Maintenance Service Tampa Bay

As you already know the Florida construction industry has taken a huge hit economically. At least two dozen pool companies have gone out of business in the last 18 months.

Comfort Pools --- knock on wood --- has survived these tough times as strong as ever. Even if we are more tired from extra hours and going the extra mile customer-service wise.

On more than one occasion I have been “Advised” to hire less experienced personnel and short-change the pool quality.

I REFUSE!

My limited investigation into these failed companies is that they went out of business because THEY CUT CORNERS.

Inexperienced personnel, short-changing customers, leads to the same personnel coming back again to fix mistakes made the first time.

I call this spending good money after bad.

This business model creates ill will all around, lowers morale and creates no word of mouth.

I own the company and do the estimates as well as the work. (I even wrote this) Sometimes I am a bit unshaven when I come to you because I am on the job.

A lot of other companies are sales organizations not service delivery. The guy is clean, handsome and pushes for the sale. They get the sale, a deposit and then they dump your job upon a group of inexperienced folks.

Hire Craftsmen not Salesmen.

My prices are EXTREMELY competitive. My guys are all experienced craftsmen; I alone have 31 years in the business. We put all the money in the pool so we don’t come back…unless it’s for a beer.

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Give Your Swimming Pool A Merry Chistmas Too!

Posted by: Pete the Pool Guy

Pool Maintenance Service Tampa Bay

With all the holiday shopping and running around you might forget your swimming pool.
Cooler weather affects your pool chemistry. You may want your friends to be green with envy over your lovely holiday decorations, but not over your green pool water. As a reminder, keep your pool's chemical readings in these ranges:

PH: 7.2 to 7.8
Alkalinity: 80 to 120 ppm
Calcium Hardness: 250-450 ppm
Cyanuric Acid 30-50 ppm
Chorine residual: 1.0 to 1.5 ppm;

Adjust down PH with muriatic acid. Never add more than a pint at a time. Re-test than add again as needed. As you add acid to adjust down the PH this should in turn cause the alkalinity reading to come down. Read your test kit guide; it has plenty of useful information and tips. Call your local pool store if you have any questions.
The temperature has a drastic affect on your swimming pool. In cooler months, the temperatures mean that you might have to pay more attention to your water chemistry and the clarity of your swimming pool water. It should be crystal clear all the time and swim ready.
It may be too cold for Santa to swim in the pool but it can still look beautiful to him as he drops down your chimney.

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Warning: If The Pool Smells Like Chlorine, Don't go Swimming!

Posted by: Pete the Pool Guy

Pool Maintenance Service Tampa Bay

Okay boys and girls I know what you're saying, "Here comes the next in the many internet myths I've read this week."
Sorry to disappoint you but this is a stone cold fact. You might be taking your life in your hands. Please don't ask me to list the diseases you can get from unsanitary water…it's just too depressing.

If you don't believe me you can click on the following link from the Vermont government:
http://healthvermont.gov/enviro/water/chloramine/documents/chloramine_Eichelsdoerfer.pdf

Or, try this link from the government in Australia: 
http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/factsheets/environmental/control_chloramines.html

But, unless you are a chemistry wizard let me explain it in English.
I remember as a boy my mom would take us to the public swimming pool in Miami. As we pulled into the parking lot, the pungent smell of chlorine filled our noses.
"Ah," my mom would say inhaling what she thought was the protecting power of Chlorine, "I'm glad to see that they are servicing the pool. Wouldn't want you kids to get sick. Now grab the sugary sodas and my cigarettes and let's have fun."
Inevitably there were at least a 100 kids in a pool that was only approved for 80. But it was a hot summer Saturday and no 16 year-old lifeguard was going to spoil the day.
When I swam my eyes would burn, my clothes would smell "bleachy" and for days afterward I was tired. Sometimes I'd get an earache or Summer Flu.
Why?
Because that smell was not chlorine but chloramines. Properly chlorinated water has no smell. Chlorine molecules can combine with ammonia and nitrogen compounds in water to form chloramines.
By combining with ammonia and nitrogen, chlorine loses sanitizing power.
How do you get chloramines? Some of the ammonia and nitrogen are from swimmers perspiration, sweat, saliva, and fecal matter. An active swimmer sweats 1 pint per hour. Gross huh!
This combination of gunk is what chlorine is supposed to kill. If you smell something similar to chlorine you merely smell the unsanitized--- unburned out or destroyed--- nastiness listed above. That is what you smell!
By adding a mega dose of chlorine, usually 3 to 6 times more chlorine than the normal dose, you super chlorinate the water. That Mega-level of chlorine must be maintained a four hour period to remove the chloramines.
This is nearly impossible with multitudes of children coming in and out of a public swimming pool---doing as they do. 
As the day gets later, chloramines gets higher.  
Remember, if you smell a strong chlorine odor in the pool and your eyes are red, it's not because there is too much chlorine in the water but TOO LITTLE.
Internet rumor KILLED.
 

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Algaecides not Suicides

Posted by: Pete the Pool Guy

Pool Maintenance Service Tampa Bay

Pool stores have dozens of different algaecides -- one for every problem, right? Not Really! There are only four WORKABLE algaecides:

1. Chlorine
2. Bromine and some bromine compounds
3. 'poly-quat', and
4. Copper in all various incarnations

Packaged algaecides contain one of these products, or a mixture. So what works? For quick, TERMINATOR TYPE killing, chlorine does best. Copper goes into your pool in a many ways, ranging from 'ionizers' to algaecides to so-called 'chlorine-free' pool potions. No matter what you use, it stains pools and blond hair. (Makes your hair green!) So . . . what should you do? The easiest thing is simply to avoid algae in the first place. Want some algae preventing tips? Here are three: Brush regularly (weekly?), especially walls and deep end, to prevent invisible algae colonies from getting their start. Test your pool's sanitizer levels regularly and never, NEVER let chlorine get low. Make sure your filter is working properly, and that your pump runs at least 6 hours per day, preferably divided into two different intervals If you follow these simple rules above you won't look like a green-haired Goony and your pool will not make you want to pull you hair out.

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Do I need a Pool Maintenance Service?

Posted by: Pete the Pool Guy

Pool Maintenance Service Tampa Bay

Look, if you are able bodied the answer is probably no. Unless of course you want to see a young hunk in your back yard bending and sweating. Hate to give you statistics but the average age of a Pool service tech is 39 years old. Sorry ladies. Here's a tip; do it smart and your pool should take little effort. Promise! Maintaining a pool should take less than 1 hour a week. And your chemical costs shouldn't exceed $35 per month. (GET SALT AND IT'S EVEN EASIER AND COSTS LESS---WAIT …THAT'S ANOTHER POST.) Of course, rain and pool parties will all add maintenance time. And, if you are a really, really neat person, it will take you longer to keep the pool clean. Can you say "WHITE GLOVE SYNDROME" anyone?   So . . . what's the trick? Consistency, chlorine, and cleaning. Pools don't demand much, but they absolutely will not forgive you if you don't do what they do demand. Be consistent -- or be swimming in green! Chlorine has a bad rap, mostly by the uneducated. Chlorine does three functions: sanitizes, oxidizes, and kills algae. Also regular cleaning is necessary. Clean your pool and filter weekly. With the average Pool Service costing $100 per month, you can save some money and take out your honey even more times per month.

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Swimming Pool Testing - Houston, We Have a Problem!

Posted by: Pete the Pool Guy

Pool Maintenance Service Tampa Bay

If you have a chlorinated pool, you know that maintaining an adequate level of chlorine is the single most important element.
The best way to test for chlorine is also the cheapest and easiest.
There are three practical methods of testing for chlorine in swimming pools:
·        OTO drops which turn yellow in the presence of chlorine.
·        DPD tablets which turns pink.
·        SYD test pads on test strips which turns blue.
MY ADVICE IS THE TEST KIT --- THE OTO OPTION.
If your chlorine is too low, OTO will tell you by staying clear or turning pale yellow.
If you chlorine is too high, OTO will tell you by turning  dark orange to brown.
The other methods do have benefits.
If you use a hotel pool or hot tub, it's much easier to carry a baggie with a few test strips. Better than being quite ill.
But, for everyday  testing: "Is my pool reasonably safe and likely to stay clear?", OTO is best.
But, while OTO is good, it's still possible to screw it up!
Don't take your water sample from the very top surface of your pool or spa! There's oil from swimmers, debris from the air, and (often) no chlorine from the sunlight.

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Do You Add Chlorine at the RIGHT TIME of Day?

Posted by: Pete the Pool Guy

Pool Maintenance Service Tampa Bay

IF NOT, YOU'RE POURING MONEY DOWN THE DRAIN!
Adding chlorine -- calcium hypochlorite, sodium hypochlorite---to your swimming pool in the evening, instead of the morning can reduce cut your chemical costs BY 50%.
Yes 50%.  
Why?
At night, chlorine is working in your pool.
During the day, it is lost to UV in the sunlight.
When you are first starting your swimming pool or when need to 'shock' your pool (add a bunch of chlorine at once to clean up a mess) it's especially important to add in the evening. 
EVER WONDER WHY POOL MAINTENANCE COMPANIES COST SO MUCH?
THEY ONLY PUT CHEMICALS IN A POOL FROM 9AM-5PM. THEY USE A LOT TO MAKE UP FOR SUNLIGHT. WHO PAYS THAT? OUCH, YOU DO.

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