Over the years, pool guys (pool professionals) have gotten a bad rap because of one or two (or more) bad apples. But it’s really not fair to lump them all together and brand them all as people who are just after your money, well, it’s partly true, they are after your business but that’s the extent of it. Believe it or not, pool professionals are actually there to ensure that you get the most fun out of your pool so that you’ll continue to give business to them! A disgruntled pool owner is less likely to go back to a pool professional than a content one right?
Here are some of the common misconceptions about pool professionals, where they originated, and what the things they do actually mean. And as a caveat, while many of the gripes pool owners have with pool professionals may be well-deserved at some times, it doesn’t mean that all of their assumptions and gripes are real!
Pool Professionals are just out to sell me chemicals I don’t need!
This is probably the most common gripe that we hear around pool ownership circles. We think that this stems more from the fact from people shopping in big box stores and pool shops where they’re faced with a salesperson whose main purpose in life is to push out as much product as possible!
A true pool professional will consider all of the options and factors on what’s happening with your pool before recommending any sort of pool chemicals. To make it easier to understand, here’s a couple of scenarios where a man walks into a pool store (or a big box store) asking someone to help him with his pool where his free chlorine levels are dropping faster than usual.
- Untrained Salesperson - Will just recommend getting cyanuric acid and dosing your pool with it.
- Pool Professional - Will ask what type of chlorine you’re using (stabilised and unstabilised), if you’re using a salt water generator, was there any change in water supply, if there was any rain, and a whole lot of other questions which may be affecting your free chlorine levels.
As you can see from the example (or if you’ve been following our pool chemical maintenance blogs) you’ll see that a pool professional will approach chemical balancing and maintenance with the bigger picture in mind.
Pro Tip: Look for one pool professional, and only one, that you go to for pool advice. The more people you ask for advice, the more chances you’ll end up with the wrong answer for your pool needs. Or, you can do what Mr Pool Man recommends, and learn as much as you can about your pool through our daily blog posts and make more informed decisions yourself and simply just go to a pool professional for confirmation.
They will try to rip me off at every chance!
This isn’t really a fact, but more of a situation that arises from asking too many pool professionals the same questions. We must understand that not every pool professional has the same expertise. If we ask 10 different pool professionals the same thing, chances are is that we’ll get 10 different answers simply because their experience and training will cause them to answer differently.
This is the same case if we ask a store if it’s time to replace a pool pump or if it’s possible to repair it, they will always tell you to replace the pool pump. Why? Simply because they’re not trained to identify and repair a pool pump. The same would be the same if you asked someone who specializes in pool pump repairs, they will tell you to just repair your pool pump instead of getting a new one.
It’s all about what they’re trained. The same goes for pool builders, pool maintenance companies, and the like. They will offer you their products, it’s that simple. The best way to avoid falling into the mistake of latching on to the first advice you come across is to learn as much as you can about your pool as possible.
Repair recommendations are just that, recommendations
Yes, we all want to save money on pool maintenance and this is a fact of life. Pool professionals will often try to sell you on doing minor pool repairs as soon as possible. A common problem with many pool owners is that they will defer repairs until such a time where it is already impossible to use the pool because of the damage. What many pool owners don’t realize is that saving for last-minute pool repairs will actually end up costing more than doing incremental repairs.
Your pool and the elements doesn’t care about your budget or your sentiment towards pool professionals. The elements will keep eating away at your pool even if you don’t use it! People think that if they allow their pools to hibernate and the damage won’t worsen and this is a very dangerous way to go about it. A very good analogy is to compare pool damage with car damage. If your engine has problems, or if you have a flat, you don’t continue to use your car, you have it repaired because continuing to use it will just destroy it.
Here’s a solid example of a minor problem that cascades into a problem that causes thousands of dollars in repair bills.
You notice a crack on your pool surface and you have a pool professional look it over and he tells you that it would take partial draining of your pool and a bit of plaster to fix, maximum cost of a few hundred dollars. You think to yourself, it’s minor, and you just defer it and you forget about it. The crack becomes a home for algae and the constant usage chips away at the edges of the crack and widening it. Over the months, the crack reaches a rebar and rust starts to leak into your pool, messing up your water balance and causing stains. This makes your balancing cost more, but the crack is still out of mind.
The crack widens and “runs” up your pool hitting your coping, causing more damage, or it runs down your pool and will now require a full draining to repair. And so on an so forth.
What started out as a minor repair which would have cost a few hundred dollars, and because of prejudice against pool professionals on how they’re all out to get you have already cost hundreds in additional chemical balancing costs and will now require a full draining of your pool and possibly thousands in repair costs! So what’s the lesson? Any type of pool damage should be fixed as soon as possible, if you’re unhappy with a quote someone gives you, then get a quote somewhere else, but at the end, get the damage fixed ASAP.
SEE ALSO: Pool Maintenance Myths Explored
Being pool professionals who’ve been in the pool industry for years now, we’ve developed thick skins when it comes to criticism. But this is fine, we’ve heard it all and we’ve seen it all. The only thing we can say is that the best way to go about with maintaining your pool, and to avoid getting ripped off by unscrupulous operators is to actually learn more about your pool so that you won’t get blindsided and you can make real informed decisions about what to buy and how much everything will end up costing you in the long run.
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Happy swimming :)