We had a chance to check out the new app that has been taking the pool industry by storm. Pool Trader is an app that allows pool companies to connect to buy and sell pools. We reviewed the app for our readers on Pool Magazine and have determined that it’s a useful piece of tech for the pool industry.
If you are looking to expand your pool service route and pick up more pools closer to your primary service territory, this is the app you’ve been looking for. Likewise, if you are looking for an exit strategy for your pool service or pool construction business, pool companies are using this app to sell their entire route!
We speak with developer Joe Wilmot of Pool Trader
We had a chance to talk with developer Joe Wilmot recently. He discussed with us his original concept and what first drove him to create the app. Wilmot began his career as a pool technician in 2008, when he founded H2Joe Pool Service & Repair in Fountain Hills, Arizona. He had the idea to build a method that would assist weekly service technicians in tightening their routes.
“For years, I found myself driving all over the Phoenix valley area, often traveling 45 minutes in either direction to service pool accounts.”JOE WILMOT – POOL TRADER
“I’d drive by other pool companies all the time, or even park across the street from a fellow technician as he went into his customer’s yard when I went into mine.” Wilmot explained.
How Pool Trader got it’s start
He said that it used to frustrate him how far he had to drive to service his accounts. Wilmot said he was determined to develop an app that would simplify his efforts to grow his local service accounts. Up til that moment in time, the only methods available were through Craigslist, brokers, or through referrals. He envisioned a virtual meeting place where pool companies could connect without a broker to buy and sell routes.
Wilmot is very optimistic about the future of the app and it’s potential to become a major resource for pool service companies. “It’s growing every day and I have been in touch with numerous people and companies that want to be a part of what I’m trying to do.” said Wilmot.
We’re optimistic about it’s future too here at Pool Magazine and give it our recommendation. This app has enormous potential for making it easier for pool companies to connect. Download the app yourself and see why so many pool service companies have gravitated toward the Pool Trader app. The app is free to download and is available now on Google and Apple.
Offering Pool Services amid the Global Pandemic
The Covid-19 pandemic brought about many challenges, especially in the economic sector. Businesses closed, and people lost jobs and their loved ones. However, the pool industry came out unscathed. Since most people worked from home, they looked for ways to revamp their backyards. As a result, there was a surge in demand for pool services from homebound homeowners. Although this was a good thing, increased demand was met by a shortage of supply and labor.
Everyone is home!
A member of Algae Busters Pool Service, Dick Abare, states, “Fortunately, a good percentage of our clientele wanted to renovate their yards amid the pandemic. This was the reason for the high demand for our pool services. Subsequently, we’ve been dealing with pool equipment installation and updating old pool systems.”
Unlike before, customers are now home 24/7 during projects. Gone are the days when pool contractors had the privilege of working alone on site. Clients are no longer going to work. So, they have enough time to monitor the project during their free time. Shannon Sellers of Jeff’s Pool and Spa can relate to this. He says, “There was this customer who had never bothered interacting with our pool service technicians before the pandemic. After the covid-19 restrictions, he kept monitoring the project closely. Unfortunately, he kept finding fault in everything our technicians did. In fact, there was one time he dropped a penny intentionally to see whether our contractors would take it.” Now, customers are monitoring every step of the project. And this does not have to be a bad thing. Consider using this as a source of inspiration.
Is the increase in prices caused by high demand?
Typically, increased demand usually leads to an increase in market prices. But this is not always the case. In 2020, shipping became twice as challenging due to travel restrictions. Moreover, communication with vendors was a huge challenge. All this led to increased prices. Even so, some companies like Aquatic Pool systems chose to retain their prices.
“Market prices keep fluctuating depending on the condition of the pool industry. But we decided to retain our prices, and we are still doing okay. But we plan to review our prices soon. The price of everything is going up; so, it would only be fair to raise our prices.”owner of Aquatic Pool Systems, Rich Tarricone
What causes the supply shortage?
Unquestionably, the global pandemic is to blame for the shortage in supply. Currently, finding the latest pool products is challenging. In fact, Tarricone reports that he lost a customer because he couldn’t offer a specific product. Manufacturers are trying to keep up with the increased demand, but at the same time, they want to avoid stockpiling in the coming year. Customers think that we are lying when we say we don’t have a product.
How can pool experts deal with the supply shortage?
Some pool companies, like Tri-City Pools, choose to limit the products they supply at a time. This helps them prevent waste and supply what is needed.
A rise in theft cases
The majority of pool owners need pool equipment replacement services. However, it is impossible to offer what is not available. Unfortunately, some people end up stealing pool equipment. A customer whose pool heater, pump, and other equipment were stolen before she moved into her new house. Her pool service technicians had to find a solution to this problem. But after a few days, the equipment got stolen for a second time. Since people can’t find pool equipment easily, they resort to stealing.
The pool industry needs more workers
Most pool companies are experiencing a shortage of labor. Nowadays, finding a qualified pool service technician is not a walk in the park. So, it is challenging to keep up with the surge in demand. Not to mention, it is hard to find someone willing to stick with you through thick and thin. Abare says that teamwork is essential. His company deals with large and complex projects as a team.
Consequently, they are able to be more productive. And they recognize that we all need each other. He says, “You never know that you need people until work gets overwhelming.”
Pool services: Training and educating future pool technicians
The shortage of labor has led to training and education programs. The Florida Swimming Pool Association is now training aspiring pool service technicians. They offer a broad spectrum of courses that help in generating more labor in the industry. They provide virtual classes. Anyone who wishes to improvise their skills can register for the course. This kind of training will expand the pool industry in the long run. With this increase in demand, it would be beneficial to bring in more pool service technicians.
Pool companies should devise a solid strategy for dealing with the surge in demand for pool services. Although hiring more employees is expensive, it could pay off in the long run.
Pool Metals and Metal Staining
Metals are naturally existing elements found in every place; in water, soil and stones. Metals in soil and stones dissolve in acidic rainwater, which is then carried to surface water and groundwater. Through this, the dissolved metals find their way to pools and tubs when filled. Exposure of metals to water cause staining on pool surfaces and equipment. This article discusses the techniques to control the presence of pool metals. It also discusses the different kinds of metal staining and the relevant chemicals to eliminate and hinder stains.
Metals in pools and hot tub water
There are 91 existing metals, but only 6 are problematic to hot tubs and pools. The 6 metals include magnesium, copper, cobalt, iron, manganese and calcium. Here we will only discuss 4 that are cobalt, copper, magnesium and iron.
Fill water, inclusive of almost all municipal and well water supplies that fill hot tubs and pools, contains a few metals. It is advisable to test for metal concentration in source water before filling the hot tubs and pools.
Tests for iron and copper are easily accessible, though the majority only measures the free form of the dissolved metals. They also do not test the sequestered and complexed forms of dissolved metals. A two-phase metal test containing adequate reducing and releasing agents give better results on free, complexed and some oxidized metals.
Sources of metal contamination in the pool and hot tub water are plaster and pebble surfaces, water features, decking materials, metal equipment, galvanic corrosion, chemicals and runoff.
In addition, flagstone, marble and stone contain iron that leaches into the pool after every rainfall. Imbalanced water may cause the introduction of copper from heat exchangers found in gas-fired water heaters. Moreover, copper-based algaecides and mineral-based water treatment may be a source of pool metals. Plant fertilizers can also introduce metals when incorrectly applied or due to uncontrolled flooding. More sources of metal include irrigation methods with well water.
Avoid using untreated water with high metal concentration (higher than 1ppm) in hot tubs or pool. Treat the water when the metal concentration is higher than 0.2 ppm. Sediment filters (10 microns or less) eliminate the majority of the bigger oxidized particles. Use filters that have metal adsorbents to treat water, to minimize dissolved metals concentration.
Primary Sanitizers and Stabilizers
Maintain proper concentration of primary sanitizers and other similar stabilizers to prevent organic contaminants. These include; pathogens, non-hazardous bacteria and algae minimizing the need for a copper-based algaecide.
Bonding of Metals and Water
The majority of the pool and hot tub equipment are metal-made. For example, electrolytic halogen generators, the heating core of electric heat pump, gas-fired pool and hot tub heaters, ladders, light rings and handrails.
To enhance chemical and electrical safety, install a bonding system in the hot tub or pool. The bonding system involves joining the copper wire with all the metal elements and water combined. This minimizes electric potential difference. Lack of this system, enables dissolution of pool metals, causing staining that damages the equipment. This is the process known as galvanic corrosion and can heighten due to several factors such as salt water, stray direct current as well as its power supplies. Anodes (zinc metal) reduce the damage on the equipment but don’t deal with the cause of corrosion. Test the bonding system every year, or any other time there is corrosion.
Pool & Hot Tub pH
pH is the most vital yet most ignored factor in preventing metal release in water. Low pH water (below 7) is acidic and corrosive. Acidic water dissolves metals from the pool equipment.
Improper water chemistry harms pool surfaces and machinery. Always ensure to maintain an accurate pH, alkalinity (carbonate) and calcium (hardness). If inadequate, water draws carbonate and calcium from cementitious surfaces, discharging metals into the water.
Sequestering agents join with the dissolved pool metals to reduce oxidation hence reduces staining. They chelate the metals, not eliminate them. They require a complex modern ultra filtration system to remove sequestered metal particles as the particles are too small for the pool filtration system. Add this agent on a regular basis, as a secondary disinfection and primary sanitizer systems keep on destroying them.
Ways to reduce metal concentration in hot tubs and pool water
- Bind the metals using polymer and water-insoluble natural adsorbents
- Filter the water through a reverse osmosis system
- Remove and replace a part of the water with fresh metal-free water
Removing stains from the pool and hot tub surfaces
1. Metal stain removal from the surface
2. Chelation of the dissolved metals in the water with a sequestering agent
3. Elimination of the metals from the water.
To get rid of pool metals and metal stains, add oxalic acid, ascorbic acid and citric acid or a similar product into the pool water. An experienced pool service expert should only execute the use of Muriatic acid in the removal of metal stains as it can lead to permanent damage to the pool surface. Chelation of dissolved metals and minimizing concentrations of dissolved metal have been earlier tackled.
Figuring out the difference between metal stains and those by organic contamination can be difficult. For evaluation, establish the origin of the stain, asses the water chemistry and test the stain with either citric acid or ascorbic acid.
Note: Some organic stains, similar to those brought about by iron bacteria, vanish after treatment with ascorbic acid but return with the introduction of chlorine residuals.
Prevention of Pool Cover Installation Mistakes
The pool industry has been apt in both the safety and automatic cover sectors. Throughout the years, the pool and spa experts have become comfortable estimating and installing these items. Contractors are now familiar with the procedure.This article reviews the probable pool cover installation mistakes and how to avoid them.
There are minimal pool cover installation mistakes than before.vice president of sales for Cover Pools, Barry Greenwald
Those who have no idea of how the safety covers functions may not comprehend the need for exact measurements. The cover should be a replica of the pool’s form. Installers ought to get the exact safety cover measurements to fit the pool. It is not about attempting to place an oversize cover on a pool.
At times, experts install the covers in a crooked manner, such that the overlap in one end is way smaller than the other. Proper overlap is key to achieving its safety function and avoid pool cover installation mistakes.
Overlapping can also reduce the covers’ lifespan. Wrong-shaped covers and improper overlaps make the fabric rub against the deck causing wear and tear. A material meant to last 12-15 years, in a worst-case scenario, only serves for 3 years. This is a great disservice to the user.
Errors in the A-B method implementation
The technique for estimating free form covers is a bit complicated, and some experts don’t get it correct. A number install the poles at an inaccurate distance from the pool or from each other. The poles should be 3-feet apart from the waterline, lest the image will be inaccurate.
Some interchange the measurements of A and B. When facing the pool, point A is to the left and point B to the right. Interchanging the measurements will have the cover made upside down.
Incorrect pool cover installation around obstructions
When placing covers around water features and high walls, the objective is to minimize interference. To work around this problem, installers support some parts of the cover on a cable system, making it less disruptive. This, however, should not be the lazy way out as it compromises safety and maintenance. Using this method will leave a 4- inch gap that permits the entry of debris as well as become a safety risk.
Moreover, producers report projects where builders place covers too high from the obstructions. The problem with this is it uses up extra material hence unable to fit the rest of the pool. Second, during winter, the material will be unable to bear snow loads. The best solution in massive features is to float using a raft as you drill through the wall.
When carrying out pool cover installation, it is best to begin with the obstruction to guarantee a cozy fit for the other features. Here, there is no chance of overlap, therefore minimizing errors.
Space to stretch
After some time, the fabric may stretch due to gravity and snowfalls. Many times, installers don’t create accurate tension to allow for this. This happens when they place the anchors near the cover, or disregard to change the spring tension appropriately.
The spring’s tension should be tight so that if the cover stretches, it will still maintain its tightness.
Not settling the pool or vault
The success of automatic pool cover installation lies in exact measurements. Even a small wrinkle can prevent the cover from opening and shutting.
This is the point of majority pool cover installation mistakes. It’s not about the shape you visualize; rather, it takes time to take accurate measurements, especially the width of the cover, cover drum, and lead edge bar.
Heavy masonry lids
The brick lids ought to be at a similar height as the deck. The trays and brackets anchoring them can’t be too low that they meddle with the capability of the cover to the spindle. If the lid is too bulky, place the brackets and tray low. The total of all the lid components ought not to be bulkier than the adapting.
In addition, use light and small pieces that one can be able to lift. Not only about the weight, but also avoid weird shapes such as long rectangles.
Inaccurate placing of the mechanism
The system ought to be level with the track. This lessens the measure of work by the system. If it’s excessively low, it delays the cover as it rises and lowers into the pool. This causes either the cover or motor to wear earlier. Furthermore, it ought to be between the tracks, failure to which the cover won’t open and close correctly.
Cutting the track or ropes too short
Cutting ropes and tracks are vital to fit the task. The problem is that most installers cut them too short. On the rope, a short rope means the cover can’t be fully open. To avoid this, cut the rope when the cover is open.
On the track, a short track has its misgivings. The track joins the guide and the end of the track, combining the plates. This is impossible if the track is short. Furthermore, when the track makes a sharp angle as the material spools from the roller, it wears the track and covers edge due to excessive pressure on the load.
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