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Pool Pumps: The New Rules

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Pool Pumps: The New Rules

Over the years, pool professionals have come up with a wide range of pool equipment. As a result, there are different types of pool pumps in the market. Each varies in configuration and offers different functionality. Today, all pool pumps should meet various guidelines as dictated by the Department of Energy. Manufacturers whose pumps do not meet these requirements won’t be able to sell their products anymore. Let’s look at some of these guidelines, rules, and requirements formulated by the Department of Energy.

Pool Pumps: The New Rules

Weighted energy factor for an efficiency rating

All pool pumps should meet a specific weighted energy factor based on their size. The WEF of a pool pump determines its efficiency. Typically, the higher the WEF, the more efficient the pool pump. Often, you can determine the WEF of the pump before you purchase it. It is always indicated on the product label. It would be best to settle for a pool pump with a higher WEF. A pool pump with a WEF of 12 is much more efficient than a pump with a WEF of 5. A WEF of 12 means the pump produces 12,000 gallons per kilowatt-hour.

Although most pool pumps are efficient, the WEF rating will help you determine the best pump for your pool.

senior global product manager of Hayward pumps, Scott Petty

Nevertheless, there are many other factors to consider when determining the efficiency of the pool pump. Other things to consider include the pump’s performance in terms of gallons per minute and the head’s feet. Even though the WEF rating is important, it would be best to go for a pool pump compatible with your own pool.

Total horsepower of the pool pumps

All pool pump labels should indicate the total horsepower. Before, both pool owners and contractors found it hard to identify the pump’s horsepower. The purpose of this guideline is to get rid of the confusion in the industry. All pool owners need to know all the specifications of their pool pumps. The dual rating system created more confusion in the industry; luckily, the horsepower label can eliminate this confusion. If the pool pump shows the maximum rating, find the total horsepower rating by reducing it by ½ hp.

Hydraulic Horsepower (HHP) is also being used to measure pumps. So, how do you calculate the HHP?

Hydraulic Horsepower= (Gallons per Minute x Feet of Head) / 3960

Unlike the normal hp measurement, HHP is usually indicated in decimals. The HHP measurement helps you compare the pump with other models to determine the best option.

An update of ENERGY STAR pump editions

The ENERGY STAR update’s primary goal is to recognize and award pool owners who purchase high-quality products. With all the guidelines formulated by the Department of Energy, all pool pumps will be high quality and meet all ENERGY STAR standards.

Currently, there is the latest ENERGY STAR, which is the 3.0 edition. Pool experts are afraid that the ENERGY STAR 2.0 edition will lose popularity due to the latest 3.0 version. So, they are coming up with various strategies to ensure the old ENERGY STAR version does not become outdated.

Motors in place of pumps

The Department of Energy has done its best to promote motors for the past few years. Even so, this was not easy for them. During Obama’s rule, the pump language was already common among most pool owners. When President Trump became president, pool professionals proposed the use of motors. But there was never an approval regarding the matter.

Now that Biden is in charge, the DOE plans to propose the motor language once again. This time, they are willing to wait until they get final approval. From experience, the DOE now understands that the process takes time. And even when the proposal gets approved, it would take a lot of time before the change is incorporated into the industry. Pool professionals say that the new administration seems more open-minded about the proposal. Thus, they are hopeful that it will get approval.

Selling compliant pool pumps

As of now, manufacturers should strictly come up with compliant pool pumps. It’s a gradual but manageable transition. Consequently, the majority of producers are looking for various ways to make the pool pumps compliant. For instance, Pentair started declining pumps that do not meet all the required guidelines. On the other hand, Hayward no longer gave their clients a guarantee of delivering the order quickly.

Finding the best solution for manufacturers, pool builders, and technicians

Manufacturers looking to sell compliant pool pumps can check out the ENERGY STAR 3.0 or 2.0 editions. All pump models under ENERGY STAR meet all the DOE requirements. Generally, manufacturers should come up with ways on how they plan to replace their pumps. Fortunately, the pool industry released a list of the most suitable types of pool pumps to use. As a pool contractor, it would be best to organize yourself early. This way, you won’t lose out on any sales.

Pool News coverage brought to you by Pool Magazine's own Marcus Packer. Marcus Packer is a 20 year pool industry veteran pool builder and pool service technician. In addition to being a swimming pool professional, Marcus has been a writer and long time contributor for Newsweek Magazine's home improvement section and more recently for Florida Travel + Life. Have a story idea or tip you'd like to share with Pool Magazine? Email mpacker@poolmagazine.com your story idea.

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Automatic Spa Covers

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Automatic Spa Covers

One of the most functional pool equipment is the automatic pool cover. Automatic pool covers offer great functionality, especially during winter. They protect the pool from dirt, leaves among other impurities. Not to mention, they offer great safety and energy-saving features. Spa owners also have the unique privilege of protecting their spas from dirt using automatic spa covers. Over the years, spas have increasingly become popular among most homeowners. Subsequently, these covers are now in high demand. Although expensive, most automatic spa covers offer excellent aesthetics, maximum safety and are easy to operate.

Automatic Spa Covers

Increased demand for automatic spa covers

In most instances, spa owners who see these covers will want something similar for their spas. Pool Patrol in British Columbia, Allan Horwood, says, “Pool professionals thought it was weird to cover spas back in the day. But now, the demand for automatic spa covers is on the rise.”

Most homeowners are now investing in larger spas and pools. So, it is obvious they will need automatic covers for both features.

VP of sales for Automatic Pool Covers, Mike Shadoan

Nevertheless, the covers are expensive. But people overlook these costs due to the unique benefits they offer. So, there is an opportunity for pool experts who want to start selling these covers.

Sell quality and user-friendly automatic spa covers

The best thing about automatic spa covers is that it is much easier to use them during the winter season. Think about it. A good percentage of homeowners would love to use their spas during winter. Having a cover that is hard to push or pull is the last thing they would want. So, ensure your they are user-friendly. Your customers should be able to operate them just by the simple touch of a button. If your customer has an adjacent pool, ensure that the automatic spa cover matches the pool cover.

A great opportunity for builders

Indisputably, the global pandemic made more homeowners treasure their outdoor spaces. Consequently, there was an increase in pool products and services. This led to an increased demand for these covers as well. Pool contractors, therefore, have the opportunity to sell quality automatic spa covers. When builders are working on a pool project, they can always suggest this product to the pool owner if they have a spa. In most instances, homeowners will be interested in the product. In particular, high-end pool owners are likely to purchase this product from you.

Installing automatic spa covers

The major difference between an automatic pool and spa cover is versatility and aesthetics. Automatic spa covers are more customizable compared to pool covers. Shadoan says, “It is possible to position covers on spas located above the deck. However, if the spa has the same level as the deck, you will require to place an auto cover box below the grade, “Suppose you are dealing with a spa located above the ground, you need to raise it by approximately 18 to 20 inches above the deck, such that the auto cover box stays above the deck.

When installing an automatic spa cover on an existing spa, you have to be creative so that the cover fits perfectly. Some experts say there are moments they have to flush mount the auto cover track onto the cedar deck. Fortunately, the deck person was willing to help out. So, they were able to figure out how to place the notch in the deck. And the results of this were impressive. The deck guy was also able to construct a small bench at the end of the spa to store cleaning supplies.

Balancing aesthetics and functionality

It can be challenging to know what to put over the auto cover box. Striking a balance between aesthetics and functionality can be challenging. Shadoan says, “Pool contractors should know their requirements. From there, they can determine what to put over the auto cover box. Moreover, they should consider the aesthetics and the needs of the customer.

Like pool covers, automatic spa covers come with a certain lid for the auto cover box. The lid is usually manufactured from aluminum. It is user-friendly but cannot withstand too much weight. Thus, it would be best not to allow your pets or children to stand or walk over the lid. As a result, most spa owners often want to customize the area around the spa so that they can walk around. Some use concrete or limestone so that the area can look more attractive.

Who will buy automatic spa covers?

Pool experts have created a broad spectrum of automatic spa covers over the years. Even so, not many spa covers meet both aesthetics and functionality requirements. However, customers who want a spa cover solely for safety purposes can find many suitable options.

Nevertheless, automatic spa covers are not for everyone. They are for homeowners who want to match their pool cover with the spa cover. Also, high-end pool owners with spas don’t mind installing this feature.

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Vinyl Liners Are Becoming More Popular In the Market

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Vinyl Liners Are Becoming More Popular In the Market

Have you ever thought of starting a vinyl liner replacement business? More often than not, vinyl liner pools are more vulnerable to wear and tear. In fact, pool owners need to replace vinyl liners after every 4 to 7 years. So, if you have the knowledge, skills, and experience on liner replacement, it can be a good source of income for you, especially during this COVID-19 season.

Vinyl Liners Are Becoming More Popular In the Market

Owner of Carolina Pool and Spa, Val Simoncic, has more than ten years of experience in vinyl liner replacement. Simoncic says, “Minton, the regional sales manager for Tara Pool and Outdoor products taught me how to replace liners and install safety covers. Additionally, he showed me how to measure different pools before liner replacement. And it’s been a journey of great losses and triumphs.” Now, Tara and Carolina Pool and spa work together. Carolina Pool and Spa only use Tara vinyl liners. On the other hand, Carolina Pool and Spa is the most recommended liner replacement company by Tara.

Founded in 1984, Tara has managed to gain an excellent reputation due to its quality products. Tara’s liners pay attention to detail; they come in precise sizes and designs. Not to mention, Tara offers durable and versatile liners that boost the pool’s aesthetics.

You can customize almost all vinyl liners to match your requirements. In particular, you can customize liners to complement your water features and any pool design. However, note that it is impossible for a liner to fit a vanishing edge pool.

Owner of Carolina Pool and Spa, Val Simoncic

Ultimately, modern vinyl liners offer high versatility and functionality. Besides, vinyl pools are way cheaper than fiberglass and concrete pools. Subsequently, vinyl pools are becoming more popular; hence most people are looking to replace their liners. On average, a pool liner can last for 7 to 10 years. But it depends on how you maintain them. If you expose the liner to harsh climatic conditions, it will probably last for less than seven years. Fortunately, replacing a vinyl liner does not consume a lot of time. Thus, a liner replacement business will give you a quick and substantial return on investment. But you have to be dedicated and committed to your work.

Tara provides different vinyl liner patterns with different materials. They have 26 twenty-first century liner designs incorporating stone, marble, tile, among other high-end materials. Moreover, vinyl liners come in different colors; and you can always customize them to match your requirements. One of the best things about Tara liners is that they come with a 20-year warranty. And in case of anything, you get full replacement services in the first two years.

A modern visualization tool: The Envision Pool Designer

Tara is now embracing technology to enable customers to see all the vinyl liner designs they offer. Trying to describe the appearance of the liner to the client is not enough. So, companies like Tara are taking a step further to showcase their liners using the Envision Pool Designer. This online software enables the client to see how the vinyl liner will look in the water and under the reflection of the sun.

Simoncic says that he recently sold a modern Tara liner using the Envision Pool Designer. He did not even have to show a sample of the actual liner to the client. He says, “They saw it on the online software and made the purchase without a second thought. I offered to show them a sample, but they were less interested.”

Most people often think that vinyl pools are not stylish or attractive enough. But Tara has proved them wrong. Tara has the most attractive liners that can modify your backyard into an exceptional holiday destination. Simoncic says, “There was a time I had a customer who strictly wanted a gunite pool. She didn’t even want me to mention the prices of some of the vinyl liners we had at the moment because she thought they were unattractive. But when I showed her the vinyl liners sample, her mind was blown away.”

Replacing vinyl liners is an amazing way to increase your sales

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Tara worked twice as hard to increase its sales and revenues. Tara focused on rebranding and meeting the surge in demand for their products. And they emerged successful in all their endeavors. Consequently, Tara still holds an exceptional reputation in the industry due to its quality products and excellent customer service.

Ordering a liner is easy

Contrary to popular belief, ordering a vinyl liner is a pretty straightforward process. All you have to do is give your contractor the measurements of the pool. Then, they will send them to Tara. Once Tara receives your pool measurements, they will make the most suitable liner based on your requirements. Tara will finish making the liner in seven days. From there, they send the liner to your contractor for installation. Simoncic says, “The customer service at Tara is out of this world.”

Ultimately, offering liner replacement services can expand your business. But you have to offer quality installation.

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Can Your Pool Service Business Meet Pandemic-Driven Demand?

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Can Your Pool Service Business Meet Pandemic-Driven Demand?

The global pandemic negatively affected different economic sectors in all countries. With people staying home, there was a decreased demand for most products and services. In turn, business slowed down, people lost their jobs, and some companies shut down since they couldn’t afford to operate. But some industries experienced the exact opposite. In particular, the pool service industry experienced growth during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Can Your Pool Service Business Meet Pandemic-Driven Demand?

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, homeowners were looking for ways to upgrade their outdoor living areas. This way, they could still make summer more enjoyable and worthwhile. Moreover, most pool owners wanted to remodel their pools. Owner of H&H Pool Services, David Hawes, says, “Surprisingly, there is excess demand of our products/services. And sometimes the workload becomes too much.” Most firms often think of raising their prices when the demand is high. Even so, not all pool companies qualify for this. So, be careful before you decide to increase your prices. Take time to analyze the demand for your products and your competitor’s prices. From there, you’ll be able to determine whether increasing your prices will expand your pool service business.

Labor shortage

Occasionally, high demand can lead to a shortage of labor. Thus, you will have to hire more people so that you can manage the workload. But employing more staff is expensive. You’ll have to pay health insurance, pension plans, payroll tax, social security, and other employee costs. However, you will receive compensation for these costs if your employees are hardworking in the long run.

So, is it worth hiring more employees in your pool service business?

Well, the answer to the above question depends on your requirements. Before hiring more employees in your pool service business, it is advisable to take some time and weigh the risks and the costs of your decision. Also, consider how much your employees will bring into your company.

Deciding to hire someone is a crucial decision for the company. However, it is all worth it if the team you hire is productive.

Owner of H&H Pool Services, David Hawes

Nonetheless, you have to find people who want to work with you. It would be best to hire professional and experienced individuals. They should be knowledgeable on pool construction, repairs, and maintenance. Consequently, your company will be able to meet a wide range of customer requirements.

Today, there are very few reliable people you can hire. Although there are many job seekers in the middle of this pandemic, you can only trust a few. Payan says that instead of hiring more people, he’s trying to reschedule some complex projects during the off-peak season. This will help them manage all their annual pool projects. At the end of the day, it’s all about being smart and trying to work with what you have. Also, it is important to give your employees time off to relax and recharge. Otherwise, they will experience major burnout.

Expanding your pool servive business to greater heights

Every business owner should evaluate their current stock and develop a plan to help them expand their business. Some of the questions company owners should ask themselves include:

  • Do you have enough trucks?
  • Do you need to expand your warehouse?
  • Do you have enough personnel in every department?
  • Do you need to incorporate technology to make your work easier?

All these questions will help you come up with a strategy that meets excess demand. However, note that each question presents an opportunity and a risk. For example, if you decide to increase your trucks, you’ll be able to handle more pool service projects. At the same time, you’ll have to pay insurance for the truck.

Profits, rewards, and the question of longevity

Pool contractors working independently sometimes earn even more than big pool companies. When working alone, there are fewer expenses. Besides, most of them deliver quality jobs. Due to the increased demand in the pool industry, pool professionals have the opportunity to increase their prices. Even so, most pool companies are ignoring the question, “What will happen once the pandemic is over? Will the demand be the same?” Well, no one can give a precise answer to these questions. But most companies have found out that their staff is equally productive when they are at home. So, people may work from home for a long time. Pool experts say that the demand for pool products and services won’t go back to normal.

Hawes says, “As long as people are working from home, they will always want to upgrade their outdoor living areas.” He also proceeds to say, “Homeowners have already showed their children how swimming can be fun. And there’s no way their children will disregard swimming pools after the pandemic.” On the flip side, Gallo says that the demand will go back to normal once the global pandemic is over. He says, “The demand for pool products and services will gradually slow down as the country recovers from the global pandemic. So, every pool service business should prepare themselves for this.”

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