Things Your Pool Guy Is Too Polite To Say (or just won't)
Your pool guy just wants to put in a day of work and go home to their family just like everyone else. Avoiding conflict is always a good idea and as a result there
are probably some things that your pool service tech wants to say to you, but most of the time it is just easier to say nothing. Sometimes this is because they
know they will need to spend the next hour educating you about the basics of your pool, or sometimes there is simply no tactful way to say what needs to be said.
Enter this helpful article. The author of this article is not afraid to tell you that your pool needs to be balanced better, and that you are stupid, and ugly, you
smell funny, and nobody likes you.
Take care of your pool or it will cost you!
As a pool service technician the variance of how pools are cared for is astounding. There are some customers that clearly do not understand, or simply do not care,
about taking care of their pool. Which is strange since swimming pools are so expensive and maintaining it is the single most important thing you can do if you
want to not spend a fortune on repairing it sooner than later. The pool owners who tend to not care for the pool well, or at all, are also the ones who
complain loudly about repair costs and even try to blame their pool guy for "breaking" their pool, since "everything was working fine before you did X to the pool!"
If you don't balance your water, clean your strainer baskets, clean your filter, vacuum the pool or put any effort into making your pool last then do not complain to your pool guy when it breaks. Which it will. If you want to prevent this from happening try reading this article about how to make your pool last forever. From the perspective of a pool guy we will usually just not say anything since there is no tactful way to say "look, you are a really dirty person and you don't take care of your stuff". At most we just drop hints like "it looks like you need some chlorine" or "you should think about having those leaks fixed".
Clean up after your dog!
If you have a dog please pick up their crap. There I said it. Walking in dog crap is extremely frustrating as a pool service technician. Most of the time we have a scheduled appointment with you and in our eyes there really is no reason for you to neglect to pick up after your dog before we arrive. How would you like to be walking through the office at your work, on your way to the copy machine, and step in a giant turd. You feel your foot slide into it and you instantly know what it is - but it's too late. Your foot comes down with your full weight on top of it and just...squish. Or perhaps you are working at your desk and you go to grab your computer mouse but oh no...your mouse is sitting in dog crap...man that would really be a downer wouldn't it? Yeah, it sure would. Think about that for a minute and then go clean up your back yard before the pool guy gets there!
I bought this online - can you install it?
No. This is one of the biggest, most common problems in the pool industry where both pool guys and pool owners are getting frustrated and nobody seems to understand
other persons point of view. As a pool owner you want to save some money so you buy a product online for much cheaper than what the pool guy sells it for. Then you
want to pay the pool guy to install it but you are having a hard time finding someone to take the job. From the perspective of a pool guy we most often will not get
involved in a project where the pool owner wants to supply their own products. The profitability of the job has been vastly reduced since you found another source to
buy from, plus the likelihood of having a problem with the part you bought is very high. Is it the right part? Is it good quality and easy to work with? If the job
takes three times longer because you didn't have the right pieces then will you pay three times as much?
There are a lot of reasons why a pool guy will decline to work with a pool owner that is supplying their own materials. Mostly it just comes down to money, time and efficiency. If I am not going to make very much money working for you, plus I am likely to experience additional headaches and problems that I would not experience if I am supplying the materials myself, then where is the motivation to take on your project?
Salt water is bad for your pool
When a swimming pool owner comes to the table with questions about salt water they have usually already decided that they want it - they are just asking about models
and pricing. The response from your pool guy will be to give you exactly what you are asking for. What is missing from this scenario is the discussion about
should you get a salt chlorine system for your pool. Most times your pool guy will not tell you about the negative consequences of adding salt to your pool.
They may not want to sour the deal of selling you a new salt system, or they genuinely might not know much about galvanic corrosion and how it can deteriorate your
swimming pool. In either case, having the conversation about galvanic corrosion with a pool owner asking for a salt system is one that is often conveniently avoided.
Very few pool guys could answer in-depth questions about the corrosion process, or how much risk the pool owner is assuming by going with saltwater. If you want to
learn more about how salt water affects the longevity of swimming pools and why you should have a sacrificial anode on
your pool, you can read this article on salt water chlorine generators.
I like to watch...
You know what is always fun? Being watched while you try to do your work. Everyone loves that, right? Hey Creepy McCreeperson - maybe you could not hang out in the
second floor bedroom watching me out the window all afternoon. Imagine sitting in your office at work just trying to get through another work day...but every time you
look up from your desk you can see your boss in his office with the blinds closed, peeking through and staring at you. He doesn't say anything to you but every time
you look up there he is in the window. That would help you to work more productively right? OH WAIT, NO IT WOULDN'T!
If you have a question please come out and ask. Sure this is your pool and you certainly have a right to know what is going on but there is also something to be said for respect. Nobody likes trying to work with someone watching over your shoulder. Watching from the window where we can clearly see you peeking through the blinds is even worse than that!
I would like to lube up your O-rings
Pardon me? What did you just say? While this phrasing might be a little cheeky in order to make this list, the truth is that this is a very important aspect of pool maintenance that most people are not doing. More often however the case is that we find some vaseline in your pool shed and try to tell you that you should not be using petroleum based lubricants on your pool system. The problem is that you have been using vaseline to grease up your O-rings for years so why should you stop now? Instead of fighting the issue most pool guys will just stop mentioning it, or not mention it at all, but you should only use non-petroleum based lubricants on pool equipment. Silicone based lubricants are the industry standard for pools and spas.
Parking near to the pool access is appreciated
If there is a parking spot in the driveway right next to where the pool is located, or where the gate access to the backyard is, please let me park my service vehicle here. Such a small token of understanding will go a long way towards improving the attitude of your pool technician. While not always an option, saving an extra fifty or one hundred steps to the truck will add up over the course of a day of work. Remember that almost everything we use in this industry is heavy, over-sized, or awkward, so having presidential parking saves us a ton of wear and tear and we appreciate the effort.
Most pool guys are not inclined to ask you to move your vehicle, especially if the difference between street parking and the driveway is not all that far, but rest assured we would appreciate the availability of a good parking spot upon our arrival.
You need to take a shower
"So I noticed you are pretty greasy" is not really a great conversation starter. We want you to know that wearing sun tan lotion, oils, make up, perfume, lard or
whatever else you are slathered in into the pool is bad for it. Your cartridge filters will get plugged and you will end up with an oil slick of human run-off
floating on the surface of the pool. Your pool keeps turning green because you have super high phosphate levels and the chlorine can't keep up with the algae growth.
All of this, and more, could be solved by you taking a shower (before going in the pool). If you have a problem with oils in your water then you would also benefit
from using an oil capture sponge such as the Scumbug
There is no polite way to tell you that your copious oils are plugging up the filtration system and throwing your chemical balance way out of whack. Small pools and heavy use pools specifically can struggle due to contamination of the water from oil. Shower before going in the pool to prevent this. An outdoor shower adjacent to the pool would be the perfect solution.
Please limit "distractions" in the backyard
Your daughter and her friends are just catching some sun by the pool - so what is the problem? Well, as much as being asked to "join the party" is in the standard pool guy fantasy handbooks the reality is that we are working right now and we should be paying attention to the pool. If you have maintenance or repairs scheduled for the pool please leave the area for us to do our thing. Sunbathing beauties, kids playing in the pool, dogs running around are all distractions that can take the attention off of the pool.
Despite the collective groan of every pool guy around the world, it is not exactly polite to be sunbathing wearing almost nothing while we are trying to work right next to you. While the joke is that this is every guys dream scenario, the reality is that as a man working by myself in your backyard, I am actually fairly nervous about being around mostly naked women. Especially if there is nobody else around. For the comfort of your pool technician please cover up a little, or just leave the pool area and let us complete our work in a timely and efficient fashion so you can get back to soaking up sun by the pool.
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