Hayward Navigator Repair

 Ok, so we all know how to take apart a Navigator, but what are we actually looking for when we inspect them?  How can we tell what parts need to be replaced?  Here is a step-by-step inspection guide to conducting a Hayward Navigator repair.

First, do a visual inspection of the outside of the cleaner.  Check the wings and shoes for wear.  There is a wear line on both that lets you know if they need to be replaced. Check the pods for obvious holes.  Check to see how thin the plastic is.  This can happen especially if the wings and shoes are far gone.  Think about it like brakes and rotors.  The brakes (wings and shoes) get too worn; we start grinding on the rotors (pods)

Take the top of the cleaner and twist it.  Does it twist in both directions?  Is there an abnormal grinding sound?  Check the flaps.  Are they worn down?  Id=s the spring in place on the back?

Next, remove the consumer viewing hole and check for obvious debris stuck

Remove the 4 screws to remove the middle body to expose the A-frames. Now with the A-frames, we want to spin each wheel and see if it spins.  Are there bearings missing?  Are the wheels worn down?  Also, wiggle the A-frame back and forth.  There should be no movement within the body.  This could indicate they need to be replaced, although they may just=t need to be tightened.  If the A-frames are my experience, the customer will need pods too, or the same issue will happen again in a few months.

Check the lower body holes where the flaps connect.  The hole should only be the size of the flap end piece.  If it is larger or “snowmaned out,” it needs to be replaced, as I like to call it.

Remove the 6 screws to remove the next portion of the cleaner to expose the turbine and gearbox.

Hayward Navigator Repair

Remove the turbine and check for wear.  If you wore down your A-frame wheels, there is a pretty good possibility that the turbine needs to be replaced.  Check the bearings.  Are any missing?  Has the hole that sits on the turbine been ground too large.  Check the turbine for that little piece that sticks out on one side.  It is easy to miss if that has broken off.

Remove the gearbox.  Blow into the little hole.  It should sound like a kazoo.  If it makes a grinding noise, open it up and inspect the gears for wear.  Sometimes sand or silt can get in there to cause a jam.  Could you put it back together?  Still, sound bad?  Replace.  Make sure that the little plastic washer is in place as well.  That sometimes gets misplaced during repairs.

Remove the uppermost part of the cleaner to expose the blue wheel.  It should spin freely and quietly within the plastic.  Any noise or uneven spinning, you need a new one.

Finally, quote the customer for any needed parts.  Ask them how the hoses are.  If they are halfway to a new cleaner and the hoses are old, I recommend replacing them. 

When you get approval, fix the cleaner.  Wipe it down as you always want to return things better than you got them.  If they opt to buy a new one, make sure you school them on the latest models.

It is easy to rush through and miss something, which causes the customer to bring the cleaner back in a month or so.  I try to give them red, yellow, and green on the parts.  Red means needs replacing now.  Yellow means expect to replace next time (or now since I am here), and green is all good.  This is the most common cleaner you will probably see across your shop bench.  It’s best to be thorough and knowledgeable.  I hope this helped!

Read Other Stories by Jules the Pool Girl HERE

See you poolside!

Pool Pump Flow Problems

A customer brought in his pump and said he wasn’t getting enough flow and thought something was wrong with his pump, primarily that something was clogged in the impeller. Pool Pump Flow Problems !

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Getting into the Wet End

  1. I identified the voltage of the motor by looking at the wiring and the voltage diagram.  I had to remove the back of the pump to determine.  I determined it was a 110/120V and bench tested it. It started right up.  I didn”t hear any unusual noises and the motor did not overheat.

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  1. I then separated the power center from the volute by removing the bolts.

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  1. I inspected the volute for cracks or splits where the unions are.  Nothing looked bad.

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  1. I determined from the schematic in the Jandy book that an o-ring was missing off of the diffuser.

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  1. I removed the diffuser with the 2 screws. Tip:  Always have a parts bin to put screws and such in so you don’t lose them. The diffuser copper weir ring was pitted, but thick enough to be sanded  so I sanded it smooth with sanding cloth.

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  1. Since the customer thought the impeller was clogged I used a red wired to push through each vein to see if it was clogged.  It was not.  Then I removed the impeller.  Phillips’ head was required.  The impeller screw was a reverse thread.  Because the impeller turns counter clockwise it is designed this was to not unscrew from the shaft with motor rotation.  The impeller was difficult to remove , but I got it. The impeller was in good condition.  

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  1. The graphite and ceramic seal looked flat.  I removed it from the seal plate and the impeller.

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  1.  I removed the 4 bolts touching the motor to remove the seal plate and O-ring.  It looked fine.  I cleaned all the debris out of the seal plate because I always want to not be a jerk wad and return the pump in better condition than when I got it.

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  1.  All the customer needed was a mechanical seal and that missing diffuser O-ring.  I found a replacement pump seal PS-201, but had to go OEM on the diffuser R0622000, which I had to order.  I called the customer and got approval.  

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  1. I replaced the ceramic seal. First I cleaned out  where the seal goes to remove any dirt and previous lube.  Tip:  I applied a little bit of lube on the graphite side  so that it would slide easier onto the impeller.  I also placed a little on the ceramic side, but not too much.  I used a clean cloth to press the ceramic seal in.  Be sure to keep both sides clean.  WIpe off any extra smegma. 

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  1. I prepped the pump for reassembly by wiping everything down. 

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  1. Then I basically did everything in reverse order.  I put the seal plate back on with the bolts. I reattached the impeller.  I put the diffuser back on awaiting it’s new O-ring.  Once that comes in I will reattach the volute, bench test it again and call the customer. 

Similar Article Jules’ Green Pool Algae Treatment Program

Jules, the Pool Girl, Gets Her Hands Wet

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     I finally got to go on a ride-along!  Hooray!  I have been in the business for 4 ½  years but never had an opportunity to head out into the field to get my hands dirty.  And this is how the Pool Girl Gets Her Hands Wet.  My pool guru was Benjamin Delaney, a 15-year veteran who was kind enough to let me be his “anchor” for the day.  We started on a chilly California morning of 42 degrees.  I know, I know, laugh it up, East Coasters.  To us, this is cold!  I wore layers of clothing that I cared nothing about, expecting dirt, grime, and bleach stains.  I made sure I had sunscreen on and plenty of liquids.

The Brush is my Friend!

     I swooped a pole, a net, and a brush off the shelf for my field trip.  Armed with my K-2005c Taylor test kit, I was ready to go!  As we started on our drive to our first pool, I asked Ben for his pearls of wisdom regarding pool cleaning and how he attacks it.

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Be One With The Pump!

“This (a ride-along) is the first step in learning everything.  Don’t get overwhelmed with everything.  First, learn the mechanics of cleaning the pool.  If the pump isn’t priming or something seems weird, or whatever, just call someone who knows what to do.  Don’t freak out!  Literally, your job today is learning the labor part of cleaning a pool.  Listening to the motor’s sound isn’t going to come to you on your first day.  Just keep in mind I talk out loud a lot, and I like training people.  I will speak about every little thing that comes to my mind while I am cleaning a pool.  You’ll see when we go and do these pools; you can see the inside of my brain work.”

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     The first thing we did was put the pump in  “quick clean” mode to increase the RPMs.  Ben squirted tile soap across the surface of the pool, and I got to netting.  I scraped my net along the edges of the pool to get most of the junk.  Then I tackled trying to create a whirlpool to get the stuff off the bottom into my net.  The most frustrating part was on the second pool when everything came flying right back out of my net.  D’oh!

Jules, the Pool Girl, Gets Her Hands Wet!

  Then I scrubbed the tile with a tile brush.  I went in a circular motion and tried to get every inch.  Then it was time to vacuum.  Ben vacuums before he brushes because he says if he brushes first, then the dirt and dust might not settle to the bottom in time before we leave. He showed me how to get all the air out of the hose before connecting it to the skimmer.  He even rolls his hose a certain way to make this easier to drop down into the water.  He does not “suck” the air out. I had trouble not lifting the vacuum up and down as I made my strides.  At first, I couldn’t figure out how to turn it, but Ben showed me it was all in the wrist.

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     Then I switched to my brush. I brushed straight up and down, bringing the brush to the edge of the water before pushing it back down.  I also splashed water on the tile I had just cleaned to get the soap off.  I alternated arms so as not to get too tired.  I still got tired.  LOL

A pH as High as Jeff Spicoli!

     Then it was time to check the chemicals.  Most of Ben’s pools were perfect, so they didn’t need anything.  Plus, it is winter.  In one pool, the PH came up at an 8.1, so he had me dump a quart of acid in the deep end in one spot.  

Similar Story Jules’ Green Pool Algae Treatment Program

     We emptied the skimmer baskets and checked inside the weir blades to crap that was stuck in there.  On some pools, he used a battery-operated VOLT to vacuum out the spas.  I didn’t get to play with this toy…this time.

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     I checked the automatic pool cleaner and noticed it needed some parts, so we disconnected it, and I brought it back to the shop.  We left a door hanger with a note, of course.  We emptied leaf canisters where applicable as well and the Pool Girl Gets Her Hands Wet. 

     Then, my favorite part, emptying the pump basket.  This is the last step for Ben.  He showed me how to turn the pump lid and explained that a rubber mallet should be used.  Then I shut off the pump, emptied the basket, and made sure the cover o-ring didn’t go flying.  I turned the pump back on, and we waited for it to prime before leaving.  One seemed to be taking a while, so Ben tightened the lid I had put on a bit more, and the problem was solved.

Stripping Off Layers!

    We did the same things pool after pool.  Some pools didn’t even need to be vacuumed.  You can see by the pictures I started losing layers as the day went on.  You can also see I need to work on my technique.  He let me get the cart on and off the truck, and I carried my own equipment.  I ended up being more of a helper than an anchor…thank goodness!

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     I really enjoyed it.  I liked being outside.  I liked talking to the customers that came out.  I liked how Ben had a system down where he worked efficiently and well, and the pools looked great.  I can’t wait for my next ride along with an equipment install.  I know not everyone does their pools like this.  Next to the pool ride along I go on, I will share their technique.

      I have a new respect for what you all do in the field.  I knew it wasn’t easy, but I didn’t know it could be fun too!  See you poolside.  Literally!

 

Jule’s the Pool Girl – A New Year

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 2020:  It was the best of years; it was the worst of years.  While our sense of normalcy changed dramatically,  not all of it was bad.  The business has been booming with no end in sight.  It seems that the more people are stuck at home, unable to eat out, take vacations, or have a night on the town, the more they are looking into improving their homes.  The main focus seems to be their backyards.  Whether you are a new pool builder, A pool service company, or a repair specialist, this has been a year of crazy growth, with that being said.  We hopefully have learned a lot this year about our businesses and where we would like to see them go.  

     I am nosey as heck, so I wanted to know your guys’ resolutions or goals for the upcoming year.  Here are some of my favorites.

Get Organized

     Whether it is our trucks, our desks, our store, or our clients, we could all use a little TLC and reorganization.  Returning phone calls promptly, not letting customers get behind, and then try to collect at the end of the year will be super helpful.  Making the most of our time is a great skill.  Time is money, so giving some attention to time management is key to any successful person.

Expand

      A lot of folks are looking to expand.  They are planning on hiring office personnel, kicking up their online game, buying more trucks, buying routes, becoming incorporated, hiring more staff, or even expanding from a one-poler.  Some of your goals are to DOUBLE your clients.  Wowza.   A lot of us are going to start offering additional services we hadn’t previously.  A few of you are even starting your own business altogether.  How freaking sweet is that?  

Reduce

      We may be looking to get rid of our least favorite accounts.  We can raise the price to reflect the trouble, sell the route, or just do the good old fashioned breakup.  “I am sorry I am no longer in your area.”  Sniff*  Another thing we are looking to reduce is our negative interaction with customers.  Biting our tongues when they ask silly questions, being more patient, explaining policies to customers upfront, such as when we take time off, there are no issues because they were informed.  Reducing the number of customer complaints not only makes us better pool pros, but it also makes us better people. (Cue cheesy music)

And I couldn’t help but include that some of you are quitting.  Talk about reducing!  We wish you the best in your future endeavors. 

Education

     Like me, you guys are looking to hone in on your craft.  Whether it’s additional certifications offered by Rudy Stankowitz (shameless plug here), Orenda Academies, Jack’s Magic Certifications, we can all add to our resume and our ability toolbox.  A lot of us are looking for more field experience, myself included.  I heard some of you say you are looking to apprentice and learn and additional trades to add to the things you can offer customers.  Let’s support one another in this and help us gain the field experience we need.  Pool People unite!

Increase in Revenue

     Who the heck doesn’t want to make more money.  This can be done in so many ways.  Raising prices on repairs, filter cleans, and other services and bidding higher in the first place and looking for ways to cut operational costs.  A more detailed cost analysis, a profit and loss report, and looking at what you are paying for supplies can be beneficial.  Negotiating a better deal from your distributor is a challenge but can be done.  Shop suppliers if need be.

Family Time and Mental Health

     Being busier than ever comes at a price.  Many of us have neglected our health, our other responsibilities, our families, and our friends.  This can be very dangerous for balanced mental health.  Sure, single drinking malt at night “helps,” but we need to find and procure the additional resources we need in 2021 to allow us more time to do the things we love as well.  Work cannot be everything all the time.  Sending more time with family was the number one resolution.  Ironically, this can be accomplished by completing the goals listed above.  

     I am honored to have survived in 2020 with you.  I couldn’t have done it without all of your support from forums, podcasts, groups, and the one on one help you all have given me.  I look forward to growing all of our relationships in 2021.  May this be the best year yet!  Happy New Year from Jules the Pool Girl.

Check out Rudy’s 🖕 to 2020 at Getting Over 2020!

Top 7 Pool Problems of 2020

We all know the pool industry has been booming in spite of, and because of, Covid-19.  But we aren’t immune to the havoc this pandemic is creating.  Believe it or not, a lot of our Pool Problems are BECAUSE business is booming.

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Top 7 Pool Problems of 2020.

Inventory-less.

Supply and demand.  A grueling truth about business.  With the increase in people using their pools and improving their backyards, we obviously increase the need for equipment, product, and human resources.  Supply chains are finding themselves back-ordered on the most popular items. 

With factory production coming to a halt the product on hand was quickly depleted. The wait on parts or equipment to complete a job in near-continuous backorder.  This causes frustration for us, our customers, and even costs us jobs. Personally, I try to have at least one pump, heater, and filter in stock at all times to throw in a pinch.

“Anytime I have to special order anything, I have to wait for months instead of days or weeks.” Gripes Nik Perez.  “I waited 3 months to get new light engines from Pentair.”

Customer service hold times are also much greater.  Forget about getting right through.  If I have to call tech support, I come in an hour early and do shop work while I am on hold.  Sometimes I still don’t get through.  “Your business is important to us…..” Gag me. 

Everyone is home and desperate for some human interaction.  This slows us down and creates unneeded stress.  Jobs takes so much longer with a customer up your ass. They want to “talk,” I get it, but shutting the F**k up goes a long way toward completing their job on time.  

Quarantine has made them critical AF. Kim Sparks has had enough.  “OMG, everyone home and bored.  The second my techs leave, they go out and inspect their pool, expecting 100% perfection.  I have had clients send me pictures of their pool with 3 leaves in it demanding he return.” Chas Christensen thinks, “people got meaner.”  Mean people suck!

“Bored customers not respecting personal space” is annoying the heck out of Chris Williams.  “They want to talk but feel the need to be 6” (yes inches) away from me.  To solve this problem, Chris has a trick.  “I grab my pole and lengthwise put it between them and myself.”  Back!  Back I say!

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Family Time, All the Time.

“Everyone is at home” does not skip over us in the pool world.  Our families are at home too.  With half the spouses out of work and the other half commandeering the living room as an “office,”  it can be hectic at home as well.  Have kids? That’s even more challenging; Out of school and daycares closed. 

This is especially hard for younger kids who need constant supervision.  Some of us may not even be able to get to work period, let alone the extended hours and additional jobs.  Kaelen Lav is no stranger to this.  “Having my foster kids home and not in daycare has taken a toll on my ability to work.”  

Top 7 Pool Problems of 2020.

Cancels and Delays.

A lot of commercial properties delayed their openings this season if they opened at all.  This affects us where it hurts the most …in our pockets. Alan Miller does commercial/hoa pools. “Since many pools delayed opening, they stayed at off-season rates.  This kept my billing down about $3,500-$4,000 per month from what it [normally would] be.”

Some commercial clients wanted to cut down service days.  This is a no-no.  Some of us had no choice but to accommodate.  If they don’t have money, they don’t have money.  We did this both as a courtesy for our long time clients and not to lose the accounts.  We either compromised service or lost money on the deal.  A lose-lose if you ask me.

As far as residential, many customers had to cut out “unnecessary costs” such as pool service.  They canceled their service agreement and picked up their telescopic poles.  This isn’t a complete loss if you have a retail store, and they come in and buy their chems. 

Some folks kept on receiving pool service but stopped sending the checks.  Late payments, bounced checks, and declined credit cards are becoming more common.  I spend half my day chasing down payments from customers.  “The voice mailbox you are trying to reach is full.”.  Of course, it is.

Lazy Dogs.

Quite a few opportunists are taking advantage of the pandemic, faking illnesses to get a day off. BAM! A two-week self-quarantine vacation. It takes people to run a business. No one faults those who are really sick, but the lame ducks looking to take advantage of an outbreak is costing companies money and delaying jobs.  If you are sick, please stay home, but you should get your ass to work if you are not sick.

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The extra $600 tagged onto unemployment isn’t necessarily helping to drive the workforce either. Help Wanted ads in 2020 might as well have been an invitation to get circumcised with the turn out we recognized. Why work when you can play Xbox all day?  Humph!

Top 7 Pool Problems of 2020.

Insane in the Membrane.

This pandemic and the growth it has produced is taking a toll on everyone.  Those in the pool industry have unique circumstances.  While a lot of people wish they could work…we find ourselves wishing for a day off!  Longer hours, no days off, canceled vacations-ugh!  The days are getting longer instead of shorter with daylight savings.  Sure we are making the big bucks, but at what cost. 

I did what is unheard of in the pool biz…I took a week’s vacation in the middle of Summer.  Tsk, Tsk, if you will, but I was mentally bankrupt.  I worked with a wonderful team and was confident they could hold it together while I was gone.  Since I have been back, I am more focused, energized, patient, and enthusiastic.  My rambling point is a mental health needs to be a top priority.

It can also be depressing even if we do get time off.  Where do we go?  Wait hours for patio dining?  Movies?  Nope.  Get in a workout?  No.  Haircut?  Not in your life.  With things completely closed or severely modified, our personal time has been affected in some way.  

Top 7 Pool Problems of 2020.

Sick Time.

Let’s take a moment to realize the most serious effect of Covid…the thousands of people who have been infected.  They are some of us.  They are our loved ones.  Our neighbors.  Our friends.  People are missing months of work because they are ill or just tested positive.  Our hearts go out to you.  This is the only grave consequence of this deadly disease.

“I have got 2 employees on a 24-day quarantine minimum because their 1st-grade son tested positive 3 days after school restarted.  So that is ⅓ of my employees.”- Paige Pruett-Wichern

Yes, there has been a lot of good from the stay at home orders, but we certainly needed to take a moment to acknowledge the struggles we are all going through.  Have a stressor that I didn’t mention?  Drop it in the comments below.  As always, see you poolside.

Drowning in Addiction: Reach Out

Hey guys, I know I normally write about technical pool stuff or things that I find humorous. Today I wanted to talk with you guys about something that isn’t filter or algaecide related and is definitely not funny. I want to talk to you about an illness that is treatable and a cause that is near to my heart. Today I want to talk about substance abuse. I’m not a doctor, but I am your friend, so keep in mind as you read this that it is me, Jules, that’s talking to you. If you are drowning in addiction: Reach out.

I know, like I said, far from my norm. The reality is that if this is something that you have gone through, you know the road to recovery is a long one. If this is something you are going through now, someone is waiting to walk that road with you, so you don’t have to go it alone.

Learn what to look for

Even if you are not using or recovering, even if you have never touched a drug or taken a drink in your life, the odds are that you know someone who may need help. You may even know someone that needs help that you are unaware of. Please don’t sell these folks short; they have an illness, they’re not stupid. These may very well be some of the most intelligent people you will ever meet.  

Before I go on, regardless of your situation in this, I want you to know first and foremost that I love and respect you. I am here for you, and you can get through this. If you still think this one doesn’t apply to you after you’ve read through it, at least do me one favor. Learn what to look for. An individual with a substance abuse problem is not likely to be very open about it. It will often be something they are not proud of, or that beautiful person may not realize they need help. 

Denying is Lying

Denial is a powerful and evil bastard who uses trickery and deceit to keep a person from seeing their situation clearly. Even then, a person admitting to themself that they have a problem takes a tremendous amount of strength and courage, and I know you have that in you.

But, saying it out loud to someone else after you’ve confessed and confided in yourself, it would seem easier to go three rounds with Tyson in his prime. That said, I need you to see what I see. I know you have what it takes to go the distance, and there are plenty of people that want to sit in your corner. Reach out.

When no one is watching 

Substance abuse is the loneliest of all diseases. If it’s not bad enough, people have to go and attach a stigma to it, using terms like a junkie, drunk, and addict. Let’s squash that shit right off the bat. If you have an illness, you are struggling with, that illness does not define you. You are not an alcoholic; you still get to be you, but you are you with an illness, and you may need a little help to get well. Just remember, asking for help is not a sign of weakness; asking for help is a humongous show of strength.

“Drug use is on the rise in this country, and 23.5 million Americans are addicted to alcohol and drugs. That’s approximately one in every 10 Americans over the age of 12 – roughly equal to Texas’s entire population.  But only 11 percent of those with an addiction receive treatment. It is staggering and unacceptable that so many Americans are living with untreated chronic disease and cannot access treatment,” said Dr. Kima Joy Taylor, director of the CATG Initiative.” (https://drugfree.org

Drowning in Addiction

These are typically honest and hard-working people that have gone down the wrong path sometimes through no fault of their own. So don’t pass blame, don’t look down upon, you don’t know anything about anyone until you walk a mile. Trust me; it is not uncommon for a work-related injury to result in a prescription for pain meds.

Opioid use, commonly prescribed, even short term, can result in addiction. According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, of the 31.9M people using illegal drugs (excluding tobacco and alcohol), prescription stimulants are in a tie with marijuana for most misused. 

Help is waiting

You have to remember that no matter what, you have a family and friends who love you.  Maybe a company instills their trust in you; you drive a car and possibly operate machinery.  You interact with clients, customers, and strangers out and about daily.  Just because we’ve been f**king up, it doesn’t mean that we are a f**k up. Everyone is entitled to a do-over or two. We start by helping ourselves, then we worry about fixing what we can fix. 

Like I said above, You are a human being, a person who makes mistakes just like everybody else. The same holds for you just as it does for them; these do not define you.  You can have a better life.  I would be lying if I said it is going to be easy, but you got this.  The first thing you need to do is admit that you are a person with a problem. 

If your life has become unmanageable or is heading that way, reach out. When you find yourself saying that you are in control, reach out. If you are hiding your substance use or can’t face the day without it, reach out.  You are risking your life daily.  You are damaging your health.  If you are reading this, you are a part of my life, which means that I care about you, so please, reach out.

You Are Not Alone

While millions of people suffer from addiction, millions of people have found a better solution.  You have to find what works for you.  Turning to God or a 12-step program are widespread and successful yielding methods.  Find a preacher, a sponsor, or a program. You don’t have to be religious.  The universe is bigger than you; even you can admit that. 

When we rely on our own power, we create wreckage—both for ourselves and others.  I bet you would be amazed at how many friends, co-workers, and even family members have struggled with something similar. 

We Do Recover

While prepping for this article, I was flooded with success stories of people who had enough.  They wanted a better way.  Some have only been doing it a couple of months, some for decades.  They all do it one day at a time.  They don’t do it alone.  The common thread is that they all humbled themselves, threw their ego out the window, and admitted that something had to change.  The second commonality is that no one did it alone, so please, reach out.

There are a ton of resources available.  There are church programs, 12-step meetings, rehabs (both in-patient and out-patient), counselors, and other support groups.  Only you know the level of severity.  Only you know what you feel least uncomfortable with.  I say least uncomfortable because things are going to get REALLY uncomfortable, at least for a while. 

Somebody does care; I care

But nothing compares to the discomfort of living in addiction.  Over time you will add tools to your toolbox and find new and exciting ways to cope with life.  You may stumble.  You may backtrack.  But you can get right back on the horse.  All you really need is some humility, so please, Reach out.

If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, please, please…take that first step.  We don’t want to lose you.  You don’t have to lose yourself.  Not anymore; reach out, and you’ll see that there will be someone there.

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Jules’s Green Pool Algae Treatment Program

Nearly every day, I get a different first-time visitor to our store saying, “Help!  My pool is green!”  This is how we usually meet our future new customers. We need to be sensitive to what the pool owner is experiencing.  Have sympathy.  Let them know you have the answer, and you will get through this together with Jules’s Green Pool Algae Treatment Program.

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For me, personally, a green pool isn’t just the issue of how to make it blue again, but the question of, “how did it get green in the first place?”  If we solve the issue without remediating the source, we set our guest up for a reoccurring backyard swamp. So, we need to look at a water sample.  Testing the water will unveil any and all chemical mysteries. While examining the results I ask ‘triage-like’ screening questions.

Jules’s Green Pool Algae Treatment Program

How long are you running your pump?

Utility bills are always an issue for pool owners, and running the pool pump can account for up to 40% of total pool operation costs. A lot of customers do not circulate their water long enough.  Especially if they have a single-speed pump.  Even variable speed pump owners are guilty of this.  They often run their pumps the same amount of time that they used to when they had a single-speed pump, but at a slower speed.  Since they move the same amount of water at a lower speed, they need to run it longer.  The goal is to get 1-2 turnovers (every drop of water going through the filter) in a set amount of time. Sometimes, they try to maintain their pools with the filter operating only one hour a day in the heat of the summer.

Jules’s Green Pool Algae Treatment Program

Is your filter clean?

A lot of times, you will get the answer “Yes”  or “I just cleaned it.”  These answers are not helpful because “just” to a customer could be last year.  I always ask where the pressure is?  We all know that 8-10 psi above clean starting pressure is dirty.  The customer may or may not know their specific clean starting pressure, but if they say their pressure is at 30 psi, we know that is a problem.  Proper circulation is key to a clean, algae-free pool.

Video: How to get rid of Black Algae

Jules’s Green Pool Algae Treatment Program

Do you have any leaks?

Water dripping out when the system is on means air is getting into the system.  This interferes with proper circulation as well.  Even if no water is dripping, I ask when they changed key o-rings, such as their cover lid o-ring.

How often are you brushing your pool?

If you are brushing your pool, you are not getting algae.  A good brush and at least a once a week application are super important in maintaining an algae-free body of water.

The Water itself

Now it is time to look at the water.  Is there chlorine?  Where is the PH?  What are the CyA and phosphate levels?  What is the overall LSI?  Chemical imbalances are a major culprit in causing algae. 

Time to treat

There are many different methods and many different products to get rid of algae.  This is Dr. Jules’s Surefire Green Pool Algae Treatment Program:

  1.  Disconnect the automatic pool cleaner (leave in the pool)
  2. Run Pump 24/7 (the pump needs to stay on for the entire treatment process.
  3. Brush the entire pool
  4. Add x amount of pounds of Cal hypo (this all depends on the size of the pool.  Typically 2 pounds per 10,000 gallons) – unpainted plaster pools only.
    • Or x gallons of liquid chlorine.  – all pool types
  1. Add x ounces of algaecide. (poured directly in the pool).  Dosing depends on the size of the pool and the manufacturer’s instructions found on the product label)
  2. Run the pump/filter for 24 hours

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The Next Day

  1. Clean the filter and re-charge with D.E. (If a D.E filter).  If the filter was just cleaned, backwash the filter and add D.E.
  2. Add x pound of Cal hypo to recreate chlorine reserve (unpainted plaster pools only) Run the pump for at least 2 hours.
    • Or add x gallons of liquid chlorine – all pool types
  1. Reconnect automatic pool cleaner
  2. Perform a phosphate treatment as needed
  3. Use a clarifier or enzyme such as Pool First Aid as needed to remove dead algae too small for the filter to filter out.

 Want to feel like a water magician? Try Dr. Jules’s Surefire Green Pool Algae Treatment Program. See you, poolside!

Variable Speed Pool Pumps

A single-speed pump, or “gas guzzler,” as I lovingly call them, are old technology. They are noisy. They are expensive. In most places, they are or will be illegal. SS pumps (Single Speed) only operate on 3,450 revolutions per minute. They only run on “high.” This uses a lot of energy, which costs a lot of money to run. A lot of customers who own a SS pump don’t run it as long as they should due to high electricity costs. This leads to algae, cloudy water, and other issues. Often, a customer will spend what they “save” on algae treatments and water drains. Crazy, right?

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Variable Speed Pool Pumps

An energy-efficient solution is called a Variable Speed (VS) pump. It does just that, operates at varying speeds. This is done by programming the pump to run on different speed settings and times throughout the day. Every pump is unique. But varying degrees of lower RPMs are programmed and assigned to other times. In simple terms, we move the water at slower, varying speeds, for a more extended time. For example, the pump may turn on at 8 A.M at 3,000 RPMS for 2 hours. Then switch to 2,700 RPMS for 4 hours. It could then complete its cycle at 1,700 RPMs for 4 hours. This ability is what makes it a variable speed pump. The RPMs and amount of time required are determined by the design flow rate needed for that particular body of water. 

The savings begins before you adjust the speed

True story! Variable speed pumps are equipped with a permanent magnet motor. These are the same style you see operating huge conveyor belts in some of the largest factories. These squirrel cage induction motors of days of old would lose 12% of their energy due to heat loss alone. Due to the design, you’ll not see that with a variable speed pump. So, right off the bat, your customer saves 12% on their electrical consumption before you ever even adjust the flow rate. Don’t believe me? Go ahead and touch. That’s right; they don’t even feel hot at all.

On average, the cost of running a pool pump is 40% the entire operating cost of operating the whole darned pool – what a great place to save!

There is a bit of physics involved in how the savings accumulate above and beyond the lack of heat loss, but the bottom line is a variable speed pump will use way less energy to operate than a single-speed pump. Even if you were to run a VSP on “high” (3,450 RPMs), it still pulls fewer amps than a single-speed pump. Less energy equals a lower energy bill. But how?  Picture a runner running a fifteen-minute mile (4 miles an hour). That individual will burn far fewer calories (energy) than if they had bumped their pace up to a ten-minute mile over the same distance. They would travel a much further distance at the reduced speed before they even came close to burning the same amount of calories. Trust me – I’m a runner. That’s what I do – I run, I mom, and I do pool things. I’m tempted to say ‘Pumping water is a marathon, not a sprint,’ but you catch the drift, Fuel= calories= energy.

Variable Speed Pool Pumps

Customers will see a 50% or greater savings on their electric bill

So now we have filled in the customer on why they should get an energy-efficient pump. What information do we need from them to appropriately size and recommend a pump to them? There are simple things we must find out.

Similar story How and When to Install Wellpoints ?

Are they using 115v or 230v?

Pumps are available in both voltages, so it’s essential to know which one your customer has.  You can check the existing motor label, look at the wiring, or check the breaker box. If you are uncertain – you can always have an electrician take a look.

Variable Speed Pool Pumps

What size is their plumbing?

1.5″ plumbing versus 2″ plumbing UNDERGROUND is an essential factor.  There are max flow rates for each size plumbing. You can only fit so much water through a particular volume of plumbing.  An Intelliflo is a high head pump that can cause cavitation in 1.5″ plumbing. Generally, you can only go up to a 1hp pump with 1.5 plumbing.  But, we don’t want to move water too fast. ANSI/APSP-7, regarding suction outlet safety compliance, dictates that no more than six feet-per-second permitted on suction-side plumbing and no more than eight feet-per-second on the return. The chart below shows the max GPM to pipe size necessary to stay compliant.

PIPE SIZE: 1.5″2″ 2.5″3″3.5″4″5″6″
Suction GPM @ 6 fps386390138185238374540
Return GPM @ 8 fps 514119184247317499720
ANSI/APSP-7

What size is their filter?

Gallons per hour is another crucial factor in sizing a pump.  Much like we talked about before, a filter can only efficiently handle so much water per sq ft.  We need to make sure their filter can accommodate the flow of their new pump.

Variable Speed Pool Pumps

Do they have a spa or water feature running off of the pump in question?

We need to make sure the pump will have enough power to accomplish its water needs.  Once the limits on those as mentioned above are ruled out, then you want to size with the most massive pump that will operate their features.  

What size is their existing pump? Were they happy with its power?

This is a great tool that goes with the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” If their single-speed did the trick, you might be able to go off of that when selecting which variable speed pump to suggest.  

Variable Speed Pool Pumps

The final question I ask is, “How will you be paying?”.  We have done what we set out to do.  We have created value.  The customer now understands why they need a Variable Speed and how it will benefit their life.  You can recommend the pump that fits best based on the technical parameters and rebates, warranties, and all the frills available on some pumps.

Pool Professionals Wrongly Accused

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Time for another article to make us laugh.  We all work hard and take a lot of sh*t –  we are in a friggin pandemic for crying out loud.  I asked my peers what the craziest things customers had ever accused them of.  Here are the best of Pool Professionals Accused.

Accused:  Dog Murderer!  

“You installed a new heater and now we have an underground leak.”

“Your tech tried to break into our house and also killed our dog with antifreeze.”

“Our pump has worked for 15 years.  Your guy must have broken it when he cleaned the pool.”

-Justin Pinson of Round Rock Pool Pros 

Accused:  Fraudulent Pool Resizer!

“We recently finished a remodel and the customer called and said the pool was 6” smaller [then it used to be].  I said that’s impossible!” Maybe it was just cold out?

-Tom Gibson

Accused:  The Bird Whisperer!

“I was asked if I spilled chlorine on his deck. A flock of birds flew over and crapped on his deck and up the side of his house.  How does an adult  not know what that looks like?” No sh*t.

-Chris Mele – Pool Guardians of Florida

Accused:  Jock Jerk!

Jacob Stankowitz was accused of “doing push-ups on their back porch.”

Accused:  Petty Pool Larceny! 

Trey Oakes was accused of stealing a polaris bag.

Gregory Wilker was accused of stealing grids out of a filter.

Rob Mathews was accused of stealing a pry bar for honey bees.

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Accused:  Skin Scoundrel!

“You’re not taking care of my pool right.  My daughter got scabies.”.  This was not the case.

-Christian Donovan

Accused: Attempted Dog Murderer!

“Killing my customer’s dog.”

-JP Gulnac

Accused:  Pest Pest!

“Did you put that scorpion in there?”

-Vincent Guerra

Accused: Peeping Pool Tech!

“Had a client accuse me of trying to catch a peek of his 75 year old wife nude in the backyard.”

-Scott Huesser

Accused:  Tiny Terrier Thief!

Martin Perez was accused of letting a little dog out.  “Turns out the dog was asleep in the house the whole time.”

Accused: Color Fraud!

“That superblue you sold me turned my pool green.”

-Matthew Lensch

Accused:  Pipe Pilferer! 

“Losing a pipe in a pool [I didn’t plaster].”.

-Steven Benedict

Accused:  Assault with bodily harm (and fluid)!

Michael Dyer of Mission Pool & Spa Supplies has been accused of giving a woman who was peeing in the spa a UTI.  He also was blamed for a guy popping off a piece of his finger in a lounge chair.  

Similar Article ꓘim Kardashian is NOT my Pool Customer!

Accused:   Being a Sh*tty Pool Tech!

“Being butt a** naked wiping sh*t off.  Either from slipping in sh*t or sh*tting yourself”.  Wasn’t even his pool tech they saw!

-Kyle Mittermann

Accused:  Spouse Sexing!

“Sleeping with his wife.”

-Christian Johnson

Accused: Frog Foolery! 

“Putting a mechanical frog in his skimmer to drive him crazy”.  He was already crazy.

-Tom Chambers

Accused: Booze Burglar!

“An employee was accused ‘that he was going through his doggie door and stealing his zimas and throw pillows’.”  Apparently his F.R.I.E.N.D.S dvd was safe.

-Kris Burns

Accused:  Float Freak!

A customer “said my employee stole her pool chair float!  She found it later that day behind the shed.”

-Mark Becker

Accused:  Salt Shenanigans!

Daniel Thouin got accused of stealing salt from a pool!  Turns out the pool just had a leak.  How would that even be possible?

Accused- Breaking Protocol!  

“Dropping broken glass in her pool.  3 weeks in a row.”

-Chris Williams

Accused:  Urinalysis Donor!

Michael Hamm had a guy accused of peeing in the driveway. Customer she said she bent over and smelled it! Gross!

     Well, now I have heard it all.  Just when you thought your job couldn’t get any weirder, right?  Thank you to everyone that helped me have a good belly laugh over these.  See you poolside!

 
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When a New Boss Sends You Running For Cover

Running? Do I have to?

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adjusting to new boss

 Everyone has had a boss (or several) at some point in their working life.  Some good, some bad, some ugly.  Usually, we stay with the same boss while at a certain job.  But what if they quit, resign, or get fired?  What if a new position is created completely and you now have someone new to answer to?  This can change the dynamic for the good or the bad.  Sooner or later everyone has to adjust to a new boss.  But honestly guys, most of it is dependent on OUR attitudes and perspective.  I wanted to chat with you about the ways that I have discovered most helpful in making the transition as smooth as possible.

Ask Questions

Whether its personal or professional questions…ask away!  Get to know your new supervisor.  It not only lets them know you care who they are and what they have to say, but you will gain valuable insight into who they are and what they are about.  Don’t attack them with a barrage of Who? What? Where? And Why’s? Let them happen organically. 

I find questions like, “What are your thoughts on this?  How would you like to see this done?  Is this how you think it should go?- are great ways to accomplish this.  It also lets them know you are willing to accept and implement their opinions and procedures.  Keep it professional;  Asking them if they have a Tinder profile is not ok.

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Be Humble

Whether it’s a changing of the guards or a brand new position that is now managing you, we have to be honest with ourselves:  They are the boss for a reason.  They may have more experience.  They may have more knowledge.  They may present better.  They are qualified to be your supervisor. Period. Give them credit where credit is due.  My best advice is to remain teachable.  If we knew everything, then we would have been made the boss.  Am I right, or am I right?

adjusting to new boss

Show, Don’t Tell

You may feel threatened or unappreciated.  You may feel the need to make sure they know who you are and what you care about.  You may want to point out all the good things you do or any accomplishments you have achieved.  Don’t.  You’ll just come off as a braggart.  Answer questions when asked directly, but don’t shove yourself down their throats.  They are reading you much like you are reading them.  Let your awesomeness show through your actions and good work.  They will believe in seeing your actions versus hearing your words.  You Show off.

adjusting to new boss

Be Friendly

Finally, I suggest just being nice.  Put yourselves in their shoes for a minute.  It’s hard to be the new guy on campus.  They may be uncomfortable or shy or uncertain.  Making them feel welcome will be a huge advantage.  Whether or not they say it, they will appreciate your efforts.  When people are uncomfortable in a management position they tend to just bark orders as a sort of protective shield.  Letting them know you are a contributing member of the team and glad they are leading it will work wonders.  Don’t make a difficult situation any more difficult.  In other words, don’t be a jerkwad.

“[They] all made it feel like I was coming home again.”

Dean W. Cahill- Mission Pool and Spa Supplies on coming in as the General Manager Mid-season.

We all have to deal with answering to someone in life.  A lot of us have given up and become our own boss.  And say it is the best decision ever.  For those who successfully work under someone else’s direction, my hat’s off to you.

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