Pool Operator Talk News

Pool Pro Disagrees with Celebrity Contractor

On July 4th, Canadian celebrity builder/contractor Mike Holmes from the popular series Holmes on Homes shared an article from his Holmes on Homes ‘Make it Right’ podcast site titled Swimming Pools 101 – Everything You Need to Know Before Adding a Pool. The article, originally published in December of 2020, briefly discusses the joys and benefits of pool ownership before turning to a comparison discussion on the types of pools available. It was all fine and dandy until a Pool Pro Disagrees with a Celebrity Contractor.

Vinyl, Fiberglass, or Gunite

Embedded in this article is the YouTube video of the contractor’s 3rd podcast episode, ‘The All Season’s Leisure Pool,’ which had originally premiered on April 21st of this year. The blog post also features a television commercial Holme’s had appeared in as a Celebrity Spokesperson from late 2020. Nothing out of the norm here; everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and everyone deserves to get paid (I’m assuming the television commercial was not done for the Fiberglass pool manufacturer out of the goodness of Mike’s heart).

So far, so good, nothing to see here. But, in that write-up is also a chart comparing numerous features of the three different pool types, vinyl, fiberglass, and gunite which the fiberglass pool manufacturer had created. This includes everything from the speed of installation to vessel type durability; even the comfort of the surface on the bather’s feet is rated.

It Happened on Facebook

This is where things hooked a sudden left. Shortly after Mike Holmes, or Mike Holme’s social media manager, posted the article to – wait for it – the Holmes on Homes Podcast page on Facebook, the chart was read by a swimming pool professional, Scott Walker. The pool pro disagreed and shared his opinion as a comment on the contractor’s post. In an attempt to correct what he believed to be a biased representation, Walker may have been a little passionate in his attempt to ensure the public receives a more partial comparison.

Similar Article How Can a Homeowner Tell if a Pool Person Has Had Any Training?

Pool Pro Disagrees with Celebrity Contractor

Holmes quickly responded, suggesting Scott calm down and asking if the pool pro thought the chart was wrong. This is where the magic of a Facebook post takes place. The contractor’s response to Walker quickly received 897 reactions and a whopping 176 comments. These were either supporting Holmes, bashing Walker, or both. At least one of those comments in that branch of the thread is from Walker himself. There are also a handful of other pool professionals sharing their agreement that the chart was deceiving.

Screen shot of Talking Pools Podcast Facebook Page

I shared the post on the Talking Pools Podcast page. There I referred to it as ‘The Battle between TV Contractor Mike Holmes and friend of the Talking Pools Show & real-life Pool Pro Scott Walker.’ To this, Holmes quickly commented that there was no battle and was just looking to learn. Okay, my bad. Disagreement may have been a better choice. The majority of the 791 comments on the celebrity page are made by people other than Mike Holmes or Scott Walker.

A viral post is born

It was fans of the Holmes podcast and professionals from the swimming pool industry to a much lesser degree. Holmes’s statement here set a very different narrative for the 150 comments that ensued. Regardless, FB is telling me that this share received over 4,400 engagements. I cannot begin to imagine the amount of activity the original post is receiving, but it’s got to be huge. I would think it is not very likely that Holme’s expected an article about pool types would receive this reaction.

How would you rank the three pool types (Vinyl, Fiberglass, Gunite) in a Good, Better, Best rating?

Swimming Pool Supply Chain Broken

This is a hot topic right now. I’m sure some people who work with swimming pools have been able to find everything they need this year, but I don’t know who they are. Maybe we don’t know who they are because they’re quiet. Or, maybe we don’t hear about them because, in 2021, they don’t exist. Everyone who visits a distributor to find what they need for a pool customer walks away empty-handed. Every pool owner who walks into a pool store leaves disappointed due to a broken swimming pool supply chain.

Did Swimming pool industry manufacturers drop the ball?

But it was only supposed to be a chlorine shortage. We’ve heard enough about this, the unexpected growth of the pool industry due to COVID-19, and then the single factory in Louisiana that burned in the aftermath of a hurricane. Unfortunately, that is not the only shortage people are facing. In fact, it seems to be everything to one extent or another.

Broken promises

With that, some companies seem to be more in the crosshairs of angry pool professionals than others. That seems to be directly related to promises of a steady supply despite the odds against it, assurances these manufacturers would not be able to make good on.

A couple has tried to come forth and explain the reasons that they have been unable to deliver. However, a list of excuses offers little solace to service companies or homeowners in need of products for their swimming pools. In the case of the pool tech, this lack of supply is affecting their ability to do business.

They had all winter to prepare!

The truth is that this Shit Show, as our friend Averi likes to call it, is not a swimming pool industry manufacturer f**k up, not entirely anyway. Yes, mistakes and failed guarantees have been made, not by all, but definitely by some. But, those errors have had little bearing on the current swimming pool supply chain issues we face.

photo credit: Robert Tobias

In reality, it’s not just us. I know that knowing that makes about as much difference as a pimple on the ass of a field mouse. But, every U.S. industry is dealing with supply chain problems, and in each, the catalyst is the same pandemic-driven gremlin.

The single thing all manufacturers have in common is a shortage of factory workers. Transportation issues only exacerbate the problem. Unfortunately, experts are predicting that the current labor shortage the U.S. is facing is here to stay. That will, in turn, result in inflation.

There goes the toilet paper again!

According to Business Insider, current product shortages in the U.S. include Computer chips, used cars, rental cars, gas, plastic, oil, truck drivers, Uber & Lyft drivers, houses, vacation rentals, lumber, toilet paper, diapers, tampons, furniture, chicken, bacon, hot dogs, cheese, coffee, seafood, olive oil, chlorine, corn, medical oxygen, labor, and more.

I don’t honestly expect anyone reading this to give a crap that the condiment industry is running out of ketchup. I’m only sharing this because I believe we would have had problems with the supply of chlorine this year, whether the Lake Charles factory had burned or not. It was unavoidable.

Similar article 2021 U.S. Chlorine Shortage

Help Wanted

We can blame the workforce issues all day long, but it doesn’t resolve the problem. Besides, there must have been a point months ago where factories realized they didn’t have enough staff to meet production needs – it would have been better to inform the consumers then.

To manage this cluster f**k, we don’t need the industry manufacturers to explain why there are supply problems ad nauseum. We know there’s a problem; we don’t need excuses; we need product. Right now, the only thing preventing growth in our industry and the growth of our companies is chemicals and equipment not being delivered in sufficient quantity. Without that, we are dead in the water.

Sorry, but there is a nationwide shortage on…

Asking service professionals and builders to be understanding when our customers are not is too heavy an ask. We need the supply issue rectified, and that needs to occur yesterday. Honestly, I don’t care how you plan to fix it. I expect that you already have your best people working on exactly that.

Don’t tell us what you think we want to hear; instead, we need a realistic expectation of when you will resolve this. If you don’t know when you will be up to speed, tell us that. At least we will be able to source a different means. Whatever industry manufacturers come up with, it shouldn’t involve a sudden influx in job seekers because that is unlikely to happen.

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Swimming Pool suspect in Champlain Towers’ deadly collapse

They were in the process of collecting bids for what would amount to a multi-million-dollar repair/renovation. But for some reason, this is just about three years after becoming aware of the damage; After the engineer brought the problems to the Champlain Towers’ Condo Association’s attention. Why the delay?

The city building official, Ross Prieto, denies seeing the 2018 engineers report. The same report could have possibly prevented the Champlain Towers’ deadly collapse in Surfside, Florida, last week. The inspection noted that failed waterproofing was causing significant structural damage. The concrete slab was in jeopardy. The engineer warned that if left uncorrected, the extent of the concrete deterioration would expand exponentially. To me, this would be alarming AF!

Telltale signs of devastation to come ignored

According to the Associated Press, Prieto allegedly instructed them at the time that the building was “in very good shape.”; But it wasn’t in good shape. If the building official had not seen the engineer’s report, why give kudos to the condition of the south tower? I get that construction might not be in the board members’ skillset. But this report was provided to them at this same time as well. What did they think ‘major structural damage’ meant?

Cassie Stratton among missing at Surfside condo | Miami Herald

In Six seconds the building violently levels itself. It entirely consumes the residents in the rubble of their 12-story high-rise home. The Miami Herald is reporting Cassie Stratton calling her husband. He is up in D.C., it is 1:30 AM Thursday morning. The first tremors have begun.

The swimming pool is missing!

The model was on the phone just long enough to tell him that the building was shaking. Then she notes a sinkhole appearing in place of the swimming pool. Suddenly, silence – the phone went dead, Mike Stratton, Cassie’s husband, told the paper. Can you imagine being on the other end of that call with your spouse or significant other?

A snip of a CNN report showing the photos taken by the Florida Pool Contractor. CNN

Two days prior, a South Florida pool contractor was on-site to collect information to prepare a bid. The swimming pool is part of the significant overhaul plan for the condos. These repairs would have likely addressed the structural problems discovered three years prior. The unnamed contractor told the Miami Herald that cracking concrete and severely corroded rebar under the pool.

The search for survivors continues

We are now six days into the search, sifting through pulverized concrete and mangled steel. CBS News reports that only emergency personnel has pulled 11 bodies from the wreckage at this point; 150 people are still missing.

Similar Article: Gainesville Sinkhole Swallows Swimming Pool

Dr. Google Search

I’m usually one of the first people that will say don’t search Google for answers. The information you find on the internet is only as good as the person that put it there. Not that there isn’t great article, blog, and video content available – there absolutely is. But if your searching for answers or ‘How to’ instruction, you’ll have to sort through a lot of bullshit before you find something solid. The bigger problem is, do you know enough to separate fact from fiction on a topic your searching for on Dr. Google because you don’t know the answer?

Please Do Not Confuse Your Dr. Google Search With My Decades of Experience in the Pool Industry

Seriously, this is a problem. When you are out on the job, and a customer is up your ass telling you the ‘Guy’ on YouTube did it differently. It’s insulting that they even searched the internet for instruction when they know they had already hired you. WTF?! Honestly, I don’t care whose video they watched at this point; it’s disparaging.

I do have a story to share with you where I did the unthinkable and searched for answers

Most of you are already aware that I have walked with a cane for the last decade. For the past three years, I have had to be on painkillers so I could walk at all. I was suffering from undiagnosed pain that had caused a rapid loss of mobility. That’s a big part of why I sold my pool service company back in 2014 and started teaching. You can’t service swimming pools if you can’t walk. I used to track it with a Fitbit; it was somewhere between 10 and 14 miles each day.

Making sure I went to the doctor; I didn’t blow it off. There were years when I took off spans of three to four months to go to doctor appointment after doctor appointment. They ran the whole gamut of tests with all types of medical machines. Sadly, every time they thought they had something, the prognosis was death. That’s some hard news to take over and over again for a decade.

The prognosis was death

I saw the best of the best. I started with a private practice doc, but that came to a rapid demise as the insurance began to refuse the tests he would order. Ok, no problem. I’ll go to the VA. They have their own stuff, and no insurance is needed. From there, I went to the University Of Florida; I think they call it UF Health. And then off to the Mayo Clinic. After that, I was directed to the War-Related Injury & Illness center in DC, then back to Mayo again. My suspected list of illnesses included ALS, MS, Guillain-Barré syndrome, demyelinating polyneuropathy, and Gulf War Illness.

That’s the cliff noted detail of ten years, which, believe it or not, doesn’t seem to do justice to what was happening to me. In 2020, finally, the Mayo Clinic decided it was all in my head. They called it Conversion Disorder. My Neurologist had sent me to Psych, and they had recommended treatment in their PRC program.

Honestly, I had given up at this point and was not going to go, and it didn’t sound like this was for me. But, my wife told me that if I didn’t go every time I complain of pain, she’d remind me of how I didn’t participate in the only treatment option that anyone had ever been prescribed. So, obviously, I had no choice.

30 Days at Mayo at $40,000

Here my diagnosis went from conversion disorder to Central Sensitization Syndrome in about 3 seconds flat. I broke down – I mean tears and everything as they explained there’d be no cure and I’d have to learn to manage it. I did not go into this program with an open mind. The doctors and the nurses were fantastic people, but what really pulled me out of my hole were the folks in my group the were attending these sessions with me. Still, there were rules to follow.

We were not allowed to say the word pain. Instead, we could refer to it as ‘our symptoms.’ I had been told it would be an intense physical therapy program, but that’s not what it was at all. Each day consisted of 30 to 45 minutes of light stretching and then several hours later 30 to 45 minute of cardio on an exercise bike. I’m sure for some, it was more challenging for others, but I was extremely disappointed. There were several conversations with my wife about my plotted escape, all of which she discouraged.

Were we being brainwashed?

In between the ‘physical’ components of the day was classwork. We sat at a boardroom-style table surrounded by walls clad in dry erase panels. There we discussed this Central Sensitization Syndrome thing in great detail. Apparently, I was short-circuiting and needed a reboot. Don’t get me wrong, the people that ran this program were phenomenal and were extremely passionate about helping folks suffering from this affliction. But, to me, it felt like 6-hours of daily brainwashing.

My mood over time did change, and I owe that 110% to the group members I was in. Honestly, it was the first time I was around people like me. People with undiagnosed pain, although everybody’s was different, looking for help. We were able to lean on one another. It was uplifting. We became friends. Seriously, we all still talk – every one of us. But sadly, those that will admit it still hurt.

Pain & Depression

I left this 30-day thing, and within a month, I could hardly walk at all. Completely defeated, I quit. I just stopped everything. I was done, and it wasn’t just the medical stuff. When I say I stopped everything, I mean life. UF psych had me so jacked on depression meds at this point that I didn’t really notice it anyway.

I did manage to write a book in this time: How to Get Rid of Swimming Pool Algae

Fast forward to November of that year. I have a regular check-up with my primary care at UF. Somebody new. My first thought is, “Great; now I’m going to have to tell the whole story all over again for the one-hundredth time.” But that’s not what happened, and it wasn’t a doctor. This time I would be seen by a PA, Sierra, who had actually read my file. This was the first time I did not have to bring someone in the medical field up to speed. She went on with the exam.

What reflexes?

The PA gets to the part where she checks my reflexes with that rubber hammer-looking thing. I already know what she’ll find – I’ve had this done one hundred times as well. She hits my left knee with the mallet and nothing. The PA tries again and still the same – nothing. Sierra then shifts to my right knee, and again the results were the same. I had not had reflexes in my legs in the entire ten years of seeing doctors about this. The difference was that Sierra was alarmed. Everyone else just took it like, ‘Hey, look at that. Huh.’ and nothing else would ever come of it.

Well, that was new, and on the ride home, it got me thinking. So, when I got back to my house, I immediately went online and added the lack of reflexes to my other symptoms. BAM! The only thing that came up in my Google search was Peripheral Neuropathy page after page. I picked several articles that looked to be from the more reputable sources, and each tied peripheral neuropathy to a problem at L3 & L4 in the vertebrae. Again, this was completely new and different from any direction anyone had taken me in.

Self-diagnosis with Dr. Google

I called UF and made a follow-up appointment the next week with my PA, and that’s when I shared what I found on Google. She seemed excited that my Dr. Google self-diagnosis made sense and immediately scheduled me for an MRI. The results indicated that my vertebrae L3 through L5 were crushed and compressing my spinal cord and the nerves running down my leg.

An easy way to remember which nerves are L3 to the Knee, L4 to the Floor (My kick-ass massage therapist taught me that). Surgery was scheduled to repair the broken back that I had likely had for a bit longer than a decade but had progressively become worse in that time.

The Road to Recovery

I now walk without a cane. At this point, I am still in recovery from my surgery, and my nerves are relearning some things. In addition, some habits I acquired to lessen the pain of being on my feet need to be corrected. But I can honestly say that Dr. Google and a medical professional who would finally listen are the reason I can walk today.

Similar Story: Pushing Through – Dealing with Chronic Pain

Swimming Pool Podcast🎙

A swimming pool podcast? This was definitely not on the list of things I thought I would be doing in 2021. Realistically, it’s not something I thought I would ever be involved in. I mean, sure, I have been interviewed on dozens of shows hosted by some really great people, but to actually take on the role of podcaster? Besides, that’s already a pretty saturated market. Do we really need another one?

Swimming Pool Podcast

In October, I had mentioned to some peers that I had some exciting news on the horizon. Every one of them immediately said Buzzsprout. I neither confirmed nor denied, but that wasn’t it. I referred to my book How to Get Rid of Swimming Pool Algae and, if a person chose, the accompanying certification class, Certified Algae Prevention & Eradication Specialist. But they got it, so the podcast thing remained a thought in the back of my mind.

Swimming Pool Podcast

I released my book in February 2021. Suddenly my inbox filled with emails from News stations, every journalist and producer wanting to talk about the chlorine tablet shortage. I spoke with nearly all the major networks from CNBC to NPR. This went on for three months. In that time, I released two DIY pool care books (DIY POOL CARE: THE POOL OWNER’S GUIDE TO SAVING MONEY & DIY POOL CARE: how to maintain a saltwater pool) with the thought that they could be of some help as the scarcity of the chlorine tablet supply grew.

A co-hosted commentary

Suddenly, the time felt right. But, if I was going to do this, I was going to do something different. I wasn’t interested in competing with the existing industry broadcasts. It was going to have to be unique. Like I said before, there were already quite a few great programs that were doing a bang-up job with the interview show format, no point in doing the same. Besides, a commentary seemed to be more my style anyway. But, I certainly didn’t want to sit and talk by myself. It definitely didn’t sound like that would be much fun.

Similar article 🎧Talking Pools Podcast

Andrea Nannini, one of my friends, had mentioned back in September or October that she had wanted to start a podcast, so I gave her a call to see if she had begun to put something together. She had not, but she was still interested. With that, the idea of a swimming pool commentary became a co-hosted commentary.

Pool pros to pool owners and all listeners in-between

We agreed that we would not limit whatever we were doing to a single niche within the niche. Instead, we would do a show for people that take care of swimming pools, whether it was a pool professional with one hundred pools on their route, an aquatics director, waterpark staff, or a pool owner for their own backyard pool – that is the audience for the show. Besides, there are plenty of topics to discuss all of those folks and more.

Talking Pools🎙 Airforce

What’s in a name?

Coming up with a name was the easy part. I already had a group for professionals on Facebook called Talking Pools, and I already owned the URL TalkingPools.com. It is a good name, so it was a no-brainer. This, of course, extended to Facebook & Pinterest pages that I had already in existence, and Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube (now in their infancy).

Check out this weeks episode:

Follow us & don’t miss the next one

listen here https://podcasts.apple.com/…/talking-pools…/id1568722218 or wherever great podcasts are found.


Memorial Day weekend is here, and many pool owners continue to investigate alternative means of disinfecting water in hopes of salvaging what could have been the swimming pool season that wasn’t. Others, who were not lucky enough to get their hands on tabs when word of the shortage was first announced, continue a desperate and futile scavenger hunt searching for the fabled ‘last bucket of chlorine tablets.’ Make your pool immune to chlorine crisis.

Tell your local pool professional you want to use what the commercial pools use.

Unfortunately, when opportunity knocks, opportunists will not hesitate to take advantage. Price gouging, as had occurred at the beginning of the pandemic with items such as Lysol® and Purell, has not attempted to hide the ransom demands placed on remaining Trichlor (stabilized chlorine tablets) product across eCommerce platforms such as Amazon. Some sellers have increased their asking price from $3.60 per pound in May of 2020 to greater than $14.00 per pound in early May 2021. Ouch! I swear I don’t know how some people sleep at night.

Similar Article: Yes, I said POOLMAGEDDON

May be an image of body of water and text that says "Û hth hth heret HOME Pool Care Sanitize POOL CARE hth AAR POSTS Follow 3-Inch Chlorinating Tablets Sanitizes and protects pool water so you can enjoy swimming all season long WTF! $35999 2 SANITIZE 3'CHLORINATING TABLETS"

Even though the nation is facing poolocalypse, the 250,000 public pools in the U.S. are not as concerned. Call it a Chlorine Crisis Immunity. The pool operators and aquatic directors at these recreational venues, for the most part, are already using the alternatives the Pool Pros are suggesting that backyard oases seek salvation. In fact, in many states, public pool use of the now scarce trichlor chlorine tablets is illegal and has been for decades.

Make your pool immune to the chlorine crisis

This is due to the stabilizer the product contains and its propensity to increase to undesirable levels over time, slowing the chlorine’s ability to fight bacteria. Everything from apartment complexes to million-gallon natatoriums, these facilities have been using liquid chlorine bleach, calcium hypochlorite tablets, saltwater, Ozone, or UV for decades.

The same holds with new pools for homeowners in 2021. Builders have adapted and are building pools that are no longer dependent on the now insufficient supply of trichlor tablets.


Check out our podcast on Spotify here:


I guess you guys have seen that I’ve been in the news a lot over the last couple of weeks. As the pool industry water chemistry expert, the big media outlets have chosen to seek out – weird but super flattering. A whole bunch of 30-minute interviews for only seconds of that footage to make it to air. It’s really an interesting process.

A couple of things about this picture. Yes, USA Today spelt my name wrong. More importantly, I do not maintain the swimming pool at Gainesville Health & Fitness. This pool is taken care of in-house by Allie Baker, and a team of brilliant pool operators. I did contact the reporter upon my initial read of the article with these corrections. Unfortunately, those adjustments did not occur. I do have a wonderful relationship with this facility and each of the pool operators here have been certified in one of my classes. That said, they do a wonderful job with this saltwater pool at their facility.

But that only means there is a whole bunch of what I had said that never made it to air. The POOLMAGEDDON steps would enable a pool owner to use minimal amounts of chlorine and save money while doing it.


I don’t want to reiterate what I said on USA Today, CNBC, NBC Nightly News, PEOPLE, NBC Today, HowStuffWorks, NPR, NY Times (not yet released), and more. Seriously, it’s crazy. My phone just kept ringing. I do, however, want to talk about what was omitted because I think that’s important. I mean, chlorine prices have already increased nearly 40% over this time last year, so the potential for this to be a costly swimming pool season is huge.

Before the media brought this to the public’s attention, I had released a book, How to Get Rid of Swimming Pool Algae. It took three years of research and some discoveries to put that one together. It is a great book for both the pool owner and the pool professional.

Sharing is Caring

Still, I wanted to address many of those methods in pool care that did not involve a pool owner spending $2,500+ to convert to alternatives such as a saltwater system, copper/silver ionization, Ozone, or UV. I wanted to explore the chlorine alternatives that would involve only the installation of a new feeder.

Not a huge cost at all. Methods that are no cost and involving only a minor adjustment or ‘tweak’ to your current system are just a few of the things that the news should share. Even low-cost minerals that could be used would drastically lower the level of chlorine a swimming pool could operate with.

Similar article U.S. Braces for 2021 Chlorine Shortage as Pool Season Rapidly Approaches

I’ve taught homeowners these techniques for decades in one-on-one pool school classes. I already had a proven system that would drastically lower the amount of chlorine necessary to maintain swimming pools and ultimately save money while doing it. So, I decided to write it all down. I ended up with 62-pages and a comprehensive DIY POOL CARE program that will have you thinking it can’t be this easy. But, the truth is, it can.

Obviously, 62-pages is a little longer to share in an article or blog post, so I designed a cover and launched it as a new release on Amazon, DIY POOL CARE: The Pool Owner’s Guide to Saving Money

Unable to get chlorine tablets from his normal supplier, pool professional Ryan Johnson, Premier Pools & Spas, began a scavenger hunt. A couple of Walmarts, several Lowes, and a few Home Depot locations before finding the handful of buckets he would need to maintain his customer’s pools.

Even in a Chlorine Crisis, a swimming pool doesn’t have to be expensive!

So, before you buy one more bucket of Chlorine Tablets or another jug of that Algae Stuff, take a look at this Do-It-Yourself guide to cost-effective pool care techniques developed by swimming pool industry expert Rudy Stankowitz. Using less chlorine while maintaining Algae Free pools is possible!

I am sharing my backyard money-saving tips, hacks, and ancient pool pro secrets in a step-by-step guide for the first time. I even include a FREE online tutorial on water testing techniques and test result interferences.

Even in a Chlorine Crisis, a swimming pool doesn’t have to be expensive. Don’t go through the swimming pool season without this book. Get your copy of DIY POOL CARE – The Pool Owners Guide to Saving Money today!


That’s it! One method for calculating gallons will work in every pool, no matter what the shape or size. Rectangle, oval, or amoeba-shaped, you’ll have greater accuracy if you calculate pool gallons chemically.

NOTE: The formula as written below will work best on pool sizes of <30K gallons, but can easily be re-tooled for larger bodies of water.

Take a sample of pool water in a clean container and put it to the side. This is our ‘Before’ sample. Next, broadcast 4 lbs of baking soda evenly across the pool’s surface with the pump running. Allow the pump to circulate the water for an hour to an hour and a half. Take a new sample of water – our ‘After’ sample. We will want precisely five times the amount of water that we usually use in our Total Alkalinity drop test (this is a three-bottle test). For example, if we typically use 25 ml of water, we will now use 125 ml. This means we will need an additional clean vial of large enough size to hold our 125 ml sample.


Because we are using five times the amount of water for our test, we will also need to use five times the amount of drops that the instructions dictate. But, we only need this excess amount for the first two of the three test solutions (i.e., We usually add two drops of the first test solution, we now add ten drops; we typically add five drops of the second test solution, we now add 25 drops).

Similar Article How Often Should I Shock The Pool?

The third bottle will still be one drop at a time, swirling the sample between each drop and counting the drops necessary to make the expected color change. However, instead of each drop being worth ten ppm, as usual, they will now only have a value of 2 ppm each.

You will want to test the Total Alkalinity reading for both your ‘Before’ and ‘After’ sample using this method and then calculate the difference between the two. Now, this is where the magic happens – Complete the following equation.

285,600 ÷ ppm Change = Gallons

    TA Factor                      (Sample B ppm – Sample A ppm)         Your Pool Gallons

Gallons of H2O in pool  _______________________________________________

Take our FREE online tutorial on water testing techniques and test kit interferences HERE

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!

Buying a Pool Route – Part ll

You are on the hook, Mr. advertiser. You are always waiting for the phone to ring in the hopes it’s a new potential client. Then you have to get their info. Then you have to make the bid. Then you may have to wait until they have gained two other offers from other services before you know if it’s going to be you. Don’t forget…I am one of you, Mr. advertiser. I’m not bagging on you. I’m just saying out loud what no one else seems to say. So did that one account only cost you $100? What is your time worth? Are you keeping track? This is Buying a Pool Route – Part ll

Buying a Pool Route
Buying a Pool Route – Part ll

I’ve Done Both

In my decade-plus in this industry, I have both bought and sold pool accounts. I’ve also advertised throughout my career. What are the pros and cons I’ve personally experienced? In buying a route, while it is more expensive out of the gate for these accounts, the peace of knowing it’s done is precious to me. Knowing I don’t have to advertise because I’m instantly booked is a beautiful feeling. And although the stress of the financial obligation is real, I would have that anyway being in business for myself.

While advertising to fill your route may not hurt your wallet as bad out of the gate, it can add up over time. And you’re always in “sales mode.” I don’t mind that, and thousands of other pool pros feel the same. I’m in business for myself, so I’m in sales mode anyway most of the time. It boils down to what type of person are you? Would you rather have the company in place for a higher price? Or would you instead build it from the ground up for less out of pocket but more time involved?

Buying a Pool Route – Part ll

Some of the things not mentioned above. When a route purchase goes bad! Does it happen? Yes. Why? Usually, the purchase didn’t involve due diligence. There are some nasty people out there, even in the pool industry. Shocking! No matter what you’re buying, don’t just take people at their word! That is the number one complaint on these transactions; the seller wasn’t honest about it. Could it have been avoided?

In most cases, yes! No one held a gun to your head and made you buy that route. Was it a good deal, right? And the guy has to move out of state in 2 weeks because of some emergency, so you need to act fast and with cash. Or even worse are the stories that involve a broker. Now, these can be gut-wrenching. You go through an entity that you are supposed to be able to trust. You sign the paperwork, you have things notarized, you even have the money go through escrow! Is it a concrete safe transaction, right? LOL… no more than a car dealership, my friends.

Similar Article Buying a Pool Route – Pros & Cons

They Didn’t Even Kiss Me First!

Do you know someone that’s said, “I’m never going to a dealership ever again!”? Pool pros say the same about brokers. Does that mean brokers are bad? No. Does that mean you should never buy a route through a broker? No. But if you do go that “route,” know what the potential risks are. Like you would with any purchase, right?

On the advertising side. You could spend a lot of money and get zero accounts. Knee jerk response usually is, “well, you should expect that you dope, no one uses door hangers anymore” or “they didn’t know what they are doing. I know how to make killer FB Goog ads, and my phone rings non stop”. Again…bully for you, guy, drive for you. This doesn’t make my statement false. People will lose money on advertising, FACT. Does that make it the wrong choice? No. Does that mean I shouldn’t advertise and buy a route? No.

The Good, The Bad, and The WTF Did I Just Do?

It means there are risks on both sides of the pool. You have to decide what kind of person you are and what your risk tolerance is. There is no right or wrong way, and there are pros and cons.

Our mission is to have every pool company work together to maximize profit, minimize travel time between stops and be kind to the planet. We do this by enabling the swapping of accounts to build efficient routes

.Joe Wilmot, President/CEO of Pool Trader