• The unique character of the pool renovation business

    by Karen Erstad August 2009

    There's a saying in our industry: Renovation is like a box of chocolates, you don't know what you're going to get," says Gary Nemetz, sales manager for Custom Pool Renovation in Livermore, Calif. "And there's some truth to that, because so much is hidden underground."

    It is the unique character of the renovation business - the absolute impossibility of knowing exactly what...

  • Help Customers Focus on a Trouble-Free Pool and Spa Opening

    by Scott Webb August 2009

    Many homeowners think of pools in terms of two seasons: summer, when the pool is being used, and the off-season, when it's closed. During this off-season, homeowners tend to think of the pool as if it's in storage, like the floats and beach balls that typically surround it, waiting to be dragged out again in the late spring.

    But that's not a good model because the water in a pool — and the organisms...

  • VGB Act continues to gain momentum in the pool and spa industry

    by Jenna Danninger July 2009

    It seems you can't find a major pool story these days that doesn't pertain to the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act. National media giants like CNN and The New York Times and local news outlets publish items daily regarding public pools across the country that have been greatly affected by the Act's implementation last December.

    Both the U.S. Consumer Product Safety...

  • Pool and spa service technicians need education

    by Scott Webb July 2009

    Like many young professionals, Sean O'Brien had a problem. He'd embarked on his career with admirable diligence, but his performance and pay were limited by a lack of training.

    "When you start out," he says, "you're only learning the business through what other people tell you, and whatever you can figure out yourself through trial and error."

    In addition to the...

  • Can saltwater sanitation catch on for spas and hot tubs?

    by Scott Webb June 2009

    Salt chlorine generators have taken the pool industry by storm because they make pool care easier. Could salt bromine generators have the same impact on the spa industry?

    Time will tell, but two spa equipment manufacturers, Gecko Alliance and Pioneer H2O Technologies, are hoping the salt-based trend catches on in the spa industry the same way it has in the pool industry.

    Pioneer has...

  • The ABCs Of E-Newsletters

    by Phillip M. Perry June 2009

    "Good, fast, cheap — pick two because you can't have all three." That old saw holds true in the world of retail advertising and promotion, with one notable exception: e-newsletters. Why? First, they're good ways to spark more sales. Second, they work fast. And third, they're cheap. It's tough to think of another promotional tool that gives so much bang for so little buck.

    "E-newsletters are great for establishing new lines of communication with your...

  • Efficiently troubleshoot spa packs

    by Karen Erstad May 2009

    A cost-effective spa equipment repair call begins with a ringing telephone. That initial contact with the homeowner is the time to set the tone for the entire service transaction. This discussion must include painstaking and deliberate questioning to obtain a complete picture of the problem - essential to organizing a profitable response.

    "This information gives us a starting...

  • While chlorine generators have swept the industry, background knowledge still lacks

    by Scott Webb May 2009

    Few technologies in memory have risen to dominate our industry as quickly as salt chlorine generators. Estimates of the percentage of new pools receiving them range from 40 to 70 percent, and the current population of salt pools is judged to be over one million, depending on who is asked.

    A spectacular success, mainly due to convenience. Consumers of every stripe crave solutions that...

  • Keeping pool water balanced is one of the keys to reducing chemical usage

    by Barrett Kilmer April 2009

    The greening of the pool and spa industry is well underway. Dealers and their customers have embraced a number of new technologies and practices that fit the definition. The green angle can be an easy sell; a dealer need only produce a graph showing the payoff period for an efficient pump motor or explain the energy savings to be had by switching from incandescent pool lighting to LED. In...

  • The best filter media for pool customers

    by Scott Webb April 2009

    The various filter media can be compared in terms of performance and cost, but which of them is nature's favorite?

    It takes a moment of reflection to realize that these three selection considerations - price, performance and environmental impact - are becoming virtual coequals in the minds of consumers.

    This is driven in part by a rise in the prices of energy and resources,...