• Big Help

    by Karen Erstad April 2007

    People like to shop in bright, uncluttered and attractively merchandised stores. Acknowledging this, Brendan Reilly, owner of the Pool & Spa House, gave his three locations in the greater Portland, Ore., area a new look when he added BioGuard Store Within A Store (SWAS) shelving and signage in 2004. "It gives your store a very professional retail look," he...

  • Smart Truckin'

    by Karen Erstad March 2007

    Efficiently run businesses generate more revenue. To a service business, a clean, organized truck or van that visits plenty of pools each day is a major vehicle for achieving financial goals. If your truck is a disorganized mess you have to dig through at every stop to find the parts you need, you're going to get less done each day and you're going to make less money. But...

  • Chameleon Media

    by Elissa Sard Pollack March 2007

    When things are exactly what they seem, it's easy to categorize them. Take filter media. Sand is time-tested and costeffective, cartridges are easy to set up and clean without backwashing, and diatomaceous earth (D.E.) gives the greatest water clarity.

    Introduce alternative media, filter aids, and new approaches to designing the filters, and those distinctions become less...

  • Breakout Branding

    by Thomas Fuller and Matthew Jorgenson January 2007

    Happy New Year! Time to make this year's resolutions. Here's one: Become a breakout brander. Branding is key to building lasting success. It is also a large and often misunderstood field, with many paths. This article offers ideas to start you today on the right path and hopefully inspire you to further grow your skills in this critical field.

    Branding can increase your customers' perceived value of your products and services. When you think of Lexus and...

  • The Frugal Googler

    by Barrett Kilmer August 2006

    It's easy to forget how quickly the Internet has become an important part of our everyday lives. Only 10 years ago, someone could utter the phrase "information superhighway" without drawing derisive laughter. And Google was still just a funny word fifthgraders heard in math class (and it was spelled googol, BTW). A mouse was something most people didn't want...

  • Inside Story

    by Karen Erstad August 2006

    Filters are definitely not the most attractive part of any poolscape. But without one, every pool would be a murky mess. Hence, keeping them clean and in good condition is absolutely necessary in order to maintain crystal clear water.

    And while servicing filters may not be any tech's favorite chore, it must be done, and it's important to be familiar with...

  • Away With Stains

    by Karen Erstad July 2006

    After getting stains out of swimming pools for 20 years, Jack Beane, owner of Jack's Magic, says, "There's only two types of pools: Those that are stained and those that are going to stain." Perhaps not every pool is doomed to be stained, but if not properly cared for, pools and their surfaces will likely succumb to staining.

    But all is not lost. A pool...

  • Setting The Testing Standard

    by Karen Erstad June 2006

    We tend to take safe and clean food, drinking water and indoor air for granted. But if it weren't for organizations like NSF International, a nonprofit, non-governmental standard-setting agency that also certifies products, our microwaves, toasters and blenders may not work as well as they do. Or, much worse, we might not be able to have any confidence in meat- and...

  • Scratching The Surface

    by Karen Erstad April 2006

    For years pool industry professionals have argued over the cause of plaster deterioration: did chemicals cause etching and cracking or was it something about the plaster or how it was applied? Or did all of this contribute to the problem? In an effort to find solutions to pool surface related issues through scientific research, in 2003 the National Plasterers Council...

  • Cleaners 101

    by Becky Strauss April 2006

    Automatic pool cleaners have stormed the scene in a big way in the last few years, making pool ownership ever easier and more convenient. Cleaners run the gamut from in-floor systems, custom-designed and installed when the pool is built, to pressure-side, suctionside and robotic cleaners. With everything that's available on the market today, AQUA offers the following...