• The Dirt On Staying Clean

    by Karen Erstad March 2006

    Few service techs look forward to tearing down and cleaning out a D.E. filter, but it's something homeowners absolutely dread, and that spells opportunity. "Most homeowners only have to clean a D.E. filter one time before they decide they don't want to do that anymore," says David Hawes, owner of H & H Pool Service in Dublin, Calif.

    Even though...

  • Variable-Speed Pumps: Head Of The Class

    by Kirstin Pires February 2006

    It's pretty unusual to hear pool builders raving about pumps instead of cursing them, but recent developments in variable-speed motors for swimming pool pumps have some early adopters convinced they have come face-to-face with the future.

    Whether it's been motivated by heightened safety concerns, the California Energy Commission's looming energy efficiency...

  • The Saline Routine

    by Barrett Kilmer January 2006

    By now the story of the salt chlorine generator's rise to prominence in the alternative sanitizer category is a familiar one to pool pros everywhere: its 25-year ascent to total dominance in Australia, its awkward first steps after immigrating to the U.S. and its rapidly widening acceptance here. Estimates vary, but most agree that at least one-third of new pools built...

  • Would You Trust These People To Take Care Of A New

    by Kirstin Pires January 2006

    There are plenty of strong and varying opinions in the industry about start-up procedures with regard to the pool surface, but there are a few big concepts everyone can agree on. If you care about the beautiful plaster or aggregate or quartz surface you've just applied to a new or renovated pool, you need to care about the start-up. The attention that pool receives in...

  • A Spa Is Not A Tiny Swimming Pool

    by Scott Webb September 2005

    Water is water — two small atoms of hydrogen clinging to a single large oxygen atom. The formula is the same for both pool water and spa water. But when it comes to the chemistry and care of pool and spa water, you might as well be comparing apples and . . . pears.

    The two are related, of course. Both become contaminated during normal use. Both typically use...

  • Fine Redesign

    by Karen Erstad August 2005

    Since the Internet is quickly becoming the Yellow Pages of the 21st century, it may be time to invest some serious dollars in your Web site. Instead of hiring your cousin's friend's 14-year-old who does some Web work on weekends, you may want to hire a professional Web site designer. But how do you choose the person who will create this all-important Web presence? And...

  • Energize Your Ads

    by Phillip M. Perry August 2005

    "It pays to advertise." No one disputes that old chestnut. Even so, it's all too easy to place an ad and wait for throngs of new customers to crowd your store . . . only to be disappointed when your registers don't ring a merry tune.

    Fact is, some ads work and some don't. How can you improve the odds that your ads end up in the first group. Use these...

  • Winter Wise

    by Barrett Kilmer August 2005

    As September nears, thoughts turn from summer's lazy, hazy days to Labor Day picnics, back-to-school sales and fall foliage. For pool pros in northern regions, images of snow-laden pool covers also creep into the consciousness, in spite of the still-warm weather.

    This foresight is something of a mixed blessing. While it mutes one's enjoyment of the latter part of...

  • Puzzle Me This

    by Scott Webb July 2005

    When homeowners buy backyard pools, what they're really buying is water; and not dull, cloudy water, but clear, sparkling water that pleads for a swim. That's what the customers pay for.

    Unfortunately, it's not uncommon for pool owners to complain that their water lacks the transparency it once had. They've tried everything, they say — a bottle of this, a jug...

  • Filter Refresher

    by Barrett Kilmer July 2005

    With prices of steel, petroleum-based products, chemicals and energy skyrocketing, pool and spa owners are being asked to pay a little more for their backyard oases lately. And the problem is bound to get worse before it gets better.

    Dealers and service professionals have two options: They can ignore the problems and hope, in vain, that they go away. Or they can...