- Home Improvement
Hiring the Best Pool Service Company
What type of pool service do you need?
There are many variables when looking for the right pool company. First you should establish what your needs are. Do you like to take care of the pool yourself and just want to be sure the chemicals are in balance? Or do you need full pool service so you can just enjoy your pool without having to worry about it at all? This can make a big difference in the price of service.
Do you currently have a pool service?
What are the variables?
Pool companies want to know how much time they will spend and how much chemical will be used. I receive many calls from people wanting an estimate over the phone for pool service. This is nearly impossible to do even if they give me the size of the pool. Is it a screened pool? What type of filter do you have?...etc. These things matter. If a pool service company does not offer free estimates for pool service, that should amount to a red flag right away.
The variables of pool service pricing include size, screened or unscreened, Automatic pool vac or not, condition and type of filtration system (sand filter/D.E. Filter/cartridge filter), pool surface age and type of sanitizer used (Tablets/salt system). Pools that operate on a chlorine salt generating unit use less chemical and salt is less expensive than chlorine tablets.
Some of these factors will not always be an issue, for instance I service a few unscreened pools that literally get no debris in them ever. They are spotless week to week since they only have a few palm trees around. Others are a pool guys worst nightmare with trees overhanging the pool that shed tons of leaves. Pool companies often refer to these as "Leaf pits" You will most assuredly be charged more for service if you have a "Leaf pit"
Is the pool company reliable?
A common complaint for pool companies is that the "pool guy" doesn't show up when he is supposed to. I know that on Thursdays, I expect the landscape company to come and mow my lawn. If they don't show up Thursday and come on Friday, no big deal. But if they don't show up at all it gets frustrating. If they don't mow the lawn, the grass gets longer. It is the same for a pool service. If they don't service the pool, it gets dirty and starts growing algae. I can tell if the lawn has been mowed or not and you can tell if your pool has not been serviced. If you know that they did not show up, and they insist that they did, fire them. An exception to missed pool service would be inclimate weather. You can't expect a person to stand near water with a large metal pole during a lightning storm but they should come back the next day or when the weather has cleared.
What most pool companies don't tell you
This is important because it will give you a better understanding of how most pool companies work. (Not all, but most). In many cases pool companies do not have "employees", rather they have sub-contractors that work for them like an employee but on a 1099 basis. I have been a "sub-contractor" for some pool companies. For the customer, this is not a bad thing. Make sure you ask if their service techs are hourly, salary or subcontractors that are paid per account. A technician who is paid per account, or an independent owner will likely provide better service than an hourly employee because unlike hourly or salaried employees, the sub contractor or independent owner who loses a customer also loses the pay for that account.