Category Archives: Love Pool Industry

Are you an FSPA member with children in college? Did you know that each year an average of $23,000 is distributed to dependents of pool industry professionals through The Florida Swimming Pool Association Scholarship Program?! This program helps members meet the high cost of college expenses for their children. The award is presented by the Swimming Pool Education & Safety Foundation.

Students at all levels of post-secondary education are eligible for merit scholarships based on academic accomplishment, extracurricular activities, contributions to their community and a research paper on a pool industry related topic. This program is only available to dependents of owners and employees of member companies.

The 2016-2017 Scholarship application and materials are due in the FSPA office by end of business on Thursday, June 30, 2016.

Click here to download the 2016 Application!

*Sponsoring company must have membership paid in full to participate.

annual show

The Everything Under the Sunsm Expo drew a crowd to Orlando February 11-13 for another great industry trade show. More than 230 exhibitors, and preliminary numbers show, more than 4,000 people mingled for two days in the exhibit hall. The aisles were full of people, information, new products and friendly faces. The Welcome and Awards Reception on Thursday evening drew a record crowd. Design Awards were presented to winning pool companies as industry professionals applauded their work. John Garner was recognized as Person of the Year and Tony Caruso was inducted into the FSPA Hall of Fame. Chapter Directors of the Year were thanked and some new awards were presented. The East Central Florida Chapter Service Professional of the Year is Larry Drumb, Cool Pools by Larry. The Manasota Chapter Service Professional of the year is Kirk Bradley, On-Time Pool Service. The Palm Beach Chapter Service Professional of the year is Jerry Bell, Blue Pools, Inc. Coast to Coast Pools of Sarasota took home the Tops-In-Trucks Award. Friday, after a busy day in education and the exhibit hall, everyone made their way to Lafayette’s at Pointe Orlando for the P4 Pool Industry Private Party. Live music, open bar, dinner buffet and desserts made for an exciting evening. Thank you to Pentair, Gorman and Proline for sponsoring the event. Education courses on Thursday, Friday and Saturday were popular. Numbers are still being finalized but more than 900 pool industry professionals registered for classes. FSPA members were able to take classes for free. More than 630 FSPA members took education at no charge. The FSPA membership booth received more than 20 new member applications and fielded questions about membership, licensing and how to win the cash drawings. Among other cash winners, one attendee took home $600 in cash! The new Splash Zone gave away 100’s of prizes. The Product Showcase display showed some great products and the ballots showed Kover Kritters was chosen as the Best Showcased Product.

This year we have a new certificate program that is specific to Florida public pool code! Register for this new certification now for the Everything Under the Sun Expo! See details below!

Click here to register for education now!

Florida Public Pool Specialist

16-hour Course approved by DOH

Wednesday, February 10 – Thursday, February 11

8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Orange County Convention Center

Lunch and course manual included

Training and certification for Florida public pool operators.

Become eligible to service public pools and spas in Florida or
renew your DOH-approved 16-hr course.

Certification is valid for five years.

Call 800-548-6774

FP2S certificate program is specific to Florida public pool code and includes operation principles, basic calculations, safety, water illnesses, water chemistry, sanitation, specialty chemicals, special problems, water testing, circulation and filtration systems, spa pools and hot water chemistry.

Developed by the Florida Swimming Pool Association and approved by the state of Florida Department of Health as an approved 16-hour Florida public pool service technician certification course.

Learn the most current standards for

Florida’s public pools and spas.

FSPA Members:  $150 / Non-Members:  $300

 

CPSC  awarded nearly $800,000 to five different cities in the United States, two of which are in Florida. Broward County received the largest grant of the five, receiving $250,000. Lake County was listed second receiving $155,061. This funding will provide assistance to local governments for education, training, and enforcement of pool safety requirements that are intended to save lives and prevent serious injuries.

Click here to view the entire article!

The rise in demand for ozone

By: Brett D. Holland, AAA Custom Pools Inc.   brett@aaacustompools.com

“I would prefer a salt pool over a chlorine pool.”  Recently, you may have heard this  from a customer or potential client.  In 2015 it is clear that salt water chlorine generators (SWCG) are predominantly the pool sanitizer of choice for residential swimming pools in Florida, and have been for some time.  However, there seems to be a common misconception among consumers that SWCGs are the answer to all of their pool chemistry needs.  The fact is, just because the water is not green does not mean the water is safe and balanced.  Customers don’t see the consequences of this mentality for many years and then they think the interior finish is just due for an upgrade.

One example of there being more to a “blue” pool, is that typically with SWCG systems the pH has to be addressed more often.  This is possibly due to the pool outgassing CO2 into the air.  The rate of outgassing increases with lower pH, higher alkalinity and aeration of water (splashing, water fountains or slides, high wind, jets pointed up, etc.).  Aeration of pool water, which is a physical process, can vary greatly from project to project.  It is also possible that the hydrogen gas bubble production from SWCG systems contributes to significant aeration and is a source of rising pH in such SWCG pools.

Salt systems are another way of introducing chlorine into the pool and are great when it comes to a steady stream of chlorine, compared to standard inline chlorinators and/or liquid chlorine.  Once chlorine is produced from the salt cell, the same disinfection by-products (DBPs) are created as if the chlorine was introduced through a tablet feeder or liquid.  One of the most common DBP are THMs.  Trihalomethanes (THMs) are collectively four compounds that are created when hypobromous acid and hypochlorous acid react with naturally occurring organic matter.  Studies show that chlorinated swimming pools, especially those with high pH levels and high temperatures, are notorious for producing THMs at an exponential rate.  You might be asking yourself:  “How do we combat THMs and provide clients with a much more pleasurable swimming experience?”  The answer is with ozone, and that is why we have seen a rise in demand for it!

Ozone is one of nature’s strongest oxidizers, its by-product is pure oxygen.  The importance in this is that ozone is pH neutral, which makes balancing of the pool easier. The less chlorine in the pool, the less fluctuations in pH.  Ozone excels in killing micro-organisms such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia, when using chlorine as the primary oxidizer/sanitizer these water-borne parasites are more resistant.  Due to ozone being very unstable and having a short life, chlorine is still needed as a residual sanitizer since the pool will not be generating ozone while the pump is off.  The small amounts of chlorine also help combat algae growth.  While ozone eliminates chloramines (the common smell of chlorine) and acts as the primary oxidizer/sanitizer, it also allows free chlorine to be present without producing significant concentrations of irritating and harmful DBPs that are present with a chlorine-only pool.

So if ozone has all of these advantages over chlorine-only pools, why isn’t it the sanitizer of choice for our consumers?  Well I don’t have that exact answer, however my opinion is that as an industry we may have experienced algae more often with ozone as our primary oxidizer/sanitizer rather than chlorine-only pools, whether they are salt systems or tablet/liquid feeders.  When I decided I wanted to write this article I set out to seek how we can overcome this objection.  What I found through my research is that different ozonators actually produce ozone at different rates known as grams per hour (g/h) which also produces a different concentration of ozone in weight.  CD ozonators, known as Corona Discharge, produce a higher g/h as well as a higher concentration than ozonators using a UV lamp.  The amount of ozone needed in a system is based on several variables:  volume of water, water temperature, bather load, amount of desired chlorine, etc.  As I further my research I hope to gain a better understanding of how to properly size ozone systems based upon the different variables of my projects, as well as the outputs of the ozone units readily available to us.  I anticipate that I will find that maybe us, as an industry, may or may not have been properly sizing our ozone systems and therefore have had unrealistic expectations.

Much thanks to Marc De Brum, ClearWater Tech, and  Nicky Milosevich, Paramount, for their assistance with my research!

FSPA is excited to announce that we have added two new awards for 2016 that will be presented at the Awards and Welcome Reception on Friday February 11, 2016 starting at 6:30pm in the pre-function area of Exhibit Hall at the Orange County Convention Center.

The first of the two new awards is our Service Professional of the Year award. This award is about customer satisfaction and the positive results FSPA pool and spa service professionals produce for the people who use pool products.  Each FSPA Chapter will select a winner.  Click for more information.

The second of the two new awards is the Tops-In-Trucks award. This award is to recognize outstanding fleet vehicle graphics and excellent modifications of service and repair trucks. It is our way of recognizing Florida Pool Pros who are leading the way everyday as they serve customers throughout Florida. Click for more information.

We can’t wait to see you all in February and announce the winners!

By Brett D. Holland, Holland Pools & Spas, brett.hollandpools@gmail.com

Due to the constant advancement in technology, pool builders now have design tools made available to them that they did not once have in the past.  Although there are a few designers who still design on graph paper, the majority of the industry is now taking full advantage of the 3D software tools available.  With 3D replicated products from pool industry vendors, landscape options, and the ability to fully customize the pool/spa, deck, and house stages, designers now have the opportunity to give a presentation to the client like never before!  Being that 65 percent of all people are visual learners, this approach is extremely powerful.  We can now visually show the client just how tremendous their outdoor living environment can truly be from the click of a button.

Over the years a few friends/co-workers have been a little hesitant to take the plunge into this new idea of design, either due to the fact they weren’t too tech-savvy or were just complacent in the way they have been designing for years.  However over time I was finally able to persuade them into dedicating a few hours a week to get familiar with the work flow of 3D design.  The software I use is Pool Studio by Structure Studios
(www.structurestudios.com) which has a great tutorial library to assist with this transition.  The way the work flows is in stages.  There are house, pool, spa, fences/walls, terrain, steps/benches, planter, and custom shape stages.  Each stage has their own parameters where you can fully customize your project.  This gives the designer endless options, where the only limitation is their imagination.  Over the course of about two months of giving several hours/per week to learning it, my co-workers started to finally become comfortable with designing in 3D.  I remember one colleague telling me, “I wish I had started using this program years ago.  It would have been a totally different experience for my customers.”

Besides the sales benefits, another major benefit of having your project digitized is the ability to seamlessly convert it into a detailed construction plan.  If you have an engineer do your drawings, you have the ability to send them an AutoCAD file (.dxf)
of your project which allows them to import it into their software program.  If the plan is done in-house, templates are available within Pool Studio for you to use or customize to meet your specific needs.  By creating your own templates as you go, the workflow begins to get faster while you are in the construction stage.  Familiarity comes as you utilize the program more frequently, and eventually you feel comfortable designing in front of the customer rather than between appointments.

So whether you are already using 3D software or if you just haven’t had the courage to make the plunge yet, have faith in yourself, continue to invest time and expand your knowledge.  Take advantage of this powerful tool and leave it up to your imagination to do the rest!

recovery fund

From the eyes of a subcontractor

By Jon Temple, Tempool, Inc.

When I started in the pool business in 1986, I was employed by a shotcrete subcontractor. At that time, the only subcontractors that performed work for a pool builder were for the shotcrete, electric, and plaster phases. The pool builder did all the other phases in-house with foremen overseeing employees in each phase, including starting up the pool and turning it over at completion to the homeowners. Those are what we call “the good old days” of our industry. What we have now, is reversed and most pool builders subcontract out most phases of the pool construction, sometimes even the sales department is a subcontractor working leads for multiple pool builders!

As subcontractors, we get a lot of feedback from our builders’ customers. And many times it is negative. As an example, homeowners often say to us, “We haven’t seen anyone from the pool company on our job since we signed the contract.” And along with that statement we hear, “I should have just hired all the subcontractors myself and cut the builder out as the middle man.” These are definitely not comments we like to hear, and it puts us in a very uncomfortable situation.

Our goal should be to build more confidence in our industry. We need to work together by strengthening our communication with each other, not only with scheduling, but also about issues that affect our particular scope of work. Knowledgeable and professional subcontractors are rare in today’s labor force. It is important to form a good working relationship between the subcontractors and the foreman for the pool builder. By working together you will be able to resolve any problems and achieve the best quality swimming pool for the homeowner. It is important that the pool company foreman make a point to meet with their customer on each phase. The customer needs to know you are engaged with their project, and that they are important. This takes face-to-face contact with your customers, even if it is only for a few minutes during each phase of construction. If it is not possible to meet face to face, a phone call from the Foreman will do wonders to build confidence with your customer. We are all in this together, so let’s work to make it a great experience for everyone!