swimming pool association

What is the real cost of a leaking pool?

By Rick Myers, Team Horner /  rmyers@teamhorner.com

As I teach commercial pool classes, I always ask the question to pool technicians; what are some of the biggest challenges you face on a daily basis?  Undoubtedly, one of the top three to four answers are a property’s refusal to fix or address a leak.    In all of the 16 hour courses there is a math question that deals with a leaking pool and how to figure out how many gallons the pool is leaking on a daily basis.

However most times we just tell our customer that the pool is losing two inches or three inches a night.  In point of fact, the customer does not relate to two inches because they do not pay their water bill per night.  So what does a three inch leak cost the customer, or just as important what does it cost the pool company?  Let us say that a pool has a three inch leak on a 20×40 pool.  That means that every night, the pool is losing 1,500 gallons.  That also means that in one month the pool has lost 45,000 gallons.  That is 45,000 gallons on a pool that is only 27,000 gallons to start.  So what is the cost?  To the property, the cost of water in the water management district they live in they are paying each month for 45,000 additional gallons of water.  Even if they only pay half of a penny for water, that is an extra $25 per month for water, plus sewage.  Also it is important that they understand the other costs involved.  They are paying electric or propane or natural gas to heat basically 72,000 gallons of water, not 27,000.  At a minimum the heater or heaters may not be able to keep up, and at a maximum, they are paying to heat 2.5 times the amount of water they thought.   You can easily see that this will run into thousands of dollars of additional cost to the property.

Now let us consider the cost to the pool company.  You are charging a monthly price for maintenance and chemicals for a 27,000 gallon pool, but you are really paying the chemical cost of a 72,000 gallon pool.  Are you really making your standard profit margin on this pool, if this pool is even profitable to you?   At some point you will deem this pool unprofitable, and if the customer hires someone else, then they will probably suffer the same problems.

This is not even mentioning the environmental impact of that water either ending up in the city sewer or somewhere around the pool.  At some point there will be an environmental impact.

How can this be avoided?  By acting on a consultative basis to your property and showing them exactly what the cost is in dollars.  Everyone may not understand three inches, but they do understand the impact in dollars.  At the end of the day, they will hopefully see the light and view you and your company as a valuable resource.

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