Getting Ready to Open Your Pool?
Here Are 3 Tips for Hiring a Pool Professional
After a storm-racked fall and winter in the region, homeowners need the skills of a knowledgeable and experienced service company to get their pools and spas up and humming for the hot season ahead. Sandy Nadler, President of the Connecticut Spa & Pool Association (CONSPA), offered three tips to help pool owners find the most qualified pool service professional in their area.
Tip #1. Hire a pool professional who knows how to diagnose and fix Superstorm Sandy problems. “Many pools and spas in the Northeast were damaged by Sandy,” said Nadler. “The equipment may have dried out since the late October 2012 storm, but that does not mean that it came through the storm undamaged. If you witnessed flooding in the pool area or see indications that flooding took place, do not turn on the equipment. Call a pro to check it and, if necessary, make repairs.”
CONSPA service company members have the knowledge to deal with Superstorm Sandy problems. These companies were invited to a special program in January 2013 at which experts from every area of the pool and spa industry discussed issues related to the storm, including electrical, chemical and structural problems. To find a CONSPA professional near you, click on: www.northeastspapool.org/nespaMemberLocator/.
Tip # 2. When considering hiring a pool company, homeowners should check the firm’s licensing, certifications and insurance, suggested Nadler. “Pool and spa service people need a special license to service and repair pools in Connecticut, which are called an SP-1 License or an SP-2 License. Service companies that try to service or repair pools with only a Home Improvement Registration (HIC) number are breaking Connecticut law and can be fined for each offense. Ask the service company that you are considering hiring about the firm’s SP-1 and SP-2 licensing.
“Further, ask the pool service company if it is industry certified. Owners and service managers at top pool service companies are usually Certified Service Professionals (CSP), certified by our national association called the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP). This is the highest industry pool service certification achievable and those with a CSP are the most qualified to service your pool and spa.”
Nadler also cautioned that any company that does work in and around your home--not just pool companies—needs insurance coverage. It should have liability coverage and Workmen’s Compensation coverage for any employee that will work on your property.
Tip #3. Ask the service company exactly what it will do when it opens your pool. Many have an extensive checklist that they will be happy to share with you. “Opening the pool is rather complex, especially this year after Superstorm Sandy. The water needs to be tested, treated and balanced, the system must be pressure tested and everything must be cleaned,” he said.
As a final suggestion, Nadler urged pool and spa owners to try to open their pools and spas sooner rather than later in the season. “In the typical pool that was treated and closed last autumn,” he explained, “chlorine and algaecide levels drop near the end of winter and if we get a hot spell late in April, the pool could experience an algae bloom, which could have been completely avoided by opening the pool now.”
You can find licensed pool and spa professionals through the Connecticut Spa & Pool Association. Contact our Chapter Secretary or simply click on our website at the addresses below.
Connecticut Spa & Pool Association
P. O. Box 473, Norwalk, CT 06854
(Phone) (860) 819-0374
(Fax) (203) 738-1144