If you have or have wanted a new swimming pool, you’ve felt the shockwaves of higher prices and shortages of products over the last two years. A combination of factors have created an imperfect storm that continues to hang over the industry, with no concrete end in sight.
BRIEF TIMELINE OF EVENTS THAT HAVE SWAYED THE SWIMMING POOL INDUSTRY FOREVER:
LATE 2019. The Covid-19 global pandemic which began to manifest itself in late 2019, forced pool owners to stay home and use their pool! Or renovate their existing pool. Or build a new pool. The demand for chemicals, equipment, and services multiplied daily to the point of putting a strain on the availability of these goods and services.
AUGUST 2020. A critically important chlorine manufacturing plant in Louisiana burned down as a result of Hurricane Laura. The extremely dangerous chemical fire halted chlorine production, creating further pressure on increasing chlorine demand due to the pandemic. Force majeure from manufacturers went into effect. Immediately, chlorine prices skyrocketed. Shortages occurred. Pools began to turn green. Some service companies struggled to stay afloat. The increases have not slowed, and it’s anyone's guess where prices might stabilize. A new chlorine manufacturing plant is under construction, however not expected to be in production until late 2022 (tentatively).
2020-OCTOBER 2022. The demand, shortages, and reduced global workforce created the next “buzzword”: Supply Chain Issues. Overseas pool goods, parts, and chemicals backed up at our ports of entry, sitting on cargo ships for months. The manpower necessary to get these goods from the ships to the consumer is nowhere near peak capacity. The backlog has created MASSIVE supply issues for retailers and homeowners. All the while, manufacturers have implemented double-digit price increases multiple times per year on all goods and chemicals.
2 MAJOR POOL INDUSTRY SECTORS THAT HAVE BEEN AFFECTED:
DEMAND FOR POOL SERVICES. The demand for professional service companies that actually have the necessary chemicals to keep pools sanitized and oxidized correctly is at an all-time high. However, supply of chlorine and chlorine alternatives have been perilously low! ALL companies have been forces to raise rates on all phases of service, chemicals, and supplies. Pools still need proper amounts of chemicals or we’ll have an entirely new disease issue on our hands!
DEMAND FOR NEW BUILDS AND RENOVATION. Low interest rates combined with peak demand for backyard living has pegged the trades involved with construction to their limits. Important materials such as steel, concrete, shotcrete, tile, equipment, interior finishes, travertine, and anything else involved with construction has caused ripples in the completion timelines. Not only are these materials inconsistently available, pricing has pushed the costs of construction higher. If product becomes available, slots are immediately filled due to the increased demand, pushing some projects multiple months out from a projected initial completion date.
The supply chain challenges have taken an exhausting stranglehold on the goods and services we purchase and provide!
RELIEF IN SIGHT?
There is GOOD NEWS! Although pricing will likely never drift back down to prices of 2 years ago, the availability of goods and chemicals are showing signs of (small) life. Manufacturers, distributors, and service providers have been forced to innovate and be better!
Forecasting, planning, and finding ways to take care of our customers is more important than ever. The changes Love Pool Company and many other companies have made will make us more efficient, all the while driving home the importance of delivering the best customer service and communication we can possibly provide.
OUR RESPONSIBILITIES AS A SMALL BUSINESS
Our daily task is to help our clients navigate through the issues presented to us. To find ways to be more efficient, proactive, and unique ways to offset our dependence on chlorine and other chemicals and goods.
We’re proud to say that we’ve met the tasks head-on and successfully with the help of caring clients, employees, and representatives in all phases of the pool industry.
Here’s to a better, smarter, safer 2022 for all of us!
We recently completed a challenging project that involved removing an existing pool, then reconstructing into a new pool and backyard hardscape. Everything involved in-between the lines was an arduous process due to the challenging terrain, access, requirements, and our own quest for "perfection".
Our company treats every project with as much care and preparation as if it was our own pool. Fortunately, we've been able to work with fabulous clients who exude trust, patience, and understanding that projects can evolve by the minute. This project included all of the above! We're very fortunate to be able to have a client say "Yes", all the while knowing that this was going to get MESSY!
The projects involved many layers to get by in order for us to cross the finish line. The existing pool had structural cracks caused by poor prior construction, Non-existent drainage, unfit soil, and a previous tremor/earthquake that potentially pushed the structural damage over the edge. The only way to confidently rectify this situation would be to remove the existing pool and get our Soil & Structural Engineers involved to tell us what their recommendations were. Sure enough, the solutions were to bring in better soil, compact to 95%, add extra steel, waterproof, and provide plenty of drainage! Easy enough... hardly!!!!
A list of hurdles/challenges along the way...
If you're still reading, thank you! We hope you enjoyed a small peak into what went into this proud project we completed. You can access our photo album link her: Anthem Custom New Build. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 602-218-5302 (text/voice) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The variable-speed pump has been the #1 leading technology "game-changer" for residential and commercial pool owner's for the last 10 years. The pump technology has dramatically (like, really really dramatically) reduced the power consumption for every pool that has a variable-speed pump installed. The combined energy savings worldwide since the introduction of these pumps into the pool market is astronomical!
The key to any energy savings with these pumps is PROGRAMMING. It doesn't make much sense to peg these pumps at maximum 100% capacity, 3 Horsepower or 3450 RPM 24/7! Smart, efficient programming based on your pool's water flow needs will determine the amount of energy you will save. Expect energy savings in comparison to your older, single-speed pump anywhere from 40% to 80% (if the pump is programmed correctly).
Love Pool Care has installed, programmed, and repaired thousands of variable-speed pumps in the Phoenix market... "Ground Zero" for pool equipment applications! Without a doubt, the Pentair Intelliflo (all generations) has maintained the lead in pump quality, efficiency, dependability, and overall ease of use.
The Pentair IntelliFlo VSF (Variable Speed & Flow) 011056 is our pump of choice, and will continue to be until another manufacturer proves to us otherwise. Why do we like this pump so much?
Remote control automation in the pool industry has been around for quite a while. Starting with wired remotes, to short-range wireless... pool owner's have been able to operate and view their equipment from remote controls for the last 2-3 decades. However, it's been pretty limited, somewhat cumbersome, and expensive.
The pool industry is also FINALLY starting to catch up to the Google Nest, Amazon Alexa, and various other home, auto, landscape automation control methods. Due to limitations with older equipment, valves, and far-reaching wi-fi signals, pool automation has often lagged behind, which has presented different set of obstacles to overcome.
A newer automation released from Pentair a little over a year ago could shape the industry and automation moving forward. It's NOT the bells and whistles, expensive type of automation. It's a simpler, wifi based with smart relay automation that surely has room to grow. The Pentair IntelliConnect is aimed to replace the standard Intermatic T104 (or similar) mechanical time clock. Very simple!
The Pentair IntelliConnect IS NOT designed to be installed on more complex pool/spa combos, or equipment with multiple pieces of equipment. It's just designed to work with pool or spa only and 5 devices. Wire your Pentair IntelliFlo communication wires, Pentair IntelliChlor salt system, light, and heater if you have one. You create your account, enter your registration number that's provided right on the inside of the power center... and voila you're connected. Of course, mounting and electrical from each piece of the equipment will need to be completed first!
The "advanced" capabilities that render this automation promising and closer to Google, Amazon, and other automation devices are these 3 simple items...
If you have a simple set-up, pool or spa ONLY. with 5 devices or less. you may want to look into the IntelliConnect. You'll be able to control your system from your mobile device. Operate your equipment without having to go the the equipment panel at night. And be able to view status and alerts right from your mobile device.
Expect to pay anywhere from $500.00 to $700.00 for installation, a wide gap from the $2,500.00-$4,500.00 for most complete, higher-end pool automation installs.
If you do have a pool/spa combo or want something with more customization... check out the Pentair IntelliCenter (new), Pentair IntelliTouch (the predecessor bul ultra reliable) to the IntelliCenter, Pentair EasyTouch and EasyTouch PL4. All systems work great, they just need to be fit with your needs and pool equipment requirements.
If you have any questions on which system is best for your pool equipment, you can contact anyone at Love Pool Care. We sell, program, repair, and install any type of automation from Pentair, Zodiac/Jandy, or Hayward.
Within the next few weeks, our company moving on down the road to our very-own new building. It's been a goal and a dream to be able to finally do this for our company.
It validates the hard work and customer service we've ALL put in to establish our company as one of the best companies in Phoenix. We're a bit aways from reaching our potential, so we have a lot of work to do. We can't wait to get settled in!
We'll be in our current location for the next few months while we prepare our new building for action. Once our move is completed, we'll promise to open our doors for everyone to see. Changes are coming!
22410 N. 18th Dr.
Phoenix, Arizona 85027
Whether you're building a new pool, or renovating your existing pool the myriad of choices can leave you in a hazy fog. Design, shape, amenities, size, depth, color, tile, equipment, automation, etc... it all can be overwhelming. Below is a sampling of information that can help you get comfortable with "some" of the options available to you.
Spillways & Water Features...
Pebble Rolled Bond Beam Conversions...
Just a nod to all of our dedicated, hard-working employees who helped us achieve more recognition from our clients. Love Pool Care has one again received the Angie's List Super Service Award for 2016! Great job, everyone... looking forward to an even busier and successful 2017!
Combine the words Arizona and Swimming Pool, and most people think of beautiful, sparkling swimming pools with huge waterfalls, blistering sun, twisting slides, tunes blasting, children bellowing out marco polo, colorful beach balls, Mai Tai’s melting away in the sun, and scantily clad women (or men) splashing around with no worries in the world.
That’s all true! Mostly.
What’s 100% true is that our pools take a beating in Arizona! In order to make the above scenarios come to life, our pools need to look and function their best! It’s not as easy as it appears!
Being a very busy pool company in Arizona, we get all kinds of calls to try and help our client’s pools. Each pool has it’s own, unique fingerprint. We’re in a diversified industry located at Ground Zero for demands placed on pools and their equipment. On any given call, we’ll transform into chemists, plumbers, electricians, laborers, mathematicians, leak detectors, consultants, and now automation programmers! It’s our responsibility to make sure our pools look and function their best when needed most!
From January thru December, our pools are being placed under tremendous stress. Yes… all year long! It’s critical to the present and future operations of your swimming pool to have it maintained and looked over on weekly schedule. I always use the comparison to doing laundry. The longer you ignore it, the longer it’s going to take to get caught up. Either way, it still needs to be done! There are no short-cuts!
What makes Arizona (specifically the Phoenix, Tucson, Colorado River areas) so special? Imagine a 10,000 to gazillion gallon vessel of water designed to hold water so that it doesn’t leak. In 115 degree heat. With a school of fish (children) swimming. With suntan lotion. Pee. Sweat. 100 pound Yellow Labs. Hard water. The lovely Palo Verde blossoms. Monsoon storms. You get the picture.
The water that resides in that pool must have enough flow that it filters correctly. The PVC pipes, fittings, and connections that contain the water must not leak. The equipment that takes in and returns the water to the pool must be air-tight and non-problematic. Once this is all accomplished, you need to make sure the water chemistry can be properly balanced despite our water being soaked with high calcium hardness.
Our pools are running constantly under some sort of pressure being put on the pipes, filters, pumps, chlorinators, heaters, in-floor heads, suction cleaners, spillways, drains, skimmers, and ultimately the entire pool vessel. A majority of these systems are exposed to direct sunlight, excruciating heat… all the while expanding and contracting each time it turns on and off. Every day for an average of 8 hours.
Now, combine all of this with aging equipment. Here we are in 2016, and the 20,000+ pools per year that were being built in the mid 1990’s are already over 20 years old! The landscape, foliage, and trees are also mature and likely hanging right over your pool! From 1.5” suction lines to pebble rolled bond beams, to oversized pumps and undersized filters… our pools need more care than ever.
The point being with all of this is that our pools need “LOVE”. A pleasing, satisfying experience can be had with any swimming pool. It takes smart, preventative maintenance to the water and equipment. Fortunately, recent technology and equipment advances have helped our pools become less problematic and more efficient. Newer pools with 2.5” suction lines, variable-speed pumps, cartridge filtration, smarter hydraulics, remote control automation, and better cleaning systems have enabled us to achieve greater efficiency, which has allowed the overall stress on a pool to diminish.
If you are having issues with your pool, please contact us at Love Pool Care anytime. We’ll be more than happy to provide information on how to achieve the pool of your dreams (and not a constant headache).
Love Pool Care, lovepoolcare, Pool Service, Phoenix Pool Renovation, Phoenix Pool Repair Phoenix Scottsdale
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Our hottest February on record! This has left our pools feeling very confused... and our Service Technician's begging for just a few more 70 degree days!
With swimming season not too far away, it means attending to some pools that could use an acid wash, tile or pebble waterline cleaning, or just new water. It really makes a difference, swimming in fresh water, with a clean surface and clean tile. If your pool hasn't been drained within the past 3 years, you may want to consider having this work performed.
Every so often something hits you that will pause you in your tracks, enough to shake you, and hurt you. Especially when something is out of your control.
Back in 2008, in my office sat a mid 50's gentleman named Stan. No experience, pot belly, a bit of a red-flag on his resume. Not much to go on. What was present, was his dogged determination to land the open position as our pool service technician. I'll never forget Stan looking at me point-blank, telling me he'd outwork every one of our twenty-something employees and would make me proud.
Stan was hired. Stan held up to his end of the bargain... and then some. He may not have been the most knowledgeable. His pools may not have been altogether perfect all the time. But, I can tell you this. Stan ran our twenty-something employees under the table. His truck started at 4:30 most summer mornings. He arrived at the office on Saturday's to clean his truck. He made extra visits to our client's pools on the weekends. He cared about each client. In turn, our clients loved him. Stan didn't need to be managed every minute of the day because he took pride in his job. He embodied great work ethic.
October 2015, after about a total of 8 years with Love Pool Care, Stan was offered a position to go back to his previous career (inside office equipment sales). It was time, as our brutal summer and monsoon weather can understandably take a toll after a few years.
My last communication with Stan was the second week of October 2015. His W-2 was just returned to our office, with a hand-scribbled note on the envelope stating "deceased".
This couldn't be true! Everything just kind of stood still when that unopened envelope was delivered to me.
I emailed Stan asking if everything was OK. No response. I called his last known cell number, only to go unanswered. I searched obituaries, and scoured the Internet for any information. Nothing of significance.
My last grasp was leaving a voicemail at a number that was listed several pages in on Google. Fortunately, I received a call back later that night. It was his ex-wife, and she did confirm... Stan had passed away in late October 2015 from unexplained causes. Our conversation was pleasant, but brief. I really didn't know what to say or ask.
I have to say that this has affected me a great deal. I do not know if he had a funeral? I don't know about his family? Or friends? The finality of this has left me sad and confused. I wanted the opportunity to stand up and tell his family and/or friends how important this man was to me. And our company. I wanted to share stories. I wanted that opportunity! This man gave me all he had for 8 years! I don't care if he had his "ups and downs"... we all do! The silence or lack of communication to me prevented this from happening.
Stan was no longer that pot-bellied fella. The physical activity of his job kept him in shape. He played golf with his friends. He was quick witted, sarcastic, and funny. He rarely took a day off, even for vacations. Stan had integrity. And that's how I'll always remember him.
Thank you, Stan! We all love you here. You'll be remembered.