Description of Job
• Prepare private swimming pools for seasonal openings.
• Clean the surface of pools and filter traps on a regular basis.
• Test water quality and make adjustments to chlorine and other chemicals in
• Coordinate with pump and filter service companies for necessary repairs.
• Prepare pools for winter closing.
A backyard swimming pool is a great comfort and (for some) a huge chore. The
cleanliness and chemical balance of the water in the pool has to be regularly
maintained, and the surface of the water and its filter traps have to be cleared of
leaves and debris.
Many homeowners hire a service to make scheduled visits to keep their pools
in good health during the season and to close them down for the winter and
reopen them in the spring.
Although the basics of treatment and filtration systems are very similar from
pool to pool, you will have to deal with variations in machinery and conditions at
each client’s home. You will also be responsible for keeping a close eye on health
conditions in the water, taking into account such factors as number of children
using the pool, trees and plants in the immediate vicinity, and the average ambient temperature, which also affects the temperature of the water (except in the
case of heated pools, which maintain water temperature above the average ambient temperature). Pollutants that affect water quality may include anything from
cosmetics to runoff to rainfall.
Know the Territory
Among the assignments for a pool service are:
• Checking the chlorine (or other sanitizer) level to ensure that it’s at a level
sufficient to keep unhealthy bacteria at bay
• Determining the water balance for proper levels of pH (acidity or alkalinity) and hardness, adding chemicals to adjust the balance
• Checking total dissolved solids and adjusting filtration settings
• Cleaning both the surface of the pool and the filter traps
• Delivering a preseason treatment to sanitize the water, adding winterizing
chemicals at the end of the season
Most pools use chlorine as their principal chemical to sanitize the water.
When chlorine is added to water, it reacts to form a weak form of hydrochloric
acid and hypochlorous acid that kills microorganisms. The acids eventually
break down to harmless compounds.
While chlorine in the pool water is harmless to most swimmers, pool attendants face a hazard when they are adding the full-strength chemical. Be sure to
read and follow the directions carefully, and especially avoid mixing the chemical with other solutions. Avoid breathing in chlorine gas, which can be fatal; wear
protective gloves and eye coverings.
From time to time, it may be necessary to add other chemicals to deal with
algae, cloudy water, and other conditions that might arise.
How to Get Started
Place flyers and ads in community centers and home supply stores. Place ads in
newspapers and shopping guides.
Ask satisfied customers to recommend you to friends and acquaintances;
offer a bonus or discount for any business they bring your way.
You will need a basic set of nets and scoops to clean the surface of the pool,
as well as traps and a simple tool kit to work with some compartments and
valves of the filtration system. To test the quality of the water, you’ll need a
test kit that uses special chemicals and reagents; some advanced testers are
Your client will need to provide chlorine and other chemicals or pay you for
supplying them as needed. You will need a station wagon or small van to carry
How Much to Charge
You can set a fixed fee for regular service, based on an estimate of the amount of
time required. If you provide any chemicals, bill for them at retail rates; you
should be able to purchase supplies at wholesale or discounted prices.
Add a fee for winterizing a pool; this usually involves adding special chemicals and installing a pool cover. Similarly, at the start of the season you can
charge a separate fee for removing the cover and giving the pool a preseason
Legal and Insurance Issues
Special notes: Some insurance carriers have very stringent underwriting conditions before they will issue policies for people who work with dangerous