Monday, September 18, 2017

All About Pressure Side and Return Side Pool Cleaners

In this Podcast I go over Pressure Side and Return Side Pool Cleaners. I go into detail on how they operate and I also give you my Top Choices if you are in the market for a pressure or return Side cleaner. These are sometimes the best pool cleaners for your pool needs.

I also cover return side cleaners and there is a difference between these and a pressure side cleaner. The main difference is the a pressure side cleaner requires a dedicated ¾ hp booster pump and a dedicated return line. The return side cleaners work off of one of your existing return jets. For a return side cleaner to work effectively you will need a full size filter, at least a ¾ hp pump and 1 1/2” threaded return lines. If your pool meets these requirements then a return side cleaner might be right for you.

I suggest installing these cleaners in pools that get a large amount of debris on the pool floor from surrounding trees. They are designed with very large openings on the bottom and have a large debris bag on top to trap large pool debris. Both the pressure side and return side cleaners are capable of picking up very large debris. They work better then Suction Side Cleaners that tend to get clogged up when they run over a pile of leaves on the pool bottom.

These cleaners work off of the return pressure that is funneled thru small tubes on the cleaner bottoms and create a jet action that propels the cleaner and shoots debris up into the bag on top thru Venturi on the bottom opening of the cleaner. These are basically strong jets of water in the throat of the cleaner. It is a very effective design and will leave a pool that gets a lot of debris spotless every week.

My top choice for a pressure side cleaner would be the Polaris 280. It is a design that dates back over 30 years and is a simple drive shaft gear that propels the cleaner. It is my go to pressure side cleaner and my default cleaner for almost every pool on my route. You can also look at the Pentair Legend, it is very similar to the Polaris 280 and equally effective.

For a return side cleaner I would go with the Polaris 360 or their new dark color scheme TR36. These are the same cleaners just in different color schemes. The Polaris 360 has a blue body and white hoses, while the TR36 has a dark blue body and black hoses. Both will work without a booster pump and connect directly to your pools existing return lines.

If you want to compare pressure side cleaners, one that is very comparable to Polaris 280 is the Polaris 380. It is similar in every way except that it is more compact in size and uses a belt drive instead of a drive shaft. If you are looking for a BMW or Mercedes of these types of cleaners you can also look at the Polaris 3900 Sport. This one uses a chain drive and of all the cleaners moves the quickest on the pool bottom. It is an excellent cleaner but with a large price tag. The Pentair Racer is also a grerat cleaner but also has a hefty price tag, although Pentair has recently dropped the price of the Racer.

Bottom line, a pressure side cleaner will clean your pool more effectively then a suction side cleaner if your pool gets a lot of debris on the bottom. Look into one of these when you are having your pool constructed or remodeled.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Contixo F17 Plus RC Drone w/ 4K Camera: Perfect for Aerial Footage for Pool Builders & R.E. Agents

A Drone is a handy marketing tool that many people overlook for their business. If you build pools, are a contractor or a real estate agent a drone with a high powered video camera can offer great aerial footage to your potential clients. In this video I showcase the Contixo F17 Plus drone.

The Contixo F17 Plus drone is a very stable and easy to control and at the same time it is super powerful. On starting out I suggest adjusting the speed control down so that the drone is easy to control. This drone is really fast and maneuverable and does take getting used to. Also the blades will get chipped and nicked after multiple crashes while learning so the 4 spare blades come in handy. I also ordered another extra set as I am teaching my son how to fly the drone and crashes are inevitable.
I mentioned this drone would be great for aerial footage and as you can see from the video once you position it in a spot you can hold the throttle and get it to hover for some great video footage. There is no dedicated hover button but after a little practice you can get it to stay in one spot with little issue. The controls are very sensitive so you can also fine tune the trim in the throttle as well as the directional joystick.

Droning is a really fun hobby and sometimes the flights with the F17 are just thrilling. It goes so high so fast that you need to be careful, I can see how you can lose this drone if you are not careful. The four motors produce great power and lift and it has a maximum flying altitude of 500 ft (although the FAA restricts drone altitude to 400 ft).

The F17 Plus comes with one battery, it is a 2100 mAh battery and I got about 15 minutes of serious flight time out of it. The controller will beep when the battery gets low and will prevent you from taking off. I just purchased two 3000 mAh batteries to give it a much longer flight time. The battery does take some time to charge, about 3-4 hours depending if it is completely depleted. So extra batteries are a must.

The included 4K camera that comes with the F17 plus is exceptionally good. It comes with the camera mount and charger but no waterproof case or other mounts so it is strictly for use on the drone. It is a bit thinner than my other 4K sport type Gopro clone cameras and fits very nicely in the included mount. The only odd thing is that it mounts upside down and you can't reverse the mount without blocking the record button. No a big deal really. I just drop them into my editing software and flip over the image. You could mount it right side up, but you will have to hit the record button first. The resolution from the camera is just awesome as you can see from the clips in the video.

If you have been thinking about getting a drone for business or just to fly for fun, the Contixo F17 Plus would be a solid choice. It comes loaded with features including a great carrying/ storage case, extra blades, a 4K camera and more.

Easy to fly (slight learning curve)
Controls are super responsive
Mountable 4K camera included (F17+ version)
Great carrying/storage case
Brushless motors for longer life
500 ft maximum

Battery last for about 15 minutes (you will need extra)

To order:

Monday, September 11, 2017

SPPA General Liability Insurance for your Pool Route - Podcast and Patreon Information

In this Podcast I interview Danielle Bahr the President of SPPA. SPPA is a general liability insurance broker that specializes in pool service coverage. They offer various policies geared specifically for pool service businesses. We discuss the need for general liability insurance as well as the policies offered by SPPA

If you become a Patron on my Patreon site at the $10 or $20 level, you can get a group policy rate of $50 per month. This also includes a waiver of the $100 annual renewal fee by SPPA. This is a 2/1 policy and will be sufficient in most cases. 2 Million for the life of the policy and 1 million per occurrence. This policy includes:

Fire Legal Liability
Med Payements for one person
Limited Professional Liability
Pool Pop_Up Coverage
Lost Key & Lock Replacement
Organic Pathogen coverage
Pollution Incident Clean up cost Non-Auto (HAZMAT)
Pollution Incident Clean-Up Cost Auto (HAZMAT)

A Liability Policy is very inexpensive and there is no reason not to have one. I learned this almost the hard way. I had a customer accuse me of leaving her gate open, luckily there was no incident. But it wasn't me who did it. I just shook that off as a one time deal. Then six years ago I had another customer accuse me of leaving the pool fill water on. This one was more complicated and messy and made me see the need to get some type of coverage. Now I have no worries out their in the field and can sleep easy at night.

Liability Insurance is just a way of transferring risk from you to someone with deeper pockets. It is the same reason why you drive around with $500,000 in auto insurance and why you have fire insurance for your home. You couldn't afford to pay a claim in those two instances and you certainly can't afford to pay a $50,000 or a $1 million dollar claim against your pool service business.

That is why I highly recommend a General Liability Insurance policy. I have a great relationship with a local company here which offers the best rates and uses only "A" rated underwriters. To learn more about the policies offered by SPPA you can visit their website:

If you service Commercial accounts you may need a larger policy depending on the requirements - usually a $2 million per occurrence policy.

To join at the group rate and to learn more:

Patreon Benefits at the $10 or $20 levels:

At the $10 level send me direct text messages and get real time on the spot help while you are out on your pool route.

At the $20 level send me text messages and also call me to get one on one consultations over the phone. You also get the following benefits listed below.

Liability Insurance at a group rate of $50 per month. Employees are $39 per month. This is a 2/1 policy. 1 million per occurrence and 2 million total for the life of the policy. By being part of the group you also get the $100 application fee waived. If you need a larger policy you can get the Gold or Platinum Policy (1/3 and 2/4) and receive 10% off your monthly premiums each month. This policy is offered thru SPPA.

Also get a free listing on my website for your pool service business. My website generates leads for many service companies listed there and I will create a FREE link for you to send customers directly to your website.

You are invited to join the #GroupMe text thread. There are over 30 pool guys texting each other each day with questions about pool chemistry, equipment, business practices and more.

I can also help you set up a marketing plan for your business with my consultations thru Patreon.

Recieve a FREE copy of my NEW eBook "Swimming Pool Care The Essential Guide." This eBook contains over 500 video links and 170 pages of helpful articles covering everything you need to know about pool care.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

How to Install/Replace a "Polaris" Booster Pump (Advantage 3/4 HP Pump Shown)

Changing out your “Polaris” or Pressure Side Cleaner Booster pump is usually very easy to do. It all depends on how the pump is plumbed in, either with ¾” pvc pipes or with hoses. Most of the booster pumps on my route or set up with easy to connect hoses, although I do have some that are directly plumbed in.

In this video I show you the Advantage Manufacturing ¾ HP booster pump that is specifically designed for a Pressure Side Cleaner direct pump replacement. It comes standard with 3/4” threads so that you can easily connect it to your existing set up. To order it directly from Advantage click this link:

Here is some more on the Advantage ¾ HP Booster Pump:
3/4 HP motor and full rated pump
Threaded for easy connection
Energy Efficient for any Pool
Easy to Install
Perfect replacement for Polaris, Letro, Hayward and all pressure side pool cleaners
1 Year Limited Warranty

One of the nice features of this particular pump is the stainless steel ring on the top. The discharge is under a lot of pressure and most of the time when the pump cracks it is right at this spot. Other times it will crack along the face of the motor as most of these pumps are now designed with a very thin volute housings. The Advantage pump has a very thick “old style” design that can withstand the constant water pressure without cracking.

This is a very easy pump to install and work with. The two load wires are held on with 9mm nuts and the ground terminal and the back cover plate can be worked on with a 1/4” nut driver. You may need additional tools to remove the old pump, but the video covers this in detail.

I like simply reusing the old hoses and quick connects if they are not leaking. This will save you anywhere from $30 to $60 in the cost of the installation and in my experience the Val-Pak B-5 hose and the Zodiac Quick Connects last a very long time. I have some that are over 15 years old and are not leaking. So it is pretty simple to unscrew the old hoses and just reuse them. If the pump is plumbed in with 3/4” pvc pipe the replacement becomes more complicated. At a later date I will be filming an install with pvc pipe.

If you need the Val-Pak hose or Zodiac hoses you can use these links to order:

B-5 High Pressure Hose:

Zodiac Quick Connect:

If the pump is not cracked but the motor is burned out, you can also just order a replacement motor and leave the pump housing connect. This method is often easier if the pump is plumbed in with pvc. To order just the motor from Advantage:

You can also find replacement parts on my Sponsors website:

The most important part before starting the installation is to make sure the breaker is off to the pump. I generally reuse the wire connectors and if your installing the pump in the same location you should have plenty of slack. You can also reuse the elbow off of the old pump. The video will walk you thru removing the old pump and installing the new one.

Generally you will need to replace your booster pump when it starts to make a very loud noise while running. This happens when the bearings start to burn out. If the pump housing is leaking not from the hoses but from a pin hole leak in the plastic housing itself, you will need to replace the pump. Running it with a cracked housing can be dangerous and at any moment the housing could completely crack causing a major water leak. So replacing the pump is pretty easy and just about anyone with a bit of mechanical skill can do it themselves.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Pool Help & Resources for Homeowners & the Pool Service Professional - Podcast

In this Podcast I go over some of the resources that I have available to help you if you are a Homeowner who maintains your pool on your own or if you are a Pool Service Professional and need help out in the field. Besides my YouTube Channel I have many more ways in which I can help you.

Listen to the Podcast:

I work out in the field full-time and I spend about 35 hours per week servicing pools and filming. The rest of the time I am editing videos, working on my Website, writing Blog articles, recording Podcast, answering comments and questions, responding to Patreon texts and phone calls (more on that later) and doing Social Media posts. I don't have a team of people working for me, it is just me doing all of this. I also do many things in my community and church and volunteer 6-8 hours per week. I do a lot and what drives me is a spirit of service. Helping others is my main goal.

I got started in doing all this after working several years on the Dave Ramsey plan to become debt free. This quest to pay everything off inspired me to pass it on just like Dave Ramsey does everyday on his radio show. I thought, how can I be a blessing to others and help those who also may be on a budget and can't afford pool service. On the same token last year I decided to expand and create a site where I also help pool service professionals who are starting out make money and succeed in the business.

So I created my Patreon Page where I have different levels available where you can call me directly or text me in real time. This is open to the Pool Service Professionals as well as homeowners who want one on one real time help. You can learn all about it directly on my Patreon Page:

You probably have found me here on YouTube if you are listening to this Podcast right now. I have an extensive video library with over 650 videos covering everything related to pool care. I spend a lot of time filming and editing these videos to deliver the best possible content for you in a clear and concise way. You can browse my video library or you can find everything neatly organized in my eBook where I have articles along with the video links. His is the best way to find a video on particular topic quickly.

The eBook is 170 page guide and in it I cover every topic and as mentioned each topic is followed by video links so that you can watch one of my YouTube videos to learn even more. I sell the eBook on my website for $9.99 and I think it is real bargain at that price. For the amount of content included in the eBook I could sell it for a lot more. Visit my website and see a preview of the eBook:

In the Podcast I cover all of this in much more detail and I discuss hoe the different resources can further help you. If you have any questions or comments feel free to post them here or email me on my website.

Follow Me:

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Mini Vac II Portable Filtration System Set Up and Use Video

This video covers the set up and use of the Mini Vac II Portable Filtration System. The Mini Vac II by Advantage Manufacturing is designed for the Pool Service Professional, Resort and Hotel Service Techs and for the Homeowner. It is a smaller system when compared to their PORTAVAC. But the Mini Vac II is a great choice and is loaded with some outstanding features.

The Mini Vac II is very easy to use and set up. You just wheel it out to the pool side and connect your manual vacuum hose to the front check valve and vacuum out your pool - just as if it was connected to your pool pump through the pool skimmer. Advantage makes it very easy by including a Waterway Check Valve which makes priming the pump super easy. Just remove the pump lid, fill the pump with a bucket of water, put the lid back on and turn on the pump. It will prime up right away.

Here are some troubleshooting tips on priming the pump. Make sure the gasket is in the front of the check valve before you thread it in. You can find the gasket in the bag with the operation manual. You can also use a standard 2” union o-ring on the Check Valve. Make sure your pool hose is new and does not have any air leaks. The number one priming problem is a bad pool hose. The tiniest amount of air will stop the pump from priming. When you attach the hose to the front of the pump, make sure there is no air in the hose.

One of the key aspects of the Mini Vac II is that it works separate from your pool's filtration system. Everything is picked up with the manual vacuum and the cartridge filter on top traps all of the dirt and debris down to an amazing 20 microns. So if the pool has very poor running equipment or just gets a large amount of dirt and debris each week, the Mini Vac II would be a great investment.

If you order the Mini Vac II directly from Advantage Manufacturing, use the discount code: “YouTube Portable” and save $50.00. You can order it from this link:

Here is a breakdown of some of the features for you:

100 sq. ft. Cartridge Filter
In Ground 1 HP Advantage Pump
    85 GPM flow rate
    Small Cart with Go Cart Wheels
    On/Off Switch with GFCI
    35 ft. 115 Volt Cord
    Check Valve by Waterway

The unit in this video also has a valve plumbed in so that you can easily vacuum to waste. I added the fitting and vacuum hose attachment but when you order they can also add the fitting to the valve so you can use a standard 1.5” vacuum hose to vacuum to waste. This is a handy addition and it makes cleaning up a green pool or a pool with a lot of dirt and debris very quick and easy. When you move the valve to the “waste” position the filter is bypassed making for easy clean ups.

The Dolly this cart is on is smaller and more compact and this also means that it can't be hitched to the back of your truck like the PORTAVAC. But it is light enough to transport in the bed of your truck if you want to use it for pool service. I think the Mini Vac II is ideal for homeowners who have a problem pool, lots of dirt and debris each week. This will save the filtration system and extend the life of your filter and pump. The Mini Vac II would also be great to park in your equipment room if you manage a hotel or resort pool. Use it to vacuum each week and save the trouble of trying to vacuum out the pool with the typical poorly running sand filter. This will also mean less frequent backwashes to the sand filter.

The Mini Vac II is also ideal for water features and fountains that usually do not have a dedicated skimmer or vacuum port. In a matter of a minute or two, you can completely vacuum out a fountain. Very easy to use and great for any body of water that does not have a filter or a way to vacuum it out. The places you can use the Mini Vac II are innumerable.

Related Videos:

Advantage Manufacturing Factory Tour:
PORTAVAC: Portable Filtration System by Advantage Manufacturing - Overview:
PORTAVAC Portable Filtration System - Set Up and Use Video:
Pool Vacuum Systems & Portable Filtration Systems:


Monday, August 28, 2017

Purchasing a Pool Route, Interview with Charles Baird CEO of National Pool Route Sales -Podcast Audio

In this Podcast I interview Charles Baird the Founder and CEO of National Pool In this Podcast I interview Charles Baird the Founder and CEO of National Pool Route Sales. This is a firm that specializes in selling pool routes to those who want to get into the pool service business. We discuss the ins and outs of purchasing a pool route and the benefits of starting a pool service this way.

To learn more about purchasing a pool route you can visit their websites directly: National Pool Route Sales Charles Baird consulting

Buying a Pool Route is much like buying a restaurant, a gas station or a coin laundry. National Pool Route Sales (NPRS) is a broker much like a business broker, but they specialize in selling pool routes. Unlike a traditional business broker that will sell you a business and then leave you to run it and succeed or fail, NPRS will come along side you to help you succeed. They have many safeguards in place to protect you after the sale and also offer you free consulting after the sale to help you grow your business.
One of the protections that they offer is that the seller will sign a non-compete clause so that he cannot go back and try to regain the accounts he just sold you. The seller also will train you and NPRS also offers a guarantee if an account is lost not due to negligence on your part. I mentioned the consulting they include with the purchase and Charles explains in the Podcast that the best way to grow your business is with the help of their consulting firm.
Purchasing a pool route is a big commitment and investment and it is one way to start your business with money coming in the door. An alternative method is working for someone and learning the business and then striking out on your own. You can also get a truck and equipment and start from scratch, but building a route can take some time depending on your area. It can be done this way successfully but many choose instead to just purchase a full or partial pool route.
Many people are reluctant to go this route because of stories they have heard about deals that have gone bad. NPRS is a licensed broker and operates on the same principles as a business broker. The sale is handled through an escrow service and the contracts are legal and binding. This is very different then when you purchase a pool route directly from a pool guy or from an unlicensed company. In those cases there are no safety nets and sometimes those deals can turn out to be very bad.
I personally do not endorse one method over another. I want to give my audience a chance to see every aspect of starting a pool business and purchasing an established pool route through a reputable and licensed broker is a good way to get started. If you wanted to get into the restaurant business you certainly can lease a location and start your business from scratch. It may take you awhile to build up your clientele and your belt may get a bit tight, but it can be done. Or you can by a Burger King that is already making money and step right in and take it over.
I think it boils down to preference in which way you want to get started in the pool business. Charles will go over in detail how NPRS can get you started in the business and he answers many questions regarding purchasing a pool route.

From their website:
Our Services
National Pool Route Sale's customers are supported by ongoing marketing and management consulting. This free consulting is available to our clients via telephone, e-mail or through our website. We answer questions and assist customers with the best practices for maximizing growth and profitability. This is accomplished through the Charles Baird Consulting program. We take pride in providing professional and enthusiastic support.

A few words about us
Charles Baird is the Founder for National Pool Route Sales, LLC. (NPRS), a brokerage for pool service and repair companies. Mr. Baird has sold and consulted for more than 15,000 pool service companies over the past 40 years. He is the author of The Millionaire Pool Man Program which includes: The Millionaire Pool Man Management Guide and The Millionaire Pool Man Marketing Guide, both are considered the premier business tools for an individual entering the pool service and repair industry. Mr. Baird is a Licensed Real Estate Broker in multiple states.
CA Broker, Roy Moss, Licensed Real Estate Broker 01488246
FL Broker, Russell Bieber, Licensed Real Estate Broker 3377575