Monday, April 23, 2018

Easily Change a Pentair IntelliChlor Salt Cell to the New iChlor Cell -No Plumbing or Wiring Needed!

The iChlor is Pentair's latest and best salt water generator system. What makes the iChlor a real winner is how easy it is to upgrade your IntelliClor salt system to the new iChlor salt system. No plumbing or wiring is required and you can do this in about 5 minutes. The iChlor uses the same Power Center as the Intellichlor and the iChlor can be plugged in directly to an Easy Touch, IntelliTouch or Sun Touch Panel.

The iChlor 30 is rated for up to a 30,000 gallon pool and produces 1 lbs of chlorine every 24 hours while it is running. The iChlor 15 is rated for up to a 15,000 gallon pool and will produce 0.6 lbs of chlorine every 24 hours as it is running. If you have an IntelliChlor IC40 cell, don't worry about losing the 10,000 gallon production ability. Most homeowners have a pool with less then 30,000 gallons of water so the iChlor 30 should work fine in place of the IC40 cell. Compare the iChlor output with the IntelliChlor cells:

IC40 Cell produces 1.4 lbs of chlorine every 24 hours compared to the 1 lbs by the iChlor 30
IC20 Cell produces 0.7 lbs of chlorine every 24 hours compared to the 0.6 lbs by the iChlor 15

There are two ways to purchase the iChlor and there are two different sizes available. The iChlor is sold only in pool stores or you can purchase it from your pool service company. So you can purchase the complete bundle which comes with the iChlor cell, the Power Center and the special adapter to connect it to an existing 2” PVC line where the old IntelliChlor was connected at. The iChlor 30 bundle is part #523081. You save a little money if you purchase the iChlor 30 cell by itself #523009 and then also purchase the iChlor Adapter #523101. The only difference is that you are not getting the Power Center. If you have your IntelliChlor cell plugged directly into your automation this is the way to go since you do not need the Power Center. But if you are upgrading your system without an automated panel I suggest purchasing the bundle. That way you get the Power Center in case later on down the line you need it. Keep it in your garage as a spare for now.

So to install the iChlor you first turn the power off to the system. Make sure the IC20 or IC40 cell lights are all off and no power is going to the Power Center. Simply loosen the nuts on the old cell and remove it. Just as you would do when you go to clean the cell. Then unplug it from the Power Center. You will reuse the unions on the existing plumbing, since you can't remove them. I suggest using the o-rings from the new unions so you have a tight seal. Attach the adapter to one of the unions on the plumbing. Then simply attach the iChlor to the union on the adapter and the last union on the plumbing. Plug the iChlor into the old Power Unit. Turn power to system back on. That is it, congratulations - you have now upgraded your salt system to the iChlor!

Let me touch on a few features of the iChlor and why I think you shouldn't hesitate to upgrade to it if your IntelliChlor cell needs to be replaced. Here are some of the features of the iChlor:

Easily Retrofits an Intellichlor Cell & Power Center
Adjusts in increments of 1% for precise chlorine levels
Automation ready -ScreenLogic2 Interface
iChlor 30 produced 1 lbs of Chlorine running 24 hours
Detects an automatic cover - reduces output
Detects Intelliflo Pump activity
Automatic Reverse Cycling to prevent scale

Diagnostic menu shows 5 functions
Cell Life
Water Temperature
Salinity (Salt Level) Read Out
Firmwire Revision

So the iChlor is a a big step up from the IntelliChlor cell in that it has a detailed Diagnostic Menu that wil display the Salt Cell Lifespan and more importantly the pools Salt Level.

If your IntelliChlor salt cell is at the end of it's lifespan consider upgrading to the iChlor 15 or iChlor 30 verses purchasing another IntelliChlor Cell.

Here is one of the only online sites that carry the iChlor Adapter if you don't want to purchase the Bundle. I couldn't find the adapter from my supplier so you may need to purchase it online or your local pool store may be able to special order it for you.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Pool Guy & Gal Coaching: Starting at $10 a Month - Texting, Phone Consults, Discounts & More!

One thing I didn't have when I started out was someone I could call or text if I had a question or a problem out in the field. Heck, we didn't even have cell phones when I started or the internet, just pagers and pay phones. So this service is something that I thought of to help you as you start your pool business. I use the Patreon site as my landing page so that signing up is easy and simple.

For as little as $10 per month you can have a personal coach in your back pocket. I can answer your questions while you are out in the field in real time and help you with many aspects of your pool business. If you are just starting out this is a perfect way to avoid costly mistakes and at the same time to get your questions answered on the spot. If your thinking of getting into the pool business join now and I can hep you get set up.

For $5.00 a month you can get updates of what I am working on and previews of videos and Podcasts before I release them. You can also e-mail me with detailed questions and you are eligible to receive entry into my giveaways here on Patreon. You also receive a free copy of my eBook!

At these next two levels you will be able to receive Liability Insurance at a group rate of $53.10 per month. Employees are $35.10 per month (Silver Program). 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 and the annual renewal fee of $100 waived. Each Certificate of Insurance is $25.00. 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.

Discount Rates:
Silver Program $2 million Policy
Primary Member: $53.10
Additional Employee: $35.10
Warehouse/Office: $35.00
Certificate of Insurance: $25 per Certificate
Annual fee: $00.00 ($100 waived)
Application fee: $00.00($100 waived)

Gold Program $3 million Policy
Primary Member: $62.10
Additional Employee: $44.10
Warehouse/Office: $35.00
Certificate of Insurance: $00.00 No charge
Annual Fee: $00.00

Platinum Program $4 Million Policy
Primary Member: $80.10
Additional Employee: $62.10
Warehouse/Office: $35.00
Certificate of Insurance: $00.00
Annual Fee: $00.00

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.

At the $10 and $20 level you are invited to join the #GroupMe text thread. There are over 60 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.
eBook Link

For $10.00 a month receive the above benefits plus the ability to text message me for real time answers to your problems. This level is geared towards pool service professionals and some homeowners who may feel they need this type of assistance. Space is LIMITED.

For $20 a month get all of the above benefits plus the ability to call me for phone consultations. This is an excellent way for those starting in the business to get hands on tips as well as business management and consultation help from me. I have over 20 years of experience and can coach you thru various problems that you will encounter. This includes all aspects of the business from pricing, billing, expanding your service and website design. Possible Face Time or Google Hang Out video calls. SPACE IS LIMITED.

You can also get 10% off of the NEW Riptide Vacuum System once you join me on Patreon.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Having a Swimming Pool Built - Automatic Cleaners and Things not to Miss Part 3 of 3

In part one of this series on getting a pool build we talked about the bidding and overall construction process. In part two we covered surface types and equipment choices and in part three we focus on Automatic Cleaners and the things not to miss on the final build to avoid future need for renovations. There are small details that you and the builder should address and sometimes there are small things that are often overlooked.

Automatic Cleaners:
In the Podcast discussion with Mike Willard of Your Pool Builder we talk about the various types of cleaners for a new pool build. We briefly touch on the In-floor system which we both dislike and would not recommended. This is where the Caretaker directs water to pop ups on the pool bottom and pushes the debris towards the main drain. In most cases, my experience with these systems is that they do not work effectively. Mike suggest a pressure side cleaner and I know that in states like Texas these are very popular. I have about eight pressure side cleaners on my pool route and think they work very well. The best time to add one to your pool is at the initial build since they will need a dedicated return line and booster pump..

Suction side cleaners are very popular in my area but Mike doesn't care much for them. In fact he suggests converting a dedicated suction port over to a pressure side cleaner line and adding a booster pump. I hadn't thought of that but it is very possible. All you need to do is isolate the 1 1/2” line and plumb it in to new dedicated line at the equipment to a ¾ hp booster pump. Since it is threaded already at the pool wall for a suction cleaner adapter you can easily install a pressure cleaner that uses the same 1 1/2” threaded wall connection. But we don't mind the suction cleaners to much in California since we do get a lot of dirt on the pool bottoms and they do work well with dirt and small debris.

A Robotic Cleaner would be an excellent choice. These are self contained units which work separate from your pool filtration system. All of the dirt and debris is captured inside the debris chamber and this will allow your pool filter to stay cleaner all season long. The brushes on the Robotic Cleaner will also scrub the pool surface for you and many will clean the walls and waterline. Since you only use it once or twice a week during the season the lifespan of these cleaners is also very long. With regular maintenance I have seen them last 10 years or more. A Robotic Pool Cleaner would be a great choice in my opinion.

Avoiding Mistakes at the Final Build Out:
There is so much going into a project like this from the pool itself, the equipment, tile, decking and many more small details that if you are not working with a top notch builder, you can easily overlook a detail here and there. That is why during the bidding process you want to pick the most competent builder. He or she will make sure every detail is discussed with you to prevent any oversights.

When you initially tour the builder's previous job sites (completed pools) you will see things that you would like in your own project. So all of these details should be worked out at the beginning. During various stages before the project is complete you may want to add something. It is important that the builder is in good communication with you because as the work progresses and something needs to be added or changed you will want to be able to nail it down right away. In a worst case scenario if the pool is already completed and you wanted something added it might cost you much more to do it verses at the initial build.

One example I give with Mike is a customer who had a $100,000 pool built but didn't think they needed umbrella mounts in the pool. After the pool was done the customer realized their mistake and wanted it done. Problem is, they are not that easy to add after the pool is done and filled with water. Other oversights are not that hard to correct. Say you decided you didn't want a salt system but now you do. The equipment is pretty easy to upgrade at any point and time. But anything that goes into the initial pool itself is not that easy to add or correct.

To learn more listen to the complete Podcast the I recorded with Mike Willard of Your Pool Builder:

Part One: Having a Swimming Pool Built: Bidding and Construction- Mike Willard "Your Pool Builder"

Part Two:
Having a Swimming Pool Built: Surfaces & Equipment- Mike Willard "Your Pool Builder"

In part three we will go over other details and cautions to make sure you are not forgetting important details.

Monday, April 16, 2018

High Cyanuric Acid Levels & How it Effects Your Pool & Some Ways to Lower it Down & Keep it Down

One of the most common water balancing issues is having high Cyanuric Acid (CYA) in your pool. Cyanuric Acid often referred to as Conditioner or Stabilizer is added to the pool in order to slow the chlorine burn off caused by the Sun's UV rays. But if you use 3” Chlorine Tablets (Trichlor Tablets) you will be adding Cyanuric Acid to your pool on a constant basis. Here I will discuss the effects of high CYA in your pool water, how to correct it and ways to prevent it from rising to high levels again.

Your Pools Conditioner Level or Cyanuric Acid level, which I will refer to in this articles with the abbreviation CYA, is a critical part of balancing your pool water and keeping it clear and blue all season long. If your CYA level is very low the Sun's UV rays will cause the chlorine to burn off quickly leaving your pool with no sanitizer or very low levels. The Conditioner in the pool helps to protect the chlorine from burning off too quickly.

Very high CYA levels will make the chlorine in your pool less effective which means you will have too keep the levels at 5.0 ppm or higher and your pool. Your pool may also develop algae blooms even with high chlorine levels present. These algae blooms are also hard to get rid of in a pool with very high CYA levels. High levels of CYA will also give you false ORP readings if your pool uses ORP to measure the safety and swim-ability of the water. High CYA also will give you a false Alkalinity readings, if you test the Alkalinity and it is at 100 it is more likely at 70 due to the CYA level being so high.

The ideal level of CYA in your pool is 30-50 ppm and up to 80 ppm of you have a salt water pool. So testing the Cyanuric Acid level in your pool at the beginning of the season is crucial. There are many ways to test the CYA level in your pool including the standard Turbidity test, digital testing and test strips. Here is a video detailing the Turbidity Test Kit:

Cyanuric Acid Level with a Pentair R151226 79 Cyanuric Acid Test Kit:

Testing the CYA level in your pool if you suspect very high levels can be challenging. The standard Turbidity Test Kits only work effectively to 100 ppm. If you get an initial reading over 100 ppm you will have to do a dilution test of 50% tap water and 50% pool water. If the reading is still high you will need to use 75% tab water and 25% pool water and so on. Each time you dilute the sample the reading become more difficult to nail down accurately. Test strips are a great alternative in pools that have high CYA levels. Most test strips will go as high as 250-300 ppm so this is good way to check pools that have very high CYA levels.

LaMotte actually makes a test strip that will read CYA levels up to 500 ppm accurately. This is a very handy test strip to have if you service pools for a living. Just dip the test strip in and then match it up to the side of the tube where there is a color chart. It is a pretty simple process and if you have a pool that is having issues like algae blooms with high chlorine levels or you are having to add lots of chlorine each week just to maintain a 3.0 ppm level, check it for very high CYA levels with these strips.

Since Cyanuric Acid does not naturally leave the pool water if you add it to your pool through the use of 3” Chlorinating Tablets the levels will constantly rise. These 3” Trichlor Tablets are about 50% Conditioner per tablet by weight, so as you use them in the Summer you are constantly adding Cyanuric Acid to your pool water. The only wa
y Cyanuric Acid leaves the pool water is through backwashing and splash out. As the water evaporates the Cyanuric Acid will remain in the pool. So to lower the CYA level in your pool you will have to do a partial or full drain of the pool water.

There is a product called Bio-Active which I have tested but the results can be hit or miss depending on your initial CYA level. The product does seem to be effective but for the price it will not lower the CYA levels down significantly enough for the investment verses draining your pool partially. The Bio-Active product is made for pools with CYA levels under 200 ppm in my opinion. If your levels are over 200 ppm draining the pool is the most effective way of reducing the levels. Once you reduce the CYA level to under 100 ppm reduce your use of the 3” Tablets.

More on Bio-Active:
Bio-Active Cyanuric Acid Reducer – Overview:
Bio-Active Cyanuric Acid Reducer - Application and Field Testing:
Bio-Active Cyanuric Acid Reducer in six sample pools:

An effective way to limit your 3” TriChlor tablet use is with the PoolRx or Remington Solar Chlorine-Free Sun Shock which both use Copper to augment the chlorine in your pool. With one of these in your pool the chlorine levels will remain very steady and high allowing you to reduce your chlorine use and thew use of 3” Tablets. You would also switch over to liquid chlorine which does not add Cyanuric Acid to your pool.

So use these test strips if you suspect very high CYA levels in a pool. If the levels are very high reduce them with a partial or full drain and then limit the use of the 3” trichlor tablets to keep the CYA level between the ideal range of 30-80 ppm in your pool.

Testing your CYA levels:
How to Check the Cyanuric Acid (Conditioner) Level :
Cyanuric Acid Level with a Pentair R151226 79 Cyanuric Acid Test Kit:

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Having a Swimming Pool Built - Surface Types and Equipment Part 2 of 3 in a Series

In part one of this series on getting a pool build we talked about the bidding and overall construction process. Here we will touch on the pool surface types and the pool equipment choices. The pool surface type and the equipment you choose are an essential part of the pool project. Changing one or the other later will cost a lot of money so you want to try to do everything right from the start.

Pool Surface Types:
There are a number of pool surface types you can chose from. Standard white plaster, Colored plaster, Quartz, Pebble Tec and Wet Edge.

Plaster is pretty common and is a surface type made with cement and white marble aggregate. The problem with white plaster is that any stain becomes very evident and in many cases and the color is effected by the pool chemistry. You can also go with a color plaster and this can make your pool really stand out and look great. The problem with the colored plaster is the Mottling or pattern discoloration is very apparent and visible over time. But it is still the most affordable pool surface type on the market.

Quartz is a surface type that consists of a combination of a quartz aggregate and polymer-modified-cement making is more durable then standard plaster and giving it a longer lifespan. You can also get Quartz in a variety of colors and he finish holds up well against chemicals and is more stain resistant. It is a hard surface type that is very smooth and swimmer friendly. A great choice for sure and a step up from standard plaster.

Pebble Tec is a well established brand and is a mixture of cement and small pebbles and stones. Pebble Tec is extremely durable and long lasting. There are a great variety of surface types and colors to choose from. The drawback is that the surface can be a little rough on the feet but it resists stains, looks great and uniformed throughout and lasts over 15-20 years. It is a more expensive choice but you can't beat the durability and look of Pebble Tec.

Wet Edge is much like Pebble Tec but at the same time different. Mike Willard of Your Pool Builder in Texas recommends and uses the Wet Edge surface. Wet Edge aggregate finishes are durable and beautiful. All Wet Edge finishes are handcrafted and custom-made for each swimming pool. The finish is white cement based, but with blended polymers to make them denser and more durable. There are a number of different Wet Edge Surface types and you can learn more directly from their website:

Of the different surface types the Wet Edge is the premium choice. But your budget might not make it the choice for your pool build so if you have to go down I would recommend going with a Quartz finish verses standard white plaster.

Pool Equipment:
This is the one part that I think many people overlook when having a pool constructed. But I think it is as important as the pool itself. From my experience, a bad equipment set up can really make a pool look and function poorly. I will list here what I think are essential and then go over some added equipment that I think you should have installed.

Lets start with the pool pump. I would suggest a Variable Speed (VS) pump as this will pay for itself over the course of a year or two. The energy savings are tremendous and you do not sacrifice any power at all as many manufacturers make a 2 HP and 3 HP version. A VS Pump is essential and I wouldn't put any other pump in at a new pool build.

The Filter is also a key piece of equipment and I suggest a very large Cartridge Filter. Depending on your pool size, anything over 20,000 gallons needs a 500 sq ft Cartridge Filter. If your pool is 10-15,000 Gallons you can go with a 300 sq ft Cartridge Filter. The bigger the filter the better. A D.E. Filter is also a good choice and go with the largest one possible for your pool. I would stay away from Sand Filters as they are less efficient and will give you trouble later down the road.

A heater is essential in my opinion, even if you are having a pool only installed without a spa. To add one later can be very expensive and maybe not even possible depending on where the equipment is placed. While everything is being installed it is easy to run the gas line and connect the heater to the equipment. You will use it more than you think over the course of the season, so put one in without question.

An Automated System is also essential. Most are now connected through the internet and you can control your pool and spa now with your Smart Phone. At the push of a button you can turn on your spa, heat it up and enjoy it without ever going into the equipment area. At the build the price is very reasonable and I wouldn't hesitate to have one installed.

Now for some other equipment you might want to add or enhance. Pool lights and spa lights can be easily upgraded to color LED lights which will give your pool a great look at night. Go for the color pool and spa LED lights. A Salt Water System makes your pool easier to maintain and eliminates the need to purchase chlorine, shock and tablets. I would go with a Salt Water Generator and I have a Salt Water Generator at my house and I wouldn't go back. A UV System is also a great idea as these systems allow you to run your pool with a lower chlorine level and remain clear and algae free. They are now relatively inexpensive and easy to install at the build.

The equipment is an important aspect and the more you can add at the build the better off you will be in the long run. So sit down with your builder and really spend some time going over the equipment set up for your new pool.

We go into much more detail in the Podcast and I suggest listening to the interview I did with Mike Willard of Your Pool Builder.

Part One: Having a Swimming Pool Built: Bidding and Construction- Mike Willard "Your Pool Builder"

Part Two:
Having a Swimming Pool Built: Surfaces & Equipment- Mike Willard "Your Pool Builder"

In part three we will go over other details and cautions to make sure you are not forgetting important details.

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Monday, April 9, 2018

Pool Blaster Centennial Li Battery Powered Vacuum - Best in Class and Priced at $100!

The Pool Blaster Centennial Li by Water Tech is a very well designed and often overlooked cleaner in their line up of products. I think the odd design with the large clear debris chamber and the filter cone is such a departure from the Pool Blaster Max and Catfish look that most people never give it a chance. But this cleaner is just superb and is a merger of all of the best qualities of two of their most popular cleaners. The price point of $100 is also something to note as it is one of their most affordable cleaners.

The Centennial is a battery operated portable vacuum for your pool or spa. It features a Lithium Ion battery which will give the battery a very long lifespan and give the cleaner an amazing run time of 45 minutes. It has the same size throat opening as the Pool Blaster Max Li but the style and charging port of the Catfish (which is their most popular model). I like the easy to open back charging area and the large debris chamber of this cleaner. It will pick up 2X as much debris as the Max and 4X the debris of the Catfish. The unique filter cone and large debris chamber allows the Centennial to pick up very large amounts of debris without having to empty the cleaner.

It has a power rating of 290 which is a bit less than the MX Li but much higher then the Catfish. It is not the most powerful vacuum in their line up but it picks up debris very well and has enough power for vacuuming up dirt and leaf debris. It is the best in their line-up priced at just over $100. You really can't go wrong at that price point. 

Here are some of the features:

Power Rating 290
Lithium Powered, Fully Rechargeable in 4 hours
Up to 45 Minutes Run Time
Push Button ON/OFF Switch
Reusable Extreme Multi-layered filter that removes leaves, sand, and debris
Vacuum Head Width: 10.5"
Crevice Corner Nozzle: Yes
Scrubbing Brushes: Yes
Sectional Pool Pole included
Minimum Operating Depth:14.25” @ 45 degree angle
Unit Size: L-24.00" x W-10.50" x H-9.0"
Unit Weight: 4.05 lbs
Warranty: 1 Year Limited
ThePool Blaster Centennial Li incorporates the best features of Water Tech’s best-selling Pool Blaster Vacs, the Aqua Broom, Catfish and Max, offering a large debris chamber with a filter cone type filtration system.

Other great features of the Pool Blaster Centennial Li:
Head and Throat Size of the Max
Debris-Catching Capacity up to 4X that of the Catfish, 2X that of the Max
Includes a four piece pole set.

The included 4 piece of plastic pole will be perfect if all you need it for is a small above ground spa. The poles connect together to make a 4 ft long pole. You can also connect it directly to your standard pool pole and use it that way also. I think for the price point and features of the Centennial you are getting a great deal. The reviews are very strong for this cleaner and I think it is a very underrated cleaner.

More Pool Blaster Videos:
Water Tech Precision 2.0Li Professional Pool Vacuum Overview & Review:
Pool Blaster Max Li Pool and Spa Cleaner by Water Tech:
Volt FX-8Li Battery Powered Vacuum by Water Tech - NEW Features for 2017!:
Volt FX-2 Battery Powered Vacuum by Water Tech - Review & Overview:
Volt FX-4Li Battery Powered Vacuum by Water Tech - Review & Overview:
Pool Blaster Aqua Broom SWEEP XL Review and Set Up Video:
Pool Blaster Battery Powered Pool & Spa Vacs by Water Tech: Overview:
Pool Blaster Aqua Broom by Water Tech - Review and Demo:
Pool Blaster Catfish by Water Tech® - Review:
Pool Blaster Battery Powered Leaf Vac by Water Tech - Review & Demo:
Pool Blaster MAX – Review:
Pool Blaster Max CG - Commercial Grade Review:
Pool Blaster SPA VAC by Water Tech - Product Review:
Pool Blaster PRO 1500 - Review and Field Testing:
Pool Blaster PBW022SS Max CG Sand and Silt Bag – Review:

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Having a Swimming Pool Built - The Bidding Process and Construction Part 1 of 3 in a Series

Having a Pool Built Part One of Three:
Having a new pool built is no small project. For the amount of money that the project will cost you and the fact that it will be a permanent part of your yard for years to come - you don't want to make any mistakes along the way. Surprisingly there are no concise guides out there for you to follow to avoid costly mistakes. This series will hopefully change that and give you a blueprint to having the pool built so that you are completely happy with the project without regrets.

To guide you along the right path I talked at length with Mike Willard, the owner of Your Pool Builder in Montgomery Texas. I asked him to walk you through the complete process from beginning to end covering every detail of the building process. You can also go to their website and click on the tab: “Pools & Spas” to see pricing and the construction process broken down into detail for you. or call them at 936-463-1812

If you live in these areas in Texas you can contact Mike directly and have him give you a bid:
Montgomery, Conroe, The Woodlands, Magnolia, Huntsville, Houston and Livingston.

Choose a Design and Get at Least 3 Bids
Look online at different pool designs, visit friends and family that have a pool in their yard, check out pools in your neighborhood, etc. Basically do everything you can to see as many designs online and in person so that when you do call a builder you will have a good idea of what you want a bid for. Do you want a free form pool or a more geometric design? Water features such as water falls or in deck jets. Do you want a pool and spa combo or just a pool? You should have a good idea of all of this and of course the builder can also help you sort out what would be best for your yard and your needs.

Now you want to set up an appointment with three different pool builders in your area. You can get more bids if you like but Mike suggests that three is sufficient. In order to make sure you are getting fair pricing for your project make sure all three bids are identical. Same pool size, same pool surface, similar equipment, etc. so that the prices can be compared to each other. Then you will want to make an appointment with the builder's previous clients to see the pools that have been built by that particular builder. If the builder cannot get you an appointment to see a built out pool I would be leery of that company.

Look at the pools built by the builder you are considering and see if the end result is something that looks good. There is no better way to judge a company then to see their previous workmanship. And of course check out the reviews of each company online to see if there are any negative or bad reviews. You should be 100% confident in the builder that you accept the bid from. If none of the three you received bids from feels good to you, get three more bids. There is no rush and you want this done right.

Get a Quality Pool Built and in the Right Location:
Visit some pools by the builder that were done over a year ago or even two are three years ago and see how they look. There will be some normal wear and tear but the pool should still look good in most respects. If they don't then there may be a quality issue and the builder is probably not the one you want. If the older built out pools look fine then you may want to consider the builder for your project.

Don't feel you are asking too much by visiting past clients, you are going to invest a sizable amount of money and once the pool is completed you don't want to have any problems. Correcting a bad or low quality pool install will cost you even more money, resources, time and headaches so you want it done right. The builder should have no issues with you looking at his previous pools.

Location and over all functionality should be a primary consideration when you pick the pool location. Having the pool installed 4 feet from your sliding door might suit you just fine, but think resale when you are picking the spot. If you decide to sell your house the buyer might not like it as close as that and moving the pool is expensive. Try to think over all of the pros and cons of the location before you break ground on the project. I have been to too many pools where the new owner is questioning the logic of the seller in the selection of the pool location. If you plan on adding on later or building a patio this also becomes a huge factor in the pool's final location. So choosing the right spot for your pool is also factoring in the future use and functionality of the location. A competent builder will be able to also guide you in making the right location choice.

To learn more and to hear these points directly from Mike Willard of Your Pool Builder you can listen to the entire Podcast recording from the link below.

In part two we will cover surface types and the equipment type and placement.

In part three we will go over other details and cautions to make sure you are not forgetting important details.

YouTube Video Index: – A list of all of my videos: