Monday, October 29, 2018

Contixo F20 Quadcopter (Drone) Review and Features


The Contixo F20 is an all-around great drone. It is compact, responsive and comes with loads of features. There is a lot to like about this drone and I really like the fact that it comes with a carrying/storage case. Here is a look at some of the features of the F20 from the manufacturer.




FEATURES:
Follow Me, Automatic Hovering (Auto Hover) / Altitude Hold, First Person View (FPV), 1-Key Takeoff & Landing / Auto Return, TapFly (Fly by Tapping via Smartphone & App), Point of Interest (360° Following Rotation, Auto Hover in Circular Rotation), Fail-Safe Return To Home, & More.

BUILT-IN, INTEGRATED 1080P HD WiFi CAMERA - Allows you to both take photos or record live video. Use your smartphone and free downloadable app to fly and operate your Contixo F20 RC Remote & App Controlled drone, live stream video during flight for First Person View (FPV), Bird's Eye View, etc. Comes with adjustable 5.8 GHz 1080P 30fps Wi-Fi HD camera (300m,  984 ft FPV distance). Works with both iPhone iOS and Google Android devices.
PRE-ASSEMBLED & COMPACT DESIGN - No need to assemble or put together the drone. It is ready to fly right out of the box. The small, compact, and extremely portable design makes it fun to take it anywhere and everywhere you go.

INCLUDES PLATINUM SILVER-COLORED CUSTOM STORAGE CARRYING CASE - Made for the Contixo F20 RC quadcopter drone, this exclusive carrying case allows you to safely store and transport your new hobby toy. Never worry about removing and/or uninstalling the propellers or disassembling the drone again. This carrying case makes it safe and very convenient to carry your flying RC vehicle around.
US-BASED CUSTOMER SERVICE & TECHNICAL SUPPORT - Should you ever run into any problems or need assistance, we are here to help! We offer 24/7 e-mail support and are available for phone calls Monday-Friday between the hours of 9 am - 4 pm PST. Providing outstanding customer service is our number one priority. Includes 1-Year Limited Manufacturer's Warranty against defects.

One of the best features is the camera on front that can be tilted in flight so that you can get footage directly in front of the drone all the way to directly under the drone. This is a pretty advanced feature for a drone in with this price point and a great upgrade over standard fixed camera drones.

I also love the carrying case which holds everything and the drone with the blades on. I have several drones with cases and the F20 is the best since it fits in the case without removing the blades. So right out of the case it is ready to fly. This makes taking the F20 with you to wherever you go easy, so you will always have a great camera drone within reach.

The 1080p camera is superb. It takes very crisp and clear videos and the fact that you can tilt it to get footage below the drone while in flight is an excellent feature. Having full control of the camera with the ability to move it up and down makes capturing great footage easy. Unlike most drones in this category with a fixed camera, this sets the F20 in a category of it’s own.

If your looking for a portable, easy to fly drone that is loaded with features with a great price point, the F20 is for you. 

Buy the F20 today!: https://amzn.to/2EMHqcu

What's in the Box?


  • 1 Preassembled Contixo F20 RC Quadcopter Drone
  • 1 1080p 5 GHz WiFi Camera (smartphone must support 5 GHz frequency band; 802.11 a/ac/n)
  • 1 x 7.4V 1800mAh Li-po Battery
  • 1 x Transmitter
  • 1 x Pair of Spare Propeller
  • 1 x Phone Holder
  • 1 x Screwdriver Tool set
  • 1 x USB Plug and Balance Charger
  • 1 x Sticker
  • 1 x User Manual







Thursday, October 25, 2018

How to Get Started in the Pool Service Business


I think the pool industry offers a great opportunity for anyone who is willing to work hard and dedicate themselves to the business. Service business in general is a booming industry with many opportunities from plumbing, electrical and of course pool service. As people age in this country and as people get busier and have more disposable income they will hire gardeners, house cleaners and again pool service companies to do the tasks that they don’t want to do anymore.



Getting started in the business can seem challenging since there is a big learning curve if you have never serviced a pool before. There is also a lot of different systems and equipment out there as well as chemistry and other issues that you may run into like algae and a green pool. So even if you have the motivation you may give up simply because there is no where to get the training to get started.
I hope to fill this gap with my vast YouTube Video library as well as my eBook, Print Book, Blog and other online platforms to help you gain that knowledge. One thing that I have created is my coaching site. In my coaching program you get to be part of a large group of other pool professionals and for $10 a month you can text me in real time and for $20 a month you can call me. The coaching group is a great way gain the knowledge you need quickly and easily.

To learn more, you can visit my coaching site: https://poolguycoaching.com/

Having the right attitude is half the battle when you get started. Going into the pool service industry with realistic expectations and goals is important. You are not going to get 50 accounts in 2 months and learning how to build up your route is a crucial part of the equation. How will you advertise your services in your area? What is the best way to get new clients? Where do I begin? These are all questions you should be asking, and I can help you with all of this.

How are you going to set up the business end? Will you use a pool route software or just Excel or Quick Books? Will you do an all-inclusive billing or itemize for chemicals and filter cleaning? How much will you charge each month for service? Will you offer only full service or chemical only service also? This is very important because once you set up your billing and service rates they are not easily adjusted later.  So, think long and hard on how you will set up your billing and rates.
What will you call your pool service? This is important and securing the website name is equally important.  I suggest checking on the domain name concurrently with the business name and registering both at the same time. A website is crucial to make your business look legitimate and to also get leads for your business. Again, changing this later is hard and confusing so do it right from the get-go.

What equipment do I need to get started? What should I expect to spend each month on chemicals? What is essential? Getting the right equipment and chemicals is also a must when you are starting. A Vacuum System like the Riptide is a luxury item for sure but one you should be aiming for quickly. Using the PoolRx at the beginning of the season in all your accounts is also a great idea. What is essential is a pole, net, brush and manual vacuum.  This will get you started along with a small budget for chlorine and acid.

You can see there are a lot of things to really think about when you are getting started and if you need help feel free to contact me.












Monday, October 22, 2018

Swimming Pool Learning FREE App!


This is the Swimming Pool Learning App which is a free App for your phone or device. It brings all my resources and more under one easy to navigate App. While you are in the App you can navigate between my videos, website, Blog, Podcast and more seamlessly.



Here is a list of the home buttons in the App:

SPL: These are my most popular Website Pages on one screen for you to access. Including a page for my eBook and print book, Top Suction Cleaners, Top Robotic Cleaners and more.

YouTube: You can go to my English or Spanish Channel fro
m here. You can also view the YouTube Video Index that I have created with over 800 videos listed here in alphabetical order. So, if you are watching a video and need to look up another video you can do all of this in the app.

Podcast: This button takes you to a list of sites that carry my Pool Guy Podcast Show. Including iTunes, Google Play, Spotify and the Podcast hosting site BuzzSprout. You can listen to my Podcast from any of these sites. There is also a link to my Podcast Website to learn more about my podcast.

Blogger: This button takes you to my popular Blogger with over 1 million Page Views and growing. There is also a link for the YouTube Vidoe Index which is hosted on my Blog.

Coaching: I offer coaching to pool service professionals and also homeowners. Here you can find the link to join my coaching site, a link to my caching website and a link to my Pool Service Professional Group SPSPA.

Facebook: This button takes you directly to my Facebook page where you can like and comment on my posts.

Twitter: This button takes you to my Twitter Feed

Find a Pool Pro: From this button you can find a pool service provider in your area. I have the companies that I endorse listed by State and city. Simply click on the city in your area to find a trusted local pool service.

SPSPA Forum: This is an online forum that I have created where you can post questions and comments and have a pool service professional give you solid advice to solve your problem. Join today and start posting.

INYOPools: This link will take you to my partner pool store where you can safely shop for over 50,000 pool parts.

Chem Dosage: Here I have three of the popular sites where you can check how much chemicals to add to balance your swimming pool or spa. They are the Pool Calculator, Orenda and AquaChek. Use any of the three to help balance your pool water.

Resources: This button takes you to some of the popular resources for your pool care and pool service business.

They include
SPPA General Liability Insurance
National Pool Route Sales
CPO Certification
LSI Calculator
Website Builder
Pool Size Calculator
Pool Route Management Software
PoolCorp

Manufacturers: Here is a list of manufacturers and small pool product companies that I endorse. This button will take you to their websites, so you can learn more about each company.

They Include
Pentair
Jandy
Hayward
Riptide
PoolRX
Advantage Manufacturing
Water Tech
Aquabot
Remington Solar
Mako Bags
Pleatco
LaMotte
Taylor
Multi-Tork

Contact: From here you can send me an email or visit my main website.

So, you can see that this is a powerful free App that can help you with both your pool care and your pool service business. I wanted to keep it free for you to use so I am absorbing all of the cost of hosting and creating the app. The annual cost is over $500 for the App and hosting but as long as there are enough users downloading and using the App I will continue to keep it up in all of the App Stores. Show your appreciation by sharing the link and having your friends download it as well.

To download the Free App go here:


Friday, October 19, 2018

How I got started in the Pool Industry


I recently recorded an interview with the Pool Chaser Podcast Show where I talked for 2 ½ hours about a variety of subjects. I broke the interview down into four sections and in the first part I talked about how I got started in the pool business. Here are some of the points I touched on from that interview. You can learn more about the Pool Chaser Podcast Show here: https://www.poolchasers.com/



In 1988 I first got introduced into the pool business by a family friend, Doug Ward of Doug Ward Pool Service. He worked in the Orange county Ca area servicing Anaheim Hills and the surrounding communities. The world was a lot different back in 1988 and I was a 16-year-old kid with no knowledge of a pool whatsoever. I shouldn’t fail to mention that there were no YouTube Videos, no cell phones and very limited resources back in that day.

So, my initial training was essential, and I learned a lot from Doug Ward, not only about cleaning pools but about customer service. He was exceptional at communicating with the customers as well as solving problems on the spot. I think many of the tricks I learned and apply to my service and that I pass on to my YouTube viewers comes from those early years of just winging it. If you were out in the field and didn’t know something you would have to figure it out.

Anyone who comes from the late 1980’s and early 1990’s will understand that the service guys today have a big advantage in training, knowledge and resources. Everything is much easier today and I hope that the newer guys appreciate that. Now if you don’t know how to do something you can call tech support on your cell phone, look up an article on Google or just watch a YouTube Video – I have 800 of them posted myself.  

Although there are now more automated systems, salt systems, UV and Ozone plus a slew of other mind-boggling innovations the basics still apply. The more knowledge you have the better your service will be. Attend those trade shows and seminars, read industry magazines and watch some YouTube Videos and your expertise in the industry will grow. But remember the basics, pool circulation and chemistry are the key to a clear and clean pool.

Back to my beginnings in 1988. When I was in a jam I was on my own. Yes, there were payphones and I did call Doug for help on occasions but for the most part I was working in a vacuum. 16 years old and no back up. But I did the basics, and everything turned out well. I cleaned the filters when dirty, D.E. filters were the only filters in my day. Many had those awful Separation Tanks that trapped the D.E. in a cloth bag. Keeping the pH, Alkalinity and Chlorine in balance really saved me out there. I think if you are starting out if you remember the basics you will be fine. 

I do offer a lot of great resources like my Podcast:

My one on one Coaching Program:

And of course my Webiste, eBook, Print Book Blog and YouTube Channel:





Thursday, October 18, 2018

How to Set the Priming Speed on a Pentair SuperFlo VS Pump


The Pentair SuperFlo Variable Speed pump is one of the most popular VS pumps on the market. The control panel is pretty simple and user friendly, but one thing does not appear to be adjustable is the priming speed. This is the RPM or speed that the pump primes at and the SuperFlo VS is set at 3450 RPM for 5 minutes. But you can easily set the priming speed to a lower RPM.



The steps to do this are pretty easy. If the pump is running, go ahead and hit the Start/Stop button to stop the pump. Then hit the Start/Stop button to start the pump up again. If the pump is off still hit the Start/Stop button to start it. Now the pump has entered the Priming Mode.   You will see “Pri” displayed on the screen and it will flash between this 3450 and the 5-minute count down.
While the 5-minute countdown is going simply hit the “-” Down arrow key and you will see the RPM drop down. Keep hitting this button until it reaches the new priming speed that you desire. I suggest not going too low or the pool may not start up correctly. I think you can go as low as 1800 RPM but I don’t suggest that. I think in most cases 3450 RPM is not necessary and a lower priming speed is perfectly fine.

Anywhere from 2800-3100 RPM will work and you can also lower down the 5 minute priming time if you would like. I usually just leave the priming time at 5 minutes since the first speed programmed to run is a higher speed anyway. So once you set the priming speed down the pump will turn on the next day at the new priming speed. If you wish to increase the priming speed simply follow these steps and hit the “+” Up arrow key to raise the RPM.

About the SuperFlo VS (from Pentair):

The Perfect Pump for Everyday Pools Requiring Up to a 1.5 Hp Pump
SuperFlo VS pumps help slash energy costs compared to conventional pool pumps. With premium features like a 24-hour real-time clock and an intuitive interface that displays watts and RPMs, they're easy to program and operate. With the SuperFlo VS pump, you can enjoy big savings on your utility bill. Perfect for new and standard pump replacement applications. No other company can match our proven, in-field performance and reliability, so you can count on years of long, dependable service. No wonder we outsell all other variable speed pumps.   

·         Only variable speed pump on the market today with 115/208-230V and 50/60 Hz single phase capability. Operating nominal voltage range is 110V thru 230V
·         Ideal for standard pools requiring up to 1.5 HP pump
·         Three operating speed settings plus override capability
·         Direct and superior drop-in replacement for the Hayward® SuperPump®
·         An Eco Select® Brand product: one of Pentair's "greenest" and efficient choices
·         WEF 5.9  THP 2.2


More SuperFlo Vs Videos:
SUPERFLO® VS Variable Speed Pump - Overview & Features: https://youtu.be/QJK0kVPpEoE
SUPERFLO® VS Variable Speed Pump: Plumbing in the Pump: https://youtu.be/Pb1OTS0nYMg
SUPERFLO® VS Variable Speed Pump Operating and Programming: https://youtu.be/JzDw3abs6O8
SUPERFLO® VS Variable Speed Pump Wiring and Electrical:




Thursday, October 11, 2018

Just the Basics - Some Tings to Know About Pool Care


In this series I am going to cover some basics on pool care that you should know if you are a homeowner or a pool service technician. There are a number of things that fall into this basic category and I will go over a few of them here. Of course, there is a lot to know about a pool overall but knowing these things will get you by.




The filter and filtration are key. How much does it matter if your pool filter is running well or not? It is the difference between a pool that is cloudy with algae, has poor flow and can’t hold the chlorine level and a pool that is crystal clear and balanced. If your pool is struggling, chances are the filter needs some attention.

If you have a cartridge or D.E. filter take it apart and clean it. With a sand filter you can backwash it and see if that improves things. After cleaning the filter if you notice little improvement chances are the cartridges need to be changed. If they are old, say 3-5 years old they have reached their life expectancy point. The D.E. filter grids may look fine but if they are 4-6 years old I would also replace them. With a sand filter you can change the sand if you notice that backwashing did little for the pool’s water quality. The pool’s filtration and filter play a big part in how the pool will look and how difficult it will be to maintain going forward into the season.

 
How green is too green? I am often asked if there is a limit to my Green Pool Clean-Up method of “Shock and Awe.” The short answer is yes. If the pool has more than 3-4 inches of sediment, gunk and algae on the bottom, then it may be too far gone to try to bring it back with just chemicals and filtration. You may be better off just draining the pool at that point and starting fresh. So, there is a limit to the “Shock and Awe” method.

In the same respect I am often asked how much chlorine is needed to shock a pool. The answer is typically more than you are thinking. For instance, if you go online and enter your pool size in gallons, the ppm of chlorine and the goal level, the online calculator may tell you to add one gallon of liquid chlorine to bring the chlorine up from zero to 5 ppm. But it doesn’t account for poor filtration, organic particles in the water and for algae.

So, if you simply pour 1 gallon of chlorine into a very cloudy pool, nothing much will happen. Let’s say you have a 15,000-gallon pool and it is so cloudy that you cannot see the bottom. I would add at least 4 gallons of liquid chlorine and run the pool for 24 hours. The next day it will probably be clear or at least clearing up. If I poured only one gallon in not much would happen. Same for a very green pool. Adding 2-3 gallons of liquid chlorine won’t do much. Adding 8-12 gallons will more than likely turn it back to at least a cloudy blue by the next day. So, you will need to shock your pool with more chlorine than you think. I always like to add more than less anyway, and you can’t add too much in these situations.

Almost as important as the pool’s filtration is the pool’s run time. If you have a brand-new filter but only run your 20,000-gallon pool 1 hour per day, chances are the pool will be cloudy at best and green at worst. Running your pool is critical. I suggest running it for at least one cycle per day, which is all the water passing from the pool, into the filter and then back out again. This will insure great water quality and safe water as the filter has a chance to circulate the water and chemicals and kill any bacteria or viruses in the water.

The last factor that also has a huge effect on the pool water quality is the water level of the pool. Low water can make the pool run poorly and create more debris in the pool causing you to use more chemicals each week. When the water level is correct the pool skimmer can pull the debris into the pool skimmer basket. The more debris that falls out onto the pool bottom the more likely the leaves and other organics will use up the chlorine in the pool. Also, if your pool is older there may be no safety mechanism preventing the pool equipment from running dry. This could mean that the pool pump will overheat from lack of water and burn out. So, the having low water in your pool can become very costly.

If you follow these basics your pool will be looking great all season long and you will have much fewer problems with your pool care.











Monday, October 8, 2018

What are these White Flakes in my Swimming Pool?


Chances are if you have a salt water pool you have seen some type of white flake blowback at one point or another into your pool or spa. The amount of these white flakes varies but, in many cases, your entire pool surface can be covered in them. I’ve had pools where I fill a whole leaf rake with them and some with Polaris Pressure cleaners where the bag is bursting with white flakes.




There are three possibilities of what the white flakes are.  The first one and least common is what is known as White Mold. It is not very common and to cure your pool of this you would need to bring your chlorine level up to very high levels, around 10-20 ppm. But in most cases the white flakes are not White Mold and something else.

The next possibility is that these flakes are coming from your salt cell plates and that they are small particles of calcium flakes that come back through the return lines. Usually these flakes are pretty thick and look like the calcium that forms on your pool tile. This does happen, and I have seen calcium flakes in some pools. But this is not as common as the third and final possibility.

This will sound strange and really out of the realm of possibility but those white skin like flakes in a salt water pool are most likely a reaction of the salt system with Phosphates in your pool. Even very low levels of Phosphates can cause this, and I have seen these white flakes with both very high and very low Phosphate levels. It doesn’t really take much Phosphates in the water to cause this reaction.

I find that the Pentair cells are the main producers of these white flakes. The Hayward cells to a lesser degree. I was told about this cause by a very experienced Pentair Warranty Service Technician. I didn’t really believe him, but he suggested that I should add some Phosphate remover to my salt water pools that have the white flake blowback. So, with no real reason not to give it a shot, I started using some PHOSFree in the pools with the white flake blowback.

Wouldn’t you know it, the white flakes started to go away in the pools that I was treating with the PHOSfree. In some cases, they disappeared entirely, in other cases there was an 80-90% reduction. It was pretty amazing.

I typically use 2 capfuls or 8 oz. each week and add it directly to the pool skimmer as the pool is running. After about one month of this treatment the white flakes are pretty much gone. If they come back I resume the treatment again. You can also just add the maintenance dose each week to prevent the whiter flakes from returning. The treatment is very easy to do any very effective.

If you are dealing with a pool with this white flake blowback from a salt water system, try adding the PHOSfree each week. The results will surprise you.



Thursday, October 4, 2018

Business Etiquitte: the Do's and Don'ts & Some Bidding Tips


There are many aspects of running a business and one that is often overlooked is Professional Etiquette. This includes how you present yourself to the customer and how you talk to the customer. Making a mistake here could mean the difference between landing the bid or service and not closing on the deal. Below are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind.



Your service truck should be clean and presentable. Even an older truck can be kept in good shape. Showing up with a washed and clean vehicle is important. A vehicle wrap is a good idea and does make you look more professional. But don’t over do the wrap or the customer my get the impression that you are someone who will be charging very high rates. Wearing a uniform or at least slacks with a clean shirt is a must. The first impression on how you look is the one that will determine if you land the bid or not.

From there greet the person with “sir” or “ma’am” or if you know they are a professional like a doctor, use the proper title “How are you today Dr.” If the person you are meeting is a lady wait for her to extend her hand for a handshake. It is up to the person of the opposite sex to decide if they want physical contact. If it is a man, extend your hand for a firm handshake. Make good eye contact and smile.

Your language is important in business. I am a big proponent that cursing, swearing and slang have no place in the professional business world. If you curse in your private life that is fine, just keep it out of your business life. Cursing is a sign of ignorance and you want the potential customer to see you as an educated professional. Slang is also a sign of ignorance so no “dude” or “man” should be coming out of your mouth when doing a bid or talking to the customer going forward.

If the customer’s kid or kids are present during the bid, simply acknowledge their presence with a simple “hi.” Do not engage the customer’s child in conversation. You are a stranger to the family and kids don’t talk to strangers. Some parents might not appreciate you talking to their kids, I for one do not like it when adults try to engage my son in a conversation. So basically, ignore the kids during the bid and you will be fine. It is not being rude, you are following good etiquette.
   
Never talk bad about a customer while you are at the property, nor in a text message or in any other form. If you are talking bad about someone they may find out. If the customer is cheap or hard to deal with keep it to yourself. You may consider dropping them in the future but if they over hear you bad mouthing them that could be very awkward indeed.

When you are doing a bid for pool service you will want to give them the bid on the spot. That is why they called you. For a General Contractor it is understandable that you will need to email a detailed bid later, but for something like a pool or lawn service you should be able to bid on the spot. Consider the pool size, trees over the pool, usage and equipment and then come up with your typical service rate. You should have a good idea of what you bid from pool to pool before you go out and start taking bids for service. Not being able to give the potential customer a bid on the spot may seem unprofessional by some.

The first impression is the one that will stick so work on your presentation at home. It is an uphill battle if you present yourself as rude or unprofessional. Think about how you want to be treated when you go out to a restaurant or have a service bid presented to you.










Monday, October 1, 2018

Jacuzzi JDC and JDC+ Leaf Canisters


The Jacuzzi JDC and JDC+ Leaf/Debris Canister are a solid choice when it comes to suction side canisters for your pool. The JDC is a smaller canister while the JDC+ is the larger version. Both are very well made and come with a one-year manufacturer warranty.

The JDC canister features:
  • Twist-Lock lid
  • Quick and easy to remove debris
  • Clear plastic body for viewing basket contents
  • Comes with both a fine mesh bag and a plastic debris insert
  • Hose Swivel included
The JDC and JDC+ canisters come with two canister inserts depending on your debris type. If your pool has very fine particle debris, then you can use the fine mesh bag insert. If your pool mainly has large leaf debris, then the plastic insert would be fine. It is the only debris canister that comes with both inserts making them practical for any pool. Both canister inserts are very high quality and well made. So depending on the amount of debris in your pool each week you can either go with the smaller JDC or the larger JDC+ canister.

The twist off lid is very easy to remove making cleaning out the leaves and debris very easy. Since the lid O-ring is very thin, the lid does not get jammed on their if the O-ring expands over time. The ease of use is a real plus for these canisters. Getting the lid back on is easy also. The nice large handle also helps as you grip the canister to remove and put the lid back on.  The clear plastic of the canister also makes it easy to see when the canister needs to be emptied. You can easily access the O-ring on the canister by twisting the black handle down and then off the canister.

If you have a suction side cleaner a debris canister is a must for your pool. Without a canister you are risking having your suction line or vacuum line clogged with debris as well as your pump basket. This will cause the pool to run poorly and even cause damage to the equipment. So, if you have a suction side cleaner a leaf canister is a must. The leaf canisters also come in handy when you manually vacuum a pool and I use one all the time on my pool route when I vacuum out a pool. A leaf canister is a must for a suction side cleaner and I would highly recommend getting one if you don’t have one.




I think the thing to look for in a leaf canister is ease of use and durability. Since they are not inexpensive you want one that will be long lasting and durable. The Jacuzzi JDC and JDC+ are very well made and long lasting. I have several on my pool route and they are working great. The overall design and color of the canister goes well with any pool look and design and the ease of use is a real plus.

They are available at Leslie’s Pool Supply and you can also purchase them online at https://www.lesliespool.com/Jacuzzi-JDC-LeafDebris-Canister/JDC.htm