Don’t Fill the Customer’s Pool:
If you have done this long enough you have probably filled a customer’s pool out of frustration or maybe kindness. You see the water is low each week and the customer is not filling the pool. The pump may not be running well, and the pool may be turning. So, you decide to take matters in your own hand and fill their pool. So, you drop in the garden hose or turn on the fill line. You then get distracted or receive a phone call and leave the property. 4 hours later you get a call from the customer stating that you left the water on and now their yard and the house are flooded. This is a liability that could have been avoided. Don’t fill the customer’s pool. Make it clear that filling the pool each week is the customer’s responsibility.
If for any reason you do need to fill a pool, maybe the house is vacant or there I some other compelling reason, place your truck keys on the hose spigot or fill line handle. That way you cannot leave without turning off the water. But this is not a bulletproof method so use extreme caution if you do need to fill a pool. Make it your default operating method to not fill any pools on your route.
Don’t Drain a Fiberglass or Vinyl Pool:
It may be just ignorance or a lack of understanding of how a fiberglass pool or vinyl pool is set in the ground. You may just assume they are just like a plaster pool and when a potential customer or existing customer calls you and wants their pool drained you don’t see any problem with it. If you drain a Fiberglass in-ground pool, there is a high probability that it will pop out of the ground or a wall may collapse in on it. Unlike a standard plaster or PebbleTec pool which has a heavy cement foundation called Gunite, a Fiberglass pool is held in by the water inside of it. When drained nothing is holding it in the ground and it is likely to simply pop out of the ground.
A Vinyl pool is very similar in that nothing is holding it down except the weight of the water. Another issue is that the water is also stretching out the liner so that it clips into the sides around the entire pool. Once it drains to a certain point the liner can tear right out of the wall. The same goes for a large above ground pool. If you were to drain it the walls could collapse in and ruin the pool.
The bottom line, you should not drain a Fiberglass pool or Vinyl liner pool. Only those who specialize in each of these pools types are qualified to drain them. And this is only done to replace the liner or repair the Fiberglass pool.
Don’t Leave a Plaster Pool Empty:
A plaster or PebbleTec pool will rarely if ever pop out of the ground. The only way for this to happen is if there is more water under the pool than in it. Heavy rains of 6-8 inches can do this or if you drain it and let the water soak into the soil around the empty pool this can happen. But it is very, very rare.
The liability comes into play if you drain a plaster pool and leave it empty longer than needed for an acid wash and refill. Leaving it empty for a week in 90-degree weather can cause damage to the plaster. Once refilled you will see the plaster start to chip and break off in the pool. The best thing you can do is drain the pool and refill it as soon as possible. Do not leave it empty for a long period of time.
There are of course many more things that you can do to cause liability. A good rule of thumb is don’t do anything outside of your line of specialty. Also, don’t do things when you are tired or in a rush. And don’t do anything you don’t know how to do. From equipment install to acid washes, if you are not trained to do these things don’t so them. This will save you from some serious liability.
Last, you will want to have a General Liability policy of at least 2 million dollars with one million per occurrence. Don’t go into any backyard without it.
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