A question I get all the time is, “What should service technicians do when it’s raining outside?”
I’ve had clients come out and tell me, “I can’t believe you’re servicing my pool in the rain.” They will ask me why — especially when their previous company would always cancel service for the week anytime rain or lightning was in the area.
The answer is simple: I always try to give my clients a full service, because that is what they pay for. I’m not going to use rain as a scapegoat. Plus, from a workload standpoint, if I choose to cancel, it means double the work the following week.
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That doesn’t mean I’m out there in all storm-like conditions. There are times when it doesn’t make sense for me to be out there, and I have a system to determine when to proceed. I ask myself two questions. If they check out, it’s business as usual.
First, I look at the frequency of the lightning: Is it happening all the time, within the minute, strike after strike? Or is it every 10 minutes? And how quickly does the thunder follow a lightning strike? Lightning travels about a mile every 5 seconds, so if it’s 20 or 30 seconds before the thunder comes along after the strike — that’s 4-6 miles away — I feel like it’s okay to do a full service. If the lightning is closer, I just do a chemical-only service.
But everyone has their own way of calculating what’s safe and what they’re comfortable with.
IS THE POOL FLOOR VISIBLE?
The second question is: Can I see the bottom of the pool?
Again, any respectful client would understand this: I’m not going to place my expensive pool vac into a pool when I can’t see what I’m vacuuming up. I don’t want to risk damaging my equipment.
If the pool is so disturbed by raindrops that I can’t see the bottom of the pool, I will not do a full service. I’ll still brush the pool if there is no dangerous lightning, but I won’t vacuum the bottom.
Chances are, if you’re in a storm that’s so bad that you can’t vacuum — even if you took that risk and everything worked out — the pool’s going to be in bad shape after you leave anyway.
So that’s what I do: If there isn’t lightning in the area and if I can see the bottom of the pool, I’ll do a full service. If conditions prove otherwise, I proceed with a chemical-only service. Your first priority is, of course, safety — for yourself and for your equipment.
Erik Taylor is the owner of Chlorine King Pool Services, Seminole, Fla. Go online to check out his successful and entertaining YouTube channel (aqmag.co/chlorineking) and podcast (aqmag.co/chlorinekingpodcast).