Pool Budget being cut? Preventive Maintenance to the Rescue!
Over the past few months we have had many customers complain that their pool operations were being subjected to severe budget cuts. There are several ways to save money on your pool operation, and we will examine these in detail over the next few months. One of the easiest, quickest, and most dramatic means of saving money is by perfoming Preventive Maintenance (PM).
This has been well documented over our 25-years of experience in assisting thousands of premier facilities in Florida & the Caribbean with a wide variety of water quality technologies. We have experienced the ease and efficiency of a well-operated and well-managed facility, and have seen first-class facilities quickly fall into disrepair within a relatively short period of time with lack of maintenance.
Preventive Maintenance is critical to protecting your pool budget. How? By taking care of your existing equipment, you can avoid expensive and unbudgeted pool repairs or replacements. PM isn’t just for chemical feeders, here’s some ways that PM can help your operation.
  1.  Chemical Feeders: One of the more obvious PM money-savers. It is well-known that feeders will self-destruct if not maintained. A clogged injector may easily turn into a leaking tube, which if left unfixed, may seize the shaft into the brass tube housing bushing, break the feed rate control or cause other damage. So, lack of PM can severely shorten the life of your chemical feeder, and may require you to purchase a new feeder with your already-depleted budget. Stenner pumps should be maintained at least quarterly, and injection points should be checked periodically.
  2. Chemical Controllers: Chemical controllers should be factory-checked for calibration and accuracy every year. Flow switches and electrical connections should be checked and cleaned . A controller PM program can save you lots of money each and every month by maintaining tighter control over chemical levels, thus lowering your chemical costs.
  3. Sand Filters: Sand filters remove particulates from pool water, and they have a dirty, thankless job. Even if they are consistently backwashed per factory specifications, soils and mudballs can develop...causing long term filter issues. Backwash valves should be lubricated and rebuilt periodically, and diaphragms should be replaced every few years to prevent excessive water usage. Filter PM’s can help you extend the life of the filters, filter media, or auto backwash system. Also, the better a filter works, the more particulates are removed from the pool water, and the less chlorine that is needed to supply crystal clear pool water.
  4. Circulating Pumps: Circulating pumps are the heart of your pool mechanical system, and they require preventive maintenance to keep them in good working order. Some pumps need to be aligned, greased, and balanced. All pumps need to be reviewed on an annual basis to verify amp draws, check for signs of motor and bearing issues, and review the pump curve to make sure that they are operating according to their intended design. Pump maintenance can save you lots of money as an efficiently operating pump will use much less electricity than one that is mis-adjusted or in need of repair. Also a neglected pump often will need to be replaced well before its time, which also will severely impact  your pool budget.
  5. Ozone Generators: Ozone Generators rely heavily on PM’s to work, perhaps more than any item above. They require checking and / or mechanical honing of the ozone chamber, filter change, and recharging of the air preparation units, in order to continue to produce ozone. If the ozone unit is not given required annual maintenance, the ozone output will continually drop until the point that it is not producing any ozone whatsoever. A proper PM program will save you lots of money as ozone treatment of water will reduce reliance on chemicals. Also PM will extend the life of the ozonator. A unit that is properly maintained will last indefinately, while a unit that is ignored can fail in a very short time.
  6. Heaters: Pool & Spa Heaters need to be maintained in peak operating condition in order to deliver heat at the highest possible efficiency. The heaters should be checked annually to verify that proper flows and gas pressures are set at the optimum levels. Filters must be cleaned and/or replaced, and factory delta-T must be field verified. A properly-adjusted heater could save you thousands of heating dollars a year, every year.
In-House PM vs Subcontracted Labor:
PM service should be split between in-house operators and factory-trained technicians. Simple daily and weekly PM’s can easily be handled by your staff, and CES will gladly support your efforts with parts, hands-on training, and technical support. On the other hand, some of the more involved PM tasks should be handled by factory trained service technicians. These techs have the training, the parts, and the experience to quickly detect current issues and repair. The techs also have the experience to detect potential and developing issues to prevent expensive equipment repairs or replacement.
Spend Money to Save Money?
While is may not seem logical or obvious at first, the best time to spend money on Preventive Maintenance is when your budget has been cut, and when every dollar counts. While you will need to spend some money in order to save money, this strategy has a great track record for success in  thousands of facilities over the past 25 years.
You CES representative can provide you with a custom PM program that includes training, on-site service, and support. Your program will be custom-configured to combine in-house PM services, with CES monthly, quarterly, or semi-annual factory PM services.
We look forward to working with you in in order to help protect your pool equipment investment, and to help your facility operate smoother and for less money, each and every day.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Chemical feed systems need daily attention, but can easily be maintained in good working order for many years with quarterly or semi-annual factory PM from CES Techs.
Heaters can benefit from an annual tune-up in order to maintain original  efficiency, and prevent excess gas costs from mis-adjustment
Filters require annual maintenance in order verify filter media fluidity, auto backwash operation, and to assure long term performance.
All pumps need to be reviewed on an annual basis to verify amp draws, check for signs of motor and bearing issues, and review the pump curve to make sure that they are operating according to their intended design.