Jules the pool Girl

(Julie Johnson)

Certified Pool & Spa Operator

Certified Algae Eradication and Prevention Specialist



     Ok, so we are all in the swimming pool industry in some way, shape or form.  But remember back to before you were in the industry.  When you were just starting out.  When you didn’t know diddly squat about the industry.  Or maybe you had some incorrect preconceived notions, theories or ideas.  We are going to take a hilarious trip down memory lane back to when we weren’t pros in our field. We are going to bust some pool myths, ya’ll.


That it is Only Temporary


     If you are anything like me, you never imagined a life in this industry.  I hear time and time again how people just “fell” into the industry.  If you are anything like Rudy Stankowitz, you thought, “That [you] would be able to get out”.  Maybe it was a Summer job to make some extra bucks.  Maybe you were just helping a buddy or family member out.  If you were like me, Operations Manager at Mission Pool & Spa Supplies, you thought managing a swimming pool store was just ringing up chlorine and pool floats. Whatever the circumstances, many of us are STILL in the industry.  Not only in it, but have found our true calling.  Welcome to the Life of Pools.


That Chlorine Turned Hair & Nails Green


     Many of you (me too) believed this to be true.  As a towhead who spent her California Summers living in a swimming pool, I would eventually end up with a greenish tint to my hair.  My own mother told me it was from “all the chlorine”.  She wasn’t all wrong.  It is actually a reaction to when chlorine reacts to certain things, like copper.  This will not only turn hair and/or fingernails green, but can stain the surface of a swimming pool.


That it Was “Easy”


     I have already mentioned that I had no idea how complex the industry was before joining it.  A lot of you shared my sentiment,  Rae Krasovec thought,”That building pools would be easy and straightforward” and that , “budgets were ironclad”.  On the business side of things Nissa Chmely of A.T.D Pool and Spa Maintenance believed, “That it was more of a job for young boys.”  She now realizes, “This business definitely requires an older, organized business head”,  She agrees, “This [business] is way more than just cleaning pools,”  We can all agree that to some degree we thought, “being a pool tech was easy”, like Paul Goebel of Goebel’s Pool and Spa Maintenance LLC.

     Whether you are on the sales side, the maintenance side, the building side or any other of the many facets of this myriad of industries, we certainly know now just how difficult being in the swimming pool industry is.  Wait, let me rephrase that,,,how difficult being successful in the swimming pool industry can be.



Peeing Purple?


     So we have all heard from,usually, our folks, that if one pees in the pool, it will change colors.  I got a lot of folks saying “No, never”, while some say, “ No, not anymore”.  IAs a little girl, my Mom used to take us to swim at the city public pool.  I distinctly remember a lifeguard vacuum up something colored with what looked like a dust buster.  Maybe they used dyes in the 80’s?  Or maybe he was vacuuming up vomit or something else.  Either way, we do not see a “magic dye” in commercial swimming pools in this day and age.


Chlorine Lock


     Many newbies hear the tale of “chlorine lock”.  The myth is that high levels of CYA literally “lock” up the chlorine.  While high CYA levels do make the chlorine less effective and cause you to need to keep the ppm higher to achieve proper sanitation, there is no such thing as chlorine jail.


The “Acid Slug”


     Many pool pros once thought (or maybe still do) believe that adding a “slug” of muriatic acid is a way to lower pH without affecting the alkalinity.  Science has proven that the only way to successfully accomplish this is with C02 injections.


Its is O.K. to Put Tabs in the Skimmer


     When I say “tab”, I am referring to a standard, 3” Triclor tablet.  Techs used to forgo the traditional floater and just put the tablets in the skimmer.  The trouble with this is that each chlorine tablet is designed to chlorinate approximately 10,000 gallons of water.  A skimmer holds about 5 gallons.  So when the equipment shuts off, that heavily chlorinated and acidic water just sits in the skimmer, causing potential damage.  When the equipment turns back on again, that same, heavily treated water shoots straight into your plumbing and your equipment. 


A Heavy Chlorine Smell is a Good thing


    Ever walk into a public pool and get hit in the face with a blast of chlorine?  Many people think, “walking into a hotel and smelling chlorine is a good thing”-Matt Walvren of Walvren’s Pool Service, INC.  We now know that what we are actually smelling is combined chlorine, also known as chloramines.  This is the useless form of chlorine and all it is successful at is irritating both the bathers and the people around the pool breathing in the contaminated air.


Oh, Cabana Boy?


      Many of us thought that we would be running into the lonely single moms or the elite stepford wife when we came to service the pool.  I am not saying this never happens, but in actuality, most customers are not interested in shagging the pool guy/gal.

     As far as seeing the homeowners naked in the backyard?  Unfortunately (or fortunately?,) this has happened to the best of us.  Like they really didn’t expect the service person to arrive at that time?  Or, did they? Hmmmmm


     So there you have it.  I am sure there are many more myths we didn’t have time to touch on.  The point is….we didn’t know what we didn’t know.  See you poolside!

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