- Posted by hinged
Our first pool came with a house that we moved into in February. The pool was covered when we picked out the house and having only seen inviting photos, everyone was pretty excited to start using it. Somewhere in late March, the pool company that had winterized it for the previous homeowner sent us a postcard. The pricing seemed reasonable and figuring that they winterized the pool and knew its ins and outs, I signed up. We were given an opening date in late May. One of my kids was turning 10 the next week, so fingers crossed for good weather, we began to plan our first ever pool party.
The scheduled Tuesday came and went without the pool company showing up. I had forgotten about the appointment, and to be fair to the pool company it was raining heavily all day. Thursday was one of those spring days where everyone starts talking about global warming and I remembered to call them. “Oh yes, we’re behind schedule, but we’ll be there tomorrow”. I came home that afternoon to find that the pool cover had been spread out over our just beginning to sprout flower beds. The beautiful pool that we had only seen in pictures looked like the home for the creature from the black lagoon and the rest of our backyard, normally a grassy play area was now a muddy swamp. On the bright side the kids and our dog were pretty happy about the new mud pit by the swing set.
When I called the pool company, no surprise, they were already closed for the weekend. Monday morning brought “Oh yes, the water level was high from all the rain so we pumped some out. We’ll be back on Tuesday or Wednesday… flower bed?”.
The pool company did show up on Tuesday. From the note left in our mailbox we surmised that they had hooked up our equipment and poured in some chemicals in the 20 minute window during the day when no one was home. Wednesday morning the pool level was way down and the rest of our yard was once again a swamp. “Oh, Tommy must not have noticed, he’s new… We’ll try to get out there today, maybe you could turn off the pump for us…”.
They did get there that afternoon, they claim there must have been water in the three way valve that froze over the winter and left the mechanism stuck in the dump your pool into your yard setting. “Good thing we had one… Oh and it says in the work order they left the hose going to refill your pool, you might want to check it…”
It was a full week and three more visits before the pool, was at the right water level, the rotting leaves were vacuumed out of the bottom, the water was balanced, the pool cover was stored in our basement and the dog wasn’t tracking mud into the house. We ultimately received an invoice for roughly three times the reasonable price quote we had been given.
For the party we turned the wet part of our lawn into a water slide which was a big success, most of the flowers bloomed and we did learn some valuable lessons.
- Don’t expect to be swimming in your pool the day it is opened – . While most companies should provide a better experience than what I had, the fact is that opening a pool is a process. When speaking with your company they should always ask what day you want to be swimming and work back from there to figure out the opening date. If this is not happening when you speak with your pool company you may want to consider speaking to someone else as it is likely you are going to be disappointed.
- Don’t assume that a pool company that was acceptable one year will be as good the next. Check their work, often and don’t be afraid to switch if needed.
- Expect some part of your pool to not survive the winter. Weather in the Northeast is tough. Over the years we have typically had one item or another need replacement or work done as the pool was opened. This has been everything from our pool cover to pumps to water heater. Be sure you have a company that is qualified and capable to work on these other items before letting them go to work.
- Make sure, even with a returning pool company, that they know where to direct excess water and where to put the winter cover. Spending 10 minutes with the team when they show up for the first visit can go a long way to avoiding headache and frustration later.
- They may not show up the scheduled day, but the minute you leave the house is when they will finally show! Well, maybe not entirely true but it definitely always feels that way. Having a good, reputable company taking care of this summer time favorite will ensure that everything runs smoother.