5 Differences Between Commercial and Residential Pool Maintenance

March 10, 2020

As a parent, you most likely are paying off a mortgage, a car (or two), college debt, credit card debt, etc. If you’re like the millions of other American parents who work for a living, you probably aren’t saving up that much each month. That being said, if you don’t already have a pool, it’s probably not high up on your priority list either.

You likely take your kids to swim at a local pool, thinking it’s probably much better managed than yours could ever be. But the truth is that commercial and residential pool maintenance are quite different. If you haven’t considered buying a residential pool for your home, this might make you change your mind.

1. Commercial Pool Cleaning is Not Always Quality Service

Large pool cleaning companies generate profit through bulk service, cleaning lots of pools for a lot of clients very quickly. But aside from the companies hired to clean hotel pools, “quickly” doesn’t necessarily translate to “efficiently.”

In fact, a dirty secret most commercial pool locations won’t disclose is how often the pools are cleaned. (Hint: it happens a lot less frequently than you might think.) In all likelihood, a residential pool will be better cleaned because you’re more likely to clean it before use (even if you only take a dip once a month). The same can’t be guaranteed for commercial pools—especially outdoor ones like community pools.

2. Commercial Pool Cleaning is Usually Done by Cheaper Technicians

Another way a large pool maintenance company makes money is by undercutting their competition. If company A charges $50 less than company B per cleaning, chances are that the commercial pool location is going to go with company A.

But what they may not have considered is that company A’s “pool technicians” are probably underpaid, which means they are most likely less qualified, less experienced, and less motivated to do a good job.

3. Commercial Pools Aren’t Super-Chlorinated Regularly

You know that chlorinated smell that always seems much stronger in commercial pools rather than residential pools?

What you’re smelling isn’t chlorine—it’s the chloramines that are the result of chlorine doing its job (i.e., killing organic materials). In other words, the stronger the “chlorine” smell, the dirtier the pool.

In order to neutralize the smell and boost the level of chlorine in the pool again, you’ll have to “shock” your pool by adding 3 to 5 times the normal level of chlorine so that the pool becomes “super chlorinated” and readjusts to normal chlorine levels without all the chloramines.

Commercial pools aren’t regularly super chlorinated, which is why the “chlorine” smell is so strong. (And now you know what you’re really smelling.)

4. Residential Pools Have More Outdoor Contaminants

It isn’t all rosy for residential pools though. Since 99.9% of all residential pools are outdoors (unless you’re in the 1%), your pool will be speckled with outdoor contaminants each time you use it. This means that you will have to skim contaminants (including those you can’t see, like pollen) from a residential pool more often than from a commercial pool, which is one of the only maintenance drawbacks of owning a residential pool.

5. Residential Pools are Much Easier to Clean

When it comes down to it, residential pools are still much easier to clean. They’re smaller, have less water, see fewer swimmers, and are much cheaper to clean than residential pools. On top of that, residential pool cleaners (i.e., you) tend to work much harder to ensure that the pool water is crystal clear.

We’ve been building residential pools for over 30 years and can show you everything you need to know about proper cleaning and maintenance. If you have any questions about pool maintenance, feel free to contact us.

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