Operating a commercial pool is a thankless job. It takes time, money, and hard work. It also takes knowledge, discipline, and commitment.

With this in mind, you can imaging the desire to the whole sack of potatoes to someone else... hire it, done... write a check and "be done with it"... make it someone else's headache.

As appealing as that may sound, it really doesn't work that way. Those who tried to completely sub-contract their pool operations are now "taking control" back in record numbers. Want to know why? Read on.

Here are 5 top reasons that many CES customers have found great success with going in-house for their pool operations.

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#1 Control:

  • We hear this over and over again. The best way to control quality in your operations is to control the process. Yeah, you can always call and complain to your pool service subcontractor, but who is in control? Customers mentioned that THEY are in the front line fielding complaints from their customers and watching the damage to their equipment and reputation happen.
  • Responsiveness: If their pool was not to their standard, customers were able to instantly respond. If they had an aesthetic, mechanical or chemical issue, they were able to handle the problem ASAP. As a result they were able to keep a more compliant pool and better protect themselves and their patrons.

#2 About the Laws:

  • DOH requires 7X per week chemical supervision with recorded log sheets. Having a 7X per week is uncommon and quite expensive! Customers with a 3x per week service and whom did not have a complementary in-house service and log-keeping program were in violation of written codes. If you hire a company 3X per week, and handle the rest in house, then you already have the structure to possibly go "in-house".
  • Customer found that they could not "assign" pool-related liability. That means, if there is an issue, customers found that the plaintiff went after THEM and their organization, not the pool service contractor. That makes sense as your organization has deeper pockets, and per DOH code the organization is legally responsible to maintain a compliant pool operation regardless of what strategy you employ.

#3 Flexibiity

  • Have a task you don't want to do like clean the filters... hire it, done. Your guys are going on vacation, get some temporary help. Don't like to scrub the tile... hire it, done. But don't hand the keys to the castle to a company.
  • According to our customers, the difference is this: is it your game plan or theirs?
  • Being in-house gives you the flexiblity to take good care of your customers while still subcontracting the dirty or unappealing jobs to a sub contractor

#4 Talent

  • A customer once told us "Just because you write a company a check, doesn't make them a professional". We are very surprised with the number of unlicensed pool contractors handling service routes these days, and the lack of DOH inspections in the future does not bode well for better enforcement.
  • Check to make sure that any support company is CPC-licensed, not merely a CPO (Certified Pool Operator) or AFO (Aquatic Facility Operator. 
  • Customers have mentioned that they can attract and retain as good as or better personnel as they are being given on a service contract.

#5 Protection of your assets.

  • Customers have been appalled at the poor care given to their equipment room, equipment, and other assets by some sub-contractors. Perfectly good chemical control and feed systems have been abandoned or even removed off the property (grand theft ?). Equipment rooms have been left in total disarray, heaters have been destroyed, and the copper from the destroyed heater has gone on to stain the pool. Then customers have been proposed a replacement heater at full retail value... talk about the wolf guarding the hen house!


So these are the known issues as reported to us over and over again. But what can you do about it?

Here are a few action items that can help you go in house.

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Get a helping hand:

  • The Department of Health has a published 47-step inspection guideline for proper pool operation that can be used as a minimum guide and they are also normally eager to answer questions for your team.
  • Additional training: DOH codes require a certified operator on each pool operation. So unless you have a 7X per week service, you should comply. Certification is simple and helps tremendously. We offer two great classes including the new AquaTech hybrid on-line and hands on class.
  • On-site guidance: CES has been assisting companies go in-house for over 30 years. Contact our service team and we will train you on how to operate your circulation, filtration, controls, chemical treatment, treatment, and code compliance systems.
  • CES and its service partners can provide complete factory certified PM services to keep your heaters, UV, pumps, and treatment systems at peak operating levels, so your staff can concentrate on more pressing issues.

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Get to the Next Level ?

  • Some organizations wanted to get to the next level but needed a clear road map. They turned to the Q5™ program. Several CES customer have used Q5™ to achieve and maintain an efficient and hassle-free operation dating back to 2007.
  • The Q5™ Water Quality Standard is a patent pending, 50-point program that provides a perscriptive road map to getting your pool to a 4 or 5-Star level (A DOH-compliant pool can be as low as 2.5 stars).
  • Contact your CES rep for more information.


While not every service company is as bad as described by fellow customer above, the overall level of care appears to be below acceptable standards. The more qualified, higher quality companies cost a bit more thus don't get as many jobs as the cheaper guys, and so mediocrity prevails.

If you integrate a service company into your overall plan, our most successful customers have found that THE ORGANIZATION, not the pool company, needs to provide a winning strategy. So all you need to do is set up a winning strategy and all of your subcontractors can follow along.

Sound complicated? It's actually quite simple. Setting up a successful pool care game plans is something that we have helped with for over 30 years. Call your CES rep today and start right away! After all, there is no better time than now to "take control" of your pool operation.