Q. Does your equipment come with a guarantee?
A. Yes. Everything we sell has at least a one-year warranty. We also offer a 30-day money back guarantee on everything we sell. If within 30 days of purchase you don’t think our equipment will save you time and make you money we will take it back for a full refund.
Q. Do you offer training?
A. Our website offers a very complete overview of the leak detection process. We have found that if you already have a basic understanding of how a swimming pool operates, the information that this provides will be adequate to get you started. We recommend that you keep our telephone number with you on the first couple jobs you do so that if you have questions we can help answer them quickly. As you begin doing the work yourself you will find that it is basically a common sense process of elimination. The more you do the more confident and better you will get.
We have considered offering on-site training but feel that our current approach provides the best value for our customers. We have hundreds of satisfied customers who prove that it does.
Q. How much can I charge for swimming pool leak detection?
A. Because of the special equipment required and the customer’s perception that it requires special expertise, you will be able to charge a premium over what your normal service rates would be. Eventually you will consistently complete jobs within one or two hours (or less). At this point you will probably find that a flat fee is the best way to charge. By providing some sort of guarantee that you will find a customer’s leak for this set price you will achieve higher than normal actual hourly rates while providing an assurance to your customer that there problem will be found.
Of course, any repairs, renovations, valve replacements or liner replacements that result from the leak detection job will be extra. We like to call leak detection a “paid sales call” because of the extra jobs it usually generates.
Q. If I find leaks do I have to fix them also?
A. That depends. Many of our customers have specialized to the point where they only find leaks. They pass the repair job off to another pool repair company that wants to specialize in repairs, or they may send the repair back to the pool service company that referred the customer to them.
Q. How should I advertise?
A. Yellow Pages, direct mail, and contacting local builders and service companies seem to work the best. Many pool service companies and builders don’t recognize how easy leak detection can be when done properly and with the right equipment. These companies may be happy to refer jobs to you.
Q. Will I be limited as to where I can do business?
A. No, this is not a franchise business. You do not have restriction to your “territory” other than those you place on yourself.
Q. I am too busy with servicing pools to find leaks. Why shouldn’t I give this work out to someone else?
A. This may indeed be the best option if you feel you can trust this person not to steal your customers, and if you feel confident that they are treating your customers as you think they should be treated. Those who have chosen to add leak detection to their arsenal of service haven’t been confident that this is the case. On the other hand, being able to find leaks can be a great way to grow your business. If you are able to find a customer’s problem leak they often feel you are a hero who can take care of all of the rest of their pool needs as well.
What’s more, leak detection is fun. It’s a mentally challenging game that is often a welcome respite from the drudgery of regular pool maintenance. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as finding a leak right where you knew it would be.
Q. I’ve heard that special gasses are needed for underground leak detection. Is this true?
A. Not necessarily, to find a leak using sonic methods, (which will be used for 90% of underground plumbing leaks), you will need to create the bubbling/gurgling sound of air escaping into water saturated soil. This is accomplished by pressurizing the line with air or gas. Some leak detectors find that a high-pressure nitrogen tank is a convenient and quiet source of this pressure. Other than the fact that nitrogen tanks can be purchased without a special license (whereas SCUBA tanks require a license) nitrogen does not have any special chemical properties that make it better than the air coming out of a compressor.
In some situations, where it is not possible to create a noise underground, a method called Helium Detection may be used. In this case Helium is put into the plumbing line and detected with a special Gas Sniffer. We generally find that although Helium Detection is very valuable in some situations, 90% of underground leaks can be found with sonic detection methods and regular air.
Q. I’ve heard that in-line video inspection equipment is necessary for leak detection. Is this true?
A. No. In fact, the use of this type of equipment for swimming pool leaks is not realistic for several reasons. First, the cameras used for pipe inspection are not small enough to navigate the 1-1/2″ and 2″ plumbing found around most pools. Secondly, visual inspection of the inside of a pipe will not always identify leaks since many leaks may be in fitting joints that can look the same whether the leak or not.
Video inspection equipment is very valuable in the sewer industry where the lines are larger and leak problems are more visible. Many companies that specialize in leak detection also do this type of work and may advertise their use of video equipment. It is very unlikely, however, that they ever pull it out for use on a residential pool.