Complete Guide to Preventative Maintenance for Pool and Spa Facilities
December 1, 2022
With a pool/spa facility, you need to stay one step ahead of potential problems to ensure the safety and satisfaction of your patrons. If you are even the least bit lax about preventative maintenance, you could be putting swimmers at risk of contracting recreational water illnesses (RWIs), injuries, skin or respiratory problems, and potential death.
Failure to ensure a safe pool/spa environment places your organization at peril of penalties due to compliance problems. In addition, abstaining from regular preventative maintenance of equipment can cause costly system failures that impact your profitability because of expensive repairs and potential closure.
Preventative maintenance involves creating an initiative-taking game plan instead of just waiting to see what could go wrong. No one has a crystal ball to see into the future, but with a concrete preventative maintenance strategy you circumvent potential problems before they ever have a chance to become a nightmare that impacts your organization’s reputation and bottom line.
Benefits of Preventative Maintenance for Pool and Spa Facilities
You want your patrons to safely enjoy your pool/spa facility, but there are other benefits to developing a preventative maintenance strategy:
- Increasing the lifespan of your commercial pool and spas equipment.
- A significant reduction in downtime.
- Avoid costly equipment failure.
- Remain compliant and avoid penalties by maintaining safety.
- Reduce errors.
- Improve your equipment’s reliability.
- Help lower the risk of injuries to patrons.
To ensure that your pool system continues to run smoothly, you’ll need to create a preventative maintenance program. With ample planning you can develop a beneficial strategy. Your patrons depend on your facility for safe and enjoyable water sports. With scheduled maintenance, inspections, reports, and records, you can stay ahead.
Examining Pool/Spa Preventative Maintenance Strategies
A concrete preventative maintenance strategy helps your commercial pool and spa operate efficiently, prevents downtime, and saves money on costly equipment repair and replacement. With replacement when needed, regular cleaning, testing, chemical adjustments, and more, your pool facility can thrive.
A pool/spa facility is home to a wide assortment of equipment that works together to ensure water safety. The machinery costs a significant amount of money, so it is a necessity to ensure proper care and upkeep.
Below we will examine a list of maintenance strategies to help ensure your commercial pool and spa continues to run smoothly and safely.
1. Breakdown Maintenance
Breakdown maintenance is often referred to as reactive maintenance. With this form of maintenance, you react when something malfunctions or breaks down. Many view running a part until it fails as more cost-effective than replacing the component before it breaks.
However, an unplanned breakdown can cause safety hazards, put your commercial pool and spa in danger of compliance issues, and cause costly downtime.
2. Corrective Maintenance
Corrective maintenance is a form of breakdown maintenance. With corrective maintenance, you don’t run the equipment or components until they break completely down. You don’t want a complete failure. Instead, you’ll perform corrective maintenance to ensure that the component or equipment continues to function.
3. Predictive Maintenance
Industry trends are booming right now, and a strong focus is on predictive maintenance. With the popularity of the industrial internet of things (IoT) organizations can now couple preventative maintenance with maintenance software, such as that offered by VivoAquatics, to collect data, maintain chemical balances, and streamline your facility’s many functions.
An automated water management system helps you monitor and control all aspects of your commercial pool and spa facility. It is the ideal way to take a truly initiative-taking approach, so you gain greater savings, energy efficiency, and optimized pool management.
Pool management software is the backbone of any preventative maintenance strategy. With the software, you take control of all areas of your commercial pool/spa facility via a mobile device. You can prevent, manage, and oversee multiple pool properties at once using the software.
There is no reason to be onsite at each location to know exactly what is going on every minute of the day and what maintenance is needed to keep things running like a well-oiled machine.
Water management software helps you oversee the following and stay up to date on preventative maintenance.
- Pool pumps
- HVAC system
- Pool heater
- Water feature
- Chemical levels
- Splash pads
Nowadays, it’s no longer an option to have water management software if you run a commercial pool and spa. Throughout the United States, health departments and building codes are all requiring pool automation software to better manage commercial pools and spas of all sizes.
Historically, the use of traditional systems focused on using a combination of sensors and programs to maintain the correct chemical levels. However, even if you have a skilled team that works 24/7 there is no way to manage all the processes without experiencing some level of human error.
With pool management software, you save time and reduce expenses that can quickly mount when hand dosing. You’ll have online connectivity which provides you with 24/7 monitoring in one or a multitude of facilities all using a mobile device. Within the pool facility, modular sensors keep an eye on all aspects of your facility and then keep you up to date on required maintenance, repairs, or changes.
You’ll enjoy the following benefits with pool facility management software:
- Save time
- Access reports when needed.
- Maintain compliance
- Ensure safety
- Increase productivity
- Accelerate accuracy
- Improve speed
- Track customer transactions
- Check chemical levels regularly
- Manage scheduling
- Regulate the pool environment’s pH levels
- Schedule repairs
- Make changes when needed
- Fully automated preventative maintenance
- Cut the cost of labor
- Achieve greater sustainability
- Gain greater energy savings
Commercial pool water management software lets you stay ahead with all aspects of maintenance in your pool facility. You can increase the facility’s ROI while staying a step ahead of maintenance to prevent costly breakdowns.
We’ll go into more detail about the key points of pool/spa operation software and how to choose the right platform below. Or click here to jump to that part.
4. Prescriptive Maintenance
A natural evolution of modern technology innovations, prescriptive maintenance relies on advanced analytics. Using advanced pool/spas management systems, you can analyze historical patterns so you have a better picture and understanding of what could potentially go wrong at your facility.
You’ll not only catch impending failures but also benefit from having a plan for what comes next. With prescriptive analytics, you can go beyond predictive analytics and benefit from knowing what countermeasures you can take. The goal is to stretch the equipment or components of your pool/spa facility beyond its normal life expectancy. You’ll need to analyze and measure real-time data so you can prioritize and evaluate the equipment and components for a return on investment.
5. Preventative Maintenance
Preventative maintenance and predictive maintenance go hand in hand. With predictive maintenance, you rely on pool/spa automation software to keep you current on all aspects of your pool/spa facility so you can avoid problems. Preventative maintenance consists of guidelines, tools, and processes that you will use for regular maintenance so that you can keep everything functioning in optimum condition to avoid any equipment failures and costly downtime.
If you have been running your pool/spa facility in a reactive way using only reactive maintenance when a problem arises then your staff might have grown lazy. It’s easy to fall into the rut of believing that if you have a problem then you’ll address it but why rock the cart if everything is going smoothly? This state of mind is often referred to as a reactive maintenance rut.
Honestly, operating any organization in such a manner is dangerous. You are flying by the seat of your pants and hoping that nothing bad occurs. When something does break down or your patron’s safety is put into jeopardy then you’ll face costly repairs and downtime that could have been avoided with preventative maintenance.
Preventative maintenance requires a strategy for success. It acts as a map so you can ensure that your facility doesn’t suffer any unplanned downtime. You’ll have a clear plan on how to prevent common problems so you can avoid obstacles that lead to problems. Preventative maintenance also gives you timelines and definitions, so you know what you are facing.
With preventative maintenance, you are taking an initiative-taking approach and regularly performing whatever maintenance or upkeep is required to ensure that your pool/spa equipment remains functioning with no unplanned failures or breakdowns. You want to increase the reliability of your commercial pool and spa equipment to get as much use out of it as possible before you’ll need to invest in newer or more modern versions.
Creating a preventative strategy gives you a road map so you know how to prevent and conquer any unplanned downtime. You’ll avoid malfunctions, costly corrective maintenance, and potential accidents.
One of the most important preventative maintenance tips is to develop a preventative maintenance schedule and follow it diligently.
Develop a preventative maintenance schedule and follow it diligently.
Include in a preventative maintenance plan the following:
- Establish your goals.
- Prioritize each step.
- Determine your key performance indicators (KPIs) and measure them.
- Invest in the pool/spa maintenance software system.
- Figure out your facility’s preventative maintenance triggers.
- Draft a checklist of the preventative maintenance steps needed
- Train your employees in every aspect of the preventative maintenance strategy
- Change your plan as needed based on the results you achieve.
Creating a Preventative Maintenance Program in 9 Steps
Every pool/spa facility is different with varying budgets, size, goals, resources, assets, and more. Really there is no one size fits all preventative maintenance program for commercial pools and spas. Each one must be tweaked and changed to fit your needs. Ultimately, you want your facility to be efficient, safe, and sustainable so you can grow your business profitability.
1. Outline Your Goals
When building a successful preventative maintenance program, you’ll want to think about your goals and what you hope to achieve. Of course, you want to ensure the safety of your patrons and always maintain pristine water. However, you might have other goals such as increasing your hours of operation, cutting costs, or more.
Ideally, you should create a very structured preventative maintenance program that focuses on those goals. Once you establish a preventative blueprint, then you can better serve your business needs and your pool patrons.
2. Study and Measure KPIs
In any business, every goal has a number attached. Maintenance metrics impact your operation. Let’s examine your commercial pool/spa facility’s HVAC system. Ideally, an HVAC system requires maintenance twice a year. It’s an opportunity to fine-tune the system while looking for potential problems.
Yes, there is a service fee involved in every maintenance visit but does the cost of preventative maintenance offset waiting for something to break down in the system? There are many angles involved in this scenario, but what if the service technician detects wear on a component?
With supply chain shortages remaining a problem, many HVAC components are hard to obtain and take time. Imagine if you wait until the component breaks down to replace it but it’s out of stock? Your entire pool/spa facility might need to shut down while you wait for the part’s delivery.
The amount of money you’ll lose from the downtime can quickly become a substantial loss. However, replacing the worn part during preventative maintenance can prevent downtime from occurring. Even if you must wait for the new component, at least the old, worn one remains operational until replacement. These are all factors you’ll need to weigh.
Maintenance metrics to consider using include:
- Schedule maintenance critical percent
- Planned maintenance percentage
- Mean time between failure
- Preventative maintenance compliance
- Equipment effectiveness
With preventative maintenance software, you can calculate the above metrics. Once you gain insight into your KPIs then you’ll be able to build a stronger framework for success. Statistics are invaluable tools you can use to hone your entire pool/spa facility’s preventative maintenance strategy.
You’ll want to always collect data, analyze all data, understand the stats, and plan your future preventative actions regularly. All the information you collect acts as a window so you can more clearly see the strengths and weaknesses of your commercial pool and spa.
3. Working as a Team
A commercial pool and spa rely on a team of skilled employees to function at its best. When it comes to preventative maintenance, you’ll want to ensure your entire team is on board. Let everyone chime in on the situation. Yes, you’ll be using pool/spas automation software to truly create a winning preventative maintenance strategy and you’ll use the data provided to make necessary decisions. However, it's important that your entire team works together.
Sit down with your team to discuss goals, needs, resources and skill sets. A maintenance special is going to impact everyone that works at your pool/spa facility. You’ll want to outline what participates in executing each strategy so you can avoid any potential snags.
4. Leveraging the Proper Pool/Spa Technology
As mentioned earlier, having the right pool/spa software is imperative for any successful preventative maintenance strategy. You’ll stay current on what needs to be done and when with daily reports, statistics, data, and alerts. VivoPoint is a cloud based pool/spa software solution that helps you maintain a compliant, safe, and beautiful facility in a cost-effective way with an innovative management platform and onsite technology.
5. Match Triggers to Preventative Maintenance
Ensure that you match the proper triggers to the preventative maintenance task when building a strategy. You want your pool/spa operation to flow efficiently and reliably. Have a team meeting to go over the troubles and maintenance tasks so everyone is on the same page. With the proper pool/spa management platform, all scheduling and mobile notifications become automated to ensure accuracy.
Always take the time to truly know and understand your commercial pool and spa equipment. Read the manufacturer's guidelines so you understand the expected performance of the item and when maintenance is required.
Answer the following questions to tune your preventative maintenance completely fine.
- Is the piece of equipment critical to your pool/spa facility’s operation?
- If the component breaks down, will you need to close your operation and face significant downtime until the item is repaired?
- What is the cost of repairing versus replacing?
- How long is the equipment projected to last and will its future use remain the same?
6. Take the Time to Train Your Team
You know your pool/spa facility and you probably understand exactly when and what needs to be conducted to ensure ongoing operation. However, your team might be in the dark about certain aspects of the business. You’ll want to have an effective training strategy in place to train the entire team on all processes and procedures involved in preventative maintenance. Make sure that everyone knows how to access documents and data digitally, understand any failure codes, and can effectively prioritize the steps needed to get any failing equipment operational again.
Once you implement the preventative maintenance plan for your commercial pool and spa, your team will know all the steps involved in ensuring that things remain functioning at the pool/spa facility.
7. Create an Accurate Checklist
You’ll need to prioritize all inspections with a detailed preventative maintenance checklist. Use data to determine the time between maintenance and possible failure so you have an innovative idea of your KPIs. You want to know if your preventative maintenance protocol is fueling the efficiency of your commercial pool and spa. Comparing metrics to benchmarks is crucial to your facility’s long-term success. Using a leading pool/spa software program, such as VivoPoint will provide you with the data you need to create an accurate maintenance checklist.
8. Improve the Preventative Maintenance Strategy
Whatever preventative maintenance strategy you develop should be fluid to remain functional. You’ll need to fine-tune it to improve procedures as your facility grows, you serve patrons, the year transitions, new equipment is added or changed, and other unforeseen occurrences happen.
Use the data provided by your pool/spa management software to create detailed reports so you know your facility’s strengths and weaknesses. Over time you’ll need to continually find new ways to improve your preventative maintenance strategy as your facility moves on to the next stage.
9. Create an Inventory Checklist
Inventory your equipment in the pump room, storage areas, pool deck, and HVAC system. You’ll want to make note of all the equipment that must undergo maintenance to keep it running smoothly.
Below are a few items to consider adding to your inventory checklist:
- Flow meters
- Vacuum gauges
- Pressure gauges
- Chemical controllers
- Temperature sensors
- Chemical containment
- Flow meters
- Vacuum gauges
- Pool lifts
- Accessibility ramps
- HVAC system
- Pool/spa features
- Diving boards
- Personal protective equipment
Record everything by taking photos of brand names, product numbers, and other essential information to create your checklist. Catalog all equipment, product names, serial numbers, models, information, date of purchase, and service record.
Preventative Maintenance Tips: Choosing a Strategy
Choosing a preventative maintenance strategy for your pool/spa facility is a big business decision. With pool automation software, you can effortlessly control your pool/spa facility and maintain all aspects of preventative maintenance.
- Monitor tank level sensors
- Manage your water’s chemistry
- Maintain heaters
- Ensure the HVAC system operates safely
- Control all lighting
Preventative maintenance extends the life of your commercial pool and spa equipment. Pool automation software is an integral part of the entire function. With preventative maintenance, there is no strategy that fits every facility. What works for one might not be ideal for another. With pool/spa software such as VivoPoint, you’ll be able to analyze trends and design grafts to stay ahead of equipment breakdowns, system failures, and other problems.
Developing a Priority Plan
Having a preventative maintenance strategy involves also developing a priority plan. You want to focus on what is critical to the safety and operation of your pool/spa facility. A commercial pool and spa’s filtration system is the heart of the operation. Water must circulate through the filtration system, sanitization system, and heater. It’s critical that you regularly check the pumps and filtration to avoid cloudy water and keep the water pristine. In addition, maintaining the filtration system helps avoid mechanical failure and costly downtime.
Maintaining the chemical levels accurately and keeping the water clean will ensure that the pump systems do not experience as much wear and tear which could lead to seal failure or water clarity issues. If your pump system fails, then you’ll need to close the pool/spa facility until the pump is repaired or replaced. Simple maintenance will help ensure the longevity of your pump.
Focusing on skimming and other water circulation is also an essential part of any maintenance strategy. Studies have shown that the top 6 inches of a pool/spa facility's water is often rife with contaminants. You’ll want to make sure that the skimmer facility undergoes scheduled maintenance to protect the pump and keep the swimming facility clean and safe. If a blockage occurs in the skimmer or it becomes overloaded, then the strain is placed on the pump facilities which force it to work even harder and can stress all your facility’s equipment.
Any inconsistency in the pool’s chemical parameters can have an impact on your patron’s safety and your equipment. With VivoPoint, you’ll enjoy dosing calculations to keep your chemicals completely balanced to prevent corrosion and scaling on your equipment. Calcium hardness and acidic conditions impact your mechanical system and the very structure of your commercial pool and spa. With automated water management software, you’ll have daily logs of all water tests so you’re never left wondering, and you can quickly address any problems.
Choosing the Right pool/spas Software
VivoAquatics software solutions are very straightforward and transparent. The software provides you with the solutions you need to control your commercial pool effortlessly and ensure everything runs smoothly. You’ll immediately know if there is a problem at your facility and you’ll be kept up to date on all preventative maintenance needs.
VivoPoint effortlessly oversees your entire pool/spa facility. You’ll benefit from reduced costs and peace of mind knowing that your facility is safe and compliant. You’ll have constant updates on all chemical levels and water usage.
Our pool/spa management software options include the following:
- VivoPoint: With VivoPoint you can oversee every aspect of your pool/spa facility while reducing costs and ensuring you remain compliant. You can stay current on all chemical levels and water usage to guarantee safety. Never lag on necessary maintenance again with VivoPoint to remind you of what needs to be done and when.
- VivoPoint Pro: is a state-of-the-art platform that also incorporates IoT technology on-site, such as chemical controllers and water usage sensors, to provide real-time monitoring coupled with the benefit of truly predictive analytics.
Automated Water Management Key Points
You’ll find a wide array of choices when shopping for an innovative automated water management system for an assortment of vendors.
Below is a list of a few considerations to weigh when purchasing the best-automated water management software for preventative maintenance and other key functions in your facility.
- Easy to Use: pool/spa software should always offer straightforward operations, so you don’t waste an excessive amount of time training. With VivoAquatics, we supply all the training needed to quickly learn the ins and outs of our software’s operation.
- Support When You Need It: With VivoAquatics VivoPoint, you’ll enjoy support to deal with small or major problems. Every step of the way, our team is here to help you and your staff with the support you need via phone, chat, or email.
- Ongoing Monitoring: VivoAquatics provides 24/7 monitoring by providing ongoing notifications on all chemical levels, so you are never in the dark. You can make the adjustments needed to ensure the safety of your commercial pool’s patrons and better maintain the facility’s equipment.
- Protection: Keep your data safe and secure from security breaches, malicious attacks, and unauthorized access. A cyber-attack can financially cripple your pool/spa facility and negatively impact your business reputation as your patrons start to experience trust issues. VivoAquatics offers secure pool/spa automation software, so you don’t have to worry about security threats.
A leading pool/spa platform like VivoPoint will play a crucial role in your preventative marketing strategy. You’ll maintain complete oversight over your entire pool/spa facility using AI-driven analytics. With 24-hour notifications, you can maintain your commercial pool’s water clarity, chemical levels, pH, and equipment to keep everything operating, guarantee guest satisfaction, and avoid fewer closures to help increase your profitability.