Purchase a piece of equipment and you’ll get an owner’s manual with it. Early sections focus on installation and operation. That is typically where we stop reading. If you didn’t dig into swimming pool preventative maintenance, you’re missing the most important part…
Dig deeper into almost any manual and you’ll find a section on preventative maintenance. Here we find the stuff you should do to avoid breakdowns and malfunctions. Skip this this section and you’re likely to pick up the manual again at a later date… this time reading about troubleshooting.
The best facilities take this information and put it into a PM schedule – a calendar that distributes PM tasks throughout the year to avoid costly repairs, shut down periods and unnecessary time commitments from maintenance personnel. If you’re not on a PM schedule, here’s how to set one up quickly and easily
Inventory Your Equipment – Take a walk around your pump room. Head out to the pool deck. Check your storage areas. In each location, note pieces of equipment that likely require routine maintenance for optimal performance. Here’s a brief list of the items you may be considering.
- Chemical Controllers
- Chemical Storage and Containment
- Flow Meters, Pressure and Vacuum Gauges
- Pumps and Motors
- Temperature Sensors and Alarms
- Chairs, Tables and Benches
- Accessibility Ramps, Ladders, Stairs and Pool Lifts
- Deck Markings, Rules and Warning Signage
- Fencing, Gates and Barriers to Entry
- Lifeguard Equipment, Stations and Chairs
- Baby Changing Stations
- Emergency Lighting and Exit Signs
- Suit Spinners and Dryers
Safety / Emergency Equipment
- Chemical Labels
- Emergency Eye Wash Stations
- First Aid and Rescue Equipment
- Emergency Deck Phone
- Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)
- Timing and Meet Equipment
- Starting Blocks
- Diving Boards, Slide and Aquatic Play Features
- Life Jackets, Floats, Program Aides and Toys
- Chemical Labels and MSDS Compliance
- Manual Vacuum, Hoses and Heads
- Robotic Vacuum and Cart
- Skimmers, Brushes and Poles
- Personal Protective Equipment
Snap Pictures – No selfies here. We’re talking about pictures of product numbers, brand names and other essential details that will help you identify your equipment. Take digital pictures in the pump room and on the pool deck so you can quickly access the information in an office, in front of a computer.
Catalog the Stock – Using an excel spreadsheet, catalog your equipment. Include all essential information you come up with in your pictures. This should include products name, manufacturer, model and serial number, date of purchase, warranty information and service records.
Gather Product Guides – Product guides are easily accessible online. With all of your product details loaded into a spreadsheet, work through the list, download the guides, save them to a file and print them out. You’ll want hard copies available in a large, three ring binder for quick access.
Look up the PM Schedule – Utilize your newly printed guides to better understand the PM schedule. On your spreadsheet detail the frequency of PM required over the course of a year.
Set up a Calendar – Get a calendar ready. We suggest a large, hard-copy desk calendar for this task, but a digital calendar will work as well. Start in January and add in a PM task from your spreadsheet. If you’re chemical controllers need to be serviced once a month, add this task to the first available work date for each month of the year. Keep repeating this process until you’ve scheduled all PM tasks accordingly. Most facilities will end up with 1-2 PM task daily throughout the year.
Follow the PM Instructions – For some pieces of equipment, this is going to be routine and simple. For others, this may be more complex. Take your time, look up information on the internet (many manufactures have YouTube channels showing general service of their equipment). If you’re not comfortable performing maintenance on a piece of equipment call a trained professional.
Get Trained if Needed – Don’t know how to disassemble and clean your chlorinator? Not sure how to maintain a heater? Bring in an expert. Let them perform the task the first time, but with your maintenance team present. Video tape the process if necessary. Next time, you’ll be confident your team can perform the service on their own. Call the manufacturer or your distributer if you need help finding a factory trained technician.
Follow the Schedule – It’s your resolution for 2017 so don’t skip your PM. When your busy, these tasks can quickly move to the back burner, but remember, sticking to the schedule is going to save you time and money down the road.
The Aquatic Council is the leading provider of Aquatic Operational expertise throughout North America. Want to walk through this process with an expert? Give us a call at 1-844-482-1777. We’ll help you make a plan.