When it comes to pools, the question of repair or replace is a complicated one. If you sell, install, or maintain pools, it’s likely that your customers are coming to you to help them make this difficult decision. It’s important to build trust with your customers and help them troubleshoot for the best solution for them, not necessarily the one that’ll make you the most profit.
In this article, we'll explore the factors that go into this decision and help your customers decide whether the pool should be repaired or replaced.
Check for Repairable Damage or Defects
Before deciding whether or not to replace a pool, help the customer check for repairable defects. Look for signs of damage, such as cracks and leaks. Ask the customer to send some photos or video to you via email or schedule an on-site consultation with them to review the damage and run tests, if needed.
Sometimes, parts can be defective — it’s unfortunate, but it happens. If you believe the issue to be a defective product, you can help the customer file a warranty claim, such as on a pump or heater. If it’s a smaller part or cosmetic, like mismatched patterns on tiles, offer to replace the pieces.
If the issue with your customer’s pool isn’t coming from a factory defect, there are several things to consider when deciding to repair or replace, namely the cost of the repair and the long-term maintenance costs. Other factors may be:
- Amount of downtime for the pool to repair vs replace, especially if it’s peak pool season
- Amount of other repairs made to the pool already
- Whether or not the products are still under warranty and if the warranty applies
Consider the Cost of Repairs and Replacement
The cost to repair and the cost to replace may be the ultimate deciding factors for your customer. Depending on the damage, replacement may be cheaper — and potentially safer — than a repair.
However, whichever route a customer wants to do, it’s important to have a professional address the problem. Make sure your customer understands that having a pro repair or replace their pool may be more expensive up front than their handyman family member, but a pro comes with the peace of mind the job was done right. Reassure your customer that many pros have trade certifications and even take special courses offered by manufacturers for specific products. Some pros may even have workmanship warranties that cover repairs if something in their work fails prematurely — a much better deal in the long run than saving a couple bucks up front.
If it’s a Minor Problem, Fix it
Minor repairs, like patching up a small leak or replacing a worn-out O-ring, are easy enough to fix and probably not worth the hassle of replacement. Having to drain the pool to fix a leak or patch up a hole is better than starting from square one, even if the pool has to be out of service for a few days to get it done.
Talk through these options with your customer and gauge whether or not the minor problem could become a bigger issue down the road. Or, minor problems may be building up, leading to our next suggestion:
If the Pool is Showing its Age, Replace it
Minor repairs can get annoying if they’re coming up a lot, which can happen as products age. Your customers want to use their pool, and you don’t want to be spending a bunch of time putting bandaids on an outdated system.
Replacing a pool is no easy feat, and it will create some downtime when the pool will be unavailable. However, once a new pool is in, your customers shouldn’t be spending any time on band aid repairs! Additionally, a new pool and pump system will be safer than the old, deteriorating one.
You know replacing a pool will cost more than most repairs, so be sure to discuss this with your customer. They may decide to get rid of the pool altogether, and that’s okay! Help them find the resources to properly dispose of or fill in a pool, and discuss why it might be hazardous to just leave the pool empty. Remember, every experience a customer has with your business leaves an impression — they may still leave good reviews and send you referrals, even if they decide to close their pool and you ultimately lose their business.
Replace if Your Customer Wants to Upgrade or Remodel
If your customer is considering replacing their existing pool, there are many great reasons to do so. New pools are more energy efficient, environmentally friendly, and generally easier to maintain than older ones. New pools also have more options in styles, colors, and features.
It's not just about the look of the pool, either — new pools are generally safer! Safety is always a top priority when it comes to backyard swimming pools, but even more so if your customer has young children using the pool. A lot has changed even in the last few years in terms of water safety. Low threshold water intake and filtration systems and filters that use less harsh (but still effective) materials to disinfect the water can be great additions for a new pool.
Your customer may also be considering replacement if they want to raise the value of their home. Since many pool manufacturers offer transferable warranties if the property owner changes, replacement may be a good idea if the customer is looking to sell in the next few years and their current warranties are near expiration.
Ultimately, it’s up to the customer to decide what to do with their swimming pool. The important thing is for you and your team to position yourselves as trusted advisors and experts and help customers make informed, confident decisions.