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There are several income sources in owning and operating a pool service route.

The two main sources of income are monthly service billing and maintenance/repair income. An average pool service technician can earn approximately $40.00 per hour servicing pools (this will vary depending on the area of the United States your pool route is located) and approximately $100-150.00 per hour doing minor maintenance/repair on the pool equipment. This business is not difficult for the average person to learn. Most pool route sellers will train the new owner for a period of two -four weeks and provide a consulting period. The accounts are guaranteed to transfer to the new owner during a transition period. A letter notifying the customer of the new owners billing information should be sent within 30 days of taking over the route. The attrition rate during a transition period should be less than two percent. These items will be discussed in greater detail throughout this web site.

If you are in the Northeast or the Northwest, your hourly fee for service will vary from the Sunbelt area. Most pool service professionals in the North will have an abbreviated swimming season. However, the opening and closing of the swimming pool supplement their service income. The opening and closing of a pool in the North can run into several hundred dollars. This will average out to be the same income as Pool Service Technicians across the country during the year for the same number of hours worked. The Sunbelt area of the south and western United States operate their routes all year and charge an average monthly service fee of $60-$120.

In the North pool service technicians with their abbreviated swim season, average the same income as Sunbelt service technicians; they just do it in a shorter period of time. This is because pools are shut down and closed for the winter months. However, they make it up by charging the accounts an opening and closing fee usually around $200.00 to open in the spring and another $200.00 to close the pool down in the fall.

The average pool service technician, if running his route correctly, should be netting between $75,000.00 and $80,000.00 per year. If you have a monthly gross service billing income of $4,000.00 per month, that equates to $48,000.00 per year generated from weekly "service only". Your expenses should be approximately 2 months of your service income or in this example $8,000.00. This will cover your three major expenses, gas, insurance and chemical replacement. Therefore, your service income totaling $48,000.00 for the year, less estimated expense of $8,000.00, should produce a net profit of $40,000.00. Assuming you are operating in a diligent manor. In addition to this profit, you will have an second income on the same accounts for maintenance (filter cleanings, algae, conditioner treatments and other preventive maintenance) charges that you will bill your account extra, plus repairs (motors, pumps, heaters, etc.) This second income should be fifty per cent of your service net. If your net income from service is $40,000.00 then your net from maintenance and repairs should be $20,000.00. This is assuming that you are providing full service to your accounts.

Operating a pool service route correctly is not difficult. Your overhead should be kept to minimum. Operate your business from your home. Use a small truck, comparing your wholesale prices with different suppliers; charge the proper service rate for your area. Let your accounts know of the different services that you provide and alert them to the preventive maintenance services and upgrade their equipment as necessary.

The manufacturers of pool equipment are there to help. There are training seminars for you to learn more about their equipment and become acquainted with equipment upgrades and renovations. After all, they want you to install their equipment and therefore are looking for your business. They provide many avenues of assistance. We have provided you with a list. Just click on our manufacturer’s button any time.

In addition to the expert help you can receive from the manufactures, we highly recommend joining one of the pool service associations that are available in your area. There are three pool associations operating in the western United States and one throughout the entire country. In the west, California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, the most successful pool association is IPSSA, Independent Pool and Spa Service Association. Second would be UPA, United Pool Association. United Pool Association operates only in California, while IPSSA operates as far east as Texas. Both associations offer the same protection. Both will offer a million dollar liability insurance policy, and both will offer route coverage should you become sick or injured. The terms of the route coverage will vary from chapter to chapter, but most chapters will do your pools for you up to a year for free.

The monthly dues for IPSSA and UPA run approximately $55.00 including the $1,000,000.00 liability insurance policy and the route coverage. There are also other great benefits to joining one of the associations since they provide pool service technician seminars. In addition this will give you an opportunity to make friends and contacts with other pool service technicians in your route area. The final association is NSPI, National Spa and Pool Institute. This is the association of associations. To belong to NSPI, you must take a pool-related course and pass a test. NSPI also offers insurance but does not offer route coverage. For more information on pool associations, click on the Associations button.

As stated, there are two main sources of income, monthly service billing and maintenance/repair income. Throughout the United States the purchase price of a pool service route is based on a multiple times the Monthly Service Billing Only income. The multiple will vary from state to state and even within some states. However, it is an industry standard to use a multiple times the Monthly Service Billing Only income. In other words, the maintenance/ repair income should not be included to arrive at a fair purchase price. Any other method of appraising the value a pool route would be contrary to the industry standards. The maintenance and repair income is already considered in the multiple, because most pool service technicians agree that what ever your monthly service billing is, half of that again will translate into maintenance/repair income.

We have been selling businesses for over 28 years. Pool routes are our specialty. We can tell that the most important step in purchasing a pool route is in verifying the monthly service billing. Financial statements, profit and loss statements and balance sheets are usually not available. Mainly because it is not necessary to keep an expensive bookkeeping system for one person operating out of their home. Therefore, there are not usually records available to satisfy a bank or financial institution to borrow the money to buy the route. Individual tax returns usually will not help either, because if you were buying 50 accounts of a route of 100, the tax returns would not be broken down that way. Also, if he is a pool builder or does a lot of business in major pool repairs or pool remodeling, again the tax returns would reflect all this income. What if he had 100 accounts and sold 50 accounts? His tax return would show an income for 100 accounts and you would have no way of knowing this. The next couple of paragraphs will discuss what we find to be the best way to verify the income of the accounts you are purchasing. Pool routes are sold for cash and no terms are generally available. Therefore, you should have the funds available at the time of purchase, unless you are arranging for an equity loan, line of credit or other means to enable you to purchase a pool route.

While most pool routes have the same expenses, they do not have the same income. Income is what you will be purchasing. One of the best ways to get a handle on the monthly service income, as well as what the owner is charging for repairs, is to look at his ledger cards. A ledger card is a monthly history for each account. A ledger card should show when an account was billed and when the account was paid. THE PAYMENT HISTORY OF THE CUSTOMER IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ITEMS TO REVIEW DURING PURCHASE. Who wants an account that does knotty his or her bill? The ledger card also shows what the account was billed for repairs. This part of the ledger card will show if the owner is charging for the proper extras. In addition, the ledger card will show how long the account has been on service. While this is very important to some, the length of time on service is not as important as the payment history. If the average age of the accounts is over a year and they have a good payment history that would be more a good account.

Another big question on the minds of most potential purchasers is the radius of the route and the quality of the neighborhoods. The overall radius of a pool route is not as important as the DAILY RADIUS. Almost everyone has to drive to work or the office. Some people drive 30 minutes, some an hour, some much more. If you purchase a pool route that is within an overall radius of twenty miles but is under a five-mile daily radius, this would be considered a good route in the industry. TRY TO KEEP YOUR POOLS CLUSTERED D (TIGHT) BY SERVICE DAY. The neighborhood of your accounts is not as important as the way they pay their bills. There are several high priced neighborhoods where collection is a problem. Most people in just average neighborhoods have a far better collection record than some so-called upper class neighborhoods.

How many pools can I service in a day? A good question, but difficult to answer. The average pool service technician will service approximately 16 full service pools a day. While some can service 25 to 30 in a day. It depends on the individual and what type of pools he or she is servicing. The average pool service technician will service two pools an hour including driving time. If the accounts are chemical only, he can do many more. If the accounts are commercial, he or she will do less.

A full service account is one who the pool service technician takes complete care of the cleaning and chemical treatment of the pool. A chemical account is one who has only their water balanced by the pool service technician. This owner will clean his own pool. A chemical account can take as little as five minutes. A commercial account is a public pool: Hotel/motel, park pool, apartment pool, homeowner association, etc. A commercial account can be very demanding, but they will pay double or even triple monthly service billing compared to residential. If something goes wrong, they want it fixed immediately. Repairs are great for your pocketbook. The more you fix the more you make. Which brings us to another topic, seminars .

Each manufacturer will put on classes at different times during the calendar year. Check our web site on a regular basis for an update of the seminars in your area. Most of the seminars are free. As far as I know, the heater manufacturers are the only ones that charge a fee for their classes. The fee is fifty dollars for registration. Mainly, to insure you show up for the class. IT IS IMPORTANT TO ATTEND THE SEMINARS. You can click on SEMINARS to obtain a list .

Another way to gather information about the potential of the pool business is to attend the trade shows. There are numerous trade shows throughout the year and throughout the country. These shows will have service companies, builders, manufacturers, trade schools, pool brokers, etc. There is one caution I might put forth at this time about trade schools and seminars. However, if you are not in the business, I would not attend the seminars. The instructors of the seminars are under the impression that everyone taking the class is a service technician. If you can't keep up with the industry jargon, they will leave you behind. IT IS BEST TO BE TRAINED AS A SERVICE TECHNICIAN FIRST, BEFORE YOU TAKE A CLASS. For a schedule of the trade shows, click on TRADE SHOWS.

There are also several trade publications servicing the pool industry. Rather than go into a lengthy explanation of each publication, click and go to our publication page. PUBLICATIONS

After you purchase your pool route what then? Can you expand? The answer is yes. There are more accounts out there than you will ever want or need (depending on where you live). Thousands of pools are built each year, but there are already millions in the ground.

You just have to know the right way to get at them. That is where we come in. If you are interested in building on the route you are purchasing click on EXPANSION .

If a Seller is only concerned with the sale of their route, and how much money they receive from this sale, then that Seller will not be concerned with the quality of service provided by the new owner. This is the type of Seller you should try to avoid. If a Seller's interest lies only in the money received from the sale, more than likely, he will not care about how well you are trained or, if you succeed at all in your new business. While this is a simple business, you will need to be trained properly. Try to find a Seller who is concerned with who purchases his route. This will go along way in assuring that you will receive proper training. A Seller, who is concerned about his customers, is a good Seller. He should have some compassion for the way his customers are treated after the sale. Verification of the accounts is one reason not to purchase from a FOR SALE BY OWNER. A Buyer should have a Pool Broker involved in the sale and purchase for his protection. Pool Route Brokers has no interest in taking the accounts away from the Seller or, in causing the Buyer any harm. Pool Brokers will be able to take the list of customers being sold, and contact a percentage of the accounts to verify their authenticity. If you do purchase a route from a FOR SALE BY OWNER, you should complete this process prior to giving the seller ANY funds or at least held by a third party. A Seller may want you to give him half of the funds now, and half after the verification, or half after training. If the Seller is dishonest, you could still lose half of your money. It is always better, for your protection, to have Pool Route Brokers involved, as a third party, in the sale and purchase of a pool route. The purchase price will remain the same. There is no discount in the purchase price when you purchase a route directly from the owner. However, there is a discount in your protection

Using Pool Route Brokers in the sale and purchase of a route will also assist you in case a dispute arises between you and the seller. With our 28 years of selling businesses, Pool Route Brokers usually can resolve the dispute before it escalates into legal action. It is also important to have a sounding board. If you have a business idea, it is important to have us at Pool Route Brokers, Inc. listen and discuss the positive or negative aspects of your idea

As an experienced Pool Route Broker, we can and will help you to maximize your company's profits. We can also assist you in expansion ideas, as well as the most painless ways to get customers to pay for services which they are not currently being charged.

All pool routes purchased through Pool Route Brokers, Inc. will be transferred through proven and successful Escrow Procedures. The fee is minimal, and the escrow will be exclusively for the transfer of pool accounts that you are purchasing. You can be assured that your escrow will have the important items necessary to assure a successful transfer of the pool accounts.


  1. The Seller should train the Buyer for thirty (30) days. During the thirty (30) day training period, the Buyer receives all of the income derived from the accounts for both monthly service billing and maintenance/repairs.
  2. The Seller should train the Buyer for the first two (2) weeks on service and preventive maintenance items, and the final two (2) weeks on repairs and any other questions the Buyer may have that were not covered during the first two (2) weeks. Furthermore, the Seller should be willing to provide consultation to the new owner during the transition period.
  3. The Seller should also guarantee the transfer of accounts. The guarantee period should run for ninety (90) days from the close of escrow. During this period, the Seller should replace any account that did not transfer, due to any reason, except negligence of the Buyer, with an account of equal monthly service billing or refund to the Buyer, the amount paid for the account that discontinued service. Some funds should be held in escrow for the ninety (90) day guarantee period to assure Seller compliance, and also to assure that the Buyers training is properly completed.
  4. The Seller should also be willing to sign a Five (5) year Covenant Not to Compete on the accounts being transferred. Sometimes the Seller is only selling part of his route; this should not negatively affect your business, or your expansion plans, if the seller continues to service other pool customers. If the Seller is remaining in the pool business, he is usually more available for advice and consultation.
  5. The Seller should provide the Buyer, for his examination, the current billing history for each customer being purchased. The Buyer should review this customer billing history prior to the opening of an escrow. It is important for the Buyer to review this customer history, prior to the purchase, to determine the acceptability of the accounts. Billing history should disclose the following:
  • When the account was billed. When the account paid. The monthly Service charge. Repair charges. Sometimes, but not always, the start date for each customer. All information pertaining to the customers will remain in the possession of the Seller or deposited into escrow, until after the close of escrow. After the close of escrow, the Seller should deliver copies of all customer histories to the Buyer.
  • Possession of the account histories will assist the Buyer when a customer has a question on a repair that was done by the Seller. Since most repairs have a one (1) year warranty, the Seller will remain responsible for warranty work on all repairs done, prior to the close of escrow. Pool Route Brokers; will receive a list of the accounts being purchased, prior to the close of escrow, for the purpose of transferring them to the Buyer through escrow.


  • Business License
    -Fictitious Business Name Filing
    -Notification to Accounts
  • Establishing Account with Chemical and Parts Wholesaler
  • Obtaining Proper Service Equipment
    -Proper Account Billing Procedure (Account Software)
    -Extra Services Information
  • Proper Charges for Extra Services
    Establishing Account with Employment Development Department (if applicable)
  • Establishing Account with State Board of Equalization
    -Account Expansion
  • When and How to Raise Customer Rates
  • Pool Associations Information
  • Seminar and Training Information
    -Employee or Independent Contractor Information (if applicable)
  • Subscription to Service Industry News
  • Liability Insurance Information (best sources)


Once you have determined what route you are interested in, the next step is to submit a contingent Purchase Agreement form. The Purchase Agreement will be accompanied by a good faith deposit check in the amount of $500.00. This deposit check is not cashed. The deposit check is stapled to the Purchase Agreement form. A contingent Purchase Agreement is subject to your complete verification and approval of the information supplied by the Seller. If you do not approve of the information, you may cancel your Purchase Agreement without the loss of your deposit (your check is then returned to you un-cashed). Submitting a Purchase Agreement to purchase the pool accounts, prior to meeting with the Seller and reviewing the account billing histories, is necessary for the following reasons:

It is necessary to affirm that the Buyer has the funds available to make the purchase. It is necessary to affirm that the Buyer is willing to pay the Seller's purchase price. The pool route will be taken off the market to give the Buyer and opportunity to verify and approve of the accounts. Most importantly, it shows the Seller that the Buyer is sincere and acting in good faith.

If you approve of the records and verification of the accounts you are purchasing and want to proceed with the purchase, an escrow is opened, and at that time the $500.00 is then deposited into escrow and will be applied toward the purchase price.

Once the list of accounts containing: the name, address, billing amount and phone number of each customer, and all of the funds to purchase are deposited into escrow, an escrow officer then makes random phone calls to the customers for verification that the accounts are pleased with their service and they would continue service. Once the account verification has been completed, escrow is then ready to close. At the close of escrow, ninety (90) percent of the purchase price is released to the Seller, and ten (10) percent of the purchase price is held in escrow for the ninety (90) day guarantee transfer period. The Buyer is given possession of the pool accounts at the close of escrow. The Buyers training period begins at the close of escrow. The Buyer now owns the route and receives all income derived from the accounts during the training period. The customers are notified of the transfer and new billing information once the Buyer has become acquainted with the route, usually within the first thirty (30) days.

It is important to make sure all of your questions are answered prior to meeting with the Seller. It is important to make sure you have discussed the purchase with all relevant parties, prior to meeting with the Seller. You should be ready to make a decision regarding the purchase of the route at the meeting with the Seller. If you are not ready to commit to owning your own pool route business, a meeting with the Seller is premature.

There will be no pressure on you, at anytime, to purchase the pool route accounts. However, please be sure this is something you really would like to do, prior to meeting with the Seller.

I have been selling all types of businesses for over 28 years and can honestly say that compared to many other businesses a pool route is one of the easiest to learn, least amount of problems, as you are your own boss without a major investment in inventory, equipment, store leases and employees. For those reasons you net profit operating a pool service route is much higher than most other types of businesses. Plus you operate out of your home and normally do not work any evening, weekends or holidays. If this sounds like the type of opportunity you have been looking for, then don’t put it off another day. Call me direct and I will be happy to discuss routes available in your area. I will do my best to find the exact route in your area that fits your investment needs and income expectations. A pool service route is not a job, it is a business. Own your own business, be your own boss, dictate your own hours control your own life. Live an American Dream.

Call today 1-800-772-6002 or


Pool Route Brokers, Inc.
Frank Passantino, Broker



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