Equipment Bunkers – Form Follows Function
This might sound strange, but I believe there’s something “sacred” about pool equipment. The reason I use that word is simply because these are machines that take care of our health, as well as our comfort. I feel much the same way about HVAC systems and in the broader sense public water-treatment systems.
Fact is, our modern world doesn’t exist without these devices. Water treatment, refrigeration, air-conditioning, heating, they are all benchmarks of an industrialized society. For the most part, the technologies that create safe living environments, in and out of the water, work so well and are so reliable, we spend most of our lives not giving them much thought at all, even though we are utterly dependent upon these mechanized life-support systems.
If this seems so self-evident that it barely warrants mentioning, I say, not so fast. Consider what happens with swimming pool and spa equipment. You have a set of devices that are directly responsible for the health and wellbeing of every person that goes in the water. Yet, all too often, the equipment is not given a proper space of its own to function correctly and more to the point, facilitate required service and repair.
Fact is, we don’t give the machines a proper place of their own, and sometimes we pay a price.
ROOM TO BREATHE
It’s a common refrain among the ranks of pool service technicians, equipment “rooms” are way too small. Whether installed outdoors on a pad exposed to the elements, or in some type of bunker or indoor space, equipment rooms are treated as an afterthought, a glorified broom closet, and completely inadequate. Having personally serviced pools for decades, I can’t even recall the numerous times I’ve been forced to work in tiny spaces crammed with equipment that you can barely access, let alone service or replace.
Not only are these spaces way too small, they are poorly lit, or have no lighting at all. They have no ventilation, difficult access, and they’re dangerous. I’ve hit my head countless time, cut myself on sharp edges and nails, inhaled chemical fumes and been bitten by insects. I’ve never been electrically shocked, but that’s probably just luck.
What happens as a result is service techs will avoid these nasty confines as much as possible. That inevitably leads to problems that occur when you don’t inspect the machinery on a regular basis. They break down. Oftentimes, the plumbing in these cramped equipment rooms is so haywire, it dramatically impacts hydraulic efficiency and overall system function that depend on adequate flow rates. The list of potential problems goes on and on.
Ultimately, when you hobble pool and spa systems by jamming them into inadequate space, the consumer is at greater risk, both in terms of health, and costs associated with systems that don’t function properly. And, there’s greater risk and liability exposure to the contractor, service company, and in ultimately the property owner.
This is why at SRK Pools we urge all our clients to make room for the machines. It’s really just common sense. You take care of them, and they’ll take care of you.