Using Oatey thread sealants and solvent welding best practices, Instagram influencer Pool Volution has learned to operate a highly successful pool maintenance business.
Have you ever wondered whether your skills could be used in an entirely different industry?
After being in the HVAC industry for several years, Pool Volution — an Instagram influencer with over 56K followers — wanted to explore an alternative career path where he could potentially apply his existing HVAC and plumbing knowledge.
One day, he approached another work truck he happened to notice and asked its owner what they did for a living. The owner explained he worked in the swimming pool industry. After further discussions and research about what the pool industry entails, Pool Volution discovered some similarities between residential plumbing and servicing pools.
Recognizing a need for professionals with plumbing skills within the pool industry, he decided to become a pool service technician. According to Pool Volution, the pool business typically offers three types of services: “Pool design and construction; remodeling, cleaning and maintenance; and, finally, servicing and repair.”
According to Pool Volution, the duties of a service technician are to install, service, and repair swimming pool equipment, such as water filters, pumps, and water systems. Other responsibilities include regular plumbing maintenance or pipework for a new build. Pool Volution says to earn a stable income in this industry, practitioners typically have a pool route from Monday to Friday, cleaning pools all day and occasionally making a repair.
Not many people specialize in just being a pool technician. As a result — “I get much of my work from the other pool guys, asking for help repairing the plumbing,” notes Pool Volution. “People need to know who to call for help. You really have to establish yourself, so they know your name in this industry. Not many guys out there can do what I do."
A pool technician can work independently or for a pool servicing company and service a range of commercial and residential clients at a single location, such as a large aquatics center. Pool Volution works for a pool company, but has also established himself as an expert within the industry and on social media. Since it is a very niche space, he wants to ensure he was using the products optimally and providing informative responses to questions.
You can find educational tips for the trade, as well as tool and pool equipment reviews on his Instagram and TikTok.
How solvent welding knowledge backs a pool maintenance career
Pool Volution started his social media platform because he found that the pool industry and its practices were seriously underregulated. “Not many guys out there know what they’re doing when it comes to pool maintenance and professional work,” he says.
Just as plumbing issues in a home or building are inevitable, so it is with pools. Systems handling water and chemicals are vulnerable to corrosion and in regular need of repairs. That is why Pool Volution gets consistent service calls from clients with pools open year-round.
Pool Volution uses some of the same products when installing pool equipment as he would if he were servicing a home’s plumbing system. He works with two- and three-inch plastic pipe and mainly uses cement and thread sealants to secure the pipe connections. “Whether you’re working with solvent cement in residential or commercial plumbing or doing it with the pool equipment, the same things apply.”
Pool Volution uses Hercules® Purple Primer for a fast, secure solvent weld, but adjusts the products he uses based on the time of the year. In the summer, when the heat requires a longer cure time, he uses Oatey® Heavy Duty Gray Medium Set PVC Cement. In the winter, he applies Oatey® Hot Medium Blue Lava PVC Cement for a faster set.
Other products he uses day-to-day would be Hercules® Real Tuff™ PTFE Thread Sealant to form leak-free joints and the Harvey™ Plastic Pipe Cable Saw, which can cut through almost any plastic pipe.
To gain a better understanding of these products, Pool Volution contacted Oatey’s technical department for support. Oatey Technical Applications Manager Doug Buchan, who is also a master plumber, took the time to share solvent welding and product-selection best practices with Pool Volution. Doug covered each product formula, how to get the most out of each, what to use and when to use it.
“Since talking with Doug, I’ve been able to educate others on social media. If someone comments on my video about why I’m using a certain cement, I can now correctly explain the reason.”
Among many best practices, Doug shared that using the proper tools and techniques is important when preparing the pipe. Preparation of the pipe before a solvent weld reduces the chance of any pipe-connection failures. Prepping comes down to how you cut, deburr, chamfer, and clean it.
Choosing the right primer and cement for the job is also important. When selecting a solvent cement, base your selection on the three key components: pipe material, size, and job conditions.
Oatey has a variety of cement and primers for the application you need. Other reminders include using the correct tool for the pipe size to apply the cement evenly and to prefabricate as much as possible to make your job easier. Working with pool plumbing pipes for solvent welding doesn’t have to be complicated. It all comes down to using the right tools for the welding material — again, similar to working in a home or building. Following the correct procedures will ensure a secure connection.
Pool Volution shared that the pool industry lacks sources of information to make sure what you are doing is correct. After talking with Doug, Pool Volution feels more confident working with the pipe-connection products and handling client questions. Oatey’s products have also helped him deliver quality pool maintenance service.
The pool industry is not a common industry to specialize in, but with his background in plumbing, Pool Volution was able to create a path to another lucrative career. He chose what was best for him and his lifestyle,
“I took the opportunity to try something new. With previous plumbing experience, applying what I already knew was easy. The work felt familiar — like I was supposed to be there.”