by Mark Garcia December 21, 2013
What's inside a real poolman's toolbox? Those tools and supplies that he or she uses every day, uses every few weeks, and then those lifesavers that come in handy every month or so.
Having run a pool service truck in south Texas for many years, I can you tell what I like to have on board. There may be some variation in other regions of the country, which may favor certain equipment, or where there is a strong brand presence.
Although I'm not on the road anymore, these are the tools that I reached for most often, and those that I still have, now out of the truck and in the garage. These are the pool tools that should be on a pool service vehicle, or if you do your own pool repairs, you may need these pool tools yourself at some point.
Nut Drivers: Open the back, pull out the 1/4" and the 5/16" and throw the rest away. The 1/4" is handy for motor work, and the 5/16" will get you inside of a pool heater.
Screw Drivers: A good set, short, long, fat, skinny. You'll need all types at one point or another. Use a large head Philips, #3, for vinyl liner faceplates.
Hex Keys: The small ones are useful for tiny motor set screws, and the 1/4" for cover anchors. Tee handle Hex Keys are much easier to work with, and allow more torque.
Open End Combo Wrench: The 1/2" x 9/16" combo wrench, in a long style, could be the only wrench you ever need. 7/16" is needed for some pump repairs. A 3/4 inch will come in handy if you remove diving board bolts.
Channel Lock Pliers: 3 sizes, small, medium and large will all come in handy, nearly on a daily basis.
Needle Nose Pliers: Standard length are useful, but the extra long, 14" needle nose are useful for reaching into a pipe, to remove obstructions or hold plugs.
Straight Pliers: Straight pliers, medium and large, also useful to hold plugs, or wires.
Wire Strippers: If you are called upon to wire motors and timeclocks, or heaters.
Multi Tool: Worn on your belt, this can save 100 trips to the truck, with pliers and screwdrivers used the most.
Saws: Hacksaw, Wire Saw, Wood Saw. Manual saws are sometimes necessary.
Reciprocating Saw: Great for plumbing jobs, to cut PVC pipe. Can be useful for trimming overgrown trees too!
Cordless Drill: Essential for anything that has a lot of screws, like pool liner steps, or pool heaters.
Rotary Hammer Drill: Great for drilling safety cover anchors, or use as a miniature jack hammer
Blow Dryer: Gotta look your best! Just kidding, use it for softening pool liners that pop out of the track.
Grinder: Multiple uses on plaster, tile and coping. Diamond blade cuts the fastest.
Pool Putty: Seal cracks in plaster and plastic. Fix leaking skimmers, pumps and lights.
Teflon Tape: Everything with threads, esp. pressure gauges and drain plugs.
Blue RTV Silicone: For suction side threaded joints, I like Teflon tape and Blue Goo.
Emory Cloth: For plumbing jobs, use it to sand smooth the ends of cut pipe.
PVC Glue and Primer: Make sure it's fresh - and heavy duty.
Pool Chemicals: To deal with any balance adjustment or water problem.
Pool Parts: Well stocked pool trucks carry commonly used pool parts.
Silicone Lubricant: For o-rings and other rubber parts.
Tapes: Duct tape, electrical tape, masking tape.
Electrical Test Meter: For testing pool heaters, motors, timeclocks, outlets and pool lights for power.
Taylor K-2005 Test Kit: For testing pool water accurately, use a good test kit.
Leak Testing Dye Syringe: For testing suspected leaks in a pool.
Drain King: Connect this to the end of a garden hose, and use it to clear clogged pool pipes.
Blower Vac: Use it for setting a liner (vac) or for winterizing pool plumbing (blower).
Expandable Plugs: Used for pool winterizing, but also for isolating pipes.
Cleaning Equipment: Poles, vac head, hose, nets, brushes. Good quality equipment.
Leaf Blower: For cleaning off pool covers or around the pool deck.
Extension Cords: For powering all of your power equipment.
Pumps and Hoses: Small submersible pumps, medium sized trash pumps, with suction and discharge hoses.
Buckets: 5 gallon, 2 gallon, 1 gallon buckets, all are very useful for tools, chemicals, repair trash.
That's all I can think of - everything you need for a well outfitted pool service truck! Depending on the region you live in, there may be other specific pool tools or equipment items that you need to carry.
Thanks for Reading!