Meet our pool boy and his wife…
Stefan & Danielle
Hey! That’s me, Stefan Schulz, and my wife, Danielle.
Once upon a time, a washed-up pool boy turned into a marketing agency owner, decided to buy a house with a pool…
As you can probably tell we like being on and around water.
That photo of us was taken from a boat in Lewes, Delaware in 2016, a few years before we bought our home in New Jersey.
At the time, we were living in a cramped little town house in a development that had a community pool. But I didn’t dare touch that water. It skeeved me out. Mainly because I grew up a little spoiled. I lived in a nice slightly-rural home with an around 5 acres of land.
Part of that property had an immaculate 20 x 40 inground swimming pool.
My Introduction to Pool Maintenance
Growing up with a pool, and parents that like to delegate, you get a pretty quick lesson in Pool Maintenance 101.
You also learn that it’s not always sunshine and mimosas.
A lot of times, even when you have the best pool cleaning tools and maintenance habits, things just don’t go right.
I remember spending a summer in the car with my mom going back and forth from the house to the local pool store. “I’m about at my wits’ end! If I can’t get this pool blue, I want you to send out a concrete company to fill it!”
Those trips to the pool store became a lot more frequent, especially during high school and college. Because it was where I reluctantly got my first real job.
FYI: Working in a pool store was pretty brutal. I would not recommend it.
Not only was the pay horrible, but it also definitely wasn’t worth the years I probably lost off of my life from the countless hours of incubating in a hot box of chlorine.
Think Chernobyl is bad? Try working in a pool store. Your one cigarette butt away from an explosion that would make Michael Bay say, “Hey, how bout we dial it back a bit…”
Beyond the hazardous health conditions, the people sucked. Not the work people, the pool owners and customers. You have to remember that less than 5% of people that walk into a pool store are happy. Those people are typically in the market to buy a pool. And half of them leave not so happy, completely flabbergasted by how much it really costs.
Everybody else is a healthy mix of: “My pool is always cloudy,” and “I don’t know why my water level keeps on dropping,” or “The pool pump completely ceased up, and of course the classic, “I can’t believe home much chlorine costs”.
After I graduated college, I was happy to get out of there and take on a full-time job in digital marketing. My introduction to taking care of pools was done, but my life as a pool boy was not.
10 Years Later
I won’t bore you with my 10+ years grinding away at Orpical Group. It has been a long and interesting road. And it hasn’t always been easy.
Fortunately, in the last couple of years, the business has been able to grow. And after some very tough years of frugal spending and a commitment to watch every dollar, my wife and I were finally able to move out of our tiny townhouse. We lucked out immensely and were able to get another stepping-stone home right before the world shut down in 2020.
The home wasn’t exactly what we wanted. But there was at least a consolation prize.
It had a pool!
Side note: If you ever get to the point of potentially buying a home with a pool. Please find and hire a dedicated pool inspector.
A lot of home inspectors don’t offer pool inspections and you often have to hire a specialist. Trust me, it’s not worth being stingy. I learned the hard way. It’s 100% worth the extra few hundred bucks as it could potentially save you thousands of dollars down the road.
In the first year of owning that pool I found:
- That the bottom of the pool looked like the surface of the moon. The foundation is sand and due to the size of the backyard, after a good summer rain, ground water pushes up against the pool liner and creates bubbles.
- The pool pump wasn’t big enough for the size of the pool. The previous owner has put in a pump that had enough power to barely move enough water in a small above ground. It ceased up after one season.
- Our chlorine generator for the saltwater pool didn’t work. The electrical fuses in the generator would blow out because it wasn’t installed properly. It should have been installed on its own breaker, but it shared a circuit with the pool pump.
- A bunch of internal components on the filter were broken and needed to be replaced.
- The pool vacuum didn’t work because we couldn’t get enough suction.
- Water evaporation issues.
I’m sure that I forgot a few more headaches.
I didn’t really consider creating a blog on pool maintenance until a friend of ours bought a pool. He was super pumped and started asking me all kinds of question.
At first, I was happy to answer, but after a while I was like, “Come on dude, just Google it.”
The problem was — the information that was out there was horrible. I remember getting a text from him and he told me that he read a post on Google that suggested a certain type of filter that made zero sense for his type of pool.
At that point, I started thinking about putting my background to use. I started looking for domains that I could repurpose to share best practices on pool maintenance.
That’s when I came across an expired domain: pvpoolcleaner.com.
This site used to belong to an actual pool cleaning company in Ponte Vedra.
Honestly, I’m not sure what happened to them. Maybe they went out of business. Maybe they got acquired and made a fortune. Who knows.
What I loved about the domain was that it was built around what I wanted to talk about: pool cleaning.
But what about the PV?
After giving it some thought, one of the things that I think that’s misisng in this industry is a reliable source of information. Pool cleaning services are crazy expensive. And I think pools are one of those high-end luxuries that people are scared to take control of themselves.
But there’s so much information out there. People just need reassurance and reliable information. Some pool issues only take a few minutes to learn and fix.
That’s where I got to thinking, “Wouldn’t it be cool to have a personal, virtual pool cleaner…”
PV Pool Cleaner.
That’s how “Your Personal Virtual Pool Cleaner” was born.