As usual, there is a dispute between pool service professionals as to the efficacy of the salt system, whether the salt system is better for a customer’s pool than the traditional method of sanitizing. However, we will cover this dispute at another time. Today we want to approach Salt vs. Chlorine from a profitability perspective.
Most pool service professionals believe a saltwater pool is better than traditional sanitation because you add less chlorine to the pool and this reduces your chemical costs. It is true a saltwater pool will use much less chlorine because the salt is converted into the sanitizing agent through the salt system. However, a saltwater pool will use more Muriatic Acid and as all pool professionals know, Muriatic Acid is more expensive than chlorine.
Many pool service professionals claim to earn a great deal of money selling salt systems and this is partially true. However, once you sell your customers the salt system, most of your future revenue from chemical sales disappears. You can sell your customers the bags of salt, but how much can you earn on a $10.00 bag of salt? Salt cells must also be serviced, approximately once every six months, but neither selling salt nor the cell maintenance is all that profitable for most pool service professionals; and most pool service professionals do not charge for salt or the salt cell service.
If you are adamant about installing salt systems, be certain to pencil out your expected profit for the sale of the equipment and all servicing of the system. By penciling out your profit, amortized over the life of the system, you will have a better understanding of what is more profitable: the salt system or just plain old chemicals. Both can be wonderful sources of income if you are charging your customers appropriately. If you are not charging for chemicals and you are not installing salt systems and charging for the appropriate services, you are definitely losing revenue.
If you are charging for chlorine and acid, compare the revenue and profit received from this revenue stream against the salt system revenue stream and determine which is best for your company. If the salt system pencils out best for your company, talk to a manufacturer about a special deal for selling only their salt systems. If selling chlorine and acid to your customers makes more sense for your bottom line, stay traditional.
Either way, by penciling out your profit for each revenue stream, you will experience more choices for your company and a better idea of your profit potential.