Locating spare parts for swimming pool equipment can be a frustrating experience for both the consumer and the retailer. Over the last 30 years, there have been dozens of manufacturers in the Australian marketplace and literally hundreds of different models of pool equipment within all these brands. In more recent times there has been an influx of non ‘trade’ quality equipment, available through mass merchants and internet stores, where no spare parts are even made available to repair these items.
As far as difficulty goes, looking for spare parts for pool equipment is in the realm of buying spare parts for cars. The difference is that car manufacturers introduced the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) many years ago, which is a unique identification number for every vehicle produced worldwide. Combining this with modern parts computer systems, interfaced to state registration computers, this has revolutionized locating spare parts for motor vehicles and taken much of the guess work out of it.
Unfortunately swimming pool equipment does not have any kind of universal identification system and all parts are actually catalogued and ordered by the retailer based on the brand and model of each specific piece of pool equipment (and this is even a dark art in itself). This means that the buyer needs to come forearmed on most occasions with more than just a broken part in hand.
In order to help ease the pain, here is a quick list of Do’s and Don’ts that will hopefully make your experience much smoother when looking for pool parts:
- wherever possible bring the faulty part, and the piece of equipment it belongs to, into the retailer.
- bring photos of the piece of equipment when it is not possible to remove it from your site.
- record or preferably photograph any details on the equipment that show brand and model information and any other specifics that might help.
- be patient with the retailer when sourcing spare parts. As mentioned beforehand, it is literally a minefield trying to wade through parts books that are often incomplete on the part of pool manufacturers.
- just bring a spare part in and ask for a new one when you cannot accurately describe what it came off and what it did.
- get frustrated with the retail staff when they cannot help you due to insufficient information you provide them.
- expect that the retailer will have every part on the shelf. With so many variations of equipment around it is impossible to stock even a fraction of the spare parts that are available.