For many in the pool industry, forming a company comes as an outgrowth of working in other construction fields, is passed down through family, or happens after years of working for another company. For the scuba techs interviewed by PSN, the pool industry was a leap away from their previous work. Here’s how our featured scuba techs found themselves repairing pools.
SEE MORE:The World of Scuba Techs
In the 1980s, Anderson was a diver for the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, Calif. With a degree in biology from University of California Santa Cruz, he was part of a research team that completed science dives, during which they would build underwater containers for sample collection and computers. In the late ’80s, the scientific staff was laid off, and Anderson found himself part of that group.
“I was a single father and I didn’t have time to wonder and whine about what I was going to do,” he says.
An acquaintance asked Anderson to fix his pool. He says it was a no-brainer, given all his ocean experience. From there he started his scuba repair company.
Wallace was nowhere near water or pools before he transitioned into the pool industry. He was a probation officer in San Diego County.
While there, he met a young chemist doing an internship at the probation department. The chemist was messing around with various chemical compounds and Wallace found himself interested.
Together they came up with the idea to use one of their creations (one of Wallace’s trade secrets) in pools.
“It was very rudimentary at first, little hairline cracks,” he says. “I’m terrified to see what we did 30 years ago, but we found that it worked.”
The chemist went on to medical school and became a physician, but Wallace took over their company, Underwater Unlimited, and went out on his own.
In 1970, White had a pool built in his backyard. He had been diving recreationally for five years. The contractor asked if White would help repair leaking pools. He agreed but started out only working during summers.
For the rest of the year, White was a school teacher, which he did from 1968 to 2001. He started off slowly, calling pool companies and diving residential pools for leaks.
He didn’t start his own company until 1989, after his father said that he was “really in the pool business” and to get started.
“It was a great summer job,” he says.