In addition to professional equipment, underwater repair work requires quality training and a conscientious approach. Having a scuba license isn’t required in every state, but it’s good to know proper diving techniques, as it’s possible to introduce air bubbles into your bloodstream in as little as four feet of water.
Some veteran divers will offer trade secrets and training to interested techs. Mike Stinson, owner of Mike the Poolman in Folsom, Calif., learned underwater repair from Phil Grider, a 20-year veteran of underwater repair. Others may start up with a more self-guided approach. These techs may not be suited for more involved projects, according to Stinson.
“Other than [a few techs], it’s a bunch of new guys who are just figuring out how to attach drain covers,” he says. “But none of them know how to plaster underwater. That’s what we know how to do and that’s why we can build sumps, chisel and cut rebar.”
If a job requires underwater plastering, you may consider deferring to an area expert before attempting more difficult underwater repairs.
•Video: Drain replacement
A link to a video of an underwater drain replacement.