Swimming Pool Guides & Reviews by Certified Pool & Spa Operator®
Overview of Pool Automation
Here’s Everything You Need To Know
You don’t need to be technologically knowledgeable to operate an automated pool or spa. It’s as easy as pushing a button on a TV remote control. Actually, it’s even easier because you can push the button from thousands of miles away and it’ll still control your pool. This is the power of smart technology integration in your swimming pool.
You probably use your smartphone to manage most aspects of your life already, right? Why not control your pool automatically from your smartphone too? The pool would basically be part of your smart home’s “Internet of Things,” which are smart devices that are all connected to the internet via Wi-Fi.
Pool automation gives you the power to use your smartphone to control the speed of your pool pump and to schedule the times when you want it turned on and off. As long as you’re somewhere that has a Wi-Fi connection, you can control every feature of your pool and get status updates in real-time.
The setup time only takes a few hours. After that, you’ll have your very own smart pool system which can be controlled by your simple demands.
How It Works
Before you can gain control over your pool, the electrical wiring must be connected to a switch or control board. This is a job for only a licensed electrician to do, so don’t attempt to do it yourself.
Smart pool automation requires high-speed internet. The speed for both downloading and uploading must be a minimum of 3 Mbps at the location of your pool pad. You can use internet speed testing websites to determine the speed of your internet connection.
You can use an Ethernet wired connection or a home network wireless connection for your smart control systems. The pool automation system is managed by a control hub. The smart relays, water pump, booster pumps, lights, and water heater must all be connected to the control hub. You can utilize the touchscreen control pad to manage the operation of this equipment while you’re at the pool pad.
Control valve actuators exist with certain automation brands. This allows you to simply tap a button on your app to switch between spa and pool.
There are plenty of new products which make it simple to turn your current pool equipment into an automated pool system. But it will involve setting up software and having electrical work done. You can install the newest pool automation systems in roughly 2 hours.
Remember always to put safety first. The software setup is probably something you can figure out on your own, but don’t even think about doing the electrical work yourself. A professional is not only recommended, but it is also legally required when it involves electricity.
Is It Worth Getting Pool Automation?
Pool automation can be highly beneficial to your life. It involves more than just using your smartphone to adjust pool settings or schedule certain functions of your pool devices. Let’s see what else pool automation can do for you.
Imagine yourself going on a date, and things are getting serious between you and your partner. You suggest going back to your place and taking a dip in your hot tub. The only problem is your hot tub is currently turned off, and the water is cold. It wouldn’t be very romantic to take your date back home to a spa filled with cold water. It would also be annoying tohaveto wait forthe water to heat up while you’re bothalreadythere.
A pool automation system solves this problem. You can just use your smartphone app to turn on your hot tub from wherever you currently are. You can even adjust the temperature to a hot, comfortable temperature so that it is all ready by the time you both get there. This will keep the intimacy going smoothly so that there are no interruptions in the romance.
A lot of models have a “Spa Night” setting which automatically prepares your spa according to some preconfigured settings.
Imagine you’re traveling on a business trip and preparing to come back home. All you want to do is dive into a warm swimming pool when you get back home. To ensure that you don’t arrive back home to a pool filled with cold water and algae, you can set “Vacation” mode on your system from your smartphone app. This allows the automatic pool cleaner to clean the water at different intervals.
The pump could even be scheduled to automatically reduce in speed at certain times throughout the day, like during certain hours when the power company charges higher rates for energy use.
Suppose you’re inside your home cooking food and preparing drinks for your party guests. There is no time to go out to your backyard and activate the controls on the pool pad.
As an alternative, you verbally command your smartphone app to switch to “Party Time.” This is a theme with several preprogrammed actions, such as turning on your pool heater and switching to the right water temperature. You can also turn on your pump, backyard lights, and other water features with the app too. You’ll basically be making your pool ready for a party before you even get out there yourself.
All-in-One Pool Automation
The newest variable-speed pool pumps come with all-inclusive pool automation systems which let you manage your pool lights, heater, and pump from the app on your smartphone. It doesn’t matter which pool equipment brands you’re using either. Amazon Alexa might work with certain systems too.
If you ever need to get a new pool pump, then consider purchasing a package deal like this. For one low price, you can receive an entire pool automation system with a new pool pump.
If you would prefer to purchase a pool automation system separately with no other hardware included, you can do that. However, it might be more expensive that way because you’ll need to purchase the hardware separately if you don’t already have it. The switches, hub, and controllers will come with the system, though.
Piecemeal Pool Automation
To create a pool automation system, you’ll need certain smart devices and network controls. You must also be comfortable operating the technology too. If you are, then customizing the automation experience of the pool will be fun for you to do.
When you’re ready to begin the setup process, every device of the system will need its own switches or controls and a control hub. We recommend the SmartThings hub because it lets you connect up to 200 devices or components. It can also establish routines which cause certain actions to get trigged with a single command.
After you set up the hub, then you can start connecting the devices to it. Use the controller to connect the heater and pump. Other items worth connecting include water leak sensors, LED light strips, switches, smart outlets, sound systems, and motion sensor pool alarms. If you want to add more security and safety around your pool, you’ll be able to link motion-based security cameras to your system. This will send real-time video alerts directly to your mobile device if the motion sensors around your pool detect any movement.
If you want the same security for your windows and doors, you can connect alarms for them to your control hub too. These features can be managed from your smartphone right along with your pool system.
Pool Automation Integration
Smartphone apps aren’t the only things you can use to manage these pool systems. If you don’t mind working with technology, here are some other ways you can manage the systems.
Online Software Integration
Online software integrations can automate certain processes whenever a variety of trigger actions are initiated. The IFTTT, which is one type of software integration, can activate the pool heater if the Weather Underground indicates that the temperature in your area has gone down to a certain amount.
How about your pool lights automatically turning on as soon as your GPS detects that you’re close to home? IFTTT can do this and more, such as activating your hot tub as soon as the GPS detects that you’ve left your workplace. The automation possibilities are endless here.
Voice Assistant Device Integration
You’ll love to use your voice to control your pool automation system and its features. People already use their voices to control features in their homes, so why not outside their homes too?
Many brands of pool automation systems are compatible with popular voice assistant platforms like Amazon Alexa, Apple smartwatch, and Google Home. Other voice assistants are compatible with various other hubs as well.
More people are using these devices each year. It was determined that by December 2017, roughly 50% of Americans used one of the voice assistant programs to control their devices.
Therefore, if you’re ready to get voice assistant devices, then you need an automation system which can integrate with them.
Pool automation is possible with virtually all scenarios. Let your imagination run wild. The important thing is that you save money and stress by investing in a good quality automation system for your pool.