For a lot of people, complete pool automation is the absolute dream. After all, who wants to wander around a pool flicking countless switches every single day? Why not do it from the same spot? On this page, we are going to look at some of the pros and cons of pool automation. This will help you to decide whether pool automation is right for you or not.
What is Pool Automation?
With pool automation, you will be able to control your pool from a central location. This is often done through a dedicated unit or, most recently, through smart devices. This prevents the need for people to go around and put on various switches. Pool automation systems can be hooked up to pumps, filters, lights, heating systems, and a whole lot more. It is something that will essentially give you full control of your pool. Some of them will even give you more control than you would have had normally e.g. some systems will allow you to set up light shows in your pool, or maybe set a bit of mood lighting. It is a fantastic idea if you really want to get the most out of your swimming pool.
We do want to point out at this point (and we are going to cover this in a bit more depth soon), is that the vast majority of systems will not work at controlling chemical balance. We are starting to see more and more systems enter the market that allows this, but they are few and far between. They can get a little bit costly too. So, at this point in time, if you want a pool automation system, you can save a whole lot of money balancing the chemicals yourself. Let’s be honest, this is not going to be that much of an issue. It is a few minutes of work every few days.
As a final point of note; while we are talking about pool automation with regards to swimming pools here, there are systems that can work well with hot tubs too. So, if you have a hot tub, you may be able to find a system that is good for you. Although let’s be honest, hot tubs are so small that you probably do not really need to have a sophisticated system in place anyway.
Setting up a Pool Automation System
We are not going to go into too much depth on setting up a pool automation system here. While it is something that you can do yourself, the installation will vary wildly from product to product. You must also be aware that you are going to be dealing with electrical systems and water here. It is something that you absolutely must get right, or you will be putting your life on the line. Therefore, if you do have pool automation installed, it is important that you hire a professional to get it done for you. It is going to save you headaches later on down the line.
Finding the Right Pool Automation System For You
When it comes to finding a pool automation system, there are a few things that you will probably need to think about. In this section, we want to run you through a few of the considerations.
What do you want to automate?
This is probably going to have a major impact on your purchase. After all, the whole purpose of the system is to automate things, so you need to know what you are automating to begin with. As we said; pool automation systems can accomplish a variety of different jobs including:
- Filter control
- Pump control
- Heat control
- Pool sanitization
- Chemical balance
- Light control
Some of these features maybe a little bit more expensive than others. There are modular systems on the market, so you do not need to buy everything right away. Some people do not. Just make sure that if you do want to add a feature in the future, the system you choose works with it.
What level of automation do you want?
Let’s take the lights, for example. Do you want a system where you can tinker with the lights and make them all fancy, or do you simply want the ability to turn them on and off? Although, do bear in mind that you may need a slightly different set of lights if you want the former!
How do you want to wire the system in?
Most systems work by being wired into your home network e.g. Wi-Fi or through Network Cable. How do you want the system wired? Do you want to be able to access the system through the internet? Do you only need to access it from the comfort of your own home?
How do you want to interface with the system?
Most modern pool automation systems can be interacted with through smart devices nowadays e.g. phones and tablets. However, there are more traditional systems that will put a dedicated screen in your home. Choose whichever option is most convenient for you.
Always make sure that you read reviews for a pool automation system before you take the plunge. You need to know what other people have thought about the system!
Pros of a Pool Automation System
So, what are the pros of a pool automation system? That is what we want to take a little look at in this section. The reasons why you may want to buy one:
Not as expensive as you may think
Many people seem to have the idea that a pool automation system is going to be drastically expensive. It isn’t. A few thousand dollars is all you really need for a fairly sophisticated system. A couple of the models on the market are also modular. This means that if you do not quite have the cash to buy a complete system now, you can upgrade it with new components over time.
Saves you money
A lot of the top quality pool automation systems on the market are designed to be efficient. This means that they may actually save you a little bit of cash when it comes to running your pool. Since running a pool can be quite expensive at the best of times, every dollar is certainly going to help! It is estimated that a pool automation system can save you up to 70% on the energy bills for your pool.
Easy to install
Maybe not for you (although, there are some DIY units available), but for professionals, it should be fairly easy for them to get the pool automation system up and running. Once it is up and running, you probably will not need to do anything yourself in order to maintain it. These pool automation systems seem to work incredibly well on their own. The only thing that you will need to maintain is your network connections, but that shouldn’t be too hard!
Easy to use
These systems are designed so that anybody can learn how to use them. Within a couple of minutes of using your pool automation system interface, you will know exactly what you are doing.
Lots of control
Pool automation systems will give you a lot of control over the system. In fact, with the right system in place, you may have more control than you are used to. This includes better lighting, more control over the heat, etc.
Can install in older pools
With most pool automation systems, you do not need to build the pool with automation in mind. Most systems can be retrofitted into older swimming pools!
Cons of a Pool Automation System
Honestly, there are few cons to a pool automation system. It is likely that the only real issue you will have is the fact that these systems do not tend to work well with smaller pools. Well, they can, but there is probably going to be so little to control with a smaller swimming pool that you do not actually need to have a pool automation system in place.
In addition to this, you do need to remember that a pool automation system cannot control everything. As we said before; many of the systems on the market will not be able to control your pool chemical balance. Some of them can, but not all of them. This means that even if you have your pool fully automated by today’s standards, there may still be a lot that you simply cannot do with it!
So, is a pool automaton system right for you? If you feel as if you are using your pool fairly regularly, then you may want to look into a pool automation system. If you have a smaller pool with no fancy technology hooked up to it (lights and things), and you are barely using your pool beyond a couple of days per week, then there is probably no point getting one. That being said, for the bare minimum pool automation system, it isn’t going to cost all that much. A few thousand dollars, at the most. This is probably negligible compared to the cost of your pool, to begin with.