You just had a really hard day at work. Now you’re stuck in traffic and want to go home and unwind in your hot tub, but you know you’re at least 45 minutes away and it takes another 30 minutes to warm. You don’t want to wait almost an hour and a half to sit back and relax in your spa. So you tell Alexa to warm it up. Now when you get home the spa is hot and the bubbles are on!
Or you’re on vacation and hear from a relative or neighbor that a thunderstorm made a mess of your pool. From your smartphone you activate the in-floor automated cleaning system to clear the leaves and increase the chlorine output of the chlorine generator. When you get home three days later the pool is clean and sparkling clear.
As devices like Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home Hub make our daily routines easier and more efficient, spa and pool automation systems are quickly emerging as a way to simplify outdoor living areas.
Whether you’d prefer to check in on your pool via a smartphone app or tell Alexa to turn on a water feature, pool automation systems are rapidly becoming more user-friendly and capable of much more than simply turning a pump on and off.
Systems like Pentair’s IntelliConnect, EasyTouch and Intellicenter allow homeowners to control pump speed, turn lights on/off and select colors or themes. Pool automation systems can turn valves to activate waterfalls or automatic cleaning systems. They can also monitor and adjust pH and chlorine levels and heat the pool.
Besides ease of operating equipment, energy savings are the most significant benefit of installing a pool automation system. Variable speed pumps typically use 20% of the energy that single speed pumps do. By programming a variable speed pump through a pool automation system, the homeowner can have a crystal clear pool that is properly sanitized while ensuring substantial energy savings.
Almost ⅓ of households in the United States currently use Alexa, Google Home or some other form of home automation. That number is expected to exceed 52% by 2024. And there are almost 11 million swimming pools in the United States and over 7.3 million hot tubs. For that reason, manufacturers have begun making pool automation kits to retrofit existing pools.
Basic pool automation systems begin around $1,500 and can run upwards of $6,000 with full chemical feeding control with multiple price points and feature packages in between.
These systems can either run off of your home wifi or you can have a wireless remote control. Most users operate them using an app on their smartphone. Installation of the electrical components should always be done by a licensed electrician and setup by a pool professional.