Guide to Swimming Pool Automation
Swimming pool automation uses technology to control your swimming pool’s equipment and accessories from a single control panel or even from your smartphone or tablet!
Sounds awesome, right? It is. But if you’re unfamiliar with swimming pool automation, you’ve probably got a few questions. In this article, we’ll answer some of the most common questions about swimming pool automation.
Ready? Let’s dive in!
What can I Automate on my Pool?
It might be more appropriate to ask what you can’t automate on your pool! Today’s swimming pool automation systems allow you to control just about every piece of equipment you can think of, from essentials like your pool’s pump, filter, and heater to fun extras like lighting and sound. Some manufacturers even make pool chemical automation devices that monitor your water, automatically adding chemicals to maintain the right chemical balance.
Advanced automation systems even allow you to create programs for specific events: create a “party” program that turns on a flashy light show, music and water features with the touch of a single button. Program an “away” mode to keep things running smoothly while you’re on vacation. Or, program your pool to heat up (or cool down) as the temperatures change with the seasons -- the possibilities are almost limitless!
And, of course, if you have a spa, you can automate that, too!
Can I control my pool from my phone?
If you’re looking for “smart” pool automation, you’ve got options. Many pool automation systems on the market are designed to integrate with smartphones and even virtual assistants (think Siri, Google, Alexa, and the like).
Should I get an Automation System for my Pool?
Not sure if swimming pool automation is right for you? If you’re still on the fence about automation, it might help to weigh the pros and cons of automating your swimming pool.
Here are some advantages of swimming pool automation:
- You might save money long-term. The ability to automate your pool system means that you can optimize your setup for maximum efficiency. For example, you can program your pool filter or heater to run only at certain times, which will help you save on energy costs -- and save wear and tear on your equipment.
- Automation simplifies pool ownership. Putting your pool equipment on autopilot means less time spent worrying about manually turning on your pump or filtration system. As an added bonus, automation also means that you can control every piece of equipment from a single control panel!
- Automation systems are flexible and easy to upgrade. One of the greatest things about pool automation systems is that you can add on to them as you go. You can start small with an automation system that only controls your filter and pump, and gradually add options for lighting, water features, and more.
And, here are a few disadvantages:
- You need to be (moderately) tech-savvy. To get the most out of pool automation, you need to be comfortable with technology. If you tend to be apprehensive about using technology like a smartphone or a laptop, a swimming pool automation system might not be the best fit.
- You’ll probably need professional installation. Installing a pool automation system requires a lot of complicated electrical work, which means it’s a job best left to the pros. You’ll need to find a reliable professional to do the work (and you’ll also need to budget for the installation, which will be an additional cost on top of the purchase price of your automation system).
- Automation can get pricy. Swimming pool automation systems can easily cost several thousand dollars. If cost is a concern, set a budget before you start shopping for automation systems. (And remember, you can always expand and add on to your system in the future!)
Pool automation systems rely on the internet to connect your pool equipment to your phone or remote-control panel. If you have a history of spotty service, you might want to consider upgrading your internet service or switching providers for a faster, more reliable connection.
Building a pool (or spa)? Considering automation? Talk to your pool builder.
If you’re currently building a swimming pool (or just thinking about building one), now is a a great opportunity to work with your builder to add pool and spa automation options during the design phase.
Here are some things to discuss with a pool builder about pool and spa automation:
- Your budget. Pool and spa automation systems are available at a variety of price points. The cost will depend on things like the brand of the automation system, the features included, and the size of your pool and spa.
- Installation costs. Swimming pool automation systems can be complicated to install, so make sure you know what your pool builder will charge for getting it set up. It’s also a good idea to ask about any warranties offered on the installation.
- Your “must haves.” Maybe you dream of putting on colorful pool light shows from your smartphone? Or perhaps you’re simply looking for a quick and easy way to control basic pool equipment like your filter and heater. Work with your builder to figure out which automation features are essential and which ones are nice, but not necessary.
- Plans for expansion. Do you want the option to add to your swimming pool or spa automation system in the future? Your pool builder can help ensure that your pool automation system is scalable, so you can add features and automation options in the future.
Of course, if you’d prefer to wait until after the building phase is complete, you can do that, too. The great thing about an automation system is that you can add it any time, so there’s nothing wrong with waiting.
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