With the recent rise in home pools and hot tubs over the last ten years, more and more people are looking for the best consumer products on the market to improve and streamline their home setup.
The low price of these consumer products means that now more than ever there are plenty of options available for most of your technological needs.
In the article below, we will discuss some of the options available to you in terms of pool health and maintenance, as well as our rundown of the best smart pool monitoring systems available on the market today.
When owning a personal home pool, or indeed a hot tub, there are several elements of maintenance that need to be regularly carried out to ensure that the water stays safe and clean, the swimmers remain healthy, and the structure of the pool or tub doesn’t perish or suffer damage.
Whilst it’s fair to say that a filter is the heart of the swimming pool, it could also be seen as the liver, helping to (as its name suggests) filter foreign objects and contaminants from the swimming pool to ensure maximum cleanliness and functionality.
As such it plays a vital role in the longevity and effectiveness of your pool, which means maintenance and upkeep is incredibly important.
Some filters can be changed, and others need regular cleaning and maintenance.
Check to see what care your filter needs, and make it part of your cleaning routine.
Skimmers And Returns
These are important parts of the overall filtration system. Lining the circumference of the pool, skimmers and returns are responsible for drawing and circulating the water to the filter and back into the pool.
Keeping these clean and clear of obstructions is paramount to maintaining a healthy swimming pool.
Pool hygiene is a big thing when it comes to both home systems and commercial ones.
Regular drainings must be undertaken, during which the interior of the empty pool or tub should be scrubbed (to ensure no grime or mildew has formed), and the water should be replaced.
True with both pools and hot tubs, it is important to also regularly maintain, clean, and (in the case of tubs) change the filter where necessary.
This ensures that no potentially harmful grime, algae, corrosion, or other foreign substances can enter the pool, taint the water quality, or indeed harm the swimmers.
Chemical care is also required to maintain the cleanliness of the water, and to protect the swimmers from germs.
Grime can build up over repeated use, as the oils and lotions (both natural and unnatural) on our skin filter into the water and make it greasy.
To ensure perfect pool health, it is important to keep pH levels balanced, chlorine levels at the right level, and make sure that the alkalinity and acidity levels of the water are within safe parameters.
Chlorine is effective at killing germs and harmful bacteria, and can be commonly found in all hardware stores, or wherever they stock pool or hot tub supplies.
The same can be said for pH neutralizers, alkalinity tablets, and other useful accessories, such as defoamers to increase water cleanliness.
Other useful accessories include litmus test strips for pH testing.
These are mainly for hot tubs, but can also be used for swimming pool maintenance, and can be found in most hardware stores, or wherever you can purchase pool/hot tub supplies.
Similarly, new interchangeable filters can be purchased for hot tubs, allowing for improved water cleanliness and better tub hygiene.
Three Important Things To Remember
Whilst there are many things that are important to the long term health of your swimming pool, there are three main aspects that are more important than the rest.
Good Water Circulation
Bad pool circulation can lead to moss, algae, and bacteria, potentially harming the health of the swimmers.
As such it is important to keep things like skimmers, returns, and filters working correctly.
If you don’t want to run your filter all the time, it is recommended that you have it on for at least 12 hours to ensure good filtration and continued cleanliness.
This ensures that the water gets circulated a good few times and will help to reduce the need for drainage and refilling.
A Good Cleaning Schedule
As we have discussed, cleaning is perhaps the most important aspect of owning a pool.
That is unless you want the constant hassle of draining, refilling, and scrubbing the interior.
There are several options available, be it chemicals or automatic pool cleaners (see also ‘Best Dolphin Pool Cleaners: Reviews & Buying Guide‘), which can make the task less time consuming and exhausting.
One strange yet handy tip is to throw tennis balls into the skimmer basket or into the pool itself to absorb greasy body oils and grimes.
Good Water Chemistry
As this guide will show, a good tool to own is a water monitor or a testing kit.
These are vital to ensuring the continued health of your swimming pool, and can make the whole process of chemical testing much quicker than if you were using good old fashioned litmus strips.
Once you have a solid reading of your chlorine, pH, alkalinity, and acidity, you can then add chemicals accordingly until you achieve chemical neutrality (and a chemically safe pool).
The best way to achieve all of this is to establish a firm working schedule and stick to it.
Chemicals will need to be monitored several times a week (sometimes more after adverse weather conditions or heavy use), whilst cleaning will need to be done every few months to ensure continued cleanliness.
As far as filtration goes, this can checked and maintained every few months too, ensuring there is no major detritus or obstructions in the skimmers and returns, and cleaning (or exchanging in some cases) the filters to make sure they are not stuck up grime, algae, dirt, or mildew.
This is a much easier method, and the routine will make it become second nature before long, making it less work/effort.
Smart Pool Monitors
Suited for both commercial settings, such as larger public pools or spas, but also for home use, smart pool monitoring systems are useful and effective tools for keeping active, accurate track of pool hygiene.
What Are They?
Simple to use, and effective for ongoing maintenance, smart pool monitors keep accurate records of chemical levels, pH levels, up to date water analyses, and overall cleanliness.
They are often very user friendly, usually offering smartphone pairing for an accessible, user friendly interface, and are a great way of keeping up to date with the condition of your pool without the need for manual water tests or needless experimentation with various available pool chemicals.
With a smart monitor, you are able to tell straight away if the water quality is up to condition, something that can prove both time saving, and money conscious, as there can be less waste over time.
What Do They Offer?
Putting it simply, they offer the ability to easily visualize the overall chemical health of your swimming pool in one handy, easy to read format, allowing you to make the best decisions going forward, without excess time or energy.
Only sending you notifications when there is a chemical imbalance detected, you aren’t hassled by the technology, letting it work for you and your needs, instead of the other way around.
You also have access to historical water analysis data, meaning that you have an up to date and accurate view of your water quality, as well as the regime of chemicals you have been sticking to over certain periods of time.
This can be handy after long periods of absence from home, where you might have forgotten the last time chemicals were added.
It can also help you to more quickly ascertain faults or problems with your pool, as signs of imbalances after a recent refill or chemical dump could be early warning signs of faults with pipes, internal plumbing, or even mold or algae within the tiles.
For less technically skilled customers, the devices generally offer easy to follow steps about the required actions that need taking, meaning you have substantial help when it comes to ensuring the continued health of your pool.
What To Consider Before Buying
The ratio of performance to cost is one that is important to consider when shopping for equipment.
It often comes down to finding the best pairing of the two, seeing what can offer you the most bang for your buck and making a choice.
The most expensive model on the market doesn’t necessarily mean you are buying the best, and often you can be paying higher costs for a name or brand that is popular.
Nowadays, with the growing accessibility and popularity of home pool equipment and accessories, it is easier than ever to pick up bargains or hidden gems if you shop around enough.
However, when it comes to buying equipment for swimming pools, or indeed any other item that holds a degree of importance to health and cleanliness, it is important to opt for established, trustworthy brands who have proven records for delivering quality.
This not only ensures a greater chance of effectiveness, but also helps protect you in case of faults or issues, as sanctioned companies generally have more direct and reliable communication channels for returns, exchanges, and refunds.
They will generally have better customer service, as well as the ability to offer tech support should any minor hiccups occur during the installation process.
Of course, another important thing to consider are the specifications of the items you are looking to buy.
This probably goes without saying, but before parting with your money, it is important to ensure that the product both does what it promises, and meets the specific needs you have for your home system.
These specifications factor in with the pricing, and it is often the case that you have to compare the function with the cost to see what item ticks the most boxes.
Finally, you want something that is both attractive and user friendly.
Attractiveness might seem unimportant, but most people’s home pools are statement pieces in their gardens or homes, and ugly equipment can bring down the appeal of such pieces.
Also, if you are spending money on a product, you ultimately want it to look nice with your existing setup.
User friendliness is also paramount, as you don’t want to be blinded by science every time you want to check your pool’s health.
You want ease of use for added efficacy, as this will make the whole process much simpler and worth the investment.
The Best Smart Monitors
Smart pool monitors come in all shapes, sizes, and price brackets, catering to every level of swimming pool, regardless of size or usage.
Here is our rundown of some of the best on the market today, available through Amazon.com.
Coming in first, and perhaps our favorite on this list, is the Sense from WaterGuru.
This smart device (see also ‘Eco-Smart – Smart Water Monitor – Works In Pools, Hot Tubs, And Swim Spas‘) is perfect for monitoring chlorine and pH levels within the pool water, using its state of the art technology to provide cleaner and safer conditions for customers.
This is one of the best products on the market at the moment, and one of the fan favorites available online, due to its attractive, sleek design and expert performance.
Whilst the price is slightly higher than other models, the WaterGuru offers easy to follow instructions, simple installation, expert advice and automated monitoring, making the whole process simpler and more user friendly.
Championing no hidden fees and a no hassle mantra, the WaterGuru is the best way to keep your pool protected at any time of the day.
The integrated smartphone app (available on Android and IOS) allows you to monitor chlorine and pH levels on the go.
It also gives you the option to monitor temperature and waterflow, perfect for when the working day is finished, and you fancy a dip after your tiring commute.
The app also facilitates customized poo treatment advice, giving you easy to follow instructions on the best steps to take for your pool and the condition it is in.
A good choice for both chlorine and salt water pools (see also ‘ How To Convert Your Pool To Salt Water ‘), the WaterGuru fits perfectly with both round and square skimmers that are between 8 and 10 inches in size.
For square skimmers, an additional attachment can be purchased for added placement security, but overall the easy installation and usability speaks for itself, making it a solid choice for first time buyers or pool veterans alike.
What WaterGuru prides themselves on most is safety and cleanliness, and with this product you can be confidently rest assured that your pool is in good hands, a fact that has been supported by customers and industry experts.
- Length – 3.63 inches.
- Width – 12.25 inches.
- Height – 20.5 inches.
- Weight – 6.9 lbs.
- Easy installation.
- Adaptable to various pool sizes and types.
- App support, allowing monitoring on the go.
- Reliable, high quality service.
- More expensive than other models.
- Temperamental customer support.
- Not suitable for hot tubs.
This floating thermometer is wifi supported, and perfect for pools, home spas (see also ‘The 15 Best Sauna Heaters For Your Home Sauna‘), and even ponds, delivering accurate, informative readings on both temperature, barometric pressure range, and in water humidity levels.
Whilst not offering chemical levels detection (such as chlorine or pH), this device does provide accurate and useful information about your pool or tub, and can be easily paired with other devices as part of an effective home monitoring system.
Smart, comprehensive, powerful, and relatively inexpensive, this device can receive wireless signals at a range of up to 80 feet from the router, receives wireless signals from up to 10 different sourced devices, and publishes the information to AmbientWeather.net where it can be viewed and recorded.
Fully waterproof and buoyant, the sensor wirelessly displays and transmits water temperature to the display console, allowing you the ability to switch and monitor water temperature for up to 8 different locations.
One thing worth saying is that the sensor should not be left floating beneath a pool cover, as this can lead to overheating, water flooding into the system, and a premature gasket failure within the device.
- Length – 10.51 inches.
- Width – 5.74 inches.
- Height – 5.55 inches.
- Weight – 2 lbs.
- Simplistic and reliable.
- Good value for money.
- Wireless use.
- Wifi connectivity (up to 80 feet from router).
- Small and compact.
- 10 device capability.
- No chemical reading function.
- Poor app support.
- Temperamental battery life.
Simple and easy to use, this tool is a must for customers looking to monitor and record accurate chlorine and pH levels for their pool, or home spa.
Featuring an electro-tester for testing pH levels and chlorine, this is perfect as part of a routine for checking pool, spa, or even pond water levels.
Lightweight and easy to carry, this tool is perfect for keeping your pool clean, safe, and free of corrosion, algae, or mildew.
For reference, safe chlorine levels are between 2 and 1.7ppm (parts per million), and for pH, a safe pool level is between 7.2 and 7.8pH, which is within the neutral range of the pH scale (acidity being 1-6, and alkaline/base being 8-14).
The device is wireless, running on 1 AA 1.5V alkaline battery to function.
- Length – 7.5 inches.
- Width – 4.7 inches.
- Height – 5.9 inches.
- Weight – 0.6 lbs.
- Lightweight and portable.
- Good value for money.
- Effective detection.
- Wireless setup.
- Simple and easy to use.
- Temperamental battery life.
- Requires probe cleaning regularly to work.
- Measurements could be more accurate.
This 5 in 1 water quality tester is a simple and effective way to monitor pH levels, tds levels (total dissolved solids), EC levels (electrical conductivity), salinity levels (the level of salt in water), and water temperature in your pool or home spa.
When measuring salinity in water, this is categorized as fresh water (less than 1000ppm), brackish water (river/groundwater at 1000-10,000ppm), saline water (10,000-35,000ppm), and hypersaline (greater than 35,000ppm).
Similarly Tds, or total dissolved solids, is used to measure the total content of organic, and inorganic solids present in liquid.
Electrical conductivity is measured in the electrical charge of the ions within the tested water, and can be used to measure the capability of water to pass electrical flow.
Conductive ions are created as a result of surplus chlorides, alkalis, carbonate, and sulfide compounds, and can be dangerous as far as human beings and swimming are concerned.
With a high accuracy algorithm chip and responsive electrode, the product ensures accurate and fast response, and the simplicity of use means it is perfect for all skill levels.
With an automatic power off function (to preserve battery), and a large screen display, the tester has a backlit screen that makes it simple to see measurements no matter the light.
The device also possesses a digital temperature compensator, meaning you can test with confidence, even in the hottest temperatures that would otherwise warp or affect the accuracy of readings.
- Length – 9.33 inches.
- Width – 6.97 inches.
- Height – 2.05 inches.
- Weight – 0.35 lbs.
- 5 in 1 functionality.
- Good value for money.
- Battery saving mode.
- Simple display.
- Compact and sturdy.
- Accurate, reliable readings.
- Poor customer support.
- Hard to calibrate.
- Poor instructions.
At an affordable price, this simple and easy to use digital tester offers 2 in 1 functionality, allowing you to test pH and chlorine levels in your pool or home spa.
With a sturdy outer shell made of premium plastic, this is one of the most durable products on the market, perfect for outdoor use where there is a risk of dropping it on the ground.
Easy to operate, and easy to read, this monitor has large screen displays, is lightweight and portable, and is a convenient tool for on the go testing of water.
- Length – 9.41 inches.
- Width – 6.26 inches.
- Height – 1.54 inches.
- Weight – 0.46 lbs.
- Low price tag.
- Durable product.
- Simple to use and read.
- Difficult to accurately calibrate (a common problem).
And there we have it, a rundown of everything you need to know about pool monitoring techniques and equipment.
There are many different products on the market, all designed for different skill levels, uses, and customer needs, and the price and complexity varies accordingly.
The main piece of advice is to do your research, and weigh this up against the sum of your needs to ensure the best customer experience.
Go on, why not dive in and see what there is to offer?