If you love to enjoy your swimming pool but wish you had a robot or full-time pool guy to do all the work required, a pool control system may be a good option for you. Pool Control Systems have a very wide range of options from the bare minimum to full control and maintenance.
When picking a control system the first thing to think of is what you actually want to control and how you want to control it.
Mechanical Timers are the basic of basic timers; they are offered in 12 hour and 24 hour versions and will allow you to simply turn on and turn off the pool equipment system at set times. You place on/off tripper sets on the clock dial at the specific times and it does the rest.
Now for those who want more control than just on and off; you have to start by planning what you want to control and how you want to control it. Do you only want the pump controlled but you want the option to turn on/off from inside the house? Do you want to control pump, lights, fountains, and your valves from your iPhone or computer?
Once you have something in mind you have a few more decisions to make that will help you find just the right system.
Decision 1 – Decide what you want to control and calculate the number of auxiliary relays you will need. Most of the items you want to control will be 1 auxiliary; single-speed pumps, outdoor lights, standard pool light, booster pumps for cleaning system, etc. 2-Speed pumps, Variable Speed Pumps and LED Color Changing Lights for example may require either special aux relays or more than one relay. Check with the control system manufacturer for specific requirements for your components.
Decision 2 – Decide on if you want to control just physical equipment or if you want total pool control. Total control options would control the physical equipment but would also control and maintain the pool’s chemical balance. This option would have a salt chlorinated pool and would require additional Acid Tanks or CO2 add-ins to adjust the chemistry of the pool as needed.
Decision 3 – Decide on the method of controlling it. You can have an automation system to control everything and program it once and that is it; what most people do however is add remote options for controlling the settings. Remote options include wired controllers, wireless controllers, floating water-proof controllers, full digital controllers, touch controls, computer controlled or phone controllers. The control options are unique to the system.
Decision 4 – Salt or No Salt? Most control systems have easy options to add a salt chlorinator to your set up.
Decision 5 – The number of valve controls needed. An automation control system can turn your pool valve for you using the valve actuator add-on. You most likely have 1-2 valves currently in your plumbing line but some people have many more. Standard set up (pool only, no cleaning system or spa) would have a valve that can shut off the floor drain or skimmer for instance. Advanced set ups could have valves to control the flow of water to solar, spillways, fountains, spas, cleaning systems and much more.
Once you know what you want to control, how you want to control it, and any options to add you can start looking for the perfect control system. Many systems will be eliminated right away based on the limitations of the system versus your needs. If you want to control the pump, heater, 3 more relays and 5 valves for instance, you would need to find an option to accommodate the quantity of each.
If all of this seems too much, contact us for assistance; we have automation specialists ready to assist you.
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