Pool Info: Pool Controls and Pool Timers
Pool Controls and Pool Timers
From something as simplistic as an outdoor switch to a complex integrated computer control system, every pool owner should have some form of timer or control for the equipment that is being operated. Pool controls can fully automate every function of your swimming pool as well as some other backyard features. Having a timer will help you be energy efficient and extend the life of your pool equipment. Innovative applications across the swimming pool industry can allow you to operate pool functions remotely. Over the internet or on your smart phone you can set the spa temperature, turn on a water feature, access the current pool temperature or monitor the chlorine production. The possibilities are endless.
One of the most common and simplistic controls is a time clock. Designs are typically digital or mechanical, offered in high and low voltage with freeze protection and heater delay options. These timers can relay power to different auxiliaries. Often one time clock is used for the main filter pump and an additional will be used for any pool cleaner booster pump. Even an above ground pool should use a pool timer as opposed to operating directly off a breaker or on/off switch which will often allow the pool to run 24 hours a day. Running a pool pump more than necessary will increase your energy bill and the motor will fail prematurely. Mechanical timers are set to operate on desired times daily or weekly using pegs or timer dawgs. Dependant on the particular timer you can set multiple run times for each pool pump. Very easy to install, set times and operate and not expensive. Mechanical pool timers with a center dial typically have a viewing compartment to check and ensure the gears are working and the timer is functioning properly. If a mechanical timer does fail you can swap out the internal motor or the entire mechanism easily while still leaving the weatherproof timer box mounted. A two speed time clock will allow you to take advantage of energy consumption savings
The state of the art computer driven controllers like the Aqualink, Aqua Logic and the Polaris SOL will make automating your pool equipment and backyard a blast. Floating remotes, Pool and Spa side keypads and in home wall mounted control panels will allow the pool owner to turn on a waterfall or kick on the spa booster jets with ease. Color changing LED lights can be linked into the controls to let your create a backyard lightshow at the touch of a finger. Computer operated pool control systems can also optimize your solar paneling when used in conjunction with temperature sensors and actuator valves. An actuator valve is key in a redirecting the water flow as needed for the requested function. Actuator valves are preset to change the internal valve diverter back and forth from position 1 and position 2. You will set the internal cams within an actuator valve to determine the stopping positions needed. When the motorized valve receives a signal from a timer or a direct command form you the pump will shut off, the valves will reposition, and the pumps will turn back on. Revisions and current models will allow you to operate 2 speed or variable speed pumps to optimize your energy efficient equipment. Certain variable speed and variable flow motors will have stand alone controls mounted directly on the pool pump motor. These controls can be linked into a timer or operate independently. An additional option is to tie in your salt water chlorine generator system which will give you access to control chlorine levels and monitor salt cell operation.
The biggest complaint from pool owners involves going back to the filter system to turn on the heater, change valve positions, turn on the pool light or activate the cleaner. Swimming and spa automation will eliminate all of the trips to the filter area. Just push a button on the remote, or set the timers for complete, hands off operation. Pool controls and timers will not eliminate every aspect of maintaining your swimming pool but will drastically reduce the time spent at your pool equipment which leaves you more time to relax and enjoy your swimming pool. Save time, work and money and stay in control!