Contemporary advancements in automated technology have revolutionised the way in which we tend to our pools, with enhancements now readily available for almost every aspect of their design.
Pamela Hale speaks with Shawn Scurrah, the national sales manager of Hayward Pool Products (Australia) Pty Ltd, about the latest advances in pool technology.
GADGETS AND GIZMOS
When it comes to the most significant emerging technological trends in pool design, Shawn Scurrah identifies automation and efficiency as the most prominent.
In exciting news for pool owners, Scurrah explains that “the latest automation technology has the ability to fully integrate your pool with your outdoor features, achieving a complete alfresco experience. It gives the user the ability to control their backyard lighting, water features, pool, spa, and many other electrically operated features via their smartphone or tablet”.
While transforming your pool area into a fully functional and enjoyable space can be a thrilling experience, Scurrah cautions that this should not be the main consideration when implementing automated technologies. “It’s all well and good to show off your fancy control systems and apps to your friends, but if you don’t invest in the essential elements for your pool, it may result in high maintenance and repair costs down the track,” he explains.
“Investing in automation that helps maintain optimal water balance and includes bacteria-killing capabilities should be the first box to tick before moving onto the more [visually] attractive benefits of automation.”
There are many considerations that must be kept in mind when it comes to your pool’s safety. While good water safety practices include the installation of a security fence and ensuring children never swim unattended, pool water that is unbalanced or green poses a significant risk to the health and safety of swimmers. Thankfully, automation systems are capable of maintaining a healthy swimming environment; in fact, this is their foremost function.
That said, “there is no such thing as a totally maintenance-free pool”, Scurrah says. “All automation manufacturers recommend having your water tested regularly at a professional pool shop.” Keep in mind that some level of maintenance will always be required for the technological aspects of your pool to ensure that your selected systems will continue to meet your needs in the long term.
Automated technology has many benefits for the modern pool owner, such as ease of control and maintenance. “However, automation systems can be a little complex and confusing [at first],” Scurrah says. “When deciding on which automation system to install, ensure that it is simple to operate.”
Similarly, it can be challenging to find the right professional to install and maintain your equipment; it’s important to find someone who can work through the entire process of installation beginning with the initial stages of product selection. The person you select should always be a qualified professional who can provide a manufacturer’s warranty and guarantee servicing. “While automation systems seem simple, they do need the services of a professional,” Scurrah advises.
When you’re deciding on products, Scurrah recommends doing your research. “Ask for referrals from satisfied customers, and if you can, have a look at a system in operation,” he says.
The purchase and installation of equipment will likely be the most costly aspects of updating the technology in your existing pool.
Within the past decade there has been a surge in the popularity of variable-speed pumps, which are now more prevalent than single speed varieties. When selecting a new pump, keep an eye out for power efficiency star ratings; many high-quality pool products now carry the same efficiency accreditations commonly seen on household whitegoods.
“Put simply, the more stars awarded to an appliance, the higher the energy savings,” Scurrah says. “And much like other appliances,
the higher energy savings do come with a slightly higher upfront investment, which should be recompensed in 12 to 18 months. Investing in a premium pump will save you money, while investing in a premium automation system will create a safer swimming environment and greater overall experience.”