Guide to Pool Automation

Published on Jun 27, 2023

Jules the Pool Girl

We have so much to do to maintain our commercial bodies of water. We have to brush, vacuum, net, check and balance chemistry and make sure our equipment is working properly. You may not be aware that a lot of pools use automation to stay clean and compliant.

pool automation

These pool automation systems automatically add chlorine and acid when they get an unbalanced reading. Some people opt to have these pool automation controllers by choice, while in some regions, they are required by law.

What is Pool Automation?

Swimming pool automation consists of controllers that allow you to help manage the equipment for a pool, spa, or pool and spa combination. This is done from a centralized location. The range of functions could be an easy on/off timer.  This would be installed near your equipment. Or, it could be a completely automated pool chemical management system.  This could include a wireless remote or a panel. In order to determine which is correct for you, you need to consider how many bodies of water you want to automate.

Pool Automation Chemical Feeders

Pool chemical feeders are the most popular pool automation. They use oxidation-reduction potential (ORP). This is the measurement of the capacity of oxidation that is present in the water. Luckily, ORP is too smart to be fooled by things such as pH, total dissolved solids (TDS), non-chlorine shock or cyanuric acid.

The measurement of ORP is used to automatically control sanitation and disinfection with chlorine in the pool. Did you know the lifespan of bacteria is directly related to the ORP value? The ORP probe sensor indicates the oxidizing-reducing capacity of your swimming pool water. This is done by measuring the electron activity in the water, which is expressed in millivolts. The most common use of ORP controllers is with the use of an automated chemical feeding system, such as chlorine. The ORP probe will signal the controller and tells it whether to turn on or off.

The higher the ORP reading means the sanitizer is more effectively working. There is such a thing as a dual ORP. This is popular with commercial properties due to the fact that it allows for the primary form of sanitizer, which could be a salt system, with a secondary sanitizer like liquid chlorine. This secondary form would kick in if the bather load was high or as a safety backup if the primary sanitizer doesn’t work.

Automated pool controllers dispense acid as well. When we have high pH and alkalinity, the auto feeder kicks on and properly doses your swimming pool. These systems are very handy and can save you a lot of time. But they do require maintenance.

Caring For Your Pool Automation

Both the chlorine and the acid feeder contain probes. These probes are what hopefully will give an accurate reading and dispense rate. Most people may be unaware that these probes need to be cleaned regularly and replaced when worn or broken.

How will you know if your pool automation probes are functioning properly? The easiest way is to test and compare. Using a system like the Pool Shark H2O App paired with the LaMotte Spin Touch makes life so much easier. The LaMotte Spin Touch is pretty awesome. You take a syringe with a small amount of water and inject it into a spin disk. Then, you place the disk in the spin lab. In 60 seconds your results are sent to any device you have the Pool Shark H2O App installed on. Why is this beneficial? Because it allows you to compare readings on your pool automation setup to determine if the probes are working properly. This is only accomplished by accurate and precise water testing. Not ready to go with the spin touch? No worries. The Pool Shark H2O App allows you to manually enter test results that you got from your tablet test kit, your reagent test kit or your digital tester. Don’t forget…test strips are not allowed on commercial bodies of water.

Why the Pool Shark H2O App with Your Pool Automation System?

This modern technology is crucial for any pool operator. As mentioned above, results can be automatically sent to the app. Even if you manually enter your results you still win. This is because the app uses the Langelier Saturation Index to give you proper dosing instructions. When you have an automated pool controller feeder, you can compare readings to ensure it is functioning properly.

pool automation app

The Pool Shark H2O App has so many great features to make your life easier. It has geo-fencing to help you make certain that your staff is doing their jobs. As mentioned above, it gives proper dosing instructions. A big wowza is the capacity to digitally store your water test results. Old fashioned paper logs can go unused, get misplaced or wet. Plus, you have to store them for years. That is a lot of boxes you have to find room for. The health departments in almost every State accept digital pool logs. Think of how easy it would be to pull up your water test history on a device to show the health department! This is also good if someone were to become ill and blame your facility. You can easily pull up the water test results from that day without having to dig through piles of paper logs. Pool Shark H2O to the rescue! See you poolside!

More Commercial Pool Controller & App Resources

Public and Commercial Pool Chemical Controllers

The Integrated Commercial Pool Technology Stack

Automatic Pool Chemical Dispensers

The Benefits to Pool Operators Who Use the Pool Shark H20 App

Benefits of Using A Pool Chemical Monitor

Guide to Pool Controllers

WIFI Pool Controllers

LaMotte Spin Touch vs Non-Digital Testing

Pool Monitoring Systems


Digital Pool Tester Guide


The benefits of implementing Pool Shark include:

  • Substantial ROI
  • Better Water Conditions
  • Improved Guest & Customer Satisfaction
  • Plug and Play Ease of Use
  • Stronger Risk Management & Reduced Liability
  • Guides and Practices
Commercial Pool Software

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