By Alvaro Mendoza, CES / firstname.lastname@example.org
After 35 years of paying its dues, chemistry controllers are finally being accepted as a great baseline to a responsible commercial pool care program. Forward-thinking pool service owners are taking it one step further and are providing a controller for each of their customers as a part of their base service.
Why? If you poll these owners, many will tell you that: (a) it helps them save time, money and chemicals, (b) helps them with route flexibility, and (c) it helps protect them from unwanted emergencies that sometimes leads to losing good customers and, if there was a (d), it would be helping protect them from liability from out of range readings.
While many rely on a simple and reliable ORP and pH control system, others have opted for units with remote control and alert notification features. New communication protocols are safer, easier to hook up, and can piggyback on any open Wi-Fi network on the pool deck, for free. So, there’s no need for VPN’s, dedicated networks, or extended battles with IT guys. Communications, once viewed by many as a gimmick, has transitioned into a useful tool that helps service providers tweak their schedules to maximize profits and reduce everyday drama.
Control system development has kicked into a new gear over the past few years. New communications advancements use artificial intelligence to text you pool trends and alerts well before they become alarms and issues. Control over the entire equipment room, not just the chemistry, is becoming commonplace. Also, advancements in direct-reading (chlorine) PPM sensors provide an alternative to ORP control of pool and spa chlorine levels. PPM sensors used to require special calibrations and periodic replacement gel and sensing tips, but now use a simpler and less costly coiled wire design that appears to last for at least 3-5 years. This is a big improvement.
The newest chemistry sensor introduced has nothing to do with chlorine and pH… it actually takes direct control of Total Alkalinity…. What? That’s right, it is a patented meter that takes a highly accurate automatic titration test as little as four times a day (and as many as 24 times a day) and automatically switches between acid and Co2 pH feed systems to keep the alkalinity in a perfect range. You merely change the reagent bottle every 3-5 months.