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Swimming Pool Maintenance Meets Technology

Hot tub or swimming pool maintenance is definitely the downside of owning a backyard pool or spa. Today's technological advances are helping make this chore easier, though. Some of the time and/or labor saving devices out there are relatively low cost while others can get pricey, but continuing advances help bring down the overall price. Here are just some of the things you might want to consider to help with pool maintenance:

Automated controls

Home automation isn't just for the house anymore. Automated control systems can definitely help with swimming pool maintenance.  They can be as simple or as all-encompassing as you like. You might want to start with timers for the pool lights and regulating pumps. From there, you can upgrade to systems that automatically handle not only lighting and pool pumps but heating, valves, cleaning components, alarm systems, and water treatment systems. Both hard-wired and wireless automation is available.

Pool automation costs vary depending on the complexity of the system. Timers for low-voltage lights can be as little as $20-$25. For a master control system (including indoor touchpad panel and a remote control unit) costs start at around $2,500.

Automatic pool cleaners are widely used these days to help with swimming pool maintenance.  Good ones start at about $1,000 and can go up to $4,000. These robotic pool cleaners can be either electricity powered (usually connected to an outdoor outlet by a long extension cord and transformer) or batter-powered. If that sounds too expensive, it's possible to get a vacuum hose that plugs into the pool skimmer inlet for about $700. 

Tired of daily pool or spa chemical balancing? This is something that can also be automated. You can get automatic chemical feeders. Chlorine or ozone generators can sense when the water isn't balanced, then they add ozone or chlorine to bring it back to optimum range. Ozone generators run about $1,000 and chlorine generators about $1,500.

If you have kids or the neighbors have kids, it's a very good idea to install some sort of swimming pool alarm system. Alarms are available for both in ground and above ground pools and start for as little as $60. It's also a good idea to get a pool cover with safety in mind. These pool covers can handle the weight of a few adults walking across them without buckling. Yes, you can automate this, too. For automated pool covers, prices range from about $6,000 to $10,000, depending on the size/shape of your swimming pool. 

Keep an eye out for new home automation technology, because the backyard is a popular spot for it. Continuing advances will make swimming pool maintenance easier as time passes.

Source: Pool & Spa Planner (Better Homes and Gardens)

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