Hayward Smartens Up the Pool
Hayward, a long-established brand that has served residential and commercial built-in pools with products designed to keep the pool-owning experience pleasurable and worry-free, has moved into the forefront of the smart home realm with a roster of products that addresses every aspect of pool control, maintenance and water quality, making overall pool management as simple as a few button presses.
Best of all for technology integrators, their products are compatible with tailored software drivers offered by companies that currently include Crestron, Control4, Elan and Vantage. They also integrate with Nest and with Amazon Alexa voice-controlled devices. “Our aftermarket solution makes it super-easy for them to integrate a control system into the pools,” Greg Fournier, senior product manager/automation, told us during the company’s New York City-held product reveal.
Hayward’s OmniHub Smart Pool and Spa Control system answers what Fournier said is a desire for greater convenience among pool owners. “There are over six million pools in the U.S.,” he told us, “and around 70 percent of owners have no form of simple control over the components in these pools.” That includes control over valves, heaters, jets, filter pumps, lighting and scheduling – which are mostly worked manually. “That control is now possible from a smartphone app or with voice,” he said, and can be done from five feet away or remotely, from an offsite location.
Also on demo at the event was Hayward’s AquaRite 900 Series salt chlorinator, which automatically converts dissolved salt into sanitized salt-chlorinated water with a silky feel that is an alternative to conventional chlorinated water and, according to Hayward, will not irritate eyes, dry out skin and hair, or cause fabrics to fade. The system measures sanitization levels and continually optimizes them to maintain water quality stability. The chlorinated water generated has a “green” aspect to it in that there are no preservatives or byproducts produced in the process, thereby also reducing chlorine odor. The elegantly designed companion pHin device, which floats in the pool with a Bluetooth receptor situated above the water line, monitors water chemistry 24/7 and will send alerts of imbalances to a mobile app.
To make pool maintenance a no-brainer, the Hayward AquaVac Series 6 Robotic Cleaner roams the pool based on the owner’s choice of area to be cleaned, and uses a form of cyclonic cleaning to vacuum debris, insects, etc., into its canister; the swirling action keeps the unit from clogging and separates the smaller debris particles from the larger ones via a hydrocyclonic chamber. When the Cleaner is full, a tug on the base empties it. The Cleaner can be set to initiate its functions by a timer within its app, and one of the two model iterations includes a multi-color LED light display.