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Quality Control

IPS Controllers celebrates 15 years

Since launching in 2008, IPS Controllers continues to focus on — and excel at — two things: creating reliable, easy-to-use chemical controllers and providing personal customer service. 

Chuck Woolstenhulme, president of IPS Controllers, says when he and business partner, Ted Richards, teamed up to start the company, their first goal was to make a product that was simple to operate. 

“We felt like there were a lot of products out there that were technically a challenge for a lot of people,” Woolstenhulme says. “We figured we would keep it simple and compete based on that: a simpler model, easier to understand.” 

IPS Controllers
Ted Richards (right) working on a commercial installation.

Fifteen years later, IPS Controllers’ market in Southern California has grown to include national and international sales. Ten different controllers have been developed, with four being new and improved versions of older ones, totaling six products in the current lineup. While most of IPS Controllers’ products are made for commercial use with customization options for residential use, VidaPure is a controller aimed exclusively at the residential market. 

“Commercial is really where the market is and has been for years,” Woolstenhulme explains. “That doesn’t mean there’s not a huge opportunity at the residential level.” 

VitaPure also has the same remote monitoring option as the M920 series, which Woolstenhulme says is the most popular.  

Dustin Anderson, CEO of Precision Aquatics in Vista, California, says his team uses a variety of IPS controllers, primarily the M820 and M920 CA models, on their commercial and residential applications. 

“Our team relies heavily on their remote monitoring platform to ensure our commercial properties are chemically balanced 24/7,” Anderson says. “IPS Controllers are by far our No. 1 choice for chemical automation.” 

Anderson says his favorite part of these controllers is their ease of use. “My entire team, from first-year pool cleaners to experienced repair technicians, can easily utilize the functions of these chemical controllers,” he says. 

The controllers are microprocessor-based and work by capturing water samples and analyzing for pH and ORP levels. The controller receives the information from the sensors and then makes chemical adjustments as needed by signaling to the chemical pump, salt generator or other feeding device. 

The controllers and flow cells are also ready to hang and connect to plumbing right out of the box. Once the product is set up, the user can control, customize and monitor settings through a simple menu on the controller or remotely through an app or web browser. 

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“As a commercial service provider, recordkeeping is key,” Anderson says. “There have been so many scenarios where I was able to access chemical records on the IPS monitoring platform to provide my commercial properties proof chemical levels were within parameters. This system is simple and reliable.”

As a commercial service provider, recordkeeping is key. There have been so many scenarios where I was able to access chemical records on the IPS monitoring platform to provide my commercial properties proof chemical levels were within parameters. This system is simple and reliable.”

Dustin Anderson, Precision Aquatics

The menu was one key place Woolstenhulme felt IPS could emphasize simplicity.

“Instead of the user having to go into a menu system and dive down into a bunch of different menus, we wanted to have a very simple-to-understand, simple-to-operate interface that we could easily walk someone through over the phone,” Woolstenhulme says. 

And when a customer does need to call, they may be surprised by who answers. 

“When we started the company, we felt we needed to provide the highest level of customer support possible,” Woolstenhulme says. “One of the ways we do that is when someone calls our toll-free number, one of us is going to answer.” 

Whether it’s Woolstenhulme, Richards or Woolstenhulme’s son, Dan, their team is ready to answer questions and connect with customers — a level of technical support that Woolstenhulme believes exceeds expectations. 

“It’s a testament to the quality of our products and reliability that we’re still able to do that after 15 years,” he says. “It shows we’ve got a good product that doesn’t require a lot of support, but when somebody does have a question, we’re able to answer it quickly.”

Woolstenhulme says they’re always looking for feedback from the field to improve their existing products, but they’re also considering what accessories could be good additions in the future. As far as new projects, a next-generation controller is in the works, but Woolstenhulme says it won’t be ready for the coming year. In the meantime, IPS Controllers will be celebrating its 15th anniversary by freezing its prices for 2024. 

Woolstenhulme says it’s their way of thanking customers for their continued loyalty: “It’s something small, but in light of the fact that they’re just getting increases from everyone else right now … we’re just trying to be the best we can be.” 

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