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Making Automation Simple

Zodiac improves its automation system

Zodiac Pool Systems claims its iAquaLink controller system is the most intuitive, easiest to use pool controller on the market.

“iAquaLink 2.0 took a major step forward in terms of ease of installation and connecting to the home owners Wi-Fi network,” says Dave Goldman, Zodiac’s director of product development. “We’ve also been working with several home automation manufacturers, giving them access to our iAquaLink server so the pool can be easily integrated into the home automation system with the aid of a downloadable driver.”

This should catch a pool professional’s attention. Previously, if you attempted to link a controller with existing home automation, it required the purchase of proprietary hardware. And if the landscaping or hardscaping had already been done, installation as an after-market item was extremely difficult, if not impossible.

In most cases, a pool professional building or upgrading a pool with iAquaLink isn’t required to run wires back to the house. It’s also a hassle-free experience for home automation installers who might not be well versed in pool operation. The driver software facilitates the integration for the homeowner’s easy use.

Dave Nibbler, Zodiac’s vice president of engineering, says setting up and using iAquaLink is as easy as connecting to Wi-Fi at Starbucks. “Our device hooks up to a little box that’s an add-on to a control system, and it emits a signal — a Wi-Fi hotspot,” Nibbler says. “Once connected to that, the pool professional isn’t required to be an IT expert. Everything shows up on your screen, and you select the desired options for the iAquaLink.”

“It’s an extremely fast, on-site hook up — and it’s all done wirelessly with a home-automation system that’s already connected to the web,” Goldman says. “We’ve turned iAquaLink into another web service for the automation system.”

Goldman says ease of use is the company hallmark with this system and its corresponding app. He says where its main competitors tend to go for lots of features, “we go for fewer, ease of set-up and use. I’ve even had representatives from our competitors tell me they wished their apps were as easy to use as ours. We absolutely lead the field in simplicity of installation and usage.”

As 2015 comes to its final few weeks, Zodiac will launch a new version of the iAquaLink app platform, introducing new features, making the controller more client friendly for users in the pool profession. The app has a fresh aesthetic and feel that will be easier to read and will incorporate all aspects of account management for both homeowner and pool professional. It will eliminate the requirement to use a computer to go online to set up a customer account or device. “The new app will dramatically reduce the steps required to set up a new iAquaLink,” Goldman says. As for energy savings with iAquaLink, Nibbler pointed out its Seasonal Adjust feature. “If you have a salt chlorinator — a filtration cycle to keep the water clean and sanitized — Seasonal Adjust automatically keeps chlorination at the right level,” Nibbler says. “Water temperature is routinely adjusted; it’ll run your filter pump at a very minimal cycle time.” This provides energy efficiency and energy savings for the homeowner, he adds.

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