One of the most difficult parts of taking care of a swimming pool or a hot tub is making sure the water is clear and has balanced chemistry. Often, we rely on pool professionals because doing it on our own often leads to cloudy water and even algae.
Now, there is a product designed to make taking care of your swimming pool or hot tub much easier. There is now a smart water monitor known as pHin. Here’s my review.
The pHin system comes with a floating monitor, plug-in WiFi bridge, and tether rope. You plug the bridge into a wall outlet and then connect the monitor to your home network.
You use the calibration test strips that come with it to measure water chemistry. It measures chlorine, cyanuric acid, hardness, pH, and total alkalinity.
You merely put the test strip into the water, put it on a marked area of the calibration card, use your smartphone camera to take a snapshot of the reading, and hit send.
The reading then goes to pHin where a technician analyzes your water’s chemical makeup and matches it to the sensor’s readings. The app sends a monthly reminder to take a new reading each month to make sure the sensor is calibrated.
Also, the pHin app, available for Android and iOS, includes access to pHin’s shopping and professional service network. Once you select the chemicals that you need, the app provides recommended places nearby to buy those chemicals and alerts you to when your order is ready for pickup.
The app also offers recommendations for professional services, including equipment repair, leak detection, and other maintenance or care for your swimming pool or hot tub.
Subscriptions and Additional Costs
Part of using pHin is its chemical plan, an option offered to simplify chemical ordering and dosing. Users can also choose virtually any chemical from a large database of brands that can be scanned directly in the app.
Options include a four-month or 12-month subscription. The costs range between $400 to $700, depending on your chemical needs. The chemicals arrive in color-coded pods that make it easy to apply the recommended dosage. This is helpful and convenient in terms of saving me the time of going to pick up pool chemicals.
Additionally, there is a $99 annual monitoring fee that kicks in during the second year because the first year is free. If you decide not to subscribe to the plan, the app will still give you temperature and chemical readings.
Purchasing the monitoring subscription does increase the warranty for a full replacement if the unit’s battery dies or is needed for another reason.
My favorite thing about using this device is that it is easy to install and understand. Since this is not an area I have experience with previously, it helps that it is accurate in terms of its chemical and water temperature readings.
Also, the app explains how much chemicals to add and how to maintain my swimming pool and spa. Another plus is that it supports Amazon Alexa.
What Could Be Better
It’s expensive and only lasts two years, so it would be good if the device could have a longer life to get more from it for the price. While the data is free for the first year, you have to pay for a subscription after that, which is difficult considering the initial outlay.
However, there are future improvements that have already been announced. They will be adding Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant support. Plus, with the $99 annual monitoring service, it is possible to get a free device replacement for as long as you’re a subscriber.
Where to Buy
The pHin is $349. You can buy pHin through the company’s website as well as online outlets like Amazon as well as physical retailers like Best Buy or numerous pool supply distributors and retailers.
In the Box
The pHin system comes with a floating monitor, plug-in WiFi bridge, tether rope, and calibration kit with 25 test strips, and a calibration card.
The pHin Smart Water Monitor is a simple way to monitor the chemical levels in a swimming pool or hot tub through your smartphone or through voice control.
The price may not make it accessible to everyone even if it is considerably cheaper than spending $80-$125 a month for a professional to take care of your pool.
And, in terms of return on investment, by ensuring optimum water chemistry, you will end up spending less on chemicals for your pool and on equipment replacement.