How to Choose a Chemical Automation System for a Commercial Pool

WRITTEN BY:  Sharon F

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A chemical automation system is your partner in the proper maintenance of a commercial pool. Because commercial pools face greater and more varying demands than residential pools, it can be a challenge to keep pH and sanitizers levels balanced. Learn more about the different chemical automation systems designed to address the needs of commercial pools. We will be looking at the CAT Controllers from Hayward and the Pentair Acu-Trol systems in this guide.

Step by Step

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Step 1

Starting with the simplest chemical automation systems first, the CAT 1000 pH Controller is a pH-only system that continuously monitors pH and adjusts chemical feeding based on demand. Keeping pH levels balanced has a number of benefits including protecting the pool surface and equipment, increasing the effectiveness of chlorine and reducing the occurrence of irritated skin and eyes. Hayward also offers upgrades to the basic ph-only CAT-1000 controller with CAT-1000 systems with various options including a CO2 feeder, pump tank combo, and ORP controller.

Step 2

Pentair's base unit is the Acu-Trol AT-8 which monitors pH, ORP and temperature for one body of water. The AT-8 chemical automation system allows you to program set points for pH and ORP levels, the chemical feed cycle, and the selection of acid or base feed. It includes a flow cell, flow switch and sensors.

Step 3

Moving up to the next level in the CAT commercial pool chemical automation systems, Hayward's CAT-2000 monitors pH and sanitizer levels and automatically implements chemical feeding. The CAT-2000 will monitor the activity of chlorine, bromine, or salt systems.

Step 4

The AK110 Chemical Controller from Pentair, like their AT-8 model, controls one body of water but monitors disinfectant levels and flow rate in addition to pH, ORP and temperature. The AK110 has several nice features including a third relay that can be used to automate a second sanitizer and bidirectional control that allows you to make water chemistry changes remotely from your computer. It includes a flow cell with built-in flow switch, shut-off valves, inlet strainer and sampling port.

Step 5

Hayward's CAT-4000 series chemical automation systems also add the ability to monitor and control water chemistry remotely by allowing you to set up and login to an account on their PoolComm.com site. This gives you access to water quality data, charts, graphs and custom settings. You can also received alarm notifications by text message or email. Their top of the line CAT-5000 series commercial chemistry offers all of these features and allows even more wireless connection to your pool through Wi-Fi and satellite. With the CAT-5000, you can monitor and maintain water chemistry via web browser on any internet-enabled computer or mobile device including iPhone, Blackberry and Droid.

Step 6

Last in the Pentair Acu-Trol line is the AK600 chemical controller systems. The AK600 has models designed to control up to three separate bodies of water. With 16 relays with 3 voltage configurations, the AK600 is customizable for almost any commercial facility. The same bidirectional control as the AK110 allows for remote access and control of the system and you also have access to database information through direct link, dial-up, Wi-Fi and ethernet.

Step 7

As you can see, from the simple monitoring of just pH on a single pool to the control of a commercial facility with up to three bodies of water, there is a chemical automation system designed for every need.

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