Celebrating 5 Years! The History of pHin

Spring is a time to celebrate: flowers begin blooming, temperatures rise, and pools across the country are opening for the season. The pHin team has extra reason to celebrate – May is also pHin’s birthday! 

This year, we celebrate five years since pHin launched, and we took a look back through pHin’s milestones:

2014 – The Concept of pHin

Our co-founder Justin Miller cared for his pool, and wanted to make sure the water was safe for his family. He wanted to just have fun with his pool, but chemicals and testing were a stressor and a burden. He started building pHin to take the guesswork out of pool water care, so he could spend more time enjoying his pool, knowing the water is safe.

He incorporated Pool Tech Systems Inc and started building pHin.

May 2015pHin’s First Pre-Order

The first pHin model was available for pre-order in May 2015.

Its groundbreaking technology was instantly recognized with an IMPACT Award, IoT Evolution Award, PSP Expo Award, IDTechEx Award, and more. 

June 2015 – pHin Press Launch

pHin was announced to the world in June 2015, with press coverage in TechCrunch, This Oblong Device Will Tell You If Your Pool Is Ready for Swimming, who said: “All you have to do is plop pHin into the water and add a few water-soluble packets that come with the device, according to your pools needs.”

Spring 2017 – pHin Available in Stores

pHin started shipping and was made commercially available.

April 2018 – pHin Acquired by Hayward Industries

The popularity of pHin caught the eye of Hayward Industries, and the company acquired Connected Yard, the makers of pHin. Joining forces with the leading global manufacturer and marketer of residential and commercial pool equipment.

May 2019 – pHin Available on Amazon

Demand for pHin grew as pool, swim spa, and hot tub owners around the country sought the device to simplify their water care routine. pHin was made available for online ordering on Amazon.

April 2020 – pHin Next-Generation Upgrade

New features and enhancements were released to improve the pHin experience, including a refreshed app and an expanded list of supported chemicals.

How long have you been using pHin? We’d love to hear from our users, whether you’re new or have been with us from the beginning. Enjoy the swim season ahead!

5 Tips for A Safe Pool Season

All pool owners need to have a safety plan, whether for monitoring the pool or ensuring proper water balance. In recognition of National Water Safety Month, the pHin team put together tips to brush up on pool safety for a safe season this year:

1.            Practice Swimming Skills

Basic swimming skills are needed before jumping into any body of water including pools, oceans, and lakes. The American Red Cross recommends mastering a few basic skills before swimming: before taking a swim, you should be able to enter water that is over your head and return to the surface, tread water for at least one minute, swim 25 yards, and exit the water.

2.             Establish A Protection Plan

When children are in the water, parents should be vigilant with no distractions, and stay no more than an arm’s length away from the child while they swim. If an emergency occurs, be prepared to help by knowing the signs of drowning, enrolling in CPR training, and always paying close attention to all swimmers in the pool.

3.             Know Your Limits

Take extra precautions, even if you don’t plan on going for a swim. Swimmers should know their physical limitations; don’t overexert yourself or get stuck in a situation that your body can’t handle. It’s also a good idea to save the cocktails for after the swim, to make sure you are alert aware and smart around water.

4.            Use Protection in and Around Water

Set up a game plan with your family for pool time. All pools should have a fence or some type of barrier surrounding them to prevent anybody from getting in the area without adult or pool owner supervision, and it’s a good idea to teach young children to ask permission before they jump in. Children and other inexperienced swimmers should also use life jackets or flotation devices when entering the water. Keep a first aid kit and phone in your pool area for quick access if an emergency occurs.

5.            Invest in Proper Pool Equipment

If your pool equipment isn’t functioning properly, you might run into some safety issues. Check if your pool cover is in good working order and ensure that your pool has proper drain covers. Check your water balance regularly to make sure it’s safe for swimming. While chemicals can be confusing, technology like pHin helps eliminate the guesswork. pHin floats in your pool water and constantly measures the water’s balance while providing real-time alerts if the pool is not safe for swimming.

During National Water Safety Month, the pHin team wishes all a safe and fun swim!

Kill Power: A Smarter Way to Measure Pool & Hot Tub Water Chemistry

Most pool and hot tub owners set a weekly schedule to measure and balance their water, requiring test strips, tables, interpretation, and calculation before chemical dosage. But the pHin team developed a smarter way to measure, they call it “Kill Power.”

Rather than measuring the specific levels or parts per million (PPM) of the sanitizer that is in the water, a Kill Power rating is an analysis that focuses on ORP (oxidation-reduction potential) that shows how effectively the sanitizer is doing its job, for chlorine, bromine and saltwater sanitizers.

Proper ORP levels are important for understanding the effectiveness of your chemicals. OPR sensors within the pool and hot tub water will have a voltage created between them from the electrons in the water, measuring the ORP reading. If the chemicals aren’t bonding properly, sanitizers become less effective. When ORP is low, the chlorine has a hard time keeping up with the bather load and additional adjustments are needed to get the pool balanced.

When ORP is high, the water’s cyanuric acid levels are also high which is the number one factor that can prevent sanitizer from working effectively. Factoring ORP levels in overall pool and hot tub water readings allows for a detailed analysis of the cleanliness of the water and its ability to break down contaminants.

How pHin measures “Kill Power”

pHin constantly measures the pH, sanitizer, and temperature of pool, hot tub, and swim spa water. Kill Power is measured electronically through the pHin monitor’s sensors, and is used as a factor when calculating chemical dosage recommendations that users see in the app.

When taking measurements, pHin analyzes the ORP level of the water to make sure the sanitizer is doing its job to keep your pool safe. pHin has built-in algorithms that analyze the water samples over time. With this data, pHin simplifies the chemical dosing process for pool and hot tub owners by providing easy to understand chemical instructions for balancing the water.

pHin factors your pool or hot tub’s Kill Power/ORP level into all measurements and makes it easy to read with a color-coded system, so you can always know whether your pool or hot tub is safe. 

For accurate pool and hot tub water readings, check out pHin on Amazon.

Why and How Do We Shock Our Pools?

Seasoned pool owners know shocking is important to water care. When new pool owners research maintenance tips, they quickly find the advice: “Shock your pool. Shock your pool. Shock your pool.”

But, why do we shock?  

Regular pool shocks are critical to keeping the water safe, and to maintaining balanced water.

The main reason you need to shock is to get rid of the chloramines in the pool, which can be responsible for eye irritation and an ammonia smell. Shocking is an extra boost to burn off of bacteria so that the free chlorine can do its job.

Chlorine or bromine sanitizers can get overworked and need to be removed from the pool. This could be after a heavy rainstorm, lots of kids in the pool, or a pool party. Using a non-chlorine shock is the first step to eliminating bacteria, and doesn’t disrupt your chlorine or bromine levels, so your water can remain balanced.

How do you shock?

  • Check the label: If you have shock for a chlorine pool, carefully read the instructions to know how long the manufacturer recommends waiting before you can swim.
  • Set a schedule: Shocking your pool should be done each week – and it can be as simple as tossing a pod in the water. There are many brands that offer shock, so find what works best for your pool, or consult a local pool retailer or service technician.
  • Pick a time: Shock your pool when it’s not going to be occupied. These chemicals aren’t stabilized, so you may have to stay out of the water for at least a few hours to let the shock spread and start working, depending on the type of shock you’re using. Evenings or late afternoons work, or if you’re not a morning swimmer, maybe your shock can be in the morning.

In addition to pool shocking, make sure you check your pool water balance regularly. The right water balance keeps your pool safe to jump in anytime, and it can be simple. Pool experts created the pHin Smart Monitor, a system that measures your pool water chemistry, sends you alerts, and helps with chemical dosing. 

Need more pool know-how? Check out our Pool Chemicals 101 guide.

4 Reasons to Love Smart Water Care with pHin

The pHin Smart Monitor makes pool, hot tub, and swim spa water care easy.

pHin puts the power of technology, internet connectivity, and built-in analysis into the palm of your hands with the smartphone app and real-time alerts. Our pHin pool and hot tub owners have shared their success stories; here’s why they love pHin:

1.       Peace of Mind

Pools, swim spas, and hot tubs are a place for fun and relaxation. But the dangers of green water, hot tub rash, and bacteria build-up can make water care stressful. pHin takes the guesswork out of water care by simplifying the routine for bromine, chlorine, or saltwater hot tubs and pools with instant alerts and dosing instructions. With pHin floating, families can have peace of mind knowing whether their water is safe for swimming anytime.

2.       Instant alerts

pHin sends real-time information and notifications about your water balance through the app. When you’re heading home from work and want to jump in the hot tub, you can quickly check whether you need any chemicals, and what the temperature is.

3.       A chemist at your fingertips

New pool owner Aaron Richardson tried pHin when his pool needed daily scrubbing to keep from turning green. “I can read tables and do math, but the traditional pool care process is overcomplicated.” He bought pHin for help with chemical dosing, and right away the monitor changed his pool care routine: “When we started with pHin, it told us everything we needed to do, including shocking.” pHin calculates how much of each chemical to add to balance the water with no guesswork. Read more about Aaron’s experience with pHin here.

4.       Water data and “Kill Power”

pHin tests water chemistry differently. Instead of telling you how much chlorine is in the water, for example, it gives a “Kill Power” rating — an analysis of how the chemicals are working against bacteria. With the pHin Monitoring Subscription, you can also track your pool or hot tub over time, with water history charts and shareable data for in-person help from experts.

Have your own water care success story with pHin? Share with us on Twitter or Facebook.

Stuck at home? Stay Fit and Sane with your Pool or Hot Tub

Communities are encouraging everyone to stay at home amid coronavirus concerns. While families are staying in, their pool or hot tub can help maintain sanity and offer fitness benefits as well.

The CDC has advised that “There is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the use of pools and hot tubs.” If school, work, and the gym are closed, a pool or hot tub can help families stay fit and have fun as long as the water is properly cared for. Here are some ideas from the pHin team:

#1: Schedule Workouts

Don’t let the shutdown stop your workout routine – make your pool your home gym! Set a schedule for swimming; it’s a low-impact, full-body workout that improves muscle tone, cardiovascular health, and overall energy. You could also try water aerobics if laps aren’t your thing.

#2: Hot Tub Therapy

Whether you’re stressed or need some muscle relief from the tension of sitting at a home office all day, a hot tub can help. Astudy from Healthline showed that warm water can help reduce the hormones related to stress. When you’re soaking in a hot tub, leave your phone behind and focus on the warm water and massaging jets. Read more benefits of a hot tub here.

#3: Fun and Games

If you’re staying home with your family, keep them entertained with pool games. Country Living recommends inflatable Tic-Tac-Toe, Number Basketball, and pool noodle races. If you have a hot tub, try water cards, or water battleship. In water battleship, you’ll need two cups: Take turns pouring water into the empty cup. Take five-second intervals in between each player – the person who sinks the cup loses.

Stressed about keeping your water healthy? pHin is here to help. Don’t worry about balancing the right chemicals to keep your family safe. pHin floats in the water constantly and will tell you at a moment’s notice when you need to adjust your water balance. It works with most chemicals for pools and hot tubs, and will give you easy, exact instructions to make your water safe for games and exercise. Learn the three steps to using pHin.

Learn more about pHin here.

How to Make Pool Time the First Step to #SelfCare

#Selfcare has been trending lately as we focus on improving our physical, emotional, and mental well-being. The self-care revolution is a positive force, but it can be challenging to make these changes in our day-to-day lives.

Pool, hot tub, and spa owners have a leg-up on setting a wellness routine with hydrotherapy, swimming, and time outdoors. The pHin team put together a few ways to get started:

1. Shut off the notifications and pick up a book

Alone time can be the start of self-care – and spending time by the pool or hot tub with a good book or relaxing music is a great way to escape the daily hustle. Set aside time each week to leave your phone behind and pick up a good read – especially if you don’t have a waterproof phone! Set a playlist for 30-minutes to an hour and leave your phone out of reach.

2. Connect with nature and enjoy the outdoors

An article from Mental Floss points out that spending time outside can improve memory, fight depression, and lower blood pressure. Breathing in fresh air and listening to the sounds of nature can help relieve stress and improve your focus. Head out to the pool for extra sun and some Vitamin D when winter is over – invite friends for a swim, hang out on a floatie, or enjoy the jets in your swim spa.

3. Hydrotherapy and exercise

Exercise is a major part of physical and mental well-being – Medline Plus notes that regular physical activity can improve your mood, increase your chances of living longer, and help control your weight. Pools and spas are a great place to exercise, providing resistance and buoyancy that is effective without being high-impact. Squats, shoulder rolls, water aerobics, and more can be the start to your physical fitness in the pool; a hot tub can also be a great place to unwind after a difficult workout.

4. Family wellness

A self-care routine can also be shared with the entire family. Spending time together in the pool relaxing, playing games, or working out can help you connect, have fun, and achieve better wellness together.

Tip: Use technology for peace-of-mind that your water is safe for self-care time

To maximize the benefits of self-care from your pool or hot tub, technology can help provide peace of mind that your water is always safe for swimming. With pHin, you can check the water temperature before you dive in using the app, and it’ll also tell you ahead of time if your water is out of balance or needs chemical adjustments. Knowing your water is balanced can help make whatever pool or hot tub routine you choose even simpler.

How are you using your pool, spa, or hot tub to achieve your #selfcare goals? Sound off to the pHin team! On Twitter or Facebook.

Tips for Planning a Poolside Valentine’s Day

Pools and hot tubs can be a great venue for holidays, parties, and gatherings. This week is Valentine’s Day, and the pHin team brainstormed some ideas to make your pool, swim spa, or hot tub extra special for your loved ones:

  • Candles

The right lighting can add a romantic ambiance to the space, whether you place candles around the hot tub’s edge or light up a fire pit by the pool. If you don’t want to worry about matches and lit candles, you can try flickering lights or rope lights for extra sparkle.

  • Decorations

A few themed decorations can brighten up the space – try heart-shaped floaties or even floating flowers in the pool. Make sure that whatever you’re adding to the pool or hot tub is safe and approved to be in the water; be careful of adding decorations with a scent, sparkles, or pieces that can come loose in the water.

  • Pink Drinks and Festive Snacks

When you’re done swimming, grab a pink towel and take a break with a snack or a cocktail! You can set up a space by the pool or inside with Champagne, a red cocktail, or rosé. If it’s a kid’s party, you can also set up a space with fun snacks like heart-shaped cookies, chocolate-dipped pretzels with pink sprinkles, or red Jell-O! We love this list of snack ideas.

  • Mood Music

The last step is setting up mood music to play for your party or romantic evening. We can help! Check out the pHin YouTube channel for playlist inspiration.

Don’t forget to make sure that your pool or hot tub water gets some love too! Once you’ve set your music, decorations, drinks, and more for your Valentine’s Day celebration, remember to check your filters, water level, and water balance to make sure it’s safe for swimming. With pHin and the app – it’ll be the easiest step of your pool prep. Learn more here!

Wishing our pHin friends a happy Valentine’s Day filled with family, friends, and happy moments – hopefully pool-side!

Smart Pool Technology Helps Early Adopter Manage His Pool Water

Technology is making our lives easier, whether it’s household supplies showing up at our doorstep on a schedule or smart home devices helping save energy and provide us with peace of mind. Many pool owners don’t know that smart connectivity can even make pool care easier too.

California homeowner Shannon Jean has been a technology early adopter for years and decided to extend tech to his backyard. He’s always relied on a local pool company to keep the water in his home pool balanced, but he sought another way to take control of his pool care. He heard about pHin, a smart water monitor that helps pool owners monitor and manage their own water care.

“I watched a few videos and testimonials about pHin before I bought it. One day I decided to ‘jump in,’” said Jean. “Because I’ve never taken care of the pool, my main concern was that I didn’t want to screw it up.”

pHin makes pool care easy – the monitor floats in the water 24/7, taking over 1,000 measurements per week. Users can see the status of their water’s pH, sanitizer, and temperature in the pHin App, which also sends them alerts when it needs attention. The system has built-in intelligence – it analyzes the water data to provide an easy-to-understand, color-coded water status. When users get an alert, they can see whether the water is safe for swimming or if it needs attention.

pHin makes water analysis easy to understand and doesn’t stop there – it also gives users exact instructions to balance the pool water for most chemical brands, for saltwater, chlorine, and bromine pools. “In the morning I go out to my pool, and it tells me what to do.”

“I’ve had pHin for about a year and a half, and it works fantastically, and I don’t know anything about pool chemicals,” added Jean.

Customers can choose any chemical brands to use with the pHin system. Jean follows the pHin app on his phone, which tells him exactly what to do for chemical dosage. “When I have had problems or questions, the pHin customer service has been great and they get back to me quickly,” said Jean. “Their customer service isn’t cut-and-paste – it’s a real person that troubleshoots with me.”

 “With the pHin app, the whole pHin system is pretty powerful.”

3 Steps to Stress-free Pool Care with pHin

 There are many perks to having a pool– relaxation and pool parties, or a nice après-ski soak. New pool owners might not realize the challenges of ongoing maintenance required to keep the water clean, healthy, and ready for a good time, so we’ve rounded up some essential pieces of pool maintenance advice to help you manage your water.

Pool-care professionals recommend measuring your water chemistry at least once a week. If neglected, getting your pool or hot tub water balanced again can be a frustrating task that costs both time and money.

 A smart water care system like pHin helps take care of this task while taking the stress out of managing your pool or hot tub, with three easy steps:

1. Constant Water Monitoring

Most people check their water levels once a week or just before they hop in the pool but water chemistry is easily affected by how much you use your pool or hot tub, how many people are using it, the weather (especially rain and heat), water temperature, sunlight, and several other factors. The lag between water checkups can create an unhealthy water situation. Since weather and water temperature are always changing, it’s best to test your pool water as often as possible to make sure you have an accurate picture of its overall water quality. Between raising a family, working, and other tasks, it’s difficult for most people to consistently test their pool water more than once per week, which is why a smart water monitor like pHin is the best alternative.

Once you drop pHin in the water, it automatically starts measuring pH, sanitizer, and temperature levels — over 1,000 times every week! The daily measurements are collected and analyzed with the monitor’s built-in intelligence to show you the status of your water health at any time, along with an easy-to-understand guide that will notify you whether your water is safe for swimming, needs chemicals to be balanced, or is unsafe.

2. Automatic Alerts

With smart technology in the pool, you’ll always know the status of your pool water. The pHin app gives you information about the water balance and temperature while sending you app alerts letting you know when you need to adjust your chemicals. Knowing the status of your water at any time can help you ensure that your pool or hot tub is always jump-in ready. It also helps you with easy steps to set unbalanced water right – continue to step three to read how!

3. Chemical Instructions

pHin is your personal pool and hot tub water expert. Instead of having to learn the charts, tables, and measurements for proper water chemistry yourself, pHin analyzes your water quality and provides easy instructions to get balanced water. It works with most major retail chemicals and uses its built-in analytics to give you precise dosing instructions for balanced water based on the chemical brand you use, your pool system, and your pool size.  All you have to do is follow the instructions and check in to see your water status on the app. Whether you’re a new pool owner or you’re looking to manage your existing hot tub or pool water, you can get the full benefits with smart monitoring from pHin.

pHin Reaches New Milestone: Over One Billion Water Samples Tested!

There are more than 15 million pools and hot tubs in the U.S., and even though water chemistry can be challenging, about 75% of owners test their own water. Maintaining healthy pH, sanitizer, and temperature levels requires water testing at least two to three times a week, which adds up to a lot of hands-on maintenance for pool and spa owners who’d rather be relaxing or splashing around.

pHin, was designed to streamline pool water care so families can just enjoy their pools without all the guesswork. Now part of the Hayward family, pHin has just reached an exciting new milestone: We’ve tested and analyzed over one billion samples of pool and hot tub water!

Because there are so many environmental factors that affect water chemistry such as usage, weather, water temperature, sunlight exposure and more, pool water can easily become unbalanced. pHin helps keep things in check by keeping a constant eye on the chemical levels. There are pHin monitors floating in  pools, hot tubs, and spas around the country, which have collectively taken over one billion samples!

When pHin takes a reading of the sanitizer, pH, or temperature that needs attention, it sends an alert to the user on the mobile app with instructions, so they know exactly what to do to keep the pool or spa water safe and ready for swimming. With a proven track record and years taking measurements pHin is family-tested and industry approved.

pHin is constantly improving to make pool care easier. Having taken over a billion water samples, the monitors provide families with exact instructions to balance their pool water with the chemicals of their choice from a growing database.

Join the families who are letting pHin take the guesswork out of pool care – learn more here: phin.co.

The Ultimate Pool Opening and Closing Checklist

Opening and closing a swimming pool can be a challenge — even for a veteran pool owner. It’s easy to forget tasks, so we recommend having a checklist of all your pool opening and closing must-dos to avoid finding yourself scrambling to get everything done.

To save time, use our pool care checklist:

How To Open Your Pool:

●             Remove the pool cover. First, clear off any debris that has accumulated on the cover using a broom or leaf blower. To keep it clean year-round, plan to use your hose, a pool brush, and some dish soap to scrub the cover every three to six months to increase the lifespan of your cover and ensure that it continues to protect your pool from debris.

●             Vacuum and clean your pool. If you have a very dirty pool, the best option is to use a manual pool vacuum, or there are adapters available for ShopVacs. For pools that are in good, clean condition, automatic pool cleaners are a great option. There are a few different types of automatic pool cleaners, suction side cleaners, pressure side vacuums, and robotic cleaners, each picking up different size debris. After it’s vacuumed, scrub the water line to remove any calcium build-up and stains.

●             Refresh and fill your water. There is a lot of debate about if — and how often — you should replace the water in your pool. We recommend checking your water level and chemical balance when you open the pool. If you properly manage your chemical levels and follow regular maintenance rules, you shouldn’t have to completely replace the water, just simply add water when levels get low. When you open your pool, check your pH and total alkalinity before and after you bring the pool back to its full water level. The chemical densities will change along with the water level so it’s important to make sure that you are monitoring levels in real time. An automated smart water monitoring system like pHin by Hayward makes it incredibly easy to get accurate measurements so you can tweak your chemicals while you refill your pool for the season.

●             Test and adjust chemical levels. Whether you use chlorine, bromine, or saltwater, you must test the pH and alkaline levels before swimming. You could take samples and test manually — but if you want to make it easy, a smart water monitor will do the work for you. A smart water monitor like pHin tests your chemical levels over 1,000 times per week and sends an alert to your phone when you need to make an adjustment. You’ll always know when you need to add chemicals, balance or shock your pool so it’s ready to enjoy the minute you are.

How To Close Your Pool

●             Lower the water level. Reduce the amount of water in your pool during the off-season to avoid problems with groundwater and freezing temperatures. The amount of water you drain will depend on winter temperatures where you live and the type of pool you have. If you live in a colder climate, you should drain the water 4 to 6 inches below the tile line in order to avoid the risk of damage from frozen water. If you’re in a milder climate, you just need to make sure the pool water temperature is below 65 degrees to avoid algae growth, but you probably don’t need to drain any water.

●             Test and adjust chemical levels. Before you close your pool for the winter, check and adjust all of your chemicals so you don’t end up with a complicated science experiment when you’re ready to start using your pool in the spring. Check your pH, water hardness and alkalinity and make sure they’re in the correct range.

●                   pH should be between 7.2 and 7.6

●                   Water hardness should be between 175 and 225

●                   Alkalinity should be between 80 and 125 ppm.

●             Check and clean filters. Making sure that your filters are clean and functional helps ensure that your pool is clean and safe. Filters help remove debris, dirt, calcium, and oils that can make your pool water cloudy and dirty, but they need to be cleaned regularly to function properly. Clean filters in the spring and the fall for safe water, and this will also help preserve the lifespan of your pool equipment, pumps, and filtration systems. There are different types of filters and the method for cleaning each is a little different but having clean filters will help ensure that your pool is clean and also helps the chemicals maintain proper balance.

Learning how to open and close a pool is a challenge for many pool owners, but smart pool owners use tools that make it easier. We hope that this checklist and the pHin Smart Monitor make opening and closing easier so you can enjoy your pool!