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!

As Pool Season Kicks Off, Next Generation pHin Monitor Makes Water Care Easy

With a refreshed app experience, pHin uses smart technology to make pool and hot tub water care a breeze with robust analytics and enhanced pool chemical compatibility.

pHinTM, by Hayward Industries introduces the next generation pHin smart water monitor. Featuring software upgrades that enhance built-in analytics and augment pHin’s proprietary algorithm for water care as well as an updated user interface and monitoring subscription free for the first year, the smart monitor now works with an expanded list of compatible chemical brands for the 2020 season.

The pHin Smart Monitor removes the guesswork from pool and hot tub water care for chlorine, bromine, or saltwater systems. The next generation model now offers an enhanced and streamlined experience. Missteps in water care can present cloudy water, sub-optimal conditions, or health risks like recreational water illnesses that detract from the joy and benefits of pool and spa ownership.

Engineered to float in the water 24/7 throughout the pool season, whether in the summer or year-round, pHin measures pH, sanitizer, and temperature levels over 1,000 times per week. Robust on-board analytics and a proprietary algorithm acclimate pHin to its water environment and leverage data continuously taken in the water to improve chemical dosing instructions over time. With the monitoring subscription, users can view historical charts of their water conditions and share data with their pool technician or retail store.

The pHin app user interface has been refreshed, and provides easy-to-read, color-coded guides regarding water status. Through the app, pHin users receive alerts directly on their smartphone about their water quality and temperature, with actionable chemical dosing instructions. The next generation pHin model features a growing list of compatible chemicals for chlorine, saltwater, or bromine pools and hot tubs. Users can scan or select the chemical brand of their choice from the supported chemical database of over 60 brands, including poolife®, Applied Biochemists®, BioGuard, E-Z CLOR®, Pool Breeze®, SHOCK-IT®, and more; the full list is available here.

“The height of the swim season is here, and families need to know that their water is safe for everything from a morning swim, to relaxation, and fun and games,” said pHin Co-Founder Justin Miller. “We designed pHin to take the guesswork out of maintenance, and we’ve continued to evolve the pHin experience to reduce the time spent on pool and hot tub care. With increased reliability and more compatible chemicals, pHin’s algorithm and intelligence is the easiest way to maintain safe swimming water this year.”

Enhancements to pHin also include connection to local retailers, where users can select their local pool store of choice and add chemicals to their shopping cart right from the app for easy pickup.

pHin is $349 U.S. MSRP, and available for order on Amazon and phin.co, as well as at local retailers.

To learn more about pHin visit phin.co.

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.

Do Pools Need More Chlorine When It’s Hot?

Do Pools Need More Chlorine When It’s Hot? Chlorine is a necessity for keeping your pool clean, free of bacteria, algae and viruses. Without it, your pool water can become murky, green, and even unsafe. However, too much also leads to trouble. To keep pool water safe and clean, chlorine should be maintained within a specific range. Too much chlorine can irritate the skin, eyes, and even lungs, while too little leaves you with a potentially unhealthy pool. What’s more, chemical needs change depending on the time of year, since heat and UV rays affect chlorine. To maintain the proper balance, consider the following factors.

What Is Chlorine Demand?

Pool service technicians measure two types of chlorine: combined chlorine and free chlorine.

  • Combined chlorine is the fraction of the chlorine that has reacted with organic matter, such as ammonia and nitrogen compounds and is, essentially, tied (“combined”) up. When your pool smells like chlorine, generally it is not because there is too much chlorine in the water but rather due to chloramines, the chemical compounds that result when chlorine meets organic material.
  • Free chlorine is the fraction of the chlorine that hasn’t yet reacted with organic matter; it is still able to disinfect the water.

High levels of combined chlorine indicate that there are too many foreign particulates in your pool water and free chlorine is the chlorine that needs to be replenished. It is important to remember that things like heat, increased bather load, and rain or wash-ins increase your chlorine demand.

How Do Heat and Light Affect Chlorine?

Free chlorine isn’t just lost when it interacts with organic matter; it is lost when it interacts with sunlight as well. Chlorine forms hypochlorite ions in water, which break apart when hit by ultraviolet radiation, releasing chlorine gas into the atmosphere. The light from the sun can reduce pool chlorination by 90 percent in just a few hours. This is why many pool service technicians add a stabilized chlorine and use a chlorine stabilizer when necessary to maintain the conditioner levels.

Temperature also has an effect on chlorine, as some bacteria and organisms grow better in warmer environments. When temperatures increase, it uses up free chlorine more quickly, potentially turning your pool into a swamp.

Rule of Thumb: For every 10-degree Fahrenheit (6 degree Celsius) rise in temperature above 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26 degrees Celsius), you should add as much as 50% more chlorine to your pool water to maintain appropriate levels of free chlorine. This is especially true for those hot tubs that are not always covered, as they tend to run warmer.

Adjusting to Meet Chlorine Demand

It can take more than a week for your pool to recover from an algae outbreak or sudden water cloudiness. Here are a few things to keep in mind to help avoid any loss in the use of your pool:

  • Test Water Frequently: When conditions that require more chlorine arise, you will be able to see your sanitizer disappearing when you test the water. You don’t have to be a certified technician or water chemist to be able to test and know the condition of your pool water. Purchase some dip-strips to easily test your water and take care of any algae or cloudiness before it begins.
  • Inform Service Providers of Pool Parties: While an increase in bathers definitely has an impact on your water’s chemicals, you can minimize that impact. Informing your service technician of any plans you may have involving your pool allows your tech to take preventative steps and keep your pool clean and safe. Don’t wait until the last minute to let your service tech know about your upcoming pool party. They need to find time in their schedules to help you get your pool ready in addition to their regular commitments.
  • Monitor the Pool after a Storm: Even light rainfall can dilute your water and offset the chemical balance of the pool. In addition, be on the lookout for anything that might have gotten washed into the pool, such as fertilizer or other lawn / plant chemicals, as well as leaves and debris blown in by the storm. Some of these may actually render your sanitizer or other chemicals ineffective, so be on the lookout.
  • Prevention is Always Easier: It is easier to simply maintain well-balanced pool water than to clean cloudy or green water. Consistent testing and monitoring ensures that your water stays clean and safe to use, whereas ignoring it can leave you without a pool until you or your technician figure out exactly what is going on.

If you’re looking for an easy way to ensure the water in your pool or hot tub stays balanced year-round, a pHin smart monitor constantly analyzes the water and automatically sends exactly what you need to keep your pool and hot tub healthy. Do you need someone to service your equipment? Pool Service on Demand connects you to local, qualified pool techs.

Pool Tips & Tricks: Ep. 1 Featuring pHin

Kyle & Justin Peek of DIY Network’s Pool Kings have announced a new web series called Pool Tips & Tricks. Their debut episode features pHin, which they describe as “Simple to use, absolutely amazing, and we’re thoroughly impressed with it!”

Find out why they can’t stop raving about pHin in episode 1 of Pool Tips & Tricks below:

Rio Olympic Swimming Pools Turn Green – We Know Why!

In Rio, the show must go on. Olympic officials tested the water with traditional methods and deemed it safe for competition – a smart pool solution, like pHin, might have saved them a headache. Though safe for swimmers, the sight was no doubt unsettling for athletes as they plunged into the murky green water.

While the adjoining pool used for water polo and synchronized swimming held its blue hue yesterday, that pool is now giving way to the algae as well.

“This just goes to show that even though the water’s crystal clear, some invisible issues like algae can rear their ugly head overnight,” said pHin pool chemist Christian Ballard. “Algae is typically undetectable to the human eye until the algae spore content reaches approximately 30,000,000 spores in one ounce of water!”

Heat and lack of wind were to blame in this instance, but a properly balanced pool is much less susceptible to algae blooms. With pHin, The Smart Pool Solution officials could have kept their pools perfectly balanced, sat back and enjoyed the competition.

10 Ways to Maintain An Eco-Friendly Pool

The post 10 Ways to Maintain An Eco-Friendly Pool first appeared on Swim University.

No, we don’t mean turning your water green with algae. We all want a pristine blue swimming pool, but we can be eco-conscious about it. Check out the top ten ways to be an environmentally friendly pool owner.

1. Switch To A Greener Cleaner

Chlorine is the most commonly used chemical to clean pools, mainly because it works so well. But, did you know that chlorine is considered a pesticide by the Environmental Protection Agency? It can be harsh on hair, skin, and eyes, and misuse can result in illness, injury, or worse. If not handled properly, chlorine can be very dangerous. It can also wreak havoc on the plants and animals in your backyard.

However, there are several chlorine alternatives that are better for you and the environment. These include bromine, PHMB (polyhexamethylene biguanide,) Ozonator systems, and natural mineral sanitizers. With any of these systems, you may occasionally have to add chlorine or algaecide, but they’re still more eco-friendly in the long run.

f you want to go completely chemical-free, consider a natural swimming pool that uses plants to clean the water. These types of pools need a bit more time and effort to maintain, but once a balance is struck, they can be a safe place for your family, friends, and pets to swim.

2. Switch To A Solar Heater

It’s always a toss-up as to whether having a pool heater can even be considered green at all. On the one hand, the less energy you use, the greener you are. On the other, a heater allows you to use your pool for more months out of (or even the whole) year.

The principles of green living involve conserving water and getting the most out of what you do have. Not having to drain your pool every fall and making the best use of your backyard feature are definitely good things.

When you want to conserve energy, but you also want to use your pool to it’s fullest potential, what’s the best way to go? The answer is definitely a solar heating system. Solar-powered pool heaters use a series of tubes that absorb heat from the sun to warm the water after it passes through the filtration system.

Harnessing the sun’s power won’t only save energy; it will save you money on your energy bills each month. While switching to a solar heater involves an initial investment, the returns will be worth it in the end. Heat from the sun is renewable, and it will always be free.

3. Install A Heat Pump

Solar heaters are a great, green option, but they may not be necessary in all climates. If you live in an area with warmer air, or in an area where the water only needs to be heated a little, a heat pump is the greenest way to go. Heat pumps use minimal energy because they don’t actually generate any heat: they draw thermal energy from the air and transfer it into the water.

While heat pumps are electric for the most part, they consume much less energy than their counterparts. To make sure you get the most from your heat pump, be sure to maintain it properly by cleaning debris from the intake and keeping it in an area with good air flow.

4. Use A Robotic Pool Cleaner

Robotic pool cleaners are one of the simplest, quickest, and most inexpensive ways to green your pool. You can make your pool instantly greener today if you want. Most are ready to use out of the box, and only require that they be plugged in or charged before use. There are also solar cleaners on the market, if you want to conserve even more energy.

Robotic pool cleaners are green for a number of reasons: first, they reduce the amount of chemical cleaners your pool needs. Second, they reduce the amount of times you’ll have to clean and change your pool filter. Third, they are over 90% more efficient than a traditional pool filtration system, and cost less than five cents an hour to run.

5. Clean Your Filters

Another way to ensure that your pool utilizes less energy is to keep your filters clean. A dirty filter doesn’t work as well as a pristine one, causing your pump to work harder more often and your cleaning agents to be less effective.

Cleaning your filters is generally very easy, so there isn’t much reason not to keep up on this task. Backwashing a sand filter is a minimally involved process, so is backwashing a DE filter (DE stands for dichotomous earth.)

You should backwash both of these types of filters once a month, or when the pressure is 8-10 above average PSI (pounds per square inch.) You should also remove and clean the entire filter once a year, and occasionally replace the materials.

Cleaning a cartridge filter is a more tedious process, but you won’t have to do it as often, and replacing the cartridges is much easier than replacing sand or DE. No matter what type of filter you use, keeping it in tip-top shape will ensure that the rest of your equipment runs smoothly.

6. Add A Timer To Your Pumps

Most circulation pumps are running more often than they need to, which consumes unneeded energy and costs you more money than it’s worth.Energy.gov recommends you only run your pump for six hours a day, which should be sufficient so long as your pump is sized properly to your pool’s volume.

However, turning it on and off daily can be a hassle. This either leads to your pump running unnecessarily, or your pool’s circulation suffering. Adding an automatic time clock to your pump system is the best way to make sure your water gets filtered regularly without consuming unneeded energy.

7. Cover Your Pool

Eco-conscious pool owners know that the simplest and cheapest way to conserve water and energy is to cover their pool when they’re not using it. Pool covers keep heat in and debris out, and also discourage water from evaporating out.

Sealing heat in means you’ll use less energy heating your pool. Keeping debris out means you’ll use less energy filtering your pool. More water staying in your pool means using less water to refill it.

Your best bet is a solar pool cover, which will do all those jobs plus it will seal heat in and trap warmth from the sun to be absorbed by your pool, which means even less energy consumption and cost.

8. Add A Windbreak

A pool cover can cut down on debris and evaporation, but that’s not the only thing that can help. A windbreak can be installed around some or all of the pool. Windbreaks come in many different forms. Anything from a fence to a custom-ordered windbreak to fit your pool dimensions will do the trick. If you want to be extra-green, you can even plant your own windbreak using trees, shrubs, or local foliage.

Windbreaks not only provide privacy; they also make your pool eco-friendly by lessening the amount of water evaporation and helping to keep out debris that need energy to filter out. Not to mention that they provide relief from harsh winds, and whatever dirt and dust they may be blowing around.

9. Install A Pool Enclosure

If you’re after the ultimate in comfort, privacy, and eco-friendliness, a pool enclosure is the way to go. Having your pool partially or fully enclosed will provide shade and seclusion, and keep the ground around the pool from getting too hot. On top of all of the comfort benefits, there are green ones too.

A pool enclosure will help keep your pool cleaner and warmer, and lessen evaporation of precious water into the air. You’ll be able to clean, heat, and fill your pool less often. A pool enclosure will also extend the amount of time you can swim, or even turn your pool into an oasis that’s swimmable year-round.

10. Party Green

Don’t forget to keep things green when you party! There are lots of ways to throw an eco-friendly pool party: from the grub to the decor, you can be an environmentally conscious host. There’s no need for wasteful paper invitations and plates. You can invite friends through email or Facebook, and invest in reusable plastic plates and servingware that won’t shatter if dropped poolside.

You don’t have to buy disposable decor to make the place look festive, just get creative with the home decor you already have. Try to find locally sourced and humanely treated food to serve your guests, and use LED string lights if your party will roll on into the night.

How Do You “Green” Your Pool?

These are just the top ten ways to be a green pool owner. What are some of your best tips for maintaining your pool while keeping the environment on your mind?