Hayward VS Omni Smart Pool ControlGET IT
The indoor smart speakers, lights, and TVs that make modern life easier get a lot of attention, but yard automation is catching up quickly. From a smartphone, you can control a barbecue smoker, sprinklers, and a lawnmower—and now your pool equipment can be as easy to command as your favorite playlist.
The Hayward Omni VS is a system, consisting of a pool pump, controller, and other parts, that is entirely controllable with a smartphone or tablet from anywhere there is an internet connection. And many of its popular tasks—controlling the pump, adjusting the heat, turning on decorative lights—can be outsourced via voice through Alexa. The variable speed pump is Energy Star-rated, which is noteworthy because it’s up to 90 percent more efficient than a traditional pump, which can translate to nearly $1,500 in savings annually. The pump runs quieter and can be wired to 110 volts, where the older version required 220 volts, so it’s easier to fit into a greater number of residential pools.
A keypad communicates with the pump (and other parts like actuators that control the flow of water from a pool to a spa) through a base unit and relay, with a clean and intuitive interface, but really, the best part is controlling it through the phone. You could be on your way home from work and with a few taps adjust the heat on the pool or spa so it’s ready when you pull up. The Omni also saves your favorites. Entertain often? Set up a pool party mode to control the temp, lights, and a water feature.
From our phones, we punched in the pump’s schedule, which is far easier than dealing with the archaic manual timer, and turned the system on and off from miles away. The Alexa integration is pretty straightforward using basic prompts like “Alexa, ask Hayward to…” For users with a more sophisticated system, they can control the pump, heater, pool or landscape lighting, salt systems, launch a robotic cleaner, water features, and a spa from their phones. As your system grows, the system will likely be able to control add-ons, from Hayward or other brands, with firmware updates getting pushed out regularly.
Now, while we’ve installed standard pool pumps before, this system is best left to pros to set up, and it can only be purchased through a dealer. For serious pool users, the benefit of the variable speed pump will likely recoup the costs of the whole kit within a few years. To benefit from the smart features, your pool equipment will need to be within your home’s WiFi network. — Sal Vaglica, Senior Editor
[From $1,800; hayward-pool.com]
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