Pools and Hot Tubs: Monitoring Temperature & Preventing Frozen Pipes
Few things in life make us as happy as a refreshing swim, a soak in a hot tub, or a relaxing few minutes in a personal sauna or steam room. And it's hard to deny the peacefulness you feel when lounging next to a koi pond or a fountain. To get the most out of the experience, you want to monitor and maintain water conditions like temperature and humidity. In the case of swimming pools, hot tubs, fountains, and man-made ponds, it may also help to watch out for leaks, so you can fix a small problem before it becomes a big one. Your best bet is to equip yourself with tools designed to keep tabs on important conditions.
Tips for Swimming Pool & Hot Tub Conditions
Hot tubs are generally kept between 100 and 102°F (38-39°Celsius), with a maximum temperature of 104°F (40°Celsius). Children under 5 years old, however, should not be exposed to hot tub temperatures over 95°F (35°Celsius), and should not be in a hot tub longer than 5-10 minutes at a time.
Pools for competitive swimming are generally kept between 77 and 82°F (25-28°Celsius). Recreational pools may be set as high as 84°F (29°Celsius).
Leaks can commonly occur, for example, in the vinyl liner of above ground pools, or around the pipes on any pool or hot tub. Early detection of leaks can help minimize the cost of repairs, as well as damage to patios and decks.
In the winter, pipes leading to an outdoor pool or hot tub may be in danger of freezing and bursting if outdoor conditions get below 20°F - 32°F (-29° - 0°Celsius). Follow all manufacturer instructions for proper winterization. It also helps to monitor pipe temperature to prevent pipes from freezing.
Pool & Hot Tub Problems
You Don't Have A Way to Monitor Temperature Remotely: Walking out on your patio to dip your toe in the water is ok in a pinch, but checking conditions from inside your home can be much more practical and convenient. This may be especially true at times when you won't be using the tub or pool for extended periods and are keeping the temperature at a lowered setting to save money.
You Use Your Pool or Tub in Colder Months: Freezing outdoor temperatures, combined with an unexpected water heater failure, could potentially spell disaster for your tub or pool...or the pipes and lines connected to them. Advanced warning of freezing water would allow you to take action and prevent frozen pipes before damage can occur.
The Pool or Hot Tub May Be Leaking: Both above ground pools and in-ground swimming pools can experience leaks. These can occur either in the liner or the plumbing. Having a device that helps you locate the leak could be helpful in identifying the problem, or determining that the problem is really just evaporation.
Pool & Hot Tub Solutions
Monitor Temperature with a Liquid Temperature Sensor: A strategically-placed pool thermometer can, at-a-glance, show you temperature conditions. The AcuRite Monitor with Liquid Temperature Sensor wirelessly transmits readings from the pool to an indoor display. If you have concerns about pool pipes, the sensor can be easily affixed to a pipe with the included installation hardware so you can track pipe temperature readings, and set an alert to notify you if conditions are too cold or hot. This solution will let you view conditions from inside the comfort of your home, help prevent pipes from freezing, and even receive an alert when temperature conditions meet or exceed your preset levels.
Monitor for Leaks with a Water Leak Detector: Strategically-placed leak detectors can identify leaks early, transmitting a warning alert to an indoor display and giving you instant notification that unwanted water is present.
AcuRite Solutions & Tips
Monitor Air Temperature Conditions: Position an AcuRite Monitor nearby the pool or tub to measure indoor or outdoor ambient air temperature and humidity conditions.
Monitor Pool or Hot Tub Temperature: Insert the tip of the Liquid Temperature Sensor into the pool or tub to measure water temperature.
Affix Liquid Temperature Sensor on a Pool Pipe or Line: Affix the sensor lengthwise along the pipe, allowing you to monitor for and prevent potential freezing (and bursting) pipes. For the best results wrap a layer of insulation around the sensor and pipe to isolate temperature readings from ambient air.
Install a Water Leak Detector: Place leak detectors around your pool's plumbing. In the case of an above ground pool, you can also place detector(s) around the base of the pool to monitor for leaks in the liner.
Use a Home Environment Displayfor convenient viewing of conditions measured by multiple Monitors and Sensors in and around your home. Place display in your kitchen, office, living room, etc.
Set Alarms:The alarm function on the Home Environment Display can be programmed to alert you of conditions. These can include:
The pool or spa is at your desired temperature
Undesirably high or low temperatures
Freezing water or pipes
Presence of leaked water
Here are some of our favorite resources for information on maintaining healthy conditions in your pool, spa, pond, and more:
Jacuzzi offers helpful guidelines on hot tub water temperature
AquaCal, maker of hot tub/pool heaters, offers these recommended settings
Livestrong provides a variety of resources pertaining to steam/sauna rooms