You want to enjoy your pool AND have peace of mind about it, right? When you can’t be there to watch your pool, you want to know that kids and pets are all safe. With the added protection of a swimming pool alarm, you can rest a whole lot easier. But there are a number of pool alarms on the market, ranging in prices from less than $50 to $500 and up. So we want to walk you through the options.
First, here’s how pool alarms work:
While they vary in whether they measure surface water or under water, the basic premise is that they alert you when the water has been unexpectedly disturbed. Surface water alarms mount on the pool deck and are triggered by waves when a human or animal fall into the water. Subsurface alarms have sensors below the surface and are triggered by a change in pressure. A third type consists of a bracelet and a substation. Your child or pet wears the bracelet and the alarm is triggered when it is submerged in water.
Pros and cons of each type:
The bracelet version is the least expensive option, but only works while the child or pet is wearing it. So it offers no protection to a child r pet who just happens to roam into your pool area. And the bracelet must be taken off before they swim intentionally or it will sound. The best way to utilize it is to have two base stations, one at the pool and one in the home, which also makes it more expensive. On the positive side, the bracelet version works well in situations where another type of unit cannot be installed, such as ponds or lakes. Conclusion – it is most suitable as a supplement to higher end pool alarms.
Do yourself a favor and purchase a higher end pool alarm. Make sure your package includes the following.
- An indicator light so that you can easily see if the alarm is on.
- Automatic reactivation that kicks on when the water has calmed down after swimming.
- A design that does not allow it to be easily bypassed. Some of the less expensive units can simply be taken out of the water, making it easy for a child to bypass the system without your knowledge.
- Avoid an alarm that must be turned off completely in order for swimmers to be able to use the pool. This just opens up too much chance for error or bypassing.
- Sensitivity factors. The unit needs to be sensitive enough to detect a small child or pet falling in the pool and yet not so sensitive that it sounds every time there is a healthy breeze. Less expensive models can fail to sound when set at the lowest sensitivity settings.
Good Housekeeping has tested various models and offers a helpful report at the following link: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/product-reviews/home-products/pool-alarm-gate-reviews/best-pool-alarm-gate
As always, if you have any questions about this or any other pool accessory, give us a call. We love to help pool owners find that peace of mind.
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