As a resident of Southern California, having a pool is essential to keeping cool during the many hot months of the year. With a husband, four kids, and a close-knit neighborhood, we spend a tremendous amount of quality time outside together, grilling, swimming, listening to music and enjoying the odd refreshment (or two) in the sunshine. 

I was recently contacted by pHin, the innovative smart water monitor brand owned by Hayward Pool Products, to see if I would be interested in testing out their latest-generation monitor. Our pool is the focal point of our backyard, and keeping it beautiful, clean and safe for swimmers has always been a priority of ours, so of course I jumped on the opportunity. My husband was even more excited than I was when I told him what was coming our way.

Setup

Unboxing and setting up pHin is a super-simple process, though, admittedly, we had a connection issue between the bridge and our router, given the large size of our property and distance between the two. The pHin customer service team replaced my bridge with a new one within a day of my reporting the connection issue, and I was able to continue setup without any additional problems; pHin customer service is top-notch. With any questions I threw at them they were responsive and extremely knowledgeable. I need to recognize Karen Mendoza, Retail Sales & Support at pHin, for being so patient and just as determined as I was to get it up and running. She was available to me even on nights and weekends, when I wasn’t working, to troubleshoot. 

The App

The pHin app itself is very easy to use, with many unique features. My personal favorite feature is the pool temperature reading. Our pool water temperature constantly changes depending on the weather, and pHin accurately reads and provides temperature updates in real time. I love that I no longer have to go over to the tethered thermometer hanging off of our swim ladder to check the temperature before knowing whether or not it’s ideal to jump in.

The app also serves as the main hub for detailing chemicals, and the pHin is pretty darned accurate when it comes to diagnostics. It continuously takes readings of the water levels, (literally 24/7), and provides results and notifications on necessary adjustments within the app. For example, pHin will notify you when the pH is low, when to add chlorine, shock and/or acid. You can also order more chemicals within the app with a wide variety of options, allowing you a single purchase or auto-shipment. 

Pairing with the Alexa App

During testing, a pHin rep contacted me to let me know that Alexa integration had been approved and we could test out the Alexa skill as well. This was particularly exciting, because we have five Amazon Echos running throughout our house. We seamlessly paired the pHin to our main Echo, and we were able to start taking advantage of the Alexa-enabled features immediately. Alexa only recognizes pHin as the ‘water monitor,’ not by the name pHin. However, using the Alexa Smart Skills tips provided by pHin, we were able to quickly learn the best way to ask for water readings if we don’t have a smartphone in hand. I love that, from almost any room of the house, I can ask Alexa what my pool temperature is.

Using mobile phone on the swimming pool

The Verdict

I’ve been testing the pHin for almost a month now, and so far my experience with the product has been wonderful. All in all, the smart app technology capabilities of the pHin are extremely impressive. pHin has simplified our pool care routine and giving us peace of mind, and the added benefit of temperature readings in the palm of our hand or by a simple voice command.

My husband has spent even more time testing out the pHin, and he finds it extremely accurate and reliable. He has found the diagnostic readings of pH levels in the app very accurate. He loves that when you use the pHin properly, and following the recommended chemical corrections, it automatically evaluates the water and lets you know right away if the pH is balanced. 

The product’s design is also quite unique. It is sleek and non-intrusive. It isn’t an eyesore or a bother at all, even with it floating around the pool 24/7 with us and the family swimming simultaneously. It looks like a like a shark fin floating in the water (another reason why pHin is such a brilliant name). Kudos to their marketing team!

I love the pHin smart water monitor. Living in sunny Southern California with a pool open all year round makes pool care a bit of a chore for our family, but the pHin has simplified that chore significantly. pHin takes the guesswork out of pool maintenance and makes the $350 cost to purchase one a very good investment. The subscription is free for the first year, but even at a rate of $99 per year each year following, it is a minimal cost, given all of the added benefits I mentioned that you receive as a paying subscriber. Plus, as a paying subscriber, pHin customer service will replace your unit with a brand-new one when the battery dies (or if some other issue were to arise).

I have been raving about pHin to all my co-workers and neighbors since ours arrived, and now they are all asking how they can get their hands on one. I would not be surprised if all of our surrounding neighbors soon had their own little smart shark pHin floating around in their pools.

Highly recommended!