Pooled Energy

Services technology and installation

Yes. Magnesium or ‘Mineral’ pools use Magnesium Chloride as the active chlorinator agent rather than sodium chloride (common salt). The system operates in the same way as with common salt and there is no need to change any of the pool equipment to make the conversion in most cases.

Some types of stone can suffer from weathering from the sodium salt in pool water used with electrolytic chlorination, as the salt forms crystals as it dries.  Pool water seeps into small cracks and pores in the stone and erodes it over time as crystals are formed. These pools are often set up to use ‘fresh water’ and liquid chlorine instead of salt chlorination to minimise the problem.  Unfortunately, so called ‘fresh water’ pools often get naturally salty as the mains water used to top up the pool also contains salt.

In addition, salt is naturally added with the liquid chlorine.  Liquid chlorine self-decomposes quite rapidly, producing sodium hydroxide (drain-cleaner) and sodium chloride (common salt).  Eventually, even ‘fresh’ pools may erode your stone.  In addition, the running cost and inconvenience of running liquid chlorine pools is substantially higher than that of salt chlorination, which is why some 90% of Australian pools use some form of salt chlorination.  In fresh pools, you really need to change the water every few years to minimise built-up salts from evaporation, especially if you live in an area with ‘hard’ water.

One alternative you may wish to consider is to use magnesium chloride salt instead of common (sodium) salt.  Unlike sodium-chloride salt, magnesium salt will not generally have the same erosion effect on sandstone and the water is nicer to swim in, softer and much better with hair.  Magnesium baths are reputed to help tired muscles as well.

One proprietary blend of magnesium chloride salt is call ‘mineral salt,’ where the active ingredient is the same but blended with potassium salt, mainly for a difference in taste.

If you do switch to magnesium salt, there is no need to change your chlorinator in most pools as standard salt-water chlorinators work with magnesium or sodium salt.

There is a small cost to change over from sodium to magnesium and a higher cost to go to ‘mineral.’

Our experience has been that sandstone is not appreciably affected by magnesium pools over many years.

When you become a Pooled customer we supply the sensors, the Intelligent Pool Controller (IPC) automation and some chemicals and warrant the IPC.  We will also supply you with our Advanced Water Chemistry and manage your pool water chemistry via the internet.

You remain responsible for keeping your pool equipment in good order. Overall, your equipment should last longer as it will be running more efficiently and at lower power in the case of the filter and chlorinator.

When you connect any device to your home Wi-Fi, data and internet network, it is important that that it does not impact the security of your network.

When we add a Pooled system to your home, it communicates via your home Wi-Fi. In making that connection, we use advanced, encryption technology to keep your network safe. While the amount of data traffic used by the Pooled system is quite small, maintaining information security integrity is vital and we take this very seriously at Pooled.

Significant development effort has gone into safe-guarding communications between the Pooled Network Operating Centre in the internet ‘Cloud’ and the Pooled Intelligent Pool Controller (IPC) located at your home.  This uses the latest information systems security technology and best practices.  Security features include:

  • All data traffic to and from the Pooled IPC occurs via a Virtual Private Network (VPN) with an individual, unique Transport Layer Security (TLS) certificate for each Pooled customer.
  • Data traffic is highly encrypted end-to-end to prevent it being intercepted or manipulated by a third party.
  • The IPC communicates to its sub-devices via its own private, local Wi-Fi network.  This also allows you to connect your Pooled system to your home network via the app without the involvement of a Pooled technician.  This is secured by an encrypted WPA-PSK password unique to each individual IPC.
  • A software firewall on all IPC network adapters locks down network ports and limits data traffic to only that required by the Pooled application.
  • Pooled app passwords are entered and maintained by our customers – Pooled cannot ever view these passwords as they are encrypted by a one-way encryption algorithm before being stored in the database.

In the context of internet connected devices, the Pooled IPC has intrinsic security benefits which set it apart compared with other “smart devices” such as your TV, fridge, or even your phone:

  • There is no camera and/or microphone viewing or listening in on you as there can be on a TV, computer or phone.
  • The IPC is a closed eco-system.  The only software which exists on the IPC is intended specifically for the application of managing your energy use and pool.

We strongly recommend that homeowners take general and reasonable security precautions for their home network.  All devices (especially Microsoft Windows PCs, Apple Macs, and smartphones) should be regularly updated to the latest operating system versions, firewalls enabled, and preferably with up-to-date, reliable antivirus/anti-malware software installed as well.

If you do not want to connect the Pooled IPC to your home Wi-Fi, we are happy to provide you with an independent cellular wireless connection (at extra cost).

You are welcome to add supplementary equipment to your pool but please talk to us about such equipment beforehand to ensure that it is compatible and correctly integrated into your automated Pooled system, so you can control it through the Pool app.

Please remember that your Pooled system is an automatic system controlled from a central computer and all changes to the system must be correctly installed and configured.  You must not make, nor allow any third person or supplier to make unauthorised changes, additions, or reconfigurations, which can cause damage or performance problems to your pool or Pooled equipment and services.

Our aim is to ensure the optimal running of your pool and we need to be aware of any planned modifications.

The following equipment is usually NOT compatible for future addition:

  • Any form of water sanitiser other than a salt chlorinator or liquid chlorine chlorinator
  • Any form of chemical dosing system. You do not need this.
  • Any form of pre-filter or other filter.  These are unlikely to help and will likely interfere with system operation and use more energy
  • Suction cleaners.  While these are usable, we recommend against them for the reasons discussed in the section on pool sweeps.
  • C bus or other remote controls.  You have the Pool app and do not need another means to control your pool.

All supplementary third-party devices have recommended operating modes. For example, gas heaters and pressure cleaners require minimum water flows, and the Pooled system must provide these water flows at the times they are needed. This is simple to do but the plumbing must allow it and the Intelligent Pool Controller software must be configured for it.  Please contact us to do this.

Advanced Water Chemistry (AWC) chemicals are automatically shipped to you as you need them, as part of your Pooled subscription. 

There are two containers, each about the size of a take-away coffee cup.  

  1. Pooled Water Conditioner is added to skimmer basket or balance tank.
  2. Pooled Bromine Precursor is added directly to the pool.

On occasion we may include other chemicals such as magnesium, as needed. 

It is important that the AWC is added to your pool when they arrive, as we schedule delivery in advance of weather changes that affect the chemistry of your pool. Wait too long to add them to the water and you may start to see green growth or cloudy water.

During an average year, when there are no extraordinary environmental events or pool usage, most pools will only need two top-ups of Advanced Water Chemistry per year. However, there are instances when a pool will require an additional top-up including:

  • when the pool is diluted due to excessive water caused by heavy rain
  • when the pool chemistry is disrupted by foreign matter, such as ash, debris and garden runoff
  • when the pool chemistry is disrupted because the pool equipment stops operating due to a power blackout for an extended period
  • when a pool is emptied for maintenance.