Zodiac has polished up its AquaLink RS interface with the new iAquaLink revision.
The three major players in swimming pool automation all have new slick looking interfaces for our smartphones and tablets. Today I want to focus on Zodiac’s offering, which I have installed several times now. Zodiac (Jandy) has been perfecting their AquaLink RS control system for many years and the iAquaLink is the latest iteration of their fantastic line of controls.
Traditionally, the AquaLink RS system has been controlled by a wall-mounted panel located inside of the home. There have been two main panels called the “All Button” and “One Touch”. As technology allowed, these wired panels transitioned to wireless using the same frequencies as cordless home phones. Several years ago, a smaller handheld water resistant “remote” was released by Jandy. This device is called the “PDA” and it is still being installed by some pool builders and service companies.
Now there is a much better solution for most pool owners desiring total automation and it is called the iAquaLink. The way it works is your pool equipment is connected to a control panel that contains the “brains” of the system. This control panel has a wifi antenna that connects to your home network, and in turn, to the internet. Then, your computer, smartphone, or tablet is able to connect to your iAquaLink control system through the internet, allowing you to control the equipment and programming from anywhere with internet access. This will allow you to do things never before possible, like putting your system into spa mode and heating it to 104 degrees as you are leaving the airport to come home after a long business trip. Maybe on Monday morning, you want to make sure that you turned the pool heater off after that big party on Saturday night. These things are possible with the iAquaLink system.
The iAquaLink is not only for new users. Anyone who owns an old AquaLink RS system can upgrade to the iAquaLink by installing an upgrade kit. Amazon has a great price on this kit for anyone interested. Be careful because they make a couple of different upgrade kits. I believe that the one I am linking to here will work with any AquaLink RS system because it replaces the entire motherboard in the power center. You can even still use your existing wall mounted indoor control panels. The PDA is not compatible with the iAquaLink, however. For what it’s worth, the IQ900-RS iAquaLink upgrade kit has become the most affordable way to replace a bad circuit board in any old AquaLink RS system.
There are so many pros for the iAquaLink it is hard to think of any cons. The only real con that I can come up with is that the iAquaLink must be initially configured to connect to your home network by connecting a laptop to it via USB cable. This is hampered by having to remove two screws from the wifi antenna. If you have ever dealt with home networking and routers, you may know how much trouble this can be to make work properly. I know that for me, I rarely enjoy dealing with networking. You should make sure that your wifi reaches the location of you pool equipment before installing the iAquaLink if you want the complete functionality of it. I should mention that there is a hard wired ethernet option if wifi is not available. Obviously this would be used as a last resort.