Justin, Dallas, TX - WaterGuru Case Study
Texas is experiencing hotter and drier weather, resulting in increased stress on its energy grid during the summer months. Texas regulators are asking residents to reduce their energy usage by 10%. A Texan named Justin has found a solution to reducing his pool’s energy usage by 90% through an automated pool maintenance system called WaterGuru Sense. By using WaterGuru, he was able to regulate his pool’s chemical balance and turn down the speed of his pool pump, resulting in significant energy savings. He now enjoys resort-quality water and saves over $1,500 annually.
Texas. A lot of it is hot, dusty, and dry, and it’s only getting hotter and drier. According to Texas A&M climate researchers, the number of 100-degree days in Texas has more than doubled over the past 40 years. If that isn’t enough, the average temperature in 2036 is expected to be about 3 degrees warmer than the 1950-1999 average. That may not sound like much, but 3 degrees is considerable. In fact, if the planet warmed by that amount tomorrow, we would all be dead.
Though Texas exists on its energy grid, a move that has caused the state and its leaders considerable drama in the press, it is also smart enough to understand that any temperature variation from cold to hot puts stress on the grid. This is why Texas now features ‘rolling blackouts’ during the summertime. When the grid gets taxed, the state warns its citizens about a looming blackout if they can’t roll back their energy usage immediately. Though harsh, these warnings often prevent the state from implementing these blackouts simply because its residents pick up the slack by turning off the air conditioning, washing clothes less frequently, turning off lights, etc. It’s a give-and-take system between Texas lawmakers, regulators, and its citizens.
State regulators have asked Texas residents to help reduce the state’s energy costs by permanently reducing their personal energy costs by a factor of 10%. That is not a huge ask, but it will include lifestyle changes that could affect residential swimming pool usage. Not everyone has a pool in Texas, but of the 800,000+ Texans who own pools, one Texan has pioneered a simple pool maintenance method that produces perfect pool water and reduces his pool’s energy usage by 90%! Considering his swimming pool was his home’s most significant energy expense before this experiment, 90% represents hefty savings and aligns well with the state of Texas’ mission.
Justin is the son of a civil engineer and grew up tinkering with things, just like his dad. The sons and daughters of engineers don’t fall that far from the apple tree, even if they live out their careers as fine wine distributors or owners of a real estate company, as Justin has chosen to do. Last summer, when it was blistering hot in the Dallas area and as the state was threatening rolling blackouts, the engineer in Justin went to work. Not satisfied with rolling back his home’s cooling features - the A/C and the backyard swimming pool - Justin started a new project, analyzing his home’s energy consumption.
To do so, he purchased a home energy monitor, which easily straps to a home’s circuit breaker and gives the homeowner data regarding what appliances are using what amount of energy. Justin quickly realized that his swimming pool was an energy hog. That didn’t sit right with him, so he thought and tinkered even further. Justin knew that if he could regulate his pool’s variable speed pump, he could manipulate the energy it took to operate it. But, through testing, he also learned that his water was not viscous enough to allow the pumps to operate properly at slower speeds. Keeping his water quality on the borderline of safe and swimmable had been challenging since he inherited the pool. But now Justin was on an engineering mission: he needed cleaner pool water!
The WaterGuru Sense is an automated pool maintenance system that robotically scans a swimming pool’s water quality. It sends that information daily to a mobile app on the pool owner’s smartphone, along with recommendations on what steps the pool owner should take to return their pool to a safe chemical balance. Once Justin got hold of a WaterGuru, he could easily dial in his pool’s water chemistry daily, an activity he learned to enjoy.
When Justin was limited to paper pH test strips, though, he never had a truly clean pool, and there was no way to tinker with a paper pH test strip. With the WaterGuru installed, he had immediate access to chemical measurements that were so precise it allowed him to tinker with his pool’s chemical balance, striving for perfection. Eventually, Justin noticed that as the water became more balanced, it also became more viscous.
A light bulb went off in his head, and he immediately turned down the speed of his pool pump. As a result, the readings on his home energy monitor unit went down too. So he tinkered some more until he reached a pump speed that was safe to run his pool at 24x7, didn’t mess with his pool’s filters, and gave him maximum energy savings!
“I am saving so much money on my pool compared to last year,” says Justin. “The thing about it is that I am not working more or harder to make my pool more efficient and to keep the chemical balance in the water safe. Each solution relies on the other for the system that I have set up to work. Minus the WaterGuru, I can’t turn my pumps down to 1,100 RPMs because the water has to be clean in order to run pumps at that speed. If the pH is off or there is too much chlorine in the water, it seems like it changes its viscosity.”
of his WaterGuru purchase and a DIY attitude? Justin now saves over 90% on his swimming pool’s energy costs. His energy bill for the swimming pool is now $17 per month/$200 per year, compared to $142 per month/$1,700 per year pre-WaterGuru.
Justin used WaterGuru to purify his pool water, paid attention to the data around him, employed that knowledge, and then simply turned his pool pumps down as a litmus test. By tinkering, Justin made two seemingly complex tasks seem simple: generating consistently clean and safe swimming pool water and significantly lowering his energy costs! Best of all, his WaterGuru and home energy monitoring unit have now paid for themselves in energy savings.
“I figured out how to cut my pool’s energy use dramatically while offering my family and friends resort-quality water by addressing my energy problem like an engineer,” says Justin. “What I learned and put into practice is something every Texan who owns a pool can do themselves today. The fix is not rocket science, but it is smart, and I’m happy to share it.”
Not only do Justin and his family now swim in their pool whenever they want, any time of the year, but they also enjoy their home’s A/C whenever necessary. If you live in Texas, are one of the 800,000+ residential pool owners, and don’t own a WaterGuru, ask yourself a few questions:
1. Do you know if your pool water is safe?
2. Do you like to save money?
3. Do you want an energy-efficient swimming pool?