It is that time of the year and the industry’s biggest trade show floor will be opening in just over two hours. We will be brining you on going coverage of the new and innovative products to be found from the exhibitors at the 2014 Int’l Pool | Spa | Patio Expo being held through Friday in sunny Orlando, FL.
Zodiac Pool Systems is rolling out version 2.0 of the iAquaLink pool and spa control system. The manufacturer reports that the new version will simplify installation by eliminating the need for cables, software downloads and PCs during the installation process and is now compatible with all residential WiFi routers. Additionally Zodiac is partnering with home automation manufacturers URC and Crestron to integrate AquaLink control systems wirelessly into two-way control modules for additional home automation categories.
Latham Pool Products purchased West Jordan, UT based Pool Cover Specialists making it the company’s fifth acquisition since exiting from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2010. The purchase is also the company’s second in the automatic pool cover side of the industry. In 2006 Latham acquired Coverstar, a competitor to Pool Cover Specialists. Prior to the Coverstar acquisition Latham worked closely with the Pool Cover Specialists product line as a reseller.
Latham officials report that the automatic pool cover market is a healthy product division for the company. Latham plans to keep the Pool Cover Specialists brand separate from the Coverstar brand as there isn’t much overlap in the current business operations of the two companies.
Hayward’s newest pool and spa automation system is being marketed as a “backyard control system” featuring integration with home automation system manufacturer Control4′s Simple Device Discovery Protocol (SDDP) technology. The Hayward OmniLogic is the first pool and spa automation system to be certified for seamless integration by Control4 Corporation allowing OmniLogic to be controlled from any Control4 interface including their iOS and Android apps.
Zodiac Pool Systems announced yesterday that the company has acquired the pool and spa product line assets of Next Step Products, makers of the SAVI line of pool and spa lighting products. The company reports that the SAVI brand name will continue to be used. SAVI’s owner, Mark Masterman, will stay on board and Zodiac will manufacturer the lighting products from SAVI’s current facility in Orlando, FL. SAVI specializes in unique LED lighting products.
In the ever-expanding robotic automatic pool vacuum category Hayward introduces the AquaVac 500. Hayward touts a microprocessor-based program system, wall and waterline coverage along with dual scrub brushes as some of the key features of the new unit. Additionally the power supply includes an integrated recurring timer and a caddy cart will be available with select models. With a built-in air sensor the AquaVac 500 is compatible with beach entry pools.
It isn’t every day that we hear of an entire in ground pool being stolen. Barrier Reef Pools, a manufacturer of fiberglass pools in Australia, reported that one of their display pools and trailers were stolen. Along with the stolen fiberglass pool went a huge sign reading “Pool Sale” attached to the bottom of the pool. The company spread word of the theft via Facebook and local media which resulted in the pool being recovered.
Pentair is shaking up their line of automatic pool vacuums with redesigns and an all new model for the 2014 pool season.
Pentair’s iconic Kreepy Krauly Classic gets the most major design overhaul since the unit was introduced over 20 plus years ago. We’ll also see design changes made to the Kreepy Krauly Great White and ‘Lil Shark models.
Kreepy Krauly Racer
The biggest news however comes from the upcoming Kreepy Krauly Racer pressure-side cleaner. An innovative rotating scrub brush reminiscent of electric robotic pool vacuums could be one of the biggest additions that we’ve seen to pressure-side cleaner market in quite some time. Pentair also claims to deliver nearly 1/3 more cleaning power than any other pressure-side cleaner on the market today in addition to the unit being 30% faster than competing units. The manufacturer reports that Kreepy Krauly Racer will be shipping in time to reach pool owners for the 2014 pool season.
SmartPool SolarArc 2
Expanding on their popular solar pool heating product line is the SmartPool S202 SolarArc 2. The DIY solar pool heater kit features built-in legs angling the unit to attract as much sun as possible.
SmartPool SmartClear Filtration Systems
With their SCF12, SCF14 & SCF19 SmartClear systems SmartPool makes their first entry into the pool filtration market. The company will offer 3 different models for above ground pools up to 25,000 gallons.
SmartPool Programble Timer
SmartPool is also releasing the EQTM2400NA digital programable timer which according to the manufacturer can be used with a range of products including filtration systems, pool/outdoor lights, and robotic pool cleaners.
This has certainly been a big year for swimming pool industry acquisitions. Closing out the 2013 acquisition collection is Hayward’s announcement that the company is acquiring automatic pool cleaner manufacturer Poolvergneugen. This acquisition will bring a pressure side pool cleaner back to Hayward’s product line after discontinuing their Viper & Phantom product offerings.
Poolvergneugen manufactures products under The Pool Cleaner brand with their 2-wheel, 4-wheel and pressure models. They also produce a limited edition series for dark/black bottom pools. Although the Poolvergnuegen name “speaks” German the cleaners are currently manufactured in Santa Rosa, CA with hoses sourced from Belgium.
Hayward is no stranger through growing via industry acquisitions. Past Hayward acquisitions in the automatic pool cleaner market include Arneson & AquaVac. Other companies absorbed through Hayward include Goldline Controls, CAT Controllers & Summit Pool Heaters.