The typical backyard is a lot smaller than it was a generation ago. According to census data, yards in the United States have shrunk by more than 26 percent since the late 1970s. Super-sized floor plans and rising land prices have forced developers to squeeze homes into ever-tighter parcels to maintain affordability.
Naturally, this trend in home design has had an impact on pool builders and service technicians. Shrinking backyards make it complicated to include multiple water features as part of a pool and spa setup because they require multiple return lines and electrical conduits. As homeowners push to include a variety of deck jets, spillovers, bubblers and fountains to their in-ground pools, builders often have to find a way to do more with less.
A New Home for the Equipment Pad
To maximize limited backyard space, pool builders frequently turn to the side of the home – rather than the space directly behind the house - when installing the pool equipment pad. The resulting elongated format can create a tangle of conduits and pipes between the heater, filter, pump and other equipment if builders aren’t careful. No pool owner wants the eyesore and safety concerns of extension cords linking critical equipment, making it all the more important for installers to simplify components.
Upgraded Solutions, Improved Efficiency
The new COMBOConnect® Junction Box Transformer (U.S. Patent #10,072,831) by Intermatic combines a pair of pool system functions, a standard junction box and 100 W low-voltage transformer, to streamline pool and spa setup. Great for overall aesthetics, the solution requires 20 percent less space than traditional, separately-installed components and is rated for both water and landscape applications. As a result, there’s more space for backyard décor and other pool accessories.
The versatile COMBOConnect is listed and labeled per NEC 680.24 for use with pool and spa underwater luminaires and per NEC 411 for low-voltage landscape lighting. This distinction makes COMOBOConnect code-compliant and compatible with a wide selection of lighting solutions. It’s a reliable choice when installing nicheless low-voltage lights in an in-ground pool and spa, as well as landscape lights and fountain lights.
Similarly, the new ReadySet® Electronic Valve Actuator offers pool service technicians a fast, easy way to establish valve position set points. There’s no longer a need to fumble with the actuator casing or deal with painstaking manual actuator cam adjustments. The 24-volt electronic actuator mounts to 2-way and 3-way diverter valves and can reduce service calls by up to 20 minutes.
What’s more, ReadySet is equipped with the longest electrical cord in the business – an impressive 30 feet. This makes it easy to reach all the way to the end of extended equipment sets during installation.
Though the long, narrow equipment pad on the side of the house is likely here to stay, Intermatic solutions can help reduce the burden it places on pool builders when integrating modern water features and multiple low-voltage nicheless lights. Moreover, by streamlining equipment with COMBOConnect and ReadySet, contractors can reduce overhead costs while providing top-notch service to new clients.
To learn more about COMBOConnect or ReadySet, contact your Intermatic representative today.