From AK1000 to PoolWarden Plus

Way back in 1991, I had just started getting involved in chemical automation for swimming pools and spas. The main systems I had worked with were the analog Strantrol and Chemtrol units. I had become a big fan of chemical automation as it was a great tool for maintaining water quality but the main drawback was the price. I could sell the concept but after telling customers they would need 2 for them to manage their pool and spa it often killed the deal.

Then in 1994 I saw an ad in Service Industry News for a 2 pool controller with a modem. I called the number and spoke to Scott Lenney and found for not much more then I could buy a Chemtrol 210, I could control chemicals for a pool and a spa. This was a game changer so I went to see this for myself. What I saw was a controller that had almost infinite capabilities with remote control via a PC with the ability to have alarm conditions sent to my pager.

Up to this point I had not been a big fan of computers. Probably stemming from my high school algebra 2 teacher that one day out of the blue decided we were all going to be computer programmers. Having seen what Scott made I decided I needed to embrace computers or I would be sweeping pools the rest of my life which did not appeal to me so the journey began with the AK1000.


This was the beginning of my learning a lot about computers and I bought my first Laptop which was one of the first models with a color display and cost about $4,000.00. I was also amazed at how many customers were willing to run phone lines to their pool equipment. This was a game changer because we were servicing pools from South Orange County to UCLA and as far East as Riverside. This is a huge geographical area and getting alarm notifications with the ability to connect and diagnose with a computer helped to maintain water quality while saving a lot of windshield time. Scott and I had a lot of fun perfecting the AK1000.

Technology has changed a lot since the mid 1990’s yet swimming pool chemical automation has not seen much change since the late 1990’s until now. After Acu-Trol was sold to Pentair in 2006, Scott started making hot tub salt systems and in 2008, had released the ColorChlor. A couple of years later after getting requests from his old Acu-Trol dealers, he came up with the PoolWarden. The PoolWarden was similar to the AK1000 as a single or 2 pool controller without the modem. A wireless internet module was added but as early 3rd party hardware went was not as user friendly as one would like.

Fast forward to 2017 and Scott found a way to improve our communication module that is easy to connect to the intenet and make the PoolWarden much easier to use. The new module gives the PoolWarden more computing power then what took us to the moon. Even if there is no network to connect to, it is easy to connect with your smart phone hot spot and make programming changes and view data. This new communication module opens up a whole new world of possibilities and makes the PoolWarden a powerfully intelligent chemical automation system, allowing for a whole new way to manage swimming pools and spas of all sizes and configurations with a PC, Tablet or Smart Phone. The PoolWarden is now even better for Title 22 compliance and adaptable to upcoming Model Aquatic Code requirements.

With the MiniWarden and PoolWarden, ControlOMatic has controllers that are simple to advanced.

Happy to be a part of the journey,


Lance Fitzsimmons



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