Best Pool Alarms

Updated August 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

32 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
249 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best pool alarms

Last Updated August 2019

A pool affords you an opportunity to get some exercise and beat the summer heat without packing up and driving to the beach. But pools can pose a safety hazard, especially for small children, and one may even attract unwanted attention from jealous neighbors. You can’t watch your pool at every moment, but, fortunately, you don’t need to. All you need is a good pool alarm.

Pool alarms can notify you if a child falls in the pool or if someone unwanted is using your pool when you’re not around. But choosing the right pool alarm can be complicated because you not only have to think about what you need the alarm to do but also find one with the appropriate features and sensitivity for the task. Here’s an overview of the most important factors you need to consider so you can find the pool alarm that’s right for you. When you’re ready to buy, check out our top recommended pool alarms, too.

Test your pool alarm periodically to check that it’s still functioning properly.

Key considerations

The most important things to keep in mind when choosing a pool alarm are why you want the alarm, what type of pool you have, and what type of alarm you need.

Why you need a pool alarm

The first question you need to ask yourself is why you want a pool alarm. The answer will dictate which type of alarm you need. For example, if you want to keep intruders out of your pool, you’ll need a different type of alarm than someone who is trying to keep children from accidentally falling in the pool. Think about your goals and let this guide your decision as to which type of alarm to choose.

Pool type

Whether you have an aboveground pool or an in-ground one, you’ll want to be sure that the alarm you choose is compatible with your pool. This is especially important if you’re choosing a pool alarm that mounts to the wall of the pool. It might be more difficult to mount the alarm to a round pool wall rather than a straight, flat wall.

Alarm type

Using the above information, you can determine which type of alarm you need. Here are some of the most common types:

Wall/fence-mounted alarms: These pool alarms provide a simple solution if your goal is to keep intruders out of your pool area. Opening the gate triggers the alarm, so you’ll know right away if someone is trying to break in. However, these alarms can be easily thwarted if the intruder simply jumps over the fence.

Personal immersion detectors: Parents interested in keeping young children or pets safe around the pool might want to invest in a personal immersion detector. The children wear wristbands (which can also be attached to a pet’s collar) and the wristbands communicate with a base alarm unit. If a child or pet goes into the pool, the alarm is automatically triggered so that you can come to the rescue.

Pool-mounted alarms: These alarms may be mounted to the pool wall or float on the water with a tether connecting them to the edge. When one of these alarms senses waves or a substantial weight entering the water, it will sound. There are also some pool-mounted alarms that sit below the water surface to detect subsurface movements. One of these alarms is a smart choice if you’re interested in an alarm that can both guard against intruders and alert you to children or pets that may accidentally fall in the pool.

FOR YOUR SAFETY

It’s important to make sure that immersion detection wristbands are securely fastened and that the child knows not to take it off while near the pool.

Pool alarm features

Sensitivity

A pool alarm can be a useful device, but not if it’s responding to every leaf and twig that falls into the pool. Too many false alarms could make you less inclined to use it. Manufacturers have found a way around this by instituting different sensitivity levels. Most alarms are set up so that they won’t sound unless something that weighs at least 15 to 20 pounds enters the pool. This should be large enough to detect most pets and young children while avoiding false alarms from leaves or other debris that might fall or blow into the pool. The best pool alarms have an adjustable sensitivity level to minimize false alarms.

Range

If you’re purchasing multiple alarms or a pool alarm that has multiple components, like a personal immersion detector, it will likely have a base that you keep outside of the immediate pool area in a place where you can hear it if it sounds. In that case, you need to pay attention to the alarm’s range so you don’t position the alarm and base too far apart. If you do that, the system may not work properly.

Some pool alarms connect to an app on your phone and will automatically notify you if the alarm goes off, even if you’re not at home when it happens. This is a nice option if you’d like to keep an eye on your home when you’re traveling.

Volume

You want your pool alarm to be loud enough to hear but not so loud that it wakes up the neighborhood in the middle of the night. Your pool alarm should have an adjustable volume control.

Remote

Some pool alarms include a remote that you can use to turn off the alarm. Others require you to turn off the alarm at the base unit inside your home or at the alarm itself. A remote isn’t an essential feature, but it’s certainly convenient if your alarm isn’t within easy reach.

Pool alarm prices

Pool alarms range in price from around $80 to $300. Most cost about $100 to $175. You can expect to pay more for an alarm with specialty features, such as an app that controls the alarm from anywhere. But if you only need a basic unit to alert you to unexpected pool users, you shouldn’t need to spend more than $200.

DID YOU KNOW?

Some pool alarms include two different alarms to increase your chances of hearing the sound when the alarm goes off.

DID YOU KNOW?

Pool alarms with subsurface wave detection are less likely to cause false alarms than models with surface-level wave detection.

Tips

  • Read the instruction manual. Make sure that you understand how to use your pool alarm properly.

  • Know how to shut off the pool alarm. Teach all the adults in your household how to use the alarm to prevent false alarms. And remember to turn the pool alarm back on when you’re finished using the pool.

  • Replace the batteries in the pool alarm regularly. If your pool alarm uses batteries, be sure to replace the batteries on a regular basis to keep the alarm functioning properly.

Other products we considered

Those interested in protecting their entire pool area should consider the Poolguard DAPT-2 Water Hazard Pool Door Alarm. You place this on the gate to your pool area and it will notify you if the sensor is tripped. It has a loud 85-decibel alarm that will continue to go off even if the gate is closed again. It has a battery life of about one year and is backed by a one-year warranty. Parents who are concerned about children playing near the pool will find the Safety Turtle 2.0 Child Immersion Pool/Water Alarm Kit appealing. It contains two wristbands and a base alarm. You simply attach the wristbands to your children and if they enter the water, the alarm will automatically be triggered. There’s also a pet adaptor that goes on a collar.

If you plan to keep the base unit in your home, measure the distance between your pool and the place where you want to put the unit. Be sure to choose a pool alarm with a range of at least that distance.

FAQ

Q. How much weight will set off a pool alarm?
A.
That depends on the alarm, and most have adjustable sensitivity levels so you can control how much weight sets it off. In general, pool alarms are set to go off if something that weighs 15 to 20 pounds enters the pool.

Q. Can a windy day trigger the pool alarm?
A.
If you have a pool alarm that is triggered by waves on the surface of the water, wind could set off a false alarm. If this concerns you, you could try purchasing a pool alarm that sits below the water’s surface and picks up subsurface waves instead.

Q. Can pool alarms be used in hot tubs?
A.
Many pool alarms should still work in hot tubs. If you’re unsure, contact the manufacturer to find out.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Kailey
    Kailey
    Writer
  • Karen
    Karen
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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