November 11, 2021

Debugging a Hot Tub Time (Series) Machine

Notecard and Notehub.io can be used to relay water quality data and send SMS notifications when levels go out of bounds.

Rob Lauer, Developer Relations Lead

I don’t mean to sound like a prude or anything, but when a neighbor invites me over for a hot tub party, I’m gonna hope the hot tub itself looks a little more like the one on the left, than the one on the right:

hot tub comparison

You might not know it, but even a clean-looking hot tub or pool can still harbor nasty bacteria! So how can we make hot tubs and pools around the world safer, and frankly, more fun? In this Hackster project, I walk through how I built an IoT project with:

  • A variety of water quality sensors from DFRobot;
  • A new Feather-compatible microcontroller (spoiler: Swan);
  • A cellular device-to-cloud data pump (another spoiler: Notecard);
  • A cloud-based dashboard from Losant populated by time series data;
  • PLUS an SMS notification from Twilio for chlorine emergencies!

Interested in a preview of this project? Check out the project trailer on YouTube:

As an owner (or even user) of a hot tub, it’s a pain to keep your water clean. You have to maintain the proper chlorine and pH levels by regularly sampling the water, running tests, waiting for the results, adding chlorine, sampling again, and repeating until your levels stabilize appropriately.

This whole process of sampling the water, running tests, waiting for the results, adding chlorine, sampling again, and repeating until your levels stabilize appropriately is dying for automation. The beauty of the IoT too, is that we can take a semi-traditional sensor project and build it out into a robust cloud-based dashboard with proactive SMS text messages for alerting.

hot tub dashboard and sms

Check out the completed project on Hackster!

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