Pros / It’s sturdy.
Cons / It didn’t work at all in our tests.
Verdict / The PoolGuard PGRM-2 didn’t function correctly in our tests and came without the key necessary to mute the alarm.
This pool alarm is big and sturdy, so it should withstand a little abuse if you’re worried about people whacking it with pool toys or tripping over it. It’s the largest of the pool alarms we tested and should be installed on an in-ground pool. The 9-volt battery should last an entire year, which is comparable to most other pool alarms, and the alarm beeps when it needs new batteries.
Installing the battery is relatively easy, but we quickly learned we were missing the magnetic key required to mute the alarm. You’re supposed to hold the key to the reset/sleep decal on the alarm, but because there wasn’t one in the package, there was no way to mute the alarm and properly test it. We tried substituting keys from other alarms we tested – the PoolGuard PGRM-SB Safety Buoy and the SmartPool PE23 PoolEye AG/IG – to no avail, so this pool alarm earned an F in all our tests.
The one thing we were able to test was how loud the PoolGuard is. At 100.5 decibels, it’s mid-range compared to the other alarms we reviewed and just as loud as the Brickhouse Pool Alarm. It works in pools as big as 20 x 40 feet, giving it the widest range. It also comes with a remote receiver you can install up to 200 feet away from your pool, a common range among the pool alarms we worked with. It’s a little bit on the expensive side too, so we can’t recommend you buy it.
If you decide to take a chance on this alarm anyway, you're supposed to be able to reset it and put it in sleep mode simply by holding the magnetic key to the unit for varied amounts of time. You're also supposed to be able to turn on silent installation and removal so your eardrums don't explode while you install it. You'll know everything is A-OK when the alarm's light blinks green. You should install this alarm on the long end of your pool or in the corner if you have one that is L-shape.