The SmartPool PoolEye PE12 is a submerged pool alarm with a slim, discrete design. This alarm goes off when it registers changes in water pressure beneath the surface, and in our tests, it picked up every disturbance we tried. We tossed golf balls into the pool, threw a wet jacket in and had somebody get into the water themselves, and the alarm sounded every time. While some pool alarms only picked up golf balls that hit the water mere inches away, the PoolEye PE12 went off no matter where the balls landed, earning it an A+ for accuracy. It got a semi-passing grade of C in our wind test – it sounded after a little prodding with a wind blower, so it is a bit more prone to going off due to weather than other alarms we tested.
Like most, this alarm comes with a receiver. However, unlike the other devices we tested, it’s attached to the alarm with a cord, giving it a range of a mere 3 feet. If you’re looking for a remote receiver with a wider range, consider the Brickhouse Pool Alarm – its receiver can sit as far as 300 feet away from the alarm. Installing this alarm requires a screwdriver and some fineness. If your above-ground pool has a seat cap, you need to lift it and slide the hook over the edge so the throat of the alarm can hang down into the water. The bracket on top can adjust to attach to a wider pool edge, and once it's in place, you simply tighten the screws to secure the alarm. If the bracket doesn't fit the edge of your pool, its instructions actually recommend using tape to help affix it. Obviously, none of this will work if you have an in-ground pool with a concrete edge.
It’s easy to activate the alarm with the switch on the side of the receiver. It’s labeled with green and red, so it’s fairly obvious how to use it. When the alarm sounds, you slide the switch to turn it off. You need to wait at least five seconds before turning it on again, or it will continue going off. This alarm puts out 100.7 decibels of sound, making it the third-loudest model we tested. If the alarm goes off erroneously a lot, you can affix a small piece of included plastic to the alarm head to make it less sensitive, something we had to do in our testing because the pool we used was small. The PoolEye can cover a pool up to 16 x 32 feet, but you need a second alarm or a different model, such as the Pool Patrol PA-30, for anything bigger.
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The receiver runs on four AA batteries, an anomaly for the alarms we tested, all of which use 9-volt or D batteries. This inexpensive alarm is accurate, but it’s a little hard to use and doesn’t come with a receiver you can install in your house. There are better options out there, but it could work for you if you have an above-ground pool.