Getting Started with the Crystal Water Monitor

Modified on Tue, 09 May 2023 at 12:04 AM


To begin using your Crystal Monitor, it must be connected to your WiFi. Once it’s connected it will begin sampling your water and sending those measurements to the Crystal cloud.

During setup, the LED will indicate what the monitor is doing. After that, the LED will remain off even while the monitor continues to measure and report samples every ten minutes.

Once you’re set up, you’ll have:

A Pool, Hot Tub or Swim Spa in your account

A Monitor in your account, connected to your WiFi

After a few minutes, you will be able to see the first samples of your water reported in the mobile app

Configuring Your Monitor

The first step is to tell us about your pool or hot tub. We use this information to give you recommendations to care for your water.

  1. Add a Pool or Hot Tub to your account. 
    To set up your first monitor, select “I’m Ready” on the home screen. Name your pool or hot tub, tell us how you sanitize, and then enter the estimated volume in gallons and its location.

  2. Connect your Monitor
    Next, you’ll set up your monitor, connecting it to your WiFi and the Crystal Cloud. Your Monitor uses WiFi to send water samples to the servers, so you will need a strong enough signal. A poor signal will cause samples to take a long time to reach our servers, or worse no samples will get through at all.

Your WiFi Credentials

The Monitor requires a 2.4GHz WiFi network. Your home or work router almost certainly has one, but it may have its own name (for example, MyHouse2G) and/or password. Most modern routers use the same name for both the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz networks. In rare cases, you need to activate this feature in your router’s setup.

Note: some commercial access points present the user a Captive Portal Page, and require a user interaction, for example, a web page for a username and password, or a “terms of service” checkbox. These Captive Portal pages are common at cafes and hotels, or might be used for a special Guest Network in a home. These access points cannot be used with our Monitor (or most IoT devices).

Get Connected

On the “Let’s Connect your Monitor” page, select “I’m Ready”.

When instructed to wake up your Crystal Monitor, press and hold the button until the LED begins blinking white. Release the button. The LED will continue blinking white. Your monitor is now in Setup Mode and is ready for configuring. For more information about the button and how to understand the LED, see the "What does the LED Mean?" section below.

Note: This button can be used to do several things, including a factory reset of the software. If you press the button too long and the LED stops blinking, release the button, wait a second and try again. When the LED is blinking Red, this indicates a factory reset. To avoid resetting the monitor, keep the button depressed until it stops blinking again. Release the button, wait a second, and try again. If you do accidentally factory reset your monitor you can always set it up again in the Mobile App.

Follow the instructions to configure your WiFi and connect your Monitor to the Crystal cloud servers.

Verifying your Connection

Once connected, the Monitor LED will flash green once, to indicate success connecting to the WiFi and reaching the Crystal cloud.

The LED will then immediately flash blue to indicate that the first sample is being taken. Once the sample has been sent to our servers over your WiFi, the LED will flash green once again. If either of these steps fail, the LED will flash red, and you should repeat the setup process in the mobile app.

3. You’re all Set!

The monitor will now measure your water once every 10 minutes and send the samples to the Crystal cloud for analysis. In the mobile app you can see the state of your water any time, and you’ll receive notifications when there’s something you need to do.

The monitor will no longer blink after the first sample in order to save your batteries for more useful operations (like keeping your water safe and healthy).

User Manual

Normally the monitor will not require any user interaction after setup, but here are a few things you might need to know.

To Set Up an Additional Monitor

For each additional monitor, select the Main Menu (icon in the upper left corner of the home screen) and choose “Add a Pool or Hot Tub”. Each Pool or Hot Tub will appear in the home screen, so use helpful names for each. Note that only one monitor can be in a pool or hot tub, so if you would like to put multiple monitors in the same pool or hot tub, you will need to create multiple pools and/or hot tubs in the app - even though the monitors are in the same water.

To Reconfigure WiFi

If you change the WiFi near your pool or hot tub, either the SSID (WiFI Name) or password, you will need to reconfigure the monitor.

Put the monitor into Setup Mode by pressing the button until it blinks white, then release the button. While the LED is blinking, the monitor is ready to set up.

Open the Mobile App, navigate to the monitor settings page (Pool or Hot Tub → Settings → Monitor Settings and select “Reconfigure WiFi”. Follow the instructions for “Get Connected” as before.

To Move the Monitor to a new Pool or Hot Tub

You can move a monitor you own in your account to another pool or hot tub in your account. You will first detach it from the current Pool or Hot Tub, and then set it up to the new one.

Navigate to the pool or hot tub settings page that monitor is currently attached to. Swipe left on the monitor row (Crystal-xxx) to reveal the “Detach” button. Tap the “Detach” button to detach the monitor from the pool or hot tub.

Navigate back to the home screen.

Open the Main Menu (icon on the upper left of the home screen), select “Add a Pool or Hot Tub” and follow the Configure Your Monitor instructions again.

Note that the Monitor is part of your account, and can be moved between your pools and hot tubs at any time using this procedure. To move to another account, see below.

To Move the Monitor to Another Account

To remove a monitor from your account and give it to another user with a different account, you will need to call us. We track each Monitor in your account to prevent theft and misuse.

It will not be possible for another user to provision a monitor that has been previously attached to another account without this link being removed from the database.

Following our unlinking of the monitor, you will be able to follow the Configure Your Monitor instructions again.

Using Live Sample View

In Live Sample View the Mobile App will show samples as soon as they arrive in the cloud.

To begin Live Sample View in the Mobile App, navigate to Pool or Hot Tub → Settings → Monitor Settings, and select “Live Sample View”. Samples will arrive on a 10 minute interval unless you press the button to take an on-demand sample. With a good internet connection, on-demand samples take around 10 seconds to arrive in the live sample view.

To Get an On-Demand Sample

Sometimes waiting 10 minutes is just hard. We understand. To take a sample immediately, press and release the button on the Crystal monitor quickly. The LED will flash blue to indicate that it is taking a sample, and about 6 seconds later, it will flash green if that sample was successfully sent to the cloud.

If the LED blinks blue to start the sample and then red, this indicates that the monitor could not send the sample to the cloud. See “WiFi Troubleshooting” below.

NOTE: If the LED blinks red immediately, without a blue starting blink, it indicates that the monitor is not set up yet. Follow the instructions to Configure Your Monitor.

Troubleshooting WiFi Problems

First let’s see if the monitor can send a sample over your WiFi.

Perform an On-Demand Sample by pressing and releasing the button quickly.

Ensure the LED flashes blue. If it flashes red immediately, your monitor is not set up and you’ll need to follow the Configuring Your Monitor instructions.

After about 6 seconds the monitor will flash green if it could send the sample over your WiFi or it will flash red to indicate it could not send the sample.

NOTE: Some WiFi errors are transient, so you may want to send a few more samples this way to test it out.

Things to try to fix WiFi Problems

Move the monitor closer to the router

Ensure the monitor has line-of-sight to the router. Large or dense objects (concrete, Hot Tubs, water, your cousin Chad) may impair the signal.

Ensure the WiFi signal reaches to your monitor by connecting your mobile phone to the same network and turning off cellular. Can you reach a web page while standing next to the monitor?

Ensure the WiFi router is connected to the internet by connecting your mobile phone to the same network and turning off cellular. Can you reach a web page?

Performing a Factory Reset (Monitor Unprovisioning)

You can factory reset your monitor to clear WiFi credentials or put it into hibernation, the lowest possible use of power. Removing WiFi credentials will prevent the monitor from connecting to WiFi or the cloud so it will need setup again.

Ownership of the monitor will still be tracked in the cloud, including its pool or hot tub and user account. You’ll need to contact us to remove the monitor from your account and transfer it to another user or account.

To perform a factory reset, press and hold the button until the LED blinks red. Release the button while it is blinking red to start the factory reset.

To cancel a factory reset while the button is being pressed, continue to hold it down until the LED stops blinking. Then you can safely release the button without performing the reset.

Following a factory reset, the device will enter hibernation, the lowest possible use of power.

To set up the monitor again, repeat the Configure your Monitor instructions.

What does the LED Mean?

Blinking White: This indicates that the monitor is in Setup Mode and can be configured using the mobile app.

Blue Flash: This indicates that the monitor is starting an On Demand Sample. In normal operation the monitor will blink every 10 minutes without blinking.

Green Flash: The monitor has just successfully performed the requested action (Setup or On Demand Sample).

Red Flash: The monitor was unable to perform the requested action (Setup or On Demand Sample). You may need to repeat the Configure your Monitor instructions.

What Can the Button Do?

The button can start several operations, depending on how long it is held down.

Setup Mode: Hold the button down until it blinks white to start Setup Mode. Setup Mode will timeout after several minutes, then the LED will stop blinking. Use the button to restart setup mode.

On-Demand Sample: Press and release the button quickly to take an On Demand Sample. If the monitor is set up, the LED will flash blue once. If it is not set up, the LED will flash red once.

Factory Reset: Hold the button down until it blinks red, then release the button to perform a Factory Reset. To cancel the reset, keep holding the button down until the LED goes dark again.

Glossary of Terms

We strive to make using Crystal as easy as a summer breeze, but we couldn’t avoid inventing some peculiar terminology. Here are some useful definitions.

Crystal Monitor: The white crystal housing holds the electronics that send your samples to the cloud. Though it is waterproof, it will be damaged by prolonged submersion.

Crystal Sensor: The sensor and cable that must be submerged in your water. The sensor tip contains sensitive electronic probes capable of counting ions. It works best if submerged constantly to a depth of about 18 inches from the surface to the sensor tip. Though they are pretty tough, try not to touch the sensor tips so they stay clean. When connecting your sensor to the monitor, hand-tighten the nut to keep water out.

Vessel: This is our general term for a Pool, Hot Tub or Swim Spa.

Crystal Cloud: A fancy name for the computers we use to analyze your water samples. These computers exist somewhere mysterious at the other end of the internet. Really, even we don’t know exactly where they are. Hence folks like to say they are “in the cloud”.

Samples: Each time the monitor wakes up, it measures several parameters about your water, and together these form a sample. We take one sample every 10 minutes. That’s 144 samples each day, over a thousand each week. We average these into trends to avoid overreacting to regular fluctuations due to rain, sun and circulation.

Actions: When there’s something for you to take care of in your water, we call that an action. We’ll send a notification to your phone, but you can take care of them when you’re ready (obviously the sooner the better). Follow the directions in the app.

Dosing: When our directions tell you how much of a chemical to use, we call that a dose. Since we know the volume of your water, we can calculate the correct dose for any product that uses a chemical in our database (which is most of them).

pH: This is a measure of the water’s acidity. Keeping pH balanced is essential to the function of sanitizing chemicals, swimmer comfort, and the protection of your pool equipment.

ORP: This is a measure of your water’s sanitizing potential (technically, the Oxidation Reduction Potential). It’s a much better indicator of the safety of your water than a direct measure of Free Chlorine, but is used the same way. A high enough ORP indicates that there is a healthy reserve of sanitizer in your water. When your ORP is low it means the water lacks the potential to “oxidize” (kill and break down) contaminants and more sanitizer is needed.