Author Topic: Planning a new pool pump install and how to automate control  (Read 14654 times)

Offline GoingGreen

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 68
  • Karma: +0/-0
Sometime later this year I want to replace my existing Hayward single speed pool pump with a low-flow model. At the same time I want this new pump to be compatible with my MCV Lite home automation system. I've been reading about the Intermatic Multiwave Control System For Inground Swimming Pool Spa - PE653RC, but it is pricy ($500) and I think it may be overkill for my needs.

My major concern is to design a pump and control system that meet my needs and are reasonable in price and installation effort. My "diving" pool is probably the same age as my house which was constructed in 1972, and has a sand filter. I estimate the pool volume is 25,000 gallons. Since I only recently acquired the property (2011) I don't have good information about the history of the pool and equipment. Control of the pump is now being handled by a electro-mechanical Intermatic switch/timer which is not my favorite device to say the least.

I want to be able to monitor the pool water level and log pump operating times. I am on a utility plan that offers lower rates for certain days and hours (SRP, EZ-3). With a programmable pump I can better control my electric use and perhaps allow the pump to operate more hours than I now do. Saturday and Sunday have the most low rate hours so I could operate filtration for longer periods on these weekend days.

I would also like to control the pool light, which right now is a bit of a mystery to me. There is no "switch" fo this light and the only way I can control it is by tripping a ground fault switch. This is very inconvenient and awkward and I am puzzled why the original pool installation did not include a switch. What am I missing? Where would a pool light switch normally be located?

The pool has a water jet on one side that can be operated to air-cool water and lower the pool temperature, but to tell you the truth I don't know how effective this method would be and I have not tested it. But, if there is a way to control this feature remotely via automation, that might be nice. I suppose that would involve installing a remote controlled valve but have not investigated the details. Pool temperature is not my biggest concern.

Low flow pumps are expensive, but they can be ordered via Ebay for substantially less that buying on locally. Then one needs to find a reliable experienced installer. With some judicious research and luck I hope to keep my budget under $700.  The trick seems to be finding the right components that are compatible and meet my needs.

Obviously I would like some flexibility to add features in the future or make modifications. But, I am thinking bare bones is the way to go right now.

Offline bgrubb1

  • Sr. Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 29
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Planning a new pool pump install and how to automate control
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2014, 10:09:15 pm »
Goinggreen
I must be nearby, I am on the EZ3-(3-6) plan as well
I went with the Pentair VS,  Easytouch4 controller, the Pentair multicolor light, and the IPhone / PC interface.
May not be the cheapest, but works slick.
I have looked at controlling with the vera, but at this point prefer the pool being on its own automation. Dedicated reliable solution so pool always works perfectly.
the Easytouch at this point also runs solar pool heat, Malibu lights etc.
I have enough thermostats / dimmers, power control etc on the Vera. This way, the family can control the pool on a slick interface without the confusion of the vera.
The Easytouch also allows the VS pump to be programmed with the multi-speeds, solar temp control, etc, so a solution that would take a LOT of vera control.
I use the vera and the easytouch to insure my house goes into a powerdown state from 3-6 weekdays I draw less than 1KW per hour from 3-6 with a 4K sq ft house with 13 tons of AC.
Just my 2 bits from my ongoing project of automation and power control

Offline thewizardofoz

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 123
  • Karma: +4/-2
  • Vera 3
Re: Planning a new pool pump install and how to automate control
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2014, 10:26:44 pm »
If you are just looking to turn the pump ON and OFF the maybe an Intermatic CA3750 Z Wave load switch. I think Amazon has them for about $99.   I believe it has a 60 Amp capacity with 220V.  It can be used for 2 different loads (same voltage) which may work for the variable speed pump (not sure of the setup).   You could always wire in a z wave receptacle / outlet  or even a z wave light switch for the light.  I am not quite sure about your water jet, but you could have a solenoid valve in series with your water jet controlled from your sprinkler system 24 V wiring using Vera (depending on what system you have) that would operate the solenoid valve to start the cooldown process.   I have a solenoid valve on my pool for filling my pool.  I do not have one to drain the pool....too much risk.

Another option is to go with a Hayward control unit that would control your pump.  I have a salt water pool and the Hayward control box not only controls the pump and the chlorinator,  it also controls the heater and has (2) aux. relays that I use for the pool lights and pool house lights.

You could check this out too.

http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,3242.0.html
« Last Edit: May 10, 2014, 10:28:48 pm by thewizardofoz »
Vera 3 UI5  with 2 slave Vera 3s and 1 slave VeraLite all connected by CAT6.  Running about 130 devices and 8 Plug-ins including PLEG

Offline GoingGreen

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 68
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Planning a new pool pump install and how to automate control
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2014, 05:03:04 am »
Thanks for the good info, guys. I will definitely look for the Intermatic Z-wave switch. Price-wise I'm favoring a Hayward model at around $650 before the SRS rebate ($100). I now have a Hayward North Star and if the plumbing connections match between new and old I could see myself doing the installation myself. Some of the reviewers of the Hayward model say they did their own installation, which is quite a savings.

If I got lucky, the Intermatic switch could fit where the present electro-mechanical Intermatic is installed and I could use the existing conduit running to the present pump.

I'm told that used pool pumps such as my old North Star are not worth anything, but have not checked E-Bay or Craigs list.

Will be trying to understand how owners have maximized their settings to achieve the lowest electric consumption consistent with acceptable pool water quality. I could envision running the pump from early in the morning to 3:00 PM, then shutting it down until 6:00 PM and then starting back up and letting it run more hours in the evening.

Perhaps installing a new Intermatic control would even help my current situation until I can install a replacement pump. Just thinking out loud at this point.

Offline pacificdune

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 81
  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: Planning a new pool pump install and how to automate control
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2014, 12:50:49 pm »
The intermatic is a drop in replacement, but will not work with a variable speed pump, as all it does it simply cut power to turn on and off.  I have it for my single speed pump and it works great, now thinking about upgrading the pump and would like a different solution.

Offline thewizardofoz

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 123
  • Karma: +4/-2
  • Vera 3
Re: Planning a new pool pump install and how to automate control
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2014, 01:05:51 am »
The Intermatic CA3750 has 2 relays which can be operated independently.  If you have two sets of wires(one set for low speed and a second set for high speed) then you can use the CA3750 for a multispeed pump.  You will need to setup the CA3750.


Set contact selector switch
CA3750 contactor has 2 relays> and they can be operated together at same time (DPST) or independently (SPST)

DPST double-pole-single-throw means both relays turn on-off same time or simultaneously. This gives advantage of being able to turn off both Hot wires in 208-240Volt applications.

Independent 2xSPST single-pole-single-throw means the relays can turn on-off separately from each other. This has advantage of controlling two separate Loads (light, fan, motor, water heater, etc).

Look for very tiny switch located on back of contactor, near the jumpers
 Choose:
 - Simultaneous DPST to operate both relays at same time
 -2 independent SPST or 2xSPST to operate each relay with different schedule
 
Vera 3 UI5  with 2 slave Vera 3s and 1 slave VeraLite all connected by CAT6.  Running about 130 devices and 8 Plug-ins including PLEG

Offline GoingGreen

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 68
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Planning a new pool pump install and how to automate control
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2014, 01:24:12 pm »
Anyone else care to weigh in or have anything to add? It looks like what the wizard is saying negates pacifidune. I'm trying to get clarity about how people actually program their pumps and the pool configurations they have.

Offline BulldogLowell

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1576
  • Karma: +191/-85
Re: Planning a new pool pump install and how to automate control
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2014, 06:55:54 am »
I am using the CA3750 for my single speed pool pump.  It is a real workhorse.

I am in @pacificdune's camp,  just not sure that you can use that switch with a variable speed pump, I believe @thewizardofoz is correct for a two speed pump motor, they just are not as efficient as a variable speed.

I consider replacing my pump every time I hear it (VERY loud) but I'm too cheap ;) and I like the Vera control aspect.

 I'm keeping an eye on this thread too because I too want the energy benefit of a variable speed but I don't want to lose the connectivity with my Vera.




Offline GoingGreen

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 68
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Planning a new pool pump install and how to automate control
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2014, 01:38:59 pm »
Sometimes I worry I get overly concerned with maximizing everything and lose sight of the fact one can sacrifice a reasonable result in search of perfection. There is a commonplace saying that pertains to this, but I cannot recall it precisely.

Offline thewizardofoz

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 123
  • Karma: +4/-2
  • Vera 3
Re: Planning a new pool pump install and how to automate control
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2014, 01:51:50 pm »
The CA3750 will work for a 2 speed pump as Bulldog said.  It will not work with a variable speed pump.  I would think that the Multiwave would be your best option for a variable speed pump.  I have a Hayward Tristar 2 speed model and the CA3750 works great for me.

@GoingGreen    No worries.  I think we all try to figure ways to "beat" the system and come up with that perfect design.  Sometimes the support is just not there.
Vera 3 UI5  with 2 slave Vera 3s and 1 slave VeraLite all connected by CAT6.  Running about 130 devices and 8 Plug-ins including PLEG

Offline GoingGreen

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 68
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Planning a new pool pump install and how to automate control
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2014, 03:26:56 pm »
Pentair has published a lengthy article explaining what they see as the advantage of a variable speed over a two-speed pump. The article sounds convincing.

The difference in price and complexity of operation is considerable. My question is does the increased cost and complexity pay off? And if so is it a marginal gain, or really worth going for. My pool does not have complicated water features and so far I do not have a robot cleaner (thinking about that) so maybe for my case simple is better.

After some study my initial conclusion about controlling the water jet is I could install a remotely operated solenoid to open the line into the pool. That can be a separate project from operating the pump remotely. But, I have not even satisfied myself that any water cooling I might get is worth the effort. One or two degrees perhaps? And having water jet into the pool is going to result in evaporation so water use would increase.


Offline thewizardofoz

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 123
  • Karma: +4/-2
  • Vera 3
Re: Planning a new pool pump install and how to automate control
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2014, 03:48:29 pm »
As far as water cooling......it can be significant.    My pool during the summer can get in the 95 range.  Not refreshing!!!!!  I usually run my pump late morning to late evening.  During the summer,  I run early morning to late evening for weekends.   I have a $30 solution for cooling the pool.  It is a mister (ie pvc with a bunch of small holes) that attaches to my pool return jet and mists out over the pool.  It can drop my pool temp below 82 if I am not careful.

As far as the variable speed pump, it really depends on what speed you plan to run the pump at and what speed you need to run the pump at.  I guess the question is what size pump do you have now and what is the minimum recommended for your pool size?  Is it a saltwater pool?  Do you have a pool heater?  You need minimum flow rates for the salt cell and heater to operate.

If you plan on running a variable speed pump at the lowest rpm, then YES, your savings would be huge given equal running time.   But you can also offset cost with amount of time you run the pump.  I run my pump about 8 hours a day in the winter and 12-14 hours per day in the summer. But that is my preferred running times.  I could run less time and raise my salt cell level to make up the difference for chlorine generated.

Remember that it will most likely take you 2-3 years running at the lowest rpm setting to make up the difference in the cost of a new variable speed pump and controller (not including installation if you have somebody else do it).
Vera 3 UI5  with 2 slave Vera 3s and 1 slave VeraLite all connected by CAT6.  Running about 130 devices and 8 Plug-ins including PLEG

Offline GoingGreen

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 68
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Planning a new pool pump install and how to automate control
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2014, 04:01:25 pm »
This is the SP2300 Hayward Max 1.5HP 230V I'm considering ($615 before rebate of $100):

"Making the first step in energy efficiency is simple with the new variable-speed Max-Flo VS. Offering up to 80% energy cost savings over single-speed pool pump alternatives via an integrated variable-speed drive and totally-enclosed, permanent magnet motor, Max-Flo VS is an ideal pool upgrade for those looking to reduce energy use and save money. Variable-speed pool pumps are the ultimate way to save energy. Most other variable-speed models, however, are over sized when compared to medium-head pool pumps such as Hayward?s Max-Flo Series. The all-new Max-Flo VS is right-sized, particularly for applications with 1.5? or 2? plumbing, providing tremendous energy savings that result in an even faster return on investment. Max-Flo VS provides customizable speed, duration and priming time to match the needs of both aftermarket and new construction installations. Programmable timers and a totally-enclosed permanent magnet motor mean this pool pump meets the requirements of swimming pool efficiency standards such as Title 20 and APSP-15. "

It has a built-in controller, but I don't want to be on my hands and knees operating that thing. Especially in the dark. If only I could get this capability without the controller I think the cost would be less. The SRP rebates apply to specific makes and models.

« Last Edit: May 14, 2014, 04:03:51 pm by GoingGreen »

Offline theal

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 51
  • Karma: +0/-3
Re: Planning a new pool pump install and how to automate control
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2014, 11:42:35 am »
Pentair has published a lengthy article explaining what they see as the advantage of a variable speed over a two-speed pump. The article sounds convincing.

The difference in price and complexity of operation is considerable. My question is does the increased cost and complexity pay off? And if so is it a marginal gain, or really worth going for. My pool does not have complicated water features and so far I do not have a robot cleaner (thinking about that) so maybe for my case simple is better.

After some study my initial conclusion about controlling the water jet is I could install a remotely operated solenoid to open the line into the pool. That can be a separate project from operating the pump remotely. But, I have not even satisfied myself that any water cooling I might get is worth the effort. One or two degrees perhaps? And having water jet into the pool is going to result in evaporation so water use would increase.



My utility co offers $400 rebate on variable speed pumps vs $100 on 2-speed and according to some published studies, VS should pay for itself in a 2-3 years.
VS pumps have a built-in programming and a timer so you don't need a separate controller and it is quite easy to operate and does not need to be touched often.

Unless you have a heater/cooler to control, I would go with VS self-controlled pump vs 2 speed w/Vera control.
Simpler, more reliable and cheaper in a long run.

Pentair VS pumps seems to have a better reputation than Hayward VS.
If you buy 3 Pentair products (pump, robot + something else), you'll get 3 years extended warranty.

If you need additional relays and want to go with salt, Pentair EasyTouch with IntelliChlor combo package is a relatively good deal.

Offline pacificdune

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 81
  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: Planning a new pool pump install and how to automate control
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2014, 12:09:26 am »
I am interested in this thread and thought it would be good to describe the kind of system I would be interested in automating to spur some discussion and ideas...  I was thinking to do the following:

Clean cycle:  most of the suction from the pool vac, medium speed set by what the pool vac needs using sand filter.

Skim cycle:  all suction from skimmer high speed on pump for efficient skimming using sand filter.

Filtration cycle:  suction through skimmer low speed using diatom filter.

I figure this could be done with a variable speed pump and two electronic valves.

Anyone have thoughts on how to implement this?

Cheers,

PD