Author Topic: Z-wave pool pump/heater control  (Read 14477 times)

Offline ksquared

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Z-wave pool pump/heater control
« on: October 31, 2008, 11:12:30 pm »
Our pool pump and heater are controlled via relatively standard mechanical Intermatic controls.  These are highly reliable, but a pain to adjust.  I've noticed that Intermatic also sells the following device:

http://www.smarthome.com/119303/Z-Wave-30A-Relay-Contactor-Module-CA3750/p.aspx

It seems this would be ideal for pool pump and heater control (as it appears from casual reading that it could control two separate devices at the same site).

Does anyone have any knowledge about this device?  Can it be programmed using Vera?  If not, could it be programmed via another device and then controlled via Vera later? 

Offline aaronox

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Re: Z-wave pool pump/heater control
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2008, 11:28:06 am »
I don't know if this timer would support your pool pump and heater, but as it supports 30A circuits, I would think that it rated high enough.

It is a Z-Wave device, so it would be supported by Vera.
Aaron

Offline ksquared

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Re: Z-wave pool pump/heater control
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2008, 02:42:00 pm »
Is it definitely true that any Z-wave device can be set up, recognized and controlled by Vera? 

I'm not concerned about the current capability--this is similar to what we have and my only issue is that I'd need to control it from a centralized source (Vera) and it would be worthless unless Vera could set it up and control it.

I would appreciate if MiCasaVerde staff could weigh in on this point.  Thanks in advance.

Offline denix

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Re: Z-wave pool pump/heater control
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2008, 01:18:15 am »
Is it definitely true that any Z-wave device can be set up, recognized and controlled by Vera?

Not necessary. Z-Wave defines several classes of devices and protocol to talk to them. Unfortunately, the Z-Wave spec is not free and available to licensed vendors. While it is a public knowledge how to talk to simple "light" Z-Wave modules, it is not that easy to control any weird devices, like the one in question.

Having said so, my understanding is that Mi Casa Verde has a license to the Z-Wave protocol/stack and it is just the matter of adding support for all the possible classes of devices to Vera. Not sure pool pump/heater is their high priority though.
Veras (1, 2, 3, Lite, Plus), lots of different Z-Wave modules, Luup plugins and theater/security integration.

Offline aaronox

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Re: Z-wave pool pump/heater control
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2008, 11:31:00 am »
So denix, are you saying that even though it may say Z-Wave on it, it may not be 100% supported by Vera?

That sucks.
Aaron

Offline 1audio

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Re: Z-wave pool pump/heater control
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2008, 10:12:11 pm »
There are several levels of ZWave support, even in the specific classes. The basic level in lights for example, says that all light switches will support on off and dimmers will also support dim. After that its something of a free for all on "advanced" features. And new classes, like locks, take time to "filter" into the system. Vera supports lights in the basic features, it doesn't support the proprietary features that individual vendors have created, unless they make them available as part of the main class. Vera supports thermostats, but maybe not the new replacement class (ZWave is, to put it politely, evolving.) We need Mi Casa Verde to list, possibly on the WiKi, the current status of its ZWave support. Or as much as they can say. I believe there will be some enhancements to the ZWave support soon, but they will need testing etc. before they can go live.

Offline mcoulter

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Re: Z-wave pool pump/heater control
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2008, 04:09:28 pm »
Getting back to the initial question... yes, the Vera controller will mange and schedule the Intermatic contactor module.  I have a system setup running it right now. 

It is "bulky" but I use one module to run the filter pump, one to run the heater (enable it), one to run the adjoining spa jets, and a cobbled solution using an Intermatic 110v switch to turn Jandy actuators. 

It all works.  The drawback is that while the contactor box can be setup for two separate switches, there is only one controller out there that Intermatic makes that can see and control each switch.  Apparently this is a software issue to view multiple instances from one z-wave device.

So far viewing multiple instances is not available in Vera, nor is it available in Hawking Technologies controller, nor is it available in the latest release of .net code from ControlThink (they claim to be working on it).

I hope this helps...

Offline ksquared

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Re: Z-wave pool pump/heater control
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2008, 08:30:07 am »
mcoulter:

Thanks very much for your feedback (and direct response to my original post).  At present I have only one mechanical Intermatic timer running the pool pump--it sounds like I can use this one to run that, but that I won't be able to separately view control a different load (e.g., the heater) with a different schedule, which is OK.  The big issue for me is the winter--to run my heater before the weekend, the pump needs to run continuously (as opposed to 8 hrs/day) and it would be nice not to have to walk out and remove the mechanical stops and simply have a Vera program to change the pump schedule.

One more question--how far is your outdoor Intermatic Z-wave controller from your house (and/or the next closest indoor controller)?  I assume that there's a practical limitation to the RF network that vary by the quality of each device? 

Offline mcoulter

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Re: Z-wave pool pump/heater control
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2008, 01:32:45 pm »
I have actually used this setup at two houses.  One has the pool equipment about twenty-five feet from the back wall of the house.  The back of the house is a sun room with lots of windows and I simply have an indoor lamp module plugged on the inside of the sun room's rear wall.

The other location has the pool equipment on the side of the house and is surrounded by cement walls which makes the communication a little more resistant.  I put a lamp module on the wall of the room that is on the other side of the pool equipment and it seems to work just fine.  I am adding an outdoor lamp module on the pool deck just to boost the signal around the corner of the house for using a remote on the pool deck.

Offline ksquared

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Re: Z-wave pool pump/heater control
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2008, 01:00:40 pm »
Great.  Thanks very much for this very helpful feedback.

Offline micasaverde

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Re: Z-wave pool pump/heater control
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2008, 01:44:41 pm »
We designed the Z-Wave software module to use database definitions to map system messages to Z-Wave commands.  This means 99% of the work is getting the ZWave protocol implemented.  Adding new commands is trivial.  So you may have a ZWave device that supports an odd command we haven't supported.  But to add the device category, commands, etc., in Vera is pretty easy.  We're focusing on the most common mainstream ZWave devices now, but will be adding support for more specialized ones soon.

Offline ksquared

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Re: Z-wave pool pump/heater control
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2008, 10:08:12 pm »
Thanks for the update.  Given your stage of development, I couldn't ask for more at this point.