I recently got the Pentair SolarTouch for my in-progress solar build and after reading the manual I have few questions I hope knowledgeable folks on this forum can help me with.
My set up is very simple. I have a 2 speed pump with a manual hi/low switch. For the sake of this discussion itís a single speed pump. It runs for 6 hours in the middle of the day and thatís the time when sun is available and when I want my solar to be on. I donít have neither I need a booster pump, special cleaning needs or anything else.
I can hook up the controller to the same timer circuit as the pump (240V) or to be always on a different circuit (120V). There are few diagrams in the manual mentioning either cleaner or solar boosted pumps wired thru the controller (solar pump or cleaner pump relays), but it seems to be for a slightly different purpose. As far as I can see, I donít need to hook the pump thru the controller. I just need controller to engage the actuator when pump is on and thatís all I need from it.
Here are my thoughts on my options:
1. Controller is on all the time:
Positives: dedicated circuit, no abrupt power losses/start-ups.
Negative: I might be wrong here, but I assume the controller will keep engaging the actuator/valve if sun comes/goes out while the pump is off. Resulting in extra wear on actuator and the 3way valve.
2. Controller is on the pool timer:
Positive: Everything is off when pump is off, no waste, no wear. The settings are persistent when power is off, no worries there
Negative: Not sure if the electronics on the controller will love being on the same circuit as the pump when it starts. Also not sure what happens if power is cut when actuator is either half thru the operation. I assume mechanics/electronics in the actuator handle that on the next start. I also assume that if controller tells the actuator to move the valve to a specific position and valve is already there, the actuator also handles it gracefully.
And another question. When solar switches off while the pump is still going, will the panels drain by gravity? My panels will be basically pump level, so there wonít be much gravity help.