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Thread: Automating my spillway - Seeking Advice

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Question Automating my spillway - Seeking Advice

    Hi All,

    So I've had my pool for a number of years now and one thing that has always annoyed me a little is that the spillway from my attached spa into the pool is always active when in POOL mode. I'd like to only run the spillway a fraction of the time when the pool is running (say an 1-2 hours at most) to reduce aeration as well as cutdown on the amount of evaporite and efflorescence that forms on my spa tile face. The spillway runs like this because the return flow to the POOL side is split between the three returns in the pool and the one return in the spa using a manually actuated 3-way valve. There's nothing wrong with the plumbing, per se, it's just in order to have all the water return to the pool (and shut off the spillway), I have to walk back to the equipment pad and turn the valve. Here's a picture of the return side of my plumbing -



    The actuator in the picture controls the water return for SPA Mode versus POOL mode from my EasyTouch 8 automation panel. The manual 3-way valve is what splits the POOL return water between the pool returns (3) and the spa return (1). Depending on my filter loading and pump speed, I typically split the valve 60/40 (spa/pool side) in terms of return water. That produces this picture of my spillway -



    That's more than enough return flow to the spa and, because there is just one return in the spa (separate from the spa jets), I don't want to push all the water through that single return as I have a 3HP Intelliflo and filter pressure will go really high from the head resistance. So, here's my thinking -

    1. Buy another CVA-24 actuator and install it on the 3-way splitter valve;
    2. Adjust the internal stops on the CVA-24 so that switch position #1 is 100% POOL return and switch position #2 is 75/25 split return to actuate spill way. I've not opened one of these actuators before but I assume there are mechanical limit switches for the position stops.
    3. Attach the CVA-24 to VALVE-B inside my EasyTouch panel (I think VALVE-A is often held in reserve for Solar heating which is something that might happen in the future).
    4. Program one of the EasyTouch AUX relays to actuate Spillway and then use a schedule to set the times of the day when the spillway relay will go off. Again, a little fuzzy on this part if I should program it as a AUX relay or a Feature circuit??

    Any thoughts or critiques on the above would be most welcome.

    Thanks,
    Matt
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Automating my spillway - Seeking Advice

    Your spa return line is not essential since it is just a single return and will only work with automation with another valve actuator and programming that is a little outside of the way that the Easytouch likes to be set up. If you did go this route, you can plug the actuator into valve A or B, both are assignable but this will take the place of future needs (solar and a heater bypass previously mentioned) needlessly.


    Use your pool/spa valve to activate your spillway. The only downside to this is that the return water will activate the spa jets so aeration is inevitable. If this is not acceptable, put a valve on your airline to close it off and only open it when you are wanting the jets to operate. I've found that my spa at the speed that I've set it (when in spillway mode) will not produce enough flow to pull air from the vent line but does produce enough flow for an acceptable spillway appearance. This is 1850 rpm. Yours can likely be higher since you don't have a bypass to your heater which is very restrictive.

    No need to use an Aux circuit. Set up a spillway feature circuit. Name it spillway (it should be an option), and set spillway for the function. Program the run time during your pool filter schedule. Its ok if the programs overlap because the schedule with the highest speed wins (in this case spillway). The reason I recommend this is that your SWG will still operate in spillway mode since pool mode is also activated. If the schedule does not overlap (ie: pool 12PM-7PM, Spillway 7PM-8PM) the SWG will not have power when the spillway turns on.

    I have more info that I'll add a little later this evening when I have more time. I couldn't be more happy that I (hopefully and finally) got to help you with something.

    Unless you have already done it, this would be the perfect time to add ScreenLogic2 to your setup. Programing is much easier on the computer and the user interface blows the panel away.
    -Brian-
    33K Pool/Spa, Pentair Equipment
    POOL BUILD
    Davis Custom Construction - Home Page

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    Re: Automating my spillway - Seeking Advice

    The above was edited for clarification ---Sorry, I was in a hurry when it was typed.

    Here is my schedule. Notice how the pool run time and spillway overlap:



    Here are my pump speeds. Notice i have a standard and high speed for the spillway. The standard = No Jets, High = jets. The spa speed needs to be higher than the spillway. If not, when the spillway is on and you want to use the spa, the spillway will win. The spa speed is heated with no jets, spa high kicks the speed up and the jets turn on due to the higher flow.



    Here is the spillway program. Feature - change to spillway. Function - change to spillway



    Valve A and Valve B program. The sprinkler program is actually my solar valve (i don't have solar yet). I did this to set a schedule to circulate water through the solar lines. They are plumbed into my system and tied together on the far end. I didn't really care what it was named and figured sprinklers was a conversation starter.



    When you are ready, I can get you squared away on the heater bypass if you need assistance.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    -Brian-
    33K Pool/Spa, Pentair Equipment
    POOL BUILD
    Davis Custom Construction - Home Page

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    Re: Automating my spillway - Seeking Advice

    Hmmm, those screenshots are too small to read. I'll see if photobucket works better.


    -Edit- Photobucket worked better but made that collage on the bottom of the post? Those IMG's don't show when I edit it?
    -Brian-
    33K Pool/Spa, Pentair Equipment
    POOL BUILD
    Davis Custom Construction - Home Page

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    Re: Automating my spillway - Seeking Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by bdavis466 View Post
    Hmmm, those screenshots are too small to read. I'll see if photobucket works better.


    -Edit- Photobucket worked better but made that collage on the bottom of the post? Those IMG's don't show when I edit it?
    A mod might have to figure out the image issue. I only use Photobucket for posting images as I don't like to burden the TFP server space with my data.

    As for your proposal, I must say I'm still scratching my head try to figure it out but it sounds like you're saying I can just use my POOL/SPA automated valve to make the spillway happen by routing pool water to the jets and ignore the the single return to the spa on the pool side....I will have to fiddle with the programming to see how I can get that to work. But thanks for the screen shots as that will help me a lot....assuming I translate ScreenLogic format back to native EasyTouch language.

    As for ScreenLogic, well, that's not likely to happen for two reasons - (1) the impending arrival of child #4 has all capital projects on hold and any expense spending must be limited to less than $250 per transaction (unless on pre-approved baby-registry items) and approved by the CFO...I am not the CFO....and (2) while I like the nerdy/geeky/techie "idea" of ScreenLogic, the reality is the NPA has had some bad reviews (random failures) and my property is fairly big so I'd likely need to do some wireless network engineering to get a strong enough WiFi signal out to the pad. So, ScreenLogic will have to wait and I shall have to make do with what I have.

    In the future, when solar goes in, I'll probably reconfigure the plumbing with by-passes, but not now. Actually, I saw a very interesting white paper that ditches the entire solar water heating concept (panels or helicol tubing) and proposes to use solar PV array to drive an electric heat pump. The up-front cost is higher due to needing a PV installation along with the cost of a heat pump, but the long term ROI is possibly better depending on utility rates, etc. It also gets away from having to pump vast quantities of water up to your roof top. I'll have to post that someday in The Deep End for others to throw spitballs at.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Automating my spillway - Seeking Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    A mod might have to figure out the image issue. I only use Photobucket for posting images as I don't like to burden the TFP server space with my data.

    As for your proposal, I must say I'm still scratching my head try to figure it out but it sounds like you're saying I can just use my POOL/SPA automated valve to make the spillway happen by routing pool water to the jets and ignore the the single return to the spa on the pool side....I will have to fiddle with the programming to see how I can get that to work. But thanks for the screen shots as that will help me a lot....assuming I translate ScreenLogic format back to native EasyTouch language.
    Exactly! Very easy to do: Push Menu> Settings> Circuit Names> Scroll until you find an empty Feature> Set the circuit name to Spillway (you'll have to scroll to find it but it is in there).
    Now go to Settings>Circuit Functions> Scroll through until you find the feature circuit you named Spillway>Assign the function Spillway.
    Next go to Settings> Intelliflo>Speeds> Scroll to spillway> Choose the speed you want
    Next go to Schedules> Scroll to Spillway> Set the runtime and days/wk you desire for the spillway (overlapping to Pool Schedule). You are good to go. I run mine 8-845 PM since the kids are asleep and I can enjoy it.

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    As for ScreenLogic, well, that's not likely to happen for two reasons - (1) the impending arrival of child #4 has all capital projects on hold and any expense spending must be limited to less than $250 per transaction (unless on pre-approved baby-registry items) and approved by the CFO...I am not the CFO....and (2) while I like the nerdy/geeky/techie "idea" of ScreenLogic, the reality is the NPA has had some bad reviews (random failures) and my property is fairly big so I'd likely need to do some wireless network engineering to get a strong enough WiFi signal out to the pad. So, ScreenLogic will have to wait and I shall have to make do with what I have.
    Keep in mind that with screen Logic, I could have set this up in 2.35 seconds. I could even set it up on your pool from my computer! The wifi signal doesn't matter as it has its own transmitter and receiver, it does not rely on your wifi network. I have no wifi signal remotely close to where my equipment is (200+ feet from my router and inside a stuccoed pump house, tile roof and radiant barrier sheating) and have no trouble with operation. I ran a conduit line out there to hard wire the system just in case, but I have no need for it.

    I am not waving Pentair's flag in anyway. Their programming is horrible and when customization is required, much is left to be desired. Screenlogic has its own flaws but compared to doing all of this on the panel, it is a Godsend. I will NEVER recommend Pentair automation without it.

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    In the future, when solar goes in, I'll probably reconfigure the plumbing with by-passes, but not now. Actually, I saw a very interesting white paper that ditches the entire solar water heating concept (panels or helicol tubing) and proposes to use solar PV array to drive an electric heat pump. The up-front cost is higher due to needing a PV installation along with the cost of a heat pump, but the long term ROI is possibly better depending on utility rates, etc. It also gets away from having to pump vast quantities of water up to your roof top. I'll have to post that someday in The Deep End for others to throw spitballs at.
    Please do and do it quickly, that sounds right up my alley. I am planning on installing 900 sq ft of Powerstrip solar heating (Hot2Sun) very soon. This might make me rethink it since I'd have to pump that volume of water 175 horizontal feet and up and additional 16'. No chance of that happening on a lower speed and our electrical rates are 34 cents/KW.
    -Brian-
    33K Pool/Spa, Pentair Equipment
    POOL BUILD
    Davis Custom Construction - Home Page

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    Re: Automating my spillway - Seeking Advice

    Joyful,

    I believe that your original idea would also work fine. I have a valve that is adjusted in a similar fashion. One direction is off and the other direction is set to about 90/10 so that when the freeze protection comes on it lets water flow through my waterfall and the pool returns at the same time

    I have to second Brian's Screen Logic recommendation. I got one for Christmas and it works great and it does make a 10 step at-the-panel process a one or two icon click to accomplish the same task. Maybe you can get one after child number 4 and before number 5..

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Calder Spa.

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    Re: Automating my spillway - Seeking Advice

    Matt, I like it enough that I'll hardwire mine and send you the wireless portion. That will cut your expenses in half!
    -Brian-
    33K Pool/Spa, Pentair Equipment
    POOL BUILD
    Davis Custom Construction - Home Page

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    Re: Automating my spillway - Seeking Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimrahbe View Post
    Joyful,

    I believe that your original idea would also work fine. I have a valve that is adjusted in a similar fashion. One direction is off and the other direction is set to about 90/10 so that when the freeze protection comes on it lets water flow through my waterfall and the pool returns at the same time

    I have to second Brian's Screen Logic recommendation. I got one for Christmas and it works great and it does make a 10 step at-the-panel process a one or two icon click to accomplish the same task. Maybe you can get one after child number 4 and before number 5..

    Jim R.
    Quote Originally Posted by bdavis466 View Post
    Matt, I like it enough that I'll hardwire mine and send you the wireless portion. That will cut your expenses in half!
    You guys are killing me....ok, ok, I cry "Uncle!" ... I promise to get a ScreenLogic. I'll put it on my Father's Day list as my wife is usually good about getting me man-toys for daddy-day. Of course, if I could figure out how to put it on the Babies'R'Us baby shower registry, I could probably get it sooner
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Automating my spillway - Seeking Advice

    You were all set to buy an additional valve actuator. Take that expense and combine it with my wireless kit and you are nearly home free!
    -Brian-
    33K Pool/Spa, Pentair Equipment
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    Davis Custom Construction - Home Page

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    Re: Automating my spillway - Seeking Advice

    Sunplay.com has Screenlogic for $375:

    http://www.sunplay.com/pentair-scree...ace-kit-520500

    What is very weird is that that have the Screenlogic plus wireless interface kit bundle for $370!

    http://www.sunplay.com/pentair-scree...ireless-522104

    I got the bundle from them and am very happy with Screenlogic.
    38000 Gal, IG, Plaster, 20' x 40' x 10', Attached Raised Spa, Intelliflo VS 3 HP (011018), Pentair Quad DE 60 Filter, Raypak (Rheem) 400,000 BTU (407a low Nox), Easy Touch 8 upgrade, Screenlogic 2 with wireless, IS-4 Spa Side Remote, Stenner 45MPHP10 w/15 gal tank, Intellibrite 5g (3), Dolphin Triton Plus robot with PRO remote, Water Tech Catfish handheld vacuum for spa, TF100 with SpeedStir.

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    Automating my spillway - Seeking Advice

    Question - I currently have the 8-button EasyTouch RF remote, can I use both the ScreenLogic wireless interface (iPhone & computers) AND the 8-button remote?

    I like the remote pad because the single buttons make it super easy for my wife to use. She's tech savvy enough but I really wouldn't want to be like "oh, just go and download this App, blah, blah, blah..." I'd like the ScreenLogic for doing the advanced stuff, she just needs a keypad and to know which button to push.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Automating my spillway - Seeking Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    Question - I currently have the 8-button EasyTouch RF remote, can I use both the ScreenLogic wireless interface (iPhone & computers) AND the 8-button remote?

    I like the remote pad because the single buttons make it super easy for my wife to use. She's tech savvy enough but I really wouldn't want to be like "oh, just go and download this App, blah, blah, blah..." I'd like the ScreenLogic for doing the advanced stuff, she just needs a keypad and to know which button to push.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk,16k gal SWG pool (All Pentair), QuadDE100 Filter, Taylor K-2006
    Good question. You might have to call Pentair to get an answer on that one. Seems to me that there might be a "conflict of interest" between the two, but I could be wrong about that. Pentair would know for sure.
    38000 Gal, IG, Plaster, 20' x 40' x 10', Attached Raised Spa, Intelliflo VS 3 HP (011018), Pentair Quad DE 60 Filter, Raypak (Rheem) 400,000 BTU (407a low Nox), Easy Touch 8 upgrade, Screenlogic 2 with wireless, IS-4 Spa Side Remote, Stenner 45MPHP10 w/15 gal tank, Intellibrite 5g (3), Dolphin Triton Plus robot with PRO remote, Water Tech Catfish handheld vacuum for spa, TF100 with SpeedStir.

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    Re: Automating my spillway - Seeking Advice

    I'm not exactly sure either but believe me, the remote will get tossed if you can use your phone. The phone app is a dumbed down version that has limitations, schedules, pump speeds, and more advanced features have to be done on the computer. You can download the app for free and see the interface and what it can do (demo mode).

    Again, it's not perfect but the way I have my system set up would not have been possible if I had to program it at the panel.
    -Brian-
    33K Pool/Spa, Pentair Equipment
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    Re: Automating my spillway - Seeking Advice

    It might take all of 5 minutes to teach your wife the phone app. Very easy interface.
    38000 Gal, IG, Plaster, 20' x 40' x 10', Attached Raised Spa, Intelliflo VS 3 HP (011018), Pentair Quad DE 60 Filter, Raypak (Rheem) 400,000 BTU (407a low Nox), Easy Touch 8 upgrade, Screenlogic 2 with wireless, IS-4 Spa Side Remote, Stenner 45MPHP10 w/15 gal tank, Intellibrite 5g (3), Dolphin Triton Plus robot with PRO remote, Water Tech Catfish handheld vacuum for spa, TF100 with SpeedStir.

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    Re: Automating my spillway - Seeking Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by gary300 View Post
    It might take all of 5 minutes to teach your wife the phone app. Very easy interface.
    Probably. She's way smarter than I am...


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Automating my spillway - Seeking Advice

    The return line eyelet fittings on pebble tec pools are different than plaster pool return fittings, and more restrictive in nature, and all return lines have them including pool walls, spa jets, auto water level lines, etc. there were many times that we removed them to improved the spa jet performance, because they would interfere with the air/water mixture that creates the therapy effect, where the water would have a weak stream upon exit with fittings in place, once removed would noticeably improve the forceful action from spa jet, and restore all spa jets to an equal balance of strength, the return eyelets are slightly more recessed back in the line and do not protrude on the outside like the 2'' diameter plaster rings do, which is more clean looking, and streamlined, but robs the jets performance, I mention this in case you may still have the eyelets in place, and may now consider removing them after reading this, they usually break, but can easily be pried out with a screwdriver, very delicate plastic retaining ring that holds the eyelet/orifice in place, can be difficult to loosen and remove without damage, but because there inexpensive, and provide an improvement when removed, just makes using a screwdriver to pry them out the thing to do, this is also a non destructive method of removal, and replacement eyelets are available, and easily re-installed if you desire. the spa jets are the only returns that improve after eyelet removal, all remaining eyelets on pool returns, etc do not need to be removed. over the years i have gone on service calls to 10-15 year old pebble pools and removed them on spa jet lines, and a common response after by the customer would be...they have never seen the spa jets work that good, and have just been living with the way it did work because they didn't know any better..

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    Re: Automating my spillway - Seeking Advice

    Okay, there is something called a "valve expansion module" it provides three additional aux inputs (aux c)(aux d)(aux e) which connects to the personality board, a compool 2 way valve (or jandy valve) could be plumbed in under the spa check valve, then one on the pool (3) side, (or just automate the top manual 3 way valve existing already) you could even plumb a valve on the air line to control any unwanted mixture of air with water, when trying to heat the spa through jets, making it much more efficient when heating to temp, (i dont know how you heat it now so im just commenting on the benefits of air control via valve control, that would otherwise not exist and delay heat up time due to air cooling down the water as it heats) this would still leave the remaining a & b available for solar or whatever you had in mind,

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    Re: Automating my spillway - Seeking Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by pool&spatech View Post
    Okay, there is something called a "valve expansion module" it provides three additional aux inputs (aux c)(aux d)(aux e) which connects to the personality board, a compool 2 way valve (or jandy valve) could be plumbed in under the spa check valve, then one on the pool (3) side, (or just automate the top manual 3 way valve existing already) you could even plumb a valve on the air line to control any unwanted mixture of air with water, when trying to heat the spa through jets, making it much more efficient when heating to temp, (i dont know how you heat it now so im just commenting on the benefits of air control via valve control, that would otherwise not exist and delay heat up time due to air cooling down the water as it heats) this would still leave the remaining a & b available for solar or whatever you had in mind,
    How would you program the 3 additional valves? I don't see how you could on an EasyTouch.
    -Brian-
    33K Pool/Spa, Pentair Equipment
    POOL BUILD
    Davis Custom Construction - Home Page

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    Re: Automating my spillway - Seeking Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by pool&spatech View Post
    Okay, there is something called a "valve expansion module" it provides three additional aux inputs (aux c)(aux d)(aux e) which connects to the personality board, a compool 2 way valve (or jandy valve) could be plumbed in under the spa check valve, then one on the pool (3) side, (or just automate the top manual 3 way valve existing already) you could even plumb a valve on the air line to control any unwanted mixture of air with water, when trying to heat the spa through jets, making it much more efficient when heating to temp, (i dont know how you heat it now so im just commenting on the benefits of air control via valve control, that would otherwise not exist and delay heat up time due to air cooling down the water as it heats) this would still leave the remaining a & b available for solar or whatever you had in mind,
    The Valve Expansion Module only applies to the Intellitouch system. The OP has the Easy Touch system.
    38000 Gal, IG, Plaster, 20' x 40' x 10', Attached Raised Spa, Intelliflo VS 3 HP (011018), Pentair Quad DE 60 Filter, Raypak (Rheem) 400,000 BTU (407a low Nox), Easy Touch 8 upgrade, Screenlogic 2 with wireless, IS-4 Spa Side Remote, Stenner 45MPHP10 w/15 gal tank, Intellibrite 5g (3), Dolphin Triton Plus robot with PRO remote, Water Tech Catfish handheld vacuum for spa, TF100 with SpeedStir.

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