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Thread: What do I need for automation?

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    What do I need for automation?

    Hi everyone, I am new to the form and this is my FIRST post here. While I am a very new pool owner, I consider myself quite handy; grew up on a farm, so we pretty much did EVERYTHING ourselves.

    Anyhow, I have several questions that I am hoping some of you fine folk will be able to help answer/guide me in making the right decisions. The home I recently purchased has an approximatly 21,000 gal gunite pool + spa. I would like to focus this year on changing out the dated and inefficient equipment.

    Currently I have:
    - Single speed 1.5hp pump that I would like to swap out for a variable speed. Electricity is expensive in CA!
    - Sta-rite sand filter which I would like to swap for a cartridge to help alleviate/eliminate the waste water from backwashing. Water is scarce in CA!
    - Hayward 400k btu heater

    I would like to keep the heater as it doesn't get used often enough to look for something that may be more efficient and at this time I do not have any solar for the pool, though at some point I might.

    I do not have any water features that _need_ a high-end pump right now and while my wife doesn't have much interest in the investment, I would like to at some point within the next few years to turn the pool into more of an oasis.

    As far as automation is concerned, I am a tech geek, so something that has a web interface would be great (iPhone compatible web interface or app), an API would be fantastic, but there also needs to be an easy physical interface for my wife, kids, and relatives. So a physical "spa" button would be ideal...something that with just a single click will move the valves appropriately, fire up the heater, and start the pump at the defined rpm range.

    Any help would be great!

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    Re: What do I need for automation?

    I was looking at the Hayward OmniLogic, but couldn't tell if that had an easy-to-access "Spa" button within the interface that would be at the pool; I really don't want everyone to have to dig through layers of menus just to turn on the Spa and I don't like how right now you have to physically move valves, turn on the pump, turn on the heater, set your desired temp. When we first moved in, we had turned the pump off before the heater and so the heater went to sleep instead of turning off. The next morning, when the pump turned on from the timer, the heater turned back on because of the return of flow and tried to heat the pool to around 100 degrees....this went on for 3 days before I caught it. Approximately $120.00 in gas usage for 3 days is NOT the business.

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    Re: What do I need for automation?

    Welcome!

    Probably the biggest thing to consider with automation is to stick with the same brand of equipment. All of the 3 big pool equipment manufacturers (Jandy, Pentair, Hayward) offer automation systems that can be controlled by your phone but they do not play well with each other when pieces are mixed. Since you have a Hayward heater and want to keep it, perhaps their pump and automation system is what you should consider.

    Spa side controllers require a wire to run from the spa to the automation panel. Unless you are planning on tearing up the pool deck, waterline tile and coping, that may not be the best idea. Most spa controllers have been replaced by cell phone (water proof cases) apps anyway so that would solve your issue there. All of the cell phone programs are very straight forward and easy to use.

    You will see serious gains from a variable speed pump, I'd also suggest you consider a salt water chlorine generator for convenience.

    If you end up adding a water feature, a second standalone pump is a much better option then to ask your single filter pump to serve multiple duties.

    Unfortunately I know little about Hayward products so I won't be too much help in that regards.
    -Brian-
    33K Pool/Spa, Pentair Equipment
    POOL BUILD
    Davis Custom Construction - Home Page

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: What do I need for automation?

    I own three pools and they all have Pentair VS pumps, SWCGs, and EasyTouch control systems. I could not be happier and if one of them dies today, I'll buy another Pentair tomorrow. The system at my house has Screen Logic, which allows me to control the pool from my PC or phone, although I really don't use the phone at all. One button push to switch from Pool mode to Spa mode. (I keep pushing that button and nothing happens.. I suspect that is because I don't have a Spa..)

    That said, I suspect any of the major brands will all have the same basic functionality and features. The most important thing I can recommend is to go with one brand of equipment so that everything you buy will be able to communicate with each other.

    Jim R.

    I'm going to have to learn to type faster...
    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: What do I need for automation?

    I also recommend Pentair Easy Touch along with ScreenLogic interface. I love mine. The Hayward heater should work just fine with the Easy Touch. Make sure the heater has remote capability. I think many people here prefer the Pentair Intelliflow variable speed pump, and that will communicate directly with the Easy Touch.
    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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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: What do I need for automation?

    +1 for Pentair. I just like the fit and finish better than the other brands and the Pentair VS pump just flat out rocks.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: What do I need for automation?

    I guess I really need to find someplace that I can really view the UI's as that is truly the key. I don't want to select a pump until I am sure that I will like the automation from the same company. It would be nice if there were interactive demos to use.

    Haywards OmniLogic seems a little clunky as it requires multiple steps to simply switch on the spa...their less "technologically advanced" equipment are more than capable of this. The pentair EasyTouch can have a wireless spa-side remote to do exactly what I want, and I believe you can do it directly from the panel too.

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    Re: What do I need for automation?

    Pentair's ScreenLogic can be downloaded to your phone for free and it has a demo mode to show you what the interface looks like. I'm a big Pentair fan, so that gets my vote, as does their ScreenLogic interface which I feel should be a requirement with the EasyTouch/IntelliTouch.

    Search Pentair in the App Store on your phone.
    -Brian-
    33K Pool/Spa, Pentair Equipment
    POOL BUILD
    Davis Custom Construction - Home Page

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    Re: What do I need for automation?

    I understand that the mobile app can be demoed without actually having the system, but I also want to ensure the physical panel has easy access to things like "Spa mode" so others, such as my kids, parents, or in-laws can easily turn on the system without me having to walk them through it or having to install an app on their phones.

    Based on what I have seen so far, I am leaning towards the Pentair IntelliFlo VS (11018), which means that I would be eventually going with the Pentair EasyTouch. Right now I can find the pump for $859.00 and my electric company is offering a $100.00 rebate. So, theoretically, this pump will pay for itself inside of 1 year.



    Quote Originally Posted by bdavis466 View Post
    Pentair's ScreenLogic can be downloaded to your phone for free and it has a demo mode to show you what the interface looks like. I'm a big Pentair fan, so that gets my vote, as does their ScreenLogic interface which I feel should be a requirement with the EasyTouch/IntelliTouch.

    Search Pentair in the App Store on your phone.

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    Re: What do I need for automation?

    The panel is not as easy to use without some explanation to an untrained user and because of this, anytime someone wants to use any of the features in my pool, they either call and I'll do it on my phone, or they have the app on their phone and can do it themselves. Its much faster since I don't have to explain anything.

    You have made some solid choices with your equipment. it will serve you well.
    -Brian-
    33K Pool/Spa, Pentair Equipment
    POOL BUILD
    Davis Custom Construction - Home Page

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: What do I need for automation?

    I went ahead and ordered the Pentair IntelliFlo VS 011018 and it should be arriving tomorrow So it looks like I will probably going with the EasyTouch at some point this spring! Thank you everyone for your input.

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