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Thread: Help choosing automation system...

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    Help choosing automation system...

    I need to choose an automation system. My PB wants to use all Hayward products and I'm just wondering if the Omnilogic is the right product for my needs - $1500 just for equipment. Please...any feedback is appreciated.

    18x36 IG vinyl
    Off-line Chlorinator
    Heat Pump
    4 deck jets
    Slide
    2x colorlogic lights

    My equipment pad is not easily accessible from the pool area. So I want to be able to control the deck jets, pool slide and return valves (to make the deck jets higher). So 4 actuators on the valves. Also, I want to control the color of the colorlogic lights.

    I'd like to do all of this from either a handheld receiver or my smartphone.


    I could upgrade to a Variable Speed pump but I don't see much need since I don't have any complex water features or a spa.

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Help choosing automation system...

    What I always recommend is that the automation system should be the same brand as the items you want to control. So if you are using Hayward Automation, then you should also use a compatible Hayward pump and SWG, etc..

    I personally like Pentair, but it is like the "my Chevy is better than your Ford" stories. All the major brands are pretty much the same.

    That said, I see a couple of issues you will need to investigate further.

    1. You say you want to have four actuators, but not all automation systems have four "user programmable" valve controllers. So you need to find out if what you are getting will actually control four valve the way you want.

    2. You say you want to make your deck jets "go higher".. Most actuators turn valves on or off. They do not increase or decrease the flow. Not that something can't be done, but it would have to be plumbed by your PB into the system.

    3. You say you do not want to use a VS pump. I would disagree here as a VS pump will allow you to do some of the things you want to do and reduce your electric bill as well. Increasing the speed of your pump is the best option to control the exact height of your deck jet vs. trying to control via an automated valve.

    My advice is to let your PB know exactly what you want your system to do, and make sure whatever automation system you get, will do what you want in advance.

    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: Help choosing automation system...

    Thanks Jim.

    Even 3 actuators would be sufficient - 1 return, 1 deck jets, 1 slide. Agree that I need to look into the possibilities of each system. I guess that's why I am here.

    Perhaps I was wrongfully thinking that closing off a return would send more pressure through the Deck Jet line and cause them to go higher? If I had an actuator on that return, I could do that remotely.

    I've considered the VS pump. Just thought it might be overkill for my system. The Hayward VS is only $300 more so it wouldn't take much in energy savings to recoup the initial cost.


    Are there other systems I should be looking at? I'll check out the Pentair.

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Help choosing automation system...

    No doubt if you shut something off the pressure will increase some, but it would be hard to tell if that pressure increase would be enough to give the Deck Jets the increase you need. With automation, you push one button (Icon) and the deck jets come on, and the pump increase speed to make the jets go as high as you want. You can even have two or three speeds, for different heights.

    I have a 3 HP variable speed pump. A 3 HP single speed pump would be overkill for my pool without a doubt. But, most of the time, I run my VS pump at 1,200 RPM, and at that speed, it only draws 168 watts of power.

    I only have worked with Pentair systems. But they all appear to have the same basic functions and they all are basically the same price for the same features.

    Again, you might want to coordinate with your PB. If all he ever installs is Hayward, he may not have the background to install some other system. It could be more problems than it is worth.

    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: Help choosing automation system...

    I guess these automation systems are so new on the market that not many know about them. I just got off the phone with a company that ONLY installs the Pentair EasyTouch system and said that it does not have the ability to control a a variable speed pump.


    So I just talked to a VERY helpful rep at Pool Supply World and think I figured out what all I need for the Jandy iAqualink. He recommended a bundle - IQ-904P. The whole package is only $974. I'm adding a Pentair Intelliflow VS pump as well (compatible with this system).

    I saved money by not needing a load-bearing powercenter. The box will get power from the existing sub-panel in my house. It's only 5' away (on other side of the house).

    Thanks for the points on the VS pump, Jim.

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Help choosing automation system...

    Quote Originally Posted by Veccster View Post
    I guess these automation systems are so new on the market that not many know about them. I just got off the phone with a company that ONLY installs the Pentair EasyTouch system and said that it does not have the ability to control a a variable speed pump.
    Wow, they obviously do not know much...So according to them, Pentair makes an automation system (EasyTouch) that doesn't control VS pumps even though Pentair makes and sells VS pumps (IntelliFlo)? The ignorance of that sales person is breathtaking.

    Question - why are you mixing an Jandy iAqualink with a Pentair VS pump (IntelliFlo)? It would be far better to get a Jandy VS pump to match the automation system, no?
    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: Help choosing automation system...

    Yes...I've spoken to several idiots today. It's making my head hurt!

    I'm not sure, Matt. The guy at Pool Supply World just recommended the Pentair over the Jandy. It's cheaper too.

    What would make having the Jandy the better option? Shouldn't they technically have the same controls? Just asking.

    Thanks.

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    Re: Help choosing automation system...

    Quote Originally Posted by Veccster View Post
    Yes...I've spoken to several idiots today. It's making my head hurt!

    I'm not sure, Matt. The guy at Pool Supply World just recommended the Pentair over the Jandy. It's cheaper too.

    What would make having the Jandy the better option? Shouldn't they technically have the same controls? Just asking.

    Thanks.
    Then why not go with Pentair?

    EasyTouch, IntelliFlo, IntelliBrite/GloBrite LED lighting and IntelliChlor (if you want an SWG).

    If you mix and match you can sometimes lose built-in functionality.
    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: Help choosing automation system...

    Oh, and stay away from the puck chlorinators. You want to avoid chlorine pucks despite the pool industry's insistence that they are the way to go.
    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: Help choosing automation system...

    I took a quick look at the "Jandy iAqualink, bundle - IQ-904P" and did not see any indication that it can control the Intelliflo. The Intelliflo is controlled by a Serial Cable, not by turning power on and off via a relay.

    I suggest you call Jandy and talk with them directly, as I have doubts about what was told to you is actually true. Much better to be sure.

    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: Help choosing automation system...

    OK then I'll switch the whole thing to jandy. Any recommendation for a jandy vs pump. My pb just emailed and said he's also switching to jandy cartridge and jandy lights.

    I did call jandy and they said pentair is comparable. But, to your point, I should make it all uniform.

    My installer knows the iaqualink system not pentair. I'm sure he could figure it out but whatever. I've read a lot of good things about this system.

    If not a puck chlorinator, then what? I don't want salt.

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    Re: Help choosing automation system...

    Quote Originally Posted by Veccster View Post
    OK then I'll switch the whole thing to jandy. Any recommendation for a jandy vs pump. My pb just emailed and said he's also switching to jandy cartridge and jandy lights.

    I did call jandy and they said pentair is comparable. But, to your point, I should make it all uniform.

    My installer knows the iaqualink system not pentair. I'm sure he could figure it out but whatever. I've read a lot of good things about this system.

    If not a puck chlorinator, then what? I don't want salt.
    Well, you can install a puck chlorinator but you'll want to follow TFP's advice on pool chemistry - The TFPC Method of pool care. Read Pool School.

    All solid forms of chlorine add things you don't want - too much CYA stabilizer in trichlor and dichlor and too much calcium hardness in cal-hypo. Most folks here use liquid chlorine (aka, bleach from the supermarket) to chlorinate. If your PB is amenable to the idea (but I sincerely doubt it), have him install a Stenner Liquid Chlorine pump so you can use LC instead of pucks. You can save the pucks for when you go on vacation.

    If you follow the TFPC Method of pool care, you will save yourself a lot of money (and I mean A LOT of $$$) each year and you will save yourself a lot of headaches. If you follow the advice of pool service companies or the pool store....well, that road is well watered with the tears and spittle of pool owners all over the country.
    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: Help choosing automation system...

    Thanks Matt. My last house had an AG pool. I was naive and followed guidance from the pool store - and wasted a lot of money! I have read and reread and read again the TFP method and plan to follow it. I'll be buying a TF-100 kit to test.

    After the past 4 hours of research, I see that the Stenner is a good option for providing liquid chlorine into my pool. When the PB plumbs everything, I'll have him add a T valve where I will eventually connect the Stenner (I'm not going to have him do it). I guess the T valve needs to have a 3/8" male connector? And does the Stenner pump come with the valve that connects to the T?

    Lastly, do I need to use one of the 4 relays to control the Stenner with my Jandy iAqualink?

    I think I already used up the 4 relays - pump, actuator 1 (slide), actuator 2 (deck jets), lights. How else do I integrate into my system?

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    Re: Help choosing automation system...

    I'm not familiar with the Stenner setups on the plumbing side but I think using a PVC tee connector is a very clean way to do it as opposed to drilling a hole and using a saddle clamp. I'm sure others can advise better on that. Maybe consider two tees - one for chlorine and one for acid. You might also want to automate acid dosing.

    Automation through a 120V relay would be the best because you can then automate the scheduling and keep the pump and chlorine dosing in sync. I believe there are iAqualink controllers with more than 4 relays so you should look into the cost of expansion. Have a few too many unused relays is way better than wishing you had just one more.

    If not through the iAqualink, then your only other option is a separate mechanical timer (Intermatic) whichbwill work but is not optimal.
    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: Help choosing automation system...

    Thinking about it more, I may not put an actuator on the pool slide. I should probably have a valve at the slide that the kids can turn on. Though it will also have a valve at the equip pad, I'll leave it on most of the time for them.

    That would free up a spot for the Stenner to have a relay. I'd want to run the Stenner just a couple times per day during normal circulation.

    Lastly, regarding the iAqualink automation system, I thought I'd provide my findings on pricing. I'm not sure if my electrician plans on adding a sub-panel, wants me to provide the Jandy panel or if a panel is even necessary (since my interior subpanel is very close. Anyway, here are my costs:

    iAqualink Pricing - with and without breakers.jpg

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Help choosing automation system...

    I would say this about a sub-panel - even if you have an existing panel nearby, it is infinitely easier and a lot more reassuring to have the circuit breakers right there at the equipment pad should you need to immediately cut power to the system rather than running around or inside the house trying to fumble your way to the panel. All of my pool equipment is on CBs located right inside the automation panel; it's a lot easier to cut power as needed.

    At the end of the day, it may not matter either way as your municipal building codes may require a sub-panel at the equipment pad.
    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: Help choosing automation system...

    My electrician did all the wiring in our newly constructed house so I know his work - very clean. He is definitely going to require a sub-panel.

    But is there an advantage to using the Jandy panel with breakers (6614-LD)...or a regular sub-panel and use the Jandy panel without breakers (6612-F)?

    So it's more compact, I'll probably just get the Jandy with breakers and be done.

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    Re: Help choosing automation system...

    As long as your electrician doesn't have a strong preference, I say get the J-panel with CBs. That way, all the wiring can be routed inside the Jandy panel and it's easy to figure out what you're looking 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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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Help choosing automation system...

    Vec,

    Just curious... I was under the impression that your pool was in the process of being built. Are you buying the equipment and providing it to the pool builder, or do you plan to install it yourself.

    I just ask because normally pool builders usually mark up what they sell and not many of them will install your equipment for free.

    I know it is easy for me to spend your money, but you will be much better off if your pool breakers are part of your automation system. Much easier to wire, modify, and troubleshoot when necessary.

    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: Help choosing automation system...

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    As long as your electrician doesn't have a strong preference, I say get the J-panel with CBs. That way, all the wiring can be routed inside the Jandy panel and it's easy to figure out what you're looking at.
    Agreed. Thanks. I'll fully intend to get the Jandy breaker box.

    Jim, I'm not working with your typical pool builder - it's why I chose him. He'll buy as much or as little as I'd like. I'm going to have him get the 3 biggies - pump, filter and heater. He's not marking up much. I'm doing the Senner and Jandy (with help from my electrician).

    Permit is approved and downpayment is down...pool is scheduled to be dug in 2 weeks (pending no set backs). Unfortunately, we are planning to install the pool but never even open it. The water will be filled up to just below the skimmer and the winter cover will be installed. Won't even get to swim in it until next April I'm not sure yet how we'll put enough chemicals in so I don't open to a green swamp...

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