Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: Budget automation Hayward OnCommand vs. Pentair SunTouch

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Alta Loma, CA
    Posts
    22

    Budget automation Hayward OnCommand vs. Pentair SunTouch

    Hi All,
    I wanted to get some opinions on two automation systems I am considering. The new Hayward OnCommand and the Pentair SunTouch. Both systems are very similar, seems that the Hayward has a slight upper hand spec wise, 4 relays instead of 3 and support for better wireless remotes.

    I am leaning towards the OnCommand but my only hesitation is that eventually I want to replace my old 1-speed pool pump with a Pentair Intelliflow VS3050 pump. The OnCommand manual only mentions connecting a Hayward variable-speed pump. I have a message into Hayward asking about other pump compatibility.

    Does anyone have thoughts on the new OnCommand controller or the SunTouch?

    Eventually I will be adding a SWG to this system and will want it to match the controller, seems like Hayward and Pentair are both pretty good...?

  2. Back To Top    #2

    In the Industry

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    152

    Re: Budget automation Hayward OnCommand vs. Pentair SunTouch

    The Oncommand seems to be superior in many ways - programming, feature/benefits, etc. The Oncommand can operate an intelliflow, but you might look at the EcoStar as it offers the same benefits as Intelliflow & will operate more seamlessly with the Oncommand. The Intelliflow and Ecostar are very comparable products. If you're looking at adding the SWG later, I'd recommend upgrading slightly to the ProLogic PS-4, to which you will only need to add the salt cell. The Oncommand will require you to add a complete Aquarite - end result cost will be about the same as going with the ProLogic now.
    APSP CST Certified
    17k inground concrete; 1.5hp 2 speed Tristar pump, 300sq.ft. Cartridge filter, AquaLogic PS-4 w/ Tcell-15, Navigator suction cleaner.

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    2,690

    Re: Budget automation Hayward OnCommand vs. Pentair SunTouch

    Well, I'm a pentair guy so i would go with the pentair system

    Seriously, it all depends on what you like. Industry guys tend to go with equiment they have good luck with servicing, etc. If you listen to PoolGuyNJ, he would tell you to get Pentair since that's what HE likes.
    One bit of advice I'd give is to get the automation system that matches your pump and SWCG. While you can mix and match devices, it so much easier to deal with a matched system. If something needs repair, or you just need technical support, it's much easier for "one stop shopping" as it were.

    Another bit of advice, take or leave it. The title of your thread says Budget Automation and I totally get where your coming from. However, and you knew there was a however, that might not be the best choice in the long run. I'm only going to speak for the Pentair system since thats what i know. While the Suntouch will allow you to control a VS pump and a SWCG, thats about all it can do. A VS pump will take up more than just the pump relay, and you only have 3 to work with. In addition, an upgrade to a Pentair Easytouch box will give you more control over your SWCG, and allow you to have 4 relays (upgradeable to 8) to control other things like a pool light, outdoor lights, etc. If you get the Suntouch, its not really expandable and will only work for what you have NOW. There will be no room for future expansion.

    The other drawback to the suntouch is that it does NOT act as its own subpanel. You have to draw either 120 VAC or 220 VAC from another source (i.e. subpanel) to power the box, pump, SWCG, etc. An Easytouch box acts as it;s own subpanel (up to 125 amps) and has 8 breakerslots. In addition, it has an onboard transformer that controls the intellichlor SWCG. So even though the Easytouch costs a bit more, it doesnt require additions such as an extra subanel and x-formers. This in and of itself might make up the difference in cost.
    No, I dont work for Pentair, LOL. Just some insight from my research i did before I got my pool.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Alta Loma, CA
    Posts
    22

    Re: Budget automation Hayward OnCommand vs. Pentair SunTouch

    Thanks for the info BK and Ranger. I know my original post is 6 months old but I am now ready to move forward. I am leaning towards the SunTouch because I am happy with my other Pentair equipment. One final question that the SunTouch manual has not been able to answer for me:
    I know the SunTouch Pool and Spa can control up to 3 valves A and B will be used for the Suction and Return lines.

    Can I use valve C to control the flow to a dedicated pressure cleaner? Basically the A and B would be set to Pool suck/return then C would be configured to partially closed to divert some/most? of the pressure to the dedicated port. There is no solar in my setup.

    Ok I lied one other question BK mentioned that the VS pumps require 2 relays is this correct? I thought the variable speed pumps only took one and only the 2-speed pumps required two.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    1,129

    Re: Budget automation Hayward OnCommand vs. Pentair SunTouch

    The VS pumps don't use a relay on the suntouch. There is a separate control wire used for them. If you don't have solar enabled then you can assign valve c to a circuit so you should be able to do what you described. Should. The sun touch is pretty limited as described above. Are you sure you don't want solar or other features in the future? The easytouch is also much easier to program. I should have gone with one: search my posts and you can see how much trouble I had trying to get the sun touch to automate my waterfall and suction cleaner. I ended up choosing the suction cleaner only. If I had a spa then I'd never have been able to do either with the sun touch. I have since found a way to automate the waterfall using one of the relays and an add on board but haven't gotten around to it yet.
    15,600 Gallon, 16' x 32' In-Ground Vinyl Pool
    Pentair VS 3050 pump, Quad DE 60 filter and SunTouch controller
    8 gallon Liquidator, Aquatherm EcoSun Solar Panels, 2 wheel ThePoolCleaner

  6. Back To Top    #6
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: Budget automation Hayward OnCommand vs. Pentair SunTouch

    carlscan26 is correct. No extra relay for the pump as long as you are using an IntelliFlo pump and controlling a pool cleaner valve is fine as long as you are not using the solar feature. The SunTouch is limited in how it can control valves, but a standard pool/spa setup and a pool cleaner is a supported combination.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Alta Loma, CA
    Posts
    22

    Re: Budget automation Hayward OnCommand vs. Pentair SunTouch

    Thanks guys, the more I read about the SunTouch (including its manual) the more limited it sounds and the more confused I get The EasyTouch is just so hard to justify at over 2x the price with a wireless remote and actuators. Plus I don't need or want the large cabinet that the EasyTouch has, I have limited space and everything is already wired to the house panel.

    Here is what I have:
    Pool and spill-over spa
    Mechanical timer to be replaced with SunTouch
    1 VS pump for filter/heater (pool and spa)
    1 old Purex pump for spa jets
    1 IC40 salt cell and power supply
    1 blower for spa bubbles
    1 3-way return valve for pool/spa- Valve A
    1 3-way suciton valve for pool/spa- Valve B
    1 3-way valve for directing some return to pressure cleaner- Valve C
    1 MiniMax NT heater

    Lights are controlled by X10 remote
    No solar or water feature plans

    I will be purchasing the 4 function wireless remote and would like the remote to do the following:
    1. Spa on- Adjust ABC valves to isolate the spa and turn on VS pump and heater to the preset temperature
    2. Bubbles on- Turn on spa jet pump and blower (I think both of these can be wired to one relay?)
    3. Spa spill-over on- Adjust AB valves to suck from pool and return to spa, turn on VS pump (high speed?)
    4. Pressure cleaner on- Adjust C valve to direct return to cleaner, turn on VS pump (medium speed?)

    For schedule programing there would be just a few modes:
    1. Skim clean- Adjust ABC valves to set spa spillover on and turn on VS pump
    2. Pressure clean- Adjust C valve to direct flow to dedicated pressure port

    Can the SunTouch do all this or must I move up to the EasyTouch 4 pool and spa?

  8. Back To Top    #8
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: Budget automation Hayward OnCommand vs. Pentair SunTouch

    The SunTouch manual is not at all well written. If I am following correctly, it can do everything you mention. Once you understand it, and if you work within it's limitations, it works very well. Because you have an IntelliFlo and an IC40 there are significant advantages to sticking with Pentair automation.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    1,129

    Re: Budget automation Hayward OnCommand vs. Pentair SunTouch

    The biggest limitation I found with the suntouch was control of the valves. You can't control A and B separately - that is they both move when you want to switch from pool to spa. I agree with Jason you should be able to do what you've described. Remote 3 and schedule 1 would pool mode. Remote 4 and pressure 2 are one of the aux circuits Remote 1 is spa mode and remote 2 is an aux. You should be fine with both the jets and blower on one relay as long as they don't exceed it's capacity.

    I haven't looked at the remote closely but I thought the first two buttons were labeled pool and spa? No biggie if they are hard coded you'd just rearrange your list. They may determine for you which aux circuit to use for the blowers and cleaner too.

    The one limitation I see is that I don't think you can get it to set the system to pool/spill over and turn on the cleaner with one button.
    15,600 Gallon, 16' x 32' In-Ground Vinyl Pool
    Pentair VS 3050 pump, Quad DE 60 filter and SunTouch controller
    8 gallon Liquidator, Aquatherm EcoSun Solar Panels, 2 wheel ThePoolCleaner

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    1,129

    Re: Budget automation Hayward OnCommand vs. Pentair SunTouch

    Oh and - good luck and we're here to help! I would never have figured out how it's actually programmed without Jasons advice. That manual is seriously terrible.
    15,600 Gallon, 16' x 32' In-Ground Vinyl Pool
    Pentair VS 3050 pump, Quad DE 60 filter and SunTouch controller
    8 gallon Liquidator, Aquatherm EcoSun Solar Panels, 2 wheel ThePoolCleaner

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Alta Loma, CA
    Posts
    22

    Re: Budget automation Hayward OnCommand vs. Pentair SunTouch

    Thanks Jason and Carl! Going to take the "plunge" and order the suntouch from a1poolparts.com, they seem to have the best price. I'll report back when it's all installed.

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    1,129

    Re: Budget automation Hayward OnCommand vs. Pentair SunTouch

    15,600 Gallon, 16' x 32' In-Ground Vinyl Pool
    Pentair VS 3050 pump, Quad DE 60 filter and SunTouch controller
    8 gallon Liquidator, Aquatherm EcoSun Solar Panels, 2 wheel ThePoolCleaner

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    696

    Re: Budget automation Hayward OnCommand vs. Pentair SunTouch

    I had originally looked at the SunTouch as well, since it is WAY less expensive than either the EasyTouch or IntelliTouch. Plus, I've automated most of our backyard features and lighting (including the pool lighting) using Insteon. So, we didn't really need a full blown automation system. However, when you price in the cost of a SWCG (e.g. an IC60), the EasyTouch/IC60 combo prices out pretty close to a SunTouch plus IC60 purchased separately. So, I think we will go this way. In your case, you already have purchased an IC40, so that doesn't help much (unless you need to replace the cell).

    For our system, I'd like to automate to control spa vs. pool mode (two 3-way valves), water temp by control of NG heater, a 3-way valve for the cleaner vacuum line, and an IntelliFlo VS pump. At some point, I'd like to also add a solar heater, so an additional 3-way valve would be required. Also, we have a second WhisperFlo pump that I'd like to replace with a two-speed pump (or two-speed motor) that is plumbed to the waterfall. So, our system would require control over 4 3-way valves, control over an IntelliFlo, NG heater, solar etc. And I would like to be able to at some point link it up to our home automation system (which includes an ISY-99i), and the recent revelation that the EasyTouch will now support Pentair's automation software/hardware solution has convinced me that the EasyTouch/IC60 combo is the way to go.

    But, I'm still curious about Hayward stuff. They seem to have some features in units that price out a bit lower than Pentair. My main issue is that all of our current equipment is Pentair and it's worked very well over the years. We'll also be upgrading our SAm lights to IntelliBrites, so going with an all Pentair system (including the EasyTouch) makes the most sense.
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    1,129

    Re: Budget automation Hayward OnCommand vs. Pentair SunTouch

    You hit it on the head - staying with the product line works the best. It does seem to me too that the Hayward automation is better designed and easier to use but like you I was already going with pentair equipment so...
    15,600 Gallon, 16' x 32' In-Ground Vinyl Pool
    Pentair VS 3050 pump, Quad DE 60 filter and SunTouch controller
    8 gallon Liquidator, Aquatherm EcoSun Solar Panels, 2 wheel ThePoolCleaner

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Alta Loma, CA
    Posts
    22

    Re: Budget automation Hayward OnCommand vs. Pentair SunTouch

    It's alive! Thanks to everyone for helping me get my system update and running. The SunTouch is working well. There is one limitation I have found; Can't have multiple schedules with different flow rates for the spa to pool spillover. Other than that it works great with the QT4 remote and the 3 valves.

    Here is how I have setup the schedules, probably will need to play it with a bunch to dial it all in.
    Pool: 1AM-5PM- 1200 RPM
    Spa to Pool Spillover: 5PM-10PM- 2400 RPM
    Pressure Cleaner:11PM-1AM- 2700 RPM

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    1,129

    Re: Budget automation Hayward OnCommand vs. Pentair SunTouch

    Nice work! How hard was it to install (configure) the remote system?
    15,600 Gallon, 16' x 32' In-Ground Vinyl Pool
    Pentair VS 3050 pump, Quad DE 60 filter and SunTouch controller
    8 gallon Liquidator, Aquatherm EcoSun Solar Panels, 2 wheel ThePoolCleaner

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Alta Loma, CA
    Posts
    22

    Re: Budget automation Hayward OnCommand vs. Pentair SunTouch

    The remote programming was the easiest part. Getting everything else dialed in took a bit of playing around. Here are a few pictures of the SunTouch installed and the remote to show it's size.


  18. Back To Top    #18

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    1,129

    Re: Budget automation Hayward OnCommand vs. Pentair SunTouch

    Isn't there a receive module for the remote? Like an antenna assembly thing? Besides the remote (which is small!) I haven't seen any other consistent pictures of what comes with this kit.

    Can I ask where you bought the remote setup and your valve actuators?
    15,600 Gallon, 16' x 32' In-Ground Vinyl Pool
    Pentair VS 3050 pump, Quad DE 60 filter and SunTouch controller
    8 gallon Liquidator, Aquatherm EcoSun Solar Panels, 2 wheel ThePoolCleaner

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    1,129

    Re: Budget automation Hayward OnCommand vs. Pentair SunTouch

    I forgot to say nice install!
    15,600 Gallon, 16' x 32' In-Ground Vinyl Pool
    Pentair VS 3050 pump, Quad DE 60 filter and SunTouch controller
    8 gallon Liquidator, Aquatherm EcoSun Solar Panels, 2 wheel ThePoolCleaner

  20. Back To Top    #20

    In the Industry

    FloridaSolarPro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Fort Myers, FL
    Posts
    49

    Re: Budget automation Hayward OnCommand vs. Pentair SunTouch

    One clarification - The SunTouch can actually have FOUR relays, not three. The limitation is three high voltage relays. One relay spot is available in the low voltage compartment of the controller, and this can be used to do other [unsupported] things. We have successfully controlled a fourth actuator with the SunTouch to handle a pool/spa combo with solar and a fountain feature.
    Jason Szumlanski
    Vice President
    Fafco Solar

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •