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Thread: Suntouch Controller question

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    Suntouch Controller question

    I have just had a Suntouch + Intelliflo pump installed today.

    I am finding the set up and manual a little confusing.

    It looks like the guy who set it up set up two schedules Low (for the filter pump) and Aux 2 for the cleaner booster pump. He also set up 3 pump speeds Low (Solar not running), High (Solar running) and it looks like the Aux two is set to an (slightly) higher seed than high.

    Does all this make sense? He tells me although the Low is the only schedule set (apart from Aux 2) - if the solar runs (it is set to run on auto) the pump will switch to the high speed.

    The manual doesn't even mention schedules for Low or High - it mentions schedules for the Filter Pump - but I don't see this option in the menu.

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    Re: Suntouch Controller question

    It sounds like you're setup in single body mode. The low and high make more sense if you were using this for a hot tub. The low is the resting temp and the high is the heated temp. Both can be setup to use the solar under the heater option I think...things are weirder in single body mode. I'll check the manual in thr morning.

    So the setup is prob this: he didn't setup your high and is only using low since you have a pool. The three speeds sort of make sense except for the high one. I'm not setup in single body mode but I have a speed for solar...i think he may have set it up wrong if there is no solar speed configured but this could also be how it is in single body mode. Try seeing if there is a solar option in the speed settings if so you may need to switch it over. Did he demo the system to you with the solar working?

    Under the heater menu you should see that low is enabled for solar - this means that whenever a low schedule is running, if the panels are hot and you're not at your low temp then it will kick on the solar which means opening the valve and kicking up the motor to the speed programmed for solar. If there is no need to heat or no available heat then it runs the program with the speed configured for low.

    The aux2 program should overlap part of a low schedule so that when the booster kicks in the main pump is Already running and the booster will kick off before the main ends. The aux2 speed will over ride since it is higher than the low speed (higher speed always wins) The pump will return to the low speed when the aux2 program ends.

    The manual is terrible and the interface isn't any better but eventually it will make sense.
    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

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Suntouch Controller question

    The pump always runs at the highest speed that any of the currently active features calls for, so yes the pump will switch speeds appropriately.

    The setup really is confusing on that unit, however it works quite well once you have it setup correctly.
    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

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    Re: Suntouch Controller question

    OK - I may be starting to understand this.

    Carlscan - you are correct he did set the schedule using Low - Pump speeds are set Low (1000RPM), Solar (1500RPM), AUX2 (1700 RPM). These seem a little low - but I guess we'll see how works out. In the heating menu it is set up for solar.

    A couple of things I noticed this morning.

    1. The air and temp sensors seem to be reorting plausible values - however the solar sensor seem very low. It was reporting 24F ! when the air temp was 43F - yesterday evening it was reporting 37F when the air temp was in the 50's F. We are in the San Francisco bay area and it is a little colder than normal for now but it seems that solar temp is way off. Yesterday when the sun was shining and temp was in the 60s I noticed that the solar didn't seem to be running (pump was on low speed with solar off). It sounds like I need to adjust the solar temp - would a reasonable aproximation be to set the solar temp = air temp when there is no sun on the solar panels?

    2. AUX2 Circuit Function is set as 'cleaner' - reading the description 'solar' might be a better fit. the associated text says 'Works with an automated pool cleaner pump or cleaner valve actuator......'

    One thing that is for sure - whoever did the user interface and manual for the Suntouch won't be getting a job at Apple anytime soon.....It is a shame because it does seem like it has a lot of functionality and flexibility.

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    Re: Suntouch Controller question

    Leave the Aux2 setup as cleaner or generic - the manual text is wrong.

    I've seen funny solar temp readings too. Then an hour later it looks more realistic. There's a chart towards the back of the manual with the resistance values and their associated temp - try measuring that for the solar sensor; disconnected from the MB of course. Air temp may not correlate to roof temp very closely...the only way to be accurate is to go up and measure where the sensor is with a known accurate thermometer.
    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

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    Re: Suntouch Controller question

    Also I usually see the wacky readings for the solar sense only and only when it's colder ambient temps and over cast on the panels. If there is warm sun you'll see some pretty high temps much higher than ambient FYI
    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

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Suntouch Controller question

    The solar sensor might have been damp and the water evaporating might have been cooling it? Who knows.

    If the solar sensor continues reporting strange temperatures, check the cable and connections to make sure it is properly connected and there aren't any cuts or nicks in the cable.
    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

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    Re: Suntouch Controller question

    Jason, condensation and evaporation makes a lot of sense actually...

    I tested the resistances of all three of my sensors and I used an air thermometer, a water thermometer and a laser thermometer (for the solar sensor) for comparison and the resistances correlated closely enough that I never tweaked the settings in the controller. Yes, I am "that guy".
    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

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    Re: Suntouch Controller question

    A couple of more questions.

    1. I can't actually see the solar sensor - I know it is up by the panel because I can see the wire. I have an infra-red thermometer. If I measure the metal surround on the panels is that a good reading/reference? Note the panels are Sunearth EP40 panels http://sunearthinc.com/collectors/empire/ do metal surround/glass cover.

    2. How do I set a high mode I can turn on manually? I only see Low, AUX1, AUX2, etc in the manual on/off options.

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: Suntouch Controller question

    First question, I'd measure the panels themselves.

    Seco d question use aux1 as there is a button on the front panel for it that I believe still works in si gle body mode. Under the pump speeds setup a speed for aux1 if you leave it as a generic circuit then when you enable it only the motor will kick on or up if it's the faster speed compared to a currently running speed.
    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

    Re: Suntouch Controller question

    Thanks

    First question - the panels have a glass cover so I was thinking the metal surround may be more accurate.

    Second question- that is exactly what I ended up doing - it worked well

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    Re: Suntouch Controller question

    Two more questions.

    1. Can the Suntouch set a high speed for priming the panels at the start of solar operation and then drop back to a lower speed once solar is running

    2. It looks like the water temp sensor is tracking closer to the air temperature (but exactly) and therefore switching the solar off early. I would assume this might mean the sensor is not really in the water flow?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Suntouch Controller question

    1) No.
    2) When the pump is not running the water temperature will often drift towards the air temperature, but that shouldn't happen when the pump is running. You might have the sensors plugs swapped, or the water temperature sensor might not be mounted in a pipe the way it is supposed to be.
    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

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Re: Suntouch Controller question

    Quote Originally Posted by Vandergraff
    Two more questions.

    1. Can the Suntouch set a high speed for priming the panels at the start of solar operation and then drop back to a lower speed once solar is running

    2. It looks like the water temp sensor is tracking closer to the air temperature (but exactly) and therefore switching the solar off early. I would assume this might mean the sensor is not really in the water flow?
    Here's how to enable priming: under the pump menu - right arrow to select your pump right arrow again press up or down; there are three options: speeds, status and priming. Right arrow priming - first optin is time: set it for >0 and then up arrow and set the speed. However: you have to have your low (in your case) program running for solar to be able to kick in...I know for sure when the pump starts up from a stopped state it will engage the priming setup if it's enabled then switch to the programmed speed. I'm not sure it will kick in the priming if your changing speeds as in when solar kicks on. Im pretty sure it doesn't actually as I think about it more. Your solar speed should be high enough to purge the air and run the water without hearing noises once the initial air purge is complete. If you're hearing noises you need to up the speed not slow it down.
    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

    Re: Suntouch Controller question

    Yea I am pretty sure that just primes at the start of the low cycle (start of the day) - which doesn't really help.

    A little frustrating as my 7 Sunearth EP-40 Panels would be quite happy with low flow (their design flow rate /recommended flow rate is is 1 GPM - 2 GPM - so I would be fine with arround 15 GPM) - however it seems they need high flow to shut the valve on the top of the panels.

    See EP-40 measurements http://sunearthinc.com/wp-content/uploa ... -EP-40.pdf

    See EP-40 Spec sheet http://sunearthinc.com/wp-content/uploa ... Empire.pdf

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