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Thread: Suntouch Controller Questions....

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    leibin's Avatar
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    Suntouch Controller Questions....

    Good Morning!

    I was just about to click 'buy now!' on a Suntouch controller, single body of water system. Then I read the installation manual, which seems to be lacking somewhat.

    My question; Will this controller run
    1) Intelliflo VS - relay
    2) Solar Heating system - just an actuator...
    2) SWG (compupool) - relay
    3) Pool Light - relay or is there a separate connector?
    4) Fiber lighting - relay
    5) 120v out to landscape lighting panel - relay

    My guess is no...I only have 3 relays. I suppose I could connect the SWG to the same output as the pump - that's basically how it is now. That leaves two relays. That would control the lighting, other than the 120 out to the landscape lighting.

    Also, are the relays wired up so that you can run either 120v or 240v on each one?

    Is there another controller option that is not too much more than the Suntouch? Looking at $350 delivered for that system now.....I don't have the pump yet either, so another complete system is ok....although, It appears that I can pickup the VS-3050 for several hundred less than an ecostar....

    Thanks!
    12k IG Pool / Spa - plaster
    Jandy ePump 2.0 & Hayward Power Flo II (for rock waterfall)
    Pentair CCP320 Cartridge Filter
    iAqualink RS controls & Aquapure PLC1400 SWG
    Pentair Minimax NT 400k btu heater & 6-4x12 Fafco Panels

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    Re: Suntouch Controller Questions....

    The VS doesn't go on a relay. It just gets a control wire. I would connect the SWG to the same power source and depend on the flow switch to turn on the cell.

    The Sun Touch's pump relay is dedicated to pump use even though you won't need it as such. That is one of the 3 relays. You have two left. The fiber and pool light, if separate will use them. The landscapes can be put on a dusk activated timer that turns off after X hours or at dawn.

    Solar is an actuator and temp sensor.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    leibin's Avatar
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    Re: Suntouch Controller Questions....

    Thanks PoolguyNJ! So, how to I get power to the pump? It seems like it would have to run from a breaker or something if not from a relay. Currently, it runs from the timer in my completely manual power center. I have the same question for the landscape lighting....can I just pull 120V from somewhere in the Suntouch to the control panel for the lighting (the control panel is already in place)?

    My current setup is a power center with a breaker for the pump, and another for all lighting. The pool light and fiber light have their own on/off switch, as does the pump (to bypass the timer). The power for the landscape lighting runs off of the same breaker as the other lights, but there is no switch, that switch is located in its own control panel.

    Am I assuming that I can use the Suntouch as my 'power center' when in fact, I can't?

    Picture attached.....
    Attached Images Attached Images
    12k IG Pool / Spa - plaster
    Jandy ePump 2.0 & Hayward Power Flo II (for rock waterfall)
    Pentair CCP320 Cartridge Filter
    iAqualink RS controls & Aquapure PLC1400 SWG
    Pentair Minimax NT 400k btu heater & 6-4x12 Fafco Panels

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    Re: Suntouch Controller Questions....

    Quote Originally Posted by leibin
    Thanks PoolguyNJ! So, how to I get power to the pump? It seems like it would have to run from a breaker or something if not from a relay. Currently, it runs from the timer in my completely manual power center. I have the same question for the landscape lighting....can I just pull 120V from somewhere in the Suntouch to the control panel for the lighting (the control panel is already in place)?

    My current setup is a power center with a breaker for the pump, and another for all lighting. The pool light and fiber light have their own on/off switch, as does the pump (to bypass the timer). The power for the landscape lighting runs off of the same breaker as the other lights, but there is no switch, that switch is located in its own control panel.

    Am I assuming that I can use the Suntouch as my 'power center' when in fact, I can't?

    Picture attached.....
    leibin;


    What did you end up doing? I'm looking into the Suntouch myself.


    Kevin
    16x32 Concrete IG
    Equipment: Carvin 525sf Cartridge Filter, Jandy Gas Heater, Vortex Solar Panels w/solar valve, 1hp Hayward Pump with 3/4 HP AO Smith 2 Speed Replacement Motor, Aquarite Saltwater Cell, Polaris 280 Dolphin Active 20 Robot
    Automation: Hayward Prologic Controller

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    Re: Suntouch Controller Questions....

    The SunTouch does not include anywhere to mount circuit breakers. You will need a separate sub-panel for that.

    The VS pump should be wired directly to it's circuit breaker. The SunTouch will turn it on and off via the data 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 Questions....

    Or you could just leave the existing load center in place, and disconnect the switches.
    20X40 30,000 gallon gunite pool

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    Re: Suntouch Controller Questions....

    Yeah, you could just use the existing load center as your panel. You would want to shut the panel down at the mean breaker, pull out those switches if you don't need them and install Decora blanks. Your pump would use the same 220V breaker (though this really should be of the 20A GFCI variety), just run the load wires directly from the breaker to the pump. The pump is currently tied into the Intermatic timer. You simply remove all the wires going to the timer, and instead, run the pump wires directly to the breaker. There appear to be some extra breakers in there, probably of the 15A variety. These are likely for pool and utility lighting. You could power the SunTouch and the SWCG off of those breakers. Make sure the pool lighting transformer and the SWCG are run off GFCI protected circuits. I'm not sure about your SWCG, but the SunTouch can be wired for either 220V or 120V. It might be cheaper to go with the 120V, as 120V (1P) GFCI breakers are much cheaper than 2P 220V GFCI breakers.

    If any of this is not clear to you, it would be best (and likely cheapest) to hire an electrician to re-wire all of this. Given that panel is probably over 15 years old, it is absolutely necessary to ensure all circuits near the pool be GFCI protected, including the pump's 220V circuit. The pump, heater/heat pump, SunTouch and SWCG should all be connected to the bonding grid via bonding lugs on each. This is different than the equipment grounding wire that of course, should also be present. This is all pretty much needed to ensure equipment failure doesn't fry someone in the pool.
    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.

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    Re: Suntouch Controller Questions....

    Quote Originally Posted by CraigMW
    ..... Make sure the pool lighting transformer and the SWCG are run off GFCI protected circuits. I'm not sure about your SWCG, but the SunTouch can be wired for either 220V or 120V. It might be cheaper to go with the 120V, as 120V (1P) GFCI breakers are much cheaper than 2P 220V GFCI breakers.

    ......it is absolutely necessary to ensure all circuits near the pool be GFCI protected, including the pump's 220V circuit.
    Craig,


    Which one of these is the correct method for integrating GFCIs and the SunTouch;

    - Main House Panel > Subpanel with 1 Main GFCI > Suntouch > regular breakers to each device (pump, swcg, light, booster pump)
    - Main House Panel > Suntouch > Subpanel with 1 GFCI for each device
    - Main House Panel > Suntouch > Subpanel with 1 GFCI for Pump & Heater & SWCG, 1 GFCI for booster pump, 1 GFCI for pool light [I grouped the pump/heater/swcg so their all powered at the same time]

    TIA,
    Kevin
    16x32 Concrete IG
    Equipment: Carvin 525sf Cartridge Filter, Jandy Gas Heater, Vortex Solar Panels w/solar valve, 1hp Hayward Pump with 3/4 HP AO Smith 2 Speed Replacement Motor, Aquarite Saltwater Cell, Polaris 280 Dolphin Active 20 Robot
    Automation: Hayward Prologic Controller

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    Re: Suntouch Controller Questions....

    You normally have the main panel with one breaker going to a sub-panel with one GFCI for each major device, most of which then run through the SunTouch to get turned on and off before continuing out to the individual devices. Think of the SunTouch as the "light switch" that turns things on and off.
    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 Questions....

    I agree with Jason. The advantage of having separate GFCI breakers for each piece of equipment is that you will know immediately which unit is having a ground fault. According to the NEC, the pump(s) and lighting need their own GFCI protection anyway. But, I think you could tie the filter pump, heater and possibly the SWCG on the same circuit as long as they are all 220V. I wouldn't suggest the use of a single GFCI though. You may require a couple of conduits to connect the Suntouch to the old panel, one to carry power to the Suntouch, and another to carry to power for the booster pump. The booster pump line wires will then be fed to one of the relays for this purpose, and then the switched load wires go to the booster pump. The IntelliFlo is wired into 220V at the sub-panel, but its comm. wire enters the low-volatage side of the Suntouch and is connected to the RS485 terminals (as described in the manual). Since you also want the Suntouch to switch the pool light(s), you will also need to run that GFCI-protected circuit into the Suntouch, as it will also require a relay to switch on and off.

    Does this all make 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.

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    Re: Suntouch Controller Questions....

    Thanks craig/jason. My pumps are wired for 220 now, but going to go to 110 as the gfci breakers for 220 are 2x the price. Does this change your mind on putting the pump, swcg and heater on the same gfci breaker? I know the suntouch is supposed to only switch on the heater when the pump is on, but if their wired together then there's no chance of error. Also, the I don't know if I can tell the suntouch to make the swcg dependant on the main pump.

    When you said "I wouldn't suggest the use of a single GFCI though." did you mean for everything or just those 3 devices?

    So, what your suggesting is putting the suntouch between the subpanel and the devices. Any reason why I couldn't put the subpanel AFTER the suntouch, EX: Main House Panel > Suntouch > Subpanel > Devices ?
    16x32 Concrete IG
    Equipment: Carvin 525sf Cartridge Filter, Jandy Gas Heater, Vortex Solar Panels w/solar valve, 1hp Hayward Pump with 3/4 HP AO Smith 2 Speed Replacement Motor, Aquarite Saltwater Cell, Polaris 280 Dolphin Active 20 Robot
    Automation: Hayward Prologic Controller

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    Re: Suntouch Controller Questions....

    Kevin:

    The line coming from the main house panel should go to the sub-panel, as it does now. The SunTouch is an accessory and should have a breaker to protect its wiring. As long as your pump, heater and SWCG can all be wired as 120V, then no problem. You can still gang them off a single breaker. However, you will basically be doubling the current draw. You will need to take this into account when sizing the breaker and the wires to each piece of equipment. For example, if the total current draw was significantly below 15A (say around 10) at 220V, your amp draw would now be approaching 20A at 120V. This would mean you would need to protect the circuit with a 30A GFCI 120V breaker, and you would need to use 10ga copper wire (black = load, white = neutral, green = ground) for each load on that circuit. I would not recommend clamping each wire into the GFCI's load terminal, but rather, to pigtail those together with a wire nut inside the breaker box. This is obviously not as clean as wiring with separate breakers, but since they share function (e.g. pump must be on for the other two to work), it is acceptable. It would probably be best to try to balance the load on the two 120V legs as much as possible. I would suggest running the booster pump off the other leg if you plan to run it at 120V. This will balance the load and minimize amp draw on the leg connected to the main pump, etc.

    When I mentioned avoiding a single GFCI, I meant that it would be possible to use a single GFCI to feed the panel from the main panel, but not advisable. If you get a ground fault, you would have to determine which device caused it.
    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.

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    Re: Suntouch Controller Questions....

    The sub panel must be the first thing power runs to after it comes outside, then through the breakers, then through the sun touch.

    If you do switch from 220 to 110 on the pump you will be drawing twice as many amps, which may well not work with your existing wiring (depending on what size wire was run from the main breaker to the sub-panel.
    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 Questions....

    Excellent feedback. By the way this (below) is what I'm updating. Irks me everytime I look at it. Whenever I work with electricity or electronics for some reason I get super ocd about keeping things neat and orderly.

    The two intermatic timer boxes will go away. I'll situate the subpanel/swcg/and suntouch so its layed out better. I'll put the landscape lighting timer somewhere better too.

    While I'm at it I'm going to probably update the old conduit/switches/switches. I don't mind updating the pumps' wiring either since you mentioned it Jason.

    The Suntouch was ordered today. Took me a few days and a few calls to Pentair to make sense out of the packages.

    I'll spend some time before I get it looking at other peoples layouts to see a nice way to organize everything.
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    16x32 Concrete IG
    Equipment: Carvin 525sf Cartridge Filter, Jandy Gas Heater, Vortex Solar Panels w/solar valve, 1hp Hayward Pump with 3/4 HP AO Smith 2 Speed Replacement Motor, Aquarite Saltwater Cell, Polaris 280 Dolphin Active 20 Robot
    Automation: Hayward Prologic Controller

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    Re: Suntouch Controller Questions....

    Jason is correct about the increased current draw across the wires going into that Square D panel. If they are 12ga or smaller, you are going to have trouble using 120V to power your pump, etc. 12ga can handle 220V at a max. of 20A. That would probably be okay for a 1.5 hp pump at 120V, but not much more. Hopefully, you have at least 10ga cable feeding the subpanel, which would allow for 220V at 30A. What is the rating of the 220V breaker in the house panel for that circuit?
    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.

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    Re: Suntouch Controller Questions....

    The breaker in the house is twin 20's (40 total). That's shared with the furnace though which has a high efficiancy variable speed motor, so I'm not worried about the pull from that.

    Each 110v leg to the pool subpanel is 12ga. There's 2 legs or 220v total. Currently wiring to the pumps is 14ga. To go to 120v I'll upgrade those to 12ga. Main pump is 1hp and booster is 3/4hp. Both are on 15amp breakers now...those will be upgraded to 20amp GFCI. What's interesting is I took the breaker off for the 3/4 booster pump to see the format (so I get the correct GFCIs) and there was some arching going on at the contacts (white dust, black burn marks on the metal tabs that contact the bar). Reading the manuals, the booster pump calls for a 20amp breaker so guessing thats the issue. Wondering why the booster pump has this issue and the higher HP main pump doesn't.
    16x32 Concrete IG
    Equipment: Carvin 525sf Cartridge Filter, Jandy Gas Heater, Vortex Solar Panels w/solar valve, 1hp Hayward Pump with 3/4 HP AO Smith 2 Speed Replacement Motor, Aquarite Saltwater Cell, Polaris 280 Dolphin Active 20 Robot
    Automation: Hayward Prologic Controller

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    Re: Suntouch Controller Questions....

    So, as 1HP is roughly 750W (6.8A into 120V), your pump current draw is probably around 7.7-8A as it is not 100% efficient. You can double-check this on the name plate on top of the pump motor. Your SWCG is probably around 2A at 120V, and the heater at another 2A at 120V. So, your total load on the breaker would be around 12-15A, which would be acceptable for a 20A breaker (you try to keep the total load below 75% of the current capacity of the wires, IIRC). Then, you can run a separate 20A breaker to connect up the SunTouch and booster pump. I kind of like having a separate GFCI for the pool lighting and you need a GFCI protected receptacle. So, I'd put an extra 15A non-GFCI breaker, and run this to an in-line GFCI and switch for the pool light circuit, and run a 15A GFCI protected outlet near the pool pad that you can plug your landscape lighting into. All wiring on the 20A circuits must be done with 12ga copper in THHN or THHW (no romex in conduit). Also, make sure that the GFCI breaker pigtail is wired to the neutral bus and that the neutral to each circuit connects to the neutral terminal on the GFCI breaker itself.

    With regard to the booster pump, I don't understand why you would be getting arcing. It's possible that a) the breaker was not seated properly, and/or b) that pump has a large startup current. Some AC motors will pull a huge amount of current on startup, esp. if they don't have a start capacitor. Again, make sure that a 20A breaker is sufficient for a 120V supply. You might also want to clean up any oxidation on the sup-panel's buses using some sandpaper. Make sure the sub-panel has a separate ground bar that is not bonded to the neutral bar. If not, you can pick one up at a local hardware store. Grounds should not be mixed with neutrals at a sub-panel, even if attached to the main structure.
    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.

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    Re: Suntouch Controller Questions....

    Even a small in ground 1 HP pump is rated 11 amps and a larger 1 HP pump can be rated 15 amps or more. Nameplate HP doesn't really tell you what size the pump is. It is common for a typical 1 HP pump to draw 1200 watts when running, though a few of them can hit 2000 watts.
    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 Questions....

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    Even a small in ground 1 HP pump is rated 11 amps and a larger 1 HP pump can be rated 15 amps or more. Nameplate HP doesn't really tell you what size the pump is. It is common for a typical 1 HP pump to draw 1200 watts when running, though a few of them can hit 2000 watts.
    Jason, I agree. But the nameplate should tell you what the amp draw is and thus how the pump should be wired.


    Kevin, what is the amp draw of each of the units you want to wire up when run on a 120V circuit?
    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.

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    Re: Suntouch Controller Questions....

    The booster pump is 12.8/6.4 (120/240)...label says SF, not sure what this stands for.
    Main pump is 15/7.5 (120/240).....label says max load, so I guess that peak at startup.

    To confirm these I'll clamp an amp meter around each leg to see what the pump is pulling.

    Craig I think it was arcing due to being loose....I could tell when I pulled the breaker out.

    I'm going to change out my 300w light with a ~70w LED this season so that will lighten the load on the circuit.

    BTW, whoever did the equipment before "bonded" the pumps, then tied them into the ground in the subpanel. There's no connection to the pool via wire. Pools about 30y.o. so maybe it was never done.

    Just got my tracking number, my Suntouch will be here tommorrow (friday)! Yahoo!
    16x32 Concrete IG
    Equipment: Carvin 525sf Cartridge Filter, Jandy Gas Heater, Vortex Solar Panels w/solar valve, 1hp Hayward Pump with 3/4 HP AO Smith 2 Speed Replacement Motor, Aquarite Saltwater Cell, Polaris 280 Dolphin Active 20 Robot
    Automation: Hayward Prologic Controller

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