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Thread: Autopilot Dig-220 ?

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    Autopilot Dig-220 ?

    PB will be done with pool next week and I have some question about my Autopilot. First I little info, I purchase my Autopilot from Aquasuper store. I ask my PB if he would install the unit he said he would. He installed the unit on Thursday. He called me later to let me know it took him two hours and would not be installing another Autopilot for anyone else. He wanted to install a seperate timer for my pump and not use the Autopilot to control the pump but I told him I want everything to be controled be the Autopilot. So I hope he hasn't screw the unit up. Now to the questions:
    1. I plan on setting up the pool chemistry before turning the SWCG on. I want to wait until the water warms up some before adding salt and turning the cell on. Can I use the Autopilot without using the cell? How is this done?

    2. What is the best way to program the Autopilot at start up?

    3. How do I know if the unit is working properly?

    This is my first pool and my first time using a SWCG. Any help on this would be a great help.

    I'll post some pics when the pool is done.
    41K L shape Vinyl IG, 2.0hp Jandy stealth pump, 300lb sand filter, Autopilot Dig-220 SC-60 cell, Dolphin Oasis Z5.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    That is curious. The AutoPilot Digital models are no more complex to install than any other SWG. The manifold/cell assembly does take up a little more space than some of the others, but that is hardly ever an issue. And I can't imagine any reason you would want to use a separate timer unless you have an automation system. I wonder what his problem with the unit actually was?

    Generally you should wait a month before adding salt if you have brand new plaster and otherwise you can start running a SWG almost right away. You do want to get the chemistry basically in balance and add salt before starting the SWG up.

    1) You can use the AutoPilot as a pump timer without putting in salt, but you can't use it to generate chlorine until there is salt in the water. Simply set the chlorine percentage to zero and setup the pump run times according to the manual.

    2) There are two main issues, pump run time and percentage. Both will probably require some experimentation. You set the percentage at some level, say 30% to start, wait a day or two, test the water, and adjust the percentage up or down based on the FC reading. Pump run time is similar, set it on the high side to start, see how the water looks and adjust down until you have a problem and then turn it back up.

    3) Mostly you just look at the display and see if the unit is reporting any problems. Other than that measure the FC level regularly and if it is out of range adjust the percentage, and if it stays out of range there might be a problem. Once a year or so you should visually inspect the cell to see if there is calcium buildup or debris.
    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

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Thanks for the info. I have read the instruction that came with the unit and plan on rereading them when I set the unit up.
    41K L shape Vinyl IG, 2.0hp Jandy stealth pump, 300lb sand filter, Autopilot Dig-220 SC-60 cell, Dolphin Oasis Z5.

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    In my opinion PB was trying to get some extra juice from you. Installation of any SWG shouldn't take more than half an hour by a person who never did it before. Most of this time would be spent reading the manual.

    The actual work is:5 mins to cut a pipe and glue the cell housing(manifold) in. 5 mins to make holes and put 2 screws in the wall. I can hardly see where the problem can occur.

    From my experience installing pools, it doesn't usually take more than an hour to do all the piping like filter, pump, SWG etc and that's doing it without a rush.

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    I think he was just upset that I didn't buy an aquaright from him. He told me he had a hard time wiring the unit up to run the Jandy 2 speed pump and that there wasn't enough room to work in side the unit. He didn't make any more money off me on the install.

    Is the Autopilot unit water proof? I didn't see anything in the instruction about this. My unit is on the back of my out building exposed to the weather. I plan on putting a roof over this area when the PB is finished.
    41K L shape Vinyl IG, 2.0hp Jandy stealth pump, 300lb sand filter, Autopilot Dig-220 SC-60 cell, Dolphin Oasis Z5.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    The AutoPilot control unit is designed for an outdoor install against a wall. It is better if you cover it but you don't have to.
    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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    Thanks for the info. I'm sure when I start the unit up I'll have more question.
    41K L shape Vinyl IG, 2.0hp Jandy stealth pump, 300lb sand filter, Autopilot Dig-220 SC-60 cell, Dolphin Oasis Z5.

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    Is the Autopilot unit water proof? I didn't see anything in the instruction about this. My unit is on the back of my out building exposed to the weather. I plan on putting a roof over this area when the PB is finished.
    Also, you want to make sure that water (i.e. from a garden water sprinkler) doesn't hit the bottom of the unit as it could cause damage.
    Josh Ulfers - josh@saltpoolguys.com - 888-725-8766
    SaltPoolGuys.com - AutoPilot Pool Pilot Systems, Parts & Cells - AquaCal Heat Pumps

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    Not to defend the pool builder in this situation, but from reading the Autopilot Digital manual, I suspect that the Autopilot Digital, installed as the timer for a 2 speed pump likely takes significantly longer than your average SWG to read and understand the installation instructions and operating manuals, perform the installation and get it fully programmed for the size of the pool and the pump timers, especially if it not a brand that the installer has worked with before.

    My pool builder uses nothing but Autopilot Digital, and nothing but two speed pumps, but he still uses an external timer for nearly all installations. I rember asking him why, I remember him giving me a good answer, but I don't remember whether it was a functional decision, a perception of reliability, or just personal preference. I do remember being satisfied with his answer

    I suspect you were just on the recieving end of some frustration related to scheduling 30 minutes for a job that ended up taking 2 hours
    Chris W

    My Pool: 14K gal IG, Pebblesheen, Pentair 420 Cart Filter, Autopilot Digital SWCG, Paramount PV3 In-floor cleaning. UltraPure Ozone
    My Spa: 2007 Down East Windsor SE, Spa-Pilot SWCG :)
    My Kit: PS-234 w/salt test, Refills from Taylor and TFkits

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    I spoke to my PB yesterday about this he said that the problem was the amount of room inside the unit. He said that you have a small area to work all the wires in.
    41K L shape Vinyl IG, 2.0hp Jandy stealth pump, 300lb sand filter, Autopilot Dig-220 SC-60 cell, Dolphin Oasis Z5.

  11. Back To Top    #11
    DaveNJ's Avatar
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    Mine controls a two speed pump and is wired to an external timer. If you don't install an external timer the pump will run
    24/7. The DIG-220 dosen't turn off both lines to the pump. It just switchs between the two, so you can select either high or low speed. Not both off.
    IG 18x36 oval vinyl, Spill over spa, Northstar 2hp-2spd, 2.5" piping, S310T 500lb Sand filter, 400k gas heater, AutoPilot SWCG
    http://www.tftestkits.net/

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Doesn't AutoPilot have internal timer to switch both pump outputs and the chlorine production off?

  13. Back To Top    #13
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    The AutoPilot Digital only has one pump relay. When you have a two speed pump there are two different ways you can wire it. Either the AutoPilot turns the pump on and off and there is a manual switch to change speed, or the AutoPilot switches between high and low speed and there is a manual switch to turn the pump 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

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    My PB brought this up but at the time I didn't understand what he was telling me. He said that the pump would run all the time either on high or low speed. So I have a few questions about this.

    1. Is it good for the pump to run 24/7 either on high or low? What kind of problems can this cause?

    2. Is it better to wire in an external timer to set up a time for the pump to run and a time for the pump to be off? How do you go about wiring the timer in so that it works properly? Will you still be able to utilize all the main functions of the unit?

    In the instructions Pump Program 1: allows you to program the pump on/off cycle through the on-board program.
    *Only applicable with Pump Config. (4.6) selection of One-Speed or Two-Speed pump.

    It reads like the time would turn the pump on and off at programmed times, but the wiring instructions say that the pump is always powered meaning the pump is running 24/7.

    Please feel free to explain this because it is a little confusing to me at this point. This will be my first experience with a SWC.
    41K L shape Vinyl IG, 2.0hp Jandy stealth pump, 300lb sand filter, Autopilot Dig-220 SC-60 cell, Dolphin Oasis Z5.

  15. Back To Top    #15
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    There are two different ways the pump could be wired. For some reason your builder installed it so the pump is always running. There is another way to wire it that would allow the AutoPilot to control the pump run time but not the speed.

    The pump is fine running on low speed 24/7. Running 24/7 on low speed is probably more circulation than the pool really needs but it won't be way too much. More of an issue is that the way things are currently wired the AutoPilot needs the pump to be on high speed in order to generate chlorine. Several hours on high speed combined with the rest of the time on low speed is surely more circulation than you need and thus is presumably wasting electricity.

    The issue that decides which way it should be wired is the flow rate on low speed. If low speed doesn't produce enough flow for the AutoPilot then you need to have it wired the way it is now. It is difficult to guess flow rates because they depends on a great number of factors. Given that you have a 2 HP pump, fairly large, I suspect that there will still be plenty of flow for the AutoPilot even on low speed but the only way to be sure is to try it (which isn't simple given the way it is wired right now).

    If you have enough flow on low speed to keep the AutoPilot happy you would be much better off rewiring things to give you a manual speed switch. Then you could leave it on low speed most of the time and use the AutoPilot to control when the pump is running. High speed is only rarely required unless you have a spa or waterfall or something similar.
    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

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    I was kinda disappointed with the two speed pump control options for the Autopilot as well, but in the end I did not buy it to control my pump. So I use an external timer also and the Autopilot just turns on when my pump is on low. Works like a charm.

    My self install took ~3 hours for me to do, but I had to do a lot of re-plumbing to get the larger manifold to fit, and I've never installed a SWG before.
    15,500 gal, inground gunite pool with 7 ft spa, 2 speed pump 2hp/.33hp, 3/4 hp booster pump, Intermatic P1353 timer, AutoPilot SC-48, Sand filter with ZeoBest, Heater, that I never use . . .

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