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

Thread: Wiring question: upgrading to a SunTouch controller

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Wiring question: upgrading to a SunTouch controller

    Do I need a sub-panel to replace my mechanical timer? I have 220v 30A from my house panel coming into a Intermatic timer. From the timer I'm powering a pump, solar only control panel and heater.

    Current equip:
    mechanical timer (removed timing tabs, always on)
    Intelliflow VS pump (using on-pump control panel)
    Goldline solar controller with actuator (will be replaced by SunTouch)
    Gas (220v) Raypak heater

    Great site!

    John

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: Wiring question: upgrading to a SunTouch controller

    Welcome to TFP!

    Well, if you don't have any other equipment beyond what you mentioned you don't have to have a sub-panel. If you add anything more, beyond what you already mentioned, you will need more amps and a 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

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Wiring question: upgrading to a SunTouch controller

    Thanks for the quick response. Do you have any suggestions on the type of junction box/switch I should use to enable a line and load side - like my current timer? My heater requires this to avoid errors on "service" and "pressure switch".

  4. Back To Top    #4
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: Wiring question: upgrading to a SunTouch controller

    I take it you want the heater powered down when the pump isn't running. There are a couple of approaches. You could hard wire the pump to power, so it doesn't go through the timer, and then match the timer setting to the pump programming and run the heater from the timer. That is fairly simple, but not completely reliable. Or you can get an automation system, like the Sun Touch you mentioned, which can take care of it for you. Or you can get a current activated relay that senses when the pump is drawing lots of power and turns the heater on only at those times.
    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

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Wiring question: upgrading to a SunTouch controller

    Got it thanks! Yes, I have the SunTouch new in a box . Just looking at my wiring options. I think I will replace my timer with a junction box for a continuous connection to the SunTouch and my pump (pump has RS-485 cable to SunTouch). I'll connect the heater high voltage to the SunTouch with the supplied relay. I'm still not sure the best way to splice the wire coming from my panel (line side) to the pump and SunTouch box (load side). Not sure if wire nuts or some sort of terminal block .

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    696

    Re: Wiring question: upgrading to a SunTouch controller

    Actually, you could just use the timer box itself to serve as a J-box. Just remove the mechanical timer and hardwire the heater and pump. However, I think the better idea would be to use a sub-panel, and given what the loads are (the pump draws about 15A max at 220V, the heater is probably at most 3A and the SunTouch likely less than that), a 30A feeder should be sufficient. The important issue is that without a sub-panel, all wiring needs to be 10 gauge or thicker. The breakers are there to protect the wire, so if you are using anything less that 10 gauge everywhere connected on that 30A branch, you are asking for trouble and are out of code. Regardless of whether you use a j-box or a subpanel, be certain that your equipment ground is brought from the main breaker panel and separate from the neutral. So, the branch circuit from the main panel should have 4 wires, 120+ (black), 120- (red, e.g. both line wires), a white neutral and a green ground. Ground and neutral need to remain separate at the j-box or sub-panel. Somewhere in the circuit, there should be GFCI protection to the pump and heater, as they both come in contact with the pool water and a short circuit could lead to leakage of line voltage into the pool... not a good thing. So, in your current configuration, you need a 30A double pole GFCI breaker to feed the branch circuit. If you go the sub-panel route, you would need a 15 or 20A double pole GFCI to feed the pump and heater from the subpanel. Unfortunately, 2P GFCI breakers are expensive. I'm currently setting up a 60A sub-panel located at the equipment pad behind the pool house.

    If you decide to use a j-box, I'd suggest just going with wire nuts. The power for the pump and heater will simply come from the j-box as both the pump and heater power will come directly from the j-box, but the control, low voltage lines that control these will come out of the SunTouch. For the pump, this would be the 4 wire cable that came with the pump so that you can screw the cable into the IntelliTouch on one side and then wire up the other side via the RS485 terminal strip in the SunTouch. The heater circuit will require a 2-wire cable that screws into the SunTouch heater terminal strip and the terminals on the heater control board. So to clarify.... power to the pump and heater will come from the j-box (or sub-panel), and the control lines to these will come out of the SunTouch. In addition, the valve acuators will be wired directly into the SunTouch. From the sub-panel/j-box, another 120 or 240V line will power the SunTouch itself.

    BTW, this is how it would be done for a Pentair heater. I would imagine that the RayPak has a similar set of terminals on the controller board to turn it on/off remotely. If not, then yes, you would need a relay to turn power on and off for 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.

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Wiring question: upgrading to a SunTouch controller

    Thank you CraigMW, great information . Yes, I do have a GFCI in the circuit. Regarding the remote shutoff for the heater, the SunTouch install manual states: For older heaters without instructions for remote operation, connect the wires to the “Fireman’s Switch” connections in series with the thermostat, pressure switch, and other safety switches. I did find the Fireman's Switch on my controller diagram, I'm good here.

    The last thing I'm still not clear on is ... Would wiring the heater in the j-box be the same as its connection on the load side of my timer box? My heater manual states: NOTE: Input power to the heater (120/240V) should be supplied from the load (pump) side of of time clock or switch. Connecting heater to continuous power source will allow "Fail" indications (service and pressure switch) when pump is not operating.

    Hopefully I'll get it installed this weekend.

    John

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    696

    Re: Wiring question: upgrading to a SunTouch controller

    John:

    The heater instructions are basically telling you to wire up the heater to the switched side of the mechanical time clock along with the pump. The purpose of this is so that if the pump is shut off, so is the heater. This prevents any possibility of the heater heating water without flow, which could damage the heater and possibly cause a hazardous condition. However, most reasonably recent heaters have a high temp cutoff and a flow switch that should prevent this.

    Since you are replacing the mechanical timer with an electronic controller, the SunTouch will handle the coordination of the pump and heater (e.g. the heater will not come on unless the pump is on). So, you would just wire up the heater to the same circuit as the pump using wirenuts in the j-box. If everything is 220V, you don't need to run a neutral to the heater or pump, just the two line wires and the ground wires. If the Suntouch (and/or heater) requires 120V, wire one line wire to it, a neutral and a ground, otherwise it would be wired the same as the pump and heater. Again, all of this should be at least 10 gauge copper (e.g. THHN) via waterproof flexible conduit. The pump came with its own special cable and connector and this is to be wired to the COM port (J7) on the Suntouch. The heater will need 2 conductor low voltage wire to go from the heater's control panel (e.g. Fireman's switch) to the heater terminals (J12) in the SunTouch. Both low voltage wires, and the controller wires for the valve actuators, are to be routed through the low voltage exit at the bottom left side of the SunTouch panel.

    BTW, if the heater has a switch for separate spa and pool temps, flip the switch to the spa side and set the maximum temp. control to the highest you want it to run (e.g. 105F). This will allow the heater to be controlled by the SunTouch, but will prevent the heater from going over the set temp (e.g. due to pump failure, or communications issues in the SunTouch).
    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.

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: Wiring question: upgrading to a SunTouch controller

    Ok, got it wired up this weekend. Thanks!! Now I'm totally perplexed by the SunTouch programming . I consider myself fairly savvy on technology, but the light in my head just won't come on yet. I have a very basic system:

    Pool only, no spa (10K gal, skimmer suction only)
    Solar
    gas heater (connected to SunTouch via fireman's switch)
    Intelliflo VS pump with data cable
    Kreepy Krauler pool vac
    SunTouch with no relays

    I want to set it up so the pump runs the pool vac for a few hours in the am and then switches to a low RPM until I get one turn of my water. Solar and heat needs to come on when available and adjust pump RPMs. That's it!

    Should I start a new thread for this? I'll also search the forum a bit as well.

  10. Back To Top    #10
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: Wiring question: upgrading to a SunTouch controller

    I find that the key thing to understand is that the pump runs at the highest speed of any circuit that is currently on. You set the pump speed to your "low RPM" speed, then program each other circuit for an appropriate RPM for that item.
    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

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: Wiring question: upgrading to a SunTouch controller

    Set low speed where? The manual (pg 66) says to follow these steps for setting up for the 1st time:

    set system mode - pool/spa mode
    system date/time
    assign circuit function to a circuit name in the Pool/Spa mode - I did not set anything here
    valve actuators - valve C automatically assigned to solar, I did not set anything here
    intelliflo pump (optional equip) set up - I set up pump circuits and speeds
    heater options - solar preferred
    schedule on/off times for circuits - I don't see the pump circuits I set up here ????

    I called the Pentair help line and there's a 25 min + wait. I know why.

    Thanks.

  12. Back To Top    #12
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: Wiring question: upgrading to a SunTouch controller

    Pump speeds get setup on the Pumps menu. Once the pump is configured to INTELLIFLO, it will offer you four circuits, each with an associated speed. You setup the Pool circuit with the slowest speed you want. Then setup speeds for solar, heater, and presumably AUX1 for the cleaner. It will then automatically switch to the highest speed of all the currently "turned on" circuits.
    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

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: Wiring question: upgrading to a SunTouch controller

    Ok, thanks. I'll give that a try.

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: Wiring question: upgrading to a SunTouch controller

    I reset it to factory settings to start over.

    My settings:

    Pool/Spa mode
    Single Body (pool only)

    Schedules:
    AUX1 8AM-11AM (pool vac 2000rpm, unless the solar comes on)
    POOL 11AM-5PM (low speed 750rpm, unless the solar comes on)

    Pump circuits:
    POOL 750 RPM
    AUX1 2000 RPM (pool vac)
    SOLAR 2500 RPM
    HEAT 2500 RPM

    Heater is not wired to SunTouch yet.

    I think I'm starting to figure it out. Thank you!

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: Wiring question: upgrading to a SunTouch controller

    Ok, here's where I'm at as of today. The SunTouch is still not doing what I need: schedule the amount of time my SOLAR runs.

    Pool Equipment:
    Intelliflow VS
    Solar system with actuator
    SunTouch (no relays)
    Gas heater (not connected to SunTouch yet)

    My SunTouch settings:

    pool/spa mode
    single body of water

    PUMP
    Intelliflow VS
    LOW 750 rpm
    SOLAR 2350 rpm

    SCHEDULE
    8-5 LOW

    How it works now:
    Comes on at 8am and runs LOW pump speed. Solar starts (based on sensor temp) and pump goes to SOLAR speed. Works great.

    What I need:
    Ideally, I'd like to put the Solar on a schedule too (e.g. 12-4). In the Schedule menu, there's no option for Solar. I'm not running a relay for a separate solar pump.

    Is this possible?

  16. Back To Top    #16
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: Wiring question: upgrading to a SunTouch controller

    Quote Originally Posted by surfdog
    schedule the amount of time my SOLAR runs.
    I don't think it has a concept of limiting the solar run time when the pool is not up to temperature. As long as the water is cold and the panels are hot it wants to run the pump.
    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

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: Wiring question: upgrading to a SunTouch controller

    I think you've confirmed my theory. I may try to reduce my SOLAR mode rpm's (current 2350) as the pump may be running too fast. When I slow down the pump a lot (in SOLAR mode) I get large bubbles in the water outlets. Solar system relief valve not closing? Is this bad for the system? My panels are on my 2nd story roof - way up there!

    Thanks!!

  18. Back To Top    #18
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: Wiring question: upgrading to a SunTouch controller

    Yes, the bubbles are almost certainly caused by the vacuum relief valve opening. You want to keep the speed high enough that the relief valve stays closed. Running with the relief valve open won't damage anything, but it will waste a portion, most likely a large portion, of the heat available from the panels. When there is air in the panels, there isn't water, and so you are missing out on potential heating.
    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

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Wiring question: upgrading to a SunTouch controller

    Up and running! I connected the heater wiring (fireman's switch) this weekend. I set a pump speed, 2300 rpm, for HEATER in the pumps menu (12/14). As I only want to run the heater in a manual mode, I set Manual Heat: ON in the heat menu (2/14). All other heat settings are set for solar. I then turned my heater on and turned the knob to its highest heat setting. I pressed the HI-TEMP up arrow on my SunTouch panel, the heater comes on and the pump speed adjusts to my HEATER pump speed. It worked!! Turn the heater off by pressing the same HI-TEMP arrow again.

    With a bit of patience (and frustration ) and HUGE help from this site, I was able to install the SunTouch controller and program it . Thank you to everyone who helped me through it. Hopefully my write-up will help others as well.

    I think a heater replacement is in my near future. When I pulled the cover to run wires .... very rusted.

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    wisconsin
    Posts
    77

    Re: Wiring question: upgrading to a SunTouch controller

    thanks for the thread. my setup will be similar except no solar (for time being) i book marked this thread and will be referencing this in the future. thanks again!

Posting Permissions

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