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Thread: Automation & Equipment Upgrade

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    Automation & Equipment Upgrade

    My wife and I are just about to buy a new house with an old pool. The pool is ~15K with an attached spa. It appears that all of the equipment is original to the pool circa 2001 or so ... one pump is newer but still OLD.

    I have prior experience with Jandy equipment circa 2007. Based on my research to date all of my knowledge is COMPLETELY outdated and there doesn't seem to be a recent thread on automation equipment recommendations (yep ... I'm starting a religious war). My question is this - What automation platform would you recommend given the following:
    DIY install.
    Existing pumps will stay in place until I can afford to replace them with variable speed pumps.
    Existing heater will stay - may add a heat pump to extend the season at some point.

    immediate Desires:
    Access the system from iPhone or Web
    upgrade to LED lights

    Eventual desires
    Glacier Cooler
    ???
    Suggestions?


    No plans for salt water.

    I've looked at Jandy ithingy ... Hayworth ... Auetils ... There is a lot of information out there, I'm hoping a good ford / dodge / chevy conversation will ensue to narrow down my choices.
    TFP Moderator Chris V. ~16K Pool & Spa, 48NSF DE, IG Plaster Circa 2000, Intermatic PE653, Challenger pump with a 2 speed B2984, 20gal stenner chlorine injection, Houston, TX
    One cannot follow Islam and Christianity at the same time, nor can one follow pool store methods and TFP at the same time.
    Pool School -- Pool Math -- TF-Test Kit

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Automation & Equipment Upgrade

    It depends to a great extent on your budget. If you can afford it, I recommend Hayward ProLogic. They will easily do everything you are asking for and more.
    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: Automation & Equipment Upgrade

    Jason,
    Good looking gear ... but pricey. From the standpoint of cost / performance analysis is it worth the premium? Given that we are moving into a new house with LOTS of expenses I really want to put a system in that I can expand over time. It looks like I could do a base system with a wired control in the house and get 90% of what I'm looking for (then add the $500 gateway later - OUCH).

    Is there a more cost effective way? ... I'm more of a subaru guy than a ferrari guy ...
    TFP Moderator Chris V. ~16K Pool & Spa, 48NSF DE, IG Plaster Circa 2000, Intermatic PE653, Challenger pump with a 2 speed B2984, 20gal stenner chlorine injection, Houston, TX
    One cannot follow Islam and Christianity at the same time, nor can one follow pool store methods and TFP at the same time.
    Pool School -- Pool Math -- TF-Test Kit

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Automation & Equipment Upgrade

    There are many less expensive alternatives, but to one extent or another you give up future expandability and few (if any) of them include Internet access. The basic units will control pool, spa, heater and one to three options and that is it. To expand a basic system you pretty much need to replace it completely.

    If you are interested in getting a new SWG, the Hayward AquaPlus system is an great mid-range package, and it works with their Internet adapter. If you aren't looking for a SWG the price isn't nearly as attractive.

    If you are willing to give up on Internet control there are quite a few low and mid-range systems to choose from. But Internet access tends to restrict you to a high end system (or doing some of you own custom hardware/software).
    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: Automation & Equipment Upgrade

    Not interested in going SWG - if I can get into something dependable with a control panel inside (especially if I can write my own software for it later) I would be game if it is a big money saver. If we are talking 20-30% ... not interested. 50%+ interested...

    There are so may options is is easy to drown (no pun intended) in the details.

    From a non interent connected standpoint what would you look at?
    TFP Moderator Chris V. ~16K Pool & Spa, 48NSF DE, IG Plaster Circa 2000, Intermatic PE653, Challenger pump with a 2 speed B2984, 20gal stenner chlorine injection, Houston, TX
    One cannot follow Islam and Christianity at the same time, nor can one follow pool store methods and TFP at the same time.
    Pool School -- Pool Math -- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Automation & Equipment Upgrade

    How about a Pentair Easytouch system.
    Paul
    http://www.gastekservices.com A word of caution: When working with gas and electrical you might want to consider a licensed contractor. Consider the value of your life and others around you. If you would like to provide a review of the help I provided, please use the following link to leave a review. gastek - Google Search,

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    Re: Automation & Equipment Upgrade

    I have the Easytouch 4 system, it will do anything you want and is fully expandable added costs for new computer panel for even more extras.
    My base system was a little more than 1k but has the built in subpanel for breakers and included water temp and air temp probes plus freeze protection built in.
    I currently have my 2 speed pump, LED lights, SWCG, landscape lighting connected and 2 extra outdoor 110v outlets. It still has room for 5 more relays before I would need to expand. The system controls all I listed and is fully programmable. (not intuitive when trying to program, but does have memory if power fails)
    I can add a direct connect spa/pool side remote, a hard wired remote in the house or the wireless remote. It also has many other features that I'm still trying to figure out. Future plans for outdoor kitchen(power, lighting and theater system) will run through the Easytouch panel.

    All in all, I like the system so far but no experience to compare with other brands.
    Ron- Kansas. IG fiberglass, Riviera 30 Freeform 13600 gallons,
    EasyTouch 4 w/IC20 SWCG, Pentair Whisperflo 1hp, 2 speed 220 pump, Hayward ProGrid 4820 DE filter using Eco Klean instead of DE, 2 Savi Melody 12v 5 color LEDs, Raypack 266k btu millivolt heater, Arctic Armour Mesh custom safety cover (Total self Install) TF-100 test kit w/Magic stir.

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    Re: Automation & Equipment Upgrade

    I really like what I'm seeing on the EasyTouch system. ScreenLogic 2 looks like a method to get the functionality I want without major cash outlay out of the gate (or making decisions on home automation ahead of time). Great suggestions!

    Still trying to figure out the Hayward costs but Im'm going to start a contenders list with pros and cons:

    Brand / Model Get in Cost Fully configured
    Hayward: $XXXX $XXXX
    Pentair Easy touch: $1100 $XXXX
    TFP Moderator Chris V. ~16K Pool & Spa, 48NSF DE, IG Plaster Circa 2000, Intermatic PE653, Challenger pump with a 2 speed B2984, 20gal stenner chlorine injection, Houston, TX
    One cannot follow Islam and Christianity at the same time, nor can one follow pool store methods and TFP at the same time.
    Pool School -- Pool Math -- TF-Test Kit

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Automation & Equipment Upgrade

    Here is a good place to start for ProLogic pricing.

    There tend to be complaints about programming the Pentair systems. They have a "logic" all their own. If you understand their way of doing things they work great, but until you get "it" they can be extremely confusing.
    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: Automation & Equipment Upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    Here is a good place to start for ProLogic pricing.

    There tend to be complaints about programming the Pentair systems. They have a "logic" all their own. If you understand their way of doing things they work great, but until you get "it" they can be extremely confusing.
    No argument there! They are not intuitive at all, they are nice once you learn to be an engineer and programmer though
    Ron- Kansas. IG fiberglass, Riviera 30 Freeform 13600 gallons,
    EasyTouch 4 w/IC20 SWCG, Pentair Whisperflo 1hp, 2 speed 220 pump, Hayward ProGrid 4820 DE filter using Eco Klean instead of DE, 2 Savi Melody 12v 5 color LEDs, Raypack 266k btu millivolt heater, Arctic Armour Mesh custom safety cover (Total self Install) TF-100 test kit w/Magic stir.

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    Re: Automation & Equipment Upgrade

    Chuckle ... So since I am an engineer and a programmer does that make it a dead heat?
    TFP Moderator Chris V. ~16K Pool & Spa, 48NSF DE, IG Plaster Circa 2000, Intermatic PE653, Challenger pump with a 2 speed B2984, 20gal stenner chlorine injection, Houston, TX
    One cannot follow Islam and Christianity at the same time, nor can one follow pool store methods and TFP at the same time.
    Pool School -- Pool Math -- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Automation & Equipment Upgrade

    Well, likely the cheapest way to do this and have an open system with expandability would be to "roll your own" with an Arduino or Raspberry Pi. There are a few examples out there of just this approach. But, there are no standards in pool automation systems. Each supplier does their own thing, though most are based on some form of RS485 communications between the main unit, pumps, chlorinators, etc. You are describing a reasonably simple system without variable speed pumps or SWCGs. Given this, you really don't need any sort of "reverse engineering" to figure out how to talk to the equipment, just on/off commands, so an Arduino would probably work just fine. Since you can get an Ethernet or Wifi shield for this platform, it wouldn't be that difficult if you have some experience programming in C and hooking up basic electronics parts. To have a web-based interface (e.g. iPhone/Android control), some Java/PHP would help. I had considered doing this, but with a variable speed pump, I really didn't want to spend the time figuring out how to communicate with it. I also wanted a SWCG, so the Easytouch was a reasonable choice. I ended up going with an Autelis interface to handle the web control of the unit, though Screenlogic would also work (if I had an iPhone, which I don't).

    I too found the various choices for automation a bit daunting, as there are really quite a few different options, and none of the vendors make this easy (because they want these decisions made more by pool builders than homeowners). There are systems from Pentair, Jandy, Hayward and Intermatic that are mostly comparable, though each has specific advantages, especially given the equipment you have or plan to purchase down the road. If you are cool with investing the time to go the roll your own route, you ultimately have the greatest flexibility. But, this requires a significant time investment. The best advice I can give is to check out what is available from the vendors listed and download the manuals for these various systems. You can get an idea of what is possible. If none of this seems like what you want, go the Arduino route if you can justify the time.
    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: Automation & Equipment Upgrade

    CraigMW: You are speaking my language. The Arduino would be a neat project, but alas I have too many projects working already (though the thought of taking apart some pool valve actuators and reverse engineering the control boars (or replacing the boards with Arduino controllers) is very enticing.

    The Easytouch looks like a good starting point for me, I'll do some more investigating but at first blush that looks good.
    TFP Moderator Chris V. ~16K Pool & Spa, 48NSF DE, IG Plaster Circa 2000, Intermatic PE653, Challenger pump with a 2 speed B2984, 20gal stenner chlorine injection, Houston, TX
    One cannot follow Islam and Christianity at the same time, nor can one follow pool store methods and TFP at the same time.
    Pool School -- Pool Math -- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Automation & Equipment Upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by karmabiker
    CraigMW: You are speaking my language. The Arduino would be a neat project, but alas I have too many projects working already (though the thought of taking apart some pool valve actuators and reverse engineering the control boars (or replacing the boards with Arduino controllers) is very enticing.

    The Easytouch looks like a good starting point for me, I'll do some more investigating but at first blush that looks good.
    @karmabiker checkout this thread one of the guys in it is using a raspberrypi. He has already got some work done for his jandy system but if see choose another type of equipment it might give you at least a head start. Plus these guys are very helpful w/ the programming aspect. Everyone in here offered excellent advice as well.

    Jerry

    viewtopic.php?t=28409

    Pool Size: 20 x 40 Free Form Inground Plaster Pool w/ a shallow cove.
    Gallons : ~23K Jandy CL580 Cartridge Filter, Jandy e-pump 1.5HP
    Polaris 280 w/ Booster Pump, AqualinkRS PDA4 Remote, Aqua-Pure SWG
    Jandy LED Pool Lights (2), Heliocol 500 Sq. Ft solar rack system

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    Re: Automation & Equipment Upgrade

    @jkurl - WOW! I could have a ball with something like that.

    On another note ... the heater is a rheem p-m407a-en-c

    Does that change any opinions on automation and integration?
    TFP Moderator Chris V. ~16K Pool & Spa, 48NSF DE, IG Plaster Circa 2000, Intermatic PE653, Challenger pump with a 2 speed B2984, 20gal stenner chlorine injection, Houston, TX
    One cannot follow Islam and Christianity at the same time, nor can one follow pool store methods and TFP at the same time.
    Pool School -- Pool Math -- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Automation & Equipment Upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by karmabiker
    CraigMW: You are speaking my language. The Arduino would be a neat project, but alas I have too many projects working already (though the thought of taking apart some pool valve actuators and reverse engineering the control boars (or replacing the boards with Arduino controllers) is very enticing.

    The Easytouch looks like a good starting point for me, I'll do some more investigating but at first blush that looks good.
    That's kind of where I came down as well. I could certainly do this, but alas, too many other projects had priority. So, I purchased an EasyTouch 8 pool/spa controller. As I had run Cat5e lines from the house to the pool house/equipment pad, I also decided to set up a wired control panel in the house. Installation of the panel was quite straightforward, but it took time. The nice thing about the EasyTouch (and similar products in this price range) is the included breaker panel. This significantly simplifies all of the electrical connections.

    While I went with an EasyTouch with a SWCG included in the kit, you can purchase one without. Actually, if I were to do it over again, I might just opt for an Intellichem to dose chlorine and acid, since I've found that the trade-off to not adding liquid chlorine is that now I have to add liquid acid. I also like the idea of being able to monitor pH and ORP, neither of which is measured on the IntelliChlor units.

    I'd suggest just getting a base system now, and then you can upgrade remote controllers and a computer/smart phone interface down the road.

    As for the actuators, they are quite simple electrically. There are three wires, two signal wires and one common wire. Power to one signal wire causes the actuator to move all the way to one side, whereas power to the other one causes the opposite movement. The actuators have microswitches that detect when the actuator has reached one side or the other, and shuts off the motor. The Intermatic PE24VA actuator manual has a wiring schematic to show how it is done:

    http://www.intermatic.com/~/media/Inter ... E24VA.ashx

    With all of the automation out there now, it would sure be nice if they replaced the microswitches with a potentiometer so that these could operate as servo valves. This would allow one to specifically control the valve position instead of just having two positions.
    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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