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Thread: Automation

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Automation

    G'day TFP'ers!

    I have just become the owner of my first pool, so please be gentle

    The pool and all the equipment is quite old, the SWC is about 8 years old by the stamps on it.

    Basically it all works but as I replace failed parts I would like to do so with automation in mind, when I say automation I am talking about open-source linux monitoring specifically with things like the ninja block, so the sensors and actuators shouldn't use proprietary interfaces or overly complex encoding of the data.

    So the things that spring to mind:

    I was thinking it would be cool to be able to measure the flow speed of the water, this would perhaps tell me when the skimmer was full, or the sand filter needed a backwash, maybe even if the pump was broken, is there a way to add this, maybe plumb in a flow sensor that talks to an arduino and then back to the HA using a 433MHz radio, anyone done this, is it worthwhile?

    The circuit looks interesting: http://atlas-scientific.com/product_pag ... lo-30.html but the meters they have (rotoflow) don't look suitable.

    Measuring the efficiency of the SWC and maybe being able to adjust it?

    Temperature sensors would be good, what would be the optimal placement for those, is anyone aware of suitable 433Mhz probes?

    Switching the pump on/off is probably the easy one as I can get a 433Mhz power point that can be controlled by the HA controller.

    I don't have lights, heating or any valves, so I can't see anything to do there.

    It would be cool to have the sand filter automated, right now its just a bid black tub with a huge manual selector dial

    Thanks for your time.

    Richard
    In-ground pebblecrete, 16000 gallon, sand filter, salt chlorinator

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Automation

    Welcome to TFP!

    That is quite the project you are planning No one I know of has ever automated a sand filter.

    Flow rate sensors are fairly easy to find, though they do tend to be expensive compared to a mechanical sensor with a visual readout.

    The only simple thing to do with a SWG is to turn it on and off. I suppose that you could set the SWG at 100% and then use a relay to control the SWG run time yourself. That gives you almost as much control over the SWG as most automation systems have. The only missing feature is being able to read the current percentage setting, but those communication protocols are all proprietary as far as I know, and if you are controlling the percentage yourself it really doesn't matter.

    Remember that reliability tends to be an important criteria for pool automation. You don't want to come home from a weekend away only to find that the pool controller has done something terribly wrong (like left the system on backwash for hours, draining the pool). Radio links are certainly possible, but they do tend to lower reliability significantly. I would hard wire everything to a controller with the smarts internal, and only use a radio link to remote control panels because of the reliability issues.
    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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    Re: Automation

    Thanks JasonLion!

    Can you point me in the right direction with regards to a suitable flow rate sensor, my PVC pipes look to be about 1.5" in diameter, the pump is nothing flash maybe a 1hp?

    Cheers
    Richard
    In-ground pebblecrete, 16000 gallon, sand filter, salt chlorinator

  4. Back To Top    #4
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Automation

    Perhaps something like this one.
    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

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    Re: Automation

    Thanks JasonLion!

    I need to narrow down to the exact model to order, I would appreciate a little bit of guidance, I think JasonLion is correct and this one could be the one:

    http://www.bluwhite.com/Products/Electr ... r=FHXX20F1

    The two questions I have:

    The minimum and maximum flow I can ever expect to have, I have selected 4-40 GPM (15-150 LPM) because it seem reasonable for my 3/4HP pump, the other options are 6-60, 10-100 or 20-200 GPM?
    Also will I have any problems integrating the male NPT thread in to my existing 2" plastic piping, I guess I will have to cut the exact amount of return pipe out and use solvent to glue a 2" female NPT thread on both sides?

    Thanks again.

    Richard
    In-ground pebblecrete, 16000 gallon, sand filter, salt chlorinator

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Automation

    Also I can't quite figure out whether having both a Ph and an ORP sensor makes sense:

    http://www.eutechinst.com/techtips/tech-tips27.htm

    pH 7.2 - 7.6
    ORP > 700 mV

    I will mainly be doing this so that my system can inform me when I need to add pool acid and how much I need to add...
    In-ground pebblecrete, 16000 gallon, sand filter, salt chlorinator

  7. Back To Top    #7
    Mike_W's Avatar
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    Re: Automation

    Quote Originally Posted by rthorntn
    Also will I have any problems integrating the male NPT thread in to my existing 2" plastic piping, I guess I will have to cut the exact amount of return pipe out and use solvent to glue a 2" female NPT thread on both sides?
    I used the saddle mount to install my Blue-White flow meter. You drill a hole in an existing pipe and clamp it on. It's been on for two years with no leakage.

    http://www.bluwhite.com/Products/Ele...20fittings.pdf

    Mike
    ~17' x 34' IG pool with attached spa - 20500 gallons - Gunite with a "pebblesheen"-ish finish
    Jandy iAqualink with iPad and Jandy PDA remote - Pentair IntelliFlo VS 11018 Pump
    AquaRite SWCG - Pentair SMBW 4060 DE Filter - Really Old Raypak heater
    "Wall-E" an Arneson-Hayward Navigator - A couple of Jandy/Zodiac WaterColors LED Lights - Blue-White F-1000 Flow meter

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    Re: Automation

    Thanks Mike, I was going with the saddle mount until I found out that the flow range for it, 30-300 GPM was very high, the low flow inline versions slightly restrict the water flow, increasing the pressure, which allows the paddlewheel to function efficiently...
    In-ground pebblecrete, 16000 gallon, sand filter, salt chlorinator

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