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Thread: Questions on AutoPilot Pool Pilot for IG pool...

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    Questions on AutoPilot Pool Pilot for IG pool...

    Pool stats- 12k in-ground gunite, 3 months old; used trichlor until CYA hit 60 then switched to BBB (a few days ago); SunTouch automation; 4x160 pump; separate booster for Legend cleaner. Pool pump programmed for 3 different speeds as follows:

    1- pool filtration/ circulation
    2- higher speed to supplement booster for cleaning cycle
    3- highest speed for running water features (grotto, waterfall, bubbler & slide)

    I'm interested in the Pool Pilot. I've read extensively through this forum and have read the installation guide off of the AutoPilot web site but am still a little confused:

    - The guide describes hooking up the Pool Pilot for single speed or two speed pump operation, but is there a way for me to hook it up with my particular setup? I've read where others have done so, but not with the exact setup I have. My SunTouch is maxed out and I'm not looking to run the SWG through it, the SWG would be controlled manually. I can't figure out how (or if) it works with 3 pump speeds though. Going into this I figured it didn't matter what the pump speed was since there is a bypass preventing the pressure through the cell from exceeding 20 gpm, but after reading through threads here I'm more confused about it

    - Assuming it will work with the above setup, would the Total Control as well? I'm not sure I'd go this route, but I'm thinking about it for PH control. If it works I might get the appopriate controller now and get the acid pump later.

    - How big is the acid pump and acid container?

    - How much of an existing horizontal pipe run do I need to cut and patch in the Pool Pilot manifold?

    Thanks very much!
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    There are several ways to set things up depending on your situation. The manual doesn't really go through all the options. In this case you have the SunTouch controlling the pump, so there is no need to have the Pool Pilot control the pump. Ideally you can set things up so that the Pool Pilot is only turned on when the pump is running, probably powered by the pump relay in the SunTouch. The Total Control could work in exactly the same way.

    The manifold needs 13" of clear 2" pipe, more for 1 1/2" to allow for the adapters. The acid tank/pump is about 20" in diameter and 25" tall.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Jason, thanks for the reply! I'll look when I get home this evening, but I'm pretty sure there is no pump relay involved. I think the pump is connected directly to its circuit for power and a low voltage wire runs from the pump to the SunTouch to control the speeds. I'll verify that this evening.
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    An IntelliFlo doesn't need to be connected to the pump relay, but there is a pump relay in the SunTouch. In a normal setup the pump relay will be turned on any time the pump is running, even if the IntelliFlo isn't actually wired to it.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    I checked yesterday after work and there is indeed a relay installed. I'm a little confused as to how it works because both the main pump and the cleaner booster pump were tied into the same relay (but on different lugs). Since they both don't run together all the time I guess it's not a simple on/ off relay. I took a picture of the relay but didn't get a chance to upload it last night, I'll post it today after work.
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    You are right it is confusing. I just installed an Easy Touch which I would assume is very similar to yours. I put the intelliflo on the first relay and attached the dc relay leads to the button marked pump. I believe in the software that is the default location.

    Is your booster pump 110 vac and is it controlled via a cable similar to the Intelliflo?. If it does not have a interface cable to be controlled via software such as the Intelliflo, I would think it would have to be on the next relay. With regards to the Pool Pilot I just put the load leeds under the Intelliflo relay leads and it is activated whenever the Intelliflo is. So far it is working just fine.

    Jason you may very well be right and attach the Intelliflo load leeds directly to the double pole breaker. The interface control cable I suppose could do it all without using a relay. I was not sure and did not have a space problem so I used a relay. As I think about that how would you manually start the pump without a relay? I can see if it was programmed, but if you wanted to use say the Egg Timer feature would that not require a relay? Sheesh so much I do not understand about the controller software.
    30,000 gal Pebble Tec, Intellifo 4X160, Pentair 80 DE Quad, Pool Pilot SWG, Easy Touch Controls

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    The IntelliFlo can be hooked up directly to the breaker or to the pump relay. Either way will work. The data cable can tell the IntelliFlo to turn off, wiring it to the relay is making double sure it really turns off.

    TresW, I suspect that the IntelliFlo is wired to the supply/AC power side of the pump relay and the booster pump is wired to the load/output side of the relay. I don't think that the pump relay has to control a pump, that is simply the default. If all of your relays are already in use you may need to wire the AutoPilot directly to the supply, skip the electrical interlock and depend on the flow switch to turn the Auto Pilot off when the pump is off.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    I'll take my load tester and see if the Intelliflo leads are hot all the time or if the relay is turning the pump on/ off. I think you're right though, the main pump leads are likely hot all the time and the relay is just functioning to turn the booster on and off. Now that you describe it that way, what I saw makes more sense (red wire off the booster was tied to a lug on the left of the relay, red wire off the main pump was lugged with the red wire from the breaker on the right side of the relay).

    I like the AutoPilot, but I'm starting to lean towards the Intellichlor because it can be controlled through the SunTouch (IE, I can program it to run a certain percentage with the various cycles and even turn it off when freeze protection is running). It's sounding like a much easier installation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skippr1249
    Is your booster pump 110 vac and is it controlled via a cable similar to the Intelliflo?. If it does not have a interface cable to be controlled via software such as the Intelliflo, I would think it would have to be on the next relay. With regards to the Pool Pilot I just put the load leeds under the Intelliflo relay leads and it is activated whenever the Intelliflo is. So far it is working just fine.
    I'm not sure if it's 110, but I'll know after I put a tester on it this evening. Based on the conductor sizes I would say it's very likely 110. Looks like 12 gauge, maybe even 14. It is definitely not controlled via a cable, so the relay must be turning it on/ off. So it appears the relay is controlling the booster whereas the main pump leads are hot all the time and it's being controlled via the communications cable. This is all starting to make sense Thanks for the help guys!
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    whoozer's Avatar
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    I've just decided to go with the intelliflo 4x160 pump myself with the easytouch system. I too have had alot of questions about setup with the pool pilot and its directly "talking" to my control system. I really like the pool pilot but have now seen loads of mix messages on how well it flows with these other products. Makes me I can't seem to make up my mind but I do need simplicity as a woman doing all my own pool care, I don't want to always have to manually switch things or else worry about my swg. Any thoughts?
    14x33 fiberglass freeform
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    The Pool Pilot can be connected directly to the automation system and give you remote control over the percentage but then you lose the automatic temperature compensation. Also, because of the automatic temperature compensation, the AutoPilot doesn't need to be told by the automation system to not go on when in freeze protection mode. It already knows the water is cold and doesn't turn on much if at all.

    The setup just isn't that complicated. The problem is that there is more than one way to do it, but if you just pick the simplest way it will always work and you don't need to think about it. The simplest approach is to wire the AutoPilot to power and you are done. Now it is a little better if you have the AutoPilot turned off when the pump is turned off, as a kind of insurance, but it isn't essential.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    The pics I took yesterday didn't turn out, so I took a couple more pics this evening with the flash on (see attached). The 3 conduits coming into the bottom of the box are the power-in (left), cleaner booster pump (right rear) and main pump (right front). The relay is in the lower left of the box. The leftmost red conductor on the relay is from the booster pump and is lugged by itself. The next lug from the left has the red from the main pump and the red from the power-in. I checked these with my circuit tester and they are 220v and hot even with all equipment off. The booster pump is not hot, so it is being operated by the relay whereas the main pump is being controlled via the comm cable. So I guess to make the Pool Pilot work I'd have to install an additional relay?

    Quote: "Now it is a little better if you have the AutoPilot turned off when the pump is turned off, as a kind of insurance, but it isn't essential."

    If the AutoPilot is tied to always-hot leads, how does it turn on/ off (IE, how does it know when the pump is running versus off)?

    Thanks again for the help!
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    It looks like your SunTouch is setup with only the Aux 1 relay and no pump relay. So you need to wire the AutoPilot directly to power.

    The AutoPilot has a flow switch in the tri-sensor, mounted on the manifold. The flow switch detects when the pump is running and turns the unit on and off appropriately.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    So let me get this straight. If it is on its own power you can just set the pilot to be on the same amount of time as the pump so it is technically running when the pump is on. Even though the automation system doesn't control it. What are the advantages if any to having a system that talks directly to the easy touch?
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    Quote Originally Posted by whoozer
    So let me get this straight. If it is on its own power you can just set the pilot to be on the same amount of time as the pump so it is technically running when the pump is on. Even though the automation system doesn't control it. What are the advantages if any to having a system that talks directly to the easy touch?
    Almost. When the AutoPilot is not controlling the pump then the timer on the AutoPilot does nothing and you don't need to set it up. The AutoPilot detects when the pump is running using the flow sensor, without any connection to the automation system.

    The advantage of being connected to the automation system are two fold. First, the better quality remotes are capable of displaying and adjusting the SWG percentage. Second, the automation system can automatically adjust the percentage depending on if you are in pool mode or spa mode, so the spa does not get over chlorinated. However there is also a disadvantage. When connected in that way the automatic temperature compensation no longer works. And the spa issue is not as large as it might seem, since it is simple enough to plumb the SWG so it only feeds the pool return and it is then impossible to over chlorinate the spa.

    Hum, I wish there weren't so many different ways of doing things. The problem is that each approach has some advantage, so I don't want to leave any of them out.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Great, thanks for the info Jason! I didn't realize the unit could detect flow by itself, that would seem to solve the biggest problem I thought I had in hooking it up. I'm curious how you know so much about these, is it just from having one yourself or are you attached to the company in some way?

    I was ready to buy one ASAP but my wife's van just blew a tranny, ARGH!!! 3800 bucks repair. Looks like we'll be doing bleach for a few more weeks.
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    I have an AutoPilot Total Control system and spent a great deal of time researching other options before purchasing that one. I am also the kind of person who takes everything apart until I figure out exactly how it works before I start using it.
    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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