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Thread: Do I need automation?

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    Do I need automation?

    I am thinking of taking the plunge this year to an SWG. I've been BBB with liquid chlorine (jugs) for the past 4 or 5 years, but am looking at some extended vacations this year, so I am thinking the SWG will be much easier than finding a reliable person to test and dose my pool.

    I really like the timer functioning built into my pump, but from what I have read so far on the subject, the only way to safely control an SWG is through the addition of an automation system or a load sensing switch (as the flow sensing can be unreliable).

    I have no need for any actuated valves as I don't have any waterfall features or any type of heater (solar or otherwise). My pool robot runs off a light sensing timer that plugs into an outside outlet (like the kind you use for Christmas lights, runs for 4 hours every night after it senses darkness).

    Basically it is a very simple setup and so I would like to keep the cost at a minimum. Any thoughts on what direction I should go with this? Which combo of SWG and automation/switch? I would be okay with a load sensing setup, but if it is only within $200 or so of an automation system, I would probably go with that for the sake of the simplicity of installing and reduced issues should any of the equipment require service under warranty.
    20k gal, IG Vinyl, IntelliFlo VF Pump, 60 GPM sand filter, Jandy Aquapure Ei 35, 2 skimmers, one main drain, two returns, Dolphin Diagnostic cleaning robot, Taylor K-2006 test kit

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Do I need automation?

    For what you're wanting to do I'd go with a simple mechanical timer and run the pump and swg off it. That way if the pump isn't running, the swg isn't powered. Also with a mechanical tiimer if the power goes out for a while it'll start back running when it comes back on and you don't have to worry about backup batteries running down. Sure it'll have the wrong time, but that won't matter as long as it runs for the correct number of hours.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Re: Do I need automation?

    Thanks for the quick response. I have a mechanical timer (currently not installed), but I really like the features of my pump's built-in timer since it is variable speed and adjusts to accomplish its 1 per day turnover while taking advantage of my cheaper night time electricity rates...

    Sorry, I should have been descriptive when I was saying that I like the timer built into my pump.

    It is a shame they don't make it so that the control link in the pump could directly connect to the SWG, if it were so, I would just get an intellichlor40 and call it a day... but it gets much pricier adding on the automation piece.
    20k gal, IG Vinyl, IntelliFlo VF Pump, 60 GPM sand filter, Jandy Aquapure Ei 35, 2 skimmers, one main drain, two returns, Dolphin Diagnostic cleaning robot, Taylor K-2006 test kit

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    Re: Do I need automation?

    As mentioned above you can still wire it so that if the variable speed pump shuts down it cuts the power off to your salt system.

    The greatest danger of depending on a flow switch is that debris could wrap itself around the switch and cause it to think it has flow. This is why AutoPilot uses a strainer screen before their flow switch to prevent this sort of situation. I don't believe any other manufacturer offers this.

    Josh Ulfers - josh@saltpoolguys.com - 888-725-8766
    SaltPoolGuys.com - AutoPilot Pool Pilot Systems, Parts & Cells - AquaCal Heat Pumps

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    Re: Do I need automation?

    Quote Originally Posted by JoshU
    As mentioned above you can still wire it so that if the variable speed pump shuts down it cuts the power off to your salt system.
    So are you talking about a load sensing switch? The reason I ask is because the pump timer doesn't always run for the same length of time, it is programmed for 1 turnover per day and to run at three intervals (the longest being 11pm to 5am to save on elec bill). If I manually run the pump at other times, it will compensate and run shorter to accomplish the one turn over. I could align the mechinical timer with the pump's timer, but would have the risk of the pump ending it's cycle early so if there was a blockage in the flow switch as you described, then the SWG could possibly run even with the pump not running because the mechanical timer still thinks it is on...

    I am not understanding this too well. I understand how to hook a regular pump and SWG to a mechanical timer, however I don't understand how that would work with a pump that has its own built in timer.
    20k gal, IG Vinyl, IntelliFlo VF Pump, 60 GPM sand filter, Jandy Aquapure Ei 35, 2 skimmers, one main drain, two returns, Dolphin Diagnostic cleaning robot, Taylor K-2006 test kit

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Do I need automation?

    You would need to get a current sensing relay. Such a relay only turns on when the pump is drawing power. You can then use that to power the SWG.
    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: Do I need automation?

    I have sold Intellichlor since day 1 with their introduction and the only problem I have had is the flow switch breaking off. Then the cell wouldn't operate at all.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
    We build vinyl, fiberglass, stainless steel pools
    Certified in Hydraulics

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    Re: Do I need automation?

    Jason,

    Is that going to be an expensive project where it would be within $200 of an automation setup? Thanks, I was saying "load sensing switch" when I should have said "current sensing relay."
    20k gal, IG Vinyl, IntelliFlo VF Pump, 60 GPM sand filter, Jandy Aquapure Ei 35, 2 skimmers, one main drain, two returns, Dolphin Diagnostic cleaning robot, Taylor K-2006 test kit

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