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Thread: Low cost automation

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    Low cost automation

    Hi. I realize the topic may be laughable, but I am wondering if there are simple, low cost automation options on the market? I am not looking for anything fancy or complicated, and don't need to control landscape lighting or irrigation. Honestly, I'd just like to be able to remotely (via iPhone/iPad) turn my heater on/off so that the water can be ready when we get home from work. It'd be nice to be able to control the main system (pump, etc) too, but remote access via internet for the heater is the main driver. I am very new to the automation topic and have read some posts but most seem either too complicated, require computer programming skills, and have a high cost. This is definitely a luxury, so cost is a major factor. Is this a pipe dream or are there things on the market that meet these requirements? Thanks!
    10k gallon fiberglass freeform pool, Paramount SwingJet system, Dolphin DX5 robot, Pentair 48" Tagelus sand filter with glass media, WhisperFlo 1 HP pump, Hayward H200FDN natural gas heater, TF-100 Test Kit, and, of course, Margaritaville Tahiti blender!

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Low cost automation

    It boils down to either roll your own or settling for the stuff the major companies offer. There are a few people doing stuff on their own and you have probably seen those threads.
    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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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Low cost automation

    Sure there is simple / basic / relatively cheap automation ... like the Suntouch. Which will control the pump and a heater. BUT, then you go and add in the need for wireless connectivity to iPhones and you have blown the roof off the cost if you want something off the shelf.

    Sounds like your main desire is the one that pushes you to needing the highest priced systems.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Re: Low cost automation

    What is your budget? For about $600 you can get a complete iAqualink system from Jandy that will do exactly what you want. See the pool thread in my signature.

    Dino
    Premier (Esther Williams) 24' x 52" Round AGP (13,500 gl.), Hayward 24" Pro-Series S244T Sand Filter, 1.5 HP Hayward Super Pump, AquaRite SWG, AquaComfort ACT-1100 Heat Pump, Jandy/Zodiac iAqualink Automation System with iPhone App, Aquabot Pool Rover S2-40
    My New Pool

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    Re: Low cost automation

    Quote Originally Posted by DOMO
    Hi. I realize the topic may be laughable, but I am wondering if there are simple, low cost automation options on the market? I am not looking for anything fancy or complicated, and don't need to control landscape lighting or irrigation. Honestly, I'd just like to be able to remotely (via iPhone/iPad) turn my heater on/off so that the water can be ready when we get home from work. It'd be nice to be able to control the main system (pump, etc) too, but remote access via internet for the heater is the main driver. I am very new to the automation topic and have read some posts but most seem either too complicated, require computer programming skills, and have a high cost. This is definitely a luxury, so cost is a major factor. Is this a pipe dream or are there things on the market that meet these requirements? Thanks!
    If it is just that you want your heater to come on, say an hour before you get home from work, why not use a simple timer? That assumes you will get home from work about the same time every day and that you can remember to shut off the heater on days you don't want it heated. That may not be the automation you are looking for, but it could work and would be cheap.

    Most heaters today have a connection for what's called a "firemans switch". The heater won't come on unless that switch is closed. So.... you can have the heater all set with the on switch, and temperature set, and have the pump running, but until the firemans switch is closed the heater won't come on. For a timer, you could use a conventional 24 hour timer or a 7 day timer (often used for lawn irrigation). You don't need a high amp rated timer, but will need a source of power to run the timer. The timer can be programmed for your work schedule, assuming it is a fixed or predictable schedule.

    I actually have this plan in mind for my hot tub. Both my 30 year old Anthony heater (now gone) and my new Rheem (Raypak) heater have the provision for the firemans switch. It is identified right in the manual.

    BTW, I'm not sure why it is called a firemans switch, but maybe the idea was to attach a big red switch near the equipment so that in case the fire dept came for a fire, they could quickly disable the heater. Of course in this case, you are using the switch connection for the opposite purpose..... to turn it on. Also, I think this may only be a feature on gas fired heaters.
    John (DIYer). Concrete, approximately 13,000 gallon in-ground pool with adjoining concrete spa. Approximately 40 years old. Hayward Super II pump for pool and legacy Anthony Sta-Rite bronze pump CF6 for spa, VA-26 filter,(2 sets), Rheem propane heater for spa. HASA Liquidator for pool.

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    Re: Low cost automation

    Hi Dinom, thanks for the post. That's exactly what we are looking for! $600 may be feasible depending on how some financial factors play out between now and Spring, but good to know there is something that fits the criteria and isn't going to break the bank!
    Hoosierun, thanks for your input as well. This is certainly an option to look into, and I wondered if some sort of simple timer (such as the one that controls our pump) would work, but as you said there is less flexibility and a bit more planning and manual intervention to manage. Not saying that's out of the question, but if we can swing it, would love the flexibility to control via iPhone when not at home as our daily commute is long (over 90 min each way) and arrival time home does vary greatly sometimes depending on work schedule and other factors.
    Thanks for the help!!
    10k gallon fiberglass freeform pool, Paramount SwingJet system, Dolphin DX5 robot, Pentair 48" Tagelus sand filter with glass media, WhisperFlo 1 HP pump, Hayward H200FDN natural gas heater, TF-100 Test Kit, and, of course, Margaritaville Tahiti blender!

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    Re: Low cost automation

    Looks like the price went up a bit since I bought this last year, but still not too bad. I bought from Sunplay as they had the best price, and I can tell you their customer service is excellent:

    http://www.sunplay.com/Jandy-AquaLink-R ... q904-p.htm

    This kit comes with everything you need.

    Dino
    Premier (Esther Williams) 24' x 52" Round AGP (13,500 gl.), Hayward 24" Pro-Series S244T Sand Filter, 1.5 HP Hayward Super Pump, AquaRite SWG, AquaComfort ACT-1100 Heat Pump, Jandy/Zodiac iAqualink Automation System with iPhone App, Aquabot Pool Rover S2-40
    My New Pool

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    Re: Low cost automation

    Hi all. Hope everyone's Summer is going well! just thought I would rekindle this thread as we never pulled the trigger on remote automation (due to funding challenges!). As much as I would love to have full remote (via Internet/app) control of my pool equipment, including water chemistry, alerts for problems, etc., my core requirement is to be able to turn my heater (Hayward H200FDN natural gas) on/off remotely (and possibly know water temp) via my smartphone, so that we can heat the pool on our way home from work, etc. But looking for inexpensive options, so I thought I'd see if new solutions have come to market since this thread was started back in 2013. Thanks!
    10k gallon fiberglass freeform pool, Paramount SwingJet system, Dolphin DX5 robot, Pentair 48" Tagelus sand filter with glass media, WhisperFlo 1 HP pump, Hayward H200FDN natural gas heater, TF-100 Test Kit, and, of course, Margaritaville Tahiti blender!

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    Re: Low cost automation

    Hi again. I tried to post an update to an old post the other day, but not sure if it went through as it has a red symbol on the post.
    10k gallon fiberglass freeform pool, Paramount SwingJet system, Dolphin DX5 robot, Pentair 48" Tagelus sand filter with glass media, WhisperFlo 1 HP pump, Hayward H200FDN natural gas heater, TF-100 Test Kit, and, of course, Margaritaville Tahiti blender!

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    Re: Low cost automation

    Quote Originally Posted by dinom View Post
    What is your budget? For about $600 you can get a complete iAqualink system from Jandy that will do exactly what you want. See the pool thread in my signature.

    Dino
    This. Do some research on the IQ904-PS. Does what you want and has capability to control VS pump for future upgrade. Don't try and coble something together. Get what you want the first time.
    25K aggregate IG, Intellipro, FNS48, Polaris 360, PG2000 fiber optic light source

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    Re: Low cost automation

    Hi. Thanks for the reply. I've looked into the Jandy iAqualink (based on your previous post). Looks like they have gone up, 800-1,000 depending on retailer. But then I need to hire an installer, so we're looking at at least $1,000 if not more. We don't have, nor will ever have a VS pump. Our set up is rather simple, small 10k pool, no spa, single speed pump (currently on a simple mechanical timer, one light (which I don't need to control via smartphone), no SWG, etc etc. And, of course, our heater. So, in short, all I really want to do is remotely turn the heater on, but 1,000 or more is too high a price tag for what we can afford to do that.
    10k gallon fiberglass freeform pool, Paramount SwingJet system, Dolphin DX5 robot, Pentair 48" Tagelus sand filter with glass media, WhisperFlo 1 HP pump, Hayward H200FDN natural gas heater, TF-100 Test Kit, and, of course, Margaritaville Tahiti blender!

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