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Thread: Autopilot DIG-220 SWC with variable speed pump

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    Autopilot DIG-220 SWC with variable speed pump

    This post is meant to be more informational than a question since I have read other posts in this forum with the same issue.

    I had an old single speed pump with a new Autopilot DIG-220 SWC connected to a manual timer/power supply. The old pump failed so I replaced it with a new Hayward Ecostar variable speed pump. The Ecostar comes with its own built-in timer that can't be used to control the SWC or vice-versa. The installer left the Autopilot connected to the manual timer, but the timer was left running 24/7, hence the DIG-220 is receiving power 24/7. When the Ecostar turns off, the Autopilot DIG-220's system warning light blinks red until the next morning when the Ecostar turns on automatically. As the DIG-220's system warning light blinks red throughout the night, the console displays "“PURIFIER OFF - CHECK FLOW". Since the Autopilot DIG-220 requires a minimum of 15 GPM to continue producing chlorine, the Autopilot automatically shuts off when the water flow falls below 15 GPM. However, the warning light continues to blink until the appropriate flow of water is detected. I have read some posts in this forum indicating some concerns over warning lights on different manufacturer SWC. However, I could not find satisfactory responses. I had 2 concerns:

    1) Will the Autopilot SWC be damaged over a long period of time running in this configuration thereby voiding the warranty?

    2) Is there considerable current draw by the Autopilot DIG-220 SWC if left on, but not producing any chlorine?

    After calling my installer and several other installers in my area, nobody could answer my questions. So I called Autopilot for answers.....

    The Autopilot tech engineer stated that the auto shutoff capability was designed to protect the cell from damage, therefore it is OK to run the SWC in this configuration and would not void the 3 year warranty of the system. Regarding the power consumption, the tech engineer said that only the microprocessor stays on 24/7 in this configuration which runs on mili-watts so it should not have a major impact on my electrical bill.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    May 2010
    Tucson, AZ

    Re: Autopilot DIG-220 SWC with variable speed pump

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    If you read just about any of the SWG installation manuals, you will see that the flow switch in the SWG meant to be a backup safety switch and NOT the only thing stopping the SWG from generating. The way yours is running now is NOT recommended since if the flow switch got suck, the SWG would continue to generate with no water flow and explosive gas could built up in the pipes/equipment ... worst case it could explode.

    I think what may members have done in your situation is add a current sensing relay such that the SWG would only get power when the pump turned itself on and was drawing power. This would replace your existing manual timer that is currently left on.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Autopilot DIG-220 SWC with variable speed pump

    I double checked with Autopilot tech support on the issue you raised. Although tech support acknowledged the gas issue as a possibility, they indicated that "the Autopilot corporation stood by they quality of their products and its manufacturers warranty on their units".

    My interpretation of this statement is that I have 2 years of warranty period to connect my SWC to an external time source before the SWC begins to age and becomes more susceptible to a flow switch failure. In either case, my long term plan was to rebuild my aging pool filtration system one piece at a time. In the next year I will be upgrading my mechanical timer/power supply to one of the new smart e-control centers.

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