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Thread: Budget Pool Automation

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    Budget Pool Automation

    I am interested in upgrading to a variable speed pump and salt system. I am a tech guru and have most of my house controlled through my iPhone using individual apps (no fancy Crestron or Savant system). I am interested in doing the same on the cheap with a pool automation system, but am finding this difficult without purchasing a very expensive Hayward or Pentair VS pump that can integrate. The two systems I have come up with are the following. I also want the ability to control my Hayward gas heater (either can do that) and add solar control and LED lighting control in the future.

    Option 1:
    Hayward Prologic P-4, with Hayward 25k Salt Cell and Tristar VS pump (will need to reduce 2” down to 1.5” piping). I would add the Aqua connect Internet/automation interface to this.

    Option 2:
    Pentair Easytouch 4PSC-IC40 package with 40k salt cell. With this I would use their new low cost VS pump, the SuperFlo VS. This pump has 4 dry contact inputs for automation, but it doesn’t look like they added any programming in the Easytouch to control this pump yet using the relays.

    Bottom Line, is that I am trying to save the approximately $500 of upgrading to the larger Hayward Ecostar and Pentair Intelliflo pumps that are designed for automation integration.

    Any suggestions or thoughts would be appreciated.
    I plan to have my Electrician install the Load center, and have Leslies provide the equipment and do the piping as I have a good relationship with our local store. I will have the solar valves installed and may tackle that myself in the future.

    Thanks
    Last edited by NYAVGUY; 07-14-2014 at 08:01 PM. Reason: Adding signature

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Budget Pool Automation

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    Why not just get a small 2-speed pump that can be controlled by any of the automation systems?

    Do you have high flow needs or many different flow requirements?

    Please add your pool details to your signature and as described HERE as it will help us help you in the future.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Budget Pool Automation

    I got my EcoStar on Amazon for under $900 - it was actually cheaper than the TriStar VS, and it's got the built-in timer and the option to integrate via dry contacts (or their datalink protocol if you use a Hayward automation controller). My local pool store said that price was below their cost.
    23,000 gal plaster pool w/overflow spa
    Hayward EcoStar pump
    Hayward c4030 425 sq. ft. cartridge filter

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Budget Pool Automation

    Sure ... but a ~$400 1HP 2-speed pump is a good bit cheaper and will get you most of the electrical savings, especially if you do not have expensive power to begin with.
    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
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    Re: Budget Pool Automation

    Good point - I have very expensive power > $.25/kWh, and I needed a new timer, so I figured it was worth it for me (plus I like techie stuff)
    Compared to my super pump, I figure I'm saving around $90/month in electric!
    23,000 gal plaster pool w/overflow spa
    Hayward EcoStar pump
    Hayward c4030 425 sq. ft. cartridge filter

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    Re: Budget Pool Automation

    I can get a $450 rebate from my electric utility for a VS pump. 2-speed pumps are on $200. I guess I can get the pent sir and just use the low speed output of,the automation controller to trigger one of the inputs. Maybe I will contact pentair and see if they plan an easytouch firmware upgrade to control their new pump.

    My signature should be on now.
    21' x 28" Grecian Vinyl Pool with fiberglass steps (@17k gallons) with Pentair SuperfloVS, Hayward sand filter with Zeosand, and Hayward gas heater. Pentair EasyTouch 4PSC-IC40 (Pentair IC40 SWG), and Screen Logic interface. 2 skimmers with main drain on the intake side and two primary returns with two low flow bubbler returns at the stairs. Aquabot pool cleaner. TF-100 Test kit.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Budget Pool Automation

    The automation system is capable of controlling the pump as a two speed pump standard. Additional speed can be used if you dedicate extra relays to the pump and get clever with your programming, but there is almost never any need to do so. The vast majority of variable speed pump installs use either one speed or two.
    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: Budget Pool Automation

    I am leaning toward the Hayward system and Tristar VS pump since it does everything I need. Here are some questions.

    Any issue with the pump being oversized and having to reduce from 2" to my 1 1/2" piping?
    With an estimated 20k gallons, should I get the 25k or 40k salt cell?
    Has anyone used Leslies for an install like this, or do you think I would be better off with a smaller local company?
    21' x 28" Grecian Vinyl Pool with fiberglass steps (@17k gallons) with Pentair SuperfloVS, Hayward sand filter with Zeosand, and Hayward gas heater. Pentair EasyTouch 4PSC-IC40 (Pentair IC40 SWG), and Screen Logic interface. 2 skimmers with main drain on the intake side and two primary returns with two low flow bubbler returns at the stairs. Aquabot pool cleaner. TF-100 Test kit.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Budget Pool Automation

    Why the Tristar? I though the Ecostar was cheaper and more efficient.

    No issue with changing the pipe sizes when needed, you may want to limit the maximum speed.
    We recommend sizing the SWG for 1.5-3 times the size of your pool .... get the 40k cell
    Why not install yourself? I have no experience with Leslie's vs local company for installs.
    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
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Budget Pool Automation

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Why the Tristar? I though the Ecostar was cheaper and more efficient.

    No issue with changing the pipe sizes when needed, you may want to limit the maximum speed.
    We recommend sizing the SWG for 1.5-3 times the size of your pool .... get the 40k cell
    Why not install yourself? I have no experience with Leslie's vs local company for installs.
    The Tristar VS is $400 cheaper than the Ecostar. My wife prefers that I spend time with my two young kids and her than tackling projects like this for a full day in the backyard. So long as the labor is reasonable, it is worth it to pay someone. I do plenty myself around the house, I just don't have any experience working with PVC piping so it would take me twice as long as an installer.
    21' x 28" Grecian Vinyl Pool with fiberglass steps (@17k gallons) with Pentair SuperfloVS, Hayward sand filter with Zeosand, and Hayward gas heater. Pentair EasyTouch 4PSC-IC40 (Pentair IC40 SWG), and Screen Logic interface. 2 skimmers with main drain on the intake side and two primary returns with two low flow bubbler returns at the stairs. Aquabot pool cleaner. TF-100 Test kit.

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: Budget Pool Automation

    The EcoStar was cheaper on Amazon, but maybe not in retail stores.

    Amazon has the EcoStar for $870
    and the TriStar for: 908/935 depending on if you want the standalone model or prologic model.
    The other big advantage of the EcoStar is that it has the timers AND can be integrated with automation - looks like the TriStar VS has to be ordered in one configuration or the other.


    EDIT

    and yes, install does take some time - it took me about 5 hours to re-plumb the pump and filter (including replacing all the valves). I also had never done any PVC work at the time. It's a good bit of work, but I was very happy with the result - I was able to arrange things exactly the way I wanted them, with minimal bends in the pipes to maximize efficiency.
    23,000 gal plaster pool w/overflow spa
    Hayward EcoStar pump
    Hayward c4030 425 sq. ft. cartridge filter

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