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Thread: Automate Pentair Variable speed pump according to the solar panel valve opening

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    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Plantation Fl
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    Automate Pentair Variable speed pump according to the solar panel valve opening

    Hi,


    I recently DIY'd the upgrade of my pool equipment and solar panels. Can I automatically adjust the speed of my variable speed pump to accommodate my solar panels when my controller opens the valve to direct the water through them? I know I can schedule the speeds but can the "sun" control it as well with some other type of controller.

    Here is a bit of background about myself and my motivation to tackle the DIY pool project I just completed.

    I bought my 1st home 4 years ago with a screened in northern exposure tree covered pool.Needless to say even though I was living in Florida, the pool was always cold. I decided to remove the trees but that only helped so much. I enjoy having the screen because I don't not have to worry about bugs at night. I know the screen enclosure affects the pool temp but that was not an option to remove.

    I began searching all the options, Solar panels(average install was about 4k), heat pumps (3K), alternative options like the attic fan with pipes running through it the attic, another device that hooks up to my A/C but that would void my a/c warranty. All these options seemed too expensive since I needed my money for many other renovation projects or they simply were just not right for me.

    I of course started with a solar blanket and it increased the temp by about 3-4 degrees but still not good enough. Then I decided to figure out a way to frugally install solar panels and also upgrade my super old jacuzzi magnum pump and filter that had been patched up many times.

    My largest expense was I bought a brand new Pentair variable speed pump. Then I went on a craigslist adventure determined to by everything else used but in great condition to save money. Here were my craigslist costs:

    1-Pentair 150 Clean and Clear filter in almost brand new condition (used for a pond project for a month by the previous owner) for $50...trust me this was in brand new condition.

    2- Hayward controller,valve and actuator, and sensors. brand new in the box for about $100

    3- 8-2x20 brand new generic solar panels in the original packaging for $150

    4-Pressure treated wood needed for the solar panel rack were all free from a warehouse that was closing down...easily saved $200

    Its a tiny pool as you can read in my signature but right now its large enough my 6 year old and 2 month old and that too me was the reason. I wanted my little girls to have a pool to enjoy for the next few years for long seasons versus sticking there toes in. I completed the project about a little over a week ago and the temp has gone from 72 to 84 degrees. Believe is or not I want it to go up to almost 90 degrees to the wife will enjoy her bath water. Yes, I know that most people are happy with water in the upper 70s but as a former New Yorker, your blood thins out when you move to Florida and you find yourself getting cold easily and wearing sweaters in the 60's and complaining about cold 79 degrees water.
    9K 13X19 inground plaster pool. Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 Pump, Pentair Clean and Clear 150 Cartridge Filter, Hayward Aqua Solar GL 235 Controller, Zodiac MX8 pool cleaner, H2Flo FlowVis Flow meter, 4 4x12 rack mounted solar panels. South Florida pool facing North inside a screen enclosure

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Re: Automate Pentair Variable speed pump according to the solar panel valve opening

    The best solution is to get a SolarTouch controller to replace your GL-235. A more DIY approach would be to get an IntelliComm2 and connect it up to the GL-235 somehow (possible in theory, but the exact approach to use is not obvious).
    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: Automate Pentair Variable speed pump according to the solar panel valve opening

    I was reading up on the SolarTouch brochure but it does not mention that this type of feature is possible. Can you explain how it communicates with the my Variable Speed Pump?
    9K 13X19 inground plaster pool. Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 Pump, Pentair Clean and Clear 150 Cartridge Filter, Hayward Aqua Solar GL 235 Controller, Zodiac MX8 pool cleaner, H2Flo FlowVis Flow meter, 4 4x12 rack mounted solar panels. South Florida pool facing North inside a screen enclosure

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Automate Pentair Variable speed pump according to the solar panel valve opening

    The SolarTouch understands the IntelliFlo and can talk to it directly with a data cable. Its normal mode is to switch speeds on the IntelliFlo when the pump is already on and solar heat is needed. It also has an optional override mode that turns on the pump when solar heat is needed. You can download the manual at the Pentair website and it goes into a lot more detail.
    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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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Automate Pentair Variable speed pump according to the solar panel valve opening

    My solartouch controller is set to select pump speed 2 (1950rpm) when solar heat is available and to return the pump to its prior setting when solar heat is not available, which for me is usually pump speed 1 (1100rpm) or off. Works great!
    TFP Moderator
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Automate Pentair Variable speed pump according to the solar panel valve opening

    Thank JasonLion and poodlv for your replies. I guess I will be purchasing a suntouch to complete my automation.
    9K 13X19 inground plaster pool. Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 Pump, Pentair Clean and Clear 150 Cartridge Filter, Hayward Aqua Solar GL 235 Controller, Zodiac MX8 pool cleaner, H2Flo FlowVis Flow meter, 4 4x12 rack mounted solar panels. South Florida pool facing North inside a screen enclosure

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Automate Pentair Variable speed pump according to the solar panel valve opening

    Quote Originally Posted by rp7777 View Post
    Thank JasonLion and poodlv for your replies. I guess I will be purchasing a suntouch to complete my automation.
    Suntouch is fine too. It does more and costs more, 400 bucks vs 260 bucks for the Solartouch.
    TFP Moderator
    If TFP helped you or saved you money - Become a TFP Supporter! <--Click here
    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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