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Thread: Variable Speed Pump with booster control/timer

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    Variable Speed Pump with booster control/timer

    New member here. I'm closing on a new home that has a pool. Having moved from Wisconsin to Florida a pool was a must I'm sure I'll have many questions, as I'll likely be tinkering a lot.

    The pool currently has a single speed pump with a booster for the Polaris cleaner and a chlorinator that nobody can even open. I would like to convert it to SWG quickly, as well as change the main pump to a variable speed in the near future.

    So, this first question of many is a concern in timing so the booster never runs without the main running. The pumps are currently on separate mechanical timers, but I'd assume if power was out they would both be behind by equal amounts. Even if I set the VSP timer, and then the booster, if we lose power won't the main pump lose current time setting and risk the booster turning on?

    Thanks for any help, direction, or ideas.
    Scott
    15,000 Gallons vinyl in-ground screen enclosed, Hayward Eco-star SP3400VSP, Hayward Aqua Logic PL-Plus, Hayward T-15 Salt Cell, Hayward S244T Sand Filter, Polaris 380 with booster pump, Hayward heat pump HP50HA. K-2006 kit.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Variable Speed Pump with booster control/timer

    Welcome to TFP!

    This is a problem for some variable speed pumps, but not others. With the models that have problems, you would normally get some kind of automation system to take care of this. There are other more complex but less expensive solutions (like a current controlled relay). Some of the less expensive variable speed pumps are designed to be controlled by an external timer, in which case there wouldn't be a problem.

    Why do you want a variable speed pump? The lifetime cost will be higher than if you got a two speed pump.
    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: Variable Speed Pump with booster control/timer

    LOL, well, in large part it's probably because I'm clueless

    Otherwise, the power company gives a small rebate on a variable speed. I also figured that since I don't know what we will want to add in the future in the way of a heater or other features, or anything else that could also add to plumbing distances or head pressure a variable would allow it to grow with the system and still be able to find the sweet spot for flow?
    Scott
    15,000 Gallons vinyl in-ground screen enclosed, Hayward Eco-star SP3400VSP, Hayward Aqua Logic PL-Plus, Hayward T-15 Salt Cell, Hayward S244T Sand Filter, Polaris 380 with booster pump, Hayward heat pump HP50HA. K-2006 kit.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Variable Speed Pump with booster control/timer

    A variable speed certainly does give you flexibility, and some people just really enjoy playing with adjusting speeds, but at Florida electric rates the most cost effective solution is a two speed (when looking at total lifetime costs).
    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: Variable Speed Pump with booster control/timer

    Ok, I had to sleep on it a few times but I decided to go variable. With little else to mess with I know I'm going to be coming up with some crazy hair-brained ideas just to have some fun messing with it.

    Question on how the variable speed is controlled though. I DO plan to purchase an automation controller. It looks like many I have it narrowed down to controls the speed via 24V dry contact connections. How does this work though if there is another third party controller trying to set the speed as well. For example, if the controller has it on low and running, then another device entirely also wired directly to the pump triggers a higher flow rate does the pump default to whatever the highest is, or can only one device control the pump speed directly?

    Reason I'm asking is I do plan to add some solar, which the controller can handle, but I have very limited space for panels so it will be undersized. While I doubt the payback will be there, and only useful in Spring and Fall while the A/C is running during the day still, I'm considering one of the heat exchanges from Hotspot Energy only to complement the solar and extend the swimming season a little. It requires a connection to the pump. Although, I have no clue why they can't simply use a flow sensor instead and seems safer.
    Scott
    15,000 Gallons vinyl in-ground screen enclosed, Hayward Eco-star SP3400VSP, Hayward Aqua Logic PL-Plus, Hayward T-15 Salt Cell, Hayward S244T Sand Filter, Polaris 380 with booster pump, Hayward heat pump HP50HA. K-2006 kit.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Variable Speed Pump with booster control/timer

    This gets rather complex, as there are several different answers depending on which specific pump and automation system you get.

    The simplest setup is to have the automation system control everything, pump, solar, and aux heat. Several of the VS pumps simply can't do what you ask. Others can be controlled externally by only one device. Others could handle what you want, but only by limiting how much control the automation system has over the speed.

    By the by, I don't recommend a system that uses waste heat from home AC to heat the pool. They tend to be expensive, and there is really not much overlap in the availability of heat and the need for heat. For much of the summer the pool will already be plenty warm, and in the spring/fall the amount of AC being used is tiny compared to the amount of heat the pool needs.
    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: Variable Speed Pump with booster control/timer

    I have a Pentair VS pump and a Pentair Solartouch solar controller. It works like this. Pump power is wired directly to the circuit breaker panel and the 24v wire is wired to the Solartouch. The control panel on the pump is disabled and the pump can only be controlled through the Solartouch. If you are considering Pentair and want solar and a heater then the Solartouch will not control the heater, you would need the Suntouch or better (more expensive) controller.

    If this is all new equipment that you are going to buy you should buy all the same brand stuff or at least make sure it will work together before you buy. It is not simple to wire and program pool automation, the manuals aren't all that helpful and there is very little that is universal or will work across brands. I've even heard of some equipment that doesn't work within the brand family.

    Not to scare you and this is definitely DIY if you are willing to read the manuals and do a little trial and error to understand how the programming works. And you can come here and ask questions. But, you should look at your stuff and read the manuals first so that you can ask specific questions about specific problems. Not general questions like how do I hook up my Suntouch, the manual is too big and I don't want to read it.

    Also, do not assume that a pool builder or a pool service company can program you automation either. Many of them, including my neighbor/pool builder who has built pools for 30 years, do not understand pool automation either.

    Good luck with your pool and congrats on moving to the sunshine state. As soon as I get some more cash I will behind right you!

    - - - Updated - - -

    by the way, all of the Pentair installation and operator manuals are available on their website to download and read before you buy. I assume other manufacturer's manuals are as well.
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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: Variable Speed Pump with booster control/timer

    Thanks Jason! Yeah, I know of that drawback already Other than we do run the AC a lot and will be prior to any ability to swim because the reverse is true for the pool and I get cold!!! We've only had the house a week and the AC has been running, pool freezing, so it would only be a complement. It does depend on price of course. If we had more room for more solar panels I wouldn't even worry about it. It's not a sure thing anyway, just a possibility. Also, with the time of use billing the pump won't be running from 1-6 PM so I'll need to squeeze all the heat I can before, and after, that Crazy thoughts though, and payback would likely be longer than the equipment costs if not for allowing us to switch the type of billing.

    Pooldv,

    Yep, once I get things narrowed down I'll be grabbing manuals Right now I'm just trying to figure out the options and possibilities before taking a deep dive on a long list only to discover it's not possible I'm also 100% sure I am going to convert to SWG, but again, it makes no sense to buy one with a dedicated controller only to spend more for a more extensive controller that could cover that as well only months later. I have NO clue why, but so far I seem to end up back on Hayward products. I also need to move the filter about 10 feet further from the pool for a covered screen room addition to the current pool enclosure, so a lot will have to wait and all be done at once. LOL, my wife is already slowly digging the trench to extend the plumbing through though so keeping her busy
    Scott
    15,000 Gallons vinyl in-ground screen enclosed, Hayward Eco-star SP3400VSP, Hayward Aqua Logic PL-Plus, Hayward T-15 Salt Cell, Hayward S244T Sand Filter, Polaris 380 with booster pump, Hayward heat pump HP50HA. K-2006 kit.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Variable Speed Pump with booster control/timer

    Sure, Hayward makes good stuff too.

    You really need to run solar from 1-6, that is like prime heating time. You should be able to dial in a VS pump to be able to have enough water flow but still not break the bank. My 3hp VS pump is set to run at 1950 rpm when solar is on, which is plenty. I need to look to verify, but I think that it draws about 600 watts (it might be 400) at that speed, which is a LOT less than the 1000-3000 watts that a single speed pump draws. When solar is off the pump runs at 1100 rpm which only draws about 150 watts. VS pumps are very efficient at lower speeds.
    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: Variable Speed Pump with booster control/timer

    Good point. I'm in the shade by 3:00 or so where I can squeeze some panels in but it would give a little more time. Until I have a couple trees dropped and extend it Even the under-sized solar may be enough anyway just to speed things along in the Spring and extend it in the Fall. The pool is at 72 right now and the wife is already swimming, but not for long periods and I think she's nuts!!! But, it may not take much.

    I can use the AC with a desuperheater instead to make hot water for the house to get through the 1-6 time frame. It makes more sense and much cheaper to do as well!
    Scott
    15,000 Gallons vinyl in-ground screen enclosed, Hayward Eco-star SP3400VSP, Hayward Aqua Logic PL-Plus, Hayward T-15 Salt Cell, Hayward S244T Sand Filter, Polaris 380 with booster pump, Hayward heat pump HP50HA. K-2006 kit.

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Variable Speed Pump with booster control/timer

    pooldv has pretty much spelled it out for you. Nothing I can add to that.

    Only thing I can say is go out and weed eat, mow the grass, mulch the flower bed and trim the bushes. Then jump straight in the pool and it will be the best 72 degrees you ever felt!


    Quote Originally Posted by NeedMoreSun View Post
    The pool is at 72 right now and the wife is already swimming, but not for long periods and I think she's nuts!!!
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: Variable Speed Pump with booster control/timer

    Thanks for the help! Besides having already been sold on skipping any heat exchanger ideas I finally got the quote. LOL, a DEFINITE skip it now!!! I'll wait until our covered and screened patio addition to our current enclosure is up next year and some room for solar, even if a little undersized.

    Pooldv, we go on the Energy Select / Time of Use billing this coming Monday. However, I learned the 1-6 PM is for May-Oct and by May 1st I hope I don't need it so much anyway but can use every daylight hour I can until May 1st anyway. Next year will decide if it's enough or not.

    LOL, and as Divin pointed out, temperature is subjective. I cooled off real well yesterday after work Pool is up to 74 so far. According to new co-workers here by August I'll be bragging that mine isn't too hot like theirs due to the shade and an enclosure.

    Anyway, it's likely over-kill but I saw little differences in prices so for now my first two purchases for the new system are:

    Hayward Control Aqua Logic Plus PL-PLUS with Cell 40K
    Hayward SP3400VSP EcoStar Variable Speed Pool Pump

    Now to wait for delivery, the new equipment slab, electrician, etc. I'll retain my pressure booster pump and the sand filter is undecided. Seller of the house paid for a home warranty that covers the pool and the valve of the current 24" Jacuzzi sand filter is leaking. Not where it connects to the sand filter, but the middle of the valve. I called it in and waiting to see if they repair, replace the valve, or replace the entire filter before deciding what to do there.
    Scott
    15,000 Gallons vinyl in-ground screen enclosed, Hayward Eco-star SP3400VSP, Hayward Aqua Logic PL-Plus, Hayward T-15 Salt Cell, Hayward S244T Sand Filter, Polaris 380 with booster pump, Hayward heat pump HP50HA. K-2006 kit.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Variable Speed Pump with booster control/timer

    Hey alright, that all sounds good. Except swimming in 74* pools! Brrrrr!
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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: Variable Speed Pump with booster control/timer

    LOL, I agree, still to cold!!! Next year can add some solar though
    Scott
    15,000 Gallons vinyl in-ground screen enclosed, Hayward Eco-star SP3400VSP, Hayward Aqua Logic PL-Plus, Hayward T-15 Salt Cell, Hayward S244T Sand Filter, Polaris 380 with booster pump, Hayward heat pump HP50HA. K-2006 kit.

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