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Thread: Automation Upgrade / Questions

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    Automation Upgrade / Questions

    Hi forum-

    We moved about a year ago into a house that has a ~25000 gallon in-ground gunite pool that's about 15 years old. We're looking at doing a few refurb items relating to the pool (incl replacing / expanding the pool deck and resurfacing), but also upgrading the pump and control/automation system. Currently we have a Jandy Aqualink RS controller, a Hayward Northstar 2HP single-speed pump, and we added a Hayward T-15 Salt Cell (with AquaRite box that runs separately from the Jandy Aqualink) last year. Also, we have a Raypak heater that is not integrated with the controller at all (i.e. I turn it on and control temps directly on the heater itself).

    In conjunction with the refurb I'd like to have a more functional controller, that can at a minimum:
    1) Control the Pumps (main and polaris booster)
    2) Control pool lights
    3) monitor temp and control heater
    4) control my zone valves (3 returns, plus one 3-way value for skimmer/bottom - currently these are manual valves)
    5) Control some landscape lighting zones (2-3)
    6) Control a variable speed pump (replacing the main hayward northstar)
    Also, ideally it would:
    a) be accessible from my i-Devices
    b) control the saltgen
    c) be able to give me basic "everyday" chemistry readings (FC and pH) - not necessarily dispense chemicals

    So I've been looking at the Hayward OmniLogic system with a Hayward EcoStar pump - which seems like it can do all of the above (or at least be expanded to later). It also seems like this might be doable myself. I'm very comfortable with wiring (done plenty of both high and low voltage), and I've done stuff like this before (i.e. I installed my own Honeywell security system at my last house), so from my end I'm not concerned. Are there any issues as far as the manufacturers go with installing these control systems myself? It looks like I can buy them online, and Hayward also seems to provide downloadable firmware updates on their web site. Are there any other hidden gotchas that I'm not seeing?

    Also, as far as sequencing, it seems like I would want to first change out the pump but leave the existing panel (just manually control the pump speed initially until the panel is updated), and then later swap out the panel. I might even have the pool company do the pump swap-out if it's not too expensive - looking at the drawings some of the plumbing would probably need to move (not the end of the world, but they can probably do it a lot quicker than me).

    And lastly, any general thoughts on whether the Hayward OmniLogic + EcoStar makes the most sense? I kind of gravitated in that direction because of the new salt cell, but honestly if I had to throw that away to get a different brand it wouldn't be the end of the world (if there was a good reason to).

    Thanks in advance....

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Automation Upgrade / Questions

    Welcome to TFP!

    What you are proposing is not the least expensive way to do what you want, though it is still quite plausible.

    Controlling all of those valves means a valve control expansion, not a big deal, but it does drive the price up. Most people would be happy to leave a few of them manual, rather than automate the entire set.

    Omnilogic is getting very good reviews, but it is still quite new and may yet have some early model issues. There aren't currently any significant issues, but there might yet be some.

    The only chemistry reading you can get that means much of anything is PH. The other commonly available sensor, ORP, is not particularly useful and doesn't correspond to any of the numbers we care about here in any useful way. I would not spend money on chemistry sensors, it really doesn't get you much valve, when it works at all.
    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: Automation Upgrade / Questions

    I'm a bit biased and prefer the Pentair Easytouch systems. Just my opinion.
    Paul
    http://www.gastekservices.com A word of caution: When working with gas and electrical you might want to consider a licensed contractor. Consider the value of your life and others around you. If you would like to provide a review of the help I provided, please use the following link to leave a review. gastek - Google Search,

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    Re: Automation Upgrade / Questions

    Thanks guys. A few follow up questions:

    - In reference to the "not the least expensive way" comment ... what alternative(s) would you suggest? I definitely want a good reliable system and am willing to pay for it (and typically I find you get what yo pay for), but if there's another good cheaper option then saving money isn't a bad thing either.

    - I don't necessarily need all those valves automatic - what is the threshold for not requiring the valve control expansion? I assume that threshold would be specific to the OmniLogic (i.e. other systems might include a different number of valve controls built into the base system?

    - The chemistry monitoring is probably lowest on my list - basically I was hoping to avoid having to do the "daily" quick tests ... but not replace the more detailed weekly TF-100 tests.

    - As I mentioned I'm not hugely biased one way or the other - can you comment on why you prefer the PentAir EasyTouch?

    - No one commented on the "do it yourself" aspect. Any issues to consider as far as that goes that I'm not already thinking about? Is this something that reasonably technical people (like people reading this forum) would often do themselves?

    Thanks again...

  5. Back To Top    #5
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Automation Upgrade / Questions

    If you are comfortable with line voltage wiring, installing an automation system is not difficult.

    If you expect to be moving a valve at least once a week, then you probably want it automated.

    There are any number of ways to save money, though most of them involve some compromises.

    If your electric rates are below $0.20/kWh you will probably save money by getting a two speed pump, rather than a variable speed pump.

    OmniLogic is a high end system, it has some nice features and can do everything you mentioned with some expansion modules. But most people would get a slightly simpler system that costs less, give up controlling a few of their devices and possibly move down to a slightly less expensive product line.
    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

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Automation Upgrade / Questions

    I have a Hayward Prologic PL-P-4 with the wireless controller. With this I can control a two speed pump, booster pump, heater, lights and one relay for turning on the deck jets. It gives a salt reading as well as pool and air temp. I bought right before the Omnilogic was released, and that looks even nicer. I struggled over the extra cost, but now that I have it, I love it. Being able to control everything from my phone or iPad is really nice.
    Steve ~16K IG Vinyl Pool, Hayward TriStar 1.5 hp, Hayward S244TE filter, Polaris 280 w/booster pump, Prologic PL-P-4, Hayward AquaConnect, 3 PAL LED lights, 3 Deck Jets, AquaComfort ACT 1100 heater and TF-100 Test Kit with SpeedStir.

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    Re: Automation Upgrade / Questions

    The ProLogic is a step below the OmniLogic and does most of what you are looking for a system to do. Remember The number in the model notates the amount of relays. 4, 6, 8. The virtual model just adds more aux buttons for programing.
    Hayward Pool Tech
    80+ Years of Technologically Advanced Pool Product Manufacturing
    poolside@haywardnet.com

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    Re: Automation Upgrade / Questions

    I think I'm going to go with the OmniLogic.

    Question on the valve actuators. It looks like the OmniLogic can control any brand of actuator. I have Jandy neverlube valves (some 2-way, some 3-way) - so would it make more sense to go with the Hayward actuators (GVA-24) to match the controller? Or should I go with Jandy actuators (JVA-2444) to match the valves?
    ~25000 gal IG gunite pool, built 2001 - renovated 2015
    Pebble Sheen Blue Surf + Shimmering Sea, Gemz, Classic Pool & Tile Rodio waterline
    Grey Granite Paver Deck, with TechoBloc Blu60 Smooth accent strip
    Hayward OmniLogic, UCL and CL320 LED lights, DE6020 filter, EcoStar pump, TF-100, T-15 SWG, Raypak P406A heater

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Automation Upgrade / Questions

    Actuators are one of the few things in the pool world that are universal. Either will work fine. Hayward probably would prefer that you use Hayward actuators.
    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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