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Thread: How important is VS Pump and Automation Controller compatibilty?

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    Option's Avatar
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    How important is VS Pump and Automation Controller compatibilty?

    Hello,

    I am interested in adding solar heating and an SWG to my pool and figured it probably makes sense to get one control unit for both as well as for the pre-existing booster and VS pump (please let me know if you disagree with that assumption though!). However, while my VS pump is only a few years old, it is not directly compatible with any automation control units and instead has it's own built-in controller which also powers/controls the booster pump. There is an automation adapter kit for it which basically turns the VS pump into a 1-4 speed pump and takes up 1-4 of the automation unit's relays/outputs.

    Aside from having more precise control over the speed, I am not really sure what functionality I will be missing out on by not having a VS pump that is directly compatible with the Automation control unit. Can anyone enlighten me on the benefits? if there really aren't any, is precise speed control really that important? I figure I would only need three speeds for my setup (low for most of the day, high for cleaning, and medium for sending water up to the solar panels roof)

    Thank you in advance for any input!
    25k gallon in-ground pool with plaster surface (needs resurfacing)
    Waterway Oasis Pool Controller and Waterway Econo Flo VSA pump
    Hayward SwimClear C3030 Cartridge Filter
    Polaris 380 pool sweep and Booster Pump
    400 sq ft Heliocol Solar Heating Panels

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    Re: How important is VS Pump and Automation Controller compatibilty?

    While it is very nice to have precision control, it is not 100% required. I have a similar set up with a Easy Touch 4 and a VS speed pump that has 4 inputs. I dial in the pre set speeds into the pump and then have a schedule in the Easy Touch to bump from relay to relay. One of the relays has both the pump control and the SWCG connected to it so when this relay closes, the pump runs at the speed I need for SWCG and the SWCG powers up.

    One thing I did learn is to over lap the schedules by one minute otherwise if I was running on low speed and wanted to switch to medium, the relays opened briefly. This caused the pump to run in prime for 3 minutes. What I do is have medium speed start at 8am and low speed shut off at 801am. The controller always runs the higher priority.
    Pool: 14,000-gal IG
    Filter: Pentair Sand Dollar, Pump: Pentair Superflo VS
    Automation: Pentair EasyTouch w/ Autelis, Lighting:Globrite
    Pentair SWG IC20, Prowler 820, K-2006


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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: How important is VS Pump and Automation Controller compatibilty?

    Option,

    What you say makes sense to me... It is not imperative to be able to control the pump's exact speed over the entire range...

    That said, if you were building a new pool, or an equipment upgrade to an old pool, then my recommendation be to go with units that you know for sure can communicate with one another..

    The best way to do that is to use the same brand of equipment, but even then, you have to be selective as just pointed out by jsong above.

    He has a Pentair VS pump and a Pentair automation system, yet they will not easily communicate with easy other without a cumbersome work around..

    If I were a Pentair Engineer, I'm pretty sure I would not admit it on this site...

    Thanks for posting,

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Caldera Spa.

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    Re: How important is VS Pump and Automation Controller compatibilty?

    Jim is correct. All of my eqpt is Pentair. Shame on my PB for doing that to me and shame on me for not finding this forum in time. I would have gladly paid for the upgraded pump and ET8 but it wasnt even offered. pennies on the dollar when you look at what is in the whole project....
    Pool: 14,000-gal IG
    Filter: Pentair Sand Dollar, Pump: Pentair Superflo VS
    Automation: Pentair EasyTouch w/ Autelis, Lighting:Globrite
    Pentair SWG IC20, Prowler 820, K-2006


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    Option's Avatar
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    Re: How important is VS Pump and Automation Controller compatibilty?

    Quote Originally Posted by jasong View Post
    While it is very nice to have precision control, it is not 100% required. I have a similar set up with a Easy Touch 4 and a VS speed pump that has 4 inputs. I dial in the pre set speeds into the pump and then have a schedule in the Easy Touch to bump from relay to relay. One of the relays has both the pump control and the SWCG connected to it so when this relay closes, the pump runs at the speed I need for SWCG and the SWCG powers up.

    One thing I did learn is to over lap the schedules by one minute otherwise if I was running on low speed and wanted to switch to medium, the relays opened briefly. This caused the pump to run in prime for 3 minutes. What I do is have medium speed start at 8am and low speed shut off at 801am. The controller always runs the higher priority.
    Thank you for sharing your experience! That is good to know about overlapping the relay timing. If I am understanding correctly, it sounds like when the controller switches from one relay to the next there was a brief moment where no signal was sent to the pump making it think it had turned off and then back on which in turn triggering an unnecessary priming cycle. Is that right?

    If so, I am thinking maybe wiring my my all-day low speed setting into the lowest priority input and it can stay on all day. Then, when cleaning is needed it can kick into high speed in the next highest priority input. Finally, the highest priority input can be used for medium speed when water is sent to the roof for solar heating. Do you think that would avoid the extra priming cycles between settings?
    25k gallon in-ground pool with plaster surface (needs resurfacing)
    Waterway Oasis Pool Controller and Waterway Econo Flo VSA pump
    Hayward SwimClear C3030 Cartridge Filter
    Polaris 380 pool sweep and Booster Pump
    400 sq ft Heliocol Solar Heating Panels

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: How important is VS Pump and Automation Controller compatibilty?

    Option,

    In a way that is exactly what I do.. I run 24/7 at 1,200 and then just tell the pump when I want the speed to be more than 1,200. My pump never goes though the priming cycle unless I shut it off.. and then turn it back on..

    Thanks,

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Caldera Spa.

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    Option's Avatar
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    Re: How important is VS Pump and Automation Controller compatibilty?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimrahbe View Post
    Option,

    What you say makes sense to me... It is not imperative to be able to control the pump's exact speed over the entire range...

    That said, if you were building a new pool, or an equipment upgrade to an old pool, then my recommendation be to go with units that you know for sure can communicate with one another..

    The best way to do that is to use the same brand of equipment, but even then, you have to be selective as just pointed out by jsong above.

    He has a Pentair VS pump and a Pentair automation system, yet they will not easily communicate with easy other without a cumbersome work around..

    If I were a Pentair Engineer, I'm pretty sure I would not admit it on this site...

    Thanks for posting,

    Jim R.
    Thank you Jim! So it sounds like my proposed setup with the adapter would not exactly be ideal but I probably would rarely (if ever) regret keeping my VS pump. That being said, maybe I should look for higher quality controller that can play nice with the right pump so that if I ever need to replace my current one I can have that option.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by jasong View Post
    Jim is correct. All of my eqpt is Pentair. Shame on my PB for doing that to me and shame on me for not finding this forum in time. I would have gladly paid for the upgraded pump and ET8 but it wasnt even offered. pennies on the dollar when you look at what is in the whole project....
    Thanks again jasong, can you tell me if the control unit simply doesn't offer direct pump control or is it designed to work with a different Pentair pump?
    25k gallon in-ground pool with plaster surface (needs resurfacing)
    Waterway Oasis Pool Controller and Waterway Econo Flo VSA pump
    Hayward SwimClear C3030 Cartridge Filter
    Polaris 380 pool sweep and Booster Pump
    400 sq ft Heliocol Solar Heating Panels

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: How important is VS Pump and Automation Controller compatibilty?

    Quote Originally Posted by jasong View Post
    Jim is correct. All of my eqpt is Pentair. Shame on my PB for doing that to me and shame on me for not finding this forum in time. I would have gladly paid for the upgraded pump and ET8 but it wasnt even offered. pennies on the dollar when you look at what is in the whole project....
    What you said is what I have been "preaching" for a while. The additional cost of upgraded automation equipment is soon forgotten... The pain of poor equipment selection can go on forever...

    I suspect you already know, but if you are not using solar, you can add a fifth relay to the ET4... I have the ET4 and sure wish I had gotten the ET8

    Thanks,

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Caldera Spa.

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    Re: How important is VS Pump and Automation Controller compatibilty?

    Quote Originally Posted by Option View Post
    Thank you Jim! So it sounds like my proposed setup with the adapter would not exactly be ideal but I probably would rarely (if ever) regret keeping my VS pump. That being said, maybe I should look for higher quality controller that can play nice with the right pump so that if I ever need to replace my current one I can have that option.

    - - - Updated - - -



    Thanks again jasong, can you tell me if the control unit simply doesn't offer direct pump control or is it designed to work with a different Pentair pump?

    The selected pump is actually just like yours in that it is smart enough to not need a controller and is what I believe to be an entry level VS pump. They have the digital inputs that can be used with any brand. The controller is fine, it was the lower end pump that got me

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimrahbe View Post
    What you said is what I have been "preaching" for a while. The additional cost of upgraded automation equipment is soon forgotten... The pain of poor equipment selection can go on forever...

    I suspect you already know, but if you are not using solar, you can add a fifth relay to the ET4... I have the ET4 and sure wish I had gotten the ET8

    Thanks,

    Jim R.

    I am already using the solar relay for another option:
    Pump Relay is for SWCG and 1800 RPM
    Relay 2 is lighting
    Relay 3 is low speed 1200
    Relay 4 is high 2500
    When I trigger the Solar relay, a few things happen. I run up to 3000rpm {i think its 3000{ and open up Aux 1 valve to flow water into 4 deck jets.

    I am looking at either solar or a HotSpot heat recovery module so I see an ET8 in my future
    Pool: 14,000-gal IG
    Filter: Pentair Sand Dollar, Pump: Pentair Superflo VS
    Automation: Pentair EasyTouch w/ Autelis, Lighting:Globrite
    Pentair SWG IC20, Prowler 820, K-2006


  10. Back To Top    #10
    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: How important is VS Pump and Automation Controller compatibilty?

    Quote Originally Posted by jasong View Post
    The selected pump is actually just like yours in that it is smart enough to not need a controller and is what I believe to be an entry level VS pump. They have the digital inputs that can be used with any brand. The controller is fine, it was the lower end pump that got me

    - - - Updated - - -




    I am already using the solar relay for another option:
    Pump Relay is for SWCG and 1800 RPM
    Relay 2 is lighting
    Relay 3 is low speed 1200
    Relay 4 is high 2500
    When I trigger the Solar relay, a few things happen. I run up to 3000rpm {i think its 3000{ and open up Aux 1 valve to flow water into 4 deck jets.

    I am looking at either solar or a HotSpot heat recovery module so I see an ET8 in my future
    J,

    Not sure which would cost more.. and ET8 or an IntelliFlo pump..?? The IntelliFlo is controlled by a serial cable from the ET and requires no relays to operate.

    Thanks,

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Caldera Spa.

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    Re: How important is VS Pump and Automation Controller compatibilty?

    Yea its a close price. Not a half bad idea. Again wish i knew more prior to starting the build. Sand filter is easy to maintain but i hate the "floaters in the light" so I tried the DE trick.....it worked but my flows suffered and the SWCG shut down. Might be a few good reasons to go to the VF pump.....
    Pool: 14,000-gal IG
    Filter: Pentair Sand Dollar, Pump: Pentair Superflo VS
    Automation: Pentair EasyTouch w/ Autelis, Lighting:Globrite
    Pentair SWG IC20, Prowler 820, K-2006


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