Automation with SWG?

bparker

Active member
Dec 8, 2015
41
Dallas, TX
I have Intelliflo VS and Polaris pumps, and have been very happy with my two Intermatic mechanical timers and no automation. But now I am adding SWG and some bubbler water features to the pool.

The Hayward T-Cell 15 gets good reviews here and many use it without automation. I like the thought of no automation, but I think that adding SWG and a water feature (even if I don't automate valves) has made my setup complex enough to need an automation controller. If that is the case, I would be better with the Pentair Easy Touch + IC40.

I would need settings for
1. low flow filter pump
2. higher flow filter pump + turn on Polaris
3. higher flow filter pump for water feature (initially turn valve manually)

Somewhere in there the SWG would need power turned on.
Is Pentair automation my best bet?
 

chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,587
Tucson
I personally am not a fan of automation system. I believe in keeping it simple. I have infloor cleaning system, both solar and gas heating, a spa with a fountain water feature and SWG, yet feel no need for automation. I have a Solar Touch that handles the solar, the Inteliflow is programmed for several speed changes throughout the day and a simple timer switches the SWG.

If you are going to automate you should try to stick with one manufacturer for your equipment. So although I love my Hayward AquaRite, you would be better off with all Pentair equipment.
 

Divin Dave

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 2, 2013
5,687
Longview, Texas
since you already have an intelliflo, then your automation system and SWG also needs to be pentair.
look at the Easy Touch and Sun Touch controllers by Pentair and figure out which one suits you the best. Easty touch is probably the most popular.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
21,153
Bedford, TX
B,

I said this the other day.. "If I could magically install an automation system in your pool tomorrow and you used it for a week, you'd fight me tooth and nail if I tried to take it back.." :p

Do you "need" one, absolutely not!!! But, do you need power windows in your car? Do you need the FOB to unlock your car doors? How about your TV remote? Well, you get the idea...

Once installed, automation systems require almost no maintenance. In my mind the main downside is simply cost.. An Easytouch 4, with IC40 and two valves costs just less than $1,600 at SunPlay.

Pretty easy to do a DIY install, but if not comfortable with that, then my guess (and just a guess) is that you would need to budget another $1,000 to $1,500 for an install.

An automation system could easily do the things you listed above. I agree with the comment that since you have the Intelliflo the only sensible automation choice is the EasyTouch. If you had a Hayward pump, I would recommend their automation system. All the electronic components should all be from the same manufacturer.

If you have anymore questions, just let us know,

Jim R.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
21,153
Bedford, TX
Jandy pda controls ingelliflow just fine. I would avoid the Pentair salt generator as the cells are way expensive.

So, Rob, how does that work? Are you controlling it via the serial cable, special adapter or???

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

bparker

Active member
Dec 8, 2015
41
Dallas, TX
Thanks guys.

It looks like the IC40 is about $120 more than the T-cell 15. Pentair cell is quite a bit more, but not break the bank. If I could control the Polaris pump from the Intelliflo I would skip automation. But I don't want a chance for the filter and sweep pumps to get out of synch, e.g. Intelliflo at 700 RPM when sweep pump comes on. Having everything controlled by one clock seems desirable.

Is the strategy for SWG to have it on with filter pump on higher speed so that it does not have to stay on as long? With Intelliflo I plan to have it run most/all of the day on low, and then ramp up during the time the Polaris is on.

Bill.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
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Jul 7, 2014
21,153
Bedford, TX
Bill,

Increasing the pump speed does not increase the output of a SWCG. As long speed is enough to close the flow switch, it will produce chlorine. In my case I have to run the pump at 1,100 RPM to close the flow switch, so I run it at 1,200 RPM just to make sure. At that speed, the pump used only 175 Watts of electrical power.

You would simply set up a scheduled time for your cleaner to run. The automation would then ramp up the main pump to whatever speed you wanted, say 3,000 RPM, and then turn on your booster pump for X hours. When done, it would turn off the booster pump and return your main pump to the speed you wanted.

I run my pump 24/7 and have the SWCG output set to a low percentage.. This provides a little chlorine all the time, rather than a lot of chlorine in short bursts.

Regards,

Jim R.
 

robl45

Well-known member
Oct 27, 2007
813
Parkland, FL
You must enjoy a high electric bill. I know the VS is more efficient, but still.

Bill,

Increasing the pump speed does not increase the output of a SWCG. As long speed is enough to close the flow switch, it will produce chlorine. In my case I have to run the pump at 1,100 RPM to close the flow switch, so I run it at 1,200 RPM just to make sure. At that speed, the pump used only 175 Watts of electrical power.

You would simply set up a scheduled time for your cleaner to run. The automation would then ramp up the main pump to whatever speed you wanted, say 3,000 RPM, and then turn on your booster pump for X hours. When done, it would turn off the booster pump and return your main pump to the speed you wanted.

I run my pump 24/7 and have the SWCG output set to a low percentage.. This provides a little chlorine all the time, rather than a lot of chlorine in short bursts.

Regards,

Jim R.

- - - Updated - - -

I don't remember exactly, I know it was just hooking the wires to it, no special adapter, it has a setting to pick pentair vs pump and then you program the rpms you want for different features.

So, Rob, how does that work? Are you controlling it via the serial cable, special adapter or???

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
21,153
Bedford, TX
You must enjoy a high electric bill. I know the VS is more efficient, but still. - - - Updated - - -

I don't remember exactly, I know it was just hooking the wires to it, no special adapter, it has a setting to pick pentair vs pump and then you program the rpms you want for different features.

Rob, To run the pump 24/7 costs less than $20 a month. Since I have an all electric house.. :( the amount of electricity the pump uses is in the noise... :D

I did a little research on your automation system and as you stated it will control the Intelliflo. I find it odd only because keeping control info proprietary is a major way to force people to buy your equipment.

I appreciate the feedback, very helpful.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

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robl45

Well-known member
Oct 27, 2007
813
Parkland, FL
I guess the VS is much more efficient. I didn't really do any numbers, I bought it because it had to be cheaper than the standard pumps. When I had my 1.5hp power, going from 12 hours a day to 6 hours a day saved 70 dollars or more a month in electric.

Rob, To run the pump 24/7 costs less than $20 a month. Since I have an all electric house.. :( the amount of electricity the pump uses is in the noise... :D

I did a little research on your automation system and as you stated it will control the Intelliflo. I find it odd only because keeping control info proprietary is a major way to force people to buy your equipment.

I appreciate the feedback, very helpful.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,587
Tucson
I guess the VS is much more efficient. I didn't really do any numbers, I bought it because it had to be cheaper than the standard pumps. When I had my 1.5hp power, going from 12 hours a day to 6 hours a day saved 70 dollars or more a month in electric.
Running my 3hp Intelliflo pump at 1,000 rpm uses as much electricity as a single 100 watt light bulb. $70 would pay for running a long time. If you were spending $140 a month to run your pump, it wasnt just a hint to shorten the run time. That savings will pay for a VS pump in a hurry. Especially if some power company rebates can be had.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
21,153
Bedford, TX
Rob,

1950 seems high, but all pools are a little different.. Does your Spa spillover run all the time? Does the 1950 include the spillover?

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

xyz

Gold Supporter
Sep 8, 2016
641
Escondido/CA
Jandy pda controls ingelliflow just fine. I would avoid the Pentair salt generator as the cells are way expensive.

Hmm. The link that shows cost per lb of Chlorine shows the IC60 tied [with the Hayward] for lowest cost. Since My last one lasted far longer than it was supposed to, I'd say that this might be THE lowest cost. But maybe you are talking about up front cost.

I'd say if you are concerned about up front cost, SWG is not for you since you are buying ~7 years worth of FC all at once. Then maybe a stenner and liquid FC.

With a Pentair VS motor, easytouch + IC60 is likely the best/lowest long term cost.
 

robl45

Well-known member
Oct 27, 2007
813
Parkland, FL
Rob,

1950 seems high, but all pools are a little different.. Does your Spa spillover run all the time? Does the 1950 include the spillover?

Thanks,

Jim R.

Yes spa spillover. I tried 1650 and it would lose flow after 30 minutes or so

- - - Updated - - -

Hmm. The link that shows cost per lb of Chlorine shows the IC60 tied [with the Hayward] for lowest cost. Since My last one lasted far longer than it was supposed to, I'd say that this might be THE lowest cost. But maybe you are talking about up front cost.

I'd say if you are concerned about up front cost, SWG is not for you since you are buying ~7 years worth of FC all at once. Then maybe a stenner and liquid FC.

With a Pentair VS motor, easytouch + IC60 is likely the best/lowest long term cost.

You can get cells for most swg for around 300. Pentair because of electronics is much more
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
21,153
Bedford, TX
Rob,

I suspect you could run much slower if your Spillover was off.

I'm curious about your pH? Spillovers normally cause the pH to rapidly increase, especially if you have a SWG. Do you find you have to continually add acid to maintain control of your pH?

Jim R.
 

xyz

Gold Supporter
Sep 8, 2016
641
Escondido/CA
Yes spa spillover. I tried 1650 and it would lose flow after 30 minutes or so

- - - Updated - - -



You can get cells for most swg for around 300. Pentair because of electronics is much more

If you check the link, you will see that the low initial cost translates into higer cost per lb of FC. The IC60 is about the cheapest total cost per lb delivered. That is why I mentioned a Stenner--lower initial cost, pay as you go. The 700 dollar IC60 delivers the lowest cost per lb of FC, so the best deal is not the lowest up front cost.

Ill see see if I can find the link that did a fairly in depth cost comparison.

- - - Updated - - -

I think Jim is on to something. If it runs for 5 min, why would it die after 30? Air leak maybe?
 

robl45

Well-known member
Oct 27, 2007
813
Parkland, FL
If you check the link, you will see that the low initial cost translates into higer cost per lb of FC. The IC60 is about the cheapest total cost per lb delivered. That is why I mentioned a Stenner--lower initial cost, pay as you go. The 700 dollar IC60 delivers the lowest cost per lb of FC, so the best deal is not the lowest up front cost.

Ill see see if I can find the link that did a fairly in depth cost comparison.

- - - Updated - - -

I think Jim is on to something. If it runs for 5 min, why would it die after 30? Air leak maybe?

I do not know, I just know I tested it a number of times and at the lower setting it wouldn't stay at flow and a little higher it does. The Jandy SWG likes a higher flow rate. Other salt generators work with a lower flow rate. The Jandy sucks, wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy, but it does interface with the automation so I try to live with it and fix it when it breaks.
 

xyz

Gold Supporter
Sep 8, 2016
641
Escondido/CA
Ok, so it is the flow sensor on the SWG that is kicking off after 30 min?

If yes, maybe it is time to hot rod the flow sensor. I know there is a way to make the Pentair flow sensors more sensitive (bend the paddle nearer the magnet, I think).

Does the Jandy flow sensor have a magnet to help make it latch? I think I'll look for that link.
 

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