Can heater call for circulation pump?

EnoughToBeDangerous

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Oct 4, 2018
33
Long Island, NY
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Autopilot Digital PPC1 (RC-35)
I have an aquacal super quiet variable speed heat pump and a pentair intelliflo pool pump. The intelliflo is normally schedule off at night, but if the heat pump is trying to raise the temperature, it wouldn't be able to run unless it can call the pool pump. The heater is not often used, so I don't want to run the pool pump 24/7. It's a variable speed pump, but I can only turn it down to about 1800 before I notice debris failing to reach the skimmers. What's the best way to set this up?

Thanks!
 

ajw22

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Jul 21, 2013
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Northern NJ
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Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Unfortunately the HP and the IntelliFlo do not talk to each other. You need a Pentair automation system like the IntelliCenter, or EasyTouch, or maybe the IntelliConnect to talk to the Aquacal and Intelliflo and tell the Aquacal to heat and the IntelliFlo to run.
 

yblaser

Active member
Apr 21, 2010
38
Torrance, CA
Also the heater (or the automation) won't be able to tell the temperature of the pool without the pump on circulating water. At least with the automation you can run the pump at the absolute lowest RPM and automatically increase to a higher RPM when the heater is running.
 

EnoughToBeDangerous

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Oct 4, 2018
33
Long Island, NY
Pool Size
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Chlorine
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Autopilot Digital PPC1 (RC-35)
Thanks folks, I'm starting to understand the concept. So I thought the best solution was to program the pump to run at 1900 for four 2 hr intervals during the day to skim the pool, and the rest of the time to run at 1300rpm, which I found is the minimum to reliably trigger the flow sensor in the heater.

Now there are two issues I'd love to hear suggestions on.

1. Running at 1300rpm, the intelliflo pump screen says I'm using about 140watts, but I put an emporia VUE in my electrical panel to monitor the pump circuit, and it says I'm using 370 watts. At 1900, the intelliflo says about 250, but the emporia clocks about 675. Is something wrong with my pump or wiring?

2. The pump is running 24/7 even when the heater is not needed. Is there a way to reduce this runtime? TFP indicates 4 hours a day may be enough. One idea I had is to set up a ge outdoor zwave switch to cut power to the pump for say 12-20 hours a day when the weather is above a certain temp, or on weekdays when the pool is rarely heated, or even just manually. In these days of internet of things it seems like there would be a better way, but so far it eludes me. Anyone think this would be a good way to go, or know of a better strategy?
 

yblaser

Active member
Apr 21, 2010
38
Torrance, CA
Regarding (1), there are probably a couple of issues here. I'm not familiar with the VUE, but did some googling and apparently the VUE does not measure the actual voltage. It assumes the loads are 120V and thus miscalculates the power draw by 2x for 240V loads. Also, it can only measure apparent power, not real power so will miscalculate the real power usage of the pump by the power factor of the pump.

Edit: The part I striked out above is incorrect, because if this was the case it would show half the power not twice. It is still probably an issue with how the VUE is set up. Do you have current transformer clamps on both of the hot lines in the panel? That could cause it to read double depending on how it is set up.
 
Last edited:

PoolGate

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Jun 7, 2017
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Damascus, MD
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You should consider basic automation.
 

EnoughToBeDangerous

Gold Supporter
Oct 4, 2018
33
Long Island, NY
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Autopilot Digital PPC1 (RC-35)
Regarding (1), there are probably a couple of issues here. I'm not familiar with the VUE, but did some googling and apparently the VUE does not measure the actual voltage. It assumes the loads are 120V and thus miscalculates the power draw by 2x for 240V loads. Also, it can only measure apparent power, not real power so will miscalculate the real power usage of the pump by the power factor of the pump.

Edit: The part I striked out above is incorrect, because if this was the case it would show half the power not twice. It is still probably an issue with how the VUE is set up. Do you have current transformer clamps on both of the hot lines in the panel? That could cause it to read double depending on how it is set up.
I have a current transducer clamp on both power leads for the house and only 1 lead for the pump circuit. I set the software to double the current for the pool pump since it's a 240v circuit. There could be a slight error if the voltage is skewed on the two phases, but I doubt to the tune of a 100% error.

It's an emporia vue Gene so it does measure the reference voltage on both phases, and apparently it measures the phases and adjusts for reactive power used by an inductive load, but that part is where I'm suspicious.

On the other hand, I have no reason to believe the pentair pump watts is more accurate than the emporia vue which users have tied out with their electrical bills. Do we have any idea if the watts shown on the pump is accurate?