Converting Hayward Northstar single speed single pool pump to a VSP and Smart Switch/Timer installation

doberdragon

Active member
Aug 27, 2019
25
Katy, TX
For reference, my current setup - I am 2nd owner on this pool, and bought the house a few years back with the setup.

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Been real solid and pretty trouble free to date - but my pump sounds like a dying squirrel and rather than just rebuild the old Northstar and continue forward with a single speed pump, would like to better my carbon footprint, save cash on electricity, etc. and graduate into a VSP.

I have been reading up on the potential issues with having a SWG and hooking that up off a 'constant on' VSP wiring situation, and the risk of timers being out of sync and the SWG exploding - I am a safety-first kind of person, and also a DIYer as I love learning and building and maintaining my house (I like knowing a job was done well, and if there is an issue, it is my fault and I remedy it!).

So that said, here is a diagram of what I was thinking, to combat this SWG/VSP power issue + add a bit more smart automation to my setup (I have been building a smart house to a certain extent already with around 80 devices in the house... pool pump automation is long due!)

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Thoughts:
  • I have a wi-fi switch on the VSP, that is 'always on' but allows me to do a 'kill power' to the system if I am away from home and TX has another stellar power outage that messes up the local clock on the VSP and settings
  • I power the pool cleaner pump off a switch for more flexibility on cleaning schedule - nothing big to report there
  • The SWG is on a wifi switch as well - so I have 'zero clock sync issues' with the power source between the SWG and the primary pool pump.
    • Yes - I recognize that if there was a power outage and I have the ability to remotely check all my all my wi-fi switches are on 'correct time' - BUT unless I manually check the VSP's local schedule on the pump controller itself to make sure there was not a clock sync issue - they could be out-of-sync
    • that said, if I am out of town and this happens, I can just use the wi-fi control to kill power to all 3 devices, and deal with the pool issues when back in town
Soliciting thoughts on this setup, any flaws that you see? Is there any issue running a pump like a Pentair IntelliFlo off of a switch - if you plan to give it power 24/7 unless you have a one of incident and shut down all power?
 

chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,675
Tucson
As a retired Fire Chief and safety oriented person, I have one comment. You are way overthinking this safety issue. With the onboard controller/timer on the pump and an Intermatic timer for the SWG, you already have a “belt and suspenders” system. The timer just needs to be set to turn the SWG on 30 min after the pump is set to start, and off 30 min before it stops. Should the timers get out of sync or something fail, you still have a flow switch on the SWG that will prevent it from being powered without a flow.
Its not that I’m against using smart switches. In fact I’m using one of the 220v switches for my spa pump, and several 110v ones for the heater, light, etc.
 
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kevreh

Bronze Supporter
Jun 2, 2007
502
Annandale, VA
Why wouldn't a single switch control the SWG and the pump? That way the SWG can only be on if the pump is. If your saying the Intelliflow has its own schedule via the keypad, then yes I can see where the pump would be off but power going to the SWG. However, in this case, if you cut power to the pump, and turn it on, does it start its schedule from the beginning? Does it store its schedule for a certain perdiod of time? I looked into adding a vgreen VS pump and thats how they work. In this case it would be fine.

BTW, I had the Aquarite SWG like you do. Sold it on ebay for a few hundred (cell not included), and took that money and bought a Prologic PL4 Panel. Nice step up to automation.
 

doberdragon

Active member
Aug 27, 2019
25
Katy, TX
@kevreh - my thoughts on not having the SWG and pump on the same switch was, I could use that wifi switch to set the schedule for the SWG to run a separate schedule from the pool pump. As in - let's say with the new variable speed pump I run a lower rate for a longer period of the day - like 12 hours or something - I don't have to run the SWG that full 12 hours. I could program the Pump on the pump itself to run the 12 hour schedule, and program the SWG through the wifi switch to only be 'on' for 8 hours a day (or whatever time i determine gets my FC level where I want it).

RE: the Prologic PL4 panel - does that give you the ability to control your SWG on/off time + your pool pump schedule all in one place? That would solve some of my issues here, I am still deep in the 'research' phase here on what pump I want to buy, but struggling to find a simple system that integrates a SWG and VSP settings without being a $1000+ 'automation' system where I don't need any other features... I have no spa, no lights, no valves, no heater, etc. to try and control. Just simply primary pool pump, cleaner pump, and SWG.
 

doberdragon

Active member
Aug 27, 2019
25
Katy, TX
@chiefwej - those are good points as well. I guess on first pass I am happy to hear it seems I am overthinking it as opposed to underthinking it!

I like your approach around the smart switches - I use Kasa for the majority of my switches/bulbs (around 30 or so) and I would love to add more to stay with a single app there... but unfortunately they don't have 220V options! That space really seems to be limited in the market...

Thus I am considering these DEWENWILS Outdoor Smart Wi-Fi Outlet Box, Heavy Duty 40A 120-277 VAC 2HP Wireless Controller Timer Switch for Pool Water Heater SPA, Compatible with Smart Phone, Alexa, Google Assistant, UL Listed: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific (they look super similar to the ones you used)
 
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