DIY Peristaltic Automation Questions

ti_chris

Member
Apr 30, 2017
12
San Jose, CA
Hi,

I am slowly but surely starting to add automation to my pool to make the maintenance a little easier on me. It started by installing a simple Sonoff Dual R2 device so I could automate the timing of my pool pump & lights & control them both via Wifi. I've been really happy with this setup so far. Next, I'm about to add a pH & ORP sensors to more accurately measure my pH & chlorine levels. But the next project I'm contemplating is to use peristaltic pumps to also automate my pool chemical intake. I'm currently running my pool off of muriatic acid, 3" trichlor pucks with cal hypo shock, but I've done the math and I'm probably spending more money overall vs liquid chlorine. Liquid chlorine obviously more of a daily intake which is why I'd like to move to something that can more precisely measure the amount that goes in and take care of it daily. I get that such a setup isn't as get and forget as it may sound and that the lines can break and the pumps also stop working over time, but I'm hoping that it's still cheaper and less work than handling it myself everyday. Long story short, I'm investigating adding this to my current system, but I'm struggling to find a few answers.

For reference, I've been looking at using the Atlas Scientific sensors & pumps because they're tinker-friendly and would allow me to control everything through Wifi including sensors that could detect line breaks and when the bins run out of liquid.

I can't seem to find proper connectors to connect the silicone tubing of the pump to my pool's PVC tubing. What connectors are available to do that? Can they properly handle the pool's pressure or do they have a check valve so that the fluid also flows in one direction? I wouldn't want my pool pump's pressure to push fluid against the pump's direction. Worst, I'd hate for fickle connectors to leak chlorine or acid on the floor.

Any link here would also help me. This is for a residential pool and the pump's rate is fully progarmmable. In theory, I could make the rate very slow such that we wouldn't really need to "close the pool" while chemicals are added. What would be a maximum acceptable rate to add chlorine & acid at such that it wouldn't cause issues?
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
24,179
SouthWest Alabama
I noticed a few things about the devices you want to use.
1. The pump shown on the website is listed for a max pressure of 80kPA (11.5 PSIG) your pool pump is at some point likely to exceed that pressure, so at very least you'll have to install a check valve at the injection point. And the system will require programming to ensure that the injection pump only runs when the main pump is at a low enough speed so that the pressure doesn't exceed the rating.

2. As for connectors, they make barbed to threaded fittings for 5mm tubing that you could adapt the pump tubing to your pool plumbing.

3. You can inject the chlorine and acid at pretty high rates and not affect anyone swimming in the pool. It mixes with the pool water very rapidly so the FC and pH aren't out of range enough to be of concern.

And one last item. You say you want to use ORP, but unless this is an indoor pool with very low CYA, ORP has proven to be very unreliable. Higher CYA needed in an outdoor pool adversely affects the ORP probes and makes them all but useless in most cases.
 

ti_chris

Member
Apr 30, 2017
12
San Jose, CA
Thanks for the reply.

I noticed a few things about the devices you want to use.
1. The pump shown on the website is listed for a max pressure of 80kPA (11.5 PSIG) your pool pump is at some point likely to exceed that pressure, so at very least you'll have to install a check valve at the injection point. And the system will require programming to ensure that the injection pump only runs when the main pump is at a low enough speed so that the pressure doesn't exceed the rating.
Yah that makes sense. I may as well buy another pump that's rated to something higher such as 20PSI which should be good enough for my 1/5HP pump. I don't havea 2 speed pump.

2. As for connectors, they make barbed to threaded fittings for 5mm tubing that you could adapt the pump tubing to your pool plumbing.
Thx I'll look for 'em :)

3. You can inject the chlorine and acid at pretty high rates and not affect anyone swimming in the pool. It mixes with the pool water very rapidly so the FC and pH aren't out of range enough to be of concern.

And one last item. You say you want to use ORP, but unless this is an indoor pool with very low CYA, ORP has proven to be very unreliable. Higher CYA needed in an outdoor pool adversely affects the ORP probes and makes them all but useless in most cases.
Thanks. That's good to know. I thought that commercial pools used ORP sensors to calibrate things. What is the issue with the CYA? Does it simply not register any changes at all when the levels drop or is the drop larger than normal?
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
24,179
SouthWest Alabama
Thanks. That's good to know. I thought that commercial pools used ORP sensors to calibrate things. What is the issue with the CYA? Does it simply not register any changes at all when the levels drop or is the drop larger than normal?
Most commercial pools aren't allowed to have much CYA in the water, and a lot of them can't have any, that's why they can use ORP. Even then it's still not highly accurate.
CYA above about 30 ppm affects the reading of the ORP. The reading can drift, or be off low or high, or it can poison the probe in some cases.

They make amperometric probes but they're cost prohibitive and have not been proven in residential pool use.
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,730
Arizona
Pool Size
20500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
@ti_chris
There are a couple of us getting into the Atlas Scientific T3 Tentacle boards and AS sensors (myself and three others that I am aware of).

I have recently added several to my new and much improved automation system, which I just got up and running and am still in the configuration and calibration mode. In fact, the only thing that I am actually using my IntelliCenter for now is as a "go-between" for relays, IntelliChlor, valve-actuators etc. Pool Automation and control is now courtesy of nodejs-poolController and it's associated dashPanel...
itmt.. Check out these links. You may find some useful information...

I'll be posting a detailed write-up regarding results/findings/experiences/mistakes, etc., when I have completed most of this new project. REM will soon be integrating with the nodejs-poolController-dashPanel which will be a game changer for some of us who choose to go down that road..
2020-11-16_08-49-59.jpg

3892504B-DAAD-4F17-8654-FA428A9C4631_1_105_c.jpeg

btw: The folks at Atlas Scientific are great and there are lots of new developments on the horizon.

r.
 
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ti_chris

Member
Apr 30, 2017
12
San Jose, CA
@ti_chris
There are a couple of us getting into the Atlas Scientific T3 Tentacle boards and AS sensors (myself and three others that I am aware of).

I have recently added several to my new and much improved automation system, which I just got up and running and am still in the configuration and calibration mode. In fact, the only thing that I am actually using my IntelliCenter for now is as a "go-between" for relays, IntelliChlor, valve-actuators etc. Pool Automation and control is now courtesy of nodejs-poolController and it's associated dashPanel...
itmt.. Check out these links. You may find some useful information...





I'll be posting a detailed write-up regarding results/findings/experiences/mistakes, etc., when I have completed most of this new project. REM will soon be integrating with the nodejs-poolController-dashPanel which will be a game changer for some of us who choose to go down that road..
View attachment 168794

View attachment 168770

btw: The folks at Atlas Scientific are great and there are lots of new developments on the horizon.

r.
Thanks. Would love to know how it goes once the whole thing is setup and running for a while.

Most commercial pools aren't allowed to have much CYA in the water, and a lot of them can't have any, that's why they can use ORP. Even then it's still not highly accurate.
CYA above about 30 ppm affects the reading of the ORP. The reading can drift, or be off low or high, or it can poison the probe in some cases.

They make amperometric probes but they're cost prohibitive and have not been proven in residential pool use.
Thanks. That's helpful :). I'm currently re-thinking the whole thing and maybe simply install a peristaltic pump to automate chlorine injection and manually adjust it during the summer or shock by hand when needed.
 

ti_chris

Member
Apr 30, 2017
12
San Jose, CA
Hi,

I'm looking at installing a peristaltic pump to automatically feed chlorine to my pool this way I know for sure that at-least a minimum of chlorine will be inserted in the pool during the day and can tune it with the weather & shock manually when needed. I've been looking at pumps in general and it seems like there aren't that many for residential pools. I'm currently thinking about the Milwaukee pump. It's technically slated for aquariums, but looking at the specs, it seems like it shoudl be able to handle pools. More specifically, it can handle a maximum pressures of 1.5bars (~22psi) which should be enough given that my 0.5hp pump typically tends to read slightly more than 10psi on my filter gauge when dirty. Is there anything else I should be thinking about to know if this would work or not?
 

Regnar

Active member
Oct 30, 2016
42
Oldsmar/FL
Stenner pumps are what your looking for. There are a few threads over in the SWG section. I have had mine going for 3 years now and besides the tube and a small battery it has been trouble free. If I where to do it all over again I would get one that just comes on with power and use a smart plug like Sonoff or any other the hundreds of
Smart plugs out there.
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,730
Arizona
Pool Size
20500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Hi,

I'm looking at installing a peristaltic pump to automatically feed chlorine to my pool this way I know for sure that at-least a minimum of chlorine will be inserted in the pool during the day and can tune it with the weather & shock manually when needed. I've been looking at pumps in general and it seems like there aren't that many for residential pools. I'm currently thinking about the Milwaukee pump. It's technically slated for aquariums, but looking at the specs, it seems like it shoudl be able to handle pools. More specifically, it can handle a maximum pressures of 1.5bars (~22psi) which should be enough given that my 0.5hp pump typically tends to read slightly more than 10psi on my filter gauge when dirty. Is there anything else I should be thinking about to know if this would work or not?
@ti_chris
Maybe check out this pump as well.
r.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,719
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I usually understand only about 25% of these types of discussions, but I think you were looking for this in the original post:


This valve fits into readily available PVC female-threaded parts, which you can then glue into a PVC tee. Others have threaded them directly into PVC pipe, or elbows, by tapping threads into the PVC, but I don't recommend that.

What's your budget? My Pentair SWG and IntellipH combo does most of what you're looking for. I don't touch chemicals except to add acid into the hopper every so often (months).* But no WiFi or HA automation integration built in, Pentair keeps all the APIs under wraps. @MyAZPool knows how to get around some (or all?) of that with his DIY controller gizmos.

*SWGs don't work in the winter, and the IntellipH takes cues from the SWG (they communicate with each other and share safety features), so it too goes down for a couple of cold months. So that's thier Achilles heal.

Or you could use just the hopper/pump combo from Pentair and build your own controller(s). One for acid, one for chlorine. The hopper comes with the pump bolted on to it, and they have a real good design. The hoppers have a really good built-in system for adding the chemicals, easy and safe, plus a ventilation system that routes fumes away. Kinda important when dealing with Muriatic.
 
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