Hayward AquaPlus Pool controller - a lightning magnet???

jboss

Member
Oct 2, 2013
11
Lady Lake, FL
I have a two year old pool, with Hayward AquaPlus Pool controller, ECO Star variable speed pump and two automatic valves (solar and water feature) ... I am no troubleshooting the equipment for the 5th time (primarily due to lightning). Everything has been changed at least twice ... and it has been restored to full functionality. I installed additional ground rods by the equipment, I have a whole house surge suppressor and one directly on the pool panel. My pool guys suggested I just open the main breaker inside the house whenever it storms ... although it is far from ideal, we have been doing so since I got everything back up and running in May ... but we're not always home, and last night, no one was home, we lost power due to lightning storm, when we got home, everything was fine ... except the pool. The VSP pump continues to run on it's own schedule, but the other equipment seems completely dead. Wireless remote says base is not responding, local display is blank. I checked all fuses, all good, voltage at yellow wires, orange wires and black/red wires is all good. ... which tells me I'm changing out my main board AGAIN.

I realize central florida is the lightning capital of the world, but I can't understand how I could lose my pool equipment 5 times in two years, and not a single other device in the house. My old pool had an Aqua-Rite cholorine generator ... with a trans-orb on the main board ... I replaced that twice due to lightning in 5 years (different house about 20 miles away) ... I'd much rather spend $5.00 on a few transorbs and change the component occassionally, than spending $500 every time and changing and reprogramming the board.

Does anyone have an suggestions?
1) to make the Hayward AquaPlus a bit more reliable and resistant to lighting?
2) suggestions for different/simpler equipment I could change over to? (I have already switched my pool lights to smart-home plug so Alexa can turn them on and off ... would love to be able to switch everything else too and go back to the simple Aqua-Rite chlorine generator)
 

danpik

TFP Guide
Jun 4, 2012
1,709
western NY
You may need to look into a whole house surge protector. They wire into the main panel and there are some available to wire directly into sub panels as well.

Dan
 

Vickery

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
Feb 22, 2009
418
Perfection, NC
Remember that lightning damage does not have to come in through the power side in order to damage electronics. I've had lightning come in through a galvanized water line and do it's number. Electronics generally don't appreciate more than 10% over board voltage to fry. A close strike can air couple a charge in the circuits themselves - which is just a mini EMP. I've experienced that as well. The only sure way I know to keep lightning from frying electronics is to not buy them.
 

tstex

Silver Supporter
Aug 28, 2012
1,631
Houston, TX
Jim,

Here's your best solution if you still want to maintain a pool yourself:

eliminate as many automated devices that you can: trash ecostar, automation panel, etc, and go 2 speed pump that you can program unto itself...the ecostar[less] will crater the easiest bc it has a notoriously poor control board

Next, how many pool owners live w in 1/4 sq mile of you? what's been happening to their pool equip? what type do they have?

electronics does not like high end charges, mainly unpredicted ones too