Hayward Sense & Dispense install

joboo7777

Bronze Supporter
Aug 8, 2020
244
McKinney, TX
Pool Size
15568
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Hello all,

Happy New Year!

I've learned a lot from this site over the past few months and felt it was time to contribute. I'm a big fan of automation and wanted to document my experience planning, installing, and maintaining Hayward's Sense & Dispense system. I've heard some mixed reviews related to this product mostly around the use of ORP to measure sanitization effectiveness. Yes I know the use of ORP is NOT recommended, but I think there is value in the measurement as long as you understand what it is and what it isn't. There is quite a bit of information online about ORP and the benefits attached to this unit of measurement. My goal is to leverage the system to its fullest capacity, integrate TFP methodology where possible, and minimize the day to day labor required to maintain my pool. Those interested in understanding my current setup my signature is up-to-date and my pool logs are available online.

Although I have the capability to install the system myself, I will be using my local Hayward Authorized Dealer. The main reason for this is to take advantage of the increased warranty length from 1 to 3 years when a Hayward Authorized dealer installs the system. In fact, to get the best price possible I was able to purchase the equipment from a different Hayward Authorized Online Reseller, then use my local Hayward dealer to do the install. By doing this I was able to save ~$1,300 in equipment cost and still get the 3 year warranty.

Below is a list of the major components included in the installation:

CodeItemQty
HL-CHEMHayward Omnilogic HL-CHEM Sense and Dispense1
AQL-CHEM4-ACIDHayward pH Acid Dispense Feed System AQL-CHEM4-ACID1
AQL-CHEM4-CHLORHayward Chlorine Dispense Feed System AQL-CHEM4-CHLOR1
HLRELAYHayward OmniLogic 1 Relay Module HLRELAY1

Technically I will need 2 Relays but since I already have an available relay in the system I only needed to order 1. The other misc hardware will be provided by my installer.

I expect the hardware to be shipped within the next few days and hope to have the install scheduled within the next week or so. In the meantime there is some prep work I need to complete to ensure a successful install.

Prep Work:
- Get my Water parameters in line. This is mostly to ensure proper ORP functionality and focused on CYA. Per the Sense & Dispense manual Hayward recommends CYA between 30-50ppm for an outdoor pool. I contacted Hayward specifically about the CYA issue and they specifically stated they were aware of issues with some ORP probes but that their probes were designed to be used under "normal" conditions? Of course I am NOT relying on this info, and after doing some research online I'm thinking CYA needs to be ~30ppm. And in some cases people have suggested ~25ppm. I think for now I'm going to target ~40ppm. I would prefer to utilize as much CYA as possible prevent having to continuously add liquid chlorine due to UV burn off.

- Make sure the area near my pool equipment can support 2 Containers, one for Muriatic Acid and one for Liquid Chlorine, each with a footprint of 16x16. See Pic Below. Although the area is somewhat flat, I think I'm going to put a piece of Slate/Stone in the area outlined in red. This should be large enough to fit 2 16x16 containers side by side facing the heater.
20210104_193640030_iOS.jpg

A picture of the Containers(includes Stenner Pump)
liquid-feed-system-left.jpg

- Get some PH Calibration solution. Not sure the system will come with this so I searched up amazon and ordered this. Pinpoint is the manufacturer and know them well from my reef keeping days. The nice thing about this calibration solution is they are individual sealed packets. Tear the packet open, stick the probe in, then discard. Easy.

-Update my Omnilogic to latest firmware - DONE

Well thats it for now. Should be a pretty neat little project. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. I will continue to post updates when available.
 

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joboo7777

Bronze Supporter
Aug 8, 2020
244
McKinney, TX
Pool Size
15568
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Well, already have a slight change to the Hardware list. It appears I need a Flow Switch connected to my omnilogic panel in order to dispense liquid Chlorine from a feeder. The manual does refer to a flow switch but the wording made it sound like it was only when generated by a SWG.

From Manual:
"An AQL-CL chemistry kit (electrolytic cell and flow switch) must be used with the OmniLogic if automatic chlorine generation is desired. If chlorine generation is desired for OmniHub, a Hayward AquaRite chlorine generator must be installed. The AquaRite must be connected and controlled by the OmniHub. Refer to your OmniHub manuals for more information."

I just happen to find the firmware release notes(v2.0.3) from when Liquid Chlorine Dispense capability was added back in 2018. In the release notes it states:
"NOTE: Liquid and Tablet Chlorination require the configuration of a flow sensor."

So $97 later I have another order for a GX-FLO - Hayward Goldline Flow Switch GLX-FLO With Tee.
 

1poolman1

In The Industry
Jul 14, 2014
205
Sacramento
Please note that codes in most areas require a 3-foot open area in front of a heater. This is from a Hayward heater manual:

1610482504561.png

I see three further issues with your choice of placement. First, all of the equipment that you want to put there would have to be removed to service the heater. Second, placing any kind of chemicals that close to the heater invites a corrosion issue with the fumes that will inevitably come from the container. The equipment looks to be very new. This type of damage will not be covered under warranty. Third, a reputable repair company won't work on equipment that is not installed according to code. I places too much liability on them
 

joboo7777

Bronze Supporter
Aug 8, 2020
244
McKinney, TX
Pool Size
15568
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Thanks for the feedback!

Great point. I think the specs you posted were for indoor installations. See below from the Unviversal series Manual for outdoor. I have the Hayward H500FD and took this directly from their manual.

As for Combustible materials their statement is:
"The heater must be installed outdoors such that the installation and service clearances from combustible materials shown in Table 2 are maintained. This heater may be installed on combustible floors."
Screen Shot 2021-01-13 at 1.17.41 PM.png
I have the 2ft clearance when containers are installed(Probably hard to tell from the pic I posted). It is definitely alittle more inconvenient when the heater has to be serviced. The good news is these feeder containers are easy to move. Simply unplug from Electrical outlet and Disconnect feeder house. Not optimal, but its what I have to work with..;)

I also checked with my city and they adhere to ANSI Standard 2223.1 standard which basically states the same as what Hayward states in their manual.

Thanks again for the feedback! If I'm missing something here please do reply back. I want to make sure I adhere to all code and Manufacturer Guidelines.
 
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joboo7777

Bronze Supporter
Aug 8, 2020
244
McKinney, TX
Pool Size
15568
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Update:

All equipment was received and installed this past week! Woohoo!

Installation took around 4 hours. Partly because I wanted the feeders to be plugged directly in to GFCI outlets in a weather proof box so the tech had to run flex conduit from the Omni 15ft to the feeders. After the hardware was installed there was some software configuration within the Omnilogic required to activate the Sense and Dispense system. Both ORP and PH probes worked out of box which is always a nice thing. After calibrating using the pinpoint 7.0 solution, I did find it was reading .1 higher than actual. This was a simple fix as all that is needed is an adjustment in the Omni software.It actually can been done right from the mobile app which was nice. I also confirmed PH with my taylor kit as well as with my local Leslie Pool store who uses the Lamotte Digital tester. I know, I know, Leslie is the Devil, but I gotta say my local Leslie is pretty good. They don't push ANY product and they know how to execute the Lamotte tests consistently. Basically I go to them to take advantage of a $1,000 test device,;)

For the first day I put the system in test only mode which basically allows me to view PH and ORP readings without dispensing. This allowed me to build up some confidence in the accuracy of the readings. Then I enabled PH and set it to 7.7. I immediately saw the impact PH had on ORP. As my ph decreased, my ORP readings increased. The below readings confirm it.

Initial readings
ORP 530mV
PH 7.9
FC 2.8

60 minutes later after adding Muriatic acid to get Ph to 7.7(recalibrated the probe after dosing. so even though It was set to 7.7 it was actually 7.6)
ORP 750mV
PH 7.6
FC 2.8

The feeders are now both filled with the appropriate chemicals. 10% HDX Liquid Chlorine(12 gallons) in one and 3 parts water(11 gallons)/1 part HDX Muriatic acid(3 1/2 gallons) in the other. So far it has only dipped below 7.7 twice and both times the stenner pumps would turn on for about 30 seconds then turn off for what seemed like 5 mins, then repeated until reaching 7.7.

Now with PH stable, I have activated ORP and set to 700mV. It has not dipped below 700 yet so I'm eagerly awaiting., I will be testing FC every day using my taylor kit to see how FC levels impact my ORP readings. I also have an Ozonator which can also impact ORP readings. I think one of the biggest questions has always been how do you know if your ozonator is working? It looks like ORP can possible give you some insights in to that. I may even turn the Ozonator off at some point to see if and how much my Orp level decreases.

Since the weather is cold I'm not too worried about my FC level. In fact this is probably the best time to introduce a system like this since there is some room for error. Eventually I'd like to match up the right ORP level to the level of FC recommended by TFP. I Suspect I'll need to raise ORP to >750mV to accomplish this.

I also made one additional adjustment to disable chemical dispensing while the SPA is running. This was also an easy configuration change within the mobile app.

So far I'm pleased with the results. It's still early so I plan to provide updates regularly on the performance of this system. Although I don't expect I will be manually adding chemicals daily like I have been in the past, I do expect more work monitoring and maintaining the system ie.. periodic Probe cleaning, Feeder refilling, Stenner Pump Maintenance are all required to keep this working. This is NOT a set and forget system!

Pic of HL-CHEM unit installed. The device attaches directly to the side of the Omnilogic case. No anchors in brick required.

tempImageef24yb.jpg


Chemical Feeders Plugged in to electrical box. The blue tubing that feeds the chemicals then connects right before the water returns to pool
tempImageNPgf7P.jpg


View of the PH and ORP from the home screen of my Hayward Mobile app
20210116_233642000_iOS.png

PH Calibration screen in the Mobile app. You can see I changed the offset by -1 to correct the reading.
20210116_233705000_iOS.png

Pic of the dispensing units set to Off when in SPA mode.
20210116_233835000_iOS.png
 

joboo7777

Bronze Supporter
Aug 8, 2020
244
McKinney, TX
Pool Size
15568
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Update:
The ORP calibration solution I ordered came in today. Technically there is no process to calibrate the ORP probe, however I wanted to see how accurate it is. the calibration solution is 400mV and when measured by the Hayward probe it came back with 390mV(which was not bad in my opinion). I figure when I clean the probes every 6 months I'll also test using the calibration solution to make sure the probes are maintaining their accuracy.
20210118_181605233_iOS.jpg


I finally went below 700mV and chlorine dispensed without issue. At 700mV my FC is around 2ppm. Going to raise it to 720mV and see what that gives me.

I was able to get some details on how Hayward determines how long the Stenner pump will activate when the system calls for chlorine. It definitely appears to be a very slow and cautious process. I’m trying to find the same info for PH but can’t seem to track that down. I might need to place a call to Hayward to see if they can provide that detail.

Per Hayward:
1.jpg
2.jpg
 

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joboo7777

Bronze Supporter
Aug 8, 2020
244
McKinney, TX
Pool Size
15568
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Update:

PH dispensing has been rock solid. I have been manually testing every few days and will now reduce that to the standard weekly testing I've done in the past. I still don't have confidence in the Chlorination dispensing. My ORP results are pretty high even when I have very little chlorine (1ppm) and there doesn't seem to been a common point where I can definitely correlate FC PPM to ORP. I suspect this is because of my Clear o3 Ozonator which produces 1g/Hr. Unfortunately I can't just turn off my ozonator as it was wired by my PB directly in line with my pump. next week PB will be coming to install a relay so that I can control the Ozonator separately from the pump which I'm hoping will solve my issues.

Current stats:
ORP 730mV
PH 7.7
FC 4.7
CYA 33
 

joboo7777

Bronze Supporter
Aug 8, 2020
244
McKinney, TX
Pool Size
15568
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Update (Finally):

Well its been a very busy month. PB finally made it out to rewire my Ozonator so I can control it separately from the Pump. Of course once that was completed the Texas version of "The Day After" hit and everything stopped! I was very fortunate to get through the event with much of my equipment in working order.....EXCEPT my Sense and Dispense system!! The Probe Cell, which is a plastic housing that water flows through and Probes are mounted in, cracked due to ice buildup(see pic). I had to order the part and fortunately was able to find it relatively quickly. The part came Today and I was able to install within 15 minutes. I'm going to give it 24 hours for the probes to normalize before I attempt to set up chlorine dispensing. So far the ORP readings are lower than before so thats a good sign.

Lesson Learned: Ice + Plastic = Broken

Picture of Cell
GLX-SD-FLOW-2T.jpg

Screen Shot 2021-02-26 at 9.24.51 PM.png
 

joboo7777

Bronze Supporter
Aug 8, 2020
244
McKinney, TX
Pool Size
15568
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Quick update. The ORP probe has stabilized and I was able to set it to 700mV just like I did before only without Ozonator running. The ORP readings were at 680mV when I set it so my dispenser did go off for a few hours. By the time ORP reached 700 my FC was at 3.5ppm. It’s interesting to see how much of an impact Ozone had on my ORP(see below).

Jan 18 with Ozone
ORP =700mV
FC = 2ppm

Feb 27 WITHOUT Ozone
ORP=700mV
FC=3.5ppm

I plan to test daily and I’m sure when the sun comes out here in TX I may see some changes in the numbers.
 

joboo7777

Bronze Supporter
Aug 8, 2020
244
McKinney, TX
Pool Size
15568
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Update:
It looks like the Algorithm/Rules shared in my previous post on how/when Hayward determines when to activate the chlorine feeder may not be accurate. Based on the release notes shared the initial activation of the chlorine pump should occur when ORP reading is =<10mv below the set point. The past few days I’ve noticed this does not always occur and sometimes it is activated 20-30 mV less than the set point. I reached out to Hayward because I thought maybe there was an issue and I’m waiting to hear back from one of the engineers. My local Hayward Rep made reference to an “Algorithm” that is used to determine when to chlorinate which may be different than what the release notes describe. I’m hoping to find out more about this early next week and will post my findings. Other than that the HL-CHEM system is working well. It does NOT keep FC at an exact measurement but instead keeps it within a range. I ended up raising my Orp set point to 715mV and this has kept my FC between 2.8 and 3.5 ppm, still a little on the low side. Since it’s still relatively cold I’m going to let it run for a few weeks and see if it stays within this range. If so I might be increasing the set point to get my FC range between 3ppm & 4ppm.

As for Ozone, I might try to reintroduce that at some point. Currently I have it programmed to run only when in SPA mode which probably is more effective given the smaller body of water.

On the PH side the HL-CHEM continues to been rock solid. No issues at all and is very consistent. Currently set to 7.8 but will probably decrease it to 7.6 once the weather warms a bit. Definitely like the fact that I don’t have to deal with the handling of acid on a daily basis. Same for liquid chlorine!

Hopefully this will help others who have embraced the Hayward ecosystem and are thinking of adding some additions automation. I know there were many negative threads related to this product and it’s reliability. Only time will tell if my implementation continues to be stable and consistent and I will continue to provide updated status on results.

Having done quite a bit of research on this system I believe there are a few important variables to consider to ensure success

1) water chemistry needs to support the solution. In my case I made sure CYA was fairly low. My original plan was to keep around 40ppm but in the end I decided to keep it at around 30ppm.

2) the use of Ozone could impact ORP reliability.

3) Although SWG is supported as a chlorine source, this implementation includes the use of 10% liquid Chlorine dispensed using a Hayward feeder. Not sure the results would be the same using SWG.

4) this is NOT a set and forget solution. Like all automation you need to be prepared for issues and provide constant supervision. Consistent water testing practices should always be used. PH and FC should always be confirmed using testing methods other than the the included probes.
 
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joboo7777

Bronze Supporter
Aug 8, 2020
244
McKinney, TX
Pool Size
15568
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Update:
I've been able to maintain my FC between 3-4 consistently this past week with an ORP set-point of 715mV. All is working well without any issues. I'm going to reduce my manually testing activities to 3 times per week for another week then go to once per week after.

Per my Hayward contact the Chlorine dispensing algorithm has definitely changed since the release notes Ive shared were created in 2018. It looks like the dispenser will activate when ORP reading is 25mV less than the set-point. So in my case where set-point is 715mV it has consistently been going on at 690mV, dispenses for approximately 23 seconds, then off for 5min 37secs and repeat. Then as the reading gets closer to the set-point it reduces the time it dispenses every 6 mins. So far it has worked flawlessly.
 

joboo7777

Bronze Supporter
Aug 8, 2020
244
McKinney, TX
Pool Size
15568
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Update:
Overall the system is running well. I did have a strange issue this morning with my ORP readings. Usually my ORP reading starts out at around 750mV then as the day progresses and the UV rays hit the pool and it drops(as FC is being used). Today, I noticed my ORP started at 650mV which triggered the chlorine to dispense earlier than expected. ORP did start to rise to around 670mV but still something didn't seem right, I tested my FC which was 3.5ppm and that usually correlates to around 730-750mV ORP. I ended up shutting down the Omnilogic, removing the ORP probe and cleaning. Once I started back up it was reading correctly. Looking back I should have separated out my troubleshooting steps. I did 2 things, Shutdown and reboot the Omni, and cleaned the probe. I'm wondering if a reboot alone would have corrected the issue. If it happens again I will try a reboot first.

This is a great example of why this is NOT a set and forget system. Although it's mostly automated, there will be times you may have to intervene to get the system back on track.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
44,883
Laughlin, NV
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This is a great example of why this is NOT a set and forget system. Although it's mostly automated, there will be times you may have to intervene to get the system back on track.
It will also be interesting to see how much chlorine you go through in July and August with a 30 ppm CYA.
 

joboo7777

Bronze Supporter
Aug 8, 2020
244
McKinney, TX
Pool Size
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Yup I plan to track that. At this time I'm going through about a gallon a week. I expect I will use more chlorine. The question is how much.
Well I went back and did some research and I think I overestimated my current chlorine use. I purchase 4 3-pack 10% HDX liquid Chlorine(12 gallons total) from Home Depot in Late January in preparation for my Hayward system. I started using Chlorine Dispensing on January 18th. Today I looked and I have about 7 gallons left. so 5 gallons over 2 months which is NOT a gallon a week as stated. More like 1/2 gallon per week. I think I may have added some manually from a gallon I purchased separately but not enough to include in the calculation.

I paid $12.98 per 3-pack for a total of $56.20 with tax.
 

scottts

Gold Supporter
Nov 13, 2019
202
Gilbert, AZ
Are you also using sense and dispense or a different system?
No. I have the Pentair intellichem/intellicenter system dosing MA for pH control and using an IC-40 SWG for chlorine. Last season using ORP for dosing was less than 100% successful. However, I have done a significant water change and CYA is down to something like 10-15ppm. So far it seems to be working better but the weather has been overcast here so its hard to tell.

I think you'll have better success with liquid chlorine as the electrolysis process in the SWG seems to generate other things like hydrogen that affect the ORP reading.
 

joboo7777

Bronze Supporter
Aug 8, 2020
244
McKinney, TX
Pool Size
15568
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
No. I have the Pentair intellichem/intellicenter system dosing MA for pH control and using an IC-40 SWG for chlorine. Last season using ORP for dosing was less than 100% successful. However, I have done a significant water change and CYA is down to something like 10-15ppm. So far it seems to be working better but the weather has been overcast here so its hard to tell.

I think you'll have better success with liquid chlorine as the electrolysis process in the SWG seems to generate other things like hydrogen that affect the ORP reading.
Only time will tell I guess. To be fair, I've only had the system running a few months and have not been through the most difficult part of the year(Summer) yet. I do find my FC swings between 2.8ppm and 4.2ppm which is the broadest it gets. It definitely is a range and varies week to week. sometimes the Margin is more narrow, other times its more broad.

EDIT: Sorry, I didn't notice your intellichem system in your signature. ;)
 

joboo7777

Bronze Supporter
Aug 8, 2020
244
McKinney, TX
Pool Size
15568
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Quick update, I decided to add back my ozonator to my setup. I’ve schedule it for 10am - 8pm which coincides with the time my pump runs at 50%. I do run my pump prior to 10am for 2 hours so that I can effectively skim to remove the various leaves and bugs, etc. since enabling I’ve noticed a slight increase in ORP readings so I have now changed my set-point from 715mV to 730mV to maintain around 3ppm FC. I’m also considering letting my CYA slide alittle lower to around ~20ppm. I understand this is lower that the TFP recommended specs but I’m interested to see how ORP will be impacted as well has the level of FC that correlates with it. Texas heat is coming in the upcoming months so this will definitely be a good test to see how well the system can handle the constant need for FC.

I am still measuring my free chlorine daily with my Exact iDip photometer which has been spot on in terms of accuracy. I probably will continue to monitor daily throughout the summer due to the additional variables and tweaks I’m making to my system.

The funny thing is automation doesn’t always mean you spend less time managing or maintaining your pool. The time spent is just different. instead of manually adding chemicals daily I spend the same time tweaking, testing, and monitoring the automation. Just a different type of work. Definitely the IT side of me coming out..;)
 

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