How to Add an Automated Valve with EasyTouch?

thephatp

Well-known member
Jul 8, 2018
99
Austin, TX
Problem
I want to vary how the normal "Pool" mode pumps water between pool and spa in an automated fashion. I have a manual valve right now that allows me to configure this. When in pool mode... If the valve is open, it pushes water to both the pool and the spa. If the valve is closed, it pushes water only to the pool. (Note, I have an EasyTouch 8.)

Why I Want This
I want better control because of the following reasons:
  1. I want more force in the water flow of the pool when adding chemicals.
  2. I want more force in the water flow of the pool for cleaning purposes.
  3. I want to reduce the amount of aeration by not having water constantly spill over into the pool when running the pump.
I could manually change the valve, but that's annoying for a daily occurrence.

Possible Solution
This is where I'm looking for advice and help. One option I'm considering is adding an automated valve to the red circled section in the attached pic. I'm not a plumber, so I'm not sure I'd want to try to do this myself; and to that point, I don't know if this is a bad idea. So, here are my questions:
  1. I have one open Aux slot in my EasyTouch 8--can I use this to turn an automated valve on/off?
  2. Can I add an automated valve without eating up that last Aux slot? (I'm pretty sure the answer to this is "no," but maybe I'm wrong?)
  3. Any ideas as to how much it would cost have a plumber/pool tech replace the backflow and valve?
  4. For hooking up to the EasyTouch, is it as simple as running the wire to the last Aux terminal and wiring up, and I'm done?
  5. Is this a bad idea for any reason?
  6. Is there a better way to do this?

Any advice here is greatly appreciated!

Pool_Equipment.jpg
 

ajw22

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Why not keep that manual valve closed and use the SPILLOVER mode on your ET to run the spa spillover whenever you want?

It is just a box you need to check to enable it. Then set the SPILLOVER schedule as desired.
 

JoyfulNoise

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May 23, 2015
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Why not keep that manual valve closed and use the SPILLOVER mode on your ET to run the spa spillover whenever you want?

It is just a box you need to check to enable it. Then set the SPILLOVER schedule as desired.
You don’t want to do that. It runs the water through the jets and increases aeration.

You don’t use an AUX relay. There’s a connection on the low voltage side of the ET panel (upper part where the touchpad keys are) that you connect the actuator wire too. Open it up and take a look, there should be an open pin connector for “VALVE B”. You would hookup a Pentair CVT-24 valve actuator to that. Then you can create a new Generic Feature in the program that activates Valve B and has whatever pump speed you want. You can schedule that new Feature circuit to come on whenever you like.

I would also suggest that you adjust the cams on the CVT actuator so that it stops at some point in between pool returns and spa return. That way you’re not trying to push all the water through a small spa return line.

Post pictures of your plumbing pad layout and we can better help.
 

JoyfulNoise

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From the plumbing, I think the water will go through the jets regardless of how the water is sent to the spa.

I’m assuming the OP has a separate spa “makeup return” like I do. It’s on the pool side of the return plumbing and it separates a fraction of the return to go back to the spa. It allows you to run the spa spillover without using the jets. This is why I asked for a picture of the plumbing.

If no separate spa return exists other than the jets, then yes you would use the preprogrammed “SPILLOVER” feature circuit in the ET panel.
 

thephatp

Well-known member
Jul 8, 2018
99
Austin, TX
Plumbing pic is attached at the bottom of the post. From what I can tell, by experimenting with the valves...
  1. Setting the system to Spa mode pushes water only to the spa via Spa Return (far left) and pulls water only from the spa via the Spa Drain (far right). The backflow (? not sure what to call it) keeps any water to going to the pool in this case.
  2. Setting the system to Pool mode pushes water on the Pool Return side, but based on my manual valve that is circled in the picture, I can allow some of that flow to go to the spa to create the spillover effect without pushing all the water through the spa jets (like in Spillway mode).
  3. I do have a Spillway mode configured; I just don't like using it because of aeration, and I'd rather be pushing around water in the pool at the same time.
You don’t want to do that. It runs the water through the jets and increases aeration.

What other way would water be supplied to the spa other than through the jets?
 

mknauss

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May 3, 2014
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You can run the Spillway mode at a lower rpm and not create a lot of aeration. Adjust it to be the same rate as you have now in Pool mode. Your overall aeration will be a lot less as you only run Spillway a couple times a day for 30 minutes or so.
 

thephatp

Well-known member
Jul 8, 2018
99
Austin, TX
You don’t use an AUX relay. There’s a connection on the low voltage side of the ET panel (upper part where the touchpad keys are) that you connect the actuator wire too. Open it up and take a look, there should be an open pin connector for “VALVE B”. You would hookup a Pentair CVT-24 valve actuator to that. Then you can create a new Generic Feature in the program that activates Valve B and has whatever pump speed you want. You can schedule that new Feature circuit to come on whenever you like.
Clearly, I need to look at the manual a bit more. I'll do that and come back to this statement. ;)

I would also suggest that you adjust the cams on the CVT actuator so that it stops at some point in between pool returns and spa return. That way you’re not trying to push all the water through a small spa return line.
My spa turned out larger than expected, and it has 10 jets, so I want a decent amount of water going to it.
Should I be concerned with pushing the full amount to the spa? What size pipes are typical? This one doesn't look small.
 

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thephatp

Well-known member
Jul 8, 2018
99
Austin, TX
The way your SPA is plumbed, it needs some water flow when in pool mode because your chlorinator is on the pool mode side. This way your spa gets chlorinated water. If you cut this off, there will be no flow and no sanitation.

You are correct. Previously, I was using the Spillway setting to get chlorinated water into my Spa, but I no longer use the chlorinator. I'm manually adding liquid bleach each day to the pool. Completely separate topic, but I want to figure out if there is a way I can add a "liquid bleach chlorinator" that I could put on a timer and pump small amounts of liquid bleach in over time, and only have to fill up the "container" once a week. This would be fantastic! But I digress.

So, now that I don't use the chlorinator, it doesn't matter if water doesn't flow through to the Spa in spa mode.

Also, if the check valve works in the direction I drew, I think your SPA is already receiving all the flow it can get.
Yes, you drew the direction correctly. I pointed this out, because @JoyfulNoise mentioned to be careful not to force too much water through a small pipe.
 

thephatp

Well-known member
Jul 8, 2018
99
Austin, TX
You can run the Spillway mode at a lower rpm and not create a lot of aeration. Adjust it to be the same rate as you have now in Pool mode. Your overall aeration will be a lot less as you only run Spillway a couple times a day for 30 minutes or so.

I thought about this. Honestly, I can't remember why I chose not to do so. This would definitely be the simplest solution. Since I'm not using the rainbow chlorinator, this seems like a reasonable solution. It's also much cheaper. ;)
 

mknauss

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So, now that I don't use the chlorinator, it doesn't matter if water doesn't flow through to the Spa in spa mode.
It doesn't matter either way. When in Spillway, you are using pool suction and spa return. So the chlorinated pool water is sent to the spa.

But I digress ------------
 

PoolNewb2020

Well-known member
May 7, 2020
304
Georgetown, TX
Thanks for confirmation and I think adding an actuator to this valve should give you the control you're seeking without causing any trouble. You already have full capability to cut off the flow to the spa when in pool mode, so doing it via an actuator is not going to negatively affect that.
How to do it, however, I have no idea. Can you get installation manual for your equipment?
 

Jimrahbe

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Jul 7, 2014
23,154
Bedford, TX
phat,

The right way to do this is shut off any make up valve and set up the spillway function in your EasyTouch.

If you did this you would not have to add an actuator or anything.. Takes about 10 minutes to set it up.

Up to you, it is your pool..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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