Important Question - Wiring SWG and VS Pump?

Charlie227

Silver Supporter
May 8, 2019
72
Vero Beach, FL
Until yesterday, I had a single stage pump and a Pentair iChor 30 wired to an Intermatic mechanical timer. No problem. Pump and SWG came on together and life was good. Yesterday, I upgraded my pool pump to the Pentair SuperMax VS 1.5. The technician that made the installation wired the pump and SWG independently. The pump is wired to a power source so that the internal timers work on the pump but the SWG is still wired to the Intermatic. Two different sources, two different time schedules.

The manuals say that these must be wired so that they come on and off at the same times. What happens if the pump fails to come on for some reason and the SWG comes on as scheduled because it is wired independently? Chlorine gas build up and a possible dangerous situation is what I see according to the Pentair manuals. What if there is a 3 hour power outage before power is restored? The pump resumes it's normal schedule (it has a memory function) but the Intermatic is now 3 hours late and is running with a pump that is shut off. Same bad outcome.

I called the installing company today and they didn't seem so friendly about the situation. I don't want to fight with them. I just want the systems wired correctly. They said it's fine even though I spoke of a couple of scenarios (above) that could be a serious problem. I need some help so that I can speak intelligently to the equipment installers. What should I tell/ask them? What do I need to know? I don't like the current wiring setup. What say you?

Thank you.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
20,219
Laughlin, NV
With your situation, how it is set up is actually about the best you can get with normally available equipment. The Superflo is not the best pump to get to handle your issue, but you have it.

You will just have to rely on the SWCG flow switch if the pump and timer for the SWCG get out of sync. And check them often.
 
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Charlie227

Silver Supporter
May 8, 2019
72
Vero Beach, FL
With your situation, how it is set up is actually about the best you can get with normally available equipment. The Superflo is not the best pump to get to handle your issue, but you have it.

You will just have to rely on the SWCG flow switch if the pump and timer for the SWCG get out of sync. And check them often.
I have the SuperMax. Not sure if the Superflow is the same.

If the pump stops and there is no flow, the SWG stops producing chlorine and chlorine gas even though the SWG is still on? If that is the case, then why all the warnings in the Pentair manuals?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
20,219
Laughlin, NV
The warnings are in case the flow switch fails. It can explode. Not likely, but possible.

But your system is what it is. There are pumps that have an integral relay to control the SWCG. But not Pentair.
 
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1poolman1

In The Industry
Jul 14, 2014
24
Sacramento
I have a similar system on my pool and have installed several on customers'. I have my pump turn on with its internal timer and my sanitizer turn on half an hour later then turn off half an hour before the pump. Just be sure to reset the mechanical timer in case of a power outage. For the short term the flow sensor in the SWG will stop it from being on with no water flow, but is best to not take chances. I have yet to see a flow sensor of any type fail in the "on" position (30 years and counting) but it is always best to be safe.

The SuperMax is just a re-named SuperFlo. It is black to match the rest of the StaRite line that Pentair bought several years ago. (Pentair equipment is beige, StaRite is black). They both are the same medium-head pump. They are, generally, less expensive than high-head pumps but not always the best choice for filtration systems.
 
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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
13,005
Bedford, TX
Charlie,

A salt system should have a primary and secondary safety device that keeps the cell from running when there is no flow.

The Primary safety device was the time clock when you had a single speed pump.. It is still the primary safety device now that you have a VS pump. The only difference is that you need to keep the time clock and the pump synced. The Flow Switch is still the back up or secondary safety device.

As an example only... Set the pump to run from 7 am until 7 pm.. Set the timer to run from 8 am until 6 pm.. This allows the pump and timer to be out of sync some without any issues.

Keep in mind that cell explosions are rare, so the timer clock and flow switch together will work fine.. Just have to get into the habit of making sure they are synced once a month or after any power outage.

You can also install a current sensor, but they are more home brew stuff and I doubt your pool company will want to do it. See this thread..https://www.troublefreepool.com/threads/swg-selection-and-installation-questions.187936/post-1656109

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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Divin Dave

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 2, 2013
5,449
Longview, Texas
Hey Charlie,
if it makes you feel any better, I have seperate power sources for my SWG and my VSP too.
Like 1poolman says, I have my swg set to come on a go off while the pump is still running. I been around a bit and know the risks, but in all honesty, I think the risk is very low.

Any of the equipment manufacturers are going to say what they say so they can limit their liability. It doesnt matter to them or their lawyers how low the risk is.
 
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jeffnhispool

Silver Supporter
Jan 28, 2019
34
Tampa, FL
I also have a recently installed Superflow VS and SWCG and wrestled with the same concern over both timers going out of synch. The solution I came up with is simple, cheap and for the couple of months since I installed it, it has worked flawlessly.

I also have my pump and SWCG on separate circuits, as they should be, which ruled out sharing an external timer and I really wanted to keep the pump on its internal timer anyway. If you look at the diagram for automation in the Pentair manual, it shows a red 5V trigger wire and an input wire for each of the programmable modes/speeds. I bought a 2 channel 5v relay on Amazon for $7 and wired the 2 hot legs for the SWCG (I'm running on 240v) to the relay so all it needed to turn on was a 5v signal.

I tried to use the red 5v wire from the pump automation cable but it turns out that wire not switched so is hot all the time if the pump has power. Plan B was to use a 6v power supply that I had laying around but you can buy 1 for under $10. I plugged this power supply in to your basic household lamp timer...the kind where you push and pull the little buttons to tell it when to turn on and off... and wired it to actuate the SWGC relay. I then tapped the positive side of the 6v power supply, attached it to the pump automation wire for "speed 1" (green wire in my case) and set the pump to "external control only". If you use more than 1 speed you can join the different speed wires all together and the pump will manage the speed priorities according to its external control protocol.

This setup allows the pump to run according to how I programmed speed 1 and guaranteed that the pump and SWCG would always run together since they both were triggered by the $10 power supply which was in turned managed by the $10 timer. I put the relay in a water proof project box inside my old Intermatic water resistant housing and used automotive pigtails so I could disconnect everything if I had to.

Until I read this thread I forgot I had all this since its been 100% trouble free, so I figured Id share.
 

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Charlie227

Silver Supporter
May 8, 2019
72
Vero Beach, FL
I also have a recently installed Superflow VS and SWCG and wrestled with the same concern over both timers going out of synch. The solution I came up with is simple, cheap and for the couple of months since I installed it, it has worked flawlessly.

I also have my pump and SWCG on separate circuits, as they should be, which ruled out sharing an external timer and I really wanted to keep the pump on its internal timer anyway. If you look at the diagram for automation in the Pentair manual, it shows a red 5V trigger wire and an input wire for each of the programmable modes/speeds. I bought a 2 channel 5v relay on Amazon for $7 and wired the 2 hot legs for the SWCG (I'm running on 240v) to the relay so all it needed to turn on was a 5v signal.

I tried to use the red 5v wire from the pump automation cable but it turns out that wire not switched so is hot all the time if the pump has power. Plan B was to use a 6v power supply that I had laying around but you can buy 1 for under $10. I plugged this power supply in to your basic household lamp timer...the kind where you push and pull the little buttons to tell it when to turn on and off... and wired it to actuate the SWGC relay. I then tapped the positive side of the 6v power supply, attached it to the pump automation wire for "speed 1" (green wire in my case) and set the pump to "external control only". If you use more than 1 speed you can join the different speed wires all together and the pump will manage the speed priorities according to its external control protocol.

This setup allows the pump to run according to how I programmed speed 1 and guaranteed that the pump and SWCG would always run together since they both were triggered by the $10 power supply which was in turned managed by the $10 timer. I put the relay in a water proof project box inside my old Intermatic water resistant housing and used automotive pigtails so I could disconnect everything if I had to.

Until I read this thread I forgot I had all this since its been 100% trouble free, so I figured Id share.

Thanks Jeff. This is really good information. Appreciate your taking the time to explain your wiring setup.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
14,942
Using an Externally Supplied Low Voltage Signal for External Control
When using an externally supplied low voltage signal as the Digital Input trigger, the wire should be connected as shown in Figure 5. The low voltage input needs to be within the range of 5-30V AC or DC. In this case the red +5V supply from the motor control will not be used.
The power supply for ichlor and intellichlor contains a 4 wire communication cable that has a 15 volt output (red and black as shown in the manual).

You could use that output to trigger a specific pump speed any time that the power supply has power.

That way, the pump would run at a specific speed any time that the power supply was powered. Even if the pump was off, the output would turn it on.

You need to consider the possible complications, but this could give an extra safety in case the clocks get out of sync.

Note:The ichlor can communicate with the Intelliflo. So, that would have worked if you had gotten the Intelliflo.

Pentair needs to update the Superflo VS so that it can communicate with Easytouch, Intellichlor directly and ichlor directly.
 
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