Installing Automation System Myself? VS pump?

Tfastle

Active member
Mar 17, 2014
43
Albq. NM, United States
We are getting ready to have a 16 x 32 pool with raised 8' round spa. Being something of a "do it yourselfer" I am considering having them build the pool and spa with filter, pump and valving and adding/installing the heater, water feature and automation system myself. Does anyone have experience installing an automation system themselves. Our last pool had a Jandy RS8 push button panel system. Worked good and I am looking at something like that. Also, I see a lot about a VS pump. Other than being able to run it on low for circulation what are the other benefits? It seems like a 2 speed might do the same and you don't have to have some sort of controller. Are the pool controlers (Jandy RS8 or sim) able to control a VS pump and speeds? Do they (the VS pump) require a relay? Any input would be appreciated. Thanks!
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
Welcome to TFP!

A controller of the same brand generally has complete control over a VS pump, though there are some exceptions. Differing brands tend to lead to problems, though again there are exceptions.

A VS pump saves money when your electric rates are really high, say > $0.20/kWh. Otherwise a two speed pump is more economical.

If you are familiar with electrical wiring and code requirements then setting up the equipment you mention is fairly straightforward. Programming automation may take a little time, and can be a little annoying, but isn't all that difficult.
 

Tfastle

Active member
Mar 17, 2014
43
Albq. NM, United States
Thanks very much Jason, this is a great board. In talking to a supplier with regard to a controller (IQ 904-PS) he also said the VS would not use one of the 4 relays thus leaving me enough to control my other options. I'm not clear on why this is and, if so would I still be able to control the pump via the IQ 904-PS system (I would likely go with a Jandy VS if I went with a Jandy controller). From the controller I would like to be able to program and control the pump, pool light, spa light, water feature separate pump, spa temp, pool temp and switch between pool and spa mode. It seems this control unit has 9 buttons but only 4 relays. What of these will require a relay (aux pump, spa light, pool light i'm guessing)? I don't recall from my prior pool but I think the actuators and pool and spa temp are controlled via the unit but do not require relays. Is this correct? Also, how important is it to match a heater to the controller. I am leaning towards a Raypak. Sorry to be so ignorant. Thanks for any input!
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
The heater can be any brand, they all connect to automation in essentially the same way without issues.

I'm not completely familiar with the Jandy line, but generally the VS pump is always powered on and is controlled through a low voltage data connection to the automation system.

Neither temperature control or pool vs spa mode requires a relay. The heater hooks up to a low voltage connection, no relay. As you guessed that means your setup requires three relays.
 

ps0303

TFP Expert
In The Industry
Jul 6, 2011
4,029
FL
Please pay close attention to the warranties on the products you install. Some manufacturers have printed on their documents that in order for the warranty to be valid that it must be installed by a qualified licensed technician. BTW, I would think the builder would have included everything in the quote and when they finish it would be a complete job. It's sort of like asking Ford or Chevy to build the you a car but you're going to install the engine and other controls. I'm not saying it can't be done but seems odd that you wouldn't want the builder to do it all and be done with it and have a warranty.

A little while back there had been a discussion on this warranty issue and I do not wish to reignite that debate. I just want you to be aware of the warranty if you install a product yourself.
 

jongig

LifeTime Supporter
Nov 27, 2010
122
I did my Pentair system with a VS pump and all the electric myself. It was fun but it's not for the faint of heart.
 

peterdaly

Well-known member
Aug 14, 2013
188
Fayetteville, NY
The primary benefit of a vs pump is that at lower speeds, they use much less power per gallon pumped. Much, much less.

My Hayward vs is not controllable, which I did not understand when I bought it. It has two programmed speeds, both of which can be set. After speed 1 has been running for a configurable time, it will switch to speed 2. Energy savings should pay for the cost difference in 3 seasons or so, at least for me.

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