Intermatic Timer not Triggering

PSJ

Member
Apr 8, 2020
19
Dallas, TX
I have what I believe to be a 158T8454 timer (that's the only number I saw on the box....not sure if it's the correct one since googling doesn't show the same picture)

The timer motor is working as I can hear it clicking and it rotates during the day, but when it becomes time to actually turn ON the pump, it seems to jam and not have the torque to actually turn the timer and trigger it on.I can go out several hours later, and the dial is stuck at JUST before the time to turn on, and if I give it a little turn, the timer works fine for 24 hours. In the photo you can see the timer should have turned on around 6 AM. I took the photo around 8AM, after having set the time correctly yesterday....so it was just stuck at 6 AM - I continued to hear it ticking though.

I have tried different start times and I get the same issue, so I don't think its that specific half hour increment pin that is causing the problem.

Additionally, this was a problem a couple months ago for a few days, then stopped happening. It just started again a couple days ago so I assume it's not going away. I have to walk out to my pad every day to turn on the pump at this point.

Any thoughts on what might be happening? Can anyone point me to the true model of this unit so if I need replacement parts or a new unit I can find it?

Thanks!
 

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PSJ

Member
Apr 8, 2020
19
Dallas, TX
Wow thanks...that is one expensive timer and slightly different than mine as it has specific timer dogs that can be pulled out.

Any thoughts on why it may be giving trouble? I'm already looking at moving to a VS pump, if I'm going to spend $200 i'd probably just put it to a new unit
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
32,631
Laughlin, NV
No idea. I am not conversant on the workings of the timer. I just did a search to see what appeared to be what you had - or at least close!

I think the Freeze protection is what is making that timer so expensive. Most VS pumps have Freeze Protection built in.

Do you have a timer for your pressure side cleaner?
 

Rattus Suffocatus

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2019
1,162
Corona de Tucson, AZ
Most VS pumps also have timers built in. I was going to suggest the alternative of a contactor from a HVAC unit (a relay) that can handle the pump current, and a 110V digital timer instead of the Intermatic, but if there is freeze protection involved that won't work.

The good news is that you will save energy if you move to a VS pump. Probably enough to justify doing it with a payback of 5 years or less. I assume all are more or less like my Hayward, it has multiple digital timers and built in freeze protection (set for too high of a temperature, IMHO, but it definitely does work). If you have a SWCG there is no output unfortunately from the control unit, but I wired mine up with a 110V digital timer and set the SWCG for 110V. Works fine.

The pool builder provided a basic Intermatic panel with a timer but never hooked the timer up. "For future use with a Salt chlorine Generator" I decided that the digital timer would be better in the system to match the pump timer so I didn't hook it up either when I added the SWCG.
 

PSJ

Member
Apr 8, 2020
19
Dallas, TX
Marty -

Yes I have a simpler timer setup for the pressure side cleaner, no freeze protection. It only gets power to run the booster pump when the main pump is on.

Additionally my SWCG is wired to the main pump giving issue, so it runs only when my pump is on. basically everything is wired to this main timer.

Is there a resource to find drop in replacements for the Challenger pump? I also don't know what my challenger specific model is. With colder weather coming I might wait till I find a deal.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
32,631
Laughlin, NV
If you install a VS pump, you will not be able to communicate between the VS and the booster pumps anymore. Realize that.

Inyopools carries VS motors that will mate up to your pump. Be sure to check the THP of your current motor as you need to be mindful of matching the impeller/diffuser with a new motor.
 
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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
32,631
Laughlin, NV
You will need a timer for your SWCG also. You can use one without Freeze protection, but you will need one to be sure the SWCG is powered off when the VS pump is off.
Thank you guinness for catching that.
 

Rattus Suffocatus

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2019
1,162
Corona de Tucson, AZ
So the freeze protection makes the pump run full bore during the freeze protection times, and the water at that point in most places would be below 50F, anyway. I don't see any reason to worry about freeze protection on a SWCG. I know I am called "retentive" but after Halloween or so, the bypass is going in and the entire system (Control panel too) is going to be stored in my garage anyway since it's about a 20 minute job. I can't see a reason to put freeze protection on the timer for a SWCG. Some time in the middle of the winter (Christmas break for me) I'll clean everything up so it's like brand new when I put it back out in the spring.

The VS pump without automation is unfortunately designed to have a built in standalone digital timer (with no outputs-- likely to force you into automation-- I can't think of another reason not to have a relay output, honestly) so mknauss is correct that it won't have an output for a booster pump. There are inputs for high and low speed (at least on the Haywards, but I suspect that is standard), so maybe you can rig something that way.

For short durations, you can rely on the flow switch on the SWCG, especially if it is intended. I don't shut it off if I clean the pump basket for example. In fact it's a good idea not to. You are checking the switch at that time for function.


Now, I have seen a current sensing relay used on ONE of the legs of a VS pump to control a SWCG (they are not cheap, like $100 plus the box to put it in)... there is a post somewhere here about doing that. You could run the booster and SWCG off of something like that if it is properly set up. In the case of just the SWCG the timer works just fine and is simpler.
 

Rattus Suffocatus

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2019
1,162
Corona de Tucson, AZ
Here is the post with what I think is the most suitable current sensing relay setup. About midway down.. Note even though the poster (laprjns) mentioned putting it in a weatherproof box if outside, his picture is installed in an indoor box. So keep it in mind if you decide to attempt this. But that would send the VS pump running (you can adjust the trip point to make sure) and it could run a pump, especially if you had it trip a 110v coil AC "contactor" relay. So that is an option too really.