New variable speed pump with old aqua logic controller?

pcm2a

Well-known member
Aug 25, 2017
166
Mt Juliet, Tn
I have a super old 1.5hp northstar pool pump. Motor was replaced a couple years ago and now it is starting to make that bearings gone bad noise. Rather than maintaining such an old pump housing I'd like to replace the whole pump and housing with something new. Before I talk to the pool store I wanted to figure out a few things first, to see what is doable. My pool controller is an old aqualogic aql-ps-8 and I have one AUX relay not being used. The manual says it can control a two speed pump (not variable speed), wiring diagram attached.

Primary goal: Not having to go around and mess with the control panel on the pool pump regularly.

Questions:

1. Can my controller even work with the speeds on a variable speed pump (not a 2 speed pump)? I realize it wouldn't be able to do all the speeds, but maybe when the aux relay is triggered that could tell the pump to go low or high? This may not be necessary depending on the other questions.

2. If the pool pump is set to low 24/7, can the booster pump still run or would it break it?
2.b. If the booster pump needs full speed, can that be wired in to automatically move to the high speed when the cleaner is running? It would be a pain if today I want to run the cleaner at noon but tomorrow at 5 pm, but now I have to walk around and mess with the pumps controller. The cleaner runs on a timer set from the pool controller or manually turning it on with the pool controller.

3. My pool pump outputs into the spa and the pool (image attached of the equipment). The spa spills over into the pool. I also have a spa pump for when I put the system into spa mode. In this mode I run both the pool pump and the spa pump and there is also a blower. Will there be any harm in running the pool pump at low speed with the spa pump running (obviously less water flow)? I would hate every time I wanted to use the spa to have to mess with the pump's controller.

Thanks!
 

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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
11,701
Northern NJ
1. The best thing to do is to call Hayward/Goldline tech support. They are fairly helpful when it comes to board versions, capabilities and compatibility .

2. Booster pump should work fine with a 2 speed pump on low speed.

3. I cannot follow all of you plumbing with that pic but I think you will be fine with your spa pump when pool pump is on low speed.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
16,978
Check the software revision. 2.65 or higher will operate a variable speed pump.

Go to diagnostics and press the > button to see the software revision.

Otherwise, you can set it up as a two speed pump on relay control.

 
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pcm2a

Well-known member
Aug 25, 2017
166
Mt Juliet, Tn
3. I cannot follow all of you plumbing with that pic but I think you will be fine with your spa pump when pool pump is on low speed.
The way it is plumbed, the pool pump sends all of the water through the spa housing. Seems a bit odd but that's how it is.

Did you repipe the whole pad and add some new equipment? I ask because I see newer pipe valves and heater. Pump looks way older
I know it is a mess of pipes. I think the previous owners added and changed things in phases over 15 years. It must have also been a salt pool at some point. The pool place I use (for repairs not chemicals!) says if I ever have to mess with any of the pipes to have the whole thing reworked, but not to bother with it until there is a reason. The heater is pretty new and works really well to spend that gas money!

Check the software revision. 2.65 or higher will operate a variable speed pump.
A fabulous 2.20. I hope that board never goes out! Looking at VS pumps it seems like the relay way would work fine. A cable would run from the pump to the controller with wires to activate whichever speed that I want. I could run on low speed all the time and press a button to override that with high speed. I've had to replace a broken relay in the box and the wiring wasn't too bad.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
16,978
If you did replace the board, it should be version 2.65 or higher.

Note that version 2.65 is pretty limited in variable speed functionality.

It's really not good until the latest versions, which are not available in the Aqualogic board.

Aqualogic was discontinued and replaced by Prologic.
 

pcm2a

Well-known member
Aug 25, 2017
166
Mt Juliet, Tn
I was going to go with a Pentair VS pump and use the relay wiring to two empty relays to override the program schedule. The installer said that's not going to work with my system. He says when my aqualogic controller turns the pump off and then back on the Pentair will remain off until you press the on switch on the pump. I said that sounds wrong, because what if it was winter or summer and you were on vacation and the power went out, wouldn't it resume it's normal schedule? He says the pump would stay off unless you had a Pentair automation controller. I still think this is totally incorrect.

However, I'm now going with the Tristar 900 VS pump. It has a year longer warranty (3 instead of 2) and the relay wiring is even better on it. Two empty relays can control 4 speeds. I don't know why I would need four speeds, but why not. Price is about $150 more, has a $100 rebate instead of a $50 rebate.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
16,978
Wire the pump directly to the circuit breaker for continuous power.

Set the automation to two speed pump.

Then, use two relays to control high and low speed. The relays will only be low voltage and no high voltage.

The Filter relay will be high speed. An Aux relay will be low speed. Go to configuration and set the aux relay to "pump low speed ".

Set the speeds in the pump as desired.

The higher hp pump is what I would suggest. Even if you won't use full speed, the pump can be run at a lower speed for any flow rate.
 
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pcm2a

Well-known member
Aug 25, 2017
166
Mt Juliet, Tn
I plan on doing most of that! I went with the 1.85 HP pump and not the more expensive 2.7 HP. I realize that it would work better...but I didn't want to spend the extra. I had the pump wired to the filter relay just like the old pump and not wired straight into the breaker. I want to be able to turn the pump off from my controller as well as having the pump turn off when it switches around in freeze mode.

The two relays aren'y wired up yet but they will be set to low speed on the controller. The neat-o thing with the Hayward is you actually get 3 speeds with two relays: on|off, off|on, on|on. I don't think I'll need three but nice of them to have the option.

On the lowest speed it is so quiet. Flow seems fine but you don't get the "waterfall" sound because it's moving so slow down my spillover. Step it up a little and then the waterfall effect is nice. I'll probably have it run low at night at lowest-speed-for-waterfall during the day. I'm excited to see some electricity savings, my old pump ran about $75 running 12 hours a day.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
16,978
The number of speeds available depends on the number of auxiliary relays used as noted below:
1. Filter pump relay plus 1 auxiliary relays allows control of 2 speeds.
2. Filter pump relay plus 2 auxiliary relays allows control of 4 speeds.
3. Filter pump relay plus 3 auxiliary relays allows control of 8 speeds.

I would wire power to the pump directly from the breaker.

I would use the filter relay as high speed and Aux 2 as low speed.

That's all the speeds that the system can understand as far as knowing that the pump is on for operating the SWG.

What's on the relays other than the filter relay? (Lights, aux 1, and aux 2).

If they're open, you can run speeds on them, but the system won't know that it's the pump other than the relay designated pump low speed.

I don't think that you can designate more than one aux relay as pump low speed.
 
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pcm2a

Well-known member
Aug 25, 2017
166
Mt Juliet, Tn
2. Filter pump relay plus 2 auxiliary relays allows control of 4 speeds.
I'll be doing this one, filter pump plus empty aux5 and aux5. My controller has pool filter, spa filter, lights, blower, cleaner, water feature.

I would wire power to the pump directly from the breaker.
How do I turn my pump off with this configuration, without going around to the pump?

I don't think that you can designate more than one aux relay as pump low speed.
I just tested it out and the high/low feature seems about worthless to me. You are right that you can't have two low speeds and you can't even use the buttons to turn it on and off. I have set my pump to 1 speed, aux5 and aux6 to "timeclock". That allows me to manually turn them on or with a timer.
1. When the pool filter relay turns the pump on, this will be speed 1 (aux 5 and 6 off)
2. When aux5 or 6 are on|off it will be speeds 2, 3 and 4.
 
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JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
16,978
You can set the pump as single speed or two speed.

If you set it as a single speed in configuration, then it only knows that the pump is on when the filter relay is on.

If there is anything controlled by the automation that requires the pump to be on before the second thing comes on, then the filter relay has to be on.

A heater or SWG would require the pump to be on. A booster pump can be interlocked or not.

If you set the pump as a two speed pump, then the high speed relay or the low speed relay has to be on before a secondary interlocked device can be turned on.

You can turn the pump off using the relays. Unless the relay is telling the pump to run, the pump will be off.

Do you have a SWG?

Does the automation tell the heater to turn on and off?
 

pcm2a

Well-known member
Aug 25, 2017
166
Mt Juliet, Tn
No SWG. If I have been running the heater and then I turn the heater off and the pool filter off, it will do into a countdown mode of some minutes to let it cool down before the pump goes off. I don't have interlock with the cleaner's booster pump, but that's not a bad idea to have it on. More than once I have been messing with things and had the pool filter off while the booster pump was running. Probably hard on it that way.

I've been playing with the speeds all day and punching the watts into calculators to see how much I'll be saving. Fun stuff!
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
16,978
You can interlock the booster with the filter pump.

The Aqualogic contains the power supply for the cell. So, all you need is the cell to convert to SWG.