Oncommand with Solar and Actuator?

outatime

Active member
Apr 6, 2015
30
Davenport
Hi Guys

Hope someone can please help me, earlier in the year thanks to some fantastic advice from members here I installed a Hayward Oncommand and its been such a great controller to replace my old 1992 Jandy. I have it setup just the way I want now and the last piece to the puzzle was installing solar for it to control. I installed a Jandy valve and Intermatic actuator on top to bypass the solar when need be and that worked as expected so I went onto install the solar temp sensor and then program up the Oncommand.

I set the Pool Solar heat level to 88 degrees, Spa Solar to 100 degrees, solar to Enabled and Valve 3 to Solar but so far nothing is working, it won't turn off when it reaches temp, not see the valve move once since installing it. I know the valve works as I manually toggle it up and down and it turns so power is getting to it. Am I missing a setting or misunderstanding how the system should work? I do have the heater enabled at the same time as I want it to back up the electric heater to get to temp faster but from what I read in the manual that's ok.

Anyone any ideas please? It mentioned something about using a pump for solar but my solar is pretty standard and goes to the roof after the filter and down into the heater and to the pool.

Thank you very much

Stuart
 

Bama Rambler

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Jun 22, 2009
22,963
SouthWest Alabama
I'm sure you didn't, but just covering all the bases. You're not leaving the actuator switch in the off position are you?

Are you fairly positive that your have the temp sensors connected in the proper order (pool/spa to pool/spa terminals, air to air terminals, etc.)?
 

pooldv

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Aug 10, 2012
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The pump would be optional and shouldn't have any impact to whether the controller turns solar on and off. When you toggle through the the temps do they seem to be accurate? Is the solar temp sensor on the roof near the panels? What is the solar temp vs water temp? I'm not familiar with the oncommand menus but my solar controller has to have solar heat or cool enabled before it starts working.
 

outatime

Active member
Apr 6, 2015
30
Davenport
Thanks guys for the support

I have been out and checked the temp sensors to make sure everything is working as it should, right now 11am the air is 86, water 83 and solar 85 and they are all in the correct location. I have the solar sensor down by the valve, you think it should be higher up? Its funny when I first installed the Oncommand it used to go through all the temperatures, air, water, solar and then the time and cycle around but it doesn't display the solar temp even though its setup. I spoke with Hayward and the women was talking about a differential temp to allow the solar to work but didn't quite understand what she was talking about, said something about the temp on the panels need to be 96 before they turn the solar on or something?. My understanding is that the solar valve (actuator) is always set to on until the temp reaches higher than the setting in the oncommand and then it turns off....does that sound right to you? I know the valves works fine and went through all the settings with Hayward and they said its programmed right, just can't work out what I am doing wrong here?
 

pooldv

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The solar temp sensor needs to be mounted on the roof up by the panels. It is best to use a black sensor so that it picks up solar gain as well as air temp. It is an air temp sensor and does not get installed in the plumbkng/water.

No, the valve isn't always open until it reaches target temp. The valve only opens when the solar temp is above the temp differential of the water temp. My temp differential is set at 3 degrees. So, my solar valve only opens when the solar temp is at least 3 degrees above the water temp, ie solar temp is 88 and water temp is 85. Then it will open and stay open until it reaches target temp or the solar temp drops below that water temp.
 

outatime

Active member
Apr 6, 2015
30
Davenport
Thank you so much. Just a quiry about the sensors I have three black ones, an air sensor, pool sensor and solar sensor and all three look exactly the same. So should the air sensor be high up in the sunlight on the roof (loose)? The solar installed up high in solar facing the sky (plumbed) and the pool water in the return pipe low down near the rest of my valves (plumbed). Does that sound correct?
 

jblizzle

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May 19, 2010
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Tucson, AZ
The solar sensor needs to be up on the Roof near the solar panels but not attached to the solar panels. The air sensor should just be near the controller in the shade out of the Sun.
 

outatime

Active member
Apr 6, 2015
30
Davenport
OK just re-read the manual....always a good idea :)

So the water one is correct where it is, the air one is not in direct sunlight so that's good its just the solar I need to have up high as you mentioned. OK think I got it, will report back. Still not sure about the actuator though, am I right in thinking the toggle switch can be set either up or down for it to work just not in the middle which is off? So right now with the outside temp as it is a little over cast I should default the solar to off (bypassing the panels) and let the Oncommand do its job to turn the actuator on when the temp is correct and then off when we get dark sky's or cooler weather?
 

pooldv

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Right, middle is off. The toggle should be one or the other, whichever is off and let the oncommand open it when solar heat is available.
 

outatime

Active member
Apr 6, 2015
30
Davenport
Thank you. All sorted :)

Soon as I pulled out the solar sensor and put it on the roof the valve started turning and Valve3 light up on the display. Thank you again so much.
 
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