Please critique my Variable-Speed Pump Upgrade Plans (including iAqualink Integration)

gkw4815

Well-known member
Aug 31, 2021
61
Memorial Villages, TX
Pool Size
32000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
With my electric rates expected to skyrocket once my contract runs out early next year, I've fast-tracked my plans to upgrade my main filter pump to a variable-speed unit. I currently have a single-speed 1.5 hp pump controlled by a Jandy iAqualink 2.0 system (other details of my system as described in signature). I have no interest in shelling out $1500-2000 for a Jandy VS pump, so I'm looking at inexpensive third party options. Would the following approach make sense?
  • Replace main pump with Calimar 3.0 hp VS Pump
  • Install B+D Automation-Capable Variable Speed pump adapter on the pump (assuming that this works with nearly-identical Calimar pump...does anyone know if this has been verified?)
  • Rewire the iAqualink panel as follows (see attached images):
    • Hardwire VS pump to 240v power (ie pump power is no longer controlled by relay, pump is always on, except when its breaker is off)
    • Use current Filter Pump relay to control pump Speed 1 (~600-1000 rpm, run ~16 hours a day)
    • Add new relay for Speed 2 (medium speed, used when operating heater or booster pump)
    • (Optional) and second new relay for Speed 3 (high speed, used for max suction when manually vacuuming pool)
  • Program iAqualink as follows:
    • Speed 1 relay is engaged ~16 hours a day
    • Speed 2 relay is engaged ~2 hours in the morning, ~2 hours in afternoon to assist with skimming of the pool (booster pump on for 2 hours during the afternoon Speed 2 block)
    • Speed 2 is also engaged whenever OneTouch commands to heat the pool or spa are selected (ie whenever the heater is running)
    • Speed 3 is engaged manually when I'm vacuuming the pool
Does this approach sounds sensible? Any considerations that I'm missing? Thanks in advance!
 

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HermanTX

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TFP Guide
May 20, 2020
4,395
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
FWIW, I will offer an alternative. Pinch a Penny in the Houston area is offering 15% off of VS pumps and several hundred $$$ in rebates right now. I have a Pentair VSF pump running with iAquaLink 3.0. I have full control via RS-485 connection, can program 8 speeds, have multiple schedules for different speeds, and full remote control. My AquaLink box looks almost identical to your “BEFORE” picture and all I did was move the pump wire to the Line side for constant power and connect the RS-485 cable. Also my plumbing was straightforward to install the new Pentair pump.
Also suggest you use unions to install the new pump.
Good Luck with whatever you choose.
 

gkw4815

Well-known member
Aug 31, 2021
61
Memorial Villages, TX
Pool Size
32000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Had a good chat over the phone with a Pinch a Penny sales associate yesterday. I was very impressed by her ability to answer my detailed questions about installation considerations.

They are indeed running some pretty impressive sales on VS pumps at the moment, but even with the sale I'd be looking at 2-3x the price of the Calimar for a Pentair or Jandy pump. Additionally (as expected), warranty on these ranges from 0-60 days for self install vs 1 year on the Calimar with self install. Their base rate for installation was actually quite reasonable, but she explained that I'll also have to install a GFCI breaker for the main pump if I'm using professional install. My research indicates that GE GFCI 2-pole breakers are only available in full size. My current pump breaker is half-size and I don't have room in the panel to swap to full size (after adding a generator inlet and whole-house surge protector to my panel earlier this year).

So the professional install required to get a decent warranty opens a real can of worms in my case. I ended up ordering the Calimar pump, automation adapter, and two extra relays last night.

Next question...my current pump has 2" high temp unions already installed on it. Are these reusable, or should I order new unions?
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
May 20, 2020
4,395
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
Next question...my current pump has 2" high temp unions already installed on it. Are these reusable, or should I order new unions?
If they are threaded into the pump and can be removed, they should work fine. Check the union seal to ensure that is in good shape and lubricate it before reassembling. Check the collar to ensure that it is good with no cracks.
 
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gkw4815

Well-known member
Aug 31, 2021
61
Memorial Villages, TX
Pool Size
32000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Finally finished the installation of the Calimar VS Pump and iAqualink programming - thought I'd document my learnings/approach here in case anyone else is considering using iAqualink relays to control a Blue Torrent/Calimar/Circupool/B+D variable speed pump.

First, I'm happy to confirm that the CircuPool SmartFlo Interface Kit (ie automation adapter) works perfectly with the Calimar pool pump (and presumably also works with the Blue Torrent, B+D, and other versions of this pump).

Originally, both my pump (1.5 hp fixed-speed) and heater (Jandy JXI400) were connected to the load side of the Filter Pump relay. After installing my new pump, I connected both it and the heater to constant 240v power. My heater is no longer switched off whenever the filter pump is switched off. It is still controlled by iAqualink via the fireman's switch, with pressure/flow sensors as backup.

I experimented with different ways to control the pump speed via the iAqualink relays. I wanted the selected control scheme to meet the following criteria:
  • Pump runs in low speed most of the time. Runs in intermediate speed for a few hours during the morning and afternoon for better skimming. Also runs at this intermediate speed when spa or booster pump is on. High speed manually selected when vacuuming the pool.
  • There is a 100% chance that the pump will shut off when the "Filter Pump" relay is off (ie when iAqualink turns this relay off to activate the JVAs and switch from pool to spa mode and vica versa).
  • Ideally - pool temperature is reported whenever the pump is running (in iAqualink, temperature is only displayed when "Filter Pump" relay is on).
In the end, I went the following approach, with met all of these objectives:

Pump Speed #Pump Speed PriorityAutomation Adapter Wire ColorJandy RelayRunning Speed
11 (highest)BlackHigh Speed3300 rpm
22WhiteLow Speed1300 rpm
33YellowFilter Pump2500 rpm

Our iAqualink system offers an option to control a two-speed pump via relays. In this mode, "Filter Pump" controls whether the pump is running, and "Low Speed" controls whether the low-speed mode is engaged. When set up in this mode, iAqualink will automatically run intermediate speed whenever the pump is first started (to ensure priming), whenever the pressure side cleaner is running, or whenever spa mode is engaged. Both relays are automatically switched off whenever the pump is switching from pool to spa mode or vica versa.

I tied the Filter Pump and Low Speed relays to the third- and second-priority pump speeds, respectively. That took care of everything except the imperative to shut down the pump when the high speed relay was engaged, but the pump was in the process of switching between pool and spa modes. To accomplish this, I passed the common lead to the High Speed relay through the Filter Pump relay, so High Speed is opened whenever Filter Pump is off.
 
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