Pool Automation Suggestions


New member
Oct 2, 2010
Split from this topic for better response.

Hi all,

Thanks for the great comments and suggestions. Let me give you guys some details on my pool.

1. Its in a horrible environment....trees....trees....and more trees.
2. The pool is such a maintenance nightmare that I have considered filling it in.
3. My wife and I bought the house two years ago. The second weekend after moving in I meet one of neighbors. He laughed and said "how do you like that pool." I now know why he was laughing.
4. Its a great, big, old pool that was redone in 1997. I was told 40,000 gallons, but I don't believe its that big.
5. My house currently has no home automation at all. Its not on the books at this time.

So now that I have committed to keeping it a pool I want to do things that take some of the work out of owning it. My equipment is for the most getting pretty old and I want to invest in making it useable for my family.

Current equipment:

Main pump - needing replaced
Booster pump for Polaris - new
Cartridge Filter - Okay shape, considering going to sand filter due to environment, filters don't last long
Manual timer - replaced in 2009
Transformer for pool light - rusted out and a life risk
Pool Heater - another life risk, needs replaced

So here are my goals. Hopefully this will give you the info needed to point me in the right direction.

1. Have some kind of device inside the house that I can mange most aspects of the pool.
2. Set pump schedules (main and booster)
3. Control valves
4. Control heater and desired temp (no hot tub)
5. Control my landscaping lights (currently on a dimmer close to the pool equipment)

So most of my needs come from me being lazy. :-D

Really this is my motivation outside of convenience. I want to have the pool clean and ready to use when we want to swim. Right now its a pre-swimming event to get the pool in order to use it...any and everyday. So I want some way on this device that I can program a button that says "cleaner" and the main pump would kick on and then the booster. So then if my wife and kids want to have someone over to swim they go and press this button a couple of hours before eveyone shows up. I also want to do this with my skimmer solution. I want a feature button that says 'skimmer' and it would then know to turn on the pumps and divert all water flow to my returns which then power my pool skim and pool pythons. Same thing with turning them off. Finally with my lights. I want control on being able to turn these on or off. Right now I have to wait for the timmer or craw back around my pool equipment to turn these on or off. Pain in the butt!

One piece of equipment not listed is a generator. I want to convert the pool to saltwater in hopes of reducing some of the chemical burden.

I am all ears, so please offer up any suggestions you may have.



LifeTime Supporter
Jun 18, 2010
San Antonio
Ct welcome. I saw your other thread and am sorry you got hijacked. Very interesting discussion, but it does not answer your questions. Except one of the posts on the second page did detail how he used his electrical lines to control electric switches and outlets. That info may help you. Those would make it easy to control pumps, lights, and other items that work on a switch and would not be too expensive. I do not know enough about controlling heater thermostats and electric valves to give you any advice. I look forward to others contributing to this discussion.

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
SouthWest Alabama
I guess a few questions we need to know are:
1) Is there a budget?
2) Do you want a package product that does everything?
3) Do you mind buying pieces and assembling them yourself?

There are a few systems that will automate everything in a convenient package. Then there are systems like the Insteon system where you buy the parts you need to have the amount of control you desire.

I personally prefer the Insteon type systems because you buy the interfaces you need to control what you want to control and you can add parts as you want.


I have a Jandy RS8 with One Touch Panel in my house, here is what it controls

1 Circulation Pump
1 Booster Pump (Spa)
1 Water Feature Pump
1 Chem Feeder (Rola Chem)
1 Heater
All Jandy Three Way Control Valves
Solar Heating
All Backyard Landscaping
1 Water Fountain
Empty Slot for future use

Only time I go out to the pool equipment is to clean pump baskets.

Wow, I am lazy...