Robot Selection, Control, & Outlet Configuration

Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
494
Central Texas
Pool Size
14060
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Wednesday, the excavator arrives to begin our IG pool install. The builder originally spec'ed a pressure cleaner, but I had them remove it and plan to purchase a robot instead.

So as I plan through this, I want to be sure anything I need to be in place for the most convenient setup is identified before it's too late. For example, if I need to add a wire chase, or bury romex, under the where the decking will be poured, to get an outlet in a good place for the robot.

We are going with a Pentair EasyTouch 4P, but I'm not sure what robot to go with. For control, is it best to have an outlet dedicated for the robot, and controlled through a relay on the EasyTouch? Or is it best to have the robot always receiving power, and using the robot's scheduler for cleaning?

In terms of the outlet, I understand the robot's control box plugs into the outlet, and the robot then plugs into the control box. Should I plan to build a weather proof enclosure for the control box, so it can be left in place?

I asked the PB about installing a pool-side outlet, maybe behind the boulder coping on the long side, and he said it must be a min of 10' from the waterline, and would cost be an additional $500 to do it. In the image below, the dotted line is a 10' PUE easement, which means I wouldn't be able to put an outlet back there. So I said nevermind, as I am perfectly capable of doing this as a DIY project as long as I don't need anything inside the concrete; But I want to be sure I plan it correctly.

Here is the 3D view of the pool design:

1594044755747.png

And here is a rough layout of the area:

1594044645915.png

I was considering having the robot controller installed at the equipment pad, in something weather proof, but then thought the cord probably isn't long enough and the controller will probably need to be closer to the pool.

So then I thought about putting an outlet at the decking edge, between the pool and the equipment pad, ensuring 10' from the waterline, and running the romex back to the equipment pad for connection to the EasyTouch. But then the robot controller would be on the decking.

Notice I have an existing outlet under the patio cover, but I'd prefer not to have cords draped across the patio/decking.

So I'm looking for input/advice on how best to plan for a robot install .... What would you do?

Thanks!
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
22,167
Bedford, TX
S,

Everyone is different of course, but to me running the robot from a schedule inside the EasyTouch makes no sense at all.. I take my robot out of the pool when not in use, because I don't like seeing it in the pool. I also only put it in the pool when there is something to pick up. Depending on the time of the year, about once every 3 days. If you have a lot of stuff for the robot to pick up, then you have to take it out once a week, just to clean it anyway.. So for me... I just use the timer inside the power supply.

I have had several robots over the years and have found that my Dolphin S200 is the best of the lot.. The S200 does not have any fancy bells, whistles or remotes. You simple put it in and it cleans the pool.. It does not come with a caddy.. The power supply is water resistant, but not water proof.. Mine is mounted on a wall about 2 feet off the ground and under the eve of the roof, so it does not get soaking wet. I just store the robot on a couple of blocks, kind of out of sight, and just coil the cord on the deck.

The Caddy has a place for the power supply and to roll up the cord. The caddy comes with the S300 or S300i..

The best place to buy one is....

Margaret Mills
Marina Pool, Spa & Patio
7777 West Jewell Avenue
Lakewood, Colorado 80232
303-985-0077
[email protected]

You have to call, you can't buy one off the Internet...

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
494
Central Texas
Pool Size
14060
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Thanks Jim. How far away is your S200 power supply from the pool's waterline? Do you happen to have a picture of it mounted?
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
22,167
Bedford, TX
S,

My EasyTouch is about 13 feet from the pool water.. The S200 is plugged into a GFCI outlet in the side of the EasyTouch.. Here is a pic of the S200's power supply..

20200218_175104.jpg

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
494
Central Texas
Pool Size
14060
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Thanks Jim. I gave Marina a call, and will most likely go with the Pentair Warrior Si. But it'll be about 2 months, since my built is scheduled to begin in a few days.
 

rodrigo

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2009
62
Central Illinois
I see you're in TX, so I suspect your house is built on a slab - my circumstances might be too different from yours to be germane (I have a basement where my electric panel is located). But my advice is to take a look at your layout and perhaps just bury some empty PVC conduits under your patio for future use. I did this when we built our pool 15 years ago, and have been grateful I thought of this as recently as two years ago. It really came in handy when I wanted to install a sound system outdoors near the pool, and even when we changed to an internet provider who pulled a fiber optic cable to the house.

The design really looks great. You'll enjoy that for years!
 

el duderino

Well-known member
Jun 15, 2008
182
Austin, TX
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
If I was in your situation, or had it to do over again, I would just install some sort of large enough conduit from where the unit plugs in to the actual pool, or create some type of drain/track in the decking to conceal the cord. I prefer to leave my vac in the pool unless we're entertaining and get tired of the cord draped all over the place.
 

Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
494
Central Texas
Pool Size
14060
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Thanks for the feedback guys. I do plan to add conduit under the decking, for DIY speakers and landscape lighting. I suppose I can just be sure to make it large enough to also fit the cord for the robot.

@el duderino ... curious .. what made you switch from the SWG to stenner injection?
 

el duderino

Well-known member
Jun 15, 2008
182
Austin, TX
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Thanks for the feedback guys. I do plan to add conduit under the decking, for DIY speakers and landscape lighting. I suppose I can just be sure to make it large enough to also fit the cord for the robot.

@el duderino ... curious .. what made you switch from the SWG to stenner injection?
@Stoopalini, despite what my pool builder promised, the salt caused havoc with our stone. I wish that wasn't the case, but it turned out to destroy a lot of our coping and decking. We replaced some, filled in some with grout and live with the rest. I always enjoyed the salt generator, but the liquid chorine is far superior in a lot of ways.

Also, I see you're in Central TX as well...where and who is building your pool?
 

Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
494
Central Texas
Pool Size
14060
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
@Stoopalini, despite what my pool builder promised, the salt caused havoc with our stone. I wish that wasn't the case, but it turned out to destroy a lot of our coping and decking. We replaced some, filled in some with grout and live with the rest. I always enjoyed the salt generator, but the liquid chorine is far superior in a lot of ways.

Also, I see you're in Central TX as well...where and who is building your pool?

Gotcha. We're using a lot of natural stone as well ... moss rock boulder coping and 3-ton waterfall. The rest of our coping is Oklahoma flagstone, and our decking will be concrete with Sundek. We opted away from SWG based on stories I've heard of people around here having it ruin the soft stone which seems to come from our quarries.

We're just north of Austin, in Liberty Hill ... and got bids from 4 pool builders, and opted for the largest builder in Texas. If you're not sure who that is, I can PM it to you? I'm pretty sure the forum rules don't allow posting local PB names up in the forums.
 

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red-beard

Gold Supporter
May 27, 2019
1,172
Houston, TX
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite Pro (T-15)
"Flagstone" is sandstone. If water runoff can get into the pool, you will get some of the sand. My coping is "Flagstone", and one of neighbors has flagstone decking around the pool. Your cleaner will be able get the sand, so don't worry.
 

Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
494
Central Texas
Pool Size
14060
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
If I was in your situation, or had it to do over again, I would just install some sort of large enough conduit from where the unit plugs in to the actual pool, or create some type of drain/track in the decking to conceal the cord. I prefer to leave my vac in the pool unless we're entertaining and get tired of the cord draped all over the place.
I’ve been thinking about this a bit ... does Pentair have extension cables for the low voltage cable which goes from the robot to the controller? If so, I could install that in a conduit from the pad to the side of the pool, and create a plug box on the side of the pool for the robot to plug into.

this would make it easier to setup the cleaner (by leaving the control box at the equipment pad), prevent cables from stretched across deck and yard, and since it’s low voltage, shouldn’t be as problem having the plug right next to the pool.
 

markayash

Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
3,269
Atlanta Ga
The Warrior can be put in automation mode and controlled with a smart outlet or plug.
Also several people on her have bought the SI over the SE and said the Bluetooth doesn't really benefit them a lot. Only $50 more so your call but I think all you can do is "drive it" and it moves slow.
 

Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
494
Central Texas
Pool Size
14060
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
The Warrior can be put in automation mode and controlled with a smart outlet or plug.
Also several people on her have bought the SI over the SE and said the Bluetooth doesn't really benefit them a lot. Only $50 more so your call but I think all you can do is "drive it" and it moves slow.

Right, but the smart outlet or plug must be at least 10ft away from the pool. Then the controller plugs into the outlet, and the robot's low voltage cable plugs into the controller. My equipment pad is about 40ft from the pool, so I'd have to install the smart plug in the yard somewhere and run 120v back to the equipment pad.

My thought was to install the outlet at the equipment pad, plug the controller into it, and leave the controller at the pad. Then run a low voltage extension cable through some conduit, to place a low voltage plug at the pool side. Then I could plug the robot in there.

So there are no cables being draped across the decking and the controller can be permanently mounted at the equipment pad.

I'm just not sure if Pentair sells extension cables for the Warrior. I Googled it, but not having much luck. When I order the Warrior, I suppose I can ask Marina if they can get an extension for the low voltage.
 

guinness

Well-known member
May 3, 2019
553
California
If you need an outlet at the equipment pad, you can do what Jim has done and install an outlet on the side of the EasyTouch panel (it has a knockout for this purpose).

28604adb-47d6-42c0-9a59-3e5f8ed92ac3-jpeg.134472
 

Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
494
Central Texas
Pool Size
14060
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
If you need an outlet at the equipment pad, you can do what Jim has done and install an outlet on the side of the EasyTouch panel (it has a knockout for this purpose).

28604adb-47d6-42c0-9a59-3e5f8ed92ac3-jpeg.134472

Ya, that's my plan ... to install an outlet on the ET4, and plug the robot controller into it, and mount the controller at the equipment pad under a cover to protect it from the rain/sun. Then if I can find an extension cable, run the extension through buried conduit to behind my boulder coping, and install a low voltage outlet back there.

Essentially, like this:

1595251551658.png
 
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Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
494
Central Texas
Pool Size
14060
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
So I called Pentair, and they don't offer extension cables for the low voltage signal cable. The tech did say I might try Maytronics though, as the Warrior is the same as the Dolphin line. So on a quick search, I did find this:

Dolphin Cable 99958903-DIY

1595256931801.png

Looks like I could use this cable to do what I'm wanting, and then just fab up a weather proof outlet at the end for permanent installation behind the boulder coping.
 

Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
494
Central Texas
Pool Size
14060
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Would 60' be enough? Looks like a new cable vs an extension.

The place where I want the low voltage plug is about 40ft away from the equipment pad, so 60ft would be plenty.

It is a new cable for the Dolphin, but appears to have a male 2 prong on one end, and a female 2 prong on the other. So I'm thinking it could work as an extension for the Warrior (based on the Pentair tech telling me it uses a two prong connector, and is the same as the Dolphin).

I could be wrong though, not sure. I'll probably lay a piece of conduit in the ground and just run a pull string through it for now, and when I get the Robot, I can evaluate the possibility then.
 
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spd500

Well-known member
Jul 20, 2020
569
Houston, TX
I would try to find out if the length of the cable will be an issue. If you have the cable twice as long as recommended you may have a voltage drop and cause your robot to fail prematurely.
 
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