Suggestions for Layout of New SWCG

Oly

Gold Supporter
Jun 28, 2017
1,676
Fresno, CA
DanF, what was your final decision to wiring in the backup timer for the SWG. I too am planning a similar install and have been following your progress so thanks.
 

Rattus Suffocatus

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2019
1,243
Corona de Tucson, AZ
If you can do the wiring yourself, go with the digital timer. It matches the timer on the VSP and they keep in sync better. I am glad I came up with that idea... it's the best compromise.... the SWCG uses so little power there is no disadvantage to running it on 110V.
 

DanF

Silver Supporter
Mar 17, 2019
293
Chandler, AZ
If you can do the wiring yourself, go with the digital timer. It matches the timer on the VSP and they keep in sync better. I am glad I came up with that idea... it's the best compromise.... the SWCG uses so little power there is no disadvantage to running it on 110V.
Agree. A couple of weeks ago, I called Circupool and Discount Salt Pool and asked about pros/cons to 110V vs 220V and both said no impacts to running the SWG at 110V, even though the default is 220V. I am just not comfortable as I would like in wiring the switch, so I will probably hire an electrician with pool equipment experience.

Question: My wife asked if I was considering WiFi timers...the use case would be: We're away from home on a trip and need to adjust the SWG timer for some reason - pump fails or whatever (don't ask me how I would know if the pump fails). Do you see any value in a timer with WiFi capability, something like:

DanF, what was your final decision to wiring in the backup timer for the SWG. I too am planning a similar install and have been following your progress so thanks.
Hi Oly, For right now I have the SWG wired to my mechanical clock-style timer. I have it set so that the SWG running 3 hours/day within the 9 hours/day that my pump runs. That gives me sufficient FC for this time of year. However I still have the risk of my mechanical timer getting out-of-sync with my 2-speed digital pump timer, and those mechanical timers are a PIA to set.

So, I have narrowed it down to the options:
1) An in-wall timer like @Rattus Suffocatus has which would reside in my timer panel
2) An external timer like this one which would plug into my GFCI outlet and sit outside the timer panel. I would need to attach a 3-prong plug to my SWG's wires.
3) An external timer like this one. Admittedly this is a Cadillac solution, but it would sit inside the timer box and control my 2-speed pump and the SWG. Gives me more flexibility in scheduling both the pump and the SWG, and if the timer fails, both components fail together. Just don't know if the cost warrants the capability.

All 3 have some sort of battery backup, either internal (non-replaceable) or batteries that can be switched out.

That's where I'm at right now. Would like to hear your thoughts as well.
 

Rattus Suffocatus

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2019
1,243
Corona de Tucson, AZ
So I'd have to look at that wifi timer... as long as it's able to run without the internet being present it should be okay. IF it needs something like AWS/Alexa to run it's schedule it's no bueno. I decided not to do that because really once you get the SWCG up, it's stable. You do have to readjust as the duration of the days changes, but you are not going to do that remotely practically anyway.

Edited to add that wifi switches do not work inside of metal panels. You will need to attach a plastic waterproof box outside of the panel and run the wires through a pipe nipple to the box... I do that for my lights.
 
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caycarem

LifeTime Supporter
May 16, 2009
139
Pleasanton, CA
Agree. A couple of weeks ago, I called Circupool and Discount Salt Pool and asked about pros/cons to 110V vs 220V and both said no impacts to running the SWG at 110V, even though the default is 220V. I am just not comfortable as I would like in wiring the switch, so I will probably hire an electrician with pool equipment experience.

Question: My wife asked if I was considering WiFi timers...the use case would be: We're away from home on a trip and need to adjust the SWG timer for some reason - pump fails or whatever (don't ask me how I would know if the pump fails). Do you see any value in a timer with WiFi capability, something like:


Hi Oly, For right now I have the SWG wired to my mechanical clock-style timer. I have it set so that the SWG running 3 hours/day within the 9 hours/day that my pump runs. That gives me sufficient FC for this time of year. However I still have the risk of my mechanical timer getting out-of-sync with my 2-speed digital pump timer, and those mechanical timers are a PIA to set.

So, I have narrowed it down to the options:
1) An in-wall timer like @Rattus Suffocatus has which would reside in my timer panel
2) An external timer like this one which would plug into my GFCI outlet and sit outside the timer panel. I would need to attach a 3-prong plug to my SWG's wires.
3) An external timer like this one. Admittedly this is a Cadillac solution, but it would sit inside the timer box and control my 2-speed pump and the SWG. Gives me more flexibility in scheduling both the pump and the SWG, and if the timer fails, both components fail together. Just don't know if the cost warrants the capability.

All 3 have some sort of battery backup, either internal (non-replaceable) or batteries that can be switched out.

That's where I'm at right now. Would like to hear your thoughts as well.
What do you think of this option #4: Smart Kasa Outdoor Plug ? you can schedule with Kasa App on your phone, control via WIFI and the timer/schedule is stored locally which works without WIFI. no backup battery, so not sure if the clock will get out of synch with the pump if power goes out.
 

DanF

Silver Supporter
Mar 17, 2019
293
Chandler, AZ
Interesting idea, @caycarem. I actually have one of these controlling my Dolphin robot. I will probably order one and see how it works. I'm a little concerned that I may not have WiFi signal near where the SWG would plug into the Kasa. Also, I would probably need to protect it somehow from the sun and (not so much) the rain. I have GFCI outlet on my panel but the Kasa would dangle down from that and I wonder how that would work long-term.

Not sure either about power outages. Maybe something I can test by flipping breakers on/off. Cant' beat them for cost, ease of use, and programming flexibility. And it's something I can install myself, and control from afar.
 

mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Jul 8, 2015
2,393
OV, CA
I think you wandering into over thinking it territory. I'm using an old Intermatic timer for my SWG... in reality I don't tweak it that much. I check my SWG level once a week during the pool season and it rarely changes level unless an event (ie, a pool party, heat wave, rain) requires a massive adjustment. It follows the same pattern of increasing the Cl output as the summer warms and decreasing as the fall cools. But I have never had to change my runtime. Once I got that set, I can adjust all my Cl needs via the output knob. So in my world wifi timers are fine, but I would never look at it once it was set. Its not like its something I have to tinker with everyday, like making coffee... and even that isn't IOT. Just my .02 bitcoins.
 

Rattus Suffocatus

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2019
1,243
Corona de Tucson, AZ
Do NOT use something like a Kasa Switch with a SWCG. It must have its own timer built into the switch or you risk not turning off (or on) the SWCG if the internet, AWS cloud or whatever is down. I use a Kasa switch for my lights. I know they don't always work. They have to always work in this application.

Edit: I looked, there is nothing saying that it has a built in timer. Yes you can set schedules on the Kasa account independently from Alexa, but the cloud still does the power up and down like the switches I use.
 

caycarem

LifeTime Supporter
May 16, 2009
139
Pleasanton, CA
Interesting idea, @caycarem. I actually have one of these controlling my Dolphin robot. I will probably order one and see how it works. I'm a little concerned that I may not have WiFi signal near where the SWG would plug into the Kasa. Also, I would probably need to protect it somehow from the sun and (not so much) the rain. I have GFCI outlet on my panel but the Kasa would dangle down from that and I wonder how that would work long-term.

Not sure either about power outages. Maybe something I can test by flipping breakers on/off. Cant' beat them for cost, ease of use, and programming flexibility. And it's something I can install myself, and control from afar.
I purchased it already but still in the box, plan to hook up to SWG once I buy one after I figure out how to plumb with the copper pipes I have. I have lots of other kasa lights, plugs and switches, they work quite reliably over wifi and with alexa. This one is outdoor rated so I guess it’ll be fine under the sun but good idea to use something to cover, like a bracket/cover and screw into the wall. I am guessing if power out it will update its timer when it reconnects to wifi/cloud, but need to test it. I also have a gcfi outlet to use.
You can grab some cheap mesh routers to extend wifi range Netgear AC1200 Mesh WiFi System
 
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caycarem

LifeTime Supporter
May 16, 2009
139
Pleasanton, CA
Do NOT use something like a Kasa Switch with a SWCG. It must have its own timer built into the switch or you risk not turning off (or on) the SWCG if the internet, AWS cloud or whatever is down. I use a Kasa switch for my lights. I know they don't always work. They have to always work in this application.

Edit: I looked, there is nothing saying that it has a built in timer. Yes you can set schedules on the Kasa account independently from Alexa, but the cloud still does the power up and down like the switches I use.
Agreed they have to always work, online or offline, even with flow switch as backup. here's an answer from Kasa chat robot. I found similar answers from the users and FAQ, but will try to confirm with a Kasa Rep.

Will schedule and away mode still work if smart home have no internet access?

The configuration is saved on the device itself, so the schedule and away mode can function without internet.
Note: After the device is turned off/ has no power, it stops timing; and the time will return to default factory setting when powered up again because it cannot update without internet. So if you replace the Kasa smart device after configuration, you must connect it to the internet to sync time, otherwise the schedule/away mode would not work correctly.
 
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caycarem

LifeTime Supporter
May 16, 2009
139
Pleasanton, CA
Confirmed scheduling works without wifi by Kasa Rep. Although, I'd test it out myself before put it to use for the SWG. For power outage, it seems to auto-reconnect and synch the clock, but not sure how reliable that is. I'm also not sure if the pump clock/schedule will stay correct after power outage?

Good day to you! We will be glad to help you out with your inquiry.
2020-11-15 20:31:43

thanks! 2 questions: 1. can you confirm the schedule/timer will work reliably even when WIFI is not connected?

this is for KP400 smart outdoor plug
2020-11-15 20:33:14

and 2. if power outage, will the KP400 automatically reconnect to WIFI and synch its clock when power is back on?

unfortunately it will not work if your wifi doesnt have connection
2020-11-15 20:35:01

are you sure? this is what your website FAQ says:

Common questions about Schedule Away mode of smart home product? | TP-Link

Q2:Whether schedule and away mode still working when the smart home device do not have internet access?

A: The configuration is saved on the device itself, so the schedule and away mode can function without internet.

Note: Once the Kasa smart device unplugs from the power outlet and plugs it back, you must connect it to the internet to sync time, otherwise the schedule/away mode would not work correctly.

I would like to confirm that please, as i will be using the plug for running pool pump and chlorine generator
2020-11-15 20:36:26

oh sorry i thought you are trying to install it. My bad. Yes if you already installed it and you setup the configuration the scheduling will still work even tho you dont have internet at that time

make sure to configure them correctly and scheduling will still work even tho your wifi is down

great. what about my 2nd question
2020-11-15 20:39:49

if power outage, will the KP400 automatically reconnect to WIFI and synch its clock when power is back on?
> Yes, they will.

Awesome, thank you so much Erwin! Good day to you!
 
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DanF

Silver Supporter
Mar 17, 2019
293
Chandler, AZ
I think you wandering into over thinking it territory.
Thanks for your candor...I've been known to do so!:cool:
I'm using an old Intermatic timer for my SWG... But I have never had to change my runtime.
I am guessing that your old Intermatic ("wheel") timer controls both your pump and your SWG, or you have separate wheel timers for each. Either way you don't have to worry about them getting out of sync, as a power outage will stop both simultaneously.

In my case the the pump and SWG could get out of sync, and combining that with the fact that we tend to to travel more since retirement (2020 COVID not withstanding) I would like to have a more robust control than my flow switch. If I were home 24/7 I wouldn't care about a power failure cause I'd be home to witness it, and then adjust my wheel accordingly. Actually if I were home 24/7 I wouldn't need an SWG - I'd just dose manually. :)

Thanks @caycarem for sharing your research on the Kasa plug. I'm not sure I really need WiFi other than it would be nice to verify that the SWG is running when it's supposed to while I'm away from home. Battery backup is a must to stay in sync with my pump timer, which has backup.
 
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mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Jul 8, 2015
2,393
OV, CA
I am guessing that your old Intermatic ("wheel") timer controls both your pump and your SWG, or you have separate wheel timers for each. Either way you don't have to worry about them getting out of sync, as a power outage will stop both simultaneously.
Yes you are correct. And if I had a VSP I would likely run it 24/7.. or 12/7. The SWG would not need nearly that amount of time so it would easily fit within the timing of the pump and within the tolerances that I would be checking it. So the timers purpose is still the same. Just to provide a set runtime for the SWG.
 

Rattus Suffocatus

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2019
1,243
Corona de Tucson, AZ
I think everyone is making this too complicated. I do check on both timers about once every six weeks or so. As long as you leave 30 minutes in between the two, you could probably go years without having reset them. I plan on changing out the timer about every three years or so because of the built in battery...
 
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