Variable Speed pump and automatic solar heater, will it work?

av8or22

Member
Jun 25, 2016
7
Winter Haven, FL
Hello,
I am in Central FL, and have a 15K Gallon pool with a solar heater. The heater is automatic, with a powered Jandy valve and an old (~20 year) Hayward/Goldline 35 controller. The pump is a Hayward Super Pump II, 1HP.

The pump quit today. I'm planning to either swap the motor, or upgrade to a variable speed. The thing that holds me back from the variable speed is I haven't found how to make a VSP communicate to the solar. I can think of 2 ways to do it:
1 - schedule high speed pump for certain part of the day, and have solar controller/valve power on only during high speed. Would a pump be able to send power to the controller on only at high speed?
2 - have pump only spin up to high speed when solar is activated. I suspect this will need a new controller, and likely some automation system in addition to the pump. I haven't been able to figure out what parts would be needed for this config.

I am not wild about getting the pump and an automation system, as the solar valve is the only thing automated, with no plans to add features. Is there a simple/straight forward way for a solar controller to communicate with a variable speed pump to spin it up on demand?

Thank you!
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
23,586
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
I think your solar controller is now called...


If so, it has no pump control. You need to upgrade your solar controller or replace it with automation to control a VS pump.
 
Last edited:
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av8or22

Member
Jun 25, 2016
7
Winter Haven, FL
Thanks! That's the one, it is pretty simple. I haven't found a valve that can work with a VS pump unless I go with the Pentair solution for both. So tempted to just make one out of an Arduino or Raspberry pi, as all it needs to control is the solar valve. I don't really want to introduce the complexity of that or a full automation suite just for solar control though, was hoping for something simple.
 

rlab

Well-known member
Oct 4, 2019
74
Australia
That solar controller does have solar booster pump control via a HV relay. So in theory you could keep that controller and use an Intellicom adapter to have the booster pump relay trigger a higher speed on an Intelliflo pump.
 
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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
20,789
Bedford, TX
22,

One of the Pentair Solar controllers will communicate with the IntelliFlo pump. SunTouch or SolarTouch, but I don't remember off the top of my head which one.


Thanks,

Jim R.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
23,586
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Pentair SolarTouch.

See page 4 in https://www.pentair.com/content/dam...olar_System_Quick_Reference_Guide_English.pdf

IntelliFlo and IntelliPro Pumps recommended for use with SolarTouchController
• IntelliFlo/IntelliPro 4x160 (Mfg. 2005 -2011- P/N 011013).
• IntelliFlo/IntelliPro Variable Speed (8 programmable time clocks - P/N 011018 VS 3050.
• IntelliPro Variable Speed (8 programmable time clocks,P/N P6E6VS4H-209L).

IntelliFlo and IntelliPro Pumps not recommended for use with theSolarTouch Control System
• IntelliFlo/IntelliPro VF 3.2 Kilowatts (P/N 011012)
•IntelliPro VS+SVRS (P/N P6E6XS4H-209L)
•IntelliFlo VS+SVRS (P/N 011017)
 
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sngencarelli

Member
May 23, 2012
19
Quick add.. I have a Hayward VS Omni and it does this as well. VS pump, solar and air temp, controls the valves and schedules. Also has minimum rpm settings which are configurable when heating. Wasn’t prohibitively expensive, either.
 
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jeffleav

Gold Supporter
Apr 25, 2020
13
34606
Thank you all! Pentair seems to be the way to go.
Just to tailgate previous replies and, perhaps, add my still growing knowledge to everyone's helpful advice, here's a description of my recent pool equipment upgrade experience:

I DIY installed in 2020 a Sta-Rite (Pentair) Intellipro VSF pump, Pentair Solartouch Solar Controller, Hayward C200S SwimClear filter, and CircuPool RJ30+ at my 10k gallon plaster & gunite pool that came with our 30 year old home here in Central (Spring Hill) Florida. We only moved here in 2018.

After completing equipment upgrade and following two weeks of balancing water chemistry with the TFP recommended TF-100 & Taylor K-1766 Salt Test and Speedstir (highly recommended option), my variable speed pump basically runs at two speeds other than priming (2800 rpm).

Speed 1: Daily Filtering - 1500rpm/40gpm/6psi/223watts from 9am to 5pm.

Speed 2: When solar controller senses pool water is below setpoint pump speed increases to 1800rpm/45gpm/9psi/346watts until desired water temp is achieved.

My SWG RJ30+ is set at 30% power level and seems to maintain 6-8 ppm FC at CYA 70. Admittedly, FC is likely high versus PoolMath recommended level of 3-5. After my first 3 weeks using a SWG I'm still tweaking settings, water testing, and gaining a comfort level with everything. TFP's advice to exercise patience is golden. Always remember: Add chemicals in moderation and test often. As machinists and carpenters say, 'Measure twice and cut once!' Easier to add chemicals a second, third or fourth time rather than extracting or countering the effects of overdosing.

In summary, TFP gave me the knowledge and confidence to tackle my entire conversion to a variable speed pump, new solar controller, oversized cartridge filter and properly sized SWG.

At the risk of being too optimistic, I'm planning to turn our home over to a house sitter who recently owned a saltwater pool and let him be PB for the summer. By comparison, last summer before we converted to saltwater, our house sitter was too challenged by our pool and refused to return this summer.

Stay tuned...I hope to have good experience to report this Fall! Thanks for reading...hope this helps someone! And, sincere appreciation to TFP for helping me!
 
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