Why are hardwired timers so expensive?

amillsmcewan

Member
Aug 31, 2017
10
Ottawa, ON
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Hello pool experts!

Does anyone know why timer switches that are wired-in (Intermatic, etc.) are so expensive compared to ones that plug in to a receptacle? Or have I just not found the right make yet?

I can buy a "heavy duty" plug in timer with two outlets for two loads at my local Canadian Tire Store for around CDN $15- CDN $20. A wired-in Intermatic timer, by comparison, is about CDN $95! (These also look as if they were manufactured in the late 19th Century).

If anyone has any suggestions as to well-priced 110v timers that could operate both a pump and a salt water chlorine generator I'd be pleased to hear from you. Thanks in advance.
 

domct203

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 3, 2015
3,959
CT
Hello pool experts!

Does anyone know why timer switches that are wired-in (Intermatic, etc.) are so expensive compared to ones that plug in to a receptacle? Or have I just not found the right make yet?

I can buy a "heavy duty" plug in timer with two outlets for two loads at my local Canadian Tire Store for around CDN $15- CDN $20. A wired-in Intermatic timer, by comparison, is about CDN $95! (These also look as if they were manufactured in the late 19th Century).

If anyone has any suggestions as to well-priced 110v timers that could operate both a pump and a salt water chlorine generator I'd be pleased to hear from you. Thanks in advance.
How big is your pump?

Most, if not all of those inexpensive 'heavy duty' timers will only support a 1/2 or 3/4HP pump load.

The Intermatic units are much more robust, and can handle much higher loads.
 

frbruno64

Bronze Supporter
I have found good success with Tork branded pool timers. I picked up a new model PFP1102 for $35 plus reasonable shipping from eBay. Way below retail price. (Note that I was told the parent company decided to get out of the large pool panel business. I don't know if that includes the smaller timer devices.)

Do an eBay search for tork pool timer
 

Steve_in_C

Bronze Supporter
Jul 6, 2017
386
Kinston, NC
Get more ampacity than you need. Cheap contact points will cause pump motor problems. The point in those cheap timers, rated at 15 amps, will not hold up like the points in the Intermatic time clocks rated at 40 amps. The cheap ones will oxide across the surface of the points and cause a voltage drop to your pump. This could lead to premature pump motor failure. A 1 HP electric motor draw about 750-1000W or 6-8 amps. The surge amps when the motor starts can easily be 4-6 times the run amps. So when starting, the motor may draw 24-48 amps for a few seconds. Those cheap plug in timers will not handle that kind of load and will fail prematurely.
 

scooperhsd

Well-known member
May 10, 2009
395
Youngsville NC
It's being rated to do a heavier job. My pump is wired as 230V. I'm using the dual pole Intermatic for 10-15 years now (it helps to keep it running all the time, not just during pool season). Mine was sold at Home Depot as a water heater timer, and is rated for 277V 40 AMPS - my pool pump is usually running 240V 5-5.5 Amps. It doesn't have the totally weather proof case, but I have it mounted in a shed that is a house type construction so it is out of the weather. Not only will it do the dual pole, but I can also use it as a 120V timer if I use that for a pump (I have a Hayward 3/4 HP PowerFlo II sitting in reserve - uses 120V and 10-11 AMPs).
 

$wiming pool$

Member
May 13, 2015
7
Markham, ON Canada
Here's a mechanical timer that is a clone of the Intermatic. Precision Multiple Controls Official Website - Your Source for Energy Saving Controls Precision Photocontrols (located in Missassauga) be aware that the PMC clock turns in the opposite direction to the Intermatic. These PMCs fit the Intermatic outdoor boxes. I have on Intermatic, needed another and got the PMC 2 yrs ago. When I moved to my current home with the pool; it had a 120v 1hp motor that would challenge the outdoor 15A timers due to amp draw. I upgraded to a 220v motor and went with the Intermatic from HD. Added the PMC to manage the speed switching on the motor winding. Now i also use a Tork digital outdoor to control my Stenner Pump. Intermatic is > 12yrs old (had to clean the contacts 1x few years back) PMC is on its 2nd season. Tork was installed on Canada Day weekend. I seem to remember the PMC is almost 1/2 cost of an Intermatic. Check out their various models.
 

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