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pat.samson.509

Advice / recommendation for pool control

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Hi All,

I really want to be able to integrate my pool to my control4 system, however, im not sure what hardware I need for what I want to achieve.

Here is what I want to control :

1) Heater/temperature.

I want to be able to read back the temperature of the pool and control it (ive seen this is possible in os 2.6 and the interface looks slick)

2)LED pool lights

I have 2 pool lights which are LEDs. I have an RF remote with it but Id like to have access to it from control4. I dont mind not being able to change colors. On/Off would be enough.

I dont know if this can be achieved easily or I need to purchase an entire panel like a Pentair or something like that.

I dont have interest in controlling my pool motor as I leave it on all the time.

Thanks for any advice.

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Hi

 

I went through this a few years ago.  First off, as much as I like C4, I would not trust it to be the sole control for my pool.  Too many bugs that could cause problems, generally a pool is fantastically sensitive to chemistry and care.  As well, if you do something like a salt cell, you will need the automation to control this, and get the feedback from the pumps and cell.

 

I have had pretty good luck with pentair.  You will need an intellitouch system, model depends on what you are trying to control.  You will also need the screenlogic component and the home automation serial adapter.  the screenlogic is what allows you to log onto the system and program it from a PC, much easier than using the wired controller, and the HA module is what allows it to talk to C4.  there are other control companies, but I dont know how well they integrate..

 

On the C4 end, there is a pool driver.. this used to be a pain, but with the new software version it allows you to see and adjust temp and pumps from the touchscreen, and also hide unused relays to make the interface cleaner.

 

The nice part about having it integrated is being able to use scenes to control light and music in the backyard, and being able to control features from iphone while outside.

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Hi Pat,

I would also recommend Pentair. I have been controlling my pool and spa via Pentair (linked to C4) for a couple of years now. Shawkyns has covered the important points! One or two observations from my side:

1. As long as your C4 is on OS2.6 or up, the integration is good and covers what you want and more (it will let you turn pumps on and off and therefore schedule them if you have HE etc.)

2. That said, like Shawkyns, I tend to end up using the ScreenLogic app rather than C4 for controlling the pool. Slightly more versatile. Scheduling is more intuitive and quicker to setup for pumps etc.

3. If you are going for colour changing lights in the pool then the ScreenLogic app will be the only way to control these beyond a simple on and off unless they are integrated outside of Pentair.

4. Motor speed cannot really be controlled by the app (other than the PC or Mac version) or by C4. However, you can set up various circuits to run different speeds (you are limited to 10 circuits I think unless you buy an expansion module) and the circuits can then be controlled by ScreenLogic or C4.

5. If you want to view / control chemical usage then this cannot be done in C4 - only in ScreenLogic

To summarise. I would go the Pentair route. I would not bother with their wall mounted TouchScreenr wireless control. Stick to control4 for that. If you have a spa, a wired 10 button spa side control is worth it! Any complex setup should be done on the PC version of ScreenLogic. Basic viewing and adjustments can be done on the C4 Touchscreen or app. But definitely install the free ScreenLogic app on your iPad also as it gives more functionality than the C4 integration.

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Sadly, the Control4 pool driver (since version 2.6) doesn't work correctly with Jandy/Zodiac equipment with iAqualink. Control4 is aware of the problem, but no timeline for when/if there will be a resolution. Very frustrating.

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Hi All,

I really want to be able to integrate my pool to my control4 system, however, im not sure what hardware I need for what I want to achieve.

Here is what I want to control :

1) Heater/temperature.

I want to be able to read back the temperature of the pool and control it (ive seen this is possible in os 2.6 and the interface looks slick)

2)LED pool lights

I have 2 pool lights which are LEDs. I have an RF remote with it but Id like to have access to it from control4. I dont mind not being able to change colors. On/Off would be enough.

I dont know if this can be achieved easily or I need to purchase an entire panel like a Pentair or something like that.

I dont have interest in controlling my pool motor as I leave it on all the time.

Thanks for any advice.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

My own pool control requirements were very similar to yours, just head and light, and a pool controller like Pentair was overkill for my needs. I use a Control4 thermostat to control the pool boiler and a Control4 switch for the light. That is all that is needed.  

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I like the idea, however i dont know if it would work for me.

For the pool lights, its a led lamp which comes with its own remote (RF i believe)

Not sure how i would control that...

For the pool heater... When i shut the circuit breaker and pop it back on, my heater doesnt turn back on unless i go and physically press on the buttons and ask for a set point... So i wonder how it would be done also...i guess a thermostat with a probe in the water would do for turning it on or off but when turned back on, i wonder if it would heat up

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Hard to see how it could not work for you.

 

A pool heater is typically the simplest form of boiler in terms of automation or control Use a remote temperature sensor and you're done.

 

And the LED light must have a switchable load - so remove that switch and replace with a Control4 switch.

 

All done.

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I did my setup the way AK1 recommends at first and it worked for the basics as he says. My heatpump defaulted to 'off' when powered up (as your heater does); however, I was able to get the guys who supplied it to come in and change something on the back end so that it defaulted to 'on' when it powered up. The basics (heating and lights) then worked...

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I just checked with the heat pump supplier and i saw they have a wifi option to control the heater. I will call them tomorrow to find out more. Maybe if i get their module installed, then i could create a pool driver (if possible, im now on release 2.7.2)

For the LEDs i will investigate the way its setup and try to install a c4 switch

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The Wifi option should work fine as a stand-alone app. If you want to integrate it with Control4, you'll need to use a Control4 or third party thermostat with a Control4 driver or a pool controller.

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I have a spare c4 thermostat so that could work. So i would wire a sensor from the tstat to my pool, then have the tstat switch a relay to turn the heater on/off ?

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You would typically have a remote temperature sensor installed into a heated water line (or a heat well) in the vicinity of the boiler. You're pool heater installer can take care of that. The pool heater should be able to be directly controlled with a Control4 thermostat so a relay would be redundant.

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What brand/ model of heater do you have?  Is this a pool only or pool and spa combo.

 

The pool heater will have a "remote" switch (circuit wire) that can simply be hooked up to a thermostat or contact closure.  When the circuit is closed, the heater will fire.

 

The easiest way for control and provide the most functionality would be to get a new pool controller.  A simple one like the Zodiac Z4 with the iAqualink module will integrate perfectly with Control4 (2.6+).  This will give you control over pumps, valves, temperature, lights, and any auxiliary circuits you have.  As long as your light electrical feed comes from the pool equipment area, you can integrate the lights easily.  If isn't not, just run a new electric line to the j-box where the light switches are.

 

Regarding your lights, if you have standard Jandy, Pentair, or Hayward colored lights, you would be able to select colors directly from the Control4 app (or the iAqualink app). 

 

I am not aware of an LED with its own RF controller.  Do you know the brand and model?

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You would typically have a remote temperature sensor installed into a heated water line (or a heat well) in the vicinity of the boiler. You're pool heater installer can take care of that. The pool heater should be able to be directly controlled with a Control4 thermostat so a relay would be redundant.

 

The temperature sensor needs to be installed on the supply side (cold) line of the heater not the return (hot) side.

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The easiest way for control and provide the most functionality would be to get a new pool controller.  A simple one like the Zodiac Z4 with the iAqualink module will integrate perfectly with Control4 (2.6+).  

Actually, the Control4 2.6 pool driver for Jandy/Zodiac iAqualink  does not work properly (per my post #4 above).   Specifically, there's a glitch when controlling the heater.   (Makes me crazy because the interface is quite good).

 

This thread explains the specifics of the problem: http://www.c4forums.com/topic/17241-control4-jandy-iaqualink-pool-heater-issue/?p=149159

This thread has a Control4 employee indicating they are working on it, but it is not resolved as of 2.7.2: http://www.c4forums.com/topic/16727-pentair-pool/?p=150433

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The temperature sensor needs to be installed on the supply side (cold) line of the heater not the return (hot) side.

 

Yes, that is correct, I didn't mean to suggest it should be connected to the outlet line from heater.

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If i use a c4 tstat, will i get the pool interface on touchscreens and ios devices ?

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You will see your pool thermostat along with your other Control4 thermostats - in my own project I have 5 other thermostats for in-floor heating. The pool light will appear along with all your other lights. This works fine for me and I have not missed any separate pool interface. But of course it's just heat and and light = nothing more.

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Okay so i got my led control sorted out.

I will use my c4 tstat for the pool.

Could someone indicate which type of sensor i should use ? (Thermocoupe, etc...)

Also, will i simply wire my 3 power cables (2 live + neutral) directly into the tstat ?

Thanks again

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Just looked at the tstat diagram and found i need a 24v supply which i will use to trigger a contactor that will turn my heater on/off.

All i need now is to get the correct temp sensor. Anyone got advice on that ?

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I got all my setup working. Thanks everyone for your input. Only final detail to sort out is the temperature feedback from the sensor attached to pool plumbing seems non linear. Sometimes its right on the actual temp sometimes its 3-4 degrees off. I can only correct for offset so unsure if the aprilaire sensor is faulty. Well see in the future how it behaves

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