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Archive for the ‘Pool Repair’ Category

Integrating an Intelliflo VF Pump with a Jandy iAqualink

Posted by Russell Wright on September 23, 2012

Our house and pool were built in late 1999, so the equipment was getting pretty dated.  I had told my wife, “the next time the pool pump has a problem I’m going to replace it with one of those high efficiency pumps.”  Well, it happened.  The pool motor quit…again.  I seem to buy a new pool motor about every 3 years and I’ve been buying the last two or three Advantage pump motors from PoolBargains.com.  Perhaps should’ve been paying a lot more for a motor, but I don’t think it would make much difference as we live in Texas and the heat is just plain hard on a motor.  The last one just quit in a humming mode.  It’s probably just a starting capacitor, but it didn’t matter…I was upgrading!

Let me just start by saying this is what I was going for…a web-based controller for my pool that I could control from just about anywhere…and it’s exactly what I ended up with.

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See how cool this is?  I’ve gone from a Hayward Super II 2hp single speed pump, sucking about 2400 watts, to a Pentair Intelliflo VF which, at 35 gallons per minute (GPM), is running about 600 watts.  I will divulge that I purchased the Intelliflo at PoolSupplyWorld.com for about $1130.  The upgrade for the Jandy Aqualink RS, the IQ900-RS, was also purchased at PoolSupplyWorld for about $480 (they’ve since gone up to about $531 at the time of this writing).   Currently our electric rate is about $0.09/KWH (Kilowatt Hour) and I run the pump for about 14 hours/day.  This equates to .6 KWH * 14 = 8.4KWH * $0.09 = $0.756/day.  With 30 days in a month, that would be $22.68 and with 365 days in a year, it would equate to $275.94.  That compares with $1103.76/year for the 2400 watt pump, running the same time.  However, the old pump I would only run 12 hours/day in the summer and 8 hours in the winter, so let’s split the difference and say 10 hours/day.  That would still be $788.40/year at $0.09/KWH.  I know our rate in the past has been closer to 13-14¢ per kilowatt-hour (it’s gone down recently due to the declining price of natural gas).  So, that still comes out to over $1100/year, so I ‘m looking at a savings of $1100-$275=$825/year.  Even at 9¢, it’s a savings over $500.  Very reasonable to have payback in about two years.

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I was asking a pool guy about the difference between the Intelliflo VS and the VF…something I was having a hard time understanding from reading about them.  What he told me was, while they both have variable speeds, everything on the VF is based on actual flow rates.  That is, they measure the actual flow and the controller tells you, very accurately, how much water is flowing instead of simply a speed from which you might calculate the flow.  This allows you to “tweak” the settings on the pump very easily to find the optimum flow rate for your pool.  Based on my limited knowledge of fluid dynamics (it’s been a long time since I was in college), as soon as you get turbulent flow in your pipes, you start to lose efficiency due to the increased “resistance” caused by trying to force too much water through a certain diameter pipe.  So, the main takeaway from my experience is the VF will display the actual flow rate in gallons per minute (as well as the speed), while the VS will simply display the speed.  If you have a water feature it’s pretty easy to gauge the change in flow rates, but I really like knowing the flow rate in gpm.

In fact, when you manually set up the pump using its integrated controls, you tell it the number of gallons in your pool and the number of times you want the pump to turn over the water in a day.  It will then calculate the speed/flow rate of the pump and adjust it accordingly.  While that certainly is neat, it all goes out the window when you connect the Jandy to the Intelliflo.  On the Jandy iAqualink system, when you set up the VSP (variable speed pump), you’ll notice you set the speed, not the actual flow rate or gallons and desired turnovers.  Not a big deal, since you can see by the previous status screen you can easily read the power consumption (watts) and the pump flow rate and RPM.

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Overall, I’m liking the setup, especially the ability to control it from anywhere via a computer.  It certainly makes it easier to set up compared with using the dedicated controller in the kitchen.  Perhaps those with a complete Pentair system might comment on how the pump works with a complete Pentair system.

Posted in Pool Repair | 12 Comments »

Repairing a Leaking Hayward DE-6000 Pool Filter

Posted by Russell Wright on September 5, 2010

I’ve noticed that I’ve been having to add water to the pool a lot lately.  Well, it’s been over 100 degrees for several weeks, so that makes sense, right?  Well, after paying attention to the pool equipment yesterday, I noticed water leaking from beneath the pool filter.  Since I was planning on cleaning it anyway, I took it apart as I normally do a couple of times a year for a thorough cleaning. 

Inspecting the bottom of the tub, I noticed a stress fracture as the source of the leak.

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Checking around for a replacement bottom housing, I found that part number DEX2400AIT is no longer available.  I guess after 10 1/2 years they want to sell you a new filter.  Well mine is still in good condition.  It even has all the original elements with no tears or holes!

Leslies pool supply has a special right now.  I can get an equivalent filter for only $799 less 15%!  I can shop around online and find one in the $500-$600 range.  Ouch!  Did I tell you I’m cheap?  So, I decided to attempt a repair.  It is fiberglass, after all, and fiberglass gets repaired all the time. 

I went to Lowes and found some repair epoxy that stated it was suitable for fiberglass.  It cost about $15.00.  I probably could’ve lived with purchasing the $5 amount in the syringe, but what the heck, it was a lot cheaper than $600 or $700.

After removing the lower pipe from the tub, you could also see the crack from the inside.  I took some 50 or 80 grit sandpaper and roughed up the area and blew out the dust and debris.  Then I mixed up some of the two-part epoxy.

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I applied the epoxy patch in a highly unprofessional manner, using a plastic putty knife that I purchased for 84 cents.  I allowed the epoxy to cure overnight, as I had some additional work to do on the concrete slab the filter sits on.

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Due to the excess water from the leak, the slab had sunk down on one side, so I used a 6’ long pry bar (Harbor Freight, one of my favorite stores) and had my wife pry up while I tamped sand underneath.  Appears to have worked well, as it is now much more level with the other end.

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I assembled the filter and fired it up and, so far, it is water tight again.  I’ll let you know if it continues to hold.

Savings for this project:

  • $799 less 15% for new filter $679 + 0.0825 sales tax = $735 to replace the filter
  • $15 for patching epoxy
  • $14 for 120 lbs. of sand (only used $7 worth)
  • $735 – $15 – $14 = $706

 

Update 2012-01-08

I noticed it was leaking again, except this time it was leaking around the seal area at the midsection of the filter body.  Externally, I could see a crack that was forming around the midsection.  After taking it apart, I could see the area that was leaking.

I sanded the entire area with 80 grit sandpaper and purchased some marine epoxy from Home Depot.  This stuff says it will actually cure underwater.  I mixed some up on a piece of cardboard and used a popsicle stick to apply it.

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Continuing with my highly unprofessional repair, I spread it across the entire area that had a stress line showing.  The actual leaking area was only about 4 inches in length.

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You can see my previous repair has yellowed, but it is still holding!

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I’m going to check out a stainless steel filter body that I found on Craigslist.  If it connects to my backwash filter and accepts the same filter elements (which I believe it does), I’ll probably replace the fiberglass body with a stainless steel body.

Posted in Pool Repair | 32 Comments »

Repairing My Aqua Rite PCB (GLX-PCB-RITE) that was Damaged by Lightning

Posted by Russell Wright on August 23, 2009

Note: I’ve had many requests asking if I have any of the parts (thermistor/Ametherm SL32 2R025 BigAMP current inrush limiter and the Littlefuse V150LA2P varistor) required for this fix.  I now have some!  They are currently listed on Craigslist and Webstore (I took the listing off eBay because it gets prohibitively expensive for an inexpensive item such as this).  I bought several and will ship them in the U.S. via first class mail for free.  If the links above don’t work, search for “Ametherm.”  You should find the listing.  By the way, I don’t repair pools for a living (I’m a computer geek) and I don’t make my living trying to sell current inrush limiters.  I’m simply doing this to help others out.

Ametherm SL322R025Littlefuse V150LA2PAquaRite Manual

We have one of those salt water chlorination systems on our swimming pool that works pretty well.  It does need some help in the summer when it gets really hot here in Texas, because our pool is almost 40,000 gallons (Texas sized)!  This summer (2009) we’ve been having some real problems with algae, especially the black kind.  If you’ve never had black algae, it’s bad stuff.  Once it gets started, it attaches itself to the plaster and begins to eat it away.  Besides treating the pool, you have to manually scrub, dig, sand, pick or chisel the algae out of the pores of the plaster.  When you do remove it, you’ll see pitting from where it’s been attached.  Bad stuff.

We’ve been fighting this all summer and, one morning I went out to visit the outside Aqua Rite controller and found that the green “generating” light was not lit.  In fact, there was only one light on…I think it was the power light and, if I remember correctly, it was red instead of green.  I may be wrong on this, but I do remember there was just one light on and I said, “Dang, now I know why we’ve been fighting having enough chlorine in the pool all summer!”  Yeah, the thing’s been busted all summer long.  Probably happened in the spring during one of our thunderstorms.

I called technical support at Goldline Controls (now part of Hayward) @ 908-355-7995.  The helpful rep walked me through pushing the little test button to the left of the LCD display and I read him the readings it displayed.  One of them was 0.0.  I think that was the one that immediately made him say, “You’ve got a bad board.”  I called the local repair facility and nearly had a heart attack when they told me it would cost $360+ to replace the board.  Ouch.  Doing some checking on eBay, I found that one could be had for a mere $180…about half the cost.  I thought it was worth a try to attempt a repair (okay, I’m cheap).

Being an electrical engineer, I immediately opened the case and removed the front panel to expose the innards.  It’s easy to get inside.  Just remove the two screws on the front panel and grab the top of the panel in the hole provided.  Of course, you should do this with the power off!

 AquaRiteFrontPanelRemovalWhen I removed the cover I looked carefully around and noticed that there was a brown spot on the printed circuit board in the upper right corner near a big, black disc.  From what I’ve seen (and done) in the past, it looked like a component had fried on the board.  So, I proceeded to remove the board.  All you need to do is remove all the connectors attached to the board and, if you have an Aqua Link, unscrew the four wires that provide the communication to the Aqua Link.  Don’t forget the little RJ-11 (telephone) connector at the bottom of the board that is plugged in on the outside of the box.  Not a big deal, as all the connections are conveniently identified by color on the PCB (printed circuit board).  In this photo I have the power on…you should, of course, have the power off when you remove the board!

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As I did some research, I found that others have had similar problems to mine.  It turns out that the big black disc is a varistor.  A varistor is normally used as a protection device that, at a certain voltage, changes its resistance to a low value.  It essentially “shorts out” voltage spikes.  The idea is to protect from things like power surges caused by lightning strikes and the like.  Turns out this one had given its life for the protection of the PCB.  My hat’s off to you, Mr. Varistor!  You saved my board.  I’d gladly give you my Bud.

Additional research (i.e. Googling) was done to locate the the part number of the varistors…yes, there are more than one!  However, in my case, there was only one that was a problem.  The other two are much smaller.  The large one is an SL32-2R025-B made by  Ametherm.  The smaller ones (that I didn’t replace) are V150LA2P made by Littelfuse.  They are the little red discs that flank both sides of the black terminal strip on the lower left of the PCB.  I ordered the SL32-2R025-B from eBay from STI_Trade for the whopping price of $1.99 (plus shipping).  I ordered two, but actually got four, because they came two to a package.  I think the whole thing came to $7.08.  So, I have some extras.  I might just give one or two of them away if someone asks me for them (and proves that someone is reading my blog)!

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When I removed the varistor from the board with a soldering iron, it literally fell apart in pieces.  Installing it was not a big deal if you’re familiar with soldering…a 15 minute job.  The moment of truth was when I re-installed the board and powered it all back up.  Worked like a hose!

I told my wife I saved $360 – $7.08 = $352.92.  That qualifies me for some brownie points!

I found a post on how to calibrate the Aqua Rite. If you have a Jandy Aqua Link system, make sure it is in service mode before attempting this procedure, else it won’t really do much!

Move the switch to the Auto position. If the switch is already in the Auto or Super Chlorinate position, move it to Off then back to Auto.

Wait for the relay to click, then push the diagnostics button 5 times to the instant salt level with the minus sign in front.

Wait for the instant salt level to stop moving lower, make sure it is within the range of 2700-3400, then move the switch up to Super Chlorinate then back down to Auto. This saves the instant salt level reading as the new default which, in effect, recalibrates the unit to be able to run normally and chlorinate the pool.

The values on the display for each press of the button to the left of the display are:

  • temp
  • voltage
  • amperage
  • desired output
  • instant salt reading (comes up with a dash before the # to differentiate with default product code)
  • software revision
  • back to default

     

    Here are some more pictures.

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    Related links:

    http://www.doityourself.com/forum/pools-spas-hot-tubs/355004-aquarite-chlorine-generator.html

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/aquarite-goldline-controls-what-do-the-numbers-on-lcd-mean-t16707.html

     

  • Posted in Home Repair, Pool Repair | 606 Comments »