Intelliflo VF + Suntouch + solar: up to date info?
Hello all, we should close on a house here in san diego in the next week with a pool, with an ancient pump. So we were thinking of changing the pump out right off the bat to try to get some energy savings and set us up for solar heat down the road (depleted savings due to home purchase may have us wait on the latter).
Anyway, been reading a lot of posts here, most of which are a couple years old along the general lines that a Suntouch with an Intelliflo VF is a poor combination due to the Suntouch turning it into a VS-3050. However, if I look at the current manuals.. comparing the suntouch and easytouch sections of VF integration side by side, it looks like the suntouch can control the VF to the same level as the easy touch.. set turn over cycles, etc. So, is it correct to assume there has been a more recent firmware version released since all the 2008/2009 posts I was reading that said the integration was more limited than that? Or am I missing a nuance here.
While the VF doesn't need a controller on its own, the reason I'd be looking at this combination is that later I would want to add solar heat. Those same era posts also had a lot of warnings about the VF getting tricked by the head pressure priming the solar system and shutting down thinking there was a blockage. Is this still the consensus? There seemed to be the idea floating around that as long as the pump was on prior to the solar valve activating it was ok; problems were more generally about trying to start the pump up into a empty solar array.
I really like the VF for being able to control it at that "turn over" level rather than RPM. Though, a VF by itself is the same price as a VS+Suntouch so a bit on the fence as would still need a suntouch anyway for solar automation.
Also, I'm generally new to pools. This pool is dead simple right now, which I'm generally ok with. My question, and maybe it's more about not being familiar with the vocab words, is that the inlet side of the pump is fed by 2 intakes that get combined just before the pump.. the drains in the floor, 1 skimmer, and a vacuum port from a kreepy krawly (suction) in some combination. There's two seperate manual valves to shut either the drains or the vacuum down (I think.. not sure yet how the skimmer is involved) There's no boost pumps or any of the fanciness I've seen in these posts. so the question is, do I have to worry about any of these "cleaning" or "vacuum" modes in these automation functions if I don't want to? I think I am ok with just walking over there and manually turning the kreepy krawly valve on/off when I want to do vacuuming.. are these fancy pumps ok with that? Or for that matter, anything wrong with leaving them both open all the time (esp if I figure out the vacuum port + skimmer are together). I can see though that maybe upping the GPM during periods of cleaning might be the purpose so the kreepy krawly works.. but I'm ok with avoiding actuators, valves, relays, boost pumps.. as there is none of that now.
Anyway, a lot to come up to speed on. but since I'm an engineer, this seems way more interesting than shopping for window treatment.