Jandy AquaLink freeze guard

ab0wwJanuary 8, 2011

I am in Livermore CA, 50 miles east of San Francisco. Our air temperature goes as low as 28 F some nights, but the water in my pool never gets below about 42 F. The freeze guard comes on at 34 F air temperature (lowest possible setting) and the filter and waterfall pumps run all night. Together they draw about 5 kilowatts. We pay 44 cents per kWh, so it costs about $20 each night they run.

It seems that the freeze guard should be necessary if the WATER temperature in the pool machinery approaches freezing, not the AIR temperature. I could swap the connections of the water temperature and air temperature sensors at the AquaLink, so that the freeze guard will come on if the WATER temperature goes below 34 F, rather than the AIR temperature. That should save a lot of electricity, but surely somebody has thought of this before and there is a good reason Jandy didn't design it that way. Can anybody explain this to me? Thank you.

Peter Jacobson

Livermore CA

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poolguynj

The idea behind freeze protection is more to protect the above ground plumbing. which is more susceptible. IF you swap the probe connections, what happens is FP comes on and warmer water hit the probe and shuts it off. Frequent starts and stops is adding a lot of wear and tear to the motors.

I think you are beginning to see the value of changing to variable speed pumps. You can run them at a much slower speed, saving significantly on your energy usage.

Scott

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 6:29PM
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repair_guy

Plus, in order for the freeze protect to kick in if you had it work off of water temp, the pump would have to be on at all times in order to get a water reading. The water sensor is set in pipe that is dry until the pump is running.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 6:38PM
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ncrealestateguy

Scott, in freeze protection mode, there is no way to set the speed... at least on my Pentair equipment. I hate this fact, and also the fact that it kicks on at about 36 degrees. I find myself kicking the circuit breaker off until the temp gets lower than 31 degrees.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2011 at 8:47AM
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trhought

ab0ww....I have 2 pumps with Aqualink freeze protection during the winter....one for the waterfalls/negative edge pit and the other for the main filter pump....both are 2 speeds that run only at low speed (1,750 rpm) during freeze protection and use about 500W each...a much more cost effective solution than variable speed pumps in my opinion.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2011 at 11:30AM
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just-a-pb

NC,
" in freeze protection mode, there is no way to set the speed... at least on my Pentair equipment"
I dont know what control system you have, but when you set up the functions for each name, you are setting a Freeze control for it, or not. You attach speeds to each name. Therefore you can set a slower speed for your freeze controls.
"Filter" always comes on, that is why I always set this button up for low speed, and a feature cir for higher speeds.

Repair guy,
"The water sensor is set in pipe that is dry until the pump is running"
Unless there is an air leak in the system they are under a vacuum, so pipe is not dry, it is full of water when pump is off.

Ab0,
Obviously variable speed pumps, and two speed pumps are the best way to go, especially if you are paying that kind of money for elec.
What you are suggesting would essentially work. If water in pipe got below 35 system would turn on and warm up.
If you have a heater, just dont forget to put it back before using it. Honestly in a 2" or bigger pipe it would take a pretty good freeze for a extended period of time to cause any damage.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2011 at 1:16PM
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ncrealestateguy

What is the lowest temperature that is recommended that one can keep the pool open? It got down to 14 degrees here, and my valve that controlls the suction coming from the pool vs. the spa froze up.
Scott, I do not fully understand your explanation on setting different speeds for my freeze protection. I have an Intellitouch. There is not a single repair guy in or around Charlotte, NC that knows anything about this setup.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2011 at 10:21AM
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poolguynj

Register for Pentair's Innovation Lab and go to the automation blog. Ben will point you how. He is the tech there that handles several of the pool blogs. He happens to be in NC too. Give him your equipment and pool specs.

If I had a test station, I would bang it out.

Wrapping the above ground plumbing with insulation helps protect it. Insulating milk crates with cuts to fit over pipes keeps the valves able to turn.

This has been an extraordinary winter. But then, this is the 2nd year in a row. Once is an Incidence, Twice is Coincidence, and three times makes a pattern. You might start thinking about winterizing from now on.

Scott

    Bookmark   January 10, 2011 at 10:38AM
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just-a-pb

NC,
Do you have a Intelliflo pump?

    Bookmark   January 10, 2011 at 10:40AM
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peterjacobson19_yahoo_com

I have only single-speed pumps installed. It seems like it would cost about $1000 to change to two-speed pumps (one for the waterfall, one for the filter).

    Bookmark   January 10, 2011 at 3:00PM
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ncrealestateguy

Scott, poolguynj...
I have a Pentair VF. With Intellitouch panel. I will visit pentairs blog... I have also found that there are only a couple of guys in tech support over there (at least on the phone end of it) that really know the system well. So calling in is a crap shoot. Last time I called, I knew more than the gal did.
Problem with closing down pool is that I would have to lower water level below skimmers. And I use my hot tub quite a bit during the winters. I suppose I could wrap the rascal with insulation as suggested.
Scott, your insight concerning weather patterns is based on more fact than AL Gore's movie.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 7:43AM
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poolguynj

1) I tend to lean more Republican.
2) Al is a politician. He lies, I won't.
3) Trust Ben on the Innovation Lab site.

Scott

Here is a link that might be useful: The Innovation Lab site by Pentair

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 12:59PM
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trhought

ab0ww...is there a reason you need to run the waterfall pump during the cold winter months. The only reason I run ours is because it is the same pump that provides filtered and chlorinated water to our negative edge trough. If it wasn't needed for the negative edge trough, I would simply winterize it like I do our other 2 water feature pumps.

If you can winterize it, then you will cut your engergy consumption in half during freeze protection. This would also reduce your upgrade expense to a 2 speed or variable speed by only having to do so with one pump.

Winterizing my other pumps is a 2 minute process...unlock the pump lid slighlty, loosen 2 pump drain plugs and open all valves to and from the pool for that pump. This allows all the water in the pump to drain and all water in the pipes to equalize to the pool water level. In my case, this pool water level allows the pipes to drain to slightly below grade at the equipment pad. If your pool water level is higher than the pad, then winterizing will be a bit more complicated and involve blowing out the lines and plugging.

Also...remember if you decide to winterize the waterfall pump, make sure you also change the Aqualink program so it does not turn that pump on as originally scheduled and also make sure it is not freeze protected.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 6:56PM
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