New pool construction - what would you do?

I had a pool contractor over to the house yesterday. They’re one of the better ones in the area, have great reviews and lots of referrals. They use Hayward equipment exclusively. The pool will be smaller, gas heated, with jets… sort of a “spool.”

Hayward offers automation, which is anything but open source. Their system controls chlorination/chemistry, pump, jets, lighting, and is all available for monitoring & control via the web. I think what I’d like to do, though, is go with the lowest level of automation on the install and use an aftermarket MultiWave or some other automation scheme that I can integrate via Vera… unless, of course, I can connect the Hayward system to Zwave (which doesn’t seem to be the case).

So what would you do? Go with another (cheaper, potentially lower-quality) contractor who will put in equipment to my specs? This is my first pool, and I’m looking for any advice. Is there anything you would have done differently if you could go back to the construction phase?

I really like their ColorLogic lighting, but even on Amazon, it’s $500. Is there another way to accomplish the same color effects using conventional waterproof fixtures and Z-wave compatible bulbs? If so, what are they?

…no input on this topic?

I have all Hayward equipment saltwater pool with the remote communication. I had this done before I got into Vera. Doing it all again, I wish I could link Vera to it. I do have the Hayward remote that is 150Ft from the main Hayward control box. I was just about to start looking into how I could have my Hayward stuff talk to Vera, but haven’t quite got around to it yet.
You were asking about recommendations…Not an automation issue, but make sure your contractor installs a sump pump below your pool within a rock bed in the sand. I have a fiberglass pool and last year we had a ton of rain over a week long period (about 28"). The standing water was so bad that water standing in the yard was flowing into my pool. That was not the bad part. The bad part was when I got the pool cleaned up again and got in the pool the hydrostatic pressure below my pool was causing a bubble under the fiberglass the bowed upwards almost 2 feet. Luckily the fiberglass didn’t crack or break, but I was sure nervous. If I has a sump pump or at least a sump pump connection, I could have pump the water out from under the pool. The water underneath would have kept building up until the water table went down with everything drying out, but running a pump a few times a day vs. replacing a fiberglass pool is minor. The only thing that kept my pool in the ground was the fact that the cool deck was cantilevered over the pool lip. If not for that, my pool would have been out of the ground. Of course, keeping it in the ground caused the bowing from the pressure. GET THE SUMP PUMP!!! A French drain might work too, but maybe not as well.

Yes–those are the sorts of ideas I was looking for. The pool I’d be getting is concrete, but with the height of the water table in this area, it may still be important.

Everything I’ve found out (which isn’t much) about the Hayward equipment is that it’s incompatible with Z-wave. The best I could hope for is to be able to connect relays to the pool controls to put Z-waveable contacts in parallel with the Hayward stuff–although that would probably confuse the crap out of the Hayward controls.

Hayward Tech Support 1-908-355-7995

Check out this Hayward Link about the AQCO Serial

https://www.hayward-pool.com/pdf/manuals/AquaConnectHomeAutomationInterfaceModule.pdf

[quote=“thewizardofoz, post:6, topic:180382”]Check out this Hayward Link about the AQCO Serial
https://www.hayward-pool.com/pdf/manuals/AquaConnectHomeAutomationInterfaceModule.pdf[/quote]
THAT is interesting… although I don’t have the programming know-how to develop a plugin to support it, it certainly seems possible.

I don’t have the brains for that either. I did see a couple of posts about the AQ CO Serial on the forum. There is even a link to a plugin for Homeseer. It would be great if somebody would develop an app for this.

Maybe ask these guys if they could support it? http://www.autelis.com/homeautomation/pool-spa.html their unit for jandy works with Vera with a few virtual devices and some startup lua added.

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I just put a new pool last fall and went though the same dilemma.

I decided to go with Pentair VS pump, so I stick with Pentair’s color LED lights and Easy Touch controller and Heat Pump for compatibility and to get an extended warranty.
I’m planing to to get Autelis for remote control and Vera ingratiation.

I have the iAqualink system and just added the Autelis. I’m just beginning to work on the scenes and such. I’ll report back when I can comment further.

[quote=“DeltaNu1142, post:4, topic:180382”]Yes–those are the sorts of ideas I was looking for. The pool I’d be getting is concrete, but with the height of the water table in this area, it may still be important.

Everything I’ve found out (which isn’t much) about the Hayward equipment is that it’s incompatible with Z-wave. The best I could hope for is to be able to connect relays to the pool controls to put Z-waveable contacts in parallel with the Hayward stuff–although that would probably confuse the crap out of the Hayward controls.[/quote]

Your pool contractor, if worth a dime will inform You that he is putting In a frech drain.
Mine did… This was over 10 years ago but yes, a gunnite pool (cement) if emptied needs a way to drain the water that will surround the outside of the pool or it will heave up ever so slightly and crack.
I’m in NY. He told me what that peice of PCV sticking up was for.

Automation… I didn’t have a clue back then, I sent my kids out to turn the filter on and off
And once… My 7 year old, at the time… Was suppose to shut off the heater. The next day the pool was at 90F. It was like bath water… I stayed in all day. Lol

Being a pool owner, I’ll throw my two cents in. You are already going to be shelling out some dough just to maintain/run a pool. So If your willing to shell out the monthly $$$ that they want to be able to control your unit, then go for it, I’m sure it would be nice to control your pool from anywhere in the world. For me, Its a luxury that is not a real necessity, but don’t get me wrong, it would be cool. Now If you don’t live at your home like a summer home or something, then you might really need that feature. I have the Hayward GoldLine system that controls the pools on the timers that I set. I only have to add Salt and I run a second pump for the pool cleaner and I have a LEd light system hooked up to it as well . I have a 15k gal fiberglass pool, Smith’s largest residential slide and have the wireless remote and one wired remote in the main area of my pool cabana/bar.
What I found I really needed for automation was:
1.Remember to turn off the water when I add water.
2.Remember to switch off the valve to the slide when I close the Infinity automatic pool cover
3. and close the automatic pool cover when were not using the pool
4. Turn on cover water pump when it rains
I have filled it to the brim a couple of times, because of the over 40 thing and I have shut the cover to find the next day I forgot to shut off the pool slide valve and dumped a ton of water on my cover. Fortunately for me I haven’t really wasted any water yet. In other words I’ve been lucky, but I know that the big one could happen.
I just ordered a couple motorized ball valves, and I am going to set it up to control adding the water and close the valve to the slide. I found that having an open or close scenes are really all that matters for me. The pools is pretty much automated once you set it to run and my maintenance is just throwing the right amount of salt in every week or two. We got the LED light system that changes colors, and I can control it with the Hayward pool waterproof remote. All I need is an automated shut down or open scene. I already have a outdoor z-wave switch on the pool cover pump set to come on when my weather app indicates the need.
That said, if some of these super bright folks were to come up with a app for the Vera to work with the link for Hayward, and you could bypass the monthly subscription I would buy it, and be all about having it. If I were you and going the gunite pool route, you will likely find more maintenance with chemicals needed, and the Hayward set up that keeps the water right, would be more of a necessity (assuming you live at the home year round) than the Home automation feature IE: turning on lights or adjusting the run time of the pump/filters from the internet. Pool cover was the most important feature for me. Safety First, Automate Second!! Have Fun!

I have my pool filled line currently hooked up to IrrigationCaddy, which is also being integrated into my Vera. I hope to add a water level monitor. I haven’t gotten that far. In the iAqualink, I have set various items, Such as the lights, slide, waterfall, spot heater, Etc. To have maximum runtimes 2,3 or 5 hours. And regardless what else happens, everything turns off at midnight. This way, I can let the kids have a party and I can go to sleep comfortably knowing that I won’t be running the heater all night long.

@PJJP
I did something similar. I ran a 1" pvc pipe from my main line for my irrigation system over to the pool pump suction and added a solenoid valve to my irrigation system and that is remote controlled from the irrigation controller. I have that solenoid set up for a maximum 10 minutes fill time.
I suppose a person could always add a solenoid off of the discharge and be able to drain the pool (Very Risky IMHO).

I have an iAqualink and a Vera, I would be interested when these two work well together.

My pool control is all DIY and is controlled by Vera. That includes pool pump, pool and spa temperature, spa jets, pool and spa lights. I did it years ago using X10 switches and I used to control it by Homeseer and my X10 system us very reliable as I have filters installed. With Homeseer I never had a problem but Vera is not reliable and I always need to keep an eye on it.

If I had the money and I had to do it again, I’d but standard equipment. You need something that always works and you don’t have to fiddle with it all the time. I know it seems to be fyn to control everything with your sell phone, as I do. But Vera is not reliable. Many times I had jump out of the spa to reset Vera to be able to increase the spa temperature. Very unpleasant !

About the pool light, yes $500 is a lot and I’m thinking of making my own led pool light.

[quote=“persimmonx, post:17, topic:180382”]With Homeseer I never had a problem but Vera is not reliable and I always need to keep an eye on it.

But Vera is not reliable. Many times I had jump out of the spa to reset Vera to be able to increase the spa temperature. Very unpleasant ![/quote]

Did you find the problem?

Vera is plenty reliable, unless you have a problem. And if you don’t fix the problem you’ll always have the same results.

[quote=“integlikewhoa, post:18, topic:180382”][quote=“persimmonx, post:17, topic:180382”]With Homeseer I never had a problem but Vera is not reliable and I always need to keep an eye on it.

But Vera is not reliable. Many times I had jump out of the spa to reset Vera to be able to increase the spa temperature. Very unpleasant ![/quote]

Did you find the problem?

Vera is plenty reliable, unless you have a problem. And if you don’t fix the problem you’ll always have the same results.[/quote]

My Vera was totally unstable for a few days because of a bug in a plugin, which was corrected. But my Vera is unstable and stops working every so often. It also misses some events. Pleases have look here http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,19356.msg143263.html#msg143263 for my opinion about Vera. I’d love to see Vera working reliably. If there were more documents about Vera software I could probably find the problem. But I don’t have time to reverse engineer Vera. I want to use it, not spending time debugging it. This is my point about using standard equipment for the pool.

Well, I’ve just found this Autelis unit that is supposed to interface with Hayward controls. It looks like they have a variety of gateways in stock.

I’m interested in what you came up with.