Pool pump timers

My pool, like most of the pools I've seen, use an Intermatic mechanical timer to turn the pool pump on and off. It does not seem that there are any low cost digital timers available.
Is there any reason I could not use an irrigation timer and relay like those used on sprinkler pumps? The only drawback I can see is that its a bit more complicated to simply turn the pump on whenever you wish using the digital timers vs throwing a mechanical switch.
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On Mon, 22 Jun 2009 08:47:18 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gate.net wrote:

It isn't digital, but I ran my pool on an HB31R by intermatic for several years. [until I closed the pool permanently] It is a 15amp plug- in and cost less than $20.

There is an over-ride on the Intermatic so you can turn it on or off at will.
Jim
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On Mon, 22 Jun 2009 08:47:18 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gate.net wrote:

I don't see any reason not to. Make sure your timer switch can handle more watts than needed.
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snipped-for-privacy@gate.net wrote:

That's a good idea. Just use a high current relay.
If you also have a Polaris booster pump it gets more complicated since the booster pump can only be on when the main pump is on, but it isn't on all the time that the main pump is on. On a dual Intermatic mechanical timer you wire it so the Polaris pump timer doesn't provide power to the booster pump even if the timer trips it on, unless the main pump is on.
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I had the exact same dilemma and then I found the Sylvannia SA310. It's a heavy duty digital timer, perfect for pools. This is a newly introduced product on the market and it's $95. I just installed it last week for the pool and I love it so far.
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
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scorpionleather wrote:

(Amazon.com product link shortened)
Since most pool pumps are best run at 240 volts, it's not good for pools.
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snipped-for-privacy@gate.net wrote:

Orbit makes a relay specifically for this purpose, "http://www.orbitonline.com/products/Accessories/02/04/04/615 /". It's $39, "(Amazon.com product link shortened)".
It's rated at 25 amps which is more than enough for even a 3HP pump running at 208-230V (but not enough for a 2HP pump running at 115V).
Remember that the sprinkler valves are 24 VAC. Buying a new 24VAC 25A relay will cost almost as much as the Orbit relay. Unless you can find some appropriate relays on the surplus market, go with the Orbit product. This relay looks like it would work (but I don't know the coil current that the sprinkler timer can supply):
"http://www.electronicsurplus.com/commerce/catalog/product.jsp?product_idq570 " "http://www.tycoelectronics.com/catalog/bin/TE.Connect?C=1&M=BYPN&TCPN 93212-4&RQPN=T92S7A22-24"
If you have spare zones on an existing electronic sprinkler timer then you don't even need to buy a new timer. I may do exactly this since I have a 9 zone Orbit timer with three free zones.
The timer I have does allow you to turn zones on manually, and it's kind of nice because you can specify the times for manual operation (up to 99 minutes).
The only thing you may have an issue with is that the sprinkler timers limit the number of minutes per zone. I.e. my Orbit timer limits you to 99 minutes. But since I can program up to four start times per zone per day, this would give me 396 minutes or over six hours, which is sufficient, even for hot summer days where the pump is run for 3 hours, twice a day. It's also a hell of a lot easier than switching the trips on an Intermatic when you want to change times.
I've been having trouble with my Intermatic mechanical timer where the trips loosen over time, then rather than tripping, they just slide until they hit another trip thingee. I guess some Loctite would solve this, but I like the idea of controlling it with my sprinkler timer, which is inside the house.
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