Can I use any Z-Wave switch to control my pool pump?

I have a pool pump (can provide any details on it needed as I’m not home at the moment) that is electric of course, and directly connects into a toggle switch on the wall right now and then into the breaker. So it doesn’t plug into a wall outlet or anything but is direct wired to a switch. It looks like any normal non-decora, toggle switch to me and is in the typical single gang box on the wall (just attached to the plywood with the metal conduits with the wiring all exposed as it’s in the pool room, so no drywall etc). Like one of these image .

Can I just replace it with any Z-Wave switch to put it on a timer, or does it need to be a special rated switch for a pump? I saw the “GE Enbrighten Z-Wave Plus Heavy Duty 40 Amp Smart Switch” which seems pretty cool but looks too heavy duty and is super expensive.

Would really need to know if your pump is 110 or 220. Most are 220.

I use this one for my 220 waterfall pump. Haven’t automated my cleaning pumps yet since they’re a bit expensive.

1 Like

For my pool pump I couldn’t find a smart switch or plug that could handle the power so I used a high current relay to handle the 110V power line, triggered by a 12 volt power pack plugged into a wemo mini plug.
Been working perfect

If it was 220volt you could use 2 of them.

I believe it’s dangerous to have only one leg turned on which could easily happen with two switches. I’m sure someone more qualified than I can chime in on that.

Only supplying half the voltage the motor normally gets means it’s running slower which will affect efficiency and start-up. I can eventually cause the unit to fail. (I’ve seen this with Air Conditioner compressors.)
Your best bet is to check the current setup, both the determine the voltage (220 vs 110) and to determine the amperage needed. Even when the voltage matches, a lot of z-wave switches are designed for lighting only and can’t handle higher-current devices. An under-capable switch could simply fail or it might short or even burn.
When in doubt, check with an electrician.

1 Like

That would be case with a 3 phase motor. However, most residential pool pumps are single phase. Power comes in one Hot line and returns to the other Hot line (Both 110V to ground but 220v to each other). Shutting one off will safely stop the motor, but the windings will still be hot from the other side. I’m guessing this how the pump is currently controlled with the simple wall switch. Turning off the 220v breaker will disconnect both lines.

If the pump control is more complicated or too high of amperage you could use a “dumb” relay and then control that relay with a zwave switch.

Russ Smith is correct, the current setup needs to be understood before the right answer can be known.

Just get a double poll relay

Hi everyone,

I decided to just buy the GE 40 amp smart switch even though it’s expensive as it seems like it will work well. The pump is 2 HP when I checked. Would love any suggestions on how it gets wired up. Right now the way the setup works is there’s 1 line coming from the panel, with a white and black in it that connects to the bottom of the switch, both labelled “Line.” Then there’s 2 identical cables running from the top of the switch labelled “Load”, with one going to the pump and one going to the heater. The heater is gas though so this just provides power to it.

I drew a quick diagram roughly below to show how it connects, but wondering if anyone can suggest how I’d wire this to the GE switch as it shows 4 different options there. I don’t really need the pump and heater to operate independently but if the switch supports that then might as well, otherwise I’m fine having it control both of them at the same time.

Here’s my very rough sketch showing how the switch looks:

Here’s the 4 wiring options from the manual:

There’s no Neutral in the switch box like with a normal switch in the house so I was thinking Option #1 is the only one that would work, but wasn’t sure if Line 1 on port 1 would be the white from the panel, Line 2 on port 2 would be the black from the panel, and then if I’d just wire both whites from the pump and the heater to Load Line 1 on port 6 and wire both blacks from the pump and heater to Load Line 2 on port 4? If the image is small above the full manual is at https://byjasco.com/sites/default/files/product/manuals/14285%20QSG_V1.pdf

Thanks!

Do you want your heater to turn on/off with the pump or do you want separate control?

Also, I assume there’s a separate neutral and ground going to the pump not shown in your diagram?

There’s a ground for sure, as the cable coming from the panel is the normal 3 wire (white/black/ground). The ground right now is connected to the metal wall box, and then it’s the same 3 wire cable going to the pump and another to the heater, with the grounds from those also connecting to the wall box it appears, but the grounds do not connect to the switch itself right now.

There’s no neutral that I can see at all, it’s just 3 cables in total, one from the panel to the switch, one from the switch to the pump and another from the switch to the heater. Each of those 3 cables are just the white/black/ground so I don’t see neutral at all?

Forgot to mention, I’m fine having the heater turn off with the pump, but if the switch does support having them separate that’s probably ideal as only the pump needs to be on the smart switch, but whatever is easiest as both options work for me.

What’s confusing me is that the white wire is going through the switch. If there’s no separate neutral, then I’m guessing that the white wire is neutral. Are you sure the existing switch isn’t X10 or some other kind of remote controlled switch which would then require the neutral to power it? With the switch on, do you measure ~120 volts across the black and white wires (Don’t do this unless you’re really comfortable working around electricity)? Sounds to me like your pump is 120 volts.

If this is the case you could use option 2 if you’d like to use a separate switch for the heater, or options 3 or 4 to power the heater at the same time as the pump. The switch you bought can only control the two items at the same time, no separate controls.

If you’d like to replace the heater switch with a separate switch, you would need to understand the amp draw and pick an appropriate switch to power it. Given it’s a gas heater, I’m guessing it won’t pull too much.

It looks like the pump is 230 volts as that’s what it says on it, as I was down there earlier and checked it. 99% sure it’s not X10 or anything like that. It looks like a normal toggle switch only slightly larger. There’s 4 screws on it to connect wires, top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right. The 2 screws on the top say LOAD on them and the 2 on the bottom say LINE.

What I was wondering if I can do is just wire it so that the heater stays on the current switch, and then the pump is on the new GE one vs trying to control them together but not really sure.

It also seems to me like the white wire is the neutral, it’s just weird as it connects to the “LINE” screw terminal on the switch, and the black connects to the other “LINE” screw terminal.

If the pump is 230v would that mean only option 1 could be used as the others show only 120v?

If the pump was 220 then it would have another wire. It would have 2 hots, 1 neutral and 1 ground. You say there’s only 1 black, 1 white and 1 ground going to the pump. If that’s the case, I don’t see how it could be 220.

Edit Given you see a label on the pump that says it’s 220 then the neutral has to be coming from somewhere else. If it is 220, the pump needs to be wired to the new switch like option 1. On the load side, you would pigtail in the heater unless you wanted it controlled separately, then you would need another 220 switch like you just bought.

Maybe post some pictures. The pump probably has a screw cover you can remove to see the wires.

There will be no neutral on a 220V motor. There will be two hot wires and a ground. Use the 240V AC diagram from the manual and you should be good to go.

1 Like

Thanks Scott. I knew I was missing something. I assumed there would be a neutral. Can he pigtail the heater on there too?

Thanks everyone, the switch comes today so I’ll try doing option #1 and just wire it the way it is today with the heater piggy backing off of the pump as well.

Perhaps a less sophisticated solution but something simpler to use:

THIRDREALITY Smart Light Switch (Gen1) -

© 2019 SmartThings, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy

SmartThings; SmartApps®; Physical Graph; Hello, Home; and Hello, Smart Home are all trademarks of the SmartThings, Inc.