Pool cover


(Bart) #1

Hi,

The timer component of our automatic pool cover is broken. I’d like to replace it with a smart device, so that I can control it remotely.

The pool cover is controlled by two push buttons (Open/Close), which activate the timer, which in turn activates one of two relays. The relays control a separate circuit (with a lover voltage, for safety) which enables the pool cover motor.

The timer didn’t work when we bought the house. I simply bypassed it, and adjusted the circuit so that the push buttons directly operate the relays. This was fine as a temporary fix, but it requires holding down the buttons for a little over a minute until the pool is completely opened/closed.

I’m actually not a 100% sure that the broken component is in fact a timer, but that’s how I understand the schematics.

The plan is to add a Z-wave (or simular) switch that stays closed for about a minute once activated. The timings for opening an closing are slightly different though, so I’d have to be able to configure those differently. Is this possible?


#2

While possible, I would be very worried about the safety hazards of automating the pool cover with SmartThings.

Check the forum and you will find multiple reports of lights turning on randomly or even garage doors opening unexpectedly.

A pool cover which began to close at the wrong time could trap someone. Does the mechanism have obstruction detection?

The first thing you should do is check with your local township to see what the safety code requirements are for automatic pool covers. Some will only allow automatic pool covers which are operated in line of sight – – that is, there’s a person standing there looking at it as it closes. If you live in one of those areas, you cannot put it on SmartThings control at all because even though you don’t intend to be at the office 10 miles away and hit the close button, just the fact that you could would be a code violation.

Other jurisdictions don’t have that same requirement, but again, the safety hazard exist whether there is a law covering it or not.

So speaking just for myself, I wouldn’t automate it with SmartThings.


(Bart) #3

Thanks @JDRoberts. That’s a valid point.
Line of sight is actually one of the reasons why I want to be able to control it remotely, since the buttons are now inside the garage.
Randomly opening and closing is a bigger issue :wink: Is anyone aware of any alternative systems that are more safe?


(Mark C) #4

you could use a fibaro realy (which has auto off) then to get round the risk issue fit an isolator (safety swich) to the power to the fibaro relay, ie when you dont want it to work you switch off the power to the relay so that it can never trigger the motor


#5

Hi @Baco,

@mark_cockcroft is correct. I have a momentary relay opening and closing my garage door. However during the times I don’t want it to be functioning, I installed a separate z-wave smart plug. It cuts power to the relay and will not let the relay activate the garage door motor. And yes @JDRoberts is correct, since he is describing one of my complaints to the Garage Door going crazy a few years back (Opening At Night Time. :face_with_symbols_over_mouth::face_with_symbols_over_mouth).


#6

The problem is that anything you use which is controlled by smartthings has the same vulnerability To “poltergeists” – – random firing. So your Z wave pocket socket might turn on as well.

There are some smart relay switch have built-in in timers which are used for some safety situations To prevent the device from operating for too long, but I don’t think it’s a good match to the pool cover use case, where any misfire could have very severe consequences.

There are Some automated Pool covers with good safety features, but I don’t know of any suitable for low-cost DIY installation.