Thursday, March 28, 2013

Replacing A Intermatic Mechanical Time Clock

Replacing A Intermatic Mechanical Time Switch

This is a quick walkthrough of replacing an Intermatic Mechanical TimeSwitch T104M 220v version written by The steps for replacing an 110v version is almost the same; they key is to reattach the wires you remove from the old clock with the same slot position on the new clock.

Note: This only applies to replacing an Intermatic timer with another Intermatic timer. Other brands are not covered.

Click on any image to see a larger version.

In this specific case, an Intermatic T20001R box was used.

The much more common box is the smaller 2T511GA or indoor version 2T204GA shown below.

The first step is to turn off the breakers for the swimming pool equipment. It is best to turn off all of the pool breakers at the house power panel (breaker box).

Note: If you are unsure about turning off breakers, do not proceed any further and seek a local professional for help.

Removing the panel
If you have one of the smaller boxes (2T511GA or 2T204GA), there will be no panel to remove so you can skip to the next step.

For the larger T20001R version, as in this example, the front panel needs to be removed before the time clock can be accessed.
There is a single hex head screw near the top that is securing the front panel. Remove this with either a hex head or a flat head screwdriver.

The panel can now be removed by pulling the top section forward (towards you), then up and out of the box.
(In this example, a light switch was attached to the panel so the panel could not be completely removed.)

Removing the old time clock

Note: If you are unsure if the power is off do not proceed any further and seek a local professional for help.

There should be one or more flat head (or hex head) screws holding the time clock to the box in position. However, it is possible that these screws were not used and are missing.
Remove any flat head screws from the front of the time clock.

There is a clip on in the top left position of the time clock that needs to be pushed up while pulling the time clock forward to free the it from the panel.

There should be a plastic cover over the electrical wires; remove this cover by pulling the bottom right side forward, then pushing the side that pulled out down and out of the way.

Note: This cover could be missing. In this case, a new cover will be in the box with the new time clock can be  used with the new time clock.

Removing and attaching the wires:
It is recommend to take a picture of the wires at the bottom of the old time clock before proceeding any further. The wires will need to go back in the new time clock in this exact position (Yours will very).

At the bottom of the time clock (new and old) are five Phillips head screws with a small metal plate behind each that will hold the power wires in place. When one of the screws is loosened, a wire can be pushed between the plate and the time clock. As the Phillips head screw is tightened, it will compress the plate to time clock holding in the wire.

Notice that when two wires are connected to the same slot, one wire goes on each side (left and right) of the screw. This is important for properly securing the wires and ensuring both are making the proper contact.

The best way to move wires is as the wires from the old time clock are removed one slot at a time to immediately move the wire(s) to the new time clock in the same equivalent position.

Putting the time clock back in
Once all of the wires have been moved from the old time clock to the new, the new time clock will need
to be push back in to the controller box as the old was.

In the box for the new time clock, there should be a plastic cover for the exposed wires and a set of on/off dogs. Place the plastic covering on and over the exposed wires.
(The new cover may be clear like the above or a solid black)

Place the front panel back in to the box, setting the bottom section in first into the groves at the bottom of the box.

Push the top of the panel in and align it with the top screw hole for the hex screw.

Note: In this specific case, the on/off switch was bent on the original time clock to fit inside the box without hitting the front panel. The new time clock also had to be manually bent for the front panel to fit properly. 
(See pic below)

Reattach the top hex head screw.

Turn the swimming pool power breakers back to the “on” position.

Setting the time clock to the correct time and on/off schedule
The arrow pointing down on the time clock face “points” to the current time. The clock is adjusted by pulling the clock face forward (towards you) and then turning it clockwise or counter clockwise  until the arrow points to the current correct time.

To set the on and off times, the on/off dogs will be secured around the clock edges. As the clock turns clockwise, one of dogs will turn the power switch on and the other off. Both are clearly marked.

The screws on the dogs will only need to be hand tight. Using a tool could over tighten them, causing them to miss the leaver behind and not triggering the power switch as the timer moves.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Changing The Sand In A Sand Filter

Changing the sand in a sand filter
This post will cover how we change the sand in a Pentair Triton II TR-100 sand filter written by (Image from pentairs main site)

This is not meant to act as a complete standalone guide on how to change the sand. Wine Country Pools is not responsible for any damage occurred from use of this article. If you are not sure about working with a sand filter find a local professional to perform the work.

Getting started
It is recommended to allow the sand filter to sit off, drained of water and open for a few days to allow the sand to dry. To do this, turn off the pool system and make sure that the system will not come back on automatically. The easiest way would be to turn off the breakers for the pump.

Now open the air relief valve at the top of the filter.

Remove the top of the filter. The top will unscrew. There is a tool called a “6 inch wrench” that comes with the filter that makes this process easier. If your filter is missing this tool, you can turn lid by hand.

Remove the drain plug from the bottom of the filter by unscrewing it.

It can take 2-3 days for all of the water to drain and the sand to dry. In this example, we had less than 24 hours so it will show the process with wet sand.

Removing the sand
There is about 600lbs of sand and/or gravel in a TR100 sand filter. The old sand, once removed, will need to be moved somewhere. Find this location before starting the removal.

Looking down into the inside of the filter, you can see the “Diffuser Assembly.” This can be unscrewed.

There is a “Tube Air Relief” that passes through the top if the screen cap is pulled off. As you turn the “Diffuser Assembly,” push this tube down until it is free from the diffuser.

If the sand is dry, it can be vacuumed out with a shop vac style vacuum. Since the sand in this case was still wet, a plastic scoop was used to remove the sand.

Once the sand level is low enough, the “Piping Assembly” can be unscrewed and removed from the filter.

To keep it out of the way, I stuck the “Tube Air Relief” through the open hole that was left from removing the “Piping Assembly”.

It took about 45 minutes to remove most of the sand by scooping it out to where the “Laterals” were visible.

The “Laterals” can be soft so the dirt/gravel around them needs to be removed carefully. Your filter may have gravel (rocks) in this area instead of sand. Either way, it all should be removed.

If the sand is still wet when most of the sand/rocks are out, getting the last of it can be difficult. If you only have sand, you might be able to wash the remaining sand out with a garden hose through the bottom open drain. If not, then the filter can be freed by unscrewing the unions.

Note: These unions may be soft and can crack easily.

With the unions removed, the filter can now be moved and/or turned over to allow for the remaining sand to be washed out with a garden hose.

Once finished, place the filter back in to its original position and reattach the unions.

Reattach the drain plug to the bottom of the filter.

Refilling the filter with sand (and maybe rocks)
The Pentair TR-100 sand filter will hold 600lbs of sand or a mixture of sand and pea gravel (small rocks).
There are advantages and disadvantages to using pure sand or some gravel at the bottom and sand on top.
Refer to the table in the owner’s manual (link) on how much of each to use.
A Mixture of sand (450lb) on a bottom layer of gravel (150lb) was used in this case for its increased water flow properties.

The instructions suggest adding water to the filter first. This step was delayed because it was feared that blindly adding the gravel could damage the exiting “Laterals” if the gravel wasn’t filling all of the spaces under them.

If you are using just sand, then fill the filter halfway with water first before slowly starting to add the sand.

If using gravel, slowly start adding in your bottom layer.

Now fill the filter about half way with water.

Before the water/sand level gets too high, reinsert the “Piping Assembly.”

Now reattach the “Diffuser Assembly.” Remember to also pull the “Tube Air Relief” back though. The tube should be easier to maneuver around since the sand level is still low.

Reattach the screen cap to this tube.

The “Diffuser Assembly” was turned to the side to make adding more sand easier. As the sand level gets higher, be sure to move this Diffuser up to keep it out of the sand.

Continue adding the rest of the sand. There should be an 11 inch gap between the top of the sand and the top of the filter.

Finishing up
Reattach the top of the filter by placing it on top and screwing it down. This only needs to be hand tight.

The sand will need to be rinsed before staring the system. Move the multiport valve position on the filter to backwash.

Turn on the system to allow the new sand/gravel to be cleaned.
There isn’t a set amount of time needed to complete this step. It usually takes no more than a few minutes. The water should be a dark brown at first, then change to a lighter brown.

When finished, turn the system off, move the multiport valve back to “hi-flow,” and restart the system.

Open the top air relief valve to remove any air left in the filter and close once water starts to come out.

And it is finished.