Pool Solar Heater Automation

Hi all, last weekend I decided to make a pool heater for my above ground Intel 20’ pool.

Basically I hard plumed pvc pipe from the return port on my filter placed a tee so my filtered water would go back into the pool like normal, on the other side in placed a reducer and ball valve and ran 500’ irrigation tubing on the roof of my garage. The sun heats up the tube and the water returns to my pool much warmer water.
Now the flow rate is slowed down using the ball valve to give the water time to heat up before draining back into the pool.

My question is, is there a solenoid or electric operated pump that is reasonably priced that I can place on the solar line that will close the valve when power is turned off or open if the power is turned on m. My logic of thinking is if I hooked it up to a smart switch I could place a Wemo switch to automaticity turn on if it’s sunny and off during cloudy or rainy days and off at night.
I’m looking for a recommendation if anybody know what I can purchase for this application.

And help or direction on this project would be appreciated.

Thanks all!

Hey Corey,

Not entirely sure about your setup since it’s above ground, but there are plenty of HA ways to run a pool valve. If you actually have a pool valve you can control.

If you have something like a JVA, then all you need to do is be able to switch the 24VAC from one of the sides of the actuator to the other. Any DPST relay that matches your voltages can work.

I did it a couple years ago with a DigitalLoggers Relay. What would be way simpler is use one of the Sonoffs (with Tasmota) since it’s also setup with DPST relays and is so easy to control through HA. I finally bit the bullet and put in a real automation system for my in-ground (a jandy aqualink RS) but it still didn’t quite replace all of what I previously had with the DigitalLoggers setup. So, I put in a Sonoff 4CH pro that’s doing a couple things to augment the Aqualink. The first channel is running my pool cleaner JVA (effectively what you’re trying to do) and the second channel is controlling a simple sprinkler valve which is the fill valve to top off the pool water level.

The Sonoff runs on any DC 5-24 and the big black plug is a 24VAC that is powering the JVA being switched on channel 1 and the sprinkler valve on 2. The RPi in there just happens to be running an RS485 serial connection into the Aqualink with this fabulous code. With all that, when I shift the Aqualink into the speed and valve config for cleaning, I trigger the sonoff to rotate the cleaner valve and then all the suction is through the pool cleaner. That’s all governed through HA, so it can obey the presence switch for guests and things (I can turn it off when strange people are at the house so no one gets hurt).

You mentioned a motor as a possibility… there are the normal Sonoffs for switching 120v or you can relay your way into anything controlling anything as well.

I hope this helps give you an idea or two.


Thanks for the reply! That is great information but probably a bit over my head :grimacing:

Do you think I could add something like this


And add it after the ball valve


I was thinking of maybe plugging it in to a awemo switch to turn it on (open) or off (closed) based on the weather conditions

Hmm. Well, definitely not like in-ground stuff. Frankly, that double-wye there is probably a DWV (intended for drain piping only) and not schedule 40. I’d be concerned about it being under pressure. But then, with your flex pipe, you’re probably not under much pressure at all or it’d be going all rigid and expand.

So, the valve you linked is analogous to what I linked. You could still control it with a relay. But, really, if you’re looking for something simple and easy, you could put any of the various hose timers out there on that hose. Keep your ball valve to limit the flow and have the timer switch it on/off.

If you still need something controlled by Home Assistant, instead of a hose timer, you could use the valve you linked or really any sprinkler valve (you manage the connections), which also runs usually 24 VAC and can be controlled through a relay or your existing sprinkler system, if you have a slot for it.

If you’re not looking for sophisticated, the hose timer might be the way to go.

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Perhaps you can assist with your knowledge to answer a question?

I am trying to use the Sonoff 4ch pro to control valve actuators. Not sure what power supply to purchase?

Need to control 2 valves… Will be using it with Ewilink, Alexa, IFTTT, Stringify and Zapier to talk to the rest of my pool automation.

Honestly I used a old laptop power supply it was rated perfectly for the valve I purchased. I then plugged it into a Wemo outlet switch to turn it on and off. It worked well.

Hi Spine,

I’d suggest whatever your devices might normally need - rather than worrying about the Sonoff. It’s not a power relay, so you’re really feeding your switched devices what they are expecting.

The sonoff is pretty flexible. You can just hook it to mains/110vac or give it 5-24DC. In my crowded little box you might be missing what’s happening. I have the sonoff plugged into to 5VDC by a USB plug in the 110/USB combo outlet. The big wall wart is a 24VAC power supply because I’m basically running a sprinkler valve through the sonoff. I could have just run the 110VAC in there to power the sonoff, but I didn’t want the hot wires on the outside of everything.


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