FAQ

Here are Aqua Control’s most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Display Units
What is the difference between a fountain and a display aerator?
Where can I find my ACI Motor Serial Number?
Is there a right/wrong way to install the propellers on my Select Series display aerator?
Is there a right/wrong way to install the propellers on my Select Series 2 display aerator?

Electrical
Can I power more than one unit off of a single control panel?
Why do I lose my UL Rating if I upgrade to a 30ma Equipment Protection GFCI to eliminate nuisance tripping?
If I need UL Rating, what other option(s) do I have to prevent nuisance tripping?
How do I size the supply cable from the power source to the control panel?
How do I determine the operating cost of a unit?
Why are some motors rated by HP and others by KW?
How is amperage determined?
What does voltage drop mean?
What causes a GFCI to trip?
What causes an overload to trip?

What is the difference between a fountain and a display aerator?

There has been much confusion in the industry regarding the definition of an Aerator. The Aqua Control definition is very specific: only high pumping rate, axial (propeller) pumps are called Aerators. Good aeration is achieved with high pumping rates. Our Display Aerators deliver high flow rates relative to the horsepower while creating very attractive patterns (Shorter pattern height, higher volume, thicker, more wind-resistant streams).

 Fountains, on the other hand, are created with centrifugal pumps which produce higher patterns, but with much lower flow rates. ACI believes that these pumps should not be called Aerators or even Aerating Fountains even though their splash does create some aeration (Taller pattern height, lower volume, thin streams).

Where can I find my ACI Motor Serial Number?

The ACI Motor Serial Number is a unique number assigned by ACI to identify a specific motor. This number can be found etched into the body of the motor towards the end with the motor shaft extension.  It can also be located on either a plate or sticker affixed to the PVC lower tube and written in indelible marker on the motor body. 

This number is usually a minimum of 8 digits. The first number dictates the brand of motor. The next three numbers indicate the date of purchase by ACI. The last four numbers use an internal coding system.

Is there a right/wrong way to install the propellers on my Select Series display aerator?

On Select Series Display Aerators, the propeller hubs are stamped with a number.  The stamped side goes down over the shaft towards the motor.  Another way to determine the correct propeller orientation is using the cross section of the blade. Looking at a cross section of the propeller blade, the rounded side of the blade is on the bottom, facing the motor. 

In Select Series units with two propellers stacked directly on top of one another, the blades of the propellers are off-set. This gives the impression of six blades when looking down through the assembled pump.

In two stage and three stage units, there are intermediate flow straighteners between each propeller.

Is there a right/wrong way to install the propellers on my Select Series 2 display aerator?

On a Select Series 2 Display Aerator, the propellers are marked with an “UP” side.  This side should be installed away from the motor where the imprint can be seen when the prop is on the motor shaft extension. The Select Series 2 propeller blade cross section also has a round side and a flat side. The round side faces the motor.

With a Select Series 2, the propellers interlock with the propeller spacer. The four blades of all propellers are aligned.  This gives the impression of only four blades when looking down through an assembled pump.

Can I power more than one unit off of a single control panel?

Yes. Aqua Control calls this a multi-panel.  The combination of two control panels in any power supply can usually be achieved with a minimal upcharge.  Combining the components of more than two control panels normally requires a larger enclosure, so the upcharge is much greater. Multi-panels also increase the production time, because these custom panels are built to order as opposed to our stocked panels.

Why do I lose my UL Rating if I upgrade to a 30ma Equipment Protection GFCI to eliminate nuisance tripping?

Our UL Listing for control panels requires a Class A GFCI for all circuits. For a Class A, human-rated GFCI, UL requires a trip level no greater than 6mA. The use of a 30mA, equipment-protection GFCI is five times less sensitive and not considered human protection.

If I need UL Rating, what other option(s) do I have to prevent nuisance tripping?

Move the control panel closer to the shoreline and/or move the unit closer to the shoreline.  If you shorten the cable run between the unit and control panel to less than 200’, nuisance tripping is rarely an issue.  Contrary to popular belief, increasing the cable gauge will not eliminate nuisance tripping.

How do I size the supply breaker from the power source to the control panel?

Pump Amps + Light Amps x 1.5 = Supply Breaker Required

How do I determine the operating cost of a unit?

For the pump:

  1. Look up the kW usage based on the HP (“Power Use” in the brochure).
  2. Multiply that number (step #1) by the number of hours per day that the pump will operate.
  3. Multiply that number (step #2) by the number of days per month that the pump will operate.
  4. Multiply that number (step #3) by your cost per kW hour.
  5. This is your monthly cost of operation.

For the lights:

  1. Multiply the total number of lights by the wattage of a light.
  2. Divide that number (step #1) by 1000 to derive kW.
  3. Multiply that number (step #2) by the number of hours per day that the lights will operate.
  4. Multiply that number (step #3) by the number of days per month that the lights will operate.
  5. Multiply that number (step #4) by your cost per kW hour.
  6. This is your monthly cost of operation.

Why are some motors rated by HP and others by KW?

Domestically we rate motors based on HP.  Overseas motors are rated by KW.  The conversion is HP x ¾ = KW for the motor rating.  The motor rating is not equal to the power usage.  The KW listed in ACI Specifications are representative of power consumption as opposed to motor rating.

How is amperage determined?

Lights – Amps = Watts divided by Volts

Motors – Amps = Watts divided by Volts divided by a power factor of .39

Compressors – Amps = Watts divided by Volts divided by a power factor of .42

What does voltage drop mean?

There is a slight drop in voltage along cable from the power source to the unit.  For example, a 5HP, 230V, 1P unit that has 230V at the power source will deliver approximately 223V through 150’ of 8g wire. This voltage loss is based on amperage (load), cable length, cable gauge, voltage and phase. ACI’s cable sizing in the price book is based on this voltage drop not exceeding 5% and the ampacity of the cable. Ampacity refers to the maximum current (amps) that a conductor can carry without damaging the cable. The cable from the power source to the control panel is typically direct burial or aerial cable.  The acceptable voltage drop over this cable is 3%.  The cable from the control panel to the unit is usually either SOOW or SJOW submersible cable.  The acceptable voltage drop over this cable is 5%. A pumps nominal voltage, e.g. 230V, has a +/- 10% variance. In this case allowable voltage is between 208V and 253V. If your voltage is 208V or lower at the unit, a boost transformer will be required. 

What causes a GFCI to trip?

First, to clear up a few misconceptions: 1.) A GFCI does not trip due to high amps; 2. Increasing wire gauge does not significantly reduce GFCI tripping; 2.) Replacing a GFCI should be the last option, not the first. GFCIs trip for a variety of reasons. The most common cause is a leak-to-Ground. A leak-to-Ground is the result of a breakdown in insulation in the cord or motor, resulting in electricity leaking into the water. This can be the result of an animal bite or abrasion to the pump cord or a faulty motor. A damaged electrical component or loose wiring in the control panel can also cause a GFCI to trip. Other factors that can contribute to GFCI tripping are voltage spikes or surges, electrical storms and variable frequency drives.

One other situation causes a GFCI to trip is nuisance tripping. This occurs when there is no measureable leak-to-Ground but the GFCI trips periodically. Usually, GFCI nuisance tripping occurs when the power available is 230/240 volt, single phase and the pump cord length is 200 feet or more. Megging the pump cable reveals no leak-to-Ground (200+ mOhms). Based on this, the GFCI should not trip. The solutions to this are either, changing to three phase power, reducing the cord length to less than 200 feet or using an equipment-protection GFCI.

What causes an overload to trip?

An overload is designed to trip when the motor draws higher amps than expected. This is usually the result of mechanical issues. Mechanical problems can result from motor bearing issues, something wrapped around the motor shaft, a clogged suction screen or nozzle, or something broken in the pump or motor. Electrical issues such as low voltage, bad capacitors or loss of phase can also increase amperage. Overloads in motor control boxes (single-phase motors only) are susceptible to ambient heat. They cannot differentiate between high amps and high temperature. If your control panel is in direct sunlight, the overloads may trip. If voltage is low, a buck boost transformer may correct the problem.

"We just installed our new fountain and the water in our pond began clearing almost immediately."


Mark Tijssen

6 Wolfer Industrial Dr, Spring Valley, IL 61362

(815) 664-4900 / [email protected]

800-377-0019