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Thread: Fried IntelliFlo anyone? Seeking advice on next steps...

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    Question Fried IntelliFlo anyone? Seeking advice on next steps...

    Hi folks,

    I'm a homeowner in San Diego. When my WhisperFlo failed in 2006, I purchased and installed an IntelliFlo #011012. It's been doing great until a couple days ago when I was doing some work on the house's main electrical panel. I noticed later that the pump's display is completely dead, even when disconnected from the IntelliTouch control system. The pump is not coming on at all.

    I disassembled the drive unit. No water incursion but a small blackened area on top of the printed circuit board. My hunch is a blown capacitor, but they seem to be embedded in plastic resin so can't be accessed or replaced.

    Any suggestions on next steps? Is there anyone who can repair these units? Pentair tells me the drive #350104 can be replaced by #353251, which looks to be $600 online and would only have a 60-day parts warranty. An entire #011018 pump is under $900, but does that have a 3-year warranty if self-installed? Replacing the entire pump would be a big job due to tight plumbing. I assume I could replace the drive, or the drive + motor, and leave the existing plumbing and basket?

    Thanks,

    Mark

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    Re: Fried IntelliFlo anyone? Seeking advice on next steps...

    P.S. Here's are a couple pics of the circuit board. I'm wondering now whether it wasn't a capacitor but rather an arc between the circuit board and the control panel (the unit in my left hand with the buttons and display). The sticker on the back says that is an LCP 102 Control panel. Anyone know how to tell if whether it's the Control panel (which could be replaced pretty easily) or the other electronics that have failed?

    IntelliFlo Blackened Circuit Board 1.jpg

    IntelliFlo Blackened Circuit Board 2.jpg

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Fried IntelliFlo anyone? Seeking advice on next steps...

    I don't believe Pentair offers any extended warranty on any self-install unless you are a certified installer.

    If you are good at troubleshooting boards, you might be able to figure out which component failed. But looking at the board, the area with the black soot looks like area where the IGBTs are soldered. Those are the high power switching gates that control each of the three phases and components that are most likely to fail (especially any voltage transients). Can you post a picture of the other side of the board in that area and/or get the part #s off the gates?

    Not sure about the area where there is white soot but that could be the bridge rectifier which feeds the IGBTs and would fail too if one or more of the IGBTs failed since they usually short.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Fried IntelliFlo anyone? Seeking advice on next steps...

    Mark,

    Thanks for your reply.

    The white soot looked almost like calcification. Both black and white soot wiped away easily with little vinegar on a cotton ball.

    When attached, the bottom of the control panel, with its two metal straps, floats barely above the circuit board. I could see how a surge might arc between the circuit board and one of those straps.

    However, I would kinda think that even if the local controller failed, the remote control through IntelliTouch would work. It doesn't, so that may be evidence of main board failure.

    I removed 5 or 6 small and 2 large screws but was unable to lift the main circuit board. Should I have been able to? It almost looked like they assembled the board, filled the reservoir with plastic resin, then inverted the board and pushed it into the resin so that anything taller than 1/2" or so on the board would have been in the resin, and once cooled, it's stuck. Did I miss something on the disassembly?

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Fried IntelliFlo anyone? Seeking advice on next steps...

    That may be the way they water proof the board so perhaps you won't be able to remove it without destroying the board. The arc might have been caused by the display to the main board but I doubt the electronics of the main board escaped destruction as well so if you can't remove the board, then there is probably no way to repair it.

    Probably the only choices you have are to replace the drive or replace the motor and drive with a two speed motor.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Fried IntelliFlo anyone? Seeking advice on next steps...

    Thanks. Any suggestions for 2-speed pumps? Would like to integrate with IntelliTouch. Basically low speed for daily timed operation and high speed when using the spa. I think the IntelliTouch can control pumps via relays but it's been a while since I set that up.

    What's the normal life of a pump motor? At 10 years, is it about done anyway?

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Fried IntelliFlo anyone? Seeking advice on next steps...

    I was suggesting just attaching a new motor to your Intelliflo wet end so you don't have to buy a new pump nor change the plumbing.

    What speed do you use for the spa?

    The life of a pump is mostly dependent on the motor (drive to for a VS). If properly maintained, pumps have lasted 20-30 years in some cases. But so far for the VS line of pumps, things are starting to look a bit more problematic because of drive failures.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Fried IntelliFlo anyone? Seeking advice on next steps...

    If I recall correctly, the pool runs at 25 gpm and the spa at 50 gpm, with the 50 requiring 2750 or 3000 rpm. I do like the idea of variable speed, which can ramp up to maintain gpm e.g. when solar is on or when the Kreepy dives to the deep end and requires more rpm to maintain 25 gpm. Really I've had no complaints with the variable-speed but the sensitivity to power surge (or whatever hit it), and the high cost of replacing electronics when the actual failed part is probably worth $25, concern me. I wonder if a surge-protected breaker would have saved the pump and if they even make those in 240V 20A versions.

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    Re: Fried IntelliFlo anyone? Seeking advice on next steps...

    I have two surge protectors in my system. A larger Eaton Ultra ($120)on my main service panel and a smaller Square D unit ($25) on my pool sub panel. Less than $150 total and both installed in one afternoon.

    Eaton Whole House Surge Protector-CHSPT2ULTRA-1 - The Home Depot


    Amazon.com: Square D by Schneider Electric SDSA1175 Panel Mounted Single Phase Type 1 Surge Protective Device: Home Improvement
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Fried IntelliFlo anyone? Seeking advice on next steps...

    If me, I'd just buy a whole new Intelliflo and either replace the entire thing, or swap out the drive and motor assembly. You got 10 years out of the old one without a surge protector so installing a good surge protector should get you another 10 years or more.

    I noticed you said the existing pump is an P/N 011012, which is a Variable Flow pump and then you talk about the price of a P/N 011018 which is a Variable Speed pump. I have no idea if swapping the motor and drive between these two pumps is ok or if something on the wet end also has to change.

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Calder Spa.

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    Re: Fried IntelliFlo anyone? Seeking advice on next steps...

    I wonder if there is a way to use heat to melt that resin or at least soften it to pull board loose. You have nothing to loose if it doesn't work and access to board if it does.
    8500 gallon IG Pebble Sheen with Spa. 3hp Pentair VS Intelliflo ( pool ), 3/4 hp WhisperFlo ( water feature ),Pentair Racer, 400K Pentair heater, Pentair 500sqft Cartridge filter, EasyTouch 8, Stenner 45mp2 15gallon wired to ET8

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    Re: Fried IntelliFlo anyone? Seeking advice on next steps...

    Heat and/or chemical solvents might work, but sounds like they could damage the circuit board as well, especially since in this case the board sits upside down above the resin bath. Google Groups

    I guess I could try to boil the whole drive in water but not sure I want to spend the time unless there is a known repair strategy.

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    Re: Fried IntelliFlo anyone? Seeking advice on next steps...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimrahbe View Post
    I noticed you said the existing pump is an P/N 011012, which is a Variable Flow pump and then you talk about the price of a P/N 011018 which is a Variable Speed pump. I have no idea if swapping the motor and drive between these two pumps is ok or if something on the wet end also has to change.
    Thanks for pointing that out. I do like the VF as I said for adjusting "on the fly" for solar, etc., but not sure a 011012 is worth an extra $300+.

    Called a local pool dealer. He said the 2 VST they wanted to sell me is the same as the 1.5 horsepower VF that I have. Well mine is 3 HP and VF <> VS. It bugs me that I know more than a qualified installer but I only get a 60-day warranty if I do the work myself.

    I talked to Pentair support and they said the wet end is the same. They also told me the 353251 VS drive replaces the 350104 that I have on my VF, but I would need to double-check that--the buttons are labeled differently on a VS drive.

    I am leaning towards replacing the whole thing with a 011018. I think I can get a $200 rebate from the utility. Trying to figure out if I can replace the plumbing with only one valve. Are most folks using 2" unions now for pumps?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by chiefwej View Post
    I have two surge protectors in my system. A larger Eaton Ultra ($120)on my main service panel and a smaller Square D unit ($25) on my pool sub panel. Less than $150 total and both installed in one afternoon.
    Thanks for that info. These babies look like they are separate from the breakers? The Pentair rep today said they suggest GFCI breakers, which would also stop a surge, but that doesn't sound right to me.

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    Re: Fried IntelliFlo anyone? Seeking advice on next steps...

    GFCI does nothing for surges. The larger surge protector I'm using is wired to a 220/50amp breaker that I happened to have open in the main panel. The smaller one is just hooked directly to the same terminals as my incoming power in the pump's sub panel.

    The unions are the way to go for connecting a pump. Most pumps have straight treads vs tapered pipe thread, making it hard to make a good lasting watertight connection. These unions are specifically designed to seal against the body of the pump with an O-ring.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Fried IntelliFlo anyone? Seeking advice on next steps...

    I would not install a pump without unions, no matter what kind it was.

    My understanding is that the Pentair GFCI circuit breaker was developed because standard GFCI breakers were randomly, and very intermittently, popping because of transients produced by the Intelliflo drive system. Pentair suggests they be used, so my PB installed one.

    I have three systems, one with the Pentair GFCI breaker, installed by my PB, and two without, installed by me.. I have never had the CB pop in any of the three pools. I do have a surge protectors as the first thing power sees when entering the power panels.

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Calder Spa.

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    Re: Fried IntelliFlo anyone? Seeking advice on next steps...

    I didn't realize Pentair had their own brand of GFCIs. Thanks for the tip. It's apparently made by Siemens:

    Product Details - Industry Mall - Siemens USA

    I wonder if it is similar to a Siemens QF220AH, which has an 22,000 amp inrush rating. I find that part number on the Siemens site but not for sale anywhere online.

    My VF pump ramped up nice and slow so I wouldn't think inrush current draw would be a big issue.
    Last edited by sdmark; 03-15-2016 at 08:35 PM. Reason: Fix breaker part no.

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    Re: Fried IntelliFlo anyone? Seeking advice on next steps...

    So what union do you guys like and how much unused pipe space do I need to install one? Here are a couple I found:

    Pentair 11201-0154 ($43 each) Amazon.com : Pentair 11201-0154 Union Replacement Pool and Spa Pump : Patio, Lawn Garden

    CMP ($21 for two) Amazon.com: 2 PACK -CMP Hi-Temp Union 2 Garden

    As you can see, things are tight...

    Pool pump.jpg

    Beneath the foil is a thermometer for the Intellitouch.

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Fried IntelliFlo anyone? Seeking advice on next steps...

    I used the $21 set with no problems at all.

    Not sure what kind of room you have toward the bottom of the picture, but if me, I'd move the whole pump down to give me a little more room when I'm doing filter maintenance.

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Calder Spa.

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    Re: Fried IntelliFlo anyone? Seeking advice on next steps...

    Thanks Jim. No room towards where I'm standing, if that's what you mean--it's a narrow path; my back is to the house's water heater (yes, kept outside in San Diego in a little aluminum housing). The tan thing behind the filter is a 400K heater. Cleaning the filter means standing on the heater to pull up the grids.

    I'm thinking I'll have to replace the 2-port Jandy to the right, moving it towards the three-port, then connect the union between the pump intake and the two-port. Looks like I have just under 4" of pipe on the intake and 4" on the output sides. Is that enough room for the unions?

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Fried IntelliFlo anyone? Seeking advice on next steps...

    On mine, the distance from the pump to the end of the coupling is just under 3"... You could just take the motor and controller off the new pump and bolt it on our old wet end. Would not need the unions and would not have to re-plumb at least this time.

    Although my OCD would make me gut the whole thing, lay down a concrete pad, and redo it all...

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Calder Spa.

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