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Thread: Pentair automation

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    Pentair automation

    So this summer I had to buy a new pump b/c my hayward (15 yrs old) died.

    I went with the Pentair VST 2 and the idea of automation seemed cool. I am already all into home automation with tons of Z-wave stuff. I was disappointed there is little in the way of z-wave, but i have never been able to get a z-wave signal to relay far enough to my pump anyway to use the intermec Z-wave device I bought 2 yrs ago.

    Anyway, back to my point:

    Does anyone here use pentair's automation, ez touch or otherwise and if so, would love to understand your setup and then ask you a million questions. The store reps and even the pentair reps are a bit 'short' both in attention and in IT knowledge to correctly answer my questions.
    Pool Type: In Ground, Liner. Shape: Free form/kidney
    Size: 32,000 gallons
    Filter/Pump: Brand new (2016) DE Hayward 4820 / Brand new (2016) Pentair VST 2
    Heater: Yes (older)
    Location: NJ. No tree/leaves overhead. Limited shrubs near/over waterfall feature

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    Re: Pentair automation

    What information are you looking for specifically? What all do you want to automate?

    Both Pentair's VS pump and EasyTouch get very good reviews here.
    -Brian-
    33K Pool/Spa, Pentair Equipment
    POOL BUILD
    Davis Custom Construction - Home Page

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    Re: Pentair automation

    i just purchased a home with pentair automation, my current home has jandy automation. i'm excited to compare the two. iaqualink was pretty good, although there are no home automation apps for it. wifi is better than nothing though. only a custom app would support pool automation and i wouldn't trust smartthings or vera to that responsibility.
    19K IG Pebbletec with attached spa. 60sqft Cartridge filter, Intelliflow VS, 399k BTU Gas Heater, Pentair IC40. Phoenix, AZ, full sun.

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    Re: Pentair automation

    Quote Originally Posted by bdavis466 View Post
    What information are you looking for specifically? What all do you want to automate?

    Both Pentair's VS pump and EasyTouch get very good reviews here.
    initially i would just want to remotely control the pump - turning it on or off
    however, i would want to add valve control for my waterfall (and then consequently for the returns to ensure proper pressure) - thus 3 valve controls, so i could remotely turn my waterfall on or off without having to walk behind my trees to the pump and turn the valves myself.

    my pentair already does scheduling, so that's not really needed, but it would be good to have phone access to turn it on or off (say its raining out) at will.

    the question becomes - which system do i get, how good is the "connection piece" that sits between the easytouch and your router - how much distance can it go?

    my understanding is that is a propriterary link between the pump/easytouch and your router and that the unit isn't really "wifi based" in the sense that i could sit on my home network and connect to the unit plugged into the router and then it uses pentairs propriterary link to the easytouch panel next to the pump.
    Pool Type: In Ground, Liner. Shape: Free form/kidney
    Size: 32,000 gallons
    Filter/Pump: Brand new (2016) DE Hayward 4820 / Brand new (2016) Pentair VST 2
    Heater: Yes (older)
    Location: NJ. No tree/leaves overhead. Limited shrubs near/over waterfall feature

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Pentair automation

    Ionizer,

    Turning the waterfall on and off is something the EasyTouch can easily do. I'm not sure what you mean when you say " and then consequently for the returns to ensure proper pressure", but the valve drivers do not adjust between stops, like you can do by hand. They are move from one limit of travel to the other, basically on or off, but not half way.

    To use the EasyTouch on your computer or phone you will need to also buy Screen Logic2. This system talks via a wire, or a wireless connection, to something called a Protocol Adapter. It talks "Pentair" on one end and EitherNet on the other end and allows for you to communicate with your computer or your computer to communicate with the EasyTouch. I have only had ScreenLogic2 for about 6 months, and I now could not live without it. If Pentair gave it away for free with the purchase of an EasyTouch, I believe that they would double their EasyTouch sales. This is how much better, easier, and user friendly the EasyTouch is when combined with the ScreenLogic system.

    I'm not sure of the wireless coverage, as I have a hard-wired setup, which can be 1,500 feet.

    What else you got..

    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: Pentair automation

    I have the wireless setup with screenlogic and have had no issues with communicating over 200' and through several walls.

    You may need to post a picture of your pool equipment to see what you are talking about for valve automation.

    -Brian-
    33K Pool/Spa, Pentair Equipment
    POOL BUILD
    Davis Custom Construction - Home Page

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    Re: Pentair automation

    I also have a wireless setup using Intellitouch and Screenlogic2. Pentair is proprietary so it works best with Pentair equipment. My setup is a bit complicated with 3 variable speed pumps, 2 filters, 3 laminars, 2 pool lights, a spa light, heater, separated spa but connected via piping, SWG. Screenlogic isn't perfect, it has random bugs but overall, I love being able to control everything from ALL my iOS devices. No bulky remote. No walking to the control center to adjust anything. I can turn on my spa heater from work and have it hot by the time I get home. I can adjust anything via the Internet. It has been reliable for me, but reviews are polarizing. I can't imagine not having automation. Automation was very important to me and controlling everything from my iPhone was also important. How important these things are is individual cuz automation is not inexpensive. But, IMHO, well worth it. If you have any questions, fire away, I have used Screenlogic for awhile and have troubleshot it enough to be very familiar.
    17k IG plaster pool+ spa, Stonescape mini-pebble midnight blue, marble coping, Trex and porcelain tile decking, Pentair Intelliflo VSP x 3 (filter, laminars and spa jets), Pentair IC40, Pentair MasterTemp 400, Pentair Quad DE 100, Pentair CC 150 for laminars, Intellibrite 5G LEDs, MagicStream Laminars x 3, Intellitouch i9+3 automation with Screenlogic2, IntellipH, Dolphin s300i, TFTest kit, SpeedStir

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    Re: Pentair automation

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimrahbe View Post
    Ionizer,

    Turning the waterfall on and off is something the EasyTouch can easily do. I'm not sure what you mean when you say " and then consequently for the returns to ensure proper pressure", but the valve drivers do not adjust between stops, like you can do by hand. They are move from one limit of travel to the other, basically on or off, but not half way.

    To use the EasyTouch on your computer or phone you will need to also buy Screen Logic2. This system talks via a wire, or a wireless connection, to something called a Protocol Adapter. It talks "Pentair" on one end and EitherNet on the other end and allows for you to communicate with your computer or your computer to communicate with the EasyTouch. I have only had ScreenLogic2 for about 6 months, and I now could not live without it. If Pentair gave it away for free with the purchase of an EasyTouch, I believe that they would double their EasyTouch sales. This is how much better, easier, and user friendly the EasyTouch is when combined with the ScreenLogic system.

    I'm not sure of the wireless coverage, as I have a hard-wired setup, which can be 1,500 feet.

    What else you got..

    Jim R.
    i am fine with the valves being "on" or "off." what i was saying is that I have 3 valves going out. 1 for waterfall, 1 for some of the return jets and another for the other return jets (or perhaps just the buddy seat ones, ive got to label it and figure it out). In the past, at least with my old pump, In order for the waterfall to be at full force, ive had to usually turn off one or both of the return jets in order to get enough pressure.

    If you dont have the screentouch 2, what exactly is the easytouch alone? is it just a control box/timer? Im trying to understand what it looks like and what it does on its own.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by bdavis466 View Post
    I have the wireless setup with screenlogic and have had no issues with communicating over 200' and through several walls.

    You may need to post a picture of your pool equipment to see what you are talking about for valve automation.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
    that's good to know. so its not a limited z-wave or bluetooth signal, but more on the lines of wifi signal, even though the bridge itself between is not actually wifi.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Ocgasman View Post
    I also have a wireless setup using Intellitouch and Screenlogic2. Pentair is proprietary so it works best with Pentair equipment. My setup is a bit complicated with 3 variable speed pumps, 2 filters, 3 laminars, 2 pool lights, a spa light, heater, separated spa but connected via piping, SWG. Screenlogic isn't perfect, it has random bugs but overall, I love being able to control everything from ALL my iOS devices. No bulky remote. No walking to the control center to adjust anything. I can turn on my spa heater from work and have it hot by the time I get home. I can adjust anything via the Internet. It has been reliable for me, but reviews are polarizing. I can't imagine not having automation. Automation was very important to me and controlling everything from my iPhone was also important. How important these things are is individual cuz automation is not inexpensive. But, IMHO, well worth it. If you have any questions, fire away, I have used Screenlogic for awhile and have troubleshot it enough to be very familiar.
    intellitouch vs easytouch - is it just the number of controls you get access to? i am guessing yes considering you have 3 pumps, 2 filters, i dont even know what a laminar is and 2 pool lights. you must live in a mansion with a 100k gallon pool!!!

    what do you think it would cost for :
    Easytouch hooked up to my pump
    screenlogic2
    and 3 valve controls
    plus ability to control my pool light switch

    i'm not even going to try hooking up my old heater until maybe i get a new one in the future.
    Pool Type: In Ground, Liner. Shape: Free form/kidney
    Size: 32,000 gallons
    Filter/Pump: Brand new (2016) DE Hayward 4820 / Brand new (2016) Pentair VST 2
    Heater: Yes (older)
    Location: NJ. No tree/leaves overhead. Limited shrubs near/over waterfall feature

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    Re: Pentair automation

    ionizer,

    The EasyTouch is a number of things all in one enclosure.

    1. It is a load center circuit breaker panel. Accepts up to a 125 Amp service and has 5 slots for 220 Volt circuit breakers. This is where most all of your pool equipment breakers would be located.
    2. It has a built in circuit board which provides timing and control circuits which can be programmed (somewhat) by the user.
    3. Has the ability to control 4 valves although two of them have fixed functions, so only two of them can programmed by the user.
    4. Has the ability to control several types of heaters and heat pumps.
    5. Depending on the model the EasyTouch has 3 to 7 relays that can control external devices, such as a pool light.
    6. Provides Serial control of Intelliflo pump speeds and on/off timing.
    7. In some models provides the power supply and control for Intellichlor SWGs.
    8. Provides control of various Pentair light systems.

    ScreenLogic, just lets you do things from your PC, rather than from the business card sized LCD display on the front panel of the EasyTouch

    Installing yourself would run about $1,500 to $2,000, double that to have a PB install it. (Just a guess on my part..)

    I'm sure there are more functions, but these are the main ones.

    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: Pentair automation

    Jim has a very complete synopsis of the easytouch system. The Intellitouch system just has more circuits and relays and bit more functionality. I was forced to go with Intellitouch cuz EasyTouch can only control one variable speed pump. I wanted to control the flow for not only the filter pump but also the flow to my spa jets and laminars. Btw, Pentair laminars are just a water feature that shoots out a laminar steam of water but also delivers a fiberoptic light source within that stream. Super cool, unnecessary for a pool and a luxury item but at night looks crazy amazing. I get complements on it all the time.

    http://www.pentairpool.com/products/...minars-215.htm

    But back to your questions, if you only have one VSP, pool/spa lighting and valve actuators then EasyTouch should be able to control them all. Also, remember that Pentair likes to play with Pentair products so here will be minimal/no functionality with other manufacturers. That being said, I have Jandy NeverLube valves and Intellitouch has no problem managing those actuators. I don't know what type of heater you have, but Pentair automation might not control the heater properly if at all if it's not Pentair. Also, ditto on the lights, full control of color LEDs will only be available for Pentair lights. It's a shame that the pool manufacturers won't open their code to everyone to make automation an all in one product available to all the automation developers. It's definitely a money issue. If you want Pentair, Hayward automation, you have to pay a lot for it. How much it will cost, I'm not sure. Depends if you need Easytouch 4 or 8, Intellitouch +/- Screenlogic2. Probably minimum $2k with screenlogic2. Again, really depends if you want just automation without mobile device control. But it would be a bummer for me to go to the load center every time I wanted to change a light color, turn on a pump, turn on my laminars, etc. As always, convenience costs and in this case, costs a lot.
    17k IG plaster pool+ spa, Stonescape mini-pebble midnight blue, marble coping, Trex and porcelain tile decking, Pentair Intelliflo VSP x 3 (filter, laminars and spa jets), Pentair IC40, Pentair MasterTemp 400, Pentair Quad DE 100, Pentair CC 150 for laminars, Intellibrite 5G LEDs, MagicStream Laminars x 3, Intellitouch i9+3 automation with Screenlogic2, IntellipH, Dolphin s300i, TFTest kit, SpeedStir

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    Re: Pentair automation

    Not that it matters in your situation but the EasyTouch can run 2 VSPs through the serial cable.
    -Brian-
    33K Pool/Spa, Pentair Equipment
    POOL BUILD
    Davis Custom Construction - Home Page

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    Pentair automation

    I have an EasyTouch but, much to the disappointment of my fellow Pentair users, I do not use ScreenLogic but I do have the 8-button EasyTouch remote. It's a wireless RF remote that communicates with the EasyTouch panel and let's me do all of the stuff the ScreenLogic guys can do without needing WiFi. It's a bit clunkier than ScreenLogic (kind of like being Mater instead of Lightening McQueen) but I never have to worry about WiFi connections going batty or the Network Protocol Adapter suddenly dying (which they do). It a lower-tech approach but I have never had an urge to control my pool through my iPhone so ScreenLogic is on the bottom of my list of things I want to get for my pool.

    Yes, I'm being a bit snarky because I know it tweaks Brian and Jim a bit but I know it also gives them joy to make fun of my 80's technology

    Anyway, a Pentair EasyTouch sounds like it will do everything you want and give you some room to play with your setup as well. ScreenLogic or not, it's a major step up from clunky, old mechanical intermatic timers and outdoor switch boxes.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Talking Re: Pentair automation

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimrahbe View Post
    ionizer,

    The EasyTouch is a number of things all in one enclosure.

    1. It is a load center circuit breaker panel. Accepts up to a 125 Amp service and has 5 slots for 220 Volt circuit breakers. This is where most all of your pool equipment breakers would be located.
    2. It has a built in circuit board which provides timing and control circuits which can be programmed (somewhat) by the user.
    3. Has the ability to control 4 valves although two of them have fixed functions, so only two of them can programmed by the user.
    4. Has the ability to control several types of heaters and heat pumps.
    5. Depending on the model the EasyTouch has 3 to 7 relays that can control external devices, such as a pool light.
    6. Provides Serial control of Intelliflo pump speeds and on/off timing.
    7. In some models provides the power supply and control for Intellichlor SWGs.
    8. Provides control of various Pentair light systems.

    ScreenLogic, just lets you do things from your PC, rather than from the business card sized LCD display on the front panel of the EasyTouch

    Installing yourself would run about $1,500 to $2,000, double that to have a PB install it. (Just a guess on my part..)

    I'm sure there are more functions, but these are the main ones.

    Jim R.

    • my pool light is a pure "on/off" nothing fancy


    • i dont expect it to control my heater, nor would i attempt to as its old. in the future i would want capacity to control a heater (pentair if thats what makes it easiest)
    • im confused about the 4 valve comment and 2 of them being fixed/not controllable. what does that mean exactly? i have 3 valves as i mentioned and id like to be able to do the following potential combinations, but in reality would like the flexibility to do all possible combos :
      • valve 1 on, valve 2 and 3 off.
      • valve 1 off, valve 2 and 3 on.
      • valve 1 on, valve 2 on, valve 3 off
      • valve 1 on, valve 2 on, valve 3 on

    • i have a pentair pump and would expect to be able to do everything (except maybe initial setup) through it - so manually changing pump speed, setting it to run the existing schedule, etc.


    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Ocgasman View Post
    Jim has a very complete synopsis of the easytouch system. The Intellitouch system just has more circuits and relays and bit more functionality. I was forced to go with Intellitouch cuz EasyTouch can only control one variable speed pump. I wanted to control the flow for not only the filter pump but also the flow to my spa jets and laminars. Btw, Pentair laminars are just a water feature that shoots out a laminar steam of water but also delivers a fiberoptic light source within that stream. Super cool, unnecessary for a pool and a luxury item but at night looks crazy amazing. I get complements on it all the time.

    http://www.pentairpool.com/products/...minars-215.htm

    But back to your questions, if you only have one VSP, pool/spa lighting and valve actuators then EasyTouch should be able to control them all. Also, remember that Pentair likes to play with Pentair products so here will be minimal/no functionality with other manufacturers. That being said, I have Jandy NeverLube valves and Intellitouch has no problem managing those actuators. I don't know what type of heater you have, but Pentair automation might not control the heater properly if at all if it's not Pentair. Also, ditto on the lights, full control of color LEDs will only be available for Pentair lights. It's a shame that the pool manufacturers won't open their code to everyone to make automation an all in one product available to all the automation developers. It's definitely a money issue. If you want Pentair, Hayward automation, you have to pay a lot for it. How much it will cost, I'm not sure. Depends if you need Easytouch 4 or 8, Intellitouch +/- Screenlogic2. Probably minimum $2k with screenlogic2. Again, really depends if you want just automation without mobile device control. But it would be a bummer for me to go to the load center every time I wanted to change a light color, turn on a pump, turn on my laminars, etc. As always, convenience costs and in this case, costs a lot.

    those laminars are cool, but im guessing you have to establish that from the onset because it looks like a hole in the concrete and i assuming some kind of piping to get it there. probably too late for an existing pool i guess?

    is there any video of how the actuators are installed and how they work? i assume they need power source, do they have to get that separately or do they get it from the easytouch/intellitouch?
    Pool Type: In Ground, Liner. Shape: Free form/kidney
    Size: 32,000 gallons
    Filter/Pump: Brand new (2016) DE Hayward 4820 / Brand new (2016) Pentair VST 2
    Heater: Yes (older)
    Location: NJ. No tree/leaves overhead. Limited shrubs near/over waterfall feature

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    Re: Pentair automation

    Ionizer, the ET can work with every heater out there that I know of so that's a non issue. Typically the heater temperature gets set to the maximum temperature on the unit and the ET will cycle power to the heater based on the need for heat that you are requesting.

    As for the valves, Jim was referring to the pool and spa ETs. On those units the suction and return lines are designed to operate with a pool and spa combination. That leaves two additional valves to be automated as you choose which is enough for most people's needs. There are work arounds for those that need additional valves. I have mine running 5 currently.

    The VS pumps are completely controlled by the ET. In fact, the screen on the pump is disabled when you use the serial cable. Programming the pump through its panel is about as logical as brushing your teeth and eating oreos at the same time. Unfortunately, programming through the ET, while better than through the pump, leaves much to be desired.

    The actuators are powered by an internal transformer within the unit. There is no need for anything extra unless your pool lights are low voltage or you are looking to do landscape lighting.

    The IntelliTouch allows for more customization when it's needed but is likely overkill for your situation. I have a complex setup and the ET is handling it just fine.

    Please dismiss Matt's (JFN) comments about screenlogic... He's been pouring phenol red on his tacos and I think he finally lost his mind. Screenlogic needs to be a part of your purchase if you go with Pentair automation. I have programs running in my system that I still cant figure out how to setup manually at the panel.

    I guess the only good thing about the RF remote is if anyone ever gets bored at a pool party, you'll always have a frisbee nearby. Matt is still wearing stonewashed jean jackets in public and dancing to Flock of Seagulls while in the shower... Clothing and technology have advanced just a little in 30 years...

    One last nail in that coffin; I believe the RF remote is more expensive than screenlogic as well.
    -Brian-
    33K Pool/Spa, Pentair Equipment
    POOL BUILD
    Davis Custom Construction - Home Page

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Pentair automation

    Quote Originally Posted by bdavis466 View Post
    Please dismiss Matt's (JFN) comments about screenlogic... He's been pouring phenol red on his tacos and I think he finally lost his mind.
    Definitely the best piece of advice on this forum...my comments & advice only result in tears of frustration and despair....

    Quote Originally Posted by bdavis466 View Post
    I guess the only good thing about the RF remote is if anyone ever gets bored at a pool party, you'll always have a frisbee nearby.
    And don't forget, it also makes for a great beer bottle coaster....it is totally water proof!! Let's see your iPhone do THAT!!

    Quote Originally Posted by bdavis466 View Post
    Matt is still wearing stonewashed jean jackets in public and dancing to Flock of Seagulls while in the shower... Clothing and technology have advanced just a little in 30 years...
    YES!! Next time I go out to brush the pool, I'm totally busting out my Sony WalkMan (no stinking' iTunes for me!!) and popping in my Flock of Seagulls tape!! Oh what I wouldn't give for that hair!! (Best. 80's Hair. EVER!!)

    La, la, laaaaaa....La, la, laaaaaaaa

    I saw your eyes,
    And you made me smile;
    For a little while
    I was falling in love.

    I saw your eyes,
    And you touched my mind.
    Although it took a while,
    I was falling in love.

    I saw your eyes,
    And you made me cry;
    And for a little while
    I was falling in love.

    I was falling in love.

    Falling in love.

    Falling in love.

    Falling in love.

    Falling in love.


    - "Space Age Love Song"

    Quote Originally Posted by bdavis466 View Post
    One last nail in that coffin; I believe the RF remote is more expensive than screenlogic as well.
    Most definitely true!

    ionizer,

    Listen to Brian and Jim, they've forgotten more about Pentair automation than all the combined knowledge of the Pentair Tech Support peeps....
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Pentair automation

    Not to threadjack...but Matt, I wanted to tell you that I used your thread on how to clean the quad de and it was super duper helpful. Thanks for posting that!

    Also, 80's music is my jam!
    17k IG plaster pool+ spa, Stonescape mini-pebble midnight blue, marble coping, Trex and porcelain tile decking, Pentair Intelliflo VSP x 3 (filter, laminars and spa jets), Pentair IC40, Pentair MasterTemp 400, Pentair Quad DE 100, Pentair CC 150 for laminars, Intellibrite 5G LEDs, MagicStream Laminars x 3, Intellitouch i9+3 automation with Screenlogic2, IntellipH, Dolphin s300i, TFTest kit, SpeedStir

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    Re: Pentair automation

    thanks guys. would love the automation feature, but between needing the new pump, new filter and possibly a leak in my liner this year - not to mention spending like $200+ on chemicals before simply emptying half my water and spending another $150 on water, i think ill need to hold off one year.

    not to mention needing to replace the overhead pool light and pole to give some light to the area.

    plus i am pretty sure my heater is not working - either entirely broken or needs a fix....so that will be next in queue. plus ill probably need 3 actuators + screenlogic 2 + easytouch and that sounds like it will surely run me $2k+ parts alone
    Pool Type: In Ground, Liner. Shape: Free form/kidney
    Size: 32,000 gallons
    Filter/Pump: Brand new (2016) DE Hayward 4820 / Brand new (2016) Pentair VST 2
    Heater: Yes (older)
    Location: NJ. No tree/leaves overhead. Limited shrubs near/over waterfall feature

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