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Thread: Pentair Easytouch 120 from Neutral Bus & Control Panel Stopped Working

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    Pentair Easytouch 120 from Neutral Bus & Control Panel Stopped Working

    First of all, thank you to this forum for the wealth of knowledge I have gained since becoming a pool owner several years ago. I have had a lot of success scouring this forum for solutions. I haven't been able to find answers for the current issue(s) I am having with my easy touch so I am hoping my first thread lead to some answers.

    Recently my intellibrite light stopped working and it was apparent that water had gotten into the light itself and given the reviews I've found online after searching I wasn't too surprised as it had been 2+ years since it was installed. What I didn't expect was that when I dug up my pavers I found there was a junction boxes that my contractor decided not to switch to code (8 ft behind the light under ground at water level there was the first junction box that was shot. the 2nd box is on the side of the house 40 ft away 2 ft above water level). Conduit ran from the light to the box then just insulated wire from the box to the side of the house where there is 2.5 ft of conduit running up to the other box. After inspection I noticed water had flooded the first box from the hole in the light niche not being sealed. Thankfully at this point only the light was ruined. I unhooked all wiring from the junction boxes, capped off all wires and turned off the circuit and relay to the light. The pool pump and chlorinator functioned properly with the easy touch for over a week while I waited from my new light to arrive. I placed the light in the water and prior to laying new conduit that would run from the light to the main junction box (eliminating the first one now that I have a 50' wire) to test it to make sure it functioned. Before I hooked up the 12v, neutral and ground at the junction box I pulled out my multi meter to test the voltage of the wires. I popped the circuit on for the light and noticed I was getting 120 out of the neutral. I went back to the easy touch and noticed the 15 amp breaker for the primary easy touch transformer was melted at the connection. I replaced it with a new one to spec and tested the voltage again. Still 120 through all neutral wires and the neutral bus bar. Also, when the original breaker melted, the control panel and all the switches stopped working. Below is my message to Pentair. After calling them twice yesterday (45 and 50 minute waits) they weren't much help. They wanted to assume I took a bunch of stuff apart and screwed something up and while i'm not saying I didn't do something wrong, I did not unhook anything else but the wires running to the light in the boxes and they confirmed all wires in the system are connected correctly. Any help would be appreciated:

    To Pentair:

    I am having issues with my easy touch system. I am receiving 120 out of the neutral bus bar that runs vertically along side of the circuit switches. 120 only present when either of the switches for the transformers (primary and/or chlorinator) are turned on. While they are off and only the the main switch for the pump is on, I do not have 120 running from the bus bar. Having the switches on for the primary and chlorinator transformers causes 120 to run through the bus bar and all the neutral lines, including the ones running to my pool light. The wires for the transformers are as follows: Primary = black to circuit, violet to neutral bus bar, yellow capped off. Chlorinator = black & yellow combined into circuit, violet and white each separately to the neutral bus bar. Only other wires connected to neutral bus bar are neutral running to pool light (presently no connection of pool light wires) and white neutral to 120/12 transformer in.


    I am hesitant to connect my new amerilite to the wires (12v from transformer, ground and neutral) because of the 120 running through the neutral. Also, the control board and display have stopped functioning rendering my chlorinator and pool light relay from operating. I spoke with a pentair tech and he determined after checking voltage from transformer to the board that the board could be bad. I would like to figure out why I am getting 120 from the neutral bus bar before I start looking at replacement of the motherboard.

    Thank you

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Pentair Easytouch 120 from Neutral Bus & Control Panel Stopped Working

    poolbos,

    You may be right, but what you say just does not sound right to me. Please let me know what you are using to make this 120 volt AC measurement?

    Your neutral bar and the ground bar tie together back at the main panel, so if you truly had 120 volts on the neutral bar something would be on fire..

    Please perform the following tests and let me know the results:

    1. Turn off all your EasyTouch circuit breakers in the load center. Make sure the circuit feeding the EasyTouch, from your main CB panel, is on.
    2. Measure between L1 and the neutral bar and tell me what the meter reads.
    3. Measure between L2 and the neutral bar and tell me what the meter reads.
    4. Measure between L1 and L2 and tell me what the meter reads.
    5. Measure between the neutral bar and the ground bar and tell me what the meter reads.
    5. Turn on all the CB's in the EasyTouch and retest the above and let me know what the meter reads.

    Thanks,

    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.

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    Re: Pentair Easytouch 120 from Neutral Bus & Control Panel Stopped Working

    Thanks for your reply Jim. I am using a craftsman 400a AC clamp meter #82372. Testing has been on VAC setting. I tested the neutral line out to the pool light junction box by holding the red on the bare neutral line and the black on the ground which resulted in a 120 reading which got me curious.

    Answers to you questions with breakers all off:

    2 - 116.7
    3 - 114.4
    4 - 238
    5 - 0.11

    With all breakers on:

    2 - .053
    3 - 238
    4 - 238
    5 - 122

    A couple side notes:

    When I kicked off only the breakers for the primary transformer and the chlorinator #2 above results in a testing of 120.

    Also, on the topic of the display/control panel not turning on, I tested the 6 incoming wires by disconnecting the connection of the primary transformer into the mother board. I did this with all breakers on and VAC with the craftsman, results ranged from .010 - .016 depending on color, red/blue/orange. I used the black against the striped exposed metal and red against solid exposed metal for the corresponding color.

    Thanks again Jim and I look forward to your response.

    Dan

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Pentair Easytouch 120 from Neutral Bus & Control Panel Stopped Working

    Dan,

    Let's focus on only one thing and see where that gets us.. With the EasyTouch's breakers on, you say that L1 reads basically zero volts. The only way that can happen is for the wire between the ET and your Main CB panel to have very high resistance (unlikely, but possible) or more likely that the Circuit Breaker that feeds the ET has high internal resistance. If me, I'd replace that CB and see where we are.

    Basically, when the CB has high internal resistance without any real load applied, the meter will read the potential voltage. In this case 120 volts. But when a load is applied, as when your turn on your SWG or panel transformer, all the voltage is dropped across the internal resistance and for the lack of a better technical explanation, there is none left to power the transformers.

    Another thing to try, with the main power to the ET OFF.. tighten the lugs on both the L1, L2, and neutral connections at both the ET and at the pool CB in the Main Panel.

    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.

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    Re: Pentair Easytouch 120 from Neutral Bus & Control Panel Stopped Working

    Thanks Jim. I follow what your saying. I'll try both of your suggestions and report back later today.

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    Re: Pentair Easytouch 120 from Neutral Bus & Control Panel Stopped Working

    Sorry for the delay Jim, I had to leave town for a bit but I am back. I replaced the CB that feeds the ET from my main power supply. I also tightened the connections coming into the ET. No luck. Do you have any other suggestions? Thanks, Dan

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    Re: Pentair Easytouch 120 from Neutral Bus & Control Panel Stopped Working

    Dan,

    After you replaced the CB, did you re-run the tests I suggested? I just need to know for sure that the L1 input drops from 115 VAC to 0 volts when the ET's circuit breakers are on.

    Do you know if the power from your main panel goes directly from the main panel to the EasyTouch, or does it go through some junction box somewhere?

    How does the power get to your EasyTouch? Is it all in the attic, or is it in conduit outside, or is it buried or ???

    I'm puzzled.

    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.

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    Re: Pentair Easytouch 120 from Neutral Bus & Control Panel Stopped Working

    All readings are the same as they were before the new CBs were installed. The main power supplied is only a few feet next to the ET. Conduit runs directly from the power supply CB to the ET without any junction boxes.

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    Re: Pentair Easytouch 120 from Neutral Bus & Control Panel Stopped Working

    Dan,

    You keep making this harder...

    Ok, here is my problem. It is impossible for there to be 120 volts on one end of a wire and have the other end of the wire have zero volts, unless the wire is open. So, if this was my system I'd do the following two things..

    First, I'd turn on all the Circuit breakers so that when you measure L1, it reads zero (or close to it) and L2 reads 120 volts. I would then go to the main CB panel and measure the output of the CB feeding the EasyTouch. If both outputs read 120 volts, then the wire has to be open.

    Next, I would temporarily run a new cable from the main panel to the EasyTouch and see what happens.

    Sorry to say, but other than that, I'm flat out of ideas..

    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.

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    Re: Pentair Easytouch 120 from Neutral Bus & Control Panel Stopped Working

    Thanks Jim. Let's see if this feedback triggers any thoughts....

    The test I performed with L1 reading zero with the circuit breakers on was with me using the neutral bar, not the ground bar. When I use the ground bar and L1 with Cb on I get 120. Both sides of L1 and the CB at the power supply read 120. In my limited knowledge of electronic I am guessing that 120 on the neutral bar end and 120 on the L1 would read zero?

    The neutral bar seems to only get 120 when the primary transformer and/or the chlorinator transformers CB are on. When I remove the wiring from each of the transformers from the neutral bar and turn the CBs on for each of them, the 120 on the neutral bar goes away. These wires are the purple for the primary transformer and the blue and white from the chlorinator transformer. As soon as I plus one of the wires or both from the chlorinator transformer (blue and/or white) back in it triggers 120 on the neutral bar. Same can be said for when the purple wire is plugged into neutral bar from the primary. Again, the 120 reading comes only with the wires plugged in and the CB on for each of them in the ET. I tested the wires directly when they were unscrewed with the CB on and I'm getting 120 from the wires.

    Is this normal for the transformers to be shooting 120 to the neutral bar? Obviously this is causing 120 to be sent from the bar through each line that is connected to it (i.e. Pool light neutral).

    On a side note I removed and tested the other wires from neutral bar and determined none of them are sending 120 to neutral. Only the transformer wires.

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    Re: Pentair Easytouch 120 from Neutral Bus & Control Panel Stopped Working

    Have you checked to verify the neutral conductor is properly attached at the ET and the main panel? Also, could you post photos of the connections?

    In Ground 20x40 Grecian; 3.5 to 8 depth; 33,000 gallons, Vinyl Liner, Hayward On-Command Automation, EcoStar 3400VSP Pump, Pentair Sand Filter, Hayward Booster Pump, Hayward Phantom Cleaner, Aquarite SWG, Diving Board, Slide, North Carolina

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    Re: Pentair Easytouch 120 from Neutral Bus & Control Panel Stopped Working

    Dan,

    Sorry, but I missed the fact that L1 to ground was 120 volts with the CB's on... I second checking the neural conductor at both ends as recommended by Rick...

    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.

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    Re: Pentair Easytouch 120 from Neutral Bus & Control Panel Stopped Working

    Winner winner!

    I first checked the neutral conductor at the main power supply and noticed that it was connected to the GROUND bus bar not the Neutral Bar. Screwed it in, turned on all the breakers and boom, everything works again. I know I didn't disconnect the neutral conductor and put in on the ground bar so there is one other culprit, my father in law when he was over and I was starting the light install and putting the new transformer in. Now I'm just debating asking him why? Either way it was that simply and in front of my face the whole time. Thanks to both of you for your help.

    Now back to the original project.... new light install. Hoping for no more hiccups.

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    Re: Pentair Easytouch 120 from Neutral Bus & Control Panel Stopped Working

    Glad you got it working.
    I am still a little curious about the main panel. The neutral and ground busses are normally bonded together at the service entrance. Seems like yours must be isolated or the bond is poorly done.

    In Ground 20x40 Grecian; 3.5 to 8 depth; 33,000 gallons, Vinyl Liner, Hayward On-Command Automation, EcoStar 3400VSP Pump, Pentair Sand Filter, Hayward Booster Pump, Hayward Phantom Cleaner, Aquarite SWG, Diving Board, Slide, North Carolina

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    Re: Pentair Easytouch 120 from Neutral Bus & Control Panel Stopped Working

    From what I can tell they are two separate bars. Take a look at the diagram on page 3 (11 of 60 PDF) from the pentair material. The ground runs horizontally on top and neutral vertically next to the CBs. From what I can see they are not connected but I could be wrong.

    http://www.pentairpool.com/pdfs/LoadCenterIG.pdf

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    Re: Pentair Easytouch 120 from Neutral Bus & Control Panel Stopped Working

    Yes in the sub-panel they should be separate. In the main upstream service panel is where they would be connected. Either way the neutral wires should be connected to the neutral buss.
    I was thinking the neutral/ground bond should have held the neutral to 0v for small loads like the transformers.



    In Ground 20x40 Grecian; 3.5 to 8 depth; 33,000 gallons, Vinyl Liner, Hayward On-Command Automation, EcoStar 3400VSP Pump, Pentair Sand Filter, Hayward Booster Pump, Hayward Phantom Cleaner, Aquarite SWG, Diving Board, Slide, North Carolina

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Pentair Easytouch 120 from Neutral Bus & Control Panel Stopped Working

    Rick,

    As you suggested, moving the neutral wire, in the main panel, from the ground bar to the neutral bar would not have fixed the problem by itself.. I suspect that the neutral wire was just not making good contact, which was fixed when the wire was moved.

    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.

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