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Thread: Pentair or Intermatic... or something else for automation?

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    Pentair or Intermatic... or something else for automation?

    I was about ready to pull the trigger on a Pentair Easytouch system with SWCG, until I read more about the ScreenLogic2 software. Apparently, you cannot control this via an Android phone. I can control pretty much the rest of my house with my Android loaded with MobiLinc, and my house wired up with Insteon switches, etc. I can control my whole-house audio with a Squeezebox app that controls two different Squeezebox duet receivers. I can even control my TV and BluRay player with Android apps. But, I don't understand why it's not possible to control such an expensive piece of hardware like an Easytouch or Intellitouch system with an Android.

    So, for someone not needing lighting or landscape lighting automation, what would be a good automation system? I have pretty much all Pentair stuff, so the obvious choice is to stay with them. But, I think their automation system, and other major vendors that have their stuff based on RS485 is so 1990s. Given that microservers can be purchased for less than $100 these days, would it be that hard to incorporate a WiFi and/or Cat5e based system with a standard HTML web server so that you could access the controls via any web browser?

    I've recently seen that Intermatic has put out a somewhat scaled down system that allows one to control multispeed pumps like the Intellitouch via an RS485 connection. Called the MultiWave, it appears to interact with wireless controllers via the Z-wave home automation protocol. Anyone have any experience with the MultiWave products?

    Anyone else frustrated by this? What are the best options here?
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

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    Re: Pentair or Intermatic... or something else for automatio

    There really aren't any mainstream products that do what you want. There are a couple of specialty products with related capabilities, but there are not at all common and we don't know much about them. There are several DIY types working on this kind of thing. Another possibility is to reverse engineer the ScreenLogic2 protocol. I know a couple of people have talked about working on that.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Pentair or Intermatic... or something else for automatio

    It is certainly a shame that EasyTouch or IntelliTouch can't be controlled with and an Android app! According to poolFYI (Pentair's blog), they are not developing for Android...although the post I read was from October, 2011.

    The Jandy iAquaLink has an app for Android. Here is a link to the product description on Zodiac's website: http://www.zodiacpoolsystems.com/Produc ... aLink.aspx

    The Sku for the iAqualink Kit (with board, chip, power center, 4 relays, antenna, and 2 actuators) is IQ904-PS

    If you choose to use AquaLink automation, you will need an IntelliCommII adapter (Sku #: 521109) for your IntelliFlo pump

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    Re: Pentair or Intermatic... or something else for automatio

    Bummer about Pentair. It just seems so easy for them to offer Android support. I'll look into the IntelliCommII adapter kit as it might work with a web-based microserver.

    Cheers...

    Craig
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

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    Re: Pentair or Intermatic... or something else for automatio

    After reading up a bit more, it appears that to access the pool automation system (e.g. the IntelliTouch or EasyTouch), a computer in the house must be running ScreenLogic 2. Is this the same for the Jandy system?

    It seems the best solution would be to have a controller that contains a simple web server. This would allow for access from anywhere (with proper security built in, of course). Any HTML based browser would be able to access the automation system, and it could probably hook into various home automation protocols if needed. It also wouldn't need to have iPhone vs. Android vs. ??? smartphone interfaces. Smartphone access could be done via an HTML browser on the phone. I'm surprised this has not been done yet by the big boys out there, though I can imagine they have other things to worry about.
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

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    Re: Pentair or Intermatic... or something else for automatio

    I have an easytouch system and have considered buying the screenlogic but I just couldn't see that it does enough to justify the cost. I have figured out how to control the easytouch system with my iPhone using insteon controls. The easytouch has what's called an IS4 connector and basically you can control any 4 items on the easytouch by just momentairly shorting pins on this connector. It was pentair that explained this connector to me and said it would work. I have a temperature module that's seperate of the Pentair that gives me 8 monitored temperatures and I use this to monitor temps on my phone. For the pool temp I use a davis weather station.

    My understanding is you need a computer to program but not once it's running. It actually uses Pentair's servers.

    I like the Pentair and I have a lot of automation throughout the house. I also like Insteon and have used Insteon devices for even much of the backyard including the LED pool lights. It's easier to set a program with Insteon and this allows you to connect to standard looking wall switches. Automation should be simple.
    Northeast PA (Mt Cobb) 16,000 gallon in ground salt pool with all Pentair automation and Intelliflo VS pump. Also part of the pool is a two 5-horsepower 3-jet Badujet swim system. For heating we use a 384 sq-ft Heliocol solar pool heating system and additional solar from the 160 sq-ft house solar heating system.

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    Re: Pentair or Intermatic... or something else for automatio

    Jongig:

    Thanks for the info here. I'd love to know more about how you control the EasyTouch via the IS4 connector and Insteon controls. I guess it would be possible to control the state of these shorting pins by connecting them to something like an EZIO4 or something. As I also have an ISY99i, I was thinking about using that and an ethernet->RS485 bridge to control the EasyTouch via its RS485 port. There is some code for this on the ISY99i forum. I guess it might be possible to use the ISY99i's network module to communicate with the EasyTouch by capturing the commands from the ScreenLogic system. Other than rolling my own controller with an ethernet-enabled Arduino or something, this probably makes the most sense.

    BTW, where did you hear that the ScreenLogic system connects up to Pentair-based servers? If so, does the iPhone app also connect into Pentair, or does it connect to the local router?

    Thanks again!
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

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    Re: Pentair or Intermatic... or something else for automatio

    I used the I/O linc #2450 in momentary mode with the ISY99i. My issue was not that I wanted to control the pump from the Internet but just from the pool. The pump pad is about 35 feet from the pool and I hated walking back and fourth. I've since connected the IS4 and disconnected the I/O Linc because I didn't ask if they were compatible together. I can't see that they wouldn't be but I also didn't think I'd need the control by Interent. When you want to vacuum you need to turn the pump on/off and I hated the extra steps.

    I really like your rs-485 bridge idea because I don't like the use of their servers to control my equipment. I already use several rs-485 bridges but they all carry web pages built for the application. I contacted Pentair and talked to them about how their unit works and they did it this way to make it easy for the average homeowner. My Davis weather station works this way and I don't like it but nothing you can do. I don't have the expertise to program a bridge but if you do I'd help financially if you needed it. I only have a pool so a lot of the nearly $400 would be a waste of money with the Pentair adapter. I also can see temperatures for everything and I can see the weather. I also have full PTZ Samsung cameras around the house so I can actually see everything.

    I really enjoy automation and I have a lot of it in our house and the insteon network really helps. The easytouch is very capable but you have to wrap your head around Pentair's programming. They leave out things like what's the 5 on the screen stand for and then you have to find it in the manual. The 5 stands for minutes but you think it's seconds and then nothing works right for 5 minutes while the pump is stuck in priming mode. This happened to me and it took me an hour to figure out this one mistake I made. If the system status would say "in priming mode" it would be easy to diagnose.

    Sorry so long...
    Northeast PA (Mt Cobb) 16,000 gallon in ground salt pool with all Pentair automation and Intelliflo VS pump. Also part of the pool is a two 5-horsepower 3-jet Badujet swim system. For heating we use a 384 sq-ft Heliocol solar pool heating system and additional solar from the 160 sq-ft house solar heating system.

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    Re: Pentair or Intermatic... or something else for automatio

    One part I might have not been clear about. The IS4 is a remote 4 button momentary switch that connects to the easytouch IS4 block connector. The block connector is 6 wires but uses 5 for switching and one for a LED light, one ground and one per button. In the easytouch programming you can program each button to do anything. I first connected the I/O linc to ground and one switch wire i.e. number 1. I then set the I/O link for momentary and named it filter pump. When I accessed the ISy99 I would turn it on or off at will.
    Northeast PA (Mt Cobb) 16,000 gallon in ground salt pool with all Pentair automation and Intelliflo VS pump. Also part of the pool is a two 5-horsepower 3-jet Badujet swim system. For heating we use a 384 sq-ft Heliocol solar pool heating system and additional solar from the 160 sq-ft house solar heating system.

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    Re: Pentair or Intermatic... or something else for automatio

    I saw the multi-wave system from intermatic. I like the price but I'm not sure if it's talking to a variable speed pump over RS485 can it still control 5 loads? I have ISY-99i as well and trying to figure out how to control the pool/spa equipment. I dont have any poo/spa automation yet. Can iSY-99i control the multi-wave over a network Z-wave access-point?
    In the pool business and finally succumbed to building a pool....

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    Re: Pentair or Intermatic... or something else for automatio

    Quote Originally Posted by blakej
    It is certainly a shame that EasyTouch or IntelliTouch can't be controlled with and an Android app! According to poolFYI (Pentair's blog), they are not developing for Android...although the post I read was from October, 2011.

    The Jandy iAquaLink has an app for Android. Here is a link to the product description on Zodiac's website: http://www.zodiacpoolsystems.com/Produc ... aLink.aspx

    The Sku for the iAqualink Kit (with board, chip, power center, 4 relays, antenna, and 2 actuators) is IQ904-PS

    If you choose to use AquaLink automation, you will need an IntelliCommII adapter (Sku #: 521109) for your IntelliFlo pump
    The latest Jandy systems communicate with the Intelliflo pumps without the need of an IntelliComm. I use the iAqualink and it works perefectly on any web connected computer. I use an iPhone so have no first hand experience on Android.
    22K 18x36 in ground concrete pool. Intelliflo VF, Hayward cartridge filter, Zodiac Tri salt chlorinator with pH control, Rola Chem oRP chlorine dosing. Polaris power stream and deck jets with separate Intelliflo VS. Heattseeker solar heating. Jandy Aqualink.

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    Re: Pentair or Intermatic... or something else for automatio

    Quote Originally Posted by mcoccia
    The latest Jandy systems communicate with the Intelliflo pumps without the need of an IntelliComm. I use the iAqualink and it works perefectly on any web connected computer. I use an iPhone so have no first hand experience on Android.
    Hey, that's interesting! I'll look into that.
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

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    Re: Pentair or Intermatic... or something else for automatio

    Quote Originally Posted by jongig
    One part I might have not been clear about. The IS4 is a remote 4 button momentary switch that connects to the easytouch IS4 block connector. The block connector is 6 wires but uses 5 for switching and one for a LED light, one ground and one per button. In the easytouch programming you can program each button to do anything. I first connected the I/O linc to ground and one switch wire i.e. number 1. I then set the I/O link for momentary and named it filter pump. When I accessed the ISy99 I would turn it on or off at will.
    Ah, that makes sense. So you are in effect bypassing the IS4 remote to control the functions it can regulate. That's an interesting thought. My idea was to snoop on the RS485 line downstream of the ScreenLogic2 interface, as it is really just an ethernet to RS485 converter with some code (e.g. to hold the serial number, etc). I guess I don't understand the WAN infrastructure, but the LAN connection makes sense. A computer running the ScreenLogic2 program accesses the SL2 interface, and the interface converts code from ethernet packets into RS485 binary code that runs through the COM port on the EasyTouch/IntelliTouch panel. I've seen some of the code on another website and some C programming examples and it doesn't look that complicated. Connecting an RS485 snooper to that same RS485 communications line should reveal any additional commands sent by the EasyTouch/IntelliTouch or by ScreenLogic2. Using this info, and perhaps info regarding the ethernet packets sent, it should be possible to figure out how to send control packets to the SL2 interface via the networking module in the ISY99i. If I can't figure out the network communications between the SL2 and the SL2 interface, then I could probably just do this with an extra ethernet to RS485 converter, though this is not as elegant. As a last resort, Pentair does sell a protocol converter, but I believe its functionality is somewhat limited and it seems the least elegant approach.

    The issue for me at the moment is time. I've considered "rolling my own" controller using a programmable microserver and Arduino type modules. Again, this would be time consuming. Perhaps the cheapest bet would be to purchase an iPod Touch or iPad to provide remote control. But, I really like the idea of being able to remotely control the system via my Android. It sure would be great to turn on spa mode while I drive home so that it's all ready to go when we get home!
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

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    Re: Pentair or Intermatic... or something else for automatio

    Quote Originally Posted by H2Ocare
    I saw the multi-wave system from intermatic. I like the price but I'm not sure if it's talking to a variable speed pump over RS485 can it still control 5 loads? I have ISY-99i as well and trying to figure out how to control the pool/spa equipment. I dont have any poo/spa automation yet. Can iSY-99i control the multi-wave over a network Z-wave access-point?
    I don't believe the ISY99i can do Z-wave natively, but it can communicate with a Vera3 or VeraLite controller , and that does do Z-wave.

    http://shop.micasaverde.com/index.php/vera-1.html

    It would be nice if Universal Devices would put out a module to control Z wave devices natively, but it would still need some hardware to transceive Z-wave commands. The ISY99i connects up to Insteon via an Insteon power line modem (PLM).
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

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    Re: Pentair or Intermatic... or something else for automatio

    I communicated with someone on that other site who has some of the code.

    If you were to set up an IS4 button to say spa on/off and that's what you needed my idea would work for you. You're right to say it's not as nice and for me I have another issue. Last year I lost two pumps and never figured out why they melted. I'm hoping I have no issues with my new intelliflo but I worry about it. I'd like to be able to check the status of everything and for this reason alone I'm considering the adapter. I also don't like the third party server involvement because I have a static IP and very extensive network. I understand they do this to make the changing IP's most people have a non-issue since the adapter will keep contact with their server. My opinion is that it's additional traffic on my network I don't need. My second option is to add a PTZ camera in that area so I can actually see everything. I have a fixed camera that see's the area but is not a PTZ.
    Northeast PA (Mt Cobb) 16,000 gallon in ground salt pool with all Pentair automation and Intelliflo VS pump. Also part of the pool is a two 5-horsepower 3-jet Badujet swim system. For heating we use a 384 sq-ft Heliocol solar pool heating system and additional solar from the 160 sq-ft house solar heating system.

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    Re: Pentair or Intermatic... or something else for automatio

    BTW, where did you hear that the ScreenLogic system connects up to Pentair-based servers? If so, does the iPhone app also connect into Pentair, or does it connect to the local router?
    Craig,

    The SL2 registers with Homelogic home automation when it starts up. It doesn't require port forwarding on your router because it phones home to kep the connection open. iOS devices connect through the Homelogic gateway server when away from your LAN or over your WiFi when in local mode. I'm not real happy about the setup because it relies on their servers being available. If Homelogic decides to stop the service then you have a paper weight. The SL2 was developed by Homelogic and Pentair.

    I'm currently trying to reverse engineer the Easytouch control protocol on the Rs485 bus and would be interested exchanging information.

    Mark
    Pool completed in the fall of 2008.
    Landmark's pool build

    Freeform 26' x 45' IG gunite, 4' to 8' deep, 29,500 gallons, WetEdge PearlMatrix Tropical Mystic, Freeform 8' X 11' Ultimate 16 jet spa, 38' moss rock weeping wall and 3 waterfalls,

    4 pumps (Intelliflo 4X160 filter pump, WhisperFlo 3HP spa pump, Pentair 2 1/2HP WaterFall pump, cleaner booster), EasyTouch 8 controls, Quad DE 100 filter, MasterTemp 400K heater, Pentair Legend Platinum cleaner, 995 sqft. Sundek.

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    Re: Pentair or Intermatic... or something else for automatio

    Mark, I've recently installed an EasyTouch. A company called Autelis is now making an RS485<->Ethernet bridge that can connect up to an ISY99i or ISY994i to control the Intellitouch. They are also working on a way to control the EasyTouch. Since I've already got the ISY99i in place to control our home automation stuff, this is a natural. The Autelis system includes both the RS485<->Ethernet bridge and all of the interface info (that runs on the ISY99i) to handle the control of the system from any web browser, including iOS and Android phones/tablets. It would be nice if someone had a single box that could handle the control of the Intellitouch/Easytouch and also act as a webserver. Seems like the route to go, as most stuff being made for computers these days (e.g. printers, NAS drives, routers) have small web servers that can be controlled via HTML. In any event, if you want to do home automation, then the ISY994i/Autelis approach might be worth looking into.
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: Pentair or Intermatic... or something else for automatio

    Quote Originally Posted by blakej
    It is certainly a shame that EasyTouch or IntelliTouch can't be controlled with and an Android app! According to poolFYI (Pentair's blog), they are not developing for Android...although the post I read was from October, 2011.

    The Jandy iAquaLink has an app for Android. Here is a link to the product description on Zodiac's website: http://www.zodiacpoolsystems.com/Produc ... aLink.aspx

    The Sku for the iAqualink Kit (with board, chip, power center, 4 relays, antenna, and 2 actuators) is IQ904-PS

    If you choose to use AquaLink automation, you will need an IntelliCommII adapter (Sku #: 521109) for your IntelliFlo pump
    With AquaLink RS Rev O or newer or PDA Rev 4.0 or newer, you may run your comm wires direct to the pcb without needing the Intellicom II. Yellow to pin 2 and green to pin 3 on your RS485 terminal.

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Pentair or Intermatic... or something else for automatio

    So, as you can see from another post, I ended up going with the EasyTouch. I did so primarily because I wanted to get a large SWCG, and the EasyTouch had a model that included one. It will communicate with my Android (or any other web browser) via an Autelis module (an ethernet->RS485 bridge). I didn't realize it, but the Autelis module also acts as a web server, so it can function independently from my ISY home automation/web server. And the two can talk to each other via HTML strings. This is great because our home has a large number of Insteon controls. Being able to integrate the pool into our HA setup is going to be very cool.

    BTW, my philosophy regarding pool automation has changed. Originally, I thought the best way forward was to have a web-based server that would itself control the pool pumps, valves, chlorinator, heater, etc. Now, I think that a dedicated sub-panel like the EasyTouch is the way to go. It makes for much neater high voltage wiring, has a dedicated computer that handles the pool functions, and is well known by the pool industry. Communication via a standardized interface like RS485 is perfect because it simply adds to the functionality of the dedicated pool automation system. It would be particularly cool if the pool industry could come up with a standardized protocol like MIDI, a protocol that is used by the music instrument industry. In the time before MIDI, keyboard makers had their own proprietary protocols that limited the industry and artists alike. Once MIDI came along, the industry literally exploded with all sorts of new devices and approaches. For pools, a MIDI like protocol would likely make automation much more broadly distributed, enhance serviceability (with a variety of diagnostic codes transmitted over the RS485 bus), and allow for pool builders to chose the best equipment needed for each installation. Apparently, Zodiac/Jandy and Intermatic can now talk to Intelliflo pumps. So, reverse engineering is quite doable. But, what's the point? If the small number of equipment vendors could simply come to an agreement on a common open-source automation protocol, they would find a significant benefit to the industry and increase the number of adopters.

    I'm pretty tech savy, so it surprised me at how much digging I had to do to find an automation scheme that would serve my needs. Deciding on an automation system shouldn't be that hard, esp. to those that are not as technologically proficient. Many just want to minimize the hassles associated with pool ownership. Come on Pentair, Jandy, Hayward, Intermatic... let's make this easier!

    Okay, I'll get off my soapbox now.
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

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