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Thread: IntellipH Pentair - pH control automatic or Semi-automatic

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    mnittler's Avatar
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    IntellipH Pentair - pH control automatic or Semi-automatic

    Does anyone have any experience with the Pentair IntellipH control system. I was looking at the Pentair website and came across this device. I have not seen very many recent reviews on it. It looks like the device uses timers instead of a pH probe and operates very similar to the SWCG device cells. The more time on the more muriatic acid is dispensed, the less time on the less muriatic acid is pumped into the system. I was planning on cutting the muriatic acid 3:1 with water if possible. The lack of a pH probe is a benefit to me because with no pH probe, there is no pH probe maintenance. I figure that I will check the pH anyway in order to make incremental changes as it is being dialed in but at some point it should be much better than no pH control at all. In my reading it looks like the IntellipH uses the Intellichlor and/or the EasyTouch controller systems which I already have. It also uses the same safeties that the SWCG Intellichlor does. If there is no water flow then the device shuts down. I think another benefit might be that the Intellichlor IC cells can be turned down in increments of 1% instead of the normal 20% using the IntellipH controller. I have a spa connected to the pool so I would also want some kind of interlock to shut the peristaltic chemical pump down when the spa is in use. I don't have one of these yet but maybe someone can shed some light on the subject to solidify my decision? Any comments Pro or Con?
    21,500 gal sport pool, 8' spa, beach, 400k btu LP heater, Pentair IC60 SWG & #300 Tablet Feeder, 60 sqft DE filter, Paramount in-floor PoolValet 3 cleaners, Debris Canister, Polaris 360, Pentair VFD 3hp pump, IntelliPh, Geysers & Turbo Twister Slide w/1 hp pump, Color LED Pool & Spa lights, E-Z Touch8 control system, Wireless controller. Test Kits:TF-100, Taylor K-1004, CYA K-1720, Phosphate K-1106, Salt Water K-1766, Hach CN-39WR.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: pH control automatic or Semi-automatic

    The Pentair IntellipH has gotten fairly good reviews here. Keep in mind that this is what I consider a special situation device, not suitable for most pools. Most pools don't have any need for an acid feed system, as simple adjustments to the various levels will usually eliminate any need for frequent acid additions. However, there are some situations, especially high TA fill water, that can make some form of acid feed worthwhile.

    It is very common to dilute the acid in the feed system tank, 3-1 water to acid is a common dilution, though you can go higher or lower.

    The simplicity of not having a PH probe is a clear advantage in my book. Situations requiring frequent adjustments to the acid feed rate are quite rare, and having a probe just adds complexity unless you really do need frequent rate adjustments.

    If you have an IntelliChlor SWG and do not have a Pentair automation system, the IntelliPH is nice compared to other acid feed systems for the extra control it gives you over the IntelliChlor. However, if you already have an EasyTouch, or any of the Pentair automation systems, you have the same control already. Any Pentair automation system will handle the percentage turn down for the spa, and give you several other advantages without needing an IntelliPH, though that does cost something.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    mnittler's Avatar
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    Re: Pentair IntellipH - pH control automatic or Semi-automat

    Well, we finally cranked up the IntellipH and the SWCG this week. We diluted the acid 3:1 and currently have the IntellipH setting at 90% and it is not keeping up with the acid demand with the filter pump running 14 hours. The IntellipH only runs when the pool pump and flow switch on the IC60 is on. This is a new plaster pool also. We added 6 cups additional Muriatic acid to the pool to help out the pH a little. With the next batch of acid mix, I will try 2:1 and see how that works. Does a new plaster gunite pool require additional acid for awhile?
    21,500 gal sport pool, 8' spa, beach, 400k btu LP heater, Pentair IC60 SWG & #300 Tablet Feeder, 60 sqft DE filter, Paramount in-floor PoolValet 3 cleaners, Debris Canister, Polaris 360, Pentair VFD 3hp pump, IntelliPh, Geysers & Turbo Twister Slide w/1 hp pump, Color LED Pool & Spa lights, E-Z Touch8 control system, Wireless controller. Test Kits:TF-100, Taylor K-1004, CYA K-1720, Phosphate K-1106, Salt Water K-1766, Hach CN-39WR.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pentair IntellipH - pH control automatic or Semi-automat

    Yes, fresh plaster requires large amounts of acid for the first three or four weeks, and smaller quantities for up to a year after that. A normally sized acid feed system is not expected to be able to keep up during the first three or four weeks after fresh plaster is applied.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    mnittler's Avatar
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    Re: Pentair IntellipH - pH control automatic or Semi-automat

    I currently have the IntellipH set at 90 % and use 2 parts water to 1 part acid and it seems to be keeping up with the acid demand (this is still a relatively new pool surface).
    I have also cut down my pump filter time to 12 hours during the day and 1 hour at 4:00am just to stir up the water and run the skimmers.
    21,500 gal sport pool, 8' spa, beach, 400k btu LP heater, Pentair IC60 SWG & #300 Tablet Feeder, 60 sqft DE filter, Paramount in-floor PoolValet 3 cleaners, Debris Canister, Polaris 360, Pentair VFD 3hp pump, IntelliPh, Geysers & Turbo Twister Slide w/1 hp pump, Color LED Pool & Spa lights, E-Z Touch8 control system, Wireless controller. Test Kits:TF-100, Taylor K-1004, CYA K-1720, Phosphate K-1106, Salt Water K-1766, Hach CN-39WR.

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    mnittler's Avatar
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    IntellipH Pentair - pH control automatic or Semi-automat

    I have now had the IntellipH running for 7 weeks after a new pool construction. I have the acid solution now with no water added and set at 100%. I run the filter pump for 12 hours and still have to add 1/2 gallon of acid directly to the pool per week to maintain the pH at 7.4. The IntellipH logic is to dispense acid once per hour for 0-100 % of 30 seconds which makes the run time 0-30 seconds per hour. My IC-60 is set to 40% and maintains the chlorine quite well. The Chlorine level is staying around 3.5 and the pH is 7.4. My CYA level is 40. Pool was filled January 14th, 2013 and the IntelliChlor and IntellipH was turned on February 4th. I have emailed Pentair and talked to them to see if the programming could be changed to 30 minute cycles instead of 60 minute cycles and they said that the 60 minute setting could not be changed. (Change the acid pump run times to twice per hour instead of once per hour would be my request) Changing the off cycle would be a simple fix to my particular problem of not being able to add enough acid to keep up with my acid demand. This would also give the user a place to move the setting up or down from a mid point instead of being at the maximum. I do believe the IntellipH principle is correct of just being a timed setting very similar to the Intellichlor but my problem is the amount of time the pump is off. I believe I am being generous at a 12 hour filter time instead of my target time of 6-8 hours in order to cut down on electricity cost. With the IntellipH setting at 100% the pH continues to climb by 0.1 pH each day. My pool is not enclosed so the sun does shine on it down here in South Texas. It is not even summer yet. One of the Pentair customer service representatives said that it sounded like the unit was working properly and it must be my water chemistry.
    Salt 3400
    cya 40
    pH 7.4
    Chlorine 3.5
    TA 100 (Fill water TA is 280)
    Phosphate 125 ppb
    Ca Hardness 520 (Incoming water is 250 so a little extra hardness came from somewhere) (Maybe new plaster, evaporation, the Calcium Hypochlorite the PB poured in during the 1st month)
    Water Temperature 72F
    Langelier Saturation Index 0.02 (Calculator on Pentair's own website)
    If these pool numbers are terrible then I don't know where to go from here.

    To me it is a simple FIX: just dispense acid twice per hour or change brands of dispensers. Not to mention running a acid dispenser with straight muriatic acid is more of a death sentence to the acid pump system than a diluted acid system?
    I might have to just cut my loses and maybe go with the Hayward Sense & Dispense system (15 gallon tank). I would rather just run a timer system similar to the IntellipH logic so it would be impossible to have the pH just go wild if there is a probe problem. If I were designing the IntellipH system I would have allowed the off timer to be modified (maybe just number of cycles per hour) and have an option for a larger acid tank. I course that is just me, a user.
    21,500 gal sport pool, 8' spa, beach, 400k btu LP heater, Pentair IC60 SWG & #300 Tablet Feeder, 60 sqft DE filter, Paramount in-floor PoolValet 3 cleaners, Debris Canister, Polaris 360, Pentair VFD 3hp pump, IntelliPh, Geysers & Turbo Twister Slide w/1 hp pump, Color LED Pool & Spa lights, E-Z Touch8 control system, Wireless controller. Test Kits:TF-100, Taylor K-1004, CYA K-1720, Phosphate K-1106, Salt Water K-1766, Hach CN-39WR.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pentair IntellipH - pH control automatic or Semi-automat

    Why are you trying to maintain PH at 7.4? That is quite low. The lower you maintain the PH the more acid it takes to maintain the PH and the more quickly TA drifts down. Aiming for a PH of 7.7 would use dramatically less acid.

    You also want to keep TA lower than 100. High TA levels also increase the rate at which PH increases. Lowering TA to the 60 to 70 range would make things simpler. Of course this isn't always possible if you have high TA fill water.

    Using straight acid isn't really a problem for the pump, but it does make opening the tank to refill it more challenging. It also means more of a mess when the pump tube or feed tube breaks and acid pours out on things (which tends to happen eventually).
    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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    mnittler's Avatar
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    Re: IntellipH Pentair - pH control automatic or Semi-automat

    I had the pH at 7.6 and the PB came out to change the pool light and checked the water chemistry. He made a remark that the pH was too high and told me to add 1 quart of acid to lower the pH. He also documented the pool chemistry numbers for the 3 year full warrantee PB document. I figured 7.4 was a good compromise. After all I had the IntellipH set to 100%.
    21,500 gal sport pool, 8' spa, beach, 400k btu LP heater, Pentair IC60 SWG & #300 Tablet Feeder, 60 sqft DE filter, Paramount in-floor PoolValet 3 cleaners, Debris Canister, Polaris 360, Pentair VFD 3hp pump, IntelliPh, Geysers & Turbo Twister Slide w/1 hp pump, Color LED Pool & Spa lights, E-Z Touch8 control system, Wireless controller. Test Kits:TF-100, Taylor K-1004, CYA K-1720, Phosphate K-1106, Salt Water K-1766, Hach CN-39WR.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: IntellipH Pentair - pH control automatic or Semi-automat

    You might as well keep the warranty gods appeased, though it is in every other way a bad idea.

    The IntelliChlor manual says PH not higher than 7.8 and helpfully points out that this is within APSP standards. We recommend 7.5 to 7.8, and closer to 7.8 than 7.5. The IntelliPH, on the other hand, recommends 7.2 to 7.4, without explaining why.
    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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    mnittler's Avatar
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    Re: IntellipH Pentair - pH control automatic or Semi-automat

    Well, I finally got another call from customer service at Pentair and after talking about the minimum acid injection situation he informed me that Pentair would not change the programming from 30 seconds to 60 seconds every hour at 100% setting for just 1 person. I would be extremely happy with just a 45 second timer instead of the 30 second timer. He said that they had sold 1000's of the IntellipH's with no complaints. (I doubt that) I have not personally run into anyone that actually has and IntellipH (not IntelliChem) but me. I do like the concept of using the timers (just like the IntelliChlor) and no pH probe to mess with for minimum maintenance. It actually works just fine but just a little short on acid dispensing for my pool application. That got me to wondering just how many IntellipH's are really out there? I would like to here from anyone who has the IntellipH (or knows someone with one) not the IntelliChem, salt water pool with SWCG, and has a pool over 20,000 gallons to see if it is suppling enough HCl to the pool to maintain the pH at an acceptable level. The Pentair representative informed me that the decision was made to keep the acid injection to a minimum so someone could not actually set the dispenser high enough to actually damage to the pool plaster. I guess there is no such thing as personal responsibility. He said that the intention was that you would have to occasionally add acid manually. I am thinking oh, that is why I purchased an automatic acid dispensing system so I would have to manually add acid to the pool anyway? That reasoning would be like having a SWCG and having to add chlorine to the pool every week instead of just increasing the SWCG on time. I will say one thing, I installed the IntellipH acid injector in the pvc pipe before the SWCG cell and after 5 months I removed the SWCG cell and there was zero scale on the plates. I as most? pool owners also watch my water chemistry fairly often. The Pentair representative said that he was not all of Pentair and he was only one person. To me, since he was the one talking to me, he is the face of Pentair. I just thought that Pentair would be interested in issues/concerns with some of their equipment and would at least listen, but my mistake.
    21,500 gal sport pool, 8' spa, beach, 400k btu LP heater, Pentair IC60 SWG & #300 Tablet Feeder, 60 sqft DE filter, Paramount in-floor PoolValet 3 cleaners, Debris Canister, Polaris 360, Pentair VFD 3hp pump, IntelliPh, Geysers & Turbo Twister Slide w/1 hp pump, Color LED Pool & Spa lights, E-Z Touch8 control system, Wireless controller. Test Kits:TF-100, Taylor K-1004, CYA K-1720, Phosphate K-1106, Salt Water K-1766, Hach CN-39WR.

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    Re: IntellipH Pentair - pH control automatic or Semi-automat

    I recently installed an IntellipH and have the same problem as mnittler... the Intelliph at the 100% setting is not adding sufficient acid to maintain the pool pH at 7.8. My pool has an infinity edge, waterfall, and fill water with a high pH that all contribute to a rapid rise in pH. I would have to increase my pump run time from the current 6 hours/day to around 12 hours/day just to satisfy the IntellipH's stingy acid metering. That would mean a big jump in my electric bill and a shortened pump life.

    I ran into the same brick wall when speaking with the Pentair service tech. His words, "the IntellipH works fine for 99.9 percent of our customers, so we are not going to update the software." I'm shocked by their attitude that 99.9% is good enough. I'm a electronics engineer, and I've always designed products to work 100% of the time, not 99.9%. Changing the IntellipH to dispense acid every 30 minutes instead of 60 minutes would require very little effort on their part.

    Steve
    21,000 ga plaster pool with infinity edge.
    Pentair Easy Touch controller, IntelliChlor, IntellipH.
    Pentair 3hp VS pool pump, Pentair 1.5hp single speed pump for infinity edge.
    Rooftop solar.

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    Re: IntellipH Pentair - pH control automatic or Semi-automat

    What strength acid are you using in your tank? I have a newly installed unit in a new pool and it is keeping up fine at about 30% running 10 hours/day. My installer filled with 35% strength undiluted acid. Nothing has melted (yet). I called Pentair and they were unable to tell me what % to use. Has your situation gotten any better?

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    Re: IntellipH Pentair - pH control automatic or Semi-automat

    Quote Originally Posted by remotedoug View Post
    What strength acid are you using in your tank? I have a newly installed unit in a new pool and it is keeping up fine at about 30% running 10 hours/day. My installer filled with 35% strength undiluted acid. Nothing has melted (yet). I called Pentair and they were unable to tell me what % to use. Has your situation gotten any better?
    I'm using 31.5% acid and the IntellipH works fine using it full strength.

    My pool is about 8 month old now and the water chemistry seems to have stabilized at bit, so the pH is rising at a slower rate. Increasing my pump run time to 8 hours a day, with the IntellipH set at 100%, the pH is holding steady at 7.8.
    21,000 ga plaster pool with infinity edge.
    Pentair Easy Touch controller, IntelliChlor, IntellipH.
    Pentair 3hp VS pool pump, Pentair 1.5hp single speed pump for infinity edge.
    Rooftop solar.

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    Re: IntellipH Pentair - pH control automatic or Semi-automat

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve_K View Post
    I'm using 31.5% acid and the IntellipH works fine using it full strength.

    My pool is about 8 month old now and the water chemistry seems to have stabilized at bit, so the pH is rising at a slower rate. Increasing my pump run time to 8 hours a day, with the IntellipH set at 100%, the pH is holding steady at 7.8.
    Following the advice of a number of experienced users here, I figured I'd run my pump a little longer at a lower speed to allow for enough chlorine generation and acid injection. I run 9-11am @ 2500rpm, 11a-5p @ 1100rpm, then 8p-10p @ 2500rpm again. This (for me - I know we are all different) keeps my chems in check and lets my skimmer & vac do thier job.
    Owner-Builder, 13,500 IG StoneScapes Mini Pebble (Aqua White), Pentair 160301 Cartridge Filter, Intellichlor IC40, Intelli pH system, Intelliflo VS pump, Startup 2/26/2015

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    FriendswoodDoug
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    Re: IntellipH Pentair - pH control automatic or Semi-automat

    I am also having trouble maintaining my pH below 7.8 with the intellipH system also. I have the acid flow set at 100%, the SWG at 40-60% for a FC level of 2-3 and I run my pump about 8 hours a day. I would really like another option to control than running the pump longer. My CYA is at 40, would raising that help? TA is 70. Borate at 40-50. Salt at 3600. Any ideas? the pump requires a 24V DC power supply so I was thinking of rigging that up on a timer instead of using the intelliHpH but I'm not in the mood....

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    DaninFLA's Avatar
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    Re: IntellipH Pentair - pH control automatic or Semi-automatic

    how old is your pool? CYA isn't going to have an impact on your pH. might want to consider lowering your TA even further to slow down your pH rise, assuming its not from fresh plaster
    Dan
    9,000 gallon in-ground Saltwater pool, plaster, cartridge filer, 1.0 hp pump, Hayward T-15 SWCG, TF-100
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