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Thread: Installing Intellichem flow cell

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    Installing Intellichem flow cell

    I am about to install an Intellichem flow cell and would appreciate some advice. My Intellichem unit has no pumps -it will control a separate peristaltic pump with an injector installed in the return line after all pool equipment, so I am using the sensor outlet ONLY as the return from the flow cell and not injecting acid via the flow cell return.

    The manual says to install the inlet tube ('supply line') for the flow cell after the filter and before the heater, with the outlet ('discharge') returning in after the heater. It also says that "It is essential that the supply line be at a higher pressure than the discharge line so the water will flow through the cell at a steady rate in the right direction'.

    In my case, I have no heater, only a couple of three-way valves currently installed to pipe stubs to allow installation of solar heating in the future. If I follow these instructions and install the supply line after the filter and before the unused solar valves in the pool return line, with the discharge installed on the other side of the valves, then the supply and the discharge for the flow cell are basically going to be about 2 feet apart on what amounts to a straight run of pipe. Even after I connect up the solar pipe runs, this will still be the case any time the solar is valved off (summer - too hot). I find it hard to believe that there is going to be much, if any pressure differential.... (?)

    Would it be better to install the supply line after the pump but before the filter, regardless of the manual? Alternatively, would it help to install the discharge a couple of feet further down the return line, after the SWG cell (Intellichlor) (although this gives me more tubing to get in the way/get snagged, which I would rather avoid)? Basically, I guess I am asking what creates sufficient pressure differential between two 3/8-inch holes in a run of pipe.

    As always, sincere thanks to all who respond. I have come to realize that I am apt to post when I have a problem and then get sidetracked once the problem is resolved, without adequately thanking my helpers. Thus, to all who have responded to my posts in the past, a big thank you - your help really was very much appreciated.
    21,500-gallon tiled gunite with 65' infinity edge. Two Intelliflo VS pumps, one for trough one on pool. Pentair 520 cartridge filter on main circuit ,Pentair 200 cartridge filter on edge circuit. Easytouch, Intellichlor 60, Intellichem with external acid pump, Intellibrite 5g lights.

    Testing: Taylor K2006 (with FAS/DPD). Taylor K1766 salt.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Installing Intellichem flow cell

    One common approach is to supply the flow cell from after the filter and return the water to before the pump. That insures you have an appropriate pressure differential. This has some minor disadvantages, as the return before the pump lets air into the pump when priming with the plumbing dry, which makes priming just a little more difficult. However once everything is primed that goes away.

    Another approach would be to plumb the supply before the filter and the return after the filter. However that runs non-filtered water through the cell, which could result in it getting clogged up after a while.

    Your final option is to install a venturi valve after the filter and use the draw from the Venturi as the return from the flow cell, and supply from before the Venturi (after the filter) which gets you the required pressure differential, but adds complexity to the plumbing.
    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: Installing Intellichem flow cell

    Thanks Jason. I guess I was right to be concerned. In my case my pad/lines are below pool water level so air shouldn't be a problem. I'll go and see how this works best with my pipe layout.
    21,500-gallon tiled gunite with 65' infinity edge. Two Intelliflo VS pumps, one for trough one on pool. Pentair 520 cartridge filter on main circuit ,Pentair 200 cartridge filter on edge circuit. Easytouch, Intellichlor 60, Intellichem with external acid pump, Intellibrite 5g lights.

    Testing: Taylor K2006 (with FAS/DPD). Taylor K1766 salt.

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: Installing Intellichem flow cell

    OK - with my layout it would be a lot neater to drill the supply hole in the return line after both the filter and the valves for the solar circuit and before the SWG, with the discharge before the pump. Is that OK? Does taking the supply after the solar circuit rather than before cause any problems?
    21,500-gallon tiled gunite with 65' infinity edge. Two Intelliflo VS pumps, one for trough one on pool. Pentair 520 cartridge filter on main circuit ,Pentair 200 cartridge filter on edge circuit. Easytouch, Intellichlor 60, Intellichem with external acid pump, Intellibrite 5g lights.

    Testing: Taylor K2006 (with FAS/DPD). Taylor K1766 salt.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Installing Intellichem flow cell

    After the solar system should work, but there is one secondary issue. Solar tends to put air in the line when it starts up, so some air will probably get into the flow cell. The flow cell should clear that out fairly quickly, but there could be brief periods when the air interferes with readings or causes a no-flow in the flow cell error back to the controller.
    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: Installing Intellichem flow cell

    Thanks again. All really informative. Will go with your first suggestion and put the supply before the solar circuit.
    21,500-gallon tiled gunite with 65' infinity edge. Two Intelliflo VS pumps, one for trough one on pool. Pentair 520 cartridge filter on main circuit ,Pentair 200 cartridge filter on edge circuit. Easytouch, Intellichlor 60, Intellichem with external acid pump, Intellibrite 5g lights.

    Testing: Taylor K2006 (with FAS/DPD). Taylor K1766 salt.

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    Re: Installing Intellichem flow cell

    Ugh. I was just about to go ahead with this when I read in the Intellichem manual "Avoid installing the outlet before the main pump as the vacuum may damage the chemical sensors". Sooooo, do I need to worry?

    My options seem to be a Venturi, which really isn't possible with my plumbing at this stage and would also seem to be undesirable flow wise (?); to take the supply from before the filter with the return inserted after the filter, which might block up the cell; or to take the supply from after the filter and insert the return before the pump, which might damage the sensors.

    Coming back to my original question, if I install the supply inlet immediately after the filter as per the book, how much further down the return line would the outlet have to be to ensure the necessary pressure differential? After my filter I have a straight run of maybe 3 feet followed by a Hartford loop followed by the SWG. If I put the sensor outlet after the Hartford loop and before the SWG would the bends in the loop help to create the differential?

    Sorry to come back. Since this involves drilling holes in installed pipes I want to be sure I get it right. Hopefully this post and discussion of the options may also help others installing these sensors.
    21,500-gallon tiled gunite with 65' infinity edge. Two Intelliflo VS pumps, one for trough one on pool. Pentair 520 cartridge filter on main circuit ,Pentair 200 cartridge filter on edge circuit. Easytouch, Intellichlor 60, Intellichem with external acid pump, Intellibrite 5g lights.

    Testing: Taylor K2006 (with FAS/DPD). Taylor K1766 salt.

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    MattM's Avatar
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    Re: Installing Intellichem flow cell

    We had a pentair tech out when we installed our intellichem to ensure all was installed properly, and we put the acid/flow return before the SWG and incoming after the filter but before the solar valve. It's worked fine. If you want, I can post a picture.
    24K gallon inground gunite/pebble sheen pool, 34'x16' 4-7.5ft deep, 750sq ft solar, pentair ultratemp, intelliflow vs+, ic60, intellichem w/ acid pump, quad de 100, intellibright 5g, intellitouch i5-3s with Screenlogic2, 3" primary piping - 2.5" at equip pad, auto switched deep heating and main returns, automatic safety cover w/ electronic lock and embedded recessed undertrack, sealed stamped concrete deck, dolphin deluxe 5, started up December 2011.

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    Join Date
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    Re: Installing Intellichem flow cell

    Jason, just built a new pool with pentair intellichem for acid and salt cell. My flow cell supply line was before the pump (which I guess Pentair does not recommend) and the return was after the filter. I had to run the pump at 3200+ rpm to get the flow cell to operate. Then the pool contractor put the return on the quick skim return line to the pool which has a valve in front of the point where the flow cell return is located. If I almost close this valve, I can get the flow cell to operate at 2200 rpm but I was hoping to be able to run the pump at lower rpm as it uses so much less power and I find the flow rate at 1500rpm is 68 gal/hr and at 3200rpm is 80 gal/hr so no reason to run at this higher speed for more than 4 hour/day for the in-floor cleaning system.

    Based on your comments, may it make sense to reverse my flow cell input and output connections and get even better pressure differential? That would be an easy thing to do.

    Thanks,

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