After reading and re-reading, then reading some more, I'm finally getting my automation shopping list together. My confusion is with the Personality Kits, so I'm hoping to get some assistance on buying the correct Personality Kit.
Right now I have a basic pool plus side-spa with a single set of equipment for both bodies of water. Nothing fancy, no water features, no extra pumps or spa blowers, etc. I have a valve for my water supply, a valve for my return, and a valve for my sidewall cleaner (Letro Legend).
My current intentions are to replace my ten year old 1.5HP WhisperFlo pump with a Pentair #011018 VS pump. To help things along, I thought I'd also replace my existing 10-year old Pentair C&C240 (which needs a new set of cartridges and a new lid) with a Pentair Quad 100 DE filter, #188594.
I'm going to automate my chlorination, but with an independently controlled Stenner pump. No SWG, just the Stenner.
Figuring that I'd like to add automation eventually and with the option for the 3-year Pentair warranty on my soon-to-be-purchased equipment, I figured I may as well buy a 3rd Pentair system now and that leads me to asking about automation.
With the way my system is now, I can probably get by with an i5+3 Personality Kit, but I just want to confirm a few things:
--the pool pump will use 1 relay
--the heater will not use a relay, it gets connected by a separate comm cable
--I have two pool lights and one spa light, they are incandescent bulbs. I can join them together and use one relay to control all three lights. Or for now I might put the two pool lights together on one relay and have the spa light controlled separately. When ON they will be ON, no need for me to dim them.
I'll add a third valve actuator #263045 to control the valve for the sidewall cleaner.
Worst case that leaves me with relay #1 for the pump, #2 for pool lights, and #3 for spa light, with relays #4 and #5 not being used.
In the future I'll probably go with Intellibrite LED lights. When I do that, I may as well put the three Intellibrite lights onto individual relays. I believe I read in one of the manuals or on a forum that you need to do that to take advantage of all of the intellibrite options (color swim, etc). When I go that route I'll have #1 Pump, #2 pool light, #3 pool light, #4 spa light, with the #5 relay in reserve.
I do have perimeter lighting around the pool. About 15 light fixtures, one on about every third fence post. Two 10w bulbs per fixture for a total of about 300w of lighting. It does appeal to me to put that lighting on relay so the lights can be turned on and off from inside the house. ON/OFF control will suffice, no need to dim. So that will eventually take up my 5th relay.
Once I get my pool chemistry set, with testing and minor tweaking the water stays good throughout the year. I have no need for Intellichem or Intellichlor. I'm trying to think of what else I might need relays for but I can't think of anything.
As far as future expansion, my understanding is that there is no way to expand the i5+3 with added relays. If I was to need more than five relays I'd have to get another entire Personality Kit (i7+3 for $1000) or open up two relays by ganging up my three intellibrites onto a single relay and lose the "color swim" feature, for whatever that would be worth.
I'd want to control all this through a hardwired Pentair Screen Logic Kit, #520500. From a mac or pc in the house, and also from an itouch or smart phone. I thought I read somewhere that the i5+3 could not interface with a smartphone, or there was some sort of restriction with the i5+3 and you had to go with the i7 or higher kit to get full access. True? False? Old information from a previous software version?
For an extra $450 over the cost of the i5+3 I could future-proof with the two extra relays in the i7+3, but I can't think of anything else I'd really want to automate. Has anyone else out there been caught short of relays? Is there a neat pool/automation feature I'm just not thinking about?
I apologize for the wordiness. When it comes to me figuring out automation, brevity does not appear to be an option!
Here's my shopping list with the i7+3 penciled in:
Pentair IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pump 011018
Pentair Quad D.E. 100 Filter 188594
Pentair IntelliTouch Power Center Enclosure Kit 521216 (subpanel with breakers in basement)
Pentair IntelliTouch i7+3 Pool and Spa Personality Kit 521220
Pentair ScreenLogic Interface Kit 520500 (hardwired)
Pentair Actuator Valve 263045 (for sidewall cleaner)
Pentair IntelliBrite 5g Color LED Spa Light 640121 - 50 Foot Cord
Pentair IntelliBrite 5g Color LED Pool Light 601001 - 50 Foot Cord
Pentair IntelliBrite 5g Color LED Pool Light 601002 - 100 Foot Cord