Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: DIY Automation?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    32

    DIY Automation?

    Hey all,
    I've got a decent enough intellitouch setup here at my current home, but we are moving in a few months and the new pool is ~20yrs old with no automation at all. I plan to replace the old pump with a new variable speed one, rejuvinate teh solar panels, upgrade the filter, put in a heat pump (the house is all electric except the pool heater), swap in color changing LEDs, and maybe add some landscape lighting.
    From what I've seen, my current (and familiar) pentair automation system could handle all of that, but it also seems as if you *have* to pay someone else to do some of the programming. Are there any automation systems out there that can be completely DIY, including firmware upgrades etc?
    My current intellitouch system seems very flexible but I can't make significant changes unless I'm willing to pay someone else to program it, but as a programmer/engineer myself I'd really rather not be held hostage to a service company if I can do it myself.

    Thanks
    Darren
    ~20K gallon freeform w/attached spa
    Pentair 4x160 pump
    Pentair Mastertemp 400K BTU heater
    Intellitouch i7+3 controller
    Intellichlor IC40

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: DIY Automation?

    If you don't mind dealing with things like firmware, you can certainly handle programming a Pentair automation system. A DIY automation system can be a lot of fun, but unless you are extremely careful and through it will end up costing more and being less reliable. Of course if you go DIY you can set it up to do exactly what you want it to do.
    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

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: DIY Automation?

    The Easy touch system can be programmed from the panel. I installed one myself with an intelliflo, intelliclhlor, and a color changing led without any professional help. The manual seems to assume that you have previous experience and leaves a lot to be desired, but if you mess with the panel long enough you shouldn't have too much trouble figuring it out.
    8.5k gallon IG pebble sheen play pool with Intellitouch control, Intellifo VF, IC 20, Rainbow tab feeder (not currently in use), Pentaire mystery cartridge filter with labels faded to the point I have no idea on the model, Intellibrite 5g LED light, Hayward Navigator. Adding IntelliPh and Crestron control next.

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Valrico, FL
    Posts
    536

    Re: DIY Automation?

    Something half way between a commercial pool automation system and a complete DIY setup is to use a low cost PLC or programmable controller.
    7,500 gal, IG pool, L shape 22' x 15', 1.5 hp pump, cartridge filter, AquaPlus SWG/Controller, Pebble-Tec liner.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    32

    Re: DIY Automation?

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    If you don't mind dealing with things like firmware, you can certainly handle programming a Pentair automation system. A DIY automation system can be a lot of fun, but unless you are extremely careful and through it will end up costing more and being less reliable. Of course if you go DIY you can set it up to do exactly what you want it to do.
    Hmm, perhaps you could point me to where a non-pro can get firmware updates and dongles/adapters etc to do said upgrades? I've been told time and again that you have to have a pro do that.

    I have also looked in to adding another valve to my 9+3 system, and was told there was no way to do all of that programming from the panel - it had to be done by a pool guy. Ditto for the solar system. If that's not the case, I'd love to get this system upgraded before I start renting this house out!
    Darren
    ~20K gallon freeform w/attached spa
    Pentair 4x160 pump
    Pentair Mastertemp 400K BTU heater
    Intellitouch i7+3 controller
    Intellichlor IC40

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    32

    Re: DIY Automation?

    Quote Originally Posted by dschlic1
    Something half way between a commercial pool automation system and a complete DIY setup is to use a low cost PLC or programmable controller.
    What I meant by DIY wasn't hacking together an entire system with Arduinos and RPis, rather an existing automation system that is *fully* programmable by the end user. I'll do the former for some christmas lights or something minor, but anything as critical as my pool is going to have to use a purpose built system.
    Darren
    ~20K gallon freeform w/attached spa
    Pentair 4x160 pump
    Pentair Mastertemp 400K BTU heater
    Intellitouch i7+3 controller
    Intellichlor IC40

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: DIY Automation?

    Quote Originally Posted by drogers
    Hmm, perhaps you could point me to where a non-pro can get firmware updates and dongles/adapters etc to do said upgrades? I've been told time and again that you have to have a pro do that.

    Generally you don't need to update firmware unless you are adding new equipment to an old panel. My understanding is that Pentair's reps are helpful with getting updates if you buy new equipment like a intelliflo or the color changing LED's and want to add it to your existing panel. It may also require replacing the motherboard, since some of the older MB's may not be able to support newer firmware. Firmware downloads are on Pentair's web site http://www.pentairpool.com/pool-owne...systems-79.htm at the bottom of the page.

    I have also looked in to adding another valve to my 9+3 system, and was told there was no way to do all of that programming from the panel - it had to be done by a pool guy. Ditto for the solar system. If that's not the case, I'd love to get this system upgraded before I start renting this house out!
    The Intellitouch panel is a little less end user friendly for programming than the EZ-touch, although I believe if you have the ScreenLogic2 web adapter you should be able to program either system with your own computer. In addition, if you have the ScreenLogic interface it would allow you to keep tabs on the pool remotely (pump faults and filter status if you have an intelliflo) which might be a good idea if you are renting the house. I installed EZ-touch at my house since my pool is pretty basic, and was able to do all the programming from the panel.
    8.5k gallon IG pebble sheen play pool with Intellitouch control, Intellifo VF, IC 20, Rainbow tab feeder (not currently in use), Pentaire mystery cartridge filter with labels faded to the point I have no idea on the model, Intellibrite 5g LED light, Hayward Navigator. Adding IntelliPh and Crestron control next.

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: DIY Automation?

    Quote Originally Posted by dschlic1
    Something half way between a commercial pool automation system and a complete DIY setup is to use a low cost PLC or programmable controller.
    You aren't going to be able to get a home-brew system UL listed, which won't be a problem until you go to sell your house. I entertained the idea before I put the system in at my house, because I could swap out the pump motor for a three phase motor with a single phase supply VFD and control the pump and LED fixtures from a small PLC for a lot less money than what I spent; but when I went to sell the house sometime in the future, I was pretty sure that my system would raise red flags with the home inspector.
    8.5k gallon IG pebble sheen play pool with Intellitouch control, Intellifo VF, IC 20, Rainbow tab feeder (not currently in use), Pentaire mystery cartridge filter with labels faded to the point I have no idea on the model, Intellibrite 5g LED light, Hayward Navigator. Adding IntelliPh and Crestron control next.

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    32

    Re: DIY Automation?

    Quote Originally Posted by dtlight
    Quote Originally Posted by drogers
    Hmm, perhaps you could point me to where a non-pro can get firmware updates and dongles/adapters etc to do said upgrades? I've been told time and again that you have to have a pro do that.

    Generally you don't need to update firmware unless you are adding new equipment to an old panel. My understanding is that Pentair's reps are helpful with getting updates if you buy new equipment like a intelliflo or the color changing LED's and want to add it to your existing panel. It may also require replacing the motherboard, since some of the older MB's may not be able to support newer firmware. Firmware downloads are on Pentair's web site http://www.pentairpool.com/pool-owne...systems-79.htm at the bottom of the page.

    That's great to hear - one of the things that started me down this road was that my system wouldn't support a screenlogic without an update, and the 'pool guy' wanted to charge me for it.

    I have also looked in to adding another valve to my 9+3 system, and was told there was no way to do all of that programming from the panel - it had to be done by a pool guy. Ditto for the solar system. If that's not the case, I'd love to get this system upgraded before I start renting this house out!
    The Intellitouch panel is a little less end user friendly for programming than the EZ-touch, although I believe if you have the ScreenLogic2 web adapter you should be able to program either system with your own computer. In addition, if you have the ScreenLogic interface it would allow you to keep tabs on the pool remotely (pump faults and filter status if you have an intelliflo) which might be a good idea if you are renting the house. I installed EZ-touch at my house since my pool is pretty basic, and was able to do all the programming from the panel.
    Sounds like the solution to all of my (current) problems is to buy an SL2 board and call pentair for a free update before I install it (will they do that on a 6 year old system?) Then I could use it to program my extra valve etc...


    Hmm, methinks maybe my PB wanted to curtail my DIY tendencies to benefit his pocketbook...

    So it seems that pentair doesn't currently offer exactly what I'm looking for but given my familiarity with it, and now knowing about the free updates, it may be my best bet for a retrofit? Would there be any features/functionality that can only be managed/enabled/programmed by a pentair certified tech on my retrofit?

    thanks all, feeling a little better about this...
    Darren
    ~20K gallon freeform w/attached spa
    Pentair 4x160 pump
    Pentair Mastertemp 400K BTU heater
    Intellitouch i7+3 controller
    Intellichlor IC40

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •