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Thread: Automation system

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
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    10

    Automation system

    Hello all,

    I often forget to add chemicals using the BBB method, so I end up with very large swings in my pool chemistry. I'm looking at making several upgrades to the pool to help me fix this. Obviously I understand that regular testing and additional maintenance will still be required to keep the pool perfect, but I'm expecting that these upgrades will at least help my issue. Please read each section and feel free to just throw out any comments or information that you want. Thank you in advance for all of the help and support.

    A Paramount In-Floor Cleaner system is already installed, but I know it needs some maintenance so parts are already on the way for it.

    The first upgrade I want is a variable speed pump. Currently I have a 2HP whisperflo running the main circuit and floor cleaners. I'd like to switch to variable so that I can reduce the noise to the minimum required to run the floor cleaners for however many hours per day that I'll need, and then lower t o run the rest of the day for circulation.

    The second upgrade that I'm looking at is converting to a salt water pool. I've had no issues maintaining my pool with the BBB method (except for large chemistry swings), but I want to lessen my workload. Since I already have an intellitouch i9+3 control system, I am looking at sticking with pentair as much as possible. Therefore, I've been looking at the Intellichlor IC40. I only have a 12K gallon pool so this would be more than the recommended 1.5-3.0 times the pool size.

    The third upgrade would be to install either an Intelliph or Intellichem system to dispense muriatic acid. I'm leaning more toward the SWG instead of the Intellichem with liquid chlorine because of price. But for PH control, I'm still on the fence about whether to get the intellichem with 1 pump for acid ($1041.99) so that it will measure the ph before dispensing, or getting the intelliph ($430.99) which I just have to monitor myself after dialing in. I would like to go with the more automated one, but is it work the extra cost?

    Again, thank you for any help!
    In Ground, ~15000 gallon pebble pool. House was built in 1997 but not sure when pool was built.
    Normal Circulation System:
    Pentair WhisperFlo 2HP pump --> Hayward SwimClear 425 Cartridge Filter -->
    Heliocol solar heating system --> Pentair MiniMax NT Natural Gas Heater --> In floor cleaner popups
    Additionals:
    Pentair Intellitouch i9+3 control system
    Pentair WhisperFlo 2HP Pump running 3 waterfalls and 2 fountains
    Pentair WhisperFlo 2HP Pump running spa jets

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

    Re: Automation system

    I do not recommend the IntelliChem, or any other ORP based system. The chlorine automation simply doesn't work in a fair percentage of pools and it is much more maintenance for no advantage the rest of the time. Simple percentage based automation, available in nearly every SWG, is more than fine for an outdoor pool.

    The IntelliPH is nice if you really need it, but 90% of the time you can simply balance your levels so that PH adjustments are not needed very often. I haven't needed to add acid to my SWG pool in years.
    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

    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
    Posts
    10

    Re: Automation system

    I would prefer the SWG (using % setting) over the intellichem for chlorine. However, I am still thinking about using just the ph monitoring and dosing side of the intellichem.
    In Ground, ~15000 gallon pebble pool. House was built in 1997 but not sure when pool was built.
    Normal Circulation System:
    Pentair WhisperFlo 2HP pump --> Hayward SwimClear 425 Cartridge Filter -->
    Heliocol solar heating system --> Pentair MiniMax NT Natural Gas Heater --> In floor cleaner popups
    Additionals:
    Pentair Intellitouch i9+3 control system
    Pentair WhisperFlo 2HP Pump running 3 waterfalls and 2 fountains
    Pentair WhisperFlo 2HP Pump running spa jets

  4. Back To Top    #4
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: Automation system

    PH sensors work (unlike ORP sensors), but they are fairly expensive and need to be replaced every couple of years. The sensor test cell also requires extra attention when winterizing/opening. Most pools with persistent PH drift have fairly uniform drift rates, something the IntelliPH is more than capable of handling.
    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

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
    Posts
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    Re: Automation system

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    PH sensors work (unlike ORP sensors), but they are fairly expensive and need to be replaced every couple of years. The sensor test cell also requires extra attention when winterizing/opening. Most pools with persistent PH drift have fairly uniform drift rates, something the IntelliPH is more than capable of handling.
    The question is just whether it's worth $600 more to get the intellichem to measure the ph or get the cheaper intelliph that just dispenses a constant % (like the swg setting)
    In Ground, ~15000 gallon pebble pool. House was built in 1997 but not sure when pool was built.
    Normal Circulation System:
    Pentair WhisperFlo 2HP pump --> Hayward SwimClear 425 Cartridge Filter -->
    Heliocol solar heating system --> Pentair MiniMax NT Natural Gas Heater --> In floor cleaner popups
    Additionals:
    Pentair Intellitouch i9+3 control system
    Pentair WhisperFlo 2HP Pump running 3 waterfalls and 2 fountains
    Pentair WhisperFlo 2HP Pump running spa jets

  6. Back To Top    #6
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: Automation system

    Personally I would get the IntelliPH even if the IntelliChem cost less. The IntelliPH is more reliable, lower maintenance, and it does the job just fine. As it happens it is also significantly less expensive. I have a PH sensor/acid feed system, but I took it out because it was too much of a maintenance headache. All of which happened before I figured out that I didn't actually need it because it was easy to get my PH to be stable (which hadn't occurred to me back then).

    All that said, I know people with PH sensor based systems that are happy with them.
    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

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Automation system

    Jason....I see you have about the same size pool as me but vinyl instead of plaster. Also I have a SWG as well....

    The only question I have is................How in the Heck have you not had to add acid in years?????? I imagine that you have a fairly decent size and frequent bather load right? So what's the secret? I had my water double verified the other day and everything is where is should be however I play the up/down PH game almost every other day or so.
    20,000 gallon free form plaster pool built in 2001. Pentair Intelliflo pump, Pentair Quad 80 DE Filter, Pentair 40k gallon salt chlorinator, Pentair Easy Touch 8 control panel, Fafco Solar water heater with 7 (4'x12') panels.

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    134

    Re: Automation system

    Jason

    I am also interested in how you avoid adding acid continually with an SWG.

    That is the only thing that is unstable for me, as the SWG raises the pH, requiring about 1/2 gallon of MA a week.

    I have recently renovated and added deck jumper jets, so I expect that to be even more of a problem.

    Curious indeed to hear your thoughts!
    19000 gal in ground, pebble tec. Sta-rite system 3 DE filter, Aquarite SWG, raypak 406A heater

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