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Thread: Compool 3800, Intelicomm II and Intellipro VS Pump

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    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Menlo Park, CA
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    Compool 3800, Intelicomm II and Intellipro VS Pump

    Hi there,

    Let me begin by saying what a wonderful resource this site is. Thank you for the collective wisdom and the genius that is a properly balanced, trouble-free pool. Everything has been great, but I've been wanting to replace my single speed 1.5HP pump (challenger, high head) for a while now, and new, loud bearing noise finally bumped up the project on my priority list. Now a shiny new Intellipro VS is here (connecting it tomorrow), but I have a few automation questions that I need to solve once it is up and running.

    Basic setup is 30,000 pebble-tec, single-body pool with spa spill-over. Filtration is Pentair DE (fiberclear), cleaner is a black max polaris 280 with booster pump, jets are handled by an aux pump, and heating comes from a Jandy gas heater and 12 gull sun coils on my flat roof. A Compool 3800 system with actuators for inlet, return and solar provides automation.

    Typical summer runtime might be: filter for 10 hours, cleaner for 1 hour of those 10 and with solar kicking in automatically based on temperature sensors. The solar can heat the spa or pool. The current pump (at least before it sounded like it wanted to explode) moves 52GPM with solar off and 44GPM with solar on (the coils create some static pressure). That just about right for the solar, which runs for 4 months out of the year, but the flow rates are much higher than they need to be otherwise.

    So, my thought was that an Intellipro VS would be a perfect upgrade. Dial in a slow speed for filter-only (almost all of the time 8 months of the year), a medium speed for when the cleaner or heater is running (in the low 30s GPM), and a higher speed for solar. My overall question is how can I make that happen with my Compool 3800.

    I thought the answer with to add in an Intellicomm II, and it may be, but as I study the manuals I'm not sure any more. With the Compool, things are simple. The automation board trips the right relays for the filter pump, cleaner, etc and it move the valves for the solar at the right time. What I thought the Intellicomm II would do is "spy on" those relay signals and then run the right pump program in response. What it really seems to do redirect those singals from the relays in the Compool system to the pump itself. So, specific questions are:

    1) if the cleaner output from the main automation board goes to the Intellicom II (say program 2), how does the Polaris booster pump turn on? presumably I would buy a separate RYALX cable to make a Y-connection

    2) similarly, if the SOLAR output from the main automation board goes to the Intellicom II (say program 3), how will the aux valve turn? I'm guessing RYALX again?

    3) should I be looking to do something clever with the Compool automation itself to make use of extra outputs and chain them together? I'd need to dig back into the manual, but that might save on 1 RYLAX

    4) any suggestions for the heater? it uses the 2 terminal out (not the relay out just above it), so it seems like I might have to splice that anyway

    5) As each RYALX appears to be $40 or so, should I just splice all of the cables myself?

    6) Should I think about another approach other than Intellicom II, like upgrading to to an EasyTouch board?

    7) Finally -- and I'm sorry for so many questions -- if I get the above sorted out with my Compool (which I like and am not anxious to replace) and the Intellicom II (which baffles me), will the following general program logic work? Exact values TBD

    PGRM 1 - filter - 1000 RPM
    PGRM 2 - cleaner, so in reality 1 and 2 are live - 2000 RPM
    PGRM 3 - heater, so 1 and 3 are active - 2000 RPM
    PGRM 4 - solar, so 1 and 4 or 1,2,4 could be active - 2800 RPM

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks so much,
    Paul

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Re: Compool 3800, Intelicomm II and Intellipro VS Pump

    A follow-up in case anyone has this question again. I contacted Pentair, and they recommended just splicing into the relay wires. That's worked like a charm, so the answers to my questions turned out to be:

    1) splice in the cleaner relay
    2) splice in the solar output control the valve actuator
    3) not needed
    4) spice in the heater control
    5) yes (Pentair suggested wire nuts, so it doesn't get cheaper than that)
    6) no
    7) logic works exactly like that. highest program number always wins

    While I'm here, the pump is shockingly quiet. It does have vibration noise below 1000 RPM (that seems to be common), but TFP suggests 1000 RPM is about as low as you want to go anyway. Also, it is reasonably loud above 3000 (also normal I think), but I'm not anticipating using speeds above 2500 RPM. That rate provides plenty of flow for my solar panels.

    The combination of an Intellipro with a FloVis meter is highly recommended (thanks TFP!). And, if you like your Compool automation, there is no need to upgrade to EasyTouch in order to add a VS pump as long as you install the Intellicom II module. Of course, if you already have EasyTouch, connecting a VS pump couldn't be easier.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
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    Re: Compool 3800, Intelicomm II and Intellipro VS Pump

    You don't need aux relays, just tap into the existing wires, as you originally thought. The IntelliComm recognizes anything with power on it (low voltage, high voltage, whatever) as "on".

    How high are your electrical rates? Unless you live somewhere with very high electrical costs getting an IntelliFlo is probably not worth it.
    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: Compool 3800, Intelicomm II and Intellipro VS Pump

    Hi Jason, thanks both for your reply and, again, for the excellent forum. The reasons I picked the IntelliPro were:

    1) noise, and getting it as low as possibly
    2) the ability to get things dialed in exactly right for both the solar and non-solar times

    Cost saving were a tertiary reasons, but a) I'm in California, so rates are abusive b) PG&E is giving me a $100 rebate and c) courtesy of internet pricing and DIY installation, total costs were very reasonable. The right 2-speed pump likely would have been almost as good, but I value both the lower noise and potential flexibility. Plus, I would have had to have purchased a 2-speed relay for the compool, almost as expensive as the intellicom ii adapter.

    I think you are right, though, that many more VS pumps get sold than are needed (perhaps in my case too) and that pumps are over-sized in general. The amazing advice that you and others provide on pump selection is yet another example of the many ways TFP saves folks money.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: Compool 3800, Intelicomm II and Intellipro VS Pump

    Typical electrical rates in California do indeed justify a pump like the IntelliPro. However, a two speed would be essentially just as quiet on low speed.
    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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