Acid pump options - DIY - Stenner - or? (settled on Pentair Acid Tank w/Pump)

Mrmsubeck

Member
May 6, 2013
21
Houston, TX
Dirk is part of the reason I ended up with one of my favorite additions to my pool! After seeing his acid pump and the setup that Brian used I decided I had to have it.

My Jandy automation only allows 1 minute minimum run times - so I am running two 1 minute cycles to keep me in the 7.6-7.8 range - on average I need about 8-10oz every week of the 14% stuff so my automation runs twice a week. I guess it would be nice to dose for 20 seconds every day - but that isn't in the mix for me and my automation...

I could also further dilute my acid in half again and run it 4 times per week, but that seems like extra work.

I am also toying with finally adding borates to my pool - which may change the acid curve.
Add borates! I love what it does in terms of shimmer to the water
 

losgatosgtr

Member
Apr 17, 2017
23
Los Gatos, CA
Buyer beware warning: Pentair considers Sunplay an internet only store and only provides a 60 day warranty on this unit and almost all Pentair products sold by Sunplay. How do I know this? I bought my intellipH unit from SunPlay 13 months ago in July 2019 and the controller failed last week. Sunplay is playing dumb and telling me to contact Pentair and won't cover the warranty and pentair won't either saying talk to Sunplay. Sunplay is even listed on the Pentair website as a "dealer" but Pentair considers Sunplay internet only.

Nowhere did it say on the Sunpaly website that the intelliPH or any Pentair products (EasyTouch, IntelliChlor, etc) would be considered "TradeGrade" and only have a 60 day warranty by Pentair.

Sunplay is not answering any phone calls now and blaming Covid-19. How convenient as they can duck responsibility over email all day long.

What a joke....take your Pentair business elsewhere to companies that actually have ethics.
 
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Dirk

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Ugh. Bummer. But if you installed it yourself, the warranty was likely 60 days anyway, no matter where you bought it. That goes for almost all their products. They don't list the IpH on their warranty page, and I couldn't find the warranty period in the manual. If it might make you feel any better, the money you saved putting it in yourself (as opposed to paying a pro) should cover the new controller.
 

losgatosgtr

Member
Apr 17, 2017
23
Los Gatos, CA
Hi Dirk thanks for the reply but the controller should last more than 13 months certainly. I'm not going to buy anything form SunPlay anymore and suggest others do the same. The intelliPH controller costs $304.00 from my locally owned pool equipment dealer so it's worth the extra $50 to buy it from them. Shame on SunPlay for misleading customers.

Just to be clear when I called Pentair they said it's tied to buying it from a brick and mortar store versus over the internet... Has nothing to do with the installation to get the year warranty as far as the tech support operator stated.

As far as I recall the manual mentions nothing about requiring professional installation. It's plug and play no wire splicing or anything like that required as long as you have a Pentair controller and IntelliChlor.
 
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santacruzpool

Gold Supporter
Feb 24, 2015
769
Santa Cruz, CA
Good heads up - my installation would have voided the warranty anyway - since I am clipping the wires to make it talk to my Jandy system...

I would check your credit card regarding warranty - it might give you another option.
 
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bdavis466

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
Aug 4, 2014
5,529
San Clemente, CA
Hi Dirk thanks for the reply but the controller should last more than 13 months certainly. I'm not going to buy anything form SunPlay anymore and suggest others do the same. The intelliPH controller costs $304.00 from my locally owned pool equipment dealer so it's worth the extra $50 to buy it from them. Shame on SunPlay for misleading customers.

Just to be clear when I called Pentair they said it's tied to buying it from a brick and mortar store versus over the internet... Has nothing to do with the installation to get the year warranty as far as the tech support operator stated.
E
As far as I recall the manual mentions nothing about requiring professional installation. It's plug and play no wire splicing or anything like that required as long as you have a Pentair controller and IntelliChlor.
I wouldn't buy a Pentair controller but instead just get a cheap power supply off Amazon and run the pump off a relay. Then you basically turn the iph into a Stenner style pump that is way more reliable
 
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losgatosgtr

Member
Apr 17, 2017
23
Los Gatos, CA
I wouldn't buy a Pentair controller but instead just get a cheap power supply off Amazon and run the pump off a relay. Then you basically turn the iph into a Stenner style pump that is way more reliable
Good suggestion. Do you have any recommendations for the proper power supply and hourly timer? I have an EasyTouch with extra relays but not sure if that can be configured to turn on the iph pump each hour the pool is running.
 

bdavis466

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
Aug 4, 2014
5,529
San Clemente, CA
Good suggestion. Do you have any recommendations for the proper power supply and hourly timer? I have an EasyTouch with extra relays but not sure if that can be configured to turn on the iph pump each hour the pool is running.
Power Supply:


As for scheduling there's no reason to have it run every hour. I run mine once per day
 

Dirk

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Hi Dirk thanks for the reply but the controller should last more than 13 months certainly. I'm not going to buy anything form SunPlay anymore and suggest others do the same. The intelliPH controller costs $304.00 from my locally owned pool equipment dealer so it's worth the extra $50 to buy it from them. Shame on SunPlay for misleading customers.

Just to be clear when I called Pentair they said it's tied to buying it from a brick and mortar store versus over the internet... Has nothing to do with the installation to get the year warranty as far as the tech support operator stated.

As far as I recall the manual mentions nothing about requiring professional installation. It's plug and play no wire splicing or anything like that required as long as you have a Pentair controller and IntelliChlor.
Well, it certainly is a bit grey. Not sure Pentair tech support always knows all their own details, I've run into that before. And as I said, I couldn't actually find any documentation about the IpH warranty (duration or installation caveats). Just a general sentence that (paraphrasing) most Pentair equipment requires professional installation to extend the warranty past 60 days.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not defending Pentair's product: the unit certainly should have lasted more than 13 months, nor SunPlay's lack of clear warranty information. But I'm not sure I'd call that misleading, nor declare it "boycott worthy." Whether your warranty was actually 60 days or 1 year, your unit still failed out of warranty. And from Pentair's/Sunplay's point of view, the IpH does, in fact, require wiring and is not "plug and play." Pentair/Sunplay would have no way of knowing that you had an IntelliChlor previously installed, which must be hardwired to a controller and/or power source. The IpH cannot be installed without that PowerCenter/IC combo, or an ET/IC combo with built-in transformer. It's not a stand-alone plug'n'play unit. Unless you find documentation that a unit can be "customer installed" without voiding the warranty, like you can find for the replacement cell for an IC for example, then you shouldn't make your own definitions and assumptions about that.

You're disgruntled because you didn't get a good value out of the unit, and I agree, you didn't, but you can't really blame that on the warranty situation. It is what it is, and you assuming it was other than that, sorry to say, is kinda on you.

I don't mean to beat up on you over a lousy situation, but more to warn others to make sure they know what they're getting, in both product features and warranty, before they buy. I'm still steaming over the ET I was sold. It was not what I later found out I needed. But I never researched it properly, trusting in the dealer instead. That's kinda on me. That said... 300 bucks for that controller really stinks, but that is Pentair's business model, also worth knowing up front. Their gear is all proprietary, and very expensive for both startup and replacement parts. Once they got you, they got you.

I'm very interested myself in running an IpH without the controller, because cold water brings down both my IpH and my IC. With the alternative suggested, at least I could continue to use the IpH in the winter, so thanks for that info everyone.
 

Dirk

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I'm now remembering why I haven't already solved for running the IpH in the winter. The IpH relies on the IC's flow switch, so that it won't dispense without flow. Which is a nice safety feature. Nor will it dispense if the pump isn't running. I think it uses the four-wire interface for that (not sure). And the Power Center is wired to the ET, so the IpH doesn't even get power if the ET isn't in Pool or Spa Mode. If I separate the IpH from the IC, I'd like to be able to simulate some/all of that somehow. Wiring the IpH power supply to the pump relay would be a start (as the Power Center is). But I'd kinda like to also have a flow switch in the mix, as part of the circuit, so that the Iph wouldn't pump unless there was both power to the pump and flow in the pipes. That "wish list" is as far as I've gotten, I don't actually know how to do any of that...

Oh, and the IpH controller shuts down the IC's chlorine production while it's pumping, so you're not mixing acid and chlorine gas inside the IC! Also kind of a nice safety feature, I'd say!! So to satisfy my zany safety sensibilities, it's a bit more complicated than just wiring the IpH to a transformer...
 
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losgatosgtr

Member
Apr 17, 2017
23
Los Gatos, CA
Lesson learned: If you want anything more than a 60-Day warranty on Pentair "TradeGrade" equipment, I highly suggest everyone at TFP take their business to your local "Brick and Mortar" pool supply store. Probably ok to buy non-TradeGrade products online but there isn't much.

Dirk, Just FYI:
Sunplay doesn't even make any attempt to inform customers of the Pentair 60-Day warranty policy (for all pentair products that are TradeGrade) anywhere on their web site that I could find. In fact, I searched "warranty" on the Sunplay web site and got "0" results. Sunplay does not mention that they are NOT considered by Pentair as a "Brick and Mortar" store even though they are listed as an "Authorized Dealer" which renders every "TradeGrade" Pentair product they sell to no more than a 60-day warranty. Sunplay went so far as to delete the stated warranty line item from every Pentair description text box on their web site.

You will want to read this: Funny thing is that on Tuesday morning I had a new IntellipH controller (522711) in my shopping cart on the Sunplay web site already and was literally ready to hit purchase, but they tried to pull a fast one. Sunplay actually changed their web site (temporarily) so that you cannot purchase the IntellipH controller any more online from their website. Web site had a red banner under the item description that literally stated for "Local Delivery Only" in Ogden Utah. I just noticed they now changed it back so you can purchase it online again. Funky stuff going on there...

It is extremely poor customer service for a company to leave a customer hanging, and not at least offer some sort of a discount, when I am 3 weeks "Out of warranty" when the product was purchased at the end of July 2019. Sunplay didn't even attempt to keep me as a customer, which, if they would have said, "I'm Sorry" here is a discount so you can purchase another one, I would have purchased another intellipH controller from them.

Now that I have made the phone calls to Pentair, and know what all the BS semantics on the Pentair web site means...like "TradeGrade"...Not a Brick and Mortar Store.... but an Authorized Dealer.....I'll never buy any electronic Pentair products again online. Apparently "Authorized Dealer" at Pentair means nothing.

Just to be clear, for other TFP users benefit, I took the following statement directly from the Pentair website where it is unfortunately buried in a place most people won't find:
TradeGrade products must be purchased from a retail store (brick & mortar), pool builder or pool service company to receive a one-year, two-year or three-year warranty. If purchased online will only receive a sixty-day limited warranty.
 
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Dirk

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At first read that appears to be a very fair and comprehensive recap of your findings, which I believe will be helpful to others. Thanks for that, well done.

You're in the thick of a major problem with this industry (for us consumers). This gear is difficult and expensive to develop. So there aren't many (any?) cheap knock-off players to drive prices down, or warranties up. The big three seem to be comfortable with the status quo: high prices and proprietary gear and caveat warranties, and so don't really challenge each other by competing on any of those fronts. I'm not saying they all get together in some dark room once a year and plot this all out... but I want to!

I can only hope that your next purchase lasts at least as long as some of my posts! ;)
 
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losgatosgtr

Member
Apr 17, 2017
23
Los Gatos, CA
Power Supply:


As for scheduling there's no reason to have it run every hour. I run mine once per day
You are correct and thanks for the link to the proper timer/power supply. As far as adding acid once a day versus once per hour in smaller doses: I do like the idea of avoiding the hysteresis or sine wave fluctuations between high to low pH swings by hourly dosing acid in small amounts. Literally using the small dose hourly method, my pH is locked in at 7.6 or wherever I want it to be all the time it seems from test results. I hope the new IntellipH controller I bought from my local store yesterday lasts longer than 12 months and 3 weeks. If not then I will certainly go the timer/power supply route next time.
 

losgatosgtr

Member
Apr 17, 2017
23
Los Gatos, CA
Long story short.....the local pool supply store had not received the new IPH controller I ordered so I just cancelled it. They said Pentair could not give them a shipping date even though they have called Pentair multiple times to check on my order over the past 4 weeks or so. I'm going to go the ET relay and power supply route.
 

curto

Member
Sep 7, 2020
9
Sydney
Hey Guys, Posting from Australia here - i am looking at an Acid Dosing solution here - but the company that seems to have the market cornered here is charing $1000 for what is a peristaltic pump in a housing !! Has anyone here gone down the route of just sourcing their own pump and mating it will a an appropriate PWM controller ?

Craig
 

Mrmsubeck

Member
May 6, 2013
21
Houston, TX
Hey Guys, Posting from Australia here - i am looking at an Acid Dosing solution here - but the company that seems to have the market cornered here is charing $1000 for what is a peristaltic pump in a housing !! Has anyone here gone down the route of just sourcing their own pump and mating it will a an appropriate PWM controller ?

Craig
 

Mrmsubeck

Member
May 6, 2013
21
Houston, TX
Check this thread. I bought a Pentair Imtellicem tank that comes with a pump I just wired it to a relay in my hayward box. Not hard at all and I love it. I calculated that it doses 25 mL per run on my relay so I can just execute ad many times as I need to get the dose I want. Not fully automated but works for me. I add 2 gal of acid to 2 gal water.
 

Dirk

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Nov 12, 2017
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Craig (@curto) is going to start his own thread about that. Don't hijack this one, it belongs to Santacruzpool... (Any more than we already have, myself included!)
 
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