actuator valve programable to 3 settings


Gold Supporter
Nov 2, 2016
Lompoc, CA (central coast)
From my research it seems there is a limitation in automated valves in that they can only be programmed to stop in two places. From what i've read on this site, I'm not the only one who wants a diverter valve that can be programmed pool only, spa only, and somewhere in between. I am remodeling my pool and want to have the flexibility of having my spillover on when I am in it. I think my heater can handle it especially if I have control of how much water is allowed in from the pool. Maybe I'm wrong but I'd like the flexibility to try it out and be able to control when and how much spillover there is without it depending totally on the pump speed. This seems to be an area where technology has limited one's options.

I think I have a plumbing solution. If I put in a valved bypass loop coming out of the pool suction line before the diverter, tieing back in after the diverter but before the pump, then the 2 diverter valves can be totally pool or totally spa and I can still pull in some pool water for the spa spillover. (The Easytouch Spillway mode draws only pool water and sends it all to the spa.)


Apparently an Easytouch 8 can control 4 valves so I think I can have it control whether the 2-way valve in the suction bypass loop is open or closed when it's in spa mode (or pool mode). It would just be up to me to set the actuator to regulate how much flow I get when it is open. I wouldn't be able to adjust how open that valve is once it was set with the actuator so that still is a limitation, but it's better than nothing. I might need a check valve on the spa suction pipe, like a 90 check valve coming out of the diverter, to keep water from siphoning into the pool if the bypass valve was open and pump was off.

Now I understand why the pool plumbing diagrams on have a "spa make-up" (bypass) loop around the return diverter, to allow the pool returns to work at the same time as the spa overflow. With automation it's either all to the pool or all to the spa so a spa make-up can "get around" that.
From what I can see, a manual 3 way diverter makes a spa make-up unnecessary because you can set the diverter to channel some water to the spa overflow and most to the pool, but, as I said, with automation the return diverter actuator has to be set all to pool or all to spa in order to accommodate the other modes.
I spent a long time on the phone with the Pentair tech about what I want to do and what their automation can do, and the above is my current understanding. Rome wasn't built in a day:)
I still am foggy about the diff between circuits, Auxillaries, and features. Joe, the tech from Minnesota, or was it Wisconsin, told me both Aux and Features were circuits, but Auxs delivered voltage, like powered things like blowers and waterfall pumps and valve actuators??, but feature circuits turned things on and off???
I could use someone explaining this again to me and explaining what needs an Aux circuit and what needs a feature circuit. I know you don't want to waste an Aux circuit on what a feature circuit could take care of but I'm pretty foggy on it.
Any feedback, positive or negative, on my scheme to make my spillover independent of what mode I'm in is very welcome. If there's an automated valve that can give 3 settings, I'd like to know.


TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 4, 2014
San Clemente, CA
Aux circuits are assigned to relays- basically like light switches in your house. They can also have actuators assigned to them.

Feature circuits are different pump speeds with an Intelliflo and also can have actuators assigned to them.

Say you have a single speed waterfall pump, that would get assigned to an Aux circuit.

If you want the pump to ramp up to 2500 RPM and the spillway actuator to activate, use a feature circuit.

If you want the Spillway on while in the spa you are in for a cold soak. But what you described above would fulfill your needs.

Probably an even easier way to do this is to set the limit switch on the pool/spa suction to stop a few degrees short of 100% spa suction.