Basic Pool Automation

Yankeefan1011

Silver Supporter
Mar 2, 2017
16
Lake Forest, CA
Good Evening All,

I have read through quite a few threads regarding pool automation and have reached out to Pentair with no response. My pool is currently under remodel and I figure now is the time to upgrade a few equipment items as well. The biggest change I want to make is upgrading my single speed to a Pentair Intelliflo VS pump. This change will require me to get either a Solar Touch or an automation controller to assist in driving a higher RPM when the solar valve is open (right?). I initially thought of getting the pump keypad relocation kit and the Solar Touch but then I wouldn't have auto control over the pool/spa valves (which I do not currently have but thought might be a nice addition). Given the equipment that I have and taking into consideration the pump change out, do you think that the Easy Touch PSL4 would work for me as a basic automation controller? I don't have any landscape lighting, waterfalls, secondary pumps, etc. and the only upgrades I am thinking about are a stenner pump for liquid chlorine and possibly a spa blower in the future. I might eventually entertain switching to a SWG and intelliPH, but that wouldn't be for a few years. Any thoughts?
 

pooldv

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2012
25,162
FL panhandle
Welcome to TFP!

The Intelliflo is a great pump, I love mine. I will by a new one within seconds of this one failing. :)

Yes, a Solartouch can control the solar valve and ramps the speed on the pump. That is what I have and it works great. More about my set up in my pool thread, link in sig.

For a few more bucks you can get a Suntouch. A few years ago I wish I had gotten the Suntouch instead because it does a lot more for a little more money. It can control an Intellichlor SWG, solar, heater and it has spa mode.

But, if you are seriously thinking SWG then you can find pretty good deals on an Easytouch bundled with the SWG.
 

Yankeefan1011

Silver Supporter
Mar 2, 2017
16
Lake Forest, CA
Hello and thank you for the quick response. I was originally looking into the Suntouch but then my wife hinted that she would like to be able to turn on the hot tub by pressing a button. From what I have read, the Suntouch requires a few button presses to turn the pool back on after turning on the spa. The Easytouch PSL4 seemed like the best compromise between cost and ease of use in that it is $250 less than the ET4 and requires a single button press to transition between pool and spa modes. The wiring might end up being more difficult than originally thought as I just read that the pump has to be on its own dedicated 240v circuit with a GFCI. I currently have a 240V 15 amp which powers the pump, heater and solar controller. I also have a 120v 20 amp for the lights and a 120v 15 amp which powers an outlet (it looks like it used to control a spa blower). I figure I can use the 240 circuit for the intelliflo, 120v 20 amp for the heater, ET controller and future stenner pump and then the other 120v 15 amp for the lights. I could always just pull the wires and run new #4/4 to a subpanel or ET4 load center but I am really trying to keep the costs low.
 

Pool Clown

In The Industry
Sep 5, 2008
1,850
Silicon Valley, CA
I would not recommend the SunTouch, but rather the E/T PL4 or better the E/T with the load center. Sorting out your electrical challenge would probably be worth the extra 250.00 in headaches alone. You may very well want to clean it up with an "all in one" configuration anyway.

New wiring:

I would recommend that the new controller be on it's own breaker, not robbing one line from your VS breaker to power it. This will also allow you to have just one appliance (VS pump) on the GFI breaker. GFI breaker on the VS pump is also not required (by the manufacturer) but may be necessary to satisfy local code, otherwise Strongly recommended. I would also recommend putting more appliances on their own breaker rather than to group them together. If this job is permitted, grouping several appliances on a single service may not pass an inspection. I realize this will drive up the cost. But codes are there for your safety...Right?
 

Yankeefan1011

Silver Supporter
Mar 2, 2017
16
Lake Forest, CA
Thank you for your thoughts on the Sun Touch. I am now leaning more towards the ET PSL4 or ET4. It is just going to come down to whether I want to pull new conductors. I don't think my pool has seen an upgrade since the 80's so it wouldn't be surprising if the electrical is no longer code.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
11,321
Bedford, TX
Yankee,

The "L" in the PSL4 stands for light. This is because it has less capabilities than the ET4.

It only has the ability to store 4 schedule/programs vs 12 in the ET
It only has 2 feature circuits vs the 8 in the ET
I don't believe they come with a load center for your circuit breakers.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

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