Being Held Hostage By My Pool!!! (aka Intelliph installation)

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,787
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I've got the new pebble and fill water squared away. I have TFPC down, for the most part. I successfully configured by Pentair IC40 SWG. All is well. Except my pool is holding me hostage and I can't leave the house!!

Between the pH-rise from the new finish, and the ph-rise from my SWG, I need to add MA every day, just to do a mediocre job of keeping my CSI in range (-0.3 to 0)! Some days, I have to drop to slightly lower than -0.3 and/or end up slightly higher than 0. This is every day. I can't leave my house for more than 24 hours. And I'm sure as heck not going to turn my pool over to a pool guy, not for an hour, let alone a week. And I figure I'll burn through neighbors pretty quick by asking them to dose my pool every day with acid!!

So I'm thinking Intelliph is my solution. I know the pH-rise from my finish will stabilize over time, but not the SWG, right? I was adding about 3oz of MA a day before SWG. Since turning on SWG, it's now about 6oz a day. So I figure even if the plaster stabilizes completely, I'll still need 3oz a day, and that sucks. All driven, I assume, by my fill water TA230.

So, a few questions:

1. Am I assuming correctly that how my SWG affects pH-rise will not go away over time, even if my plaster's contribution to pH-rise goes away?

2. I'm not interested in ItelliChem, just automatic acid dosing (without probes, etc). So I need this, right? No more or less equipment?

3. I understand the Intelliph wires in between my IC40 transformer and my IC40. Will my ET still control the output of the IC40, or does the Intelliph take that over, and will I lose ET/ScreenLogic control of the IC40?

4. Will I be able to control the output of the Intelliph from ScreenLogic, or is that done exclusively with the Intelliph controller?

5. When I lose SWG in the winter (with the sub-50° water temp), will I also lose Intelliph functionality? (Which would really suck.) If this is so, is there any work-around, so that I only have to manually dose chlorine in the winter? I suppose once my pebble stabilizes, I'll have little pH-rise in winter (since the SWG will be off), so will I find this to be a non-issue?

6. Can anyone with a Intelliph tell me (a) the exact dimensions of the base, and (b) if the tank is any wider than the base?

7. I may have to pack the Intelliph pretty close to my pump, or next to the heater (alternate location). Do I have to worry about acid fumes from the Intelliph affecting other pad equipment? It's all outside, not enclosed, so plenty of air to go around.

8. Can anyone offer a reason I should not look to Intelliph to take over MA dosing?

If I can get to weekly testing, and dosing only in the winter, or after an abnormal summer week, I will be in pool heaven, and be able to justify $500 for IC40 and $500 for Intelliph.

Thanks!!
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
33,918
Laughlin, NV
You should not see that much pH rise from your SWCG. I add about a cup a week of MA. Mainly that keeps the TA down.

Borates may be a thought once your plaster cure ends.

The Intelliph will make it easier. So cost / benefit is your discussion with yourself. There are expendables and maintenance that must be factored into the Intelliph.

It will not interfere with your ET functions.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,842
Bedford, TX
Dirk,

In theory, a SWCG will not cause your pH to go up... so I am confused... :confused:

I suspect that you are trying to keep your pH much lower than you need to... but I noticed that you did not report your normal pH numbers... or targets...

I don't know the answers to your questions, but "assume" it will show up in a ScreenLogic window just like your SWCG does now, and allow you to control the pH additions.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,787
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Dirk,

In theory, a SWCG will not cause your pH to go up... so I am confused... :confused:

I suspect that you are trying to keep your pH much lower than you need to... but I noticed that you did not report your normal pH numbers... or targets...

I don't know the answers to your questions, but "assume" it will show up in a ScreenLogic window just like your SWCG does now, and allow you to control the pH additions.

Thanks,

Jim R.
Well, now I'm confused. I could swear I've read here multiple, multiple times to expect pH-rise from SWG operation. And that is exactly what I experienced. The explanations for why vary, from "I dunno" to something about the aeration going on between the SWG plates.

I do have a sneaking suspicion that I might be shooting myself in the foot regarding the rise. I remember reading not to try to force pH down to low/mid 7s, which can be a losing battle in some pools. And that might be what I'm seeing. And that maybe my pool just wants to live at pH 7.9 or 8.0. The problem is, if it wants to live at 8, how will I know? My pH test only goes up to 8, so how can I be sure I'm not at 8.2 or 8.8 or whatever?

Almost daily I test and see 7.8 or 7.9 or 8.0. So I reduce to 7.5 or 7.6 each day (trying to keep my CSI negative), and the next day I'm back up to the high 7s or 8. Am I creating my own problem?

More importantly, if I just leave it alone for a few days, how do I know that I'm still at 8, and not some number much higher?

My pebble just turned 6 months old, and I don't have a spec of calcium at the water line. My SWG is not throwing flakes (like it did when the pool guy was running things), so all is well, calcium-buildup-wise. I really want to maintain that... And I'm afraid that if i let my pH ride high 7s and 8, that I may start to see calcium here and there.

I've had borates on my radar, and started reading about it. The claims of stabilizing pH are a bit vague, and it's not clear to me if they would help with my particular problem.

I certainly don't want to buy and maintain more equipment that I have to, but my SWG convenience is almost completely negated because I still have to test and dose everyday, and can't leave my pool for more than a day. And I didn't sign up for that...

==========================================
Dirk's Pool
------------------------------------------
Build Type: Plaster
Volume: 12300 gallons
------------------------------------------
Latest Test Result Summary:
FC: 6.0 (5 hours ago)
CC: 0.0 (2 days ago)
pH: 7.8 (5 hours ago)
TA: 70 (10 days ago)
CH: 330 (10 days ago)
CYA: 60 (10 days ago)
SALT: 3400 (10 days ago)
TEMPERATURE: 75° (2 days ago)
CSI: -0.15 (5 hours ago)
==========================================
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,842
Bedford, TX
Dirk,

If you switch from using tablets which are acidic and start using a SWCG or Liquid Chlorine, it will appear that the SWCG and Chlorine are making your pH go up... But, it really the fact that you are no longer adding the acid from the tablets...

Many pH drop tests go up to 8.2... I use the cheap one that my pool builder gave me as I find it easier to read than the one in the TF-100 because it has a larger test cylinder...

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Meadow

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2016
477
Temecula, CA
Dirk, you’re not alone cuz I feel the same way. I, myself is the automation! My daily routine is to babysit our pool 24/7. But what I would consider a loosing battle in terms of pool maintenance is the unstoppable CH rise.

I bought a Stenner pump to automatically dose MA but I have long dumped the idea because as observed, my PH rise is somehow irregular. Perhaps my PH rise follows the weather pattern, evaporation and refills and pool activities. Our pool requires 1.2 qt of full strength MA once a week in the winter and lately, I’m adding MA twice a week. I’m pretty sure PH will creeps up at fast rate in the summer due to more frequent refills and pool activities. If I had the Stenner pump installed, I will have a fit tweaking the timer every now and then in order to follow the rhythm.

I have no experience with IntelliPH but perhaps others can steer you in the right direction to meet your needs.

As an aside, here’s a very interesting discussion on causes of PH rise in pools with SWCG system. What causes pH rise in pools with SWGs?
 

Ocgasman

Bronze Supporter
Jun 10, 2015
150
Orange County, CA
I have a negative edge on my pool and spa as well as laminars that cause tons of aeration, so my pH would always rise. I added borates but that helped very minimally. Some pools just have a hunger for acid. I was adding acid everyday and as you know, that gets old really fast with the toxic fumes.

I finally installed an IntellipH and so happy I did! One of the best investments I ever made for my pool maintenance. You still have to check your chemistry regularly and it will take a week or two for you to dial in your settings for the IntellipH. Also, I have to adjust the setting for winter as I decrease my run time. I love love my IntellipH. You cannot adjust the IntellipH settings on ScreenLogic which is a bummer but it's simple on the controller. Intellichlor is still controlled via ScreenLogic as before. Hope this helps and good luck.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,787
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I have a negative edge on my pool and spa as well as laminars that cause tons of aeration, so my pH would always rise. I added borates but that helped very minimally. Some pools just have a hunger for acid. I was adding acid everyday and as you know, that gets old really fast with the toxic fumes.

I finally installed an IntellipH and so happy I did! One of the best investments I ever made for my pool maintenance. You still have to check your chemistry regularly and it will take a week or two for you to dial in your settings for the IntellipH. Also, I have to adjust the setting for winter as I decrease my run time. I love love my IntellipH. You cannot adjust the IntellipH settings on ScreenLogic which is a bummer but it's simple on the controller. Intellichlor is still controlled via ScreenLogic as before. Hope this helps and good luck.
Thanks so much for weighing in. Can you answer any of my other questions in my original post? Especially:


5. When I lose SWG in the winter (with the sub-50° water temp), will I also lose Intelliph functionality? (Which would really suck.) If this is so, is there any work-around, so that I only have to manually dose chlorine in the winter? I suppose once my pebble stabilizes, I'll have little pH-rise in winter (since the SWG will be off), so will I find this to be a non-issue?

6. Can anyone with a Intelliph tell me (a) the exact dimensions of the base, and (b) if the tank is any wider than the base?
I can't seem to find the exact dimension of the the thing, anywhere on line, and I'm not sure it's going to fit where I need it to fit.
 

Derb22

Gold Supporter
Apr 29, 2018
299
Roswell GA
I will follow this post closely. I am dealing with the same PH RISE issue. My test only goes to 8.0 and I’m worried about letting it stay up there without knowing precisely how much over 8 it is. I have added the Borates, am currently working to continue to lower TA TO AROUND 50-60 to see if that will help slow the rise. I am thinking the IntelliPH is the answer to my weekly and sometimes bi-weekly acid doses. The you tube video I saw shows that you simply turn the gallon upside down without the cap and the reservoir has a puncture feature that allows it to empty without getting fumes or spillage. Please return to this post and give updates soon.

Thanks.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,787
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I was writing in another thread this morning:

I am currently seriously considering an IntellipH for this very reason. I have to add acid everyday just now to keep my CSI where I want it. Every day! I'm a hostage. I have high TA fill water, which isn't addressed at all by my software fill system, so I think my pool will require enough acid, often enough, to justify some acid-adding automation. The only thing holding up my decision is not knowing if/when my pool will eventually "settle down" to where I would only need to add acid once a week. It's been six months and I'm not seeing it subsiding much, if any. And it got worse when I turned on the SWG last month...

Even if this fantasy once-a-week could be true, I'm supposing that would mean a wide range of CSI from beginning of week to end, which is not really what I want. I got my SWG to avoid weekly swings, now, even best-case, I'm looking at weekly swings in pH (currently it's wide daily swings). That doesn't seem like it's going to fit with my long-term goal of perfect water, every day, to stretch the longevity of my finish. If there is a "perfect" balance, then striving to keep that perfect balance on a daily basis seems prudent. I'm well aware that pool chem's fluctuate and striving for perfection everyday can actually lead to bouncing levels that are self-defeating, but I'd like to see my fluctuations as a smaller percentage of the entire acceptable range than they currently are...

Hmm, did I just talk myself into the IntellipH?

Imagine having perfect TFP water, everyday, testing twice a week, and only adjusting some auto machines once a week, adding acid to one of them once a month! A guy can dream...
I really don't want to buy and maintain another complicated piece of pool equipment. But, as I point out above, even if I get to where I can add acid manually just once a week, that still is a situation that means on day one my pH will be at one end of the range, and on day 7 it'll be that the other end of the range, and I suspect that range will be like 7.0 to 8.0, not 7.5 to 7.7. So that means a pretty big swing in pH and CSI, which is not what I want. That might be best case, I might just as likely be looking at dosing a couple times a week, maybe more. I don't want to do that. Period.

I'm currently stalling, trying to decide if I should wait a year to see what happens. But at less than $500 (I can install this myself*), even if I find I someday don't need it all that much, it'll still be useful. And if I wait a year, I will have not had it in the one year I could have most used it (crazy logic, but logic just the same).

I have experts here telling me my pH will stabilize and settle in, and I should not fight it down to some random number. But currently that number looks to be 8.0 or higher (that's where it always ends up after a day or two, no matter what I knock it down to). I don't want to deal with borates, even if their effectiveness wasn't questionable. And I want my pH closer to 7.5, so even if that meant settling on 7.7 or 7.8, that would be something the IntellipH could do for me, instead of me having to add a few ounces every day or two.

To not have to handle MA more than a few times a year would be a great luxury, even if I don't always have this current "new-plaster" need.

* This is the one piece of Pentair equipment I think it is worth gambling on the warranty, which I'll lose by installing myself. The parts that go out on this thing do so annually anyway, and are not particularly expensive (under $50). It's not like gambling on the warranty of a $1000 pump.

Still on the fence, but leaning towards buying it soon...

- - - Updated - - -

I really do wish someone that had an IntelliPh could run out and measure the base for me, pretty please...
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,787
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Is it stand alone or do I need some other electronics to go with it? Doesn’t it come with its own controller?
That's a little confusing in the documentation I've been studying. As near as I can tell, it does come with its own controller, but that somehow connects to the transformer that also supplies power to an IntelliChlor. I believe it somehow makes use of the IntelliChlor's flow switch so that it doesn't pump acid unless water is flowing through the pipe. I think the IntelliPh controller can also control the IntelliChlor, but to what extent is not clear. Nor is it clear how to setup a IntelliPh without the IntelliChlor transformer. Since I have an IntelliChlor and its transformer, I didn't research that.

As I get closer to purchasing one, my plan was to first call Pentair and sort it all out...
 

riley00dog

Gold Supporter
Nov 14, 2017
2,215
Brisbane, Qld, Australia
Huh well if you’ve read my thread you’ll know what I think of auto acid dosing chlorinator systems. It is easy to manually dose through them though. It’s diluted but I’m currently dosing about 150-200ml manually though it a day (that’s the undiluted figure). Much better than handling acid though now I have the hang of it. Obviously same as you. New plaster. New swg. No input on the models as ours are different here.
 

Derb22

Gold Supporter
Apr 29, 2018
299
Roswell GA
I don’t have any of the Pentair system. So it sounds like I can’t use it. Is that correct? I really would like to find an Acid dosing system without being to DIY. As in I could install one but doubt I could build my own.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,787
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I don’t have any of the Pentair system. So it sounds like I can’t use it. Is that correct?
I don't actually know that, at all. I think I know that Intelliph makes use of IntelliChlor in some way, and vice-a-versa, but I don't know if IntelliChlor is actually needed for Intelliph operation. That'd be a question for Pentair...
 

Derb22

Gold Supporter
Apr 29, 2018
299
Roswell GA
I don't actually know that, at all. I think I know that Intelliph makes use of IntelliChlor in some way, and vice-a-versa, but I don't know if IntelliChlor is actually needed for Intelliph operation. That'd be a question for Pentair...
Yeah. Think I will call later today. Thanks.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,787
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
13.5in. x 13.5in. The tank is about 20in. high
Thanks again for measuring. The base will definitely fit where I want it to go, which is between my heater and the wall. But I only have about 17" there. Would you say the tank itself is less wide, equal to, or wider than the base? Will it fit in a 16" space?