CoverStar Sensor with IntelliCenter?

wgipe

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Jul 4, 2020
125
Fletcher, OH
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Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Good morning!

Our pool gets underway tomorrow, and I got to thinking - since we will have a CoverStar auto cover, and since they sell a reed switch to indicate closed/open status, can you hook that up to IntelliCenter? My thought is that it would be nice to automatically set the SWCG to a lower level when the cover closes as a fail-safe to make sure I don't forget to back it off when the cover is on (which will be most of the time). Is this an option? Are there other ways to accomplish the same thing? I searched here, but couldn't find anything regarding the IntelliCenter and this issue. Thanks!

Wes
 

gingrbredman

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2020
192
Chicagoland
Pool Size
11200
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
There is an add on to the Intellicenter for the pool cover sensor, but there is very little information online for it.


I have my auto cover installed now, all wired up, but the PB forgot to install this part, and likely wont get to it until the spring. But I did have a Pentair rep out to the house to help my PB set up my new Intellicenter (this is new for them, this is only the 2nd one they have done, use Easy Touch as standard), and I did talk with him about it. He told me I need a separate low voltage wire to the cover box, and that hooks up somewhere on the motor side of the cover. Luckily, we did run a separate conduit to the cover, as this new wire should not run in the same conduit as the high voltage wire.

Once hooked up, we can program the Intellicenter to know if the cover is open or closed. With that information, we can then control the SWCG to run at different percentages if the cover is closed or open, have the lights not turn on if the cover is closed, and even program the Intellivalves to not turn on if the cover is closed. Or, if the valves are on for a water feature, the cover could not be closed until they are turned off. We have a slide, and will eventually be able to be controlled by the app. If the cover is closed, the water will not turn on. If the valve is on and the slide is running, we wont be able to close the cover from the keypad until the slide is turned off.

From talking to the Pentair rep, the install of this board in the Intellicenter and the hooking up of the low voltage to the cover motor is pretty easy. The parts aren't that expensive. I would make sure your pool builder runs a low voltage wire from the cover to the Intellicenter, and set up the board inside the panel for you. I haven't seen a different way to do it other than with this expansion board, and still not sure what gauge wire, or how many wires to run (18 gauge, 4 pair for example, or 16 gauge 2), but the PB should know, and the instructions that come with the expansion board should tell you. From what I could see, the instructions for installing the board and programming are not available online.
 
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wgipe

Gold Supporter
Jul 4, 2020
125
Fletcher, OH
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
There is an add on to the Intellicenter for the pool cover sensor, but there is very little information online for it.


I have my auto cover installed now, all wired up, but the PB forgot to install this part, and likely wont get to it until the spring. But I did have a Pentair rep out to the house to help my PB set up my new Intellicenter (this is new for them, this is only the 2nd one they have done, use Easy Touch as standard), and I did talk with him about it. He told me I need a separate low voltage wire to the cover box, and that hooks up somewhere on the motor side of the cover. Luckily, we did run a separate conduit to the cover, as this new wire should not run in the same conduit as the high voltage wire.

Once hooked up, we can program the Intellicenter to know if the cover is open or closed. With that information, we can then control the SWCG to run at different percentages if the cover is closed or open, have the lights not turn on if the cover is closed, and even program the Intellivalves to not turn on if the cover is closed. Or, if the valves are on for a water feature, the cover could not be closed until they are turned off. We have a slide, and will eventually be able to be controlled by the app. If the cover is closed, the water will not turn on. If the valve is on and the slide is running, we wont be able to close the cover from the keypad until the slide is turned off.

From talking to the Pentair rep, the install of this board in the Intellicenter and the hooking up of the low voltage to the cover motor is pretty easy. The parts aren't that expensive. I would make sure your pool builder runs a low voltage wire from the cover to the Intellicenter, and set up the board inside the panel for you. I haven't seen a different way to do it other than with this expansion board, and still not sure what gauge wire, or how many wires to run (18 gauge, 4 pair for example, or 16 gauge 2), but the PB should know, and the instructions that come with the expansion board should tell you. From what I could see, the instructions for installing the board and programming are not available online.
Thanks!! This is exactly what I was looking for. Pool Supply Unlimited had it in stock, and I'll have it in a few days. That makes my day!

Wes
 
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gingrbredman

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2020
192
Chicagoland
Pool Size
11200
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Thanks!! This is exactly what I was looking for. Pool Supply Unlimited had it in stock, and I'll have it in a few days. That makes my day!

Wes
Let us know what it all looks like when you get it. Just talked with my PB yesterday, wrapping up all the punch list items for my build, but they don't even have the parts yet, and won't even install it until the spring for me. Not a big deal on my side, we are closing the pool in a few days, but would be interested to see what all you get with this, and sure others will as well when they come across this thread.
 

wgipe

Gold Supporter
Jul 4, 2020
125
Fletcher, OH
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Let us know what it all looks like when you get it. Just talked with my PB yesterday, wrapping up all the punch list items for my build, but they don't even have the parts yet, and won't even install it until the spring for me. Not a big deal on my side, we are closing the pool in a few days, but would be interested to see what all you get with this, and sure others will as well when they come across this thread.
Sure will. I’ll see if I can scan/post the manual or whatever paperwork comes with it also. Should have it tomorrow.
 
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wgipe

Gold Supporter
Jul 4, 2020
125
Fletcher, OH
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
OK guys - here's the manual that came with the board. Looks like it's just a generic expansion card installation guide. Happy reading! I'm off to call Pentair....
 

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wgipe

Gold Supporter
Jul 4, 2020
125
Fletcher, OH
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
OK guys - here's the manual that came with the board. Looks like it's just a generic expansion card installation guide. Happy reading! I'm off to call Pentair....
After about an hour on the phone with Pentair, they apparently have an internal document with installation instructions, but it has to go through legal before they can release it. I pushed back a little - the guy was very helpful - and he’s going to run it up the chain and email me as soon as he hears back from his engineers. I can’t believe they’d release something with no installation manual, but 🤷‍♂️...
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
14,963
Evans, Georgia
This sounds like a safety issue to me..... potential for tragedy should someone not right at the pool should trigger the cover to close and someone in the pool. Children might think it great fun and not shout out to stop it.

Maddie <--trauma nurse worrywart
 
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wgipe

Gold Supporter
Jul 4, 2020
125
Fletcher, OH
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
This sounds like a safety issue to me.....
It does not allow remote operation of the cover - only senses position. It’s used to automatically reduce the SWCG when the cover is closed as well as increase when the cover opens. It can also be used as a fail-safe interlock to prevent a pump or valve from turning on when the cover is closed.
 

wgipe

Gold Supporter
Jul 4, 2020
125
Fletcher, OH
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Well...just got a quote from Coverstar Central for the rotary encoder used to sense the cover position - $675. 😬 I guess if I’m this far in, what’s another $675?
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
14,963
Evans, Georgia
It does not allow remote operation of the cover - only senses position. It’s used to automatically reduce the SWCG when the cover is closed as well as increase when the cover opens. It can also be used as a fail-safe interlock to prevent a pump or valve from turning on when the cover is closed.
Ohhhhhh! Good! <whew!> :mrgreen:
 
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wgipe

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Jul 4, 2020
125
Fletcher, OH
Pool Size
20000
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Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
So the saga continues... I heard back from the support rep. He said they are definitely not allowed to release the instructions, but he could walk me through how to hook it up.... :hammer: I told him that was fine....as long as I had a guarantee in writing that they would replace anything we blew up in the process. He's now talking to his manager to see what they can do. I still can't believe they would release a product and then refuse to release installation instructions. I should reinforce that the guy I'm talking to is super empathetic and apologetic - he's just stuck between a rock and a hard place. We shall see what happens....
 

gingrbredman

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2020
192
Chicagoland
Pool Size
11200
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I actually talked to my PB yesterday and confirmed the entire parts for this expansion was about $1,200, their cost. The expansion board as well as the rotary encoder you mentioned. I didn't realize that was part of it too, but you are right, if you are $xxx in, what's another $675 for the peace of mind?

I can't believe Coverstar does not have "approved" instructions yet, but that actually makes sense now why I couldn't find anything online for it. If you can get the parts installed with help from Coverstar, it seems Pentair is also able to help you get it all programmed in the Intellicenter. I had the local Pentair rep at the house and we talked about the programming and how straightforward it was. My PB has installed only a few of these so far on their Coverstar builds, but use the Pentair rep to get the programming done in the Intellicenter. The Pentair rep in my area is not able to come to the house unless a certified "partner" is there, in my case thats my PB. When it comes time to program the Intellicenter, maybe your PB could get a rep out to help, or I have also heard their phone support is not a bad option either.

Glad to see a pioneer in taking on a project like this. Will be very helpful for a lot of others down the road.
 
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wgipe

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Jul 4, 2020
125
Fletcher, OH
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I actually talked to my PB yesterday and confirmed the entire parts for this expansion was about $1,200, their cost. The expansion board as well as the rotary encoder you mentioned. I didn't realize that was part of it too, but you are right, if you are $xxx in, what's another $675 for the peace of mind?

I can't believe Coverstar does not have "approved" instructions yet, but that actually makes sense now why I couldn't find anything online for it. If you can get the parts installed with help from Coverstar, it seems Pentair is also able to help you get it all programmed in the Intellicenter. I had the local Pentair rep at the house and we talked about the programming and how straightforward it was. My PB has installed only a few of these so far on their Coverstar builds, but use the Pentair rep to get the programming done in the Intellicenter. The Pentair rep in my area is not able to come to the house unless a certified "partner" is there, in my case thats my PB. When it comes time to program the Intellicenter, maybe your PB could get a rep out to help, or I have also heard their phone support is not a bad option either.

Glad to see a pioneer in taking on a project like this. Will be very helpful for a lot of others down the road.
I'm going through Coverstar Central for the cover, and they have been nothing but helpful. Their rep is just going to send the encoder with the cover next week and they will install it while they are here. It's the expansion card form Pentair that has no installation instructions. Freddy at Pentair is who I'm dealing with, and while he can't do anything directly, he's been absolutely great about running down every avenue he can find and staying on top of it. He's currently reaching out to Cedric, who is the chief engineer for IntelliCenter, as well as working with his direct manager to find a way to get me the info in the meantime.

Regarding the $1,200 not sure where that comes from. The expansion board is $175.59 and the CoverStar part is $675. The only other thing they'd need is a little low-voltage wire and some conduit - perhaps I'm missing something?

Happy to contribute in any way I can - I've received a whole lot of advice on other things, so glad I can return the favor in some way. I'll continue to update this as I know more.

-Wes
 
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gingrbredman

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2020
192
Chicagoland
Pool Size
11200
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Regarding the $1,200 not sure where that comes from. The expansion board is $175.59 and the CoverStar part is $675. The only other thing they'd need is a little low-voltage wire and some conduit - perhaps I'm missing something?
I probably should have clarified, the $1,200 was just a number the PB threw out for their "cost". Probably includes the conduit, wire, and the labor for the guys to get everything in place, so probably not just "parts", but their "cost" to install. Glad to hear you can get the parts all sourced, and seems like Pentair is doing what they can to help you out. Looking forward to this!
 
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wgipe

Gold Supporter
Jul 4, 2020
125
Fletcher, OH
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Mystery solved! Kudos to Pentair. The rep I've been working with was able to run down a manual and get authorization to release it. Keep in mind that this is marked as a draft. That said, it looks to be very complete.

I must say that this is amazing customer service - you don't get people that care like this anymore. Attached is a manual - and it eve uses a Latham cover as the example, so it should be exactly what you need.

I should be setting it up in the next couple of weeks and will report back if I have any trouble.

-Wes
 

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Matt F 3

Well-known member
Feb 1, 2020
81
Plainfield Il
Wish I would of known about this, but to 4 weeks to late know. Don't think theres an extra line to the cover from the control ctr.
And I don't have another "t" in "B O A T". :love:


.
 
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gingrbredman

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2020
192
Chicagoland
Pool Size
11200
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Don't think theres an extra line to the cover from the control ctr
It looks like from your construction thread, the equipment is on the opposite side from where your auto cover sits. But, if am looking at this right, you may be able to run a conduit across your house, possibly under the deck for the low voltage wire, and make it out to the auto cover cavity without a lot of disruption. You may be able to pull that off yet, but couldn't be 100% sure with the pics in your thread.