Does an Intelliflo make automation redundant?

MostlyCanuck

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Mar 19, 2021
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Hiya

Pool about to be built and PB suggested automation package (intellicenter, I think is called). I cannot understand how this is different from the controls already provided by the programming features of an Intelliflo VS pump... meaning:
  • the Intelliflo can be pre-programmed to run at different speeds throughout the day for different tasks. Say I set it to run all day around 1200 or so, except for a couple hrs of higher RPM for a good surface skim job and, maybe, a few hours of mid-RPM for the heater which may need greater flow (no vacuum, will use robot).
  • the SWG (IC40) I think goes automatically on/off based on flow detection... so I set it to whatever % and it will run itself
  • same for the heater, which I think can be just turned on to a set temp and will also go on/off itself based on flow detection
So, if I understand the above correctly, I'm not sure what the extra value of automation is. Can someone pls help me? I'm guessing there's something I'm missing here...

I realize that automation could also control ancillary stuff like pool/landscape lighting, waterfall, etc... but let's put these aside for a moment. In terms of managing the pool itself (sanitizing, filtration, heating), am I correct that automation wouldn't add any material value with an Intelliflo, or is there something I'm missing?

Thx!!
 

ajw22

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If you have a simple pool with no spa or water features and don't have any problem going out to the equipment pad to adjust the pump speed, SWG output, or heater settings, then automation does not add a lot. Automation can give you information about your pool equipment that you otherwise need to go out to the equipment pad to check - SWG status, water salt level, water temperature.
 

Newdude

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If you wanted the heater and SWG to maintain a set output, they would do so on their own. The pump can do different things on its own with the schedule. If that's all you need, there is no need for automation.

Without a spa, water features, landscaping lights, etc.... there really isn't a need. That being said some people like to whip out their cell phone and adjust the SWG/pump output. That's OK too.
 

MostlyCanuck

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Mar 19, 2021
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thank you, that's what I thought.

I don't think i would adjust the SWG output or heater temp frequently to require automation.

I don't have a spa but will have a waterfall, pool lights and landscape lighting. those are nice to control remotely, yes.. it's tempting.

I would have happily spent the ~3k that automation adds to the build for "true" automation that can work with voice commands, integrate with weather APIs and google/nest... but the current automation systems dont seem very "smart".

Also - and this one is key for me - if you build everything with automation, and one day the motherboard dies and it takes a few weeks to get the part and have it replaced - can you still run all the equipment locally, bypassing the automation?
 

mknauss

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The SWCG will need a timer if not managed by automation. Do not rely on the flow switch. That is the secondary safety device. Removing power is the primary safety device. They can explode if operated without water flow.
 

ajw22

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Also - and this one is key for me - if you build everything with automation, and one day the motherboard dies and it takes a few weeks to get the part and have it replaced - can you still run all the equipment locally, bypassing the automation?

Your Intelliflo pump can be controlled by its control panel if the automation panel is off.

The SWG and heater would each take a change in two wire connections to get them to operate independently.

That is not a very strong argument for not getting automation.
 

ajw22

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The SWCG will need a timer if not managed by automation. Do not rely on the flow switch. That is the secondary safety device. Removing power is the primary safety device. They can explode if operated without water flow.

Unless you simply set your pump to run 24/7.
 
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MostlyCanuck

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Mar 19, 2021
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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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Your Intelliflo pump can be controlled by its control panel if the automation panel is off.

The SWG and heater would each take a change in two wire connections to get them to operate independently.

That is not a very strong argument for not getting automation.
you are right, not the decision driver for sure. but important to know that the equipment can still run locally if the automation is fried...otherwise it would be a single point of failure for the entire system, which isnt great... i read a review of the intellicenter from someone who's been waiting almost a year for pentair to source a part currently backordered due to supply chain issues... just wanted to make sure there was a local workaround..

what did you mean by "The SWG and heater would each take a change in two wire connections to get them to operate independently."? would you mind rephrasing this?
 

MostlyCanuck

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Mar 19, 2021
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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Pool Size
18800
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Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
The SWCG will need a timer if not managed by automation. Do not rely on the flow switch. That is the secondary safety device. Removing power is the primary safety device. They can explode if operated without water flow.
scary. thx for the heads up
 

ajw22

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what did you mean by "The SWG and heater would each take a change in two wire connections to get them to operate independently."? would you mind rephrasing this?

To restore the heater to local control you disconnect the two wires at the firemans switch in the heater or at the panel and wire nut the wires together to complete the circuit.

To restore the SWG to run you move the two AC lines that power it that should be connected to the LOAD side of the Filter/[ump relay to the LINE side to get power. Since you don't have the SWG on a timer as a primary safety you should run your pump 24/7 while you wait to get your automation fixed.

So you change 2 wires to 2 places.
 
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MostlyCanuck

Bronze Supporter
Mar 19, 2021
58
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Pool Size
18800
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
To restore the heater to local control you disconnect the two wires at the firemans switch in the heater or at the panel and wire nut the wires together to complete the circuit.

To restore the SWG to run you move the two AC lines that power it that should be connected to the LOAD side of the Filter/[ump relay to the LINE side to get power. Since you don't have the SWG on a timer as a primary safety you should run your pump 24/7 while you wait to get your automation fixed.

So you change 2 wires to 2 places.
got it. thx for the helpful explanation