"easy" touch system has me stumped... pool/spa valve logic?

Rocket J Squirrel

Bronze Supporter
Jun 7, 2018
472
Alamo, CA
I have a Computer Science degree from MIT and 25 years of professional software design & development experience. My field of concentration was usability and user interface. So naturally the EasyTouch drives me insane any time I need it to do something possible but non-obvious.

I've actually been resisting adding ScreenLogic, considering the native EasyTouch UI a challenge, and not wanting yet more hardware on my already crowded home LAN. But I may change my mind.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ogdento

whackit

Member
May 25, 2019
11
Los Angeles
Okay. Got the screen logic hooked up. At least that was easy.

My question is still sort of the same. Let me talk specifically about my example. Here is what I want:

1. A daily schedule that runs the spa at low speed for cleaning
2. An ability to turn the spa "on" eg heat on and pump rpms increase.

So -as I think I understand- My options are:

1. Create a feature that has a low speed heat off option and apply this to the SPA circuit which is running. This would require 2 schedules. 1 to switch to the spa circuit and 1 to adjust the speed setting (which seems dumb but the only way I can figure it)

2. Make the spa circuit low speed heat off and then have a feature that would bump speed and heat. This seems to be the preferred method as it will be running the cleaning option far more often than the spa. Does this mean to turn the spa on you first need to select the spa and then the feature to change things? This logic seems silly to me, that you cant just directly change everything at once and that extra feature selection is going to result in endless "honey how do I turn on the spa?"

Sorry if Im being dumb about this but the logic just seems so weird to me I cant get my head around it.

Thanks for help and patience!
 

whackit

Member
May 25, 2019
11
Los Angeles
I have a Computer Science degree from MIT and 25 years of professional software design & development experience. My field of concentration was usability and user interface. So naturally the EasyTouch drives me insane any time I need it to do something possible but non-obvious.

I've actually been resisting adding ScreenLogic, considering the native EasyTouch UI a challenge, and not wanting yet more hardware on my already crowded home LAN. But I may change my mind.
Right? It's insane! I could have probably knocked out a raspberry pi interface that could do all of this and more in the time I have invested... there are more steps to programs than there are variables!
 

Rocket J Squirrel

Bronze Supporter
Jun 7, 2018
472
Alamo, CA
I wonder whether there's a clue here, written in Pentair-ese. On page 46 of my indoor control panel manual, it says

Settings Menu: Man Heat (Off/On)
By default manual heat (Man Heat) is set to "On," which allows your spa to begin to heat whenever it is manually switched on (by pressing the Valves (V) button and Filter Pump (F) button on the outdoor control panel or the Spa button in the Indoor Control Panel, even if the Heat menu setting is set to "OFF". This feature allows you to program your spa to filter daily with the heater set to off, and then be ready to heat whenever the Spa button is pressed manually.


I added the underlining. It seems like this should be applicable, but I can't translate it to English. Anyone?
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
13,659
Bedford, TX
If you guys spent as much time programming it vs. complaining about how you wished it worked, you'd both be done by now.. :mrgreen: There is no doubt in my mind that the EasyTouch was developed by mechanical guys... the whole thing is based on mechanical actions.. And I agree it is not too user friendly to program.. But if a guy who had to go to Summer School twice just to graduate with his High School class can program it, then you would think it would not be all that difficult for MIT guys... I think the problem is I am dumb enough to understand at least some of their logic.. You guys keep trying to make it something it is not.. Just pretend this the 70's and there is no such thing as a raspberry pi.. :)

I am not sure what you mean by "cleaning" operation for the Spa..??

Check out the following page and see if this makes a little more sense..


Notice in the lower right corner where it says "Heat Command" . In this example it is set to "Heater" because I want the Heater on.. It can be set to OFF or Don't change..

The next line shows "Change the Set Point".. This allows you to change the current set point with this schedule.. Or not..

The next line shows "Heat set point" For this schedule I have it set to 91 because that is where I want my spa to be at this point in time.. (I have a standalone spa that I control with the ET, so my specific schedule won't make sense to you, but the programming is the same..)

As far as pump speeds go you can only have one speed for each "Circuit" So if you have the Spa "Circuit" set for 1000 RPM, then to increase the Spa speed, you will need to turn on additional circuits.. You can see that in the following example


When in the Pool mode or Spa mode the pump runs at 1250 RPM.. If it schedule or turn on Skim low or Skim high the pump speed will increase to the speeds listed.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Rocket J Squirrel

Bronze Supporter
Jun 7, 2018
472
Alamo, CA
The challenge is in overcoming the EasyTouch. You ScreenLogic guys are taking the easy way out.

Pondering the above quote from page 46, I think I solved the heat part of the problem. In the Heat menu, set Spa to OFF. Set Man Heat to ON. Then set a schedule for the spa to achieve circulation. The heat will not come on during the schedule. The heat will only come on when you manually press Spa.

This doesn't solve the speed problem, i.e., the scheduled spa time will run at high speed.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
13,659
Bedford, TX
RJ,

I actually "learned" to program (for the lack of a better term) on the little 3" LCD on two EasyTouch units I have at rent houses... When ScreenLogic came along it was like someone turned on a light in a dark room... I had learned how to do it by 'feel" but with the light on, everything made sense and I could almost see some Pentair logic in what they were doing..

In my mind pump speeds are the easy part.. One speed for each circuit .. If you want the same basic thing to have three speeds than assign the slowest speed to the main circuit and the other speeds to Feature circuits.. As an example.. If you want the Pool to run at three speeds of 1000, 2000, and 3000, you assign 1000 to the Pool circuit, 2000 to Feature 1 (and name it Mid Speed) and 3000 to Feature 2 (and name it Max Speed) You could schedule Pool from 7 am until 7 pm and Mid speed from 10 am until 11 am and Max speed from 5 pm until 6 pm.. or only schedule Pool and then just manually turn on the Feature circuit by using the main panel, your PC or your phone..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Rocket J Squirrel

Bronze Supporter
Jun 7, 2018
472
Alamo, CA
In my mind pump speeds are the easy part.. One speed for each circuit .. If you want the same basic thing to have three speeds than assign the slowest speed to the main circuit and the other speeds to Feature circuits.. As an example.. If you want the Pool to run at three speeds of 1000, 2000, and 3000, you assign 1000 to the Pool circuit, 2000 to Feature 1 (and name it Mid Speed) and 3000 to Feature 2 (and name it Max Speed) You could schedule Pool from 7 am until 7 pm and Mid speed from 10 am until 11 am and Max speed from 5 pm until 6 pm.. or only schedule Pool and then just manually turn on the Feature circuit by using the main panel, your PC or your phone..
That works for the pool. I don't see how it would work for the spa because the valves need to turn. Is there any way to turn the valves to the spa without actually being in Spa mode?
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
13,659
Bedford, TX
RJ,

Why? The Intake and Return valves are preprogrammed to only do one thing.. and that is to switch between the Pool mode and the Spa mode.. The only way to turn those two valves is to be in the Pool mode and select Spa. Or be in the Spa mode and select Pool.. Doing that, both valves will move 180 degrees..

Please give me an example of why you would ever want the valves to be in the Spa mode positions, without the system being in the "Spa mode".. :scratch:

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Rocket J Squirrel

Bronze Supporter
Jun 7, 2018
472
Alamo, CA
The goal is (1) to circulate spa water at low speed with heater off and (2) not confuse @whackit’s wife. So pressing Spa must turn on the heater and raise the pump speed, and we need a way to schedule spa circulation at low speed with heat off. I can figure out the heat off but not the low speed.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
13,659
Bedford, TX
RJ,

The normal way to keep the water fresh and sanitized in a Spa is to either have a make up system or run in the spillover mode..

The make up system lets water go to the spa even when in the Pool mode.. This will keep Spa water fresh and chlorinated, but will result in the spillover constantly running. The other option is to set up and run the Spillway function.. In the Spillway mode, the pump pulls water from the Pool and sends it to the Spa causing the Spa to spillover into the pool.. Most people with automation, will schedule the Spillway mode to run twice a day for 30 minutes, or so, each time. This keeps the water in the Spa fresh..

To do this, you make a Feature circuit and name it Spillway and then Set the circuit Function to Spillway. Then Assign a speed to the spillway Circuit. Since you want a lot of water exchange during those 30 minutes, you would normal run the pump at a pretty good clip..

This would eliminate the "need" to run the Spa on low speed at all...

This would also allow you to have just one button to run the Spa when you wanted to use it..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
13,659
Bedford, TX
RJ,

Sorry, I lost track of which thread was which... 😕

To have an isolated spa that uses the same equipment as the main pool is pretty unusual and not something the EasyTouch was designed to do... But, where there is a will there must be a way..

The main problem is that unless there is some way to get new water into the spa, you have an issue.. It becomes like a standalone spa were you have to replace the water every 90 days or so.

So how about this...

Schedule the Spa to run at a low RPM, with the heat on, but set to as low as it will go, so for all practical purposes the heater will not come on. Then add a button to the Spa page of ScreenLogic that turns the speed of the pump up to where you want the spa to run.. You would end of with the wife having to push two side by side button when she wanted to use the spa.

The page would look something like this.. But instead of saying "Spillway" it would say "Spa Speed"


A better option would be to schedule the spa with no heat at all (Spa Manual Heat) and show the wife she has full control all on the same page. Push the Spa button to turn the spa on, push the Spa Speed button to set the speed and the push the heater button to turn on the heat..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

whackit

Member
May 25, 2019
11
Los Angeles
RJ,


A better option would be to schedule the spa with no heat at all (Spa Manual Heat) and show the wife she has full control all on the same page. Push the Spa button to turn the spa on, push the Spa Speed button to set the speed and the push the heater button to turn on the heat..

Thanks,

Jim R.
Yes, That seems like how I will do it... So much for automation. Ironically one of the reasons I got this system was so I could have it help with the manual water changeovers we do every month or so (separate spa). EG schedule it to pump out to pool for 5 minutes then back into spa for 5 minutes... Looks like I'll be out there switching valves again... Again thank you all for your help!
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
13,659
Bedford, TX
W,

If this were my pool, and I was as sharp as you are with Raspberry pi stuff, I would build a simple relay circuit that does what you want to do.. Basically, when off it would allow the EasyTouch to control the valves.. When the relays were energized, it would open the Intake and Return valve connections to the EasyTouch, and allow you to turn the valves the way you want with an external input.. The EasyTouch controls the normal operation, but your R-pi does the daily water exchange...

You would not even need the R-pi as you could just use a couple of DPDT relays and turn them on or off with the ET's scheduling..

This would also make it so that anytime you went into the Spa mode, the pump speed would be correct, and the heater would come one all at one time.

I am surprised there is not at least a pipe between the spa and the pool.. :scratch:

I now understand your frustration with the ET...

Thanks for your patience..

Jim R.
 

john1158

Active member
Jun 18, 2018
25
Duluth/GA
For different reasons I wanted to control the Spa Drain and Spa Fill functions of my pool with Jandy RS automation. In Pool Mode the valves have the suction and discharge routed to the pool in Spa Mode the valves have the suction and discharge routed to the SPA. Jandy valves use 3 wires 1 common with 2 with voltage (1 hot wire to drive the valve to each position). I purchased a 24v coil DPDT relay and wired the Jandy return valve control wires (red and white) through the normally closed contacts and cross wired the the red / white wires through the normally open contacts. So now with relay off the Pool mode and SPA mode work normally. In Pool mode when relay is engaged the return valve reverses from discharge to pool to discharge to Spa. duplicating the fill mode positions In SPA mode when the relay is engaged the valve reverses to discharge to pool the drain mode. The intake valve always stays in the position that is normal for that mode. I control the relay through a 24 v aux port on the Jandy control panel. My Spa does have a spill over but I do not a lack of a spill over being an issue because my set up has has separate suction and discharge lines for the pool and spa using the same pump and the spill over is not operational in Spa mode.
 

whackit

Member
May 25, 2019
11
Los Angeles
W,

If this were my pool, and I was as sharp as you are with Raspberry pi stuff, I would build a simple relay circuit that does what you want to do.. Basically, when off it would allow the EasyTouch to control the valves.. When the relays were energized, it would open the Intake and Return valve connections to the EasyTouch, and allow you to turn the valves the way you want with an external input.. The EasyTouch controls the normal operation, but your R-pi does the daily water exchange...

You would not even need the R-pi as you could just use a couple of DPDT relays and turn them on or off with the ET's scheduling..

This would also make it so that anytime you went into the Spa mode, the pump speed would be correct, and the heater would come one all at one time.

I am surprised there is not at least a pipe between the spa and the pool.. :scratch:

I now understand your frustration with the ET...

Thanks for your patience..

Jim R.
Good idea... The relays would work, although I think I'm out of relays on my ET4 to control them. I have been messing around a bit with connecting the valves to the A/B positions rather than pool and spa. It seems to have some more flexibility. The reality is I spent a bunch of money on an "automation" system that I was expecting to make my life easier. I really don't want to spend time having to kludge on to this system.

Do any of the other systems, intellicenter, etc, have more flexibility? My system is new enough that I may be able to get a swap out if I make enough noise... I'm stuck with pentair as swapping out the whole panel will make me go insane (er).
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
13,659
Bedford, TX
W,

You can add more valves to the IntelliCenter and it might help some, but you still face the same basic problem... You have a very unusual set up and none of these systems are designed to do what you want to do...

Good luck with your project..

Jim R.
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
964
Arizona
whackit
I have been following your thread with curiosity because I also have a spa that is not a spillover (the two bodies of water are only connected by a 6" equalization pipe").
I had a similar issue with my automation and found a work-around but I'm not sure this will work with the EasyTouch System or not. That system is very different from mine and I don't know much about the ET and IT systems). Jimrahbe, I'm sure could tell you if it would or not work.

So I wanted to be able to activate either my Pool/Spa intake (suction) or my Pool/Spa return valves independently of each other and without having to activate the spa heater, Spa Jet Pump etc when I activated the SPA circuit group (macro).

Here is what I did, but Jimrahbe can tell you if this will work with the EasyTouch.

So I moved my Pool/Spa INTAKE (suction) and RETURN valve actuators off of their normal INTAKE and RETURN 3-PIN connectors on the main board (in my case, the IC daughter card). I then moved them to a Valve Expansion Board where I have an eight (8) valve actuator capability not including "INTAKE" and "RETURN" (not sure if you can do something similar with the ET???). I can now control each valve independently of each other (for various cleaning programs etc). I can still have them go to straight "SPA ONLY' mode by including them (both) in the applicable SPA macro.

The only "dicey" thing about this procedure is you really have to be careful to setup the valve actuator positions and the CIRCUIT macros carefully or either your pump will end up sucking air or you will have a flood on your kool decking (never good). After some experimentation, I got everything setup correctly (valve actuator positioning and the programming) and now it works like a charm.

Not sure if this will help at all or not. Good luck with your project and take care...
r.

p.s
After re-reading your latest posts, I saw that you have the possibility of a "swap-out" from an ET4 to an IntelliCenter? Seriously? I'm certainly not trying to tell you what to do (and the ET4 is a good system, please don't get me wrong), but if it were me in the same situation and I could "swap", I would be jumping all over that. :p
All-the-best...
r.
 
Last edited: