EasyTouch 8 Wiring Mess & Blinking Aux 4 Light in Auto Mode - Why did they not use the sub-panel?

mdjtlj

In The Industry
May 18, 2019
3
Houston
So having the following issue, when in Auto Mode, Aux 4 (pool lights) blinks on/off and the relay makes a loud click (as expected when it goes on/off) and the panel light goes on/off. The frequency of the blinking is random, there is no pattern to it at all. Put it into service mode and all is well, no blinking. I've replaced the control board for the unit, the same thing happens, so I know that the control board is good. I've also swapped out the relay (we had a spare Aux 8) and the problem doesn't lie with a faulty relay. So I'm mystified as to why we are having the problem.

So I'm looking into our panel and it dawns on me, this thing is a real rat's nest and is not wired in any fashion that I would have thought was normal. I've attached pictures for you to look at, but my observations are the following:

- Hot from the house panel is wire-nutted into each of the relays bypassing the load distribution panel (sub-panel).
- Sub Panel is not used at all for the installation, where the installation manual calls for its use and it doesn't make sense to me to not use it. Other than the builder (re-model) being cheap and lazy.
- I'm anal, so I'd probably would have used appropriately colored wiring to reflect the actual service of the wire, it appears that scraps are used as needed
- The outlet is closely wired into Aux 4 and I'm thinking that this has something to do with the blinking, as I've already ruled out the control board and relay itself. I have also replaced the GFCI outlet already to rule this out as well.

Thoughts on this? I'm thinking maybe the best plan of action is to do the following:

- bring in licensed electrician to re-wire this thing entirely. I could probably do it, but I'm not absolutely sure that the house side wiring in the main house panel is appropriate for what we need.
- Thinking I should breaker each equipment when feeding hot to the relay. This would alleviate the jumps that are currently in the system, thereby leaving each relay with just the hot/neutral and the relay connect.

I suspect that this will get rid of the blinking Aux 4 that we're having, if not, then I'll know that it is a problem with the actual lights themselves, but I'm not sure how that could be?

Any assistance/thoughts you can offer would be much appreciated.IMG_1980.jpgIMG_1981.jpgIMG_1982.jpg
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,624
Bedford, TX
M,

Since you say that Aux 4 is being used for the Pool lights, then I would "assume" that the system is trying to change the light color and that you have the lights set for some kind of show.. Not saying that is the only problem, there may be other issues, but the first thing I would do is temporarily program the Aux 4 as generic instead of IntelliBrite and see what happens.

As you have found out, this is not a board issue, but I suspect some kind of programming issue..

Anyone that would wire an EasyTouch that way should be take out and shot.. I understand it might have been harder and more costly, but the old wires should have been removed and a new service line installed from your house breaker panel to the ET's load center. Then the ET's load center used to power everything in the ET..

If you have ScreenLogic, post the following set up / schedule pages...




Also... tell me what each relay is supposed to do...

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
Last edited:

mdjtlj

In The Industry
May 18, 2019
3
Houston
Unfortunately, I don't have Screenlogic, so I'm unable to provide you the requested shots.

As for the issue itself, I don't have the lights set to do any type of show or anything like that. In fact, since I've still got the new board installed, I've done no programming for scheduled run times or any other customizations at that this point. Right now, I've got it in service mode, without the blinking for Aux4. Yes, I'm positive that Aux4 are the pool lights, as the relay is wired to the two runs that make up the pool lights (one at each end) and when it is in Auto, Aux 4 relay is clicking and the lights are going on/off randomly.

At the end of the day, the old board (which was programmed) and the new board (which was not programmed) both behave the same, which tells me that something on the non-board side is causing the issue. Since the purpose of the relay is to open/close the circuit and it is doing it un-commanded, I've swapped out relays to a known good relay to no avail.

We've had some horrendous rain here lately and had a lightening strike here pretty close (I've not found what it hit, but it was instant sound and flash), would a bad light cause the issue that we are seeing?
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,624
Bedford, TX
If you have remotes, they can automatically reprogram the new board...

I can't think of anything else that will cause the relay to energize like you say it is doing...

Try this..

Menu, Setting, Circuit Functions, find the Aux 4 circuit (Or whatever you call Circuit 4) and see what it is set as.. If lights or IntelliBrite or cleaner, change it to Generic and see what happens. As you say, I might not be correct, but when I troubleshoot a system, I try to logically test things to either confirm the problem or rule something out.. I don't know any other way..

Please let me know what you find...

Let's see if Tom has any other ideas... Calling @ogdento

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

ogdento

Bronze Supporter
Mar 30, 2015
365
Chico, CA
Wow, that is one horrible wiring job.

It sure sounds like your EasyTouch is trying to execute the rapid ON/OFF pattern that turns on the lights. After you try Jim's suggestion of setting Aux4 to generic, here are a few more questions...

1. Which relay is actually connected to aux 4, the one on the far right of the top row?
2. Is there anything connected to the comm port of your ET (do you have any indoor or wireless remotes, intelliflo pumps, etc)
3. I can't imagine how a bad light could cause the ET to act the way it's acting since the power to the light is isolated from the ET. When the Aux 4 relay starts clicking, is the ET resetting?
4. How fast is the clicking? Does it do it multiple times, stop for while, and then repeat? Or is it continuous?

-Tom
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,624
Bedford, TX
Tom.

Which relay is actually connected to aux 4, the one on the far right of the top row?
Not to be picky, but the Aux 4 relay is the first one on the bottom left.. The top row should be Pump/Filter, Aux 1, 2, 3.. Bottom row is Aux 4, 5, 6, and 7

But I understand where you are going.. Since any relay can be plugged into any Aux connector on the main board.. it is better to not assume which relay is which, and always check first..

Thanks,

Jim R,
 

mdjtlj

In The Industry
May 18, 2019
3
Houston
Greetings,

I think that I've found the culprit. As requested, the AUX 4 was set to Generic - that was probably due to the new board still being in there and not programmed. What was strange was since the AUX4 relay was clicking on/off in AUTO but not behaving that way in any of the other modes (SERVICE/TIMEOUT), I decided to disconnect the wired indoor control. This was the issue. Looks like I'm going to be replacing this part at this point.

As for the on/off, it was random and not consistent. Sometimes it would go on/off every few seconds (5-6) and then it'd stop, then it'd go faster/slower and sometimes not for a minute or so. Did not correspond to any type of program that may be set.

Yes, AUX4 was the relay on the bottom left and yes, I did trace the relay wiring to the control board which had it into the AUX4 receptacle.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,624
Bedford, TX
md,

I suggest that rather than invest in more remotes, that you look into adding ScreenLogic.. It makes using the ET much more fun and makes programing simple.. You can control things using your PC, tablet, or phone...

Costs about the same as a new remote... $400 bucks..

You might send Tom a PM and see if he can help you fix your old remote..

Thanks,

Jim R.