EasyTouch Automation & adding SWCG: Pentair IC or CircuPool?

LgHorn

Active member
Nov 21, 2016
39
Cedar Park, TX
Long story short: as they are well known to do especially here in TX, unfortunately my PB talked me out of a SWCG when we did our build just over 3 years ago. I would like to convert this summer and have been looking at the various options from the big brands as well as not. I do have all Pentair equipment including EasyTouch 8 automation with ScreenLogic2.

I notice a lot of folks on TFP with Pentair equipment also have the ICx SWCG, presumably included at time of installation, but also because it integrates well with automation.

I’m thinking it’s down to the IC40 or a CircuPool model. One con of the IC40 is I’ll have to pay for installation to have it warrantied (for 1 measly year) while I could potentially do the CircuPool install myself and save hundreds.

As I have the option to freely choose what equipment to use for conversion: what would you recommend if it were you, bonus if you have been in the same shoes or have experience with Pentair and other brands? Is the automation integration all that great and an additional convenience factor, or does it not make much difference and I should go with the highest output, longest life, best warranty for the $?

Pool/spa combo is approx 15k gal.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
13,936
Bedford, TX
lg,

To me, it makes zero sense to have an EasyTouch and ScreenLogic and not use the Pentair SWCG.. I am a highly biased Pentair kind of guy, but if you did not have the EasyTouch my advice would be to use the CircuPool SWCG.

Having the IC40 will give you a screen that looks like this...


You can adjust your cell's output from the comfort of your PC, phone or tablet. You can also see what the salt level is in your pool. Neither of which you will be able to do with a non-Pentair SWCG.. The Pentair cell will also automatically reduce the amount of chlorine made when in the Spa mode. (You set the amount...)

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
969
Arizona
If you want to plumb in the IntelliChlor yourself and still want the extended warranty, find a pool guy (from a neighbor, internet, etc), ask him that if you give him $25.00 or so, will he stop by, inspect your installation and if he finds it suitable, give you an installation receipt/sign your warranty card and there you go. This seems to work out very well.
r.
 
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LgHorn

Active member
Nov 21, 2016
39
Cedar Park, TX
Thanks Jim. My PB is a Hayward place, but I specifically requested all Pentair equipment. I just bought a new filter to install and got another Pentair, no question. I realize I may be getting a lower cell life rating and shorter warranty going with the IntelliChlor, but I see they're highly used and still recommended by many on TFP and as you stated - there's the whole integration with the ET and SL. I was just a bit hesitant seeing all the low ratings of the Pentair IC cells online.

Unfortunately, I'm guessing my PB gave me the "lite" version of the ET and I'm likely missing the power center, so will need to get the IC40 kit and connect it to my ET panel. What's the easiest way to confirm I DON'T have the full ET with load center? I don't see the IC relay connection hole punched out of the bottom right of my ET box, so again assuming the PB skimped on the parts and install. Is the IC + power center an easy enough DIY job? Mind you, I'm probably in the novice category when it comes to plumbing and electrical work. I can replace a toilet, faucet and under sink plumbing, swap out an electrical outlet, and I built my own PCs back in the day, but following complex schematics and wiring diagrams may be a bit beyond my comfort level.

r - thanks, too, for the suggestion of checking with a local installer / pool guy. I am waiting for one to get me on the schedule to come out and provide me quotes for installs (filter, actuator valve, SWCG), but I'm not opposed to buying all the parts myself and attempting DIY installs.

Looks like I can get the IC40 kit from Polytec for $940 delivered. Anywhere else recommended to check for best price?

Thanks for the help!
 

dradam

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 10, 2013
169
maryland
I went with pentair 7 years ago-- Iliked how all the systems integrated and I have been happy with it. Their app has improved a lot and even allows control from your phone. If you can plumb PVC pipe the a diy install of the intellichlorX is very streight forward. Since you have an easy touch already it would make sense to me to go with Pentair. The box can hoouse your transformer( available online) for the SWCG and the motherboard can allow you full automation if you add their intellichem system. It is a finnicky system so beware, but I have enjoyed the full automation. Search diy pentair pool automation on TFP an you can see a thread with an article I wrote about my install.

Best wishes.

PS. If you go pentair oversize your swcg. it will run less and last longer
 
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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
13,936
Bedford, TX
lg,

The lite ET looks like this ... Pentair EasyTouch PSL4 Control System with ScreenLogic 522355

It has only 4 aux buttons and no load center.. A real ET has 8 aux buttons and a load center..

Most ET's do not come with internal SWCG power supplies.. You will need an IC40 plus the power center... Looks like this... Pentair IntelliChlor IC40 Salt Chlorine Generator System

The IC40 has had some recent issues with its flow switch, but overall, it is a solid unit. I have three of them, between 7 and 5 years old... The one at my house was replaced, but it was taken out by a lightning hit... the main reason for the bad reviews is simply that most users have no clue what they are doing. They were told, just turn it on and it will take care of itself, which is not at all true.

If you can install a wall outlet, you can install a SWCG and power supply..

Beside, you don't have to do it alone, we are here to help.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

LgHorn

Active member
Nov 21, 2016
39
Cedar Park, TX
If you can install a wall outlet, you can install a SWCG and power supply..

Beside, you don't have to do it alone, we are here to help.

Thanks,

Jim R.
Thanks Jim!

Appears I have the real ET (8) with relays and load center, but presume I am missing the SWCG power supplies so will need the IC40 kit as you mention. Pic attached.

Are the new iChlor units still unproven or have issues? I’ve not been able to find much info or reviews, but they do use the same power supply. I spoke to a rep at Polytec and was quoted under $600 for the iChlor 30K system kit and it appears to fully integrate with ET and SL as well. Are these not advised although the price is significantly less?

I have limited options for install location of the cell due to valve placement. Would at minimum have to remove the Rainbow 320 unit and possibly even add a pair of vertical pipes over where the Rainbow is now in order to fit properly. Do I need to keep that flow/check valve that’s currently behind the puck chlorinator?
 

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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
13,936
Bedford, TX
lg,

A 30K SWCG is not big enough.. We recommend at least 2 x the volume of your pool. You can use the IChlor if you want, but you will just have to run it harder and longer, which just means you will have to replace it sooner... there is no free lunch here... :mrgreen:

Good to see you have a "real" ET... But as you know, it does not have the internal SWCG power supply.

I don't have a tab feeder on any of my three SWCG pools and can't think of a single reason I would ever need one..

If you have tab feeder, you need the check valve between the heater and the feeder... You do NOT need the check valve when using a SWCG, as they is nothing to flow backwards into the heater.

Mounting the cell vertically is just fine as long as the flow switch is at the bottom...

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

LgHorn

Active member
Nov 21, 2016
39
Cedar Park, TX
Jim - my pool is right around 15k so only mentioned the 30k iChlor as it would be the minimum cell size desired for my pool. Based on price from Polytec I’d only be paying about $250 for a 30k size cell as the power supply is $300 at the low end. Even if the life is around 7-10k hours (I’m guessing as I can’t find specs on that), then it seems like a very affordable Pentair cell that integrates with my existing automation. If I had to run it at 50% during the warmer months and it crapped out after say 3 years that’s still not bad IMO.

I’m just not sure of the quality of the unit being a new model compared to the IntelliChlor and if it may come with potential issues.
 

LgHorn

Active member
Nov 21, 2016
39
Cedar Park, TX
I realized my pool volume in my signature said 17k, so that's where Jim - your comment came from regarding the iChlor 30K is insufficient. I went back and pulled up my PB contract which states my pool volume is under 14k. I ran some calculations based on dimensions, was sure to include my spa, and threw in some margin of error and came up around 14.5k, so rounding up to 15k. So, the iChlor is basically a min spec at just over 2x my volume and 1 lb/day chlorine production. I'm hopeful I can run it at 50% or less during the warmer months and reduce late fall through winter. Possible worst case scenario (assuming it works fine) being it doesn't last more than 2-3 years due to chlorine demand and running it harder/longer, so I up to the IC40 cell at that time. That's still less than I spend on stupid trichlor pucks for a year and all the disadvantages that come with their use. The iChlor comes with a spacer and extra coupling to fit the dimensions of an ICx if one is replacing, so I'll plan to do my install with the spacer in place to mitigate any plumbing rework if I do move to the IC model later.

I also looked around and couldn't find any negative comments here on TFP, and saw that @pooldv also has the iChlor 30K unit on his 13k pool. If it wasn't working well or was under powered I presume he would say so. So, I pulled the trigger from Polytec for the kit including the power supply and added on the CVA-24T valve actuator for my spa return I've been intended to get as well.

I have a long weekend or two weekends of equipment installation in my future: iChlor 30K w/power supply integrated into ET8, valve actuator, and Pentair Quad D.E. 80 to replace my FNS 60 including plumbing re-work and a new HIFLOW MVP. Now to find instructions / walkthrough for the IntelliChlor to ET install.
 

dradam

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 10, 2013
169
maryland
your ET has room for the SWCG. The housing is the same for all of them. Im the et with swcg installed the grounding bar is vertical making more room room for the swcg transformer. I would recommend the largest I chlor unit you could use. I have an IC 40 for a 19k pool. It works well, but is slow to keepup in bright sunlight. I will go to an IC 60 next time.
 
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