Flakey Pentair WiFi control

JamesinAZ

Member
Sep 27, 2020
9
Arizona
Hi all,

I have the newer Pentair system and controls that allows control via wifi on phone or tablet. Long story short, the system seems to always work as programmed but sometimes I can not manually operate the system. And it requires unplugging the inside equipment to reset. And that doesn't always work such as today where I have reset every single component and my wifi modem.

Wondering if there are any experts than can advise since I can't seem to find a Pentair repair service around here. And really don't feel like paying them to maybe find an intermittent issue that is common.

Details:

iPad SAYS it is in contact but the display does not show current temperatures indicating I am talking to interior device but not the actual control panel.

I have had this issue in the past and eventually it just starts working again. It is tiresome but I don't feel like paying $100 for a service visit.

I am also surprised that Pentair doesn't have some means to contact them regarding problems.

Thanks
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,129
Central California
Do you have a desktop computer connected to the same router or ethernet network the ScrerenLogic Protocol Adapter is connected to? And if so, do you have ScreenLogic loaded on that computer? If so, I can walk you through a few troubleshooting steps. If not, is the computer a Mac running OS 10.15 (Catalina)? If not, download the desktop version of ScreenLogic and install it on the computer, and see if you can get it talking to your Easytouch, and then report back.

This will help determine if the problem is with the ET, the Adapter, your Wifi, or the app.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,415
Bedford, TX
James,

ScreenLogic does not use Wi-Fi... The EasyTouch talks to the Protocol adapter using wireless links that work like the old wireless phones used to work.. The only Wi-Fi would be between your ipad and your house internet system.

I would be curious if other devices have the same problem or just your iPad. Just from looking at posts here on TFP, it appears the wireless links either work, or they don't.. I have not seen much in the way of any intermittent issues.

Do you have ScreenLogic on a PC, by chance, or is all your stuff apple?

When it is not working, can you look at the LEDs on the inside and outside units and tell us what you see?? On mine, the TX light blinks several times and then the RX light will blink once, and then it repeats.. The Ethernet side of the Protocol adapter blinks all the time when it is connected to an active Ethernet connection. The EasyTouch side of the Protocol adapter has a constant red light indicating it is getting power from the EasyTouch.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

JamesinAZ

Member
Sep 27, 2020
9
Arizona
I don't have a PC all my desktops are Mac based. I tried using an iPad and an iPhone which have noth worked in the past. The phone I use through remote connection. Neither works.

The internal devices have the solid red light on the adapter and the ethernet has pwr blinking all the time and TX and RX both flickering all the time. There is an ethernet cable from my wifi modem to the adapter.
 

JamesinAZ

Member
Sep 27, 2020
9
Arizona
ALso when I use Screenlogic it says connected and shows the user screen. But it does not show air temp readings or pool temps correctly. Just 0. I'm guessing the problem is between the internal adapter and the external Easytouch unit.

Also, it has done this before. Where I could not make it work. Then later for no reason it would work. Or sometimes resetting the adapter inside would make it work. This time it has been all day no bueno.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,129
Central California
Do you have a Mac with any OS older than Catalina, like Mojave? If so, visit the page below and

1) Follow the instructions regarding the Protocol Adapter (PA) firmware update. Download the firmware update software for the PA, but DO NOT INSTALL IT just yet.

2) Download the Mac version of ScreenLogic for your computer and install it. It will install on any OS from 10.8 to 10.14. (But not Catalina.)

3) Be ready with a new ethernet cable, one that you know to be good, ideally never been used. Go buy a new, quality one if you don't have an extra.

4) Describe how the PA is connected to the EasyTouch (ET). Is it hard wired, or are you using Pentair's wireless transceivers?

I am suspecting the PA or its wiring. We'll work through the possibilities one by one if you can get a computer version of ScreenLogic in front of you.


We're going to check the wiring of the PA before you update its firmware. Updating the firmware of the PA with an intermittent connection can ruin it permanently.
 
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JamesinAZ

Member
Sep 27, 2020
9
Arizona
Dirk, You are a star offering so much help.

I am in a quandary now though. I have 3 macs and all are on Catalina. Pity I just sold my old mac which was too old for the new OS and would have been ideal for this.

Second - as usual the system decided today it's going to work fine and may not cause trouble again for weeks. I confess, since I can always walk to the panel to turn stuff on during the intermittent outages and how difficult it will be to determine if any repair done actually worked I am going to hold off for now and hope the bad part dies totally so it's obvious.

I have learned from this thread and your help. I now know the communication between the internal Pentair controller and the Easytouch outside is a non-wifi signal via the transciever. SInce I always have the ability to connect to the controller the issue is between the internal and external using the wireless trancievers. And they have to cost less than a service call so if this becomes too annoying I will buy new transcievers and replace. Pretty sure this is the issue.

Thanks so much.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,129
Central California
I was going to have you use the computer ScreenLogic app to determine if the failure occurs with that, too. That would have narrowed down where the problem might be. In the meantime, this type of intermittent failure can definitely be caused by the wiring. If you installed all the components yourself, then I'd be comfortable advising you the following. Before you do anything, turn off the breaker to the ET and unplug the power to the indoor transceiver. Messing with the ScreenLogic wires while powered on can fry both your ET and PA. So with power off, take a quick pic of each wiring connection, then undo all the ScreenLogic wires, for the PA and the transceivers and the ET. Replace the ethernet cable with new. Take some very fine steel wool, or even an emory board, to each wire and clean it bright! And/or cut off the ends and strip down to new copper (but scrub that, too, nice and shiny). Then wire everything back up. Use your pics as a guide to make sure everything is as it was. Be sure to tighten all the connections really well (but don't over tighten).

90% of these types of issues are wiring.

If that doesn't work, it could be a bad Protocol Adapter or transceiver. Without the computer ScreenLogic app, we can't rule out the WiFi, but if you have other apps on your iPad that use the internet (and so your WiFi) that are not cutting out as well, that kinda rules out a WiFi issue.

If you're feeling ambitious, you can rule out the transceivers by hard-wiring the PA directly to the ET. You'd need a long enough stretch of 4-conductor wire (you can buy at Lowes or HD) and just remove the transceivers from the wiring and replace the connection between PA and ET with the four wires. I can walk you through that if you're interested. Not as a permanent solution, just for troubleshooting. If the four wires solve the problem, it's one of your transceivers. If it doesn't, it's the PA.

But please don't attempt any of these wiring troubleshooting tips unless you're reeeeheeeheeealy comfortable with wiring such things. Because you can very easily cause more harm than good for your gear otherwise.

I hardwired my PA to my ET and eliminated the two transceivers. I was able to get the wire from one to the other through my attic. If you have such a path, that might be a permanent solution for you. Jim likes the transceivers in the mix because they afford some protection from lightening strikes. He lost some gear when a bolt hit his neighbor's house and found its way through his ET all the way to his stuff inside. So that's a consideration.

If you ever have an interest in getting ScreenLogic to run on Catalina, it's doable, but not for the faint of heart (or pocketbook). Give me a ping if you want to learn more about it.
 
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Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
434
Central Texas
The wireless connection between the indoor and outdoor units for the ScrenLogic use a frequency in the 900mHz range.

With my setup, I also noticed flaky connection, and couldn't figure out why. Then one day, my wife told me our weather station transmitter needed batteries, as the outdoor temp and humidity were showing blank. So I replaced the batteries in the outdoor weather sensor transmitter, and it was still showing blank. Then it dawned on me, that the ScreenLogic setup was working great while the weather station was having issues. So I unplugged the indoor ScrenLogic setup, and the weather station immediately resync'ed and populated the temp and humidity.

So all that to say .. if you have some other wireless device (like a weather station) operating in the 900mHz range, it can cause interference with the ScreenLogic setup.

The solution for me was to adjust the switches on my weather station to try different channels (it has 3 options). Channel's 1 and 2 on my weather station cause interference with ScreenLogic, but channel 3 doesn't. So while it was an easy fix, it took me a while to figure out what was causing it.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,129
Central California
Great clue! Could be a neighbor's gizmo, too. Another reason to hardwire, if you can, and if you are willing to brave lightening!* 🌩

Don't some cordless phones use 900Mhz? That could be a place to look.

* I'm not concerned about my ET/PA hardwire connection and lightening. I have so much ethernet cable and 120V wiring running around my house, attic and yard, that if I get struck, the hardwiring of my PA will not make a difference, I'll get toasted no matter what...
 
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Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
434
Central Texas
Great clue! Could be a neighbor's gizmo, too. Another reason to hardwire, if you can, and if you are willing to brave lightening! 🌩
Could be, although unlikely with 900mHz. It's more than likely something inside his home, and fairly close to the indoor transceiver (meaning in the same room). An old style cordless phone, a wireless weather station, wireless gaming headset, medical monitor, etc, etc ...
 
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Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
434
Central Texas
Hey now. Watch it young whippersnapper! I am an old old-style cordless phone user! ☎
LOL ... at 45 years old, I’m quite happy to be called a young whippersnapper!!

I’ll bet yours is 2.4gHz or 5.0gHz though, and not 900mHz .... right? If not, and you do have a 900mHz one .... well, there’s the most likely cause of the interference you were experiencing before hard wiring.

You can still get 900mHz ones, but most of the brand name newer phones are 2.4 or 5.0
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,129
Central California
I never used my transceivers. I sold them back to the pool guy. I hardwire everything, and have spent days in my attic: AV gear, cams, computers, pool automation and remotes, all hardwired. Only phones (maybe 5.0?) and iPads are wireless. Well, my home automation uses RF, but is also hardwired redundantly.

More wire = less trouble.

Back to the OP: hunt down that 900MHz gear!
 

JamesinAZ

Member
Sep 27, 2020
9
Arizona
OMG. It might be the phone. The base unit is located a foot away from the transceiver. Next time I will unplug the phone and see if that matters.

And thanks for those tips. The system was professionally installed and wiring looks competently done. But I will buy some wire and next time bypass the wireless part and see if it fixes it. It would be about a 40 foot reach so I hope that isn't a factor. I just checked and the cordless phone is supposedly on 1.9 Ghz. Still the transceiver is in a shelving unit with several electronic devices like amps, bluetooth player, phone, Roku, etc. Might need to relocate the unit.

This is a really good site.
 
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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,129
Central California
My run is at least that long. 40' is fine.

If (Once!) you figure it out, be sure to report back, as others may benefit. You can see how it is the collective mind here that eventually gets to the bottom of it. Sorry to inform you, but you have been assimilated!

images.jpeg
 

Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
434
Central Texas
OMG. It might be the phone. The base unit is located a foot away from the transceiver. Next time I will unplug the phone and see if that matters ................ I just checked and the cordless phone is supposedly on 1.9 Ghz.
At 1.90GHz, it's not the phone ... at least not wireless interference.

Still the transceiver is in a shelving unit with several electronic devices like amps, bluetooth player, phone, Roku, etc. Might need to relocate the unit.
You could be dealing with EMI interference though, maybe ... Definitely try relocating the indoor transceiver and see what happens. If you still have intermittent issues, I'd start looking for a 900MHz device. Do you have wireless headset in the home (computer headsets, game console headsets, etc ...), or wireless speakers (for home theater, or computer speakers, etc ...) any other wireless type devices?

Just to rule out EMI, you can purchase these for $8, and clip one onto the network cable going from your router to the protocol adapter. It should resolve it if it's EMI based interference.


This is a really good site.
The BEST! :D