Heater no longer controlled by Pentair automation system

beels

Active member
Jul 11, 2011
30
Issue
Heater is running in manual mode following power surge and storms/lightening in the area. I believe I had a power surge that may have damaged either my heater control board or i9 control board.

Stuck my hand in the pool and was surprised it was 90 F. Checked automation system and heater shows to not be running. Checked heater display panel and heater is running in manual mode with a set point of 100 F.

Equipment:
All Pentair
i9+3 automation system
Master Temp 400 heater
IntelliFlo variable Flow pump

Troubleshooting/Observations:
  • Power off/restart i9 - no change.
  • When i9 powers up, I hear the heater relay click and the heater starts (based on manual control temp setting). The i9 panel's display and remote show heater is not running.
  • When I use the i9 panel's display or remote control and select heating, the display will show heating (but of course it's already heating). I can toggle the heating status display on/off with the i9 panel's display or remote, and the displayed status changes, but the heater continues in manual mode.
  • When I unplug the relay connection to the i9 control board and restart the i9, the relay doesn't click and heater doesn't run. The heater's display is not active; no power to the heater; cannot start heater with manual controls.
  • All other i9 functions seem to be operating correctly.
Assumptions:
  • I assume the heater is always supposed to be receiving power (relay engaged) when the i9 is powered on, so that you could start it manually if desired. So I assume the heater relay in the i9 is operating correctly.
  • I assume either the i9 is telling the heater to activate and not showing the correct status, or the heater control board is not responding to directions from the i9 control board, and therefore reverting to manual mode.

Please help me with some ideas. Thanks!
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
13,064
Bedford, TX
B,

Two questions for you...

Does your heater get its 120/220 volts from one of the High Voltage relays?

Does your heater have a two wire cable running between the heater and the IntelliTouch for control of the fireman's switch?

Another member had the identical problem just the other day and it turned out to be the one of the chips that controls the relays was bad, telling the relay to turn on all the time. The good news is the chips are in sockets and cheap, so easy to replace...

Let me see if I can find the thread.. Try this one.. Intellitouch i9+3 problem after storm

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

beels

Active member
Jul 11, 2011
30
Thanks for the thread reference! That sounds like almost my same scenario! Sorry, I usually do a better job of searching. I thought this was going to be a fairly unique scenario, silly me.

I haven't checked the Intellibrite lights yet - I will do that this evening. But I also lost the Screenlogic protocol adapter, an Ethernet switch, an IP phone, a Vonage adapter, and an Ethernet port on my PC.

Yes, the heater is getting power from one of the large relays in the i9 control panel.
Yes, there is a 2-wire control cable running from the i9 to the heater. One of lead is attached to the fireman's switch fuse, the other lead is attached to a terminal next to the fireman switch fuse.

I am studying the thread and will report back. Thanks so much!
 

beels

Active member
Jul 11, 2011
30
Jim,
With power off, and heater disconnected from J30, I have an open circuit.
With power on, but no equipment running and no heater demand, I have a closed circuit.

Based on the discussion in the other thread, I was expecting (a failed) relay driver to always have the relay either closed or open, even with power off. However, it doesn't sound like the relay should be closed when no heat is being demanded, correct? So does this still sound like the relay driver chip could be the issue?
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
13,064
Bedford, TX
I suspect that the OP of the other post made a mistake..

Without any power, it would be impossible for the relay to be closed unless it was mechanically stuck

When power is applied, and no heat is called for, the relay should be open.. When the driver chip is bad, it will close the relay anytime power is applied.

I suggest that you buy the three chips and replace them all..

This of course will not fix any of the other stuff.. 😕

Was your Protocol adapter hard wired or were you using the wireless antennas... ??

Jim R.
 

beels

Active member
Jul 11, 2011
30
I didn't see a reference to a source or part number for the driver chips. Do you have that? These socketed driver chips must be on the main board and visible after removing the upper board, right?

My protocol adapter was hardwired. I have had so many issues with those over the past 8 years, I feel like a beta tester. I think this may be my 6th brick. This time only, I would say it is my issue (a power surge); the other failures were due to their flaky prototype hardware/firmware.

This dead protocol brick shows a power light, but no Ethernet port activity. I took it apart and the Ethernet section is a sandwiched board. So I installed the Ethernet board from another dead protocol adapter and now there is port activity, but I can't connect to it. I'll play around with it a little before I buy a replacement. I see they have a different part number now, so maybe they have made some improvements. New looks like a 520500, mine is a 520489.
 

ogdento

Bronze Supporter
Mar 30, 2015
322
Chico, CA
Hey guys, ULN2803A is the part you want... they're cheap enough to replace, more for the shipping than the chips ;)

Before you order them, you can do a quick go/no-go test by swapping the socketed chip marked U13 (this one drives the K5 heater relay) with one of the others... if your heater suddenly starts operating as expected you know for sure the chip is shot.

Good luck, keep us posted!
Tom
 

beels

Active member
Jul 11, 2011
30
Thanks Tom. I installed one of the other ICs in U13 and the relay is behaving as expected! However, the heater is not.

When the i9 powers up, the heater is no longer coming on immediately (as expected), but when the i9 calls for the heater, here is what happens:
the heater shows lights for "service system" and "service heater" momentarily,
then the display shows "125" (F) momentarily,
then the display shows "r13",
then the display turns off without the heater ever firing up.
 

ogdento

Bronze Supporter
Mar 30, 2015
322
Chico, CA
Hey Beels you're welcome,

Now you can order some new drivers from digikey.com... the postage will be more than the chips ;)

heaters are out of my wheel-house... never had one! i think those codes are normal start-up codes but i don't know it wouldn't fire up... I think we need @Jimrahbe back on scene

-Tom
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
13,064
Bedford, TX
B,

I am not a heater guy either, but we have plenty of them here..

In most cases, the heater needs to be set up to know it is being externally controlled... The heater is set to full hot and the Automation then controls the heater, using the firmen's switch.. While the heater could also be bad, I would assume it it not set up correctly for remote operation.

What specific heater do you have???

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

beels

Active member
Jul 11, 2011
30
Never mind about the heater. That "128 r13" isn't an error code, but some kind of version info, such as software or firmware. I simply had to wait a bit longer, then hit the pool or spa switch, and the heater fired up. (I had tried the manual buttons earlier, but I guess didn't wait long enough.)

For subsequent heater activations, I don't need to hit the pool or spa button anymore, just that initial time. So everything is working perfectly again. Parts ordered. I guess I will replace all 3 driver ICs and keep the 2 old working ones as spares or something.

Thanks so much Jim and Tom!
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
13,064
Bedford, TX
Warning... A shameless plug.. :)

If you are happy with the results, you should think about becoming a supporter.. We are all volunteers, but the site still needs money to rent server space etc...


I personally do the ongoing thing at $5 bucks a month and never miss it..

Thanks again for posting..

Jim R
 

beels

Active member
Jul 11, 2011
30
I have been supporting for several years with test chemical purchases, but I will look at stepping it up a bit. You guys saved me a lot on this one, so it's fair that I apply some of that.