Install the forgotten IntelliChem or take a refund?

Kuivato

Gold Supporter
Jul 7, 2022
30
Scottsdale, AZ
Pool Size
3450
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-20
After familiarizing myself with our first pool and the associated equipment and operation I discovered the PB never installed the paid-in-full Pentair IntelliChem system. Startup on the SWG is scheduled for next week, so I would be looking at the acid tank only vs an acid and chlorine tank. Since the IntelliChem was a complete oversight there is very little real estate left to install the acid tank. I brought this to the attention of the PB this week.

After reading through TFP Forums and learning more about the IntelliChem, it seems like this may be a blessing in disguise? Again, first pool and the thought of as much automation as possible really sold me. Not understanding the equipment or how it truly worked, it's no surprise I didn't catch a missing component until much later, but silly me, I thought that was the job of the PB.

Anyhow, is there anyone on here that would tell me to go ahead and tell the builder to do this "after-thought" install vs. ask for a $2,300 refund?
 

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proavia

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Feb 6, 2015
3,630
Chandler AZ
Pool Size
12300
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Plaster
Chlorine
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SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45 Plus
Take the money and run. ORP won't work as well as expected, especially in an outdoor SWG pool in Scottsdale. With our intense sun and heat, you will be using a CYA level around 70 to avoid the chlorine burning off quickly. ORP and CYA of 70 don't get along well. You can always have an acid injection setup added later - and probably for a lot less than $2300.
 
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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
10,055
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
^^^^^ What he said! Your new SWG will serve you well. If after a bit you discover that you need a lot of acid, and hate adding it, you can later add an IntellipH. It's a pretty simple DIY install, if you're even slightly handy.

Gene gave you the 411 on the IntelliChem. I'll add this. You cannot trust any automation system to eliminate the need to regularly check on it. You need to periodically confirm the system is working, and in the case of an IntelliChem, that it is balancing your water correctly. Eventually, after you dial it in, once a week is prudent. You may find that it's consistently fine, but you never know when it's going to fail, so you really need to go at least once a week no matter what. Coinkadentally, that's probably the same frequency you'll end up double-checking your SWG, and/or your IntellipH should you add one.

The promise of the IntelliChem in theory is great, but the reality is, it really doesn't save you any more effort than the SWG alone, or the SWG/IntellipH combo. All it really accomplishes is saddling you with an extra very complicated piece of electronic equipment that needs regular calibration.

Pocket the money and use it for your next SWG (which is a consumable part), or for an IntellipH should you find a need for one. You'll still have a chunk-o-change left over.

IMPORTANT: do yourself a favor and figure out the model number of your EasyTouch. Or post a picture of its faceplate here. You DO NOT want either the PL4 or the PSL4. If you've got either, come on back and I'll give you the skinny on that, too. If you've got an EasyTouch 4, or an EasyTouch 8, you're good. Here's hoping you don't have to decide if or how to go about getting your builder to upgrade to the 4 or 8.
 
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Lake Placid

Well-known member
May 27, 2021
351
St. Louis
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I’ve got an intelliph for acid injection which I love. Bought it on the used market to integrate with my ic40 for less than $300. It’s not the Intellichem, but it sounds like you would be utilizing the intellichem for this purpose only.

I don’t know why you you want an ORP probe to control a SWG. If that would be the intention it’s overcomplicating what an SWG can already do reliably without needing reduced cya levels to prevent interference with the ORP probe. Not to mention additional potential future failure points of mechanical sensors (probes) and other equipment.

If the PB was going to install the acid injection only AND credit you money back for the reduced functionality of the Intellichem (using essentially half of the intended system design) you might consider it. $2,300 for acid injection only is a heavy lift in my book when it can be done similarly for a few hundred bucks.
 
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Kuivato

Gold Supporter
Jul 7, 2022
30
Scottsdale, AZ
Pool Size
3450
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-20
^^^^^ What he said! Your new SWG will serve you well. If after a bit you discover that you need a lot of acid, and hate adding it, you can later add an IntellipH. It's a pretty simple DIY install, if you're even slightly handy.

Gene gave you the 411 on the IntelliChem. I'll add this. You cannot trust any automation system to eliminate the need to regularly check on it. You need to periodically confirm the system is working, and in the case of an IntelliChem, that it is balancing your water correctly. Eventually, after you dial it in, once a week is prudent. You may find that it's consistently fine, but you never know when it's going to fail, so you really need to go at least once a week no matter what. Coinkadentally, that's probably the same frequency you'll end up double-checking your SWG, and/or your IntellipH should you add one.

The promise of the IntelliChem in theory is great, but the reality is, it really doesn't save you any more effort than the SWG alone, or the SWG, IntellipH combo. All it really accomplishes is saddling you with an extra very complicated piece of electronic equipment that needs regular calibration.

Pocket the money and use it for your next SWG (which is a consumable part), or for an IntellipH should you find a need for one. You'll still have a chunk-o-change left over.

IMPORTANT: do yourself a favor and figure out the model number of your EasyTouch. Or post a picture of its faceplate here. You DO NOT want either the PL4 or the PSL4. If you've got either, come on back and I'll give you the skinny on that, too. If you've got an EasyTouch 4, or an EasyTouch 8, you're good. Here's hoping you don't have to decide if or how to go about getting your builder to upgrade to the 4 or 8.
SKU#: 520592
EASYTOUCH SYSTEMS WITH INTELLICHLOR TRANSFORMER AND INTELLICHLOR CELL, EasyTouch 4PSC-IC20 - Single Body (includes SCG integration & IC20 cell)
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
10,055
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I’ve got an intelliph for acid injection which I love. Bought it on the used market to integrate with my ic40 for less than $300. It’s not the Intellichem, but it sounds like you would be utilizing the intellichem for this purpose only.

I don’t know why you you want an ORP probe to control a SWG. If that would be the intention it’s overcomplicating what an SWG can already do reliably without needing reduced cya levels to prevent interference with the ORP probe. Not to mention additional potential future failure points of mechanical sensors (probes) and other equipment.

If the PB was going to install the acid injection only AND credit you money back for the reduced functionality of the Intellichem (using essentially half of the intended system design) you might consider it. $2,300 for acid injection only is a heavy lift in my book when it can be done similarly for a few hundred bucks.
Just to be clear, the IntelliChem does apply its orpyness to the SWG. It adjusts the SWGs output, based on ORP, to achieve the desired amount of chlorine in the water. But that's assuming you can get the ORP component to work in an outdoor pool in AZ. Perhaps that's what @Lake Placid was getting at: The IntelliChem can theoretically control both chlorine and pH, whether you're using an SWG or a liquid chlorine injection system, but since the chlorine component is going to be flaky at best, you're really only getting an automated pH balancing system. (Apologies LP if I'm just restating your post.)
 
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Lake Placid

Well-known member
May 27, 2021
351
St. Louis
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Just to be clear, the IntelliChem does apply its orpyness to the SWG. It adjusts the SWGs output, based on ORP, to achieve the desired amount of chlorine in the water. But that's assuming you can get the ORP component to work in an outdoor pool in AZ. Perhaps that's what @Lake Placid was getting at: The IntelliChem can theoretically control both chlorine and pH, whether you're using an SWG or a liquid chlorine injection system, but since the chlorine component is going to be flaky at best, you're really only getting an automated pH balancing system. (Apologies LP if I'm just restating your post.)
Haha exactly, but you said in 3 words what took me 300. 🤣. I would not want the intellichem trying to manage the SWG production through orp, but only to automate the ph.
 
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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
27,118
Bedford, TX
K,

I suggest that you run your pool with just the SWCG and manually add acid for one year. Then decide if you want some kind of acid feeder.

Some pools and locations seem to use a lot of acid and other do not. Adding acid once a week is pretty easy to do and takes a couple of minutes a week.

With your size pool, a gallon of acid will last you for months.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

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Kuivato

Gold Supporter
Jul 7, 2022
30
Scottsdale, AZ
Pool Size
3450
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-20
Thanks for the comments gents. Not sure why the PB would suggest the IntelliChem (and then later forget about it completely) knowing I chose a SWG vs. suggesting the IntelliPh only. Reading through several posts it doesn't appear I will ever get away from at least annual maintenance/consumable components ($$), weekly checks, full automation conveniences, and possible fried boards due to a manufacturer design. Not that it really matters in the grand scheme, but not too thrilled about them having to jam in a new concrete pad/tank somewhere to accommodate their mistake.

I'm leaning towards negotiating a full refund for the IntelliChem and if I decide to go the IntelliPh route in the future, I know I haven't overpaid for something I wouldn't be using to its full potential based on my equipment setup.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
10,055
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
The IntelliChem is a big ticket item, and if you hinted at wanting full automation, your PB would not likely be inclined to miss such a sweet sale. Why he forgot it? Who knows. Maybe he couldn't get one due to shortages.

FYI: The IntellipH has a known defect that can affect it's function. Pentair itself doesn't recommend using one with an IC60, but we know here that the problem also occurs with an IC40 (mine had it). It's related to the amount of current those two models draw. We've yet to hear about the issue occurring when an IC20 is involved. Pentair has been replacing the faulty units for those that experience the problem under warranty. For those of us that had it happen out of warranty, some of us have done extensive "R&D" and have developed the fix. And the fix can be done pro-actively, before the failure, to keep it from happening. If you're at all handy, the fix is DIY.

I'm a huge fan of the IntellipH, and would not try to talk you out of one. You'll likely have no trouble with your IC20, but even if you do, you'll be fine. Just wanted to give you the ol' full disclosure so you know what you're getting into.

Also know that the IntellipH is designed to stop working when the IntelliChlor does. So if your pool water drops below 50° or so, both your IntelliChlor and your IntellipH will not function. It's not really a defect, it's the way they were designed. I developed a fix (a different one) that allows my IntellipH to function in the winter, when my IntelliChlor can't. It's significantly more complicated than the fix I described above, but it is possible. More to the point, if you run them "stock," and your area experiences cool or cold winters, you might lose your chemical dispensing automation until Spring. This would have been true of your IntelliChem, too, because the "bottleneck" is the SWG. They can't produce chlorine in cold water, which is true of SWGs of any brand.
 
Last edited:

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
10,055
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
You mentioned you might need a separate pad for your IntellipH. If you get one, I'll help you configure it, but the short version is: they can emit acid fumes that aren't all that great for the metal on your pad. They have a venting system to prevent that, and mine is fine snuggled up next to everything else because of that vent, but it wouldn't be the worst thing to locate it some number of feet away from your existing pool pad if your yard's layout can accommodate that. They come with a good length of wire and tubing to do just that. Conceivably you could set one on a large 16" x 16" paver you can buy for a few bucks at Lowes if your PB won't pour a second pad for you.
 

Kuivato

Gold Supporter
Jul 7, 2022
30
Scottsdale, AZ
Pool Size
3450
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-20
You mentioned you might need a separate pad for your IntellipH. If you get one, I'll help you configure it, but the short version is: they can emit acid fumes that aren't all that great for the metal on your pad. They have a venting system to prevent that, and mine is fine snuggled up next to everything else because of that vent, but it wouldn't be the worst thing to locate it some number of feet away from your existing pool pad if your yard's layout can accommodate that. They come with a good length of wire and tubing to do just that. Conceivably you could set one on a large 16" x 16" paver you can buy for a few bucks at Lowes if your PB won't pour a second pad for you.
I appreciate that. Definitely not a ton of room if we go that route.
 

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