spspool

Member
May 19, 2021
9
Oakville, ON
Hey guys,
just had new Pentair equipment with IntelliCenter installed a few weeks ago, all was fine until a few days ago when the whole system shut down. Coincidentally, this happened a day after we started heating the pool.

My immediate thought was that the GFCI breaker tripped but it looked fine, hard to say if it was tripped or not, it kind of stays in the middle, I toggled it to be sure. The breakers on the panel are fine.

The screen on IntelliCenter is black. Tapping on it doesn't activate it. When I press reset for a few seconds, the screen turns grey (backlight comes on), but no icons.

Spoke to the store that installed the equipment, they have no clue, too busy to come to investigate, hope they do find time and come in the next few days. Showed them the video, they were pretty clueless but later said they'd spoken to Pentair and were told that it may be related to a tripped breaker or some connections getting loose inside the panel. Getting very frustrated with them. Perhaps someone has seen this problem before and can assist me with resolving this? Thank you in advance.

 

MyAZPool

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@spspool
Call Pentair Tech Support immediately and open up a trouble ticket.
Let them walk you through the troubleshooting steps and if that doesn't work, then they can start warranty replacement proceedings.
There have been an uptick of mothercard issues lately and that might very well be the issue here.

Let me know how it goes.
Thanks...
r...


Technical Support
Toll Free
(800) 831-7133, * Press 1-2-2-2-1-1 for IntelliCenter


Sanford, North Carolina (8 AM to 8 PM ET)
Phone: (919) 566-8000
Fax: (919) 566-8920

Moorpark, California (5 AM to 5 PM PT)
Phone: (805) 553-5000
Fax: (805) 553-5515
 

spspool

Member
May 19, 2021
9
Oakville, ON
@MyAZPool

Thanks for the advice, MyAZPool.

Called them but they could not help. The guy I spoke with said that I had to register my equipment first before they can send someone. Doing that right now.

Meanwhile, I've been in touch with two of my electricians and doing some testing. Long story short, the IntelliCenter is causing the GFCI breaker at the main panel to trip... even though it looked fine to me it was not. Disconnecting the incoming power wires from the panel allowed me to switch on the GFCI breaker. As soon as I reconnected the wires to the panel, the breaker tripped. This happens even if the breakers on the IntelliCenter panel are all off. Strange but true.

The electrician who installed the panel said that he had encountered situations when Pentair pumps would leak tiny amounts of current, small but enough to trip GFCI breakers but never a panel, but he said it's very possible. He also told me that Pentair knows about this issue and actually has its own GFCI breakers that work with Pentair equipment without tripping.

Next steps - will have my electrician come over tomorrow to replace the GFCI breaker with a regular one at the main breaker panel. Next, will have all the breakers at the IntelliCenter panel replaced with Pentair GFCI breakers to be on the safe side.

P.S. The backlighting on the LCD screen was powered by a battery on the Pentair board. I had no idea that it had a battery inside... this is what confused me at the beginning and made me believe that the panel was getting power from the main panel and GFCI was fine.
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
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Pool Size
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Recommend that you use the following breaker for your IntelliFlo Pump.
Pentair PA220GF 2-Pole GFCI Circuit Breakers, 20-Ampere
That is the breaker specified for IntelliFlo pumps. The Siemans brand equivalents should suffice for any other breakers except for the pump(s).
It sounds to me like you are attempting to power the IntelliCenter System Transformer and the IntelliFlo off of the same breaker.
I'm not going to tell you that you can't do that. But unless you absolutely have no other choice, then I certainly wouldn't recommend it.
Solely for this very reason. If your pump breaker trips, then it brings down your whole system.

Thanks....
r.
 

spspool

Member
May 19, 2021
9
Oakville, ON
@MyAZPool,

Right now everything on the Pentair panel feeds off a 2 pole GFCI breaker at the main panel. Inside the Pentair panel, the pump is on its own breaker and the panel itself is on its own breaker. I think that's what you recommend, right?

IMG-2306.jpg
64324057434--2E1205EB-AB02-4374-A1E6-6D53BF1016DF.jpg

64324587653--A64C37BA-645D-47C9-9610-7822D2415315.jpg
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,991
Arizona
Pool Size
20500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Yes sir... If possible, that's optimum to have the system on it's own breaker. That way, nothing else can bring the system down (trip the breaker) except for the system itself..

BTW, just re-read your post above. Yes, the breaker at the main panel that feeds your IntelliCenter load center is NOT a GFCI breaker.
It's the breakers in the load center that should be GFCI'd if they control pool equipment (pumps, heaters, lights, etc.)
 
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MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,991
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Pool Size
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Also, those relays are wired wrong. Your pump breaker should feed the very top left relay to Line 1 (1st terminal screw) and Line 2 (third terminal screw). Then the two power leads (L1, L2 from your pump) should also connect to those same terminal screws (Line 1 and line 2). That way the pump always has power but the motor is controlled via that first relay which is referred to as your "Filter Pump" relay. It makes all the difference in the world when you start programming things.
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,991
Arizona
Pool Size
20500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
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Since you're just getting started, take a look at the link below.
Take particular note to the section on "Power Relays".
 

spspool

Member
May 19, 2021
9
Oakville, ON
Oh-oh... not what I want to hear but I am glad I found you... In general, what you said makes sense to me but I will need to clarify some details as I am not that familiar with this stuff. Let me process this first and read through the guide first. Thank you for this invaluable information.
 
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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
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Jul 7, 2014
22,171
Bedford, TX
SPS,

Sorry, but to add to your concerns, it appears to me that your SWCG transformer is not wired correctly. I can't tell for sure, but if you read the warning on the transformer (the big one) it must be wired to the Pump/Filter relay.. This is so that when the pump is off, the SWCG system gets no power.

If your salt cell has any lights, when the pump is off, then your SWCG transformer is not wired correctly.

Personally, I don't believe it makes sense to have one GFCI circuit breaker feed the whole IntelliCenter panel.. When something pops, you want to know what it is causing the problem. In my mind the Automation should have a separate GFCi breaker for the IntelliFlo, and addition ones for each item that needs GFCI protection.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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spspool

Member
May 19, 2021
9
Oakville, ON
Good news! Not that I expected anything different, but replacing the GFCI breaker with a non-GFCI one indeed solved the problem. Yeeha! The wife is happy, the kids are happy, which means I can be happy too.
 

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spspool

Member
May 19, 2021
9
Oakville, ON
SPS,

Sorry, but to add to your concerns, it appears to me that your SWCG transformer is not wired correctly. I can't tell for sure, but if you read the warning on the transformer (the big one) it must be wired to the Pump/Filter relay.. This is so that when the pump is off, the SWCG system gets no power.

If your salt cell has any lights, when the pump is off, then your SWCG transformer is not wired correctly.

Personally, I don't believe it makes sense to have one GFCI circuit breaker feed the whole IntelliCenter panel.. When something pops, you want to know what it is causing the problem. In my mind the Automation should have a separate GFCi breaker for the IntelliFlo, and addition ones for each item that needs GFCI protection.

Thanks,

Jim R.
Hi Jim,

No worries, I'd rather know about and fix the problems now... so do tell. Here is what I am getting when I turn off the pump:
IMG-2335.jpg

When I turn the pump back on, here is what I get then:

IMG-2336.jpg

Does this look like I have the issue that you were referring to?

Thanks,

Victor
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
22,171
Bedford, TX
Victor,

That proves that the SWCG transformer is NOT wired correctly... Sigh!!!

While it does not happen often, it can, and has caused cells to explode.. Hence why there is a warning notice on the transformer.

I suggest you find an electrician that has some background in installing automation systems.

Do you plan to add GFCI protection to the breakers in the IntelliCenter, now that you have replaced the GFCI breaker with a standard breaker??

You have a GFCI problem somewhere, replacing the main breaker is just hiding the problem, it did not fix it. :(

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

spspool

Member
May 19, 2021
9
Oakville, ON
Jim,

The crazy thing is that the system was in fact installed by a qualified electrician who specializes in automation system installs. He was recommended by my pool equipment company. I will go back to him and ask to check this again.

As far as GFCI protection goes, multiple components are already GFCI protected, such as pool light, landscape lights and the power plugs that feed off the panel. As MyAZPool pointed out, Pentair sells 2-pole 15 and 20 amp GFCI breakers that have been tested with their pumps, I intend to have two of those installed as I have two pumps in the system.

Both of my electricians blamed Pentair for the poor design of the board which had caused my issue... don't know how much can be done about it. Both electricians said it's OK, one also strongly suggested adding GFCI breakers to the Pentair panel.

Thanks,

Victor
 
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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
22,171
Bedford, TX
Victor,

Most pool automation systems have zero problems with the IntelliFlo popping the GFCI breaker.. When the problem does show up it is always very intermittent and random. If your GFCI is popping every time the system powers up, I really doubt it is due to the IntelliFlo.

As far as GFCI protection goes, multiple components are already GFCI protected, such as pool light, landscape lights and the power plugs that feed off the panel.

Where is this done? I do not see any GFCI protection in your panel?

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

spspool

Member
May 19, 2021
9
Oakville, ON
Victor,

Most pool automation systems have zero problems with the IntelliFlo popping the GFCI breaker.. When the problem does show up it is always very intermittent and random. If your GFCI is popping every time the system powers up, I really doubt it is due to the IntelliFlo.



Where is this done? I do not see any GFCI protection in your panel?

Thanks,

Jim R.
Hi Jim,

it's not on the panel. Pool light is protected by own GFCI and also by a power plug that is wired before it that has own GFCI. Landscape lights feed off a plug with GFCI, and another plug also has GFCI. Like so:

pool.jpg
pool 3.jpg

The owner of the pool company showed up yesterday. I asked him to check if the cell was wired correctly and he told that that's how they do it and there is nothing wrong with it. I may have to do it myself. Also, some programming as it doesn't seem complete. For example, I have a pool and a spa but can only set the pool temp. For the spa, I can only turn it on or off.
pool 4.jpg


I understand that it should be like in this example:
spa.JPG

Where you see pool pumps, I only see the pool pump but no spa pump. This makes it impossible to turn off the spa jets when in the spa mode.


Thanks,

Victor
 

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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
22,171
Bedford, TX
he told that that's how they do it and there is nothing wrong with it

Victor,

Your pool builder is an idiot!! You really do not want the Cell to have any lights when the pump is not running. What did he say about the warning note on the transformer?? Take a pic of the warning note and send it to your pool builder and ask him if he plans to cover the costs when the cell explodes... :mrgreen:

They do make a Pool only IntelliCenter.. ???

On my EasyTouch, I can display both the Pool and Spa setting or just the Pool or just the Spa.. I assume the IntelliCenter is the same way, so maybe just a setting that needs to be turned on.

Let's see what someone that has the IntelliCenter has to say... Calling @MyAZPool

I understand now why I could not see the GFCI for the pool light, etc..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
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Pool Size
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What is happening here?
First things first. Listen to guys like @Jimrahbe and others here on TFP that know what their talking about and put a sign on the front panel of your IntelliCenter that says. Pool Builder - Keep your paws off my IntelliCenter. Turn off your breaker and IntelliChlor now.

Step 2. You should NOT have a GFCI breaker for the breaker feeding the IntelliCenter Load Center at your main panel. All your GFCI breakers should be located at your IntelliCenter Load Center.

Step 3. Your pump and IntelliChlor should be wired like this.
2020-02-14_18-52-09.jpg

Pentair IntelliFlo pump power leads MUST BE connected to continuous power in order to function properly and as designed.

One method is to connect the IntelliFlo power leads to the LINE SIDE (1st and 3rd compression terminal screws) of the power relay.

The other method would be to simply connect the IntelliFlo power leads directly to the applicable circuit breaker.

Both connectivity options allow the IntelliFlo pump electronic circuits to receive power continuously, unless of course the circuit breaker is flipped off manually or tripped for some reason.

The IntelliFlo pump motor is turned On/Off through the automation system circuitry, via the IntelliFlo RS-485 Control Cable which is connected between the pump and the RS-485 connectors on the IntelliCenter motherboard (J4 or J5).

Connecting an IntelliFlo Filter Pump to the LOAD SIDE terminals of the Filter Pump Relay is NOT correct and seems to be a common mistake made by installers who are not familiar with the IntelliFlo line of pumps and/or Pentair Automation Systems.

Notice that the IntelliChlor is connected to the two LOAD SIDE terminal screws. This insures that the IntelliChlor cannot be energized unless the filter pump relay (which is where your pump should be connected to btw), is also energized.
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,991
Arizona
Pool Size
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Chlorine
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I see that you have eight relays.
If you don't have a spa or any other type body of water (other than your pool), then the model of your IntelliCenter should be i8P. If you happen to have an i8PS, then that in most cases (not all), is incorrect and should be addressed coz you may have paid for more than what you needed.

Not only that, but you will have unneeded features in the circuitry and logic that will need to be defeated.
 

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