IntelliCenter OCP Load Center / Equipment Pad – Modifications and Retrofit

MyAZPool

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Jul 3, 2018
1,589
Arizona
IMG_6425.jpegNote: First, it should be noted here, that nothing discussed in the initial posts of this thread are particularly necessary for the installation of basic pool automation or control. All of the methods or procedures discussed below should be considered “above and beyond”, what is necessary for most pool owners and their automation and/or equipment pad needs.

- Purpose and Scope -

Over the last several months, I have been extremely involved in the planning and the execution of what (when fully implemented and integrated), should be quite an improvement to my current automation system.

Some may question my reasoning for pursuing such a project due to the fact that my existing automation and control system (Pentair IntelliCenter i10PS w/IntelliChlor/IntellipH) was satisfactory and sufficient. That’s true. But my motivations are not necessarily based on a “need” but rather a desire to experiment and to enjoy the “challenges” of this particular type of project.

Some may also believe that some of my methodology as will be illustrated below and my excessive "ATD", borders on insanity or in the very least, I having an over-abundance of time on my hands. No problem. ;) It’s just a lot a whole lot of fun and keeps me "off the streets". (y)

However, the purpose of this thread is not to discuss my new automation/sensor control system. I’m planning to share some information regarding that topic in a separate, in-depth and hopefully informative thread, just as soon as improvements and modifications have been completed regarding the software/control/reporting systems. Those improvements are certainly not my handy work by any means but are instead being developed by the super-smart guys (all members here) and that’s certainly not me. I’m only helping out with some of the initial testing.

Instead, this thread concerns itself with the modifications and the retrofit of the IntelliCenter Outdoor Control Panel (OCP) Load Center, its associated junction boxes and conduits, as well as my existing automation peripherals such as the IntelliChlor, IntellipH and IntelliValves where applicable.

During the course of this discussion, I will provide photographs and/or illustrations where applicable and in some cases before/after photos where reasonable. In addition, at the end of this discussion, I will provide just a few photographs of various activities that were performed during the course of this project. Due to some size limitations and to provide for possible edits, I broke this discussion up into several posts.

And lastly, In the near future (I’m still fairly busy with the new automation/sensor project), I plan to add a follow-on post that will provide a parts list of items that were utilized during the course of this project.

- PLANNING AND OTHER CONSIDERATIONS -

During the initial phase of planning and consultations with other members here on TFP (the darkside crew :p), who had already began to explore similar and various improvements to their automation systems. It became abundantly clear to me, that if I were to incorporate the "new" with the “existing”, then a whole host of modifications and an overall retrofit to the equipment pad and the IntelliCenter OCP Load Center, really were necessary if this project were to be performed correctly and above “industry-standards”. Modularity was a key factor for me going forward and which I planned to incorporate throughout.

From the outset, I realized that I would need to add an additional weather proof enclosure at the equipment pad to house the new electronics that would be needed for the new automation and sensor control system. This meant a relocation of some existing items at my equipment pad such as the Equipment Pad Convenience Light and the IntellipH Controller Panel.

In addition, the elimination of the small weather proof enclosure that housed my Precision Digital pool refill flow meter/totalizer device and Lutron Caseta, WiFi Smart Switch (yes I use this instead of the IntelliCenter lighting control most times because it’s much more accurate at color selection).

And lastly, the elimination of the small enclosure that housed my LinkSys Wireless Access Point (WAP)

Note
: The flow meter/totalizer, smart switch and the WAP were relocated to the new automation enclosure.

IMG_6365.jpeg
IMG_6357.jpegDue to the addition of the new automation enclosure and the addition of various sensors required for this project, the existing equipment pad conduits, junction boxes and power distribution and wiring (both 120vac and 240vac) would require some modifications. My existing “Line-Voltage” Junction Box required only some minor modifications however.










So, off to the “drawing board” I went. At least a month of planning and research went into this project. And I certainly thank some other TFP members here who spent some of their valuable time assisting me with the planning! I had my plans and I had my equipment shopping list and I think that I pretty much knew how I would proceed from that point (although some things were a still a bit “hazy”). And yes, there were several changes that were incorporated “mid-stream” and a good many “returns” were made to Amazon and The Home Depot, throughout the course of this project. :thumleft:

Since I was initially incorporating several industrial-type sensors (pH, ORP, Conductivity (EC)/H2O temp, Filter Pressure Transducer, Free Air Temp (FAT), Humidity sensor, etc. to the advanced automation system, I needed an initial connection point. Since I was adding these sensors, I figured I might as well use this connection point (junction box) for the existing automation and control peripherals as well.

In addition, I had always been fairly dissatisfied with the way that Pentair proposes or suggests that their peripherals connect with its automation panels. A bunch of wires running up through little plastic grommets at the bottom of the low-voltage raceway of the load center? Don’t get me wrong, it’s just fine for most, but I felt that I wanted something with a “cleaner”, more professional look as well as incorporating desired modularity at the equipment pad.

IMG_6360.jpeg
This junction box (J-box) serves as an initial connection point for the following sensors and automation peripherals: Six IntelliValve actuators (5 conductors each), IntelliChlor IC-60 (4 conductors), IntellipH power and control leads (2), Pentair H2O temp sensor (2), as well as the new pH, ORP and Conductivity (EC)/H2O Temp probes/sensors (about 10 conductors total).IMG_6414.jpeg

The wiring/cabling for all sensors and peripherals enter at the bottom of this J-box via the use of ½” cable glands.

Initial connectivity is provided through the use of 30-position DIN rail mounted terminal boards as shown.

The lower terminal board within the J-box provides for the connectivity of the six IntelliValve Actuators.
The upper terminal board serves as a connection point for all other devices and sensors.

All wiring then exits this J-box via the RH 1.5” pull elbow or LB, proceeds underground and then comes up and connects with the bottom of the following J-box.

(see next post)
 
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MyAZPool

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Jul 3, 2018
1,589
Arizona
IMG_6364.jpeg
This J-box serves as a connection and signal distribution point for all low-voltage wiring and allows for direction of the applicable wiring to the following locations:

1. The Advanced Automation Enclosure located just above this J-box via the (very) short 1” flexible conduit.

2. The IntelliCenter OCP Load Center located approximately 4 feet to the right of this J-box via two (2), ¾” flexible conduits. The wiring for the six IntelliValves, IntelliChlor RS-485 and Power Control leads, Spa Heater relay and the Pentair H2O Temp Sensor are accommodated within these two ¾” flexible conduits and to the low-voltage raceway at the IntelliCenter OCP Load Center

Note 1: Yes, I had to create two additional ¾” knockouts to the side of that LV raceway to accommodate a total of three ¾ flexible conduits (two connect to the Intermediate J-box and one to the Advanced Automation Enclosure).

Note 2: I am already using all three of the low-voltage knockouts in the bottom of the low-voltage raceway. One for the pump control conduit/cable, one for the Pentair FAT sensor and one for the underground conduit that accommodates the three Cat-5E cables that run to a managed switch and serial-to-ether adapter/Raspberry Pi computers at the house.
IMG_6415.jpeg
3. Spa Heater.

4. IntellipH Control Panel.

Note: The IntellipH Controller will eventually be eliminated from my automation “mix”. It’s really nothing more than a fancy dosing timer and has a distinct limitation that only allows it to dose in auto mode when the pool water is warm enough to support operation of the IntelliChlor. In addition, there is nothing "Intelli"gent about a device that you can't even address through software to change dosing levels, perform a "manual dose", etc.

This IpH elimination will occur once I get around to incorporating the Atlas Scientific EZO-PMP Embedded Dosing Pump and which will then dose based primarily on pH sensor readings and not on “time”. Other dosing criteria can also be implemented. I’ll probably keep the IpH MA tank but "bye-bye" IpH controller panel.

5. In addition, this J-box allows for connectivity of the Filter Pressure Transducer with its associated sensor hat located within the Advanced Automation Enclosure.






The following diagram illustrates conductor color coding and just how the peripheral devices and sensors connect to the terminal boards within the actuator / sensor J-box, and consequently run and connect at the intermediate/feeder J-box and how those signals are distributed to their respective enclosures/devices as applicable .

2020-11-20_16-59-38.jpg
The next diagram illustrates just how the six IntelliValve actuators connect to the terminal boards within the two J-boxes and ultimately then at the IntelliCenter OCP Load Center low-voltage compartment.

2020-11-20_16-59-03.jpg

As I pointed out earlier, I will skip any discussion of my new Advanced Automation Enclosure and its associated capabilities for now. And so, on to the IntelliCenter OCP Load Center and it's various modifications.

IMG_6359.jpeg

Note: Apologies if the phenolic label mounted on the door of my Load Center (as pictured above) offends anyone. I'm just having some light-hearted fun at Pentair's expense and I just couldn’t resist the temptation. Besides, I believe that there are some IntelliCenter users that will appreciate the use of my warped sense of humor here.


- Low-Voltage Compartment -
IMG_6345.jpeg
As mentioned above, the cabling/signal conductors for the six IntelliValve actuators, IntelliChlor, Spa Heater relay control and Pentair H2O Temp Sensor enters to the side of the low-voltage raceway and then proceeds up the raceway to my modified low-voltage compartment.

I installed a DIN rail just below the Serial COM Port Expansion Board on that board's two side mounting rails. On that DIN rail, I mounted another 30-position terminal board for the six IntelliValve actuator connections within the low-voltage compartment.

IMG_6346.jpeg
The conductors from the actuators terminate on the lower row of the terminal board.

On the upper row of the terminal board, the IntelliValve power and control connections (BLK, RED, WHT) are made to the provided female JST connectors on either the IntelliCenter Mother Board or the Valve Expansion Module (as applicable). The IntelliValve RS-485 connections (YEL, GRN) are made to the provided female JST connectors on the Serial COM Port Expansion Board provided for that purpose.


Three each, 4-position terminal blocks are also utilized in this compartment in order to provide for connection points for the IntelliChlor, both Pentair temp sensors and the heater relay, just to keep things tidy and “modular” here.

IMG_6347.jpeg


BEFORE THIS PROJECT - The photograph below indicates what the low-voltage compartment used to look like before I began this project. In my honest opinion, It was quite the mess then.
IMG_5842.jpeg

(see next post)
 
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MyAZPool

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Jul 3, 2018
1,589
Arizona
- High-Voltage Compartment -

Since I was at it. I decided to “clean-up” what I saw as a “rats’ nest” within my IntelliCenter OCP Load Center High-Voltage Compartment.

Before this project...
IMG_5844.jpeg
IMG_6329.jpeg
Since I had been utilizing “Dinkle Assembly” type DIN rail terminal blocks quite extensively with the new Advanced Automation Enclosure, I got to thinking. "Hey, these should work out fairly nicely within the OCP Load Center high-voltage compartment in order to help tidy things up a bit". So, I completely disassembled my high-voltage compartment so I could mount a DIN rail and “start over”. Again, don’t get me wrong. The use of wire nuts or “WAGO” type connectors are just fine. I just wanted to see if I could do a little better…

I mounted the DIN rail and the terminals blocks and proceeded to put “humpty” back together again. And then a complete ops check of all electrical components to include the proper operation of all of the Pentair relays. “Good to go” (after fixing one minor hiccup lol). This is the end result as pictured below.

IMG_6337.jpeg

IMG_6344.jpeg

I am much more satisfied now with the end result with reference to the high-voltage compartment and while I was at it, I made considerations for some “future-proofing” there as well


Here is a “before” photo of my equipment pad before I began this project…..
IMG_5724.jpeg

The following photos are some “after” shots of the equipment pad since I have completed this phase of the overall project.
IMG_6366.jpeg

IMG_6368.jpeg

IMG_6361.jpeg

IMG_6367.jpeg

Note: If you have any ambitions to set course on a similar adventure, you may want to reconsider if you have any repulsion for the following skill sets:
- “close-in” detailed work.
- Soldering.
- Lots and lots of terminal connector crimping, to include ferrule and "Dupont" (grrrrr) connector type crimping.
- Wire Stripping.
- The use of heat shrink material.
- Detailed planning, close tolerance measurement and calculations.
- Working with electricians tools, drills, Dremel tools, etc.

You get the idea :p

And lastly a warning. There was a great deal of electrical work involved in this project. If you are considering a similar adventure and you are not qualified or do not possess the skill sets necessary to safely perform pool electrical planning and work. Then PLEASE… consult with a qualified pool electrician who does possess those skills.

Take care…
r.

(see next post)
 
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MyAZPool

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Jul 3, 2018
1,589
Arizona
This last post simply contains some representative photos taken during various phases of this project and with a few applicable comments.

- I attempted to do all I could in the shop and on the workbench rather than out in the hot sun.
IMG_6120.jpeg IMG_6144.jpeg

- It was a real "mess" at the equipment pad at times. And all the while, I had to keep filtration, chlorination and MA dosing going at the same time. That was a challenge on occasionally.
IMG_6173.jpeg

- Okay, I really did hate all of those cables hanging off the bottom of the IntellipH Controller Panel (peristaltic pump power/control cable, cable to IntelliChlor, cable to OCP Load Center). I always thought that Pentair could have come up with a better solution. Anyway, no more... It was now time for the necessary modifications. This task required that I eliminate the three connectors that were originally located on the bottom of the enclosurre. Some soldering/using heat shrink material, etc. was necessary. Now there is just one 3/4" conduit running from the bottom of the ipH to the Intermediate / feeder low-voltage junction box. So much for that warranty. :p
IMG_6191.jpeg

- Intermediate / Feeder Low-Voltage Junction Box
IMG_6203.jpeg

- Actuator / Sensor / Sanitation / Chem Control Junction Box
IMG_6218.jpeg

IMG_6221.jpeg

- Preparing for the underground 1.5" feeder conduit.
IMG_6227.jpeg

- Starting to pull in the IntelliValve, IntelliChlor and IntellipH Control Cables here and terminate the conductors. Notice all the cables that run between the two J-boxes in the right LB.
IMG_6244.jpeg

Dissembling the IntelliValve cable terminations.
FD047725-D8E5-4377-B38D-381598BECB66_1_105_c.jpeg
r.
 
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MyAZPool

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Jul 3, 2018
1,589
Arizona
Every time you do I get more and more embarrassed by all the work I still need to do.

Great work.
Thank you sir and also thanks for your help in getting me "over-the-hump" on some of this.. But wait a minute. If memory serves, I know a certain automation DIY'er from FL who bribed me with "cookies", if I would make the "hyper-jump" to the "darkside". :p I'm thinking he should take some responsibility for some of this "craziness".. :laughblue:

But I would be remiss if I didn't give a lot of credit to the following as well for also assisting me along the way in getting me to this point and beyond.
@cmc0619, @rstrouse, @tagyoureit and @mcqwerty . Thanks to all for the assistance!!! :thumleft:

p.s. The cookies are great. :thumleft:
r.
 
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ajw22

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TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
20,325
Northern NJ
Rob, looks great! Gives me a target to shoot for when I put in my Intellicenter box in the spring.

What are the high voltage connectors you put on the din rail?

Where did you get the labels with the colored arrows you have on your pipes?

Can you assemble a complete parts list of the non-standard parts used in this project?
 
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setsailsoon

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Oct 25, 2015
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Wow Ron! This is pretty amazing work. So now we all know what you're doing when you're not torturing your Pentair valve actuators.

Thanks for all the photos.

Chris
 
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Turbo1Ton

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Dec 26, 2019
305
NE Oklahoma
This is insane!!! The workmanship is top notch. I do industrial controls and instrumentation and this is some great work! Love the 'Un-Intellicenter' label. I laughed too hard at that.

--Jeff
 
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MyAZPool

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Jul 3, 2018
1,589
Arizona
What’s the “mailbox“ cover you’ve got over the pump?

Everything looks fantastic!
@Candurin
That "mailbox" cover is an IntelliFlo Pump Cover. I purchased it on Amazon a couple of years ago.
I modified it slightly so it fit better for my needs and and then painted it to match the color of the pipe/filter color.
Thanks much!
r.
 
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MyAZPool

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Jul 3, 2018
1,589
Arizona
What are the high voltage connectors you put on the din rail?
Allen, so those DIN Rail mounted connectors/terminal blocks can be found on Amazon. Here are a couple of links...


Where did you get the labels with the colored arrows you have on your pipes?
Like nearly everything else these days, Amazon of course. ;)

Can you assemble a complete parts list of the non-standard parts used in this project?
Yes, I'm planning on sitting down and doing that soon. ITMT, if there is something in particular that you have a question about, just shoot me a message...

Hey, thanks a lot!!
r.
 
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MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,589
Arizona
This is insane!!! The workmanship is top notch. I do industrial controls and instrumentation and this is some great work! Love the 'Un-Intellicenter' label. I laughed too hard at that.

--Jeff
Thanks very much Jeff. I appreciate that.
I just couldn't help myself regarding that label as I have come to realize and as has been pointed out by others as well, that the IntelliCenter and some other Pentair "Intelli" products are really not all that "intelli"gent. They're pretty dumb actually but I still prefer Pentair however. Regarding my statement, I might make an exception for the "Intelli"Flo however. IMHO, they did a great job with that pump.

Yea, if you like what's here now, then you should really appreciate what's inside of my Advanced Automation Enclosure, once I open that up to the world in a future thread. Lot's of "industrial" type controls/electronics. ;)
Thanks again and take care...
r.
 
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Ourad

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Jun 25, 2019
40
Tulsa, OK
So is the end result of all this that you have your own ph sensor basically and can eliminate the intelliph for a stenner type setup? I'm not sure I see what you gained out of this, other than tidier boxes and a lot of experience obviously. Pad looks real nice though, are all those pipes painted?
 

MyAZPool

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Jul 3, 2018
1,589
Arizona
So is the end result of all this that you have your own ph sensor basically and can eliminate the intelliph for a stenner type setup? I'm not sure I see what you gained out of this, other than tidier boxes and a lot of experience obviously. Pad looks real nice though, are all those pipes painted?
@Ourad
Thanks much, but there is a whole lot more to it than that. As I made note of in my thread above, this thread concerned itself with ONLY the modifications and retrofit of the equipment pad and the IntelliCenter OCP Load Center. These modifications and retrofit are but just a small piece of the overall puzzle and were necessary in my opinion in order to integrate the existing automation with the additional automation, if it were to be done correctly.

In the future, I will provide a discussion on the other pieces and also on the "end result" as you put it. That thread will concern itself with the advancement of my pool automation, integration of njspoolController-dashPanel, relayEquipmentManager (REM), probes, sensors, sensor control, automation enclosure hardware and configuration.

Sorry I haven't got to that quite yet but I will. ;)
Thanks!!
r.

EDIT. Sorry, yes the pipes are painted. Used a roller, two coats. NOT spray! I did most of that about two years ago but I did have to paint the new sensor bypasss line and a few "touch-ups" here and there during the retrofit. :thumleft:
 
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Ourad

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Jun 25, 2019
40
Tulsa, OK
Ah I see, I didn’t realize this was just the prelim work. Should be fun to follow for sure. I like the painting of the pipes and the pump cover, my stuff sits in full sun most of the day, I should probably do that.
 
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MyAZPool

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Jul 3, 2018
1,589
Arizona
Ah I see, I didn’t realize this was just the prelim work. Should be fun to follow for sure. I like the painting of the pipes and the pump cover, my stuff sits in full sun most of the day, I should probably do that.
@Ourad
Yea, when I did my equipment pad rebuild a couple of years ago,
(Here is the thread that covered that project)

I found that "rolling" the paint on the pipes versus spraying resulted in a much cleaner and professional looking job. No overspray on things like pumps, SWG's etc. All you need to do is tape around the edges of things like valves, couplings etc. that you don't want painted and use a drop cloth. I used those really small 2" long rollers that you can find at the big box hardware stores. I did use spray paint for the pump cover. I just sprayed well away from the equipment pad.

When I initially rebuilt the pad, my Triton II sand filter was looking pretty old from being in the sun for many years. So I cleaned it up real good and rolled the paint on it as well (couple of coats). It came out better than I expected and looked like a brand new filter when I was done with it. The color I used was very similar to the "Pentair" sand color.

Thanks...
r.
 
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