IntelliCenter Pricing

SchubeyDew

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Jan 24, 2021
80
Florida
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19910
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Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Hello everyone! I’m pricing out pool builds right now and only one builder is using Pentair equipment. When I mentioned that I wanted 9 jets in my spa and the option to add to the automation system later, he recommended the Pentair IntelliCenter and a secondary pump so I could run the water feature and spa at the same time. I read the info on here about the IntelliCenter and it sounds like a good system. Then today I got my quote...wow! He priced the IntelliCenter at $5800, $1035 for an upgrade to my pool pump to a VSF and $2555 for a VS secondary pump for the water features. After a quick online search these prices, specifically the automation, seem high. I’m not a pool expert by any means and maybe there’s something I’m not factoring in. What do you guys think?
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
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Jul 7, 2014
21,152
Bedford, TX
Dew,

There are several different versions of the "IntelliCenter" so you have not provided enough info for a comparison..

Here is a good link.. IntelliCenter

Keep in mind the pool builder is not going to sell you parts at his cost and his price includes installation and warranty work..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

ajw22

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TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
24,657
Northern NJ
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In general I think you will find PB prices are about 2X internet retail prices. For that you get installation and his warranty services.

The prices you posted are a bit rich but not highway robbery.
 

Dirk

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Nov 12, 2017
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Don't forget about the PB's support services. Those never make it to an invoice. In addition to materials, installation and warranty service, he has to program it, test it, and teach it to you, and then field your phone calls when you forget what he teaches you! I'm not saying you'll be that kind of customer, but he doesn't know that. He's got to pad his quote to cover a lot of time that nobody considers as an expense to the PB. It adds up. And a reasonable profit on top of all that is just that, reasonable.

I'm always stunned by PB quotes. But that's from the perspective of what it would cost me to buy it and install it (free labor) and learn myself how to run it (more free labor). If I'm being fair about it, 2X internet retail prices is not really out of line.
 

SchubeyDew

Well-known member
Jan 24, 2021
80
Florida
Pool Size
19910
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Dew,

There are several different versions of the "IntelliCenter" so you have not provided enough info for a comparison..

Here is a good link.. IntelliCenter

Keep in mind the pool builder is not going to sell you parts at his cost and his price includes installation and warranty work..

Thanks,

Jim R.

Thank you for the link Jim. It looks like this should be the system I discussed with the PB. He is supposed to get me a model number for clarity, but we discussed an eight output system


I do understand that installation and warranty costs are involved and like most work that I hire someone to do, I expect to pay roughly double what parts and materials cost. That being said, this is about 3x and not at all in line with what others are quoting me, however others are quoting me for the Jandy iAqualink system. I suppose part it is just sticker shock in general, as this is my first pool build coupled in me not valuing warranty services much as I’ve been burned by warranty services so many times in the past. I probably won’t go with this PB, but if I do I may tell him to build me a dumb pool and just upgrade it myself.
 

Dirk

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Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
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It's possible that other builders will use Pentair if you ask them to. They usually go with what they know, but some will "cross over."

Regarding warranties... if three of the right Pentair components are purchased together and installed by a professional (not necessarily a pool builder), then Pentair ups their warranty to three years, not only on the three components, but everything Pentair you buy at the same time. Something to consider as you strategize the best way to get your gear.

 
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Dirk

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Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
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Also keep in mind that the IntelliCenter model you're getting includes the load center. It will contain all the circuit breakers to all your pool gear. Buying and DIY installing one later is not just screwing it to the wall and plugging in your pump and SWG, it'll mean removing the circuit breaker box the PB installed and rewiring everything into the IntelliCenter. I'm not discouraging you from doing that, just pointing out it's a big job involving high-voltage and a working knowledge of wiring a pool so that it is safe to swim in (which is considerably more involved than, say, just wiring an air conditioner). And you'll end up with a 60-day warranty.
 
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SchubeyDew

Well-known member
Jan 24, 2021
80
Florida
Pool Size
19910
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Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Thanks for the input Dirk. I actually know a guy who got burned by Pentair on a warranty issue on a new pool build, which kind of reinforces my thoughts. Obviously, I’d rather have warranty than not, but there is a point of diminishing returns on the investment.
On a different note, I see you use Pentair products in your own pool. What made you prefer them over Jandy?
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
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Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
Pool Size
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Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Unfortunately I was not very involved in the purchase decisions. Those were all made, before I found TFP, by my now-fired pool guy, who I inherited from the previous owner of the house and pool. He installed everything, and he is a Pentair dealer, so that was that. I blindly followed his advice. I'm very happy with everything except my automation controller. The EasyTouch is a good product line, but my particular model is the "lite" version that doesn't provide all the circuits and scheduling capabilities that I now wish I had. So I'm a bit envious of folks like you that have the forethought to research beforehand what they're getting into.

I didn't have an army of TFP buttinskies telling me what I should and shouldn't buy! ;)

My ET has a third-party upgrade path, so all is not lost. I've been waiting for my warranty to expire before I fooled around with its guts. I think my three years was up a few months ago, so I'll get around to upgrading soon...

I've found Pentair support to be very good, and they've honored my three-year warranty without issue, replacing several components that failed under warranty.

I understand, from here, that Jandy is a fine brand, too, but I don't have any direct experience with it.
 
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mknauss

Mod Squad
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May 3, 2014
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The one caveat to Jandy, they do not support pool owner service or support. They will tell you to contact a Jandy authorized service center. For everything. And it is more difficult to get DIY parts for Jandy products.
 

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ajw22

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Jul 21, 2013
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The one caveat to Jandy, they do not support pool owner service or support. They will tell you to contact a Jandy authorized service center. For everything. And it is more difficult to get DIY parts for Jandy products.

And many Jandy parts are proprietary and can only be replaced by Jandy high priced parts. Case in point being the pressure gauge on Jandy filters.

Jandy business model now seems to be like the razor and razor blade model. They low ball their equipment cost to pool builders to make it attractive for builders to install Jandy. And long term the customer pays with higher life cycle costs for parts and service then some of the competition. If you always use pool companies to servcie your equipment you may not see it. If you DIY repairs then you will.
 

SchubeyDew

Well-known member
Jan 24, 2021
80
Florida
Pool Size
19910
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
That’s very good to know about Jandy vs Pentair. I do typically fix things myself and find it quite frustrating when I have to hunt for parts.
On a related note, I reached out to the PB who gave me that quote and let him know that others had beat his price by a good margin and that I couldn’t justify spend that much on automation. He actually called me shortly afterwards and said he suspects that others are quoting me for a single speed pump for the water features and a variable for the the pool. He said the only reason he priced me for an IntelliCenter was because he was quoting me two variable speed pumps which require the IntelliCenter. He said he will look into a different automation system and single speed pump for the water features to get the price down. I’m waiting to hear back from the other builder on what type of pump he priced me for but at the moment, the overall price is about $6000-8000 difference between the two.
 

setsailsoon

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I've owned a complete Jandy system including RS automation and I prefer Pentair for the reasons mentioned already here. I while back I started transitioning to Pentair. Several of your equipment items will essentially be the same such as heaters but for certain equipment like the VS pump, automation, and chlorinator I think Pentair offers a better product.

I agree with Jim that you really need to know what's included in the system for that price. Exactly what model #? Does it include the salt cell? How many HV relays. Does this include actuators? These items make a BIG difference in equipment cost so as Jim says you really need to know what is included to determine if the price is reasonable.

I hope this helps.

Chris
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
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Jul 7, 2014
21,152
Bedford, TX
because he was quoting me two variable speed pumps which require the IntelliCenter.

Dew,

Your PB has no clue... Both of the older EasyTouch and IntelliTouch units can control two VS IntelliFlo pumps.. And of course so does the new IntelliCenter. Not sure what he was trying to say???

Jim R.
 
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SchubeyDew

Well-known member
Jan 24, 2021
80
Florida
Pool Size
19910
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Dew,

Your PB has no clue... Both of the older EasyTouch and IntelliTouch units can control two VS IntelliFlo pumps.. And of course so does the new IntelliCenter. Not sure what he was trying to say???

Jim R.
I have a theory that when he talked to me and I started mentioning upgraded automation and extra jets that he started seeing dollar signs. Myself and two of my neighbors (three houses in a row) are all getting pool quotes right now and while certain PB offer incentives if we all build with them, somehow, one of the three of us keeps getting an extremely high quote. I suppose whoever they think can make up for the “discount” being offered.
 

SchubeyDew

Well-known member
Jan 24, 2021
80
Florida
Pool Size
19910
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Thank you everyone for your insight. The PB got back with me today and said the price was for the intellicenter that had the provision for salt (not sure if it was the IC40 or IC60), which is closer to $3000, than it is $2000, in which case the price would be in line with standard contractor pricing. I never told him I wanted salt and we even discussed ozone, so I'm not sure why he priced it that way. He also let me know that even if he took out the automation entirely he couldn't match the other PB, so I wont be moving forward with them.
On another note you have all given me something to think about with the Jandy vs Pentair products.
 
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