IntelliCenter + single IntelliValve controlling multiple water features

mrweber

Active member
Jun 7, 2015
32
Norco, CA
Hello,

I am having a new pool put in and will have a booster pump shared between two water features (bubblers and deck jets). I will have an IntelliCenter for automation and an IntelliValve on the booster pump return. Is it possible to setup 3 "features" with this setup?

1. bubble only
2. deck jets only
3. both bubblers and deck jets

The builder doesn't think this is possible or doesn't know how to set it up considering the IntelliCenter is so new. Any ideas? I can't really find any useful info in the user guide and the online demo is locked down so you can't test adding new feature circuits.

Thanks,
Matt
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,255
Tucson, AZ
Not easily. The actuators only allow 2 positions.

You might be able to figure out a way to use 2 actuators (if you have extra valve controllers in the automation available) and perhaps there are macros available in that automation system that could move 1 or both valves as needed.

For example, the valve after the booster could do Bubble only OR Bubble and Deck Jet; then in the 2nd setting a 2nd actuator on the Deck Jet return could be open (Bubble and Deck Jet running) or closed (Deck Jet only).
 

Jimrahbe

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Jul 7, 2014
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Bedford, TX
Matt,

You would need two actuators, but they do not need to be the IntelliValves... Any standard actuator will do. I believe they are packaging the IntelliValves, with the IntelliCenter, because that was the only way they were going to be able to sell the IntelliValves... :p

Jim R.
 

mrweber

Active member
Jun 7, 2015
32
Norco, CA
Thanks Jim and Jason! That's unfortunate, I was hoping we can program via macro of similar from the IntelliCenter. Seems like it should be easy to say "open to 0/90/180 deg", etc from an automation standpoint. Ohh well, I think a manual valve will be easier to manage in this case.
 

Jimrahbe

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Jul 7, 2014
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Thanks Jim and Jason! That's unfortunate, I was hoping we can program via macro of similar from the IntelliCenter. Seems like it should be easy to say "open to 0/90/180 deg", etc from an automation standpoint. Ohh well, I think a manual valve will be easier to manage in this case.
mr,

Actuators, both the standard ones and the IntelliValve, have no feedback.. Basically you just turn in on and it rotates all the way one way until it hits a stop.. When you turn it on again, it rotates all the way the other way.

There is no way for the Easytouch, or the IntelliCenter, to know where the valves is, based upon the current architecture.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
969
Arizona
Hey Matt,

Yea, Just as Jason and Jim R. recommended, I think you need two 2-way valves and two actuators to accomplish what you are trying to do if you are set on automating these functions.

Like this:
2018-11-18_21-46-42.jpg

Then you can set the "Home Position" of the two actuators for "both bubblers and deck jets" (both valves open).
You can have up to 32 feature circuits, but you will only need 3 for this automation procedure to work.

One feature circuit would have both valves open (both bubblers and deck jets open)
Another would have valve 1 closed and valve 2 open (bubblers closed, deck jets open)
The third would have valve 1 open and valve 2 closed (bubblers open, deck jets closed).

Jim R. summed it up perfectly. These actuators only have two (2) positions. Home position (this should be the position that the configuration is usually set at) and 2nd position. But keep in mind that the IntelliValve will give you much more control over the "home" position and the 2nd position. The IntelliValve actuator positions can be set at 3.75 degree increments (48 possible settings) where the standard valve actuator can only be set at 12 degree increments (15 possible settings). At 180 degree valve operation, that's about 4 times the control over flow accuracy for valve "fine tuning".

Hope this helps you out if you still want to automate this procedure. You might want to consider taking full advantage of the IntelliCenter capabilities.

Oh by the way, I was just going to PM you about it. I just had our question about using a Cat-5e versus wireless confirmed by my Pentair rep on Friday. No problem hardwiring. I have already laid in the Cat-5e from one of my un-managed switches via buried conduit out to the Load Center. He is working on getting me all of the parts and pieces needed to convert my IntelliTouch Load Center here in the next few weeks (hopefully).

Good luck with the install..
r.
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
969
Arizona
Thanks for the info Jim and R! Makes sense, I guess I just assumed it would be intelligent.


Thanks,
Matt
Exactly!! Just what I had thought originally as well. But after immersing myself in the IntelliCenter and IntelliValve documentation, I'm kinda like "what???" What kind of "Intelligent" valve actuator is this anyway?

Anyway, guess it goes something like this in the product development meetings -

Can we make a smart actuator that commands the valve to any position and can we have the necessary logic chips on the system board to control the actuator? YES.
Can we set the price point where the necessary amount of customers will buy it in order to make a profit? NO.
Then let's not do it.

So here we are. We get to choose 1 position for the valve for automation purposes, and then we get to choose another position for the valve for automation purposes. And now we have our "Intelligent valve actuator" . :-D

My refrigerator can remind via text when we're low on milk, my lights can come on based on civil twilight and my Alexa can fully control most items in my house BUT I cannot control the exact position of a 3-way valve with a voice command? What year is this?

Oh well, I'll get over it... :hammer:
 

Crowned1984

Member
Apr 27, 2018
15
AZ
For what it's worth, my plumber contacted his Pentair rep regarding the future ability of the Intellicenter to work with the Intellivalve in the manner being discussed here (i.e., Intellivalve stopping at a predetermined spot between open and closed). He was told this functionality would be available in early 2019 through a firmware upgrade. He also mentioned the need to attach another cable from the valve to the Intellicenter, but I'm not sure what that looks like.

I've built my pad around that expectation so, I'm hopeful it comes to fruition.
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
969
Arizona
For what it's worth, my plumber contacted his Pentair rep regarding the future ability of the Intellicenter to work with the Intellivalve in the manner being discussed here (i.e., Intellivalve stopping at a predetermined spot between open and closed). He was told this functionality would be available in early 2019 through a firmware upgrade. He also mentioned the need to attach another cable from the valve to the Intellicenter, but I'm not sure what that looks like.

I've built my pad around that expectation so, I'm hopeful it comes to fruition.
Wow. Seriously? I am expecting a call from my Pentair rep this week. I will be sure to bring this up in the conversation and see if he knows something about it. Thanks for update. ;-)
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
969
Arizona
Pentair IntelliValve ALERT.... :D

Yep, just got off the phone with the Pentair rep. He confirmed what Crowned1984 was speaking to this morning.

1. In 2019 (no month indicated), Pentair will release an IntelliCenter firmware upgrade.

2. Among several other tweaks (couldn't get much info on those), the IntelliCenter programming will allow the Pentair IntelliValve (521485) to operate at five (5) different user defined positions (instead of the current two), (within 3.75 degree increments of course).

3. No additional wiring would be needed according to the info that I got. The IntelliValve 24v power cable will still just plug in to the 3-pin power sockets on the automation control system circuit board and/or the Optional Valve Module expansion board (if applicable), as is the case currently.

This sure changes some of my planning on how I will program use of the valve actuators using feature circuits etc., if this info becomes fact.

I'm not sure how this will work (feedback from the IntelliValve to the IntelliCenter logic etc), but as we use to say in my old line of work "don't worry how it works, just hope it works good and for a long time" :D

So much for my product development meeting scenario. Maybe it really is an "Intelli"valve after all. ;)

Thanks Crowned1984 for the heads up.
 

mrweber

Active member
Jun 7, 2015
32
Norco, CA
Thank you Crowned1984 and MyAZPool! This is great news! I was just about to tell the builder to leave the manual valve on too. This forum is great, so much info and everyone is super helpful! Thanks again guys!

Thanks,
Matt
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,255
Tucson, AZ
I don't know how that can possibly work with the current 3 wires. There is no feedback. My only guess is that it could be timer based and an assumption that the valve is moving at a certain speed. That would certainly not be a very robust system.
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
969
Arizona
I don't know how that can possibly work with the current 3 wires. There is no feedback. My only guess is that it could be timer based and an assumption that the valve is moving at a certain speed. That would certainly not be a very robust system.
Hi Jason,

I kept thinking about this because what you were saying made perfect sense. So, since I have a few of these on order, I started digging and calling and I think I might just have this figured out now I believe. Confirms what you were getting at.

1. There are actually five (5) wires associated with the IntelliValve (521485). Three of the wires are connected to the 24vAC 3-wire connector and currently plug into the 3-pin valve power sockets on the automation control system circuit board and/or the Optional Valve Module expansion board (if applicable). These three wires (black, red & white) ONLY provide 24v AC power and a fused common connectivity from the circuit board to the valve actuator.


IntelliValve.jpg

2.
However, there are two more wires (green & yellow) connected to the IntelliValve. These are not currently used at this time but can be, once the firmware upgrades are available.

The two additional wires will provide RS-485 connectivity. Green = -data and Yellow = +data. The two wires will consist of A (low for logic 1 and high for logic 0 and B (high for logic 1 and low for logic 0). The common return path will be provided by the common black wire.

This is how the valve actuator will maintain a half-duplex (I assume) communication link with the Automation Control System. This will allow the valve actuator to be commanded by the automation system to be placed in any of the 24 positions (5 set positions) and the “two position” limitation will be removed.

These two wires (green and yellow) will connect to the Pentair Serial Com Port Expansion Board (520818). They connect to the 2-pin sockets labeled “IntelliValve ONLY!!!, as shown below.
2018-11-26_14-01-11.jpg

The Serial Com Port Expansion Board will mount in the load center (as shown below) and will allow up to two expansion boards. Each board can accommodate up to six IntelliValves connections.
2018-11-26_13-14-17.jpg

I'm going to assume that at some point, the 2-pin connectors that connect to the IntelliValve green and yellow wires and plug into the expansion board will become available or maybe they come with the expansion module.

3. I found this additional information in the documentation:

Pentair Serial Com Port Expansion Board Installation and User’s guide on pp 4: “Note: IntelliValve™ connectors: For future use.

Pentair IntelliValve Installation and User’s Guide FAQ section: “FAQ: What are these green and yellow communication wires for? These are reserved for future use with future automation systems.


4. In addition, the label attached to the IntelliValve green and yellow wires read: “GREEN & YELLOW DATA LEADS FOR FUTURE AUTOMATION APPLICATION
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,255
Tucson, AZ
Apparently I had never seen an intellivalve. I thought that was just their name for the typical actuator, but clearly this is a completely different product that I was not aware of.
 

Crowned1984

Member
Apr 27, 2018
15
AZ
Pentair IntelliValve ALERT.... :D

Yep, just got off the phone with the Pentair rep. He confirmed what Crowned1984 was speaking to this morning.

1. In 2019 (no month indicated), Pentair will release an IntelliCenter firmware upgrade.

2. Among several other tweaks (couldn't get much info on those), the IntelliCenter programming will allow the Pentair IntelliValve (521485) to operate at five (5) different user defined positions (instead of the current two), (within 3.75 degree increments of course).

3. No additional wiring would be needed according to the info that I got. The IntelliValve 24v power cable will still just plug in to the 3-pin power sockets on the automation control system circuit board and/or the Optional Valve Module expansion board (if applicable), as is the case currently.

This sure changes some of my planning on how I will program use of the valve actuators using feature circuits etc., if this info becomes fact.

I'm not sure how this will work (feedback from the IntelliValve to the IntelliCenter logic etc), but as we use to say in my old line of work "don't worry how it works, just hope it works good and for a long time" :D

So much for my product development meeting scenario. Maybe it really is an "Intelli"valve after all. ;)

Thanks Crowned1984 for the heads up.
Thanks for confirming with your Pentair rep, because I was basing my information on a third party and while I trusted him, it's nice to have confirmation! It makes me feel much more comfortable about the way my new pad is set up.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
8,731
Northern NJ
The new improved 2019 Intellivalve will be of benefit for all of us who have a spa with a spillover with an actuator switching between SPA and Pool return. I will finally be able to have:

- Pool only
- Pool with spa spillover running
- Spa only

Guess I have to plan on an Intellicenter in 2020.
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
969
Arizona
The new improved 2019 Intellivalve will be of benefit for all of us who have a spa with a spillover with an actuator switching between SPA and Pool return. I will finally be able to have:

- Pool only
- Pool with spa spillover running
- Spa only

Guess I have to plan on an Intellicenter in 2020.
But "MAYBE" Pentair will also release an IntelliTouch and EasyTouch firmware upgrades as well which may allow for the full capabilities (data transfer) of the IntelliValve to be taken advantage of???
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
13,928
Bedford, TX
The new improved 2019 Intellivalve will be of benefit for all of us who have a spa with a spillover with an actuator switching between SPA and Pool return. I will finally be able to have:

- Pool only
- Pool with spa spillover running
- Spa only

Guess I have to plan on an Intellicenter in 2020.

Allen,

Those three modes are already standard in Pentair automation systems. :confused:

Jim R.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
8,731
Northern NJ
Allen,

Those three modes are already standard in Pentair automation systems. :confused:

Jim R.
How do they do that with one valve? Jandy valve only has two positions and you need 3. Right now I have POOL/SPA Return valve set so POOL mode is 90%Pool and 10% SPA (So spa return is open a crack), other way is SPA mode where pool return closed and spa return open.

- - - Updated - - -

But "MAYBE" Pentair will also release an IntelliTouch and EasyTouch firmware upgrades as well which may allow for the full capabilities (data transfer) of the IntelliValve to be taken advantage of???
I have a 20 year old Jandy Aqualink controller and not an ET. It does the basics fine. Just can't control a VS pump or a SWG. The Intellivalve may get me to spend the coin and replace it with an Intellicenter. I have been telling myself that one of these days a board will fail and I will upgrade then and so far it just keeps working.