Intellicenter Wiring question

CarterJK

Member
Mar 16, 2021
6
Culleoka Tennessee
Pool Size
26000
Hey guys,
I just had my pool installed last spring with all the components listed in my signature. After some issues this winter and just a general displeasure with how the installer set up my pad, I decided to "start over" with the pad, so I cut everything back and am now in the process of rerouting plumbing, electrical conduits, comm wires, etc. In cleaning up the Intellicenter load center, I am seeing some things that don't make sense to me (even after reading all of the wonderful guides others have posted here). I currently have an i8P setup with 8 total relays in the load center. 1 relay is powering the 3x pool lights, 1 relay is powering the 3x laminar lights, 1 relay is powering the 2x bubbler lights, and 1 relay is powering some LED wallwash landscape lights. All of that worked great last year when the pool was open, but now that I'm reworking the pad, I wanted to take advantage of the extra relays that I have with the i8P that were not currently in use to power some lights individually.

My question is in regard to the FLTR relay and perhaps AUX circuits in general. In my system, the FLTR relay is not connected at all to the motherboard and my VSF pumps are wired directly to a breaker, this setup worked fine for me last year.

Current relays are wired:
FLTR - Not connected
AUX1 - Not connected
AUX2 - Pool Lights (x3)
AUX3 - Bubbler Lights (x2)
AUX4 - Laminar lights (x3)
AUX5- Connected to 2spd port on MB
AUX6 - Landscape Lights
AUX7 - Not Connected


So, I have AUX1 and AUX7 open and free to separate my pools lights to each have their own relay. What is the purpose of AUX5 being connected to the 2spd port? Was this just an oversight and that relay is also available? Also, with the FLTR relay not connected to anything, can I use that relay for separating more lights? If not, why not, what does the FLTR relay do when using VSF pumps connected directly to a breaker?

Ideally, the pool lights and laminar lights would all be separate using 6 relays, the bubbler lights can stay together using a 7th relay, and my landscape lights would use the 8th relay.

Hopefully that all makes sense! When I started this I thought "hey, I know electronics and tech and stuff, how hard could it be", now I'm beginning to get a bit overwhelmed as some of the Pentair setup just doesn't make logical sense to me, its seems like some sort of tribal knowledge that you just "have to know". I would be COMPLETELY lost without TFP, so thanks in advance for all the help you've already provided!
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
21,782
Bedford, TX
Jay,

You can't control the pump/filter relay if wired to the pump/filter connection on the main board.. This relay only closes when in the pool or spa modes and the main pump is supposed to be running.. In the old days, with single speed pumps, it was actually used to turn the pump on and off.. It is not needed when using a VS pump unless you have a SWCG.

You can use the physical relay and plug it into some other relay port on the main board.

Normally, if you want to control a color changing light independently, you need a relay and a transformer for each light.. My guess is that each of your current light circuits have one relay and one transformer for each "set" of lights...

Look at your Aux 5 relay and tell us what the high voltage contacts are connected to.. If the contacts have no AC wires connected, then the relay is not being used. If there are wires, it has to be doing something. What does the label for your Aux 5 button say???

If you are thinking of doing something useful, you should think about getting a sanitizing system that works.. :poke:

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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CarterJK

Member
Mar 16, 2021
6
Culleoka Tennessee
Pool Size
26000
Thanks for the quick reply!

All the pool/laminar/bubbler lights are using the same Intermatic PX100 transformer. The way its wired right now is the PX100 transformer connects to relay terminal 1 on AUX2, then there's a jumper from AUX2 to AUX3, jumper from AUX3 to AUX4. The landscape lights have their own transformer. The PX100 is powering all the pool/laminar/bubbler lights today without issue, I assume it would work if I separated the lights to their own relays?

In the Intellicenter config, I only have 8 circuits listed (cant add any more I guess because of the personality card limits me to 8). 1 Circuit is called "Pool" and is uneditable, AUX1-7 I can edit. So, even though I do have the "spare" relay not being used as FLTR, I don't think I can use it as an 8th editable relay? Or am I missing something there?

AUX5 relay has no high voltage contacts, just the low voltage side connected to 2spd, so it seems I can "reclaim" him for my cause. Thanks!!

As to sanitation, man, I thought I was latest and greatest with the UV and frogs and I was all proud! I fought that thing all season last year, the quartz tube was leaking, bulb went out, chemistry was always off. I definitely want/need to upgrade to something and now is certainly the time as I am replumbing. I know from your posts that the Intellichlor is a good setup, but I have done 0 research in to what all I would need to make that happen. Again, I kind of bit off more than I could chew deciding to totally rework my whole pad, so I'm behind the 8 ball and I have some learnin' to do.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
21,782
Bedford, TX
Jay,

Code wise, you can't run the low voltage from your transformer into the high voltage section of your automation.. If you notice there is a separation between the low voltage chase and the high voltage section.. The whole point of the transformer is to keep the high voltage out of any pool wiring. Although unlikely, it is possible for your low voltage wiring to come in contact with your high voltage wiring and this could send 120 VAC right into your pool water...

Your automation was designed for the relays to be connected to only high voltage connections, and why you would need so many transformers if it were done as designed.

What you do is your business, but it is something to keep in the back of your mind.

I am a highly biased fan of saltwater pools.. If I were in your situation, I would look into getting a IntelliChlor, either an IC40 or 60 depending on the volume of your pool.. Cells need to be rated for at least 2 x the volume.. So a 20K pool needs an 40K cell.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

CarterJK

Member
Mar 16, 2021
6
Culleoka Tennessee
Pool Size
26000
Thanks again Jim!

My pool/ledge is roughly 26k gallons, so I'm guessing the IC60 is the right model for my setup. I'm actually looking at them now, my load center came with the IntelliChlor transformer and controller board already, so it looks like all I would need to replace the UV is the actually IC60 itself and connecting it seems straightforward. Cool, adding the IC60 to the list.. Looks like I will be using that FLTR relay after all (to control the IC60). Do you do any sort of mineral additive system? If I could get rid of the frogs as well, I could really free up some (precious) space on the pad! Sorry, I know thats probably off topic and should be in a different forum...

Back to the relays/transformer. I absolutely want to ensure total safety and adhere to any codes. I was just going by what was already installed. Right now, there is a breaker (high voltage) powering the PX100 transformer, then that transformer connects (low voltage) to the line side of the relay and the load side of the relay connects directly to the light(s). Are you saying the appropriate way is to connect high voltage to the line side of the relay, then load side goes to the transformer and then low voltage from the transformer out to the light? Said another way, the voltage should be stepped down post relay vs what I have today with voltage reduced pre-relay? So, right now, the low voltage wires from the lights (all 8 of them) enter the high voltage side of the loadcenter to connect directly to the relays.

I'm assuming it was done this way out of convenience so 1 transformer could be used to provide the low voltage (once) to all relays vs many smaller transformers to provide low voltage to all the lights separately.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
21,782
Bedford, TX
Jay,

If you use a SWCG, then that is all you need.. There is never a reason to add minerals to a pool.

The correct way to wire the lights is that the relays get the 120 VAC and then the load side of the relays gets wired to as many transformers as you need to independently control each light, or set of lights..

A 26K pool would need an IC60.. The fact that your IntelliCenter has a SWCG power supply and transformer is odd, but great news.. It should also have a connector on the left side of bottom panel where the cell just plugs in..

Check out this site... Pentair IntelliChlor Chlorine Generator IC60 Cell (to 60,000 gallons)

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

CarterJK

Member
Mar 16, 2021
6
Culleoka Tennessee
Pool Size
26000
Thanks, you guys are awesome! The IC60 is already in my cart! I'm excited as losinghe uv tube and frogs, I'm going to have tons of room on my pad now to make things much cleaner!

I'm betting the installer ordered the intellicenter/intellichlor bundle and since I had UV, the intellichlor itself never made it to my pad.

Jim, are there specific transformers you've had luck with or just whatever I can source?

Currently, I have 2 skimmers. Deep end skimmer is supplies pump A, which returns to 1:Laminars, 2:pool Returns, 3:Slide, 4:Ledge Returns.

Shallow end skimmer supplies pump B which returns to 1:Ledge Bubblers.

Each pump has its own cartridge filter and (right now) frog system. The heater is on pump A only.

The UV system (soon to be IC60) is only on Pump A. The more I'm getting in to this, the more I'm thinking I may need to retool the returns. I wonder if I may be better served to have pump A just run the pool returns and pump B as a "feature" pump running ledge returns, slide, laminars, ledge bubblers. I remember asking about this during installation and I was advised that the bubblers take so much volume, they needed pump B alone.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
21,782
Bedford, TX
Jay,

I would be a fan of one pump to run the pool itself and the other pump to run any water features. But, if you plan on running all the water features at one time, then it would make sense to put some of them on the pool side. What you put where would depend on how you normally run the pool...

I don't like the idea that one skimmer is for one pump and the other skimmer is for the other pump.. I would rather have both skimmer working all the time.. I would run the 2nd pump off just the main drains.. And the main pump off of just Skimmer #1 and #2. This way, when not using the pool, and just making chlorine, you be able to run your pump at a low rpm and still skim well.

As far as pool light transformers, they need to be pool rated.. This prevents the primary side of the transformer from shorting to the secondary side.. As long as they are made for swimming pools, then any of them will work fine..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

CarterJK

Member
Mar 16, 2021
6
Culleoka Tennessee
Pool Size
26000
This was the exact concern I had at install as well. What I noticed running the pool last year was that during "normal" use, the shallow end skimmer never ran and thus that end of the pool wasn't as clean the deep end, seems to me that chemicals aren't circulated as well either or heated water isn't as efficient on only 1 skimmer at 1 end of the pool. I would love for both skimmers to be running all the time, but I have no main drain, the 2 skimmers are the only suction from the pool. Is there some way to build a manifold where both pumps could pull from both skimmers at the same time? Or would that be bad juju?
 

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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
21,782
Bedford, TX
Jay,

The bad news is that you never want two different pumps sucking water from the same place at the same time..

Since you have no main drain (which is normally not an issue) then I would come up with a scheme to run both pumps at the time.. One using skimmer #1 for the main pump and chlorine generation and the other using skimmer #2 for something that you would not mind running all the time, both pumps running at a low rpm.. I don't mean you have to run 24/7, but long enough to generate the chlorine you need via the IC60, and at the same time skimming... At low rpms the IntelliFlo is pretty cheap to run.. I run mine 24/7 at 1200 rpm for less than $20 bucks a month.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

CarterJK

Member
Mar 16, 2021
6
Culleoka Tennessee
Pool Size
26000
Makes sense. The issue is that other than pool returns, nothing else can run with the cover closed, so to run that 2nd pump, it'll be either the slide, laminars, bubblers, or ledge returns (bubblers and or ledge return causing the elevated ledge to spillover).

Seems like maybe the current setup is likely the most ideal I can get then, pump B running the bubblers with no intellivalve actuators, then pump A running pool returns and other stuff with actuators to turn off when the cover is closed or at night for chlorine generation. This honestly wasn't any issue last year as I have an indoor panel where the wife/kids can turn on/off features as they walk out to the pool and pool returns ran 24/7.

Sincerely appreciate you taking the time to answer all my newbie questions. Thank you!
 
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