IntelliConnect Operating Problems

danvet

Member
Jun 22, 2020
14
Maryland
Pool Size
20000
I just got my IntelliConenct installed and commissioned - using the Pentair Home app. After some initial Wi-Fi issues (which seem to ironed out) things seem to be at least communicating.

Here's the setup:
- Data connection to Pentair VSF pump
- Relay 1 to Polaris pump
- Relay 2 to Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12 volt Color Light
- Controller Software Version : 1.5.0.7 (Jun 16 2020)
- IoT Software Version 1.51

I have two problems...

PROBLEM 1: The pump was installed last season and ran independently using its own programs which were all based on FLOW. In the app, however, all I see is RPM. I don't see any way to program flow rate / GPM. Not only that, but if I program say 500 RPM in the app - the pump seems to interpret that as 500 GPM and gives a speed limit waring. The problem is that the app won't let me set a number less than 450.
Questions:
- Can the app be used to program flow / GPM rather than RPM? If so how?
- What is the EXT CONTROL menu for on the pump? Is this what I should be using for the IntelliConnect programs rather than the Home app?
- Should the regular programs (1-8) on the pump all be disabled or does this happen automatically when connected to the IntelliConnect? If not...can I still use the Egg Timer programs on the pump even after it's connected to the IntelliConnect?

PROBLEM 2: I can't get the light to reliably change color. The light has been installed for a couple of years in conjunction with an IntelliBrite Controller which worked fine. The controller was retained and sits between the IntelliConnect and the transformer - the idea being to allow manual control in case you didn't have access to the app. Sometimes when I change color in the app it works (and I hear the transformer do its little clicks). Sometimes nothing happens. And sometimes the relay itself (on the IntelliConnect) turns rapidly on and off several times.
Questions:
- Does anybody have reliable color changing through the app?
- Is it okay to retain the IntelliBrite Controller for manual control?

Thanks in anticipation of any input or guidance that can be offered!
 

danvet

Member
Jun 22, 2020
14
Maryland
Pool Size
20000
I've scoured the VSF user manual and it states: "Refer to the automation system manual for further details on how to connect and use the system with your variable speed pump."

Does anybody know of an owner's manual for the IntelliConnect (not the installation manual)?
 

panic_button

Bronze Supporter
Jun 23, 2019
335
Emerald Coast Florida
Pool Size
21000
Surface
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Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I'm in the same boat. I've spent over 8 hours in the past 2 days with Pentair trying to get Intelliconnect to control a VSF running at a rental house. It was working with the LinkO2 app but had issues with the IC40. They had me install the Pentair Home app now everything shows up but the pump continuously switches to disabled. I was told to us a VF pump not the VSF, the new app doesn't support GPM yet. If your pump doesn'tsay in the display - Display Not Active, then it is not connected to the Intelliconnect. and it looks like there are only 4 pump schedules in the new app.
 
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danvet

Member
Jun 22, 2020
14
Maryland
Pool Size
20000
I just got off the phone with a Pentair rep who was TERRIBLE. I had no idea this was such a shoddy company,
So I explained the pump problem to him. He confirmed that it should be able to do what I intended (control the flow rate).
He then asked me for my user login AND PASSWORD for the Home app. I guess this was warning number one that this is a terrible company. Users should never have to give account passwords out - there's no reason service techs can't access accounts with just the username.
He then spent a number of minutes umming and erring before declaring that no, the IntelliConnect cannot control flow. I told him that if that was the case then I would be extremely disappointed after spending a lot of money on a variable flow pump.
I then asked him if there was a user manual for the IntelliConnect. More umming and erring for a minute or two as he looked - before he said no, there wasn't.
I then asked him what the latest firmware version was for the IntelliConnect. He said he didn't know.
I then said "with the greatest respect it seems like you don't know much about the IntelliConnect system - is there anybody that does?". He said sure - and then just put me back in the call line.
So that was a fun couple of hours wasted.

Come on Pentair! Get your act together!
 

danvet

Member
Jun 22, 2020
14
Maryland
Pool Size
20000
I'm in the same boat. I've spent over 8 hours in the past 2 days with Pentair trying to get Intelliconnect to control a VSF running at a rental house. It was working with the LinkO2 app but had issues with the IC40. They had me install the Pentair Home app now everything shows up but the pump continuously switches to disabled. I was told to us a VF pump not the VSF, the new app doesn't support GPM yet. If your pump doesn'tsay in the display - Display Not Active, then it is not connected to the Intelliconnect. and it looks like there are only 4 pump schedules in the new app.
Thanks for the response. Couple of questions:
- Did you disable the regular programs on the pump (not sure if this needs to be done)?
- Did you enable the Ext Control programs on the pump (again, I'm not sure if this needs to be done)?

When I go into the app - the 4 programs initially say 60 RPM. But when run, the pump runs at 60 GPM. However there is no way to edit the number in the app - in fact when you edit it you only get a choice of 450 to 3450 (RPM). After making the change the pump then tries to run at 120 GPM.

What a nightmare.
 

panic_button

Bronze Supporter
Jun 23, 2019
335
Emerald Coast Florida
Pool Size
21000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Thanks for the response. Couple of questions:
- Did you disable the regular programs on the pump (not sure if this needs to be done)? - Did not disable any schedules on the pump
- Did you enable the Ext Control programs on the pump (again, I'm not sure if this needs to be done)? - Did not enable anything on the pump
But my pump isn't working via the Intelliconnect. As soon I remove the 485 cable. pump kicks on and works like it should.
 

danvet

Member
Jun 22, 2020
14
Maryland
Pool Size
20000
But my pump isn't working via the Intelliconnect. As soon I remove the 485 cable. pump kicks on and works like it should.
Oh I see. Mine "works" but without any intelligence - i.e. the pump is either on at full speed or it's off.
It's more DumbConnect than IntelliConnect IMHO.
Like you - I have the thing disconnected and the pump works independently like it should - just like it did all last season.

If only I could rewind the clock and undo the IntelliConnect purchase and install I would. In fact, if knew then what I know now, I'd go back another 12 months and avoid Pentair altogether. I basically spent almost a grand to downgrade the pump. Even the $30 Wemo light switch that I had last year was more reliable at controlling the pool light.
 

panic_button

Bronze Supporter
Jun 23, 2019
335
Emerald Coast Florida
Pool Size
21000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
If the Intelliconnect wasn't already installed and when it dies, I'll be upgrading it to an EasyTouch.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
23,093
Bedford, TX
Dan,

I do not have a lot of experience with the IntelliConnect but would be willing to try and help you get your pump work.. But to be honest it appears your goal is more to just bash Pentair as if they will read your posts and do something.. I doubt they will even see any of your posts, so I suggest that you try a post info that is relevant to your problem. This is not Farce-Book.

The first thing I would suggest is that you just use RPM rather than try to use GPM.. I can't think of any valid reason to use GPM and RPM work just fine for 99% of users.

When the pump is connected to the IntelliConnect, what does the pump's display show?

Please show me a pic of where the RS-485 cable is connected to the IntelliConnect.

Show me a pic of your apps pump speed page.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

danvet

Member
Jun 22, 2020
14
Maryland
Pool Size
20000
Jim,

Thanks for taking the time to respond and for your generous offer of help. I mean that.

Let me be clear... My goal is to get things working, nothing more. But when frustrated, it's human nature to vent. I make no apology for that (unless a few sarky comments are in violation of board rules) - though I do concede that it doesn't help achieve my goals. Rest assured, I have zero expectation that Pentair would take time to read user complaints/feedback on this or any other board, let alone respond or react. After all, they have offered no support thus far - not by phone or even by producing a user manual for the product in question. But perhaps my experience (and that of others such as panic_button) will warn other board members off this apparently flawed product and/or manufacturer. Perhaps not. But if enough end users feel the same way then market forces will prevail. Anyhow - I will take your advice and keep it on topic moving forwards.

When you say "use RPM"...
- the Home App only seems to allow adjustment of RPM.
- the Pentair guy stated the IntelliConnect can only control RPM (admittedly after he stated it could control both).
So where in the pump menu is the toggle between the two? I have some of the eight regular pump programs (used last season) that are set to Flow / GPM - but these programs aren't used with the IntelliConnect. Do they need to be disabled? Do the four Ext Control programs need to be enabled and set to use RPM?

As for my reasoning in preferring GPM (which may well be flawed)... My understanding was that the whole point of a variable speed pump was to get the minimum turnover required to keep the water moving through the filter, with a goal of 2 water changes every 24h - the benefit being that constant low water turnover is much more energy efficient than intermittent high water turnover. GPM makes that easy to achieve AND takes into account changes in system pressure as the filter moves through its cycle and becomes increasingly clogged with residue. So IF that reasoning is sound, picking a set RPM speed will "work" - just like my old single speed pump worked - it just won't be as efficient which was kind of the point in changing pumps. And what RPM do I choose to get two turnovers of water in 24h? If my logic IS flawed, then what's the point of these pumps?

When the IntelliConnect is connected to the pump - the menus and keypad seem to be locked out and the display indicates that it's under external control (though I don't remember exactly what it says).

Pics to follow once this storm has passed.

Thanks, Jim.

Dan.
 

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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
23,093
Bedford, TX
Dan,

The pump should say "Display Not Active".. If so, it means the pump is being controlled by the automation. The pump should not be using any internal or external inputs other than the RS-485 communications..

With the EasyTouch, you have to actually select the pump type.. VS, VF, VSF, etc.. Since I don't have an IntelliConnect or the Home App, I can't see your set up pages..

Assuming it has to control the IntelliFlo in a similar way, you should have a something like the following page in your home app..




Notice at the top it lets you set the pump type.. At least for now set the type to VS and then the speeds you want to use in RPM.. If you can, show me that screen on your app.. It may not look the same, but the same basic info should be there.

It would not hurt to double check that the address in the pump is set to #1.. You have to do that from the pump's control panel..


The idea that you have to run X amount of water through the filter each day is a myth.. It is just not true. The filter is there to capture the things that fall into your pool and float.. It is not there to keep you algae free. That is what chemicals are for.. You can run your pump as long, or as little as you like, that is up to you.. But you should not do it to meet some magically turnover myth..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

danvet

Member
Jun 22, 2020
14
Maryland
Pool Size
20000
Ok well after a lot of trial and error (and intermittent wailing and gnashing of teeth), I THINK I've got this thing figured out - or at least my understanding now is substantially different to what it was a few hours ago.

For any other members having difficulty (panic_button?) here's what I've learned...

First of all my original setup with just the VSF pump (before adding the IntelliConnect) was as follows:
Program 1 - Egg Timer - Flow - 60 GPM - 1 hour
Program 2 - Egg Timer - Flow - 60 GPM - 2 hours
Program 3 - Egg Timer - Flow - 60 GPM - 3 hours
Program 4 - Egg Timer - Flow - 60 GPM - 4 hours
Program 5 - Schedule - Flow - 30 GPM - 6am to 2am
Program 6 - Schedule - Flow - 50 GPM - 2am to 6am
Program 7 - Disabled
Program 8 - Disabled

The idea behind that was:
- Have the pump running continuously to get 2 water changes every 24 hours - at 30 GPM the pump is using less than 200 W.
- Higher flow rate in the middle of the night when my Polaris kicks in (probably doesn't need to be for 4 hours but still).
- When using the pool I hit the button for one of the first 4 programs to get a higher flow rate which brings my waterfalls online.

The IntelliConnect was then added. The correct way of wiring that is to have the pump powered directly to a breaker (not through one of the IntelliConnect relays) and just connect the green/yellow cables of the control wire that came with the pump to the IntelliConnect (doesn't matter which of the two connections you use).

My INCORRECT assumption was that the regular programs on the pump were done away with when using the IntelliConnect. I thought that everything was programmed through the Pentair Home app. I wasn't sure if the regular programs 1-8 should be disabled or would be disabled automatically. I also wasn't sure if the Ext Control programs 1-4 needed to be used or not.

What I've discovered is that the regular programs 1-8 remain in play. Programs 1-4 on the pump correlate with the 4 programs that appear in the app. The Ext Control programs are not used. And the "Enable/Disable" toggle in the app is just the same as hitting the "Start/Stop" button on the pump.

Now in my case I wanted to use FLOW control (GPM rather than RPM) for reasons shown above. I'm happy to be shot down for this if I'm wrong, but the logic explained above is my current understanding of the benefits of flow control. (EDIT: I see Jim already has shot this theory down - that's fine)
The problem is that there's no way to select between RPM and GPM in the app (it's a Crud app).
So in my opinion, it's much easier to just disconnect the control wire to the pump (to regain keyboard control) and program everything through the pump itself - just as you would do if you didn't have IntelliConnect. In fact that's the ONLY way to do it if you want to use FLOW control.
You then just connect the cable and...voila. Nothing to set or program in the app. The app will automatically show whatever you've set for programs 1 through 4.

So right now, the pump does exactly what I want it to do (which is the same as it did before the IntelliConnect) BUT...
- I can now remotely SEE what it's doing with the app.
- I can now start any of my 1-4 Egg Timer programs from the app - again, they automatically show up in the app - it's just that they say 60 RPM rather than 60 GPM (it's a Crud app) but the pump still runs at 60 GPM and then drops back into the regular scheduled program (5 or 6 depending on the time of day).

What I can't do is try and EDIT programs 1-4 in the app - as it will screw the whole thing up. Once more...it's a Crud app.

So I've finally got this where I want it. The pump operates as desired. I can monitor things from the app. I can launch any of my Egg Timers from the app (OR by hitting one of the 1-4 buttons on the pump as I always used to do).

I hope this helps someone.

And I know Pentair will never see this but my advice to them would be:
1) Please write a user manual for the IntelliConnect / Pentair Home app.
2) Please spend a little more time on the app so it correctly integrates with your variable flow rate pumps.

Now... on to try and figure why it won't reliably control my light. My gut is that I need to take the IntelliBrite Controller out of the circuit, but we'll see.
 

panic_button

Bronze Supporter
Jun 23, 2019
335
Emerald Coast Florida
Pool Size
21000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Jim-

Here are some screen shots of the new Home App. I can switch the pump to "Enable" but it does nothing and reverts back to disabled. Hopefully, I can get in touch with the regional manager again to see if he can help.
 

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danvet

Member
Jun 22, 2020
14
Maryland
Pool Size
20000
The idea that you have to run X amount of water through the filter each day is a myth.. It is just not true. The filter is there to capture the things that fall into your pool and float.. It is not there to keep you algae free. That is what chemicals are for.. You can run your pump as long, or as little as you like, that is up to you.. But you should not do it to meet some magically turnover myth..

I'm intrigued... If you take that argument to its logical conclusion then why bother at all with the pump and all associated plumbing? Are you saying that one could just use a pole and net for anything floating on the surface, a robot for anything on the bottom and chemicals to get anything in the middle?

Benefits (at least perceived benefits) of the pump for me include:
- It pushes water through my DE filter which removes suspended solids from the water. Perhaps with no pump (and no swimming) they would settle to be vacuumed? If I'm late opening the pool and the water is green, it seems that the harder I run the pump the quicker the water clears.
- It prevents / reduces thermoclines in the pool
- It provides a source of water for my Polaris
- It keeps water flowing through my chlorinator
- It powers my waterfalls
- Presumably it circulates and distributes added chemicals more quickly and evenly (admittedly with solutions it's probably not much faster than Brownian motion).

So having accepted that I need a pump (or maybe I don't if I change my setup - ?), the next logical question would be for how long to run it and how hard. I think the two turnovers per day is a good rule of thumb rather than some magical number - if you have the ability to know how much water you're pumping that is.

Anyway - sorry to get off topic - I know I still have a lot to learn.
 

danvet

Member
Jun 22, 2020
14
Maryland
Pool Size
20000
I can switch the pump to "Enable" but it does nothing and reverts back to disabled.
What programs do you have set in the pump?
What happens if you hit the start button on the pump itself?
Also - looks like you're controlling two separate devices. What's the second device? Is it on a different # address?
 

panic_button

Bronze Supporter
Jun 23, 2019
335
Emerald Coast Florida
Pool Size
21000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
The 2 devices are the pump and IC40. Pump screen is not active when connected.
 

danvet

Member
Jun 22, 2020
14
Maryland
Pool Size
20000
At least on mine the start/stop button on the pump still works even when the IntelliConnect is connected and the screen is not active. As do the program buttons 1-4.
If you disconnect the communication wire to regain control, does program 1 in the pump reflect what you have in the app?
 

danvet

Member
Jun 22, 2020
14
Maryland
Pool Size
20000
Couple of thoughts:
First, I believe that the enabled toggle in the app just tells you whether the pump is running - NOT whether control is enabled. So if there is no program that should be running (you're outside of your scheduled hours) then the app will say disabled.
EDIT: Ok I see that the app says no scheduled program will run so seems I'm wrong on this

Second - if you're within the scheduled hours and the pump should be running but it isn't, then is the time correct on the pump? You'll need to disconnect the comm wire to get control of the pump to set it. I thought it might set automatically from the app - but it doesn't.

Finally - water temp of -1F? Do you have an explanation for this or could it indicate a bigger problem either with the IntelliConnect or the app or the comms between the two?
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
23,093
Bedford, TX
Dan,

I find it odd that all the other Pentair automation systems operate differently when it comes to pump speeds.. :scratch: Even the old and simple SunTouch..

None of them use the speeds stored inside the pump when being controlled by the automation.. In every one of them when the automation is in control, none of the buttons on the pump's control panel are active. The automation tells the pump what speeds to run.

I am probably just making a mess here, as I clearly do not understand the operation of the IntelliConnect. :(

Logically, either your pump or IntelliConnect are defective, or Pentair has revamped the speed control just for the IntelliConnect, and has not documented anywhere that the owner must set speeds in the pump before use.

Either way, it is a mess..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

danvet

Member
Jun 22, 2020
14
Maryland
Pool Size
20000
Jim,

I would have thought that too... But with no documentation it's hard to be sure.

And I do think you CAN set programs through the app - but only for RPM. Right now if I set an RPM in the app, whatever I choose (the lowest being 450) then the pump program will change to 140 GPM (which I think is the max). I suspect if I changed my program types 1-4 from flow to RPM in the pump (can't do this in the app) then it would make better sense of what the app is instructing it to do. But right now I prefer to have flow control and (I think) I have a solution that works for me.

Thanks again for reaching out with the offer of help.

Dan
 

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