IntelliTouch to IntelliCenter upgrade questions..

Phil G

Member
Aug 26, 2021
9
Tucson AZ
Pool Size
15000
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Good afternoon. I'm a long time reader, first time posting. I am not in the industry, but feel that I am fairly skilled and research my projects thoroughly to ensure I am doing them correctly. This spring I had a Heliocol Solar heater installed and we had an existing Waterways Oasis pool automation system that was able to control the solar. There were some issues (mainly it would loose internet connection regularly and the display screen has failed and been replaced multiple times). Due to these issues I was already planning to upgrade the pool automation to the IntelliCenter. I was doing my research and learned these are currently on back order almost everywhere. I placed an order and was happy to wait until last week the Waterways stopped completely.

But this post isn't about the Waterways. Since I already had an IC40 SWG and the actuators I needed, I knew I only needed a load center and the personality kit. I was able to find an IntelliTouch/EasyTouch to IntelliCenter Upgrade - i10PS | 522048, and an IntelliCenter load Center | 522043. Since the i10PS upgrade came with the new HPW Wireless Link Kit I should be set. Surprisingly, purchasing these in this manner saved a significant amount from the price I was finding them together as a total kit (on backorder). Another nice thing, because the load center was already an intelliCenter, the transformer and low voltage 5Amp and 4 Amp breakers did not need to be switched. (I confirmed by PN on each) so I have/had extras.

I wired the transformer 110v black to a 20 amp breaker, violet to neutral bus bar and capped the yellow line. I connected my actuators, gas heater control, temperature sensors IntelliFlow VS control wire, as well as the HPW Link kit to the i10PS board and powered up the system. I was up and running.

I was plugging away and learning the new system set-up wizard, but I had to leave to do some other errands. The system was running along fine for over an hour and I went back to complete the set-up and to establish a connection to the wireless network. While I was trying to assign relays, the screen flashed, went black and I saw a small puff of smoke come from the area of the lv breakers. The 5 Amp 18w breaker had tripped. I powered the breakers off and opened the lv compartment. Nothing appeared damaged. I removed and inspected the lc breakers and they appeared fine. I know smoke doesn't typically come from nowhere so I replaced the 5A breaker with the extra. I powered it back on and it immediately tripped. I then found this thread. I worked through the processes of taking all lv connections off and testing with only the power applied and it immediately tripped again. Upon closer examination of the board I saw a small burn mark on the ETHR, which I had not used. Could this have been the cause of the smoke and if so, what could have caused a prong not even in use to randomly burn out? If not, could it be the same uln2803 issue OZ found? Since it is new, I will contact the warranty department, but want to know if there was anything I can test to ensure I did not cause this issue.

I appreciate all of your help.

Phil 20210902_111115.jpg20210902_111130.jpg
 
Last edited:

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
25,347
Bedford, TX
Phil,

The EHTR connection sends 24 VDC to one of the High Voltage relays, if used... I can't see any reason for the connector to burn unless it had a manufacturing defect..

My "guess" is that the bad part is right above the EHTR connector.. It kind of looks like some type of voltage regulator to me..

That said, I have an EasyTouch and not the new IntelliCenter, so I may be full of Bull Feathers. :mrgreen:

Let's see if Tom recognizes any of the circuitry.. Calling @ogdento

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

ogdento

Bronze Supporter
Mar 30, 2015
813
Chico, CA
i don't have one of those boards but it's probably the unl2803 or could also be the chip above the ehtr connection like jim said... what are the numbers on that chip?

in any case, i'm not sure what you could have done to cause the smoke but if it's under warranty then i'd take advantage of that! (hey, and see if they'll let you keep the dead one)
 

Phil G

Member
Aug 26, 2021
9
Tucson AZ
Pool Size
15000
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Just spoke to Pentair, they went with the expected song and dance. "you must have wired something incorrectly..." However, when I told him it was correctly wired and closed and working when the smoke came out of the panel, he agreed to ship me a replacement board. However he also said he could not give me an estimate of how long it would take due to many parts being on backorder. He was noting my file, and the would not replace it if it happens again since I self installed.

He did not mention sending back the old one, but I will wait to see what I get with the new one. The number on the chip is SB26S. As much as I would like to learn, I have never tried to work on a circuit card to replace soldered chips. If they let me keep it, we might have to make a group project of it. I attached some additional photos.

20210902_172547.jpg20210902_172541.jpg
 
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Phil G

Member
Aug 26, 2021
9
Tucson AZ
Pool Size
15000
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
@ForlornLawnGnome provided a link to the rectifier. Her husband is an electrical engineering and had the same puff of smoke, ironically from using the 24v WiFi power port.

 

Phil G

Member
Aug 26, 2021
9
Tucson AZ
Pool Size
15000
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
So good news, the I5ps replacement panel was delivered this week and I was able to swap out the expansion board and the system is up and running. I am still struggling to get all of my schedules and features working correctly. I will need to spend more time bonding with the IntelliCenter instructions and videos online to get everything working correctly. Additional good news, it there was not a requirement or return label request on the malfunctioning board. Anyone up for that group project to repair it? @ogdento @Jimrahbe . In the long run, the upgrade panels and an existing IntelliCeter or other load center seem to be the most cost effective way of moving to an IntelliCenter if you have any type of current automation system.
 

ogdento

Bronze Supporter
Mar 30, 2015
813
Chico, CA
update on the dead intellicenter...

TLDR: the system transformer and a rectifier got smoked.

Phil also sent me the system transformer and it is dead... that doesn't happen too often! The primary is an open-circuit - showing no resistance or continuity - when it should be a few ohms or so. If you connect 120v to the primary coil you should get secondary outputs of 18 and 24vac. As a test I connected 12vac to the primary and I get nothing (should see about 1.8 and 2.4 volts). **I test using a low primary voltage (instead of 120) so if there's a shorted coil it won't go *bang* in my face, and because it's harder to electrocute myself. There's black charring under the primary's insulation so I know it's been damaged, just not sure how bad.

The SB26S rectifier also died... it's the same 2 Amp bridge rectifier that a few others here have had trouble with. You can see a pretty good crack where the smoke came out:
IMG_20211020_100816098.jpg IMG_20211020_101126792.jpg

Incidentally, the Intellicenter system transformer is similar to the Easytouch/Intellitouch but lacks the 12vac output (it can also supply more current). The 18/24vac outputs are arranged the same way but the intellicenter only has 4 pins instead of 6. Below is a shot of the transformer connectors on the intellicenter and an easytouch board... I was hoping I could use my easytouch/intellitouch system transformer to run the board and just leave the 12 volt pins hanging over the connector, but capacitor C3 blocks it.
IMG_20211020_135418290.jpg

I soldered two wires to the DC side that I can use to power the board (you can send dc volts through a bridge rectifier)... I'll use 24vdc because the 18vac output gets converted to around 24vdc after it goes through the rectifier and capacitors. Note that the 18vac isn't actually boosted to 24vdc... it's just that 18vac is an RMS value which is lower than the actual peak AC reading, and the rectifier/caps essentially spit out a little less than the peak voltage. Next steps are to power it up and see how much current it draws...
IMG_20211020_134841019.jpg

** I initially thought the SB26S rectifier powered all of the electronics on the board but that doesn't appear to be the case... in the lower right of the above photo is another bridge rectifier that is built from 4 3-amp diodes (to the left of the large filter cap c3). This makes sense because the SB26S might struggle to power the microcontroller, display, valve relays, wireless card, expansion cards and whatever is connected to the comm port. It looks like it might be part of the comm port power supply.
 

ParB

Gold Supporter
Apr 26, 2020
121
SF Bay area (silicon valley)
A short in the transformer that pushed up the current to rectifier high enough until it blew seems like the source of the problem.
I'm surprised they didn't protect the secondary with a fuse of any kind. Oh well.

Can't tell why the secondary winding on the transformer is open. I would measure it with an ohm meter to see if it truly has infinity. i would expect a short more than infinity to blow up a rectifier.

Looks like the rectifier is an easy replacement party, its a simple schottky 2A 4pin rectifier.
 

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ogdento

Bronze Supporter
Mar 30, 2015
813
Chico, CA
Hey ParB, the primary is open on this one (it does read 0L)... and the secondaries have breakers - 5a on the 18vac and 4a on the 24.

I think the transformer blew as a result of the rectifier failing short... my theory is since the rectifier failed in a dead short (i.e. all inputs/outputs are melted together), the secondary was shorted, it's current spiked, and then the much thinner primary wire burned (I see burn marks on the primary) - all before popping the 5a secondary breaker. and the 5a breaker never popped because the burnt primary killed the power.

I've got replacement rectifiers on order but I'm going with a different manufacturer in case it was just a Crud component.
 

Phil G

Member
Aug 26, 2021
9
Tucson AZ
Pool Size
15000
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
A short in the transformer that pushed up the current to rectifier high enough until it blew seems like the source of the problem.
I'm surprised they didn't protect the secondary with a fuse of any kind. Oh well.

Can't tell why the secondary winding on the transformer is open. I would measure it with an ohm meter to see if it truly has infinity. i would expect a short more than infinity to blow up a rectifier.

Looks like the rectifier is an easy replacement party, its a simple schottky 2A 4pin rectifier.
Just to clarify, the transformer issue and the circuit board are not related. The board did not arrive until a week or so after the load center. I wired the load center and breakers then connected my pump and chlorinator to the breakers so that I could maintain pool circulation manually until the board arrived. The transformer hummed and went dead prior to the board's arrival. However because I ordered the upgrade i10ps it came with its own transformer that I swapped out prior to installing the board.

Everything was working fine and I was programming the intellicenter trying to establish the internet connection to the network when it smoked the rectifier. It kept saying "no internet connection check that ethernet is connected" I had just checked the antenna and it was powered on. I moved it closer to the house and when I went back to check for the network connection is when it happened.
 

ogdento

Bronze Supporter
Mar 30, 2015
813
Chico, CA
Hey Phil, sorry - I forgot that you already told me about the transformer... and you said above that the 5a breaker DID trip... so yeah, my reading comprehension is terrible :) I'm back on track with what you were saying about the wifi poe unit killing the rectifier.

The cool thing is I got the unit to boot up last night with my ghetto power connection. It draws 100mA (at 24vdc) with the backlight full on, and then drops to 80 with it dimmed. Can't operate the valves because yet I don't have a 24vac supply connected and I haven't tried any relays or the network either... but it's showing signs of life!

IMG_20211022_105156180.jpg
 
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