IntelliTouch vs EasyTouch

Tiger275

Gold Supporter
Apr 12, 2015
33
Knoxville, TN
I am getting ready to embark on a complete refresh of my pool equipment and this is the first in a series of questions I know I will have.

By way of background....Bought a foreclosure with a swamped out pool. Needless to say, it has been an adventure. For example, after cleaning it, we discovered a tile R (dot-matrix style) blazened on the pool bottom. Previous owners thought it was a good idea to put thier initial I guess. The process of getting that removed, patched (contractor couldnt match the color of Diamond Brite), re-removed, mosaic installed, cleaned, equipment started, etc is a story for another time. The pool is a Blue Haven, kidney shaped, gunite pool. It is 3.5' shallow, 8.5' deep. Diving board, swim bench and half round stairs. 1 skimmer (indirectly connected to the bottom drain as I understand), 2 standard returns and 1 pressure cleaner return. Equipment is a 1HP Hayward Hydramax II pump, Tegalus TA-60/600 sand filter, Intellibrite 5G light, 1 manual valve, intermec timer and worthless Flextemp propane heater (scrap because it is rusted shut).

We got everything running for a summer, used the BBB method to keep it open, but have had problems with leaks in the suction line, return line and pressure line. Couldnt retain a vacuum and right at the end of the season, the pump crapped itself.

So here is my plan....
  1. Get the pool operational again so that I can hire American Leak Detection to find my leaks. Then repair the leaks.
  2. Once operational, I plan to move the equipment pad from its current location to a new location about 15 feet closer to the house.
  3. Replace most if not all of the equipment with the following...
  • Pentair VS pump (likely 011018)
  • Pentair Automation (see below)
  • Heat pump (TBD - 140HC???)
  • Salt generator (IC60)
  • Stenner pump for acid (45MPHP10 or similar)
  • maybe add some deck jets (if we end up having to tear up the deck to repair the leaks)
  • flow meter and check valves (TBD)

So, here is my first set of questions...Automation related...
As I read the forum, it seems that everyone says the IntelliTouch is more expensive then the EasyTouch..but I am not coming to the same conclusion so I assume I am ignorant and missing something. Please help me see the error in my ways. (all prices from various internet sources for comparison)

Intellitouch
  • 521213 - Load Center with transformer for IntelliChlor ($600)
  • 521223 - i5 3S Personality Kit ($475)
  • 522104 - SL2 kit with interface and wireless ($362)
  • 521105 - IC60 cell (700)
= Total price $2137

EasyTouch
  • 521150 - 8SC-IC60 - 8 Function with IC60 Salt ($1860)
  • 522104 - SL2 kit with interface and wireless ($362)
= Total price $2222

a) What am I missing? Did I leave out a component in the Intellitouch? Or has the price of the Intellitouch just dropped that much?
b) Do you think these automation choices would cover the equipment I have mentioned above?
c) Also, did I read somewhere that the i5 does not allow macros and that I would have to jump to the i7 or i9 if that was important to me?

Thanks in advance for your guidance and wisdom
 

rdeputy

Well-known member
Jan 9, 2010
65
Spring Texas
Hello Tiger

I just had easy touch 4, intelliflo vs pump and screenlogic 2 installed. This replaced a 20 year old Aqualink 2 controller and power center. The electricians took 1/2 day and there were no problems. Two days later the pentair rep stopped by and programmed everything in 30 minutes.

I now have control of my pool / spa on 3 iPhones, 3 iPads and two laptops. After a couple days I got the whole screenlogic program mastered.

After one month I could not be happier with the new equipment.
 

Tiger275

Gold Supporter
Apr 12, 2015
33
Knoxville, TN
rdeputy

Thanks for the positive feedback on the Pentair stuff. Did you consider both the easy touch and the intellitouch or did you know all along that the easy touch would work for you.

You mention "the electricians". Did you buy the equipment yourself and have it installed or from a pool builder? If you did buy it yourself, how did you go about getting the Pentair reps involved?
 

pooldv

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Moderator Emeritus
Aug 10, 2012
25,412
FL panhandle
I don't know about the pricing. Intellitouch has more functionality and it would be logical for it to cost more, but you never know. My favorite store who also sells Pentair is Sunplay Home Page give them a call and they can help you figure it out.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,884
Bedford, TX
Tiger,

Having an automation system that controls the world is great, but not necessary if all you want to do it turn on one light bulb. So, I think the first thing you should do is figure out exactly what you want your automation system to do, now and in the near future. Once you have that nailed down, it will help you decide which system is best for you. An example is valve options.. the EasyTouch has the ability to control 4 valves. Two are preset for selecting between the "Pool" or "Spa" function, and two are user defined. If you need five or six valves, then you will need the IntelliTouch, with additional valve options.

If you will make a specific list of all the things you want the system to do for you, I'm sure there are a number of people here that can point you in the right direction.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Tiger275

Gold Supporter
Apr 12, 2015
33
Knoxville, TN
Jim,
Thank you for the reply. As you state, it will be critical to understand my specific needs before I make a selection. I started this thread to really get a clearer picture of how the pricing between these units compares. In most everything I have read here on TFP, it seemed that the IntelliTouch was significantly more expensive but when it started to appear that the pricing was more comparable, it started to change my thinking a little. At this point, I am just trying to clarify if the pricing really is this similar or if I made an error in my learning/pricing process.

Since I only have a pool (no spa, no fountains, etc), my automation needs are pretty simple. As for your specific question, here are my objectives with automation...
  • Simplify daily maintenance for my wife (I travel a lot)
  • Connect my future VS pump, SWG, heater and stenner pump to an intelligent "master" to make them all work together
  • provide ability for me to monitor pool status while traveling (remote monitoring and potential alerts)
  • control my IntelliBrite 5g (without having to flip the switch manually to change colors)
  • Automate a small number of valves (2 or 3 likely)
  • Potential ability to control laminars or deckjets
  • Potentially control pool water level remotely (fill and drain)
  • Control some low voltage lighting around the pool (not showstopper)
 

bdavis466

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
Aug 4, 2014
5,529
San Clemente, CA
Look at the EasyTouch 520593. With one body of water to operate, your needs are greatly reduced as well as the price. I believe this unit can be had for around $1200 with an IC40 swg.

The IntelliTouch you spec'd has a little less function than the EasyTouch 8 you compared it to, that's the reason the pricing was so similar. It also doesn't include valve actuators so you can add another $250 to the price.

The IT is designed to be fully customizable to suit custom applications where the canned ET would lack the ability.

I wouldn't worry about macros unless you have ALOT of things automated. It's easy enough to push a couple buttons on your phone.

Regardless of your decision, consider ScreenLogic a necessity... It really should be integrated into the unit.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,884
Bedford, TX
Tiger,

Here are my thoughts on your list of objectives..

•Simplify daily maintenance for my wife (I travel a lot)
... I think just getting a SWCG will do this, automation or not.

•Connect my future VS pump, SWG, heater and stenner pump to an intelligent "master" to make them all work together
... The VS pump will be controlled by a serial cable; a relay will not be used
... The SWG is also controlled by a cable, but the Pump/Filter relay will need to be used.
... The heater has it's own dedicated EasyTouch outputs, so a relay will not be used.
... The Stenner will need a relay if controlled by the EasyTouch. (Not sure this is needed, once you get your TA dialed in you can go weeks or months without adding acid)

•provide ability for me to monitor pool status while traveling (remote monitoring and potential alerts)
... Well, yes and no. Monitor what? You can see the pump speed, Salt levels, maybe if the pool light is on, but you can't see things like what the FC level is, or what the pH is. You can't tell if the pool level is too high or too low, you can't tell if a skimmer is full, etc.

•control my IntelliBrite 5g (without having to flip the switch manually to change colors)
... Should be able to do this and I "assume" it will consume a relay.

•Automate a small number of valves (2 or 3 likely)
...Should be no problem here, Valve outputs do not require relays.

•Potential ability to control laminars or deckjets
... I would assume this would need a relay

•Potentially control pool water level remotely (fill and drain)
... I can see how a sprinkler valve could be used to fill a pool, not sure how the drain would work. I see taking at least one relay.

•Control some low voltage lighting around the pool (not showstopper)
... Another relay to control the power to your landscape power supply.

Based upon what you have said, I believe that you will need at least 6 relays, so your choice would be between an EasyTouch 8, with IC60 and two actuators for $1,800 at Sun Play, or an IntelliTouch load center ($600) plus the i7+3 control panel for $1,100, plus SWG for $800, for about $2,500 and you have to put it together.... (And of course the ScreenLogic 2 no matter which Pentair automation system you use)

Just my opinion, but for what you want to do I can't see any advantage with going with the InteliTouch.

Good luck with your upgrade,

Jim R.
 

Tiger275

Gold Supporter
Apr 12, 2015
33
Knoxville, TN
Jim,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a great response and to include so much information in your detailed feedback. I can not thank you enough for your help. I have read through your points and don't really see anything that troubles me.

One question that continues to plague my mind is the "old tech" vs "newer tech" question. Given that I am likely to implement this year, I am struggling to confidently pick the older Easy Touch technology over the newer IntelliTouch. Is this an irrational concern since that they share the same ScreenLogic 2?
 

txnole

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 18, 2014
544
Amelia Island, FL
There are a number of threads on this going back 6 or 7 years. Intellitouch supports 7 valves and Easytouch is 4. The real question is what do you reasonably expect to control now/future.

Slight side-topic... You said you may replace all equipment. If you do I suggest a Pentair filter as well, since Pentair would give a 3-year warranty on all with the multiple unit install.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,884
Bedford, TX
Tiger,

I believe that the Intellitouch was developed first and then the EasyTouch (for simpletons like me.. :p) I says this because of the following that I found on line:

"Pentair bought Compool and other automated systems to integrate together as the IntelliTouch Controller. After a few years the EasyTouch was developed ....."

I see no reason for you to not buy the Intellitouch, if that is what you want. I do think that it makes sense to understand the differences between the two systems and pick the one that works best for you.

Jim R.