Is intellicenter worth $1500 upgrade from easytouch?

petepool

Active member
Sep 1, 2019
33
NJ
Hi,
My build is starting in a couple weeks and PB is quoting $1500 extra to go from easytouch to intellicenter. I've read through a lot of prior posts here comparing the two, but I'm having a tough time understanding what the real differences are between.

Here are the high level details of my pool and my goals:
- 20x40 IG Vinyl, 3.5-6' deep, no spa
- 2 skimmers, 4 returns
- deep end swimout bench with spa jets as returns
- 4 globrites
- Heat pump for heat (ultratemp 140K)
- Pentair IC60 salt, Pentair intelliflo pump
- Will also have some landscape lighting
- Want to be able to control pump, heating, lighting and deep end spa jets from phone
- More pool details here

A lot of posts say the intellicenter and easytouch should be the same price because the easytouch requires something called screenlogic. Is there a simple primer that explains the different pros/cons of these alternatives?

thanks
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
16,214
Tucson, AZ
Given that your pool has no spa and a fairly simple set of relay requirements, an EasyTouch is more than enough. I guess the question is how long Pentair will keep selling the ET once their IntelliCenter is adopted more by the market. It’s clear that they are transitioning their product line so if you’re someone that only wants the “latest & greatest” then the IntelliCenter is what you want. I don’t have ScreenLogic, just the old school RF remote. But my understanding is SL is only about $500 to add on and you could DIY later if you want to save on the contractor markup.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
15,742
Bedford, TX
Pete,

The EasyTouch is a pretty much what you see is what you get system... The IntelliCenter is a modular system, so can just add functions to it, if needed.

The ET has a max of 12 schedules/programs.. The IC has 100.

You cannot add relays to the ET-4 or ET-8.. You can add relay modules to the IC..

The ET does not have the ability to upload new Firmware using the Internet. The IC does.

The ET has no ability to combine functions.. The IC does.. You can push one icon and have it do two or three things.. With the ET, you would have to push 2 or 3 buttons.

The ET has no WiFi/Internet capability unless you add ScreenLogic... The IC has a built-in ScreenLogic like system, but much better..

The ET is black and white... The IC is in color

The take away here is... If you already have an EasyTouch and ScreenLogic, and it is working fine, there is not much of a reason for most people to upgrade to the IntelliCenter.. But.. If someone is just now building a pool, it would be silly not to go with the new IntelliCenter.

In theory, the cost increase between a EasyTouch with ScreenLogic, including an IC40 SWCG and Internal SWCG power supply and load center, and the IntelliCenter, with IC40 and internal SWCG power supply and load center, should only be two or thee hundred dollars.. The problem of course is that you do not know your pool builder's costs.

It could be that your pool builder was planing on selling you a cheap "lite" version of the ET which comes with ScreenLogic.. I call it a Fake ET as it has no load center and very few functions.. It will have an "L" in the model number like PSL-4 or PL-4.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
15,742
Bedford, TX
Check this out from our IntelliCenter "Master"...


Jim R.
 

JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
691
Prosper, TX (DFW)
$1,500 to go from Easy Touch + ScreenLogic to Intellicenter is very high.

For reference I looked at my build from a few months ago, and I do not have an individual line item for the Intellicenter, but my $1,600 change order got me an Intellicenter upgrade, an IC40, and a patio extension (which was the bulk of the $). Verbally my builder said it was only a couple of hundred difference between ET/ScreenLogic and Intellicenter.
 

petepool

Active member
Sep 1, 2019
33
NJ
Pete,

The EasyTouch is a pretty much what you see is what you get system... The IntelliCenter is a modular system, so can just add functions to it, if needed.

The ET has a max of 12 schedules/programs.. The IC has 100.

You cannot add relays to the ET-4 or ET-8.. You can add relay modules to the IC..

The ET does not have the ability to upload new Firmware using the Internet. The IC does.

The ET has no ability to combine functions.. The IC does.. You can push one icon and have it do two or three things.. With the ET, you would have to push 2 or 3 buttons.

The ET has no WiFi/Internet capability unless you add ScreenLogic... The IC has a built-in ScreenLogic like system, but much better..

The ET is black and white... The IC is in color

The take away here is... If you already have an EasyTouch and ScreenLogic, and it is working fine, there is not much of a reason for most people to upgrade to the IntelliCenter.. But.. If someone is just now building a pool, it would be silly not to go with the new IntelliCenter.

In theory, the cost increase between a EasyTouch with ScreenLogic, including an IC40 SWCG and Internal SWCG power supply and load center, and the IntelliCenter, with IC40 and internal SWCG power supply and load center, should only be two or thee hundred dollars.. The problem of course is that you do not know your pool builder's costs.

It could be that your pool builder was planing on selling you a cheap "lite" version of the ET which comes with ScreenLogic.. I call it a Fake ET as it has no load center and very few functions.. It will have an "L" in the model number like PSL-4 or PL-4.

Thanks,

Jim R.
Thanks for this. The contact I have with the PB says "Easytouch 8 automation system". Is there a "lite" version of that one as well? It doesn't mention screenlogic, but during our discussions he did say I could control it from my phone, so I assume it was meant to include screenlogic.

Also the post you linked to says that intellicenter comes with two valve actuators. What are those used for and would I need those if I don't have a spa?
 

JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
691
Prosper, TX (DFW)
The actuators would be used to turn valves for pretty much anything including water features, bubblers, etc. If you dont end up using them, I know someone who would make an offer to take them off your hands :)
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
15,742
Bedford, TX
Pete,

They do not make a lite ET-8, so that is good... It had to have ScreenLogic to control by phone/PC/tablet...

I think the problem is that the IntelliCenter only comes with the IC40 (from Pentair distributors) .. So he is probably adding an external SWCG power supply and IC60..

I do not suggest the external supply.. You want the IntelliCenter with internal SWCG power supply, even if you have to go with the IC40.

Jim R.
 

petepool

Active member
Sep 1, 2019
33
NJ
Pete,

They do not make a lite ET-8, so that is good... It had to have ScreenLogic to control by phone/PC/tablet...

I think the problem is that the IntelliCenter only comes with the IC40 (from Pentair distributors) .. So he is probably adding an external SWCG power supply and IC60..

I do not suggest the external supply.. You want the IntelliCenter with internal SWCG power supply, even if you have to go with the IC40.

Jim R.
Can you expand on why an Intellicenter with internal SWCG power supply is better than one without, even if I have to go with an IC40 when my pool size calls for an IC60?
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
15,742
Bedford, TX
Pete,

The 2 x volume rule is really important if the pool is in Texas or Arizona.. It is not near as important as in New Jersey.

When you have the SWCG's power supply inside the IntelliCenter, it comes with everything already wires together.. You basically just plug in the cell and your are done. It is a neat installation.

When your have an external power supply, you end up with an extra box to mount to the wall and then you hope the guy who is installing it has a clue how to wire it together.. The power supply should only get power when the pump/filter relay is closed, so you will have to run AC power lines from the IntelliCenter to the external power supply. Then you will also need to run a communications line from the IntelliCenter to the external power supply.

The world won't end, but if it were my pool, I would not use the external power supply..

I just saw your new post.. Yes the one in your link is perfect.. But.. I believe that it is something Polytec sells and maybe not the distributor that your pool builder uses. It may have changed, but Pentair was not initially selling a IntelliCenter and IC60 package.

My first choice would be the item in your link.. My next choice would be the IntelliCenter with IC40.. My last choice would be the IntelliCenter with external power supply.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

bmoreswim

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
5,714
Central MD
Following up on the cell size. I'm also in the camp that 1.5 -2 x is ok for a northerly pool. Our MD pool is in full sun, 27K gallons and a 40K cell, so 1.5x. The max I run my cell is 70% for 10 hours (7 years of history), mostly during July when the warmest pool water coincides with the still high sun angle. I run it that long because I like 10 hours of skimming per day - the time we would use the pool (10a - 8p). I could run it for 7 hours at 100%. That equates to my pool using about 1.8-1.9 ppm of FC per day. That's on the low side, but our usage is not heavy. So there are reasons you might want a 2x even up north, really high bather load, a pool heated to 90 degrees, lots of debris, kids that pee in the pool, desire for absolute minimum pump run time, etc. but with a VS pump, the cost to run is very low. I could theoretically get by with a 15K cell and run it 100% for 20+ hours. That would be .55x.

That said, get the 60K if you can, but the 40K is plenty capable for you, potentially with slightly longer run times than me if you have higher FC usage.
 

petepool

Active member
Sep 1, 2019
33
NJ
Thanks guys this is really good background. My pool is 28.5k gallons, full sun, no trees/debris and no young kids peeing in it. I'll talk to PB about what would work best. If I can get him to source the intellicenter + IC60 at a reasonable price, i'll do that, otherwise will downsize to IC40 if necesssary to get the IC.

One more question - when you say the ET has 12 schedules/programs and the IC has 100+, what are schedules/programs used for? When would you need more than 12?
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
15,742
Bedford, TX
Pete,

If you want to automatically turn on one of the control relays, you will need a schedule. If you want to automatically change pump speeds, you will need a schedule. If you want to automatically turn on a water feature, you will need a schedule. The number of schedules would depend on what you wanted to do.. But just as an example... If you wanted to turn something on, once an hour, you would need 24 schedules.. Not that you will likely want to turn something on every hour, but it is an example of how soon 12 schedule can get used up..

I recently wanted to changes the speed of my pump 4 times a day and found that I did not have 4 unused schedules. :(

Egg-timers are also considered a schedule.. So, I can push an icon which opens a valve that lets fill water into my pool.. It will automatically shut off after one hour due to an egg-timer.. You need an egg-timer when you manually turn something on and don't want it to run for 12 hours.

You could get away with just 12 schedules, like every EasyTouch owner out there.. The question is why restrict what you can do?

Thanks,

Jim R.