Last few questions before placing automation order

mitch08

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2008
408
Suffolk County, NY
Hey all,

Placing the order for intellicenter / IC60 in the next couple of days. Just have a few final questions:

My pool is about 25k gallons. Is it possible the ic60 is too big? I spoke to a couple of 'pool reps' from large resellers who told me it will produce too much chlorine. ( they also told me not to trust the internet / polytecpools because the combo does not exist so they are just throwing in the ic60 :) )

Another question is, I have a 2 speed pump. I'm not sure what brand but I know it is not Pentair. Will I be able to control it with the automation or will I need to leave it at one speed?

I do like to run my pump 24 x 7. With an IC 60 in a 25k pool, will non-stop operation produce too much chlorine even at the lowest setting? I don't really know how it works if you cannot tell by my questions :)

Last question for now. The guy I use for my pool who I trust to always do good work wants about $1,000 to fully install. Any opinions on if that seems fair?

Thanks a million!
 

kefjens

Well-known member
Jul 25, 2011
67
Michigan
Salt cells are digital, they are either on or off. The manufacturers generally provide cycle times in minutes/hours and the cell is on for a percentage that the user selects. So in the case of the IC60, at 100% the generator produces chlorine for 265 seconds of each 5 minute period. At 40% it runs for 106 seconds of each 5 minute period. These numbers are all in the pentair manual available online.

Your pool will need chlorine but until you get it up and running you won't know exactly where to set it and it can change throughout the season. My Aquarite is set at about 45% now but it changes throughout the season.

So, a larger cell will not produce too much chlorine. You might set it to produce too much based on what your pool needs but that is a user issue. The main benefit to having the larger size cell is that it will not need to run as often to produce the amount of chlorine your pool needs. The theory is the cell will last longer if it has to run less time.

I don't know anything about pentair automation and how it controls pump speeds. Others will be along soon that know more about that.

Also, cost is relative, get more quotes if you need to make yourself comfortable.

In reference to running 24/7, my above explained what will happen, you need to set the percentage to meet you needs based on your pool. Just to reiterate, the cell produces a percentage of the time and I doubt at the lowest setting (2%) that it would even be able to keep up with your demand. The pool math app will tell you the effect of running your generator over the intervals you choose. I just checked the IC60, at 2% for 24 hours you will add 0.2 ppm of free chlorine. So there is no way you will be able to generate too much by running 24/7.
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
732
Arizona
Hi mitch08
Here is my take for what it is worth.
My pool is about 25k gallons. Is it possible the ic60 is too big? I spoke to a couple of 'pool reps' from large resellers who told me it will produce too much chlorine.
Bull from the pool rep. Apparenty he or she is not too "schooled-up" on how an IntelliChlor works. My pool is a bit less than 21k. My IC-60 is currently running at 35% (FC-6). How can it produce too much clorine if you adjust the chlorine output down? Hence, my IC-60 is generating the exact and proper amount to maintain my pool at FC of 6. The IC-60 might be a bit overkill for VA and your pool volume but so what. Just adjust the chlorine output down and your IC will not work as hard to maintain the proper amount of FC.
they also told me not to trust the internet / polytecpools because the combo does not exist so they are just throwing in the ic60 :) )
Total Bull IMHO. They are making their own combo (IC-60) in order to be more competitive which does nothing more than benefit a consumer who wants an IC-60 combo. You can also get the IC-40 combo as well. I have found nothing about PolyTec to question their integrity or professionalism.
Another question is, I have a 2 speed pump. I'm not sure what brand but I know it is not Pentair. Will I be able to control it with the automation or will I need to leave it at one speed?
You will get the most out of your automation and pump capability if you upgrade to a Pentair VS pump. You can turn your current single speed pump on and off via the automation, but no other automated pump features will be available to you. Kind of like owning a Porsche with a yugo engine installed.
I do like to run my pump 24 x 7. With an IC 60 in a 25k pool, will non-stop operation produce too much chlorine even at the lowest setting? I don't really know how it works if you cannot tell by my questions :)
Yikes. 24x7 with a 2-speed pump? Really try to consider a Pentair VS pump. Like I said, just turn the chlorine output down. With the IntelliCenter, you can adjust the chlorine output from 0-100%, in increments of 1%.
Last question for now. The guy I use for my pool who I trust to always do good work wants about $1,000 to fully install. Any opinions on if that seems fair?
Maybe but maybe not. Depends on how much work is involved. I'll defer to someone in the industry. Many folks just DIY if it does not require too much modification. Not rocket science. Especially with all the folks here on TFP that can help you along IF you posses the necessary skill sets (wiring, PVC plumbing etc).
r.
 
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mitch08

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2008
408
Suffolk County, NY
Thanks very much for all the info.
So all that being said, 1 more silly question.

Is it better to run for shorter times at a higher percentage or longer run times at a shorter percentage? Or is it all the same thing anyway?

Because now that I am doing the pool math, it might make sense for me to go with the ic40 since I run my pump so much and keep it at about 40% or so...

Thanks again,
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
13,083
Bedford, TX
Mitch,

I agree with upgrading to an IntelliFlo pump, but for now you can just get a 2-speed relay for your IntelliCenter. The automation will switch speeds depending on your programming.

The IC60 will work fine, but so will the IC40.. The IC40 will just get "used up" quicker... Just like a gas tank... once the tank is empty you need to refill it (buy a new cell) the IC60 is just a bigger tank..

I think that $500 is closer to a fair price for an install, but that really depends on what is included... Is the installer going to have to run a new circuit from your house panel and run it to the equipment pad? I'd want the installer to detail what the price includes... If he has a clue what he is doing you are talking about a day to do the install and get it set up. Will he be programming it ?

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
732
Arizona
mitch08
Why not get the two speed relay for your two speed pump and use that pump for your Spa Jet Pump (if your current plumbing will allow for or is set up for that type of configuration).
Then consider the intelliFlo VS (011018) for your main filter/WF pump. It is the biggest bang for your dollar and really is the "gold standard" of variable speed pumps. All other (higher end) Pentair pumps (VSF etc) are just "add-on's" to this gold standard.

To give you an idea of how I feel about about the Pentair IntelliFlo. I have an old Jandy Max HP (1-speed) as my Spa Jet Pump now. It's a 12 year old holdover from my pre-automation/pre-pad rework days. I keep waiting on it to die, so I can plumb in a new IntelliFlo. But everytime I fire up the Spa, that old dog just cranks up like it was brand new (so noisy though). But since it has been so good to me over the years, I just can't seem to bring myself to shoot it, so I can get a new IntelliFlo for the Spa Jet pump. :p

Why have two "pre-defined/"pre-set" speeds for your main filter/WF pump when your IntelliCenter will allow you to program eight (8) different speeds.

Now, I cannot tell from your signature what your complete setup is, but this (8-speed) capability comes in very handy for various cleaning modes (pool cleaner versus skimming), different spillover flows, different water feature configurations (if applicable) etc. And with 100 schedules available to you (with IntelliCenter), you can get very creative with all kinds of different cleaning/feature configurations.

Some don't want or use those kind of options. That is where your personal preference plays a big role. Your pump(s) are to your automation "cleaning and feature capability" like an engine is to an automobile. :)

Once you get your hands on the steering wheel of the IntelliCenter, then you will see exactly what I am getting at.
Good luck with all of this and please take care...
r.
 
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mitch08

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2008
408
Suffolk County, NY
Mitch,

I agree with upgrading to an IntelliFlo pump, but for now you can just get a 2-speed relay for your IntelliCenter. The automation will switch speeds depending on your programming.

The IC60 will work fine, but so will the IC40.. The IC40 will just get "used up" quicker... Just like a gas tank... once the tank is empty you need to refill it (buy a new cell) the IC60 is just a bigger tank..

I think that $500 is closer to a fair price for an install, but that really depends on what is included... Is the installer going to have to run a new circuit from your house panel and run it to the equipment pad? I'd want the installer to detail what the price includes... If he has a clue what he is doing you are talking about a day to do the install and get it set up. Will he be programming it ?

Thanks,

Jim R.
[/QUOTE]

Thanks, I think I'm going to get the ic40 and if for whatever reason it does not last, I'll replace it with the ic60 on the next go-around.

My pool guy is going to do all the initial programming. I don't think we will need to run new electric. At least I hope we don't :)
 
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mitch08

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2008
408
Suffolk County, NY
mitch08
Why not get the two speed relay for your two speed pump and use that pump for your Spa Jet Pump (if your current plumbing will allow for or is set up for that type of configuration).
Then consider the intelliFlo VS (011018) for your main filter/WF pump. It is the biggest bang for your dollar and really is the "gold standard" of variable speed pumps. All other (higher end) Pentair pumps (VSF etc) are just "add-on's" to this gold standard.

To give you an idea of how I feel about about the Pentair IntelliFlo. I have an old Jandy Max HP (1-speed) as my Spa Jet Pump now. It's a 12 year old holdover from my pre-automation/pre-pad rework days. I keep waiting on it to die, so I can plumb in a new IntelliFlo. But everytime I fire up the Spa, that old dog just cranks up like it was brand new (so noisy though). But since it has been so good to me over the years, I just can't seem to bring myself to shoot it, so I can get a new IntelliFlo for the Spa Jet pump. :p

Why have two "pre-defined/"pre-set" speeds for your main filter/WF pump when your IntelliCenter will allow you to program eight (8) different speeds.

Now, I cannot tell from your signature what your complete setup is, but this (8-speed) capability comes in very handy for various cleaning modes (pool cleaner versus skimming), different spillover flows, different water feature configurations (if applicable) etc. And with 100 schedules available to you (with IntelliCenter), you can get very creative with all kinds of different cleaning/feature configurations.

Some don't want or use those kind of options. That is where your personal preference plays a big role. Your pump(s) are to your automation "cleaning and feature capability" like an engine is to an automobile. :)

Once you get your hands on the steering wheel of the IntelliCenter, then you will see exactly what I am getting at.
Good luck with all of this and please take care...
r.
Wow. That gives me a lot to think about :)
I never even really considered a separate pump for the spa. Everything seems to work very well with just the 1 pump but I definitely see all the advantages you are talking about.

This might be getting a little over my head since I can't even figure out run times versus percentages, Etc :) but it definitely gives me some options moving forward. Thanks a million for detailing that all out. I really appreciate it.
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
732
Arizona
mitch08
If you forgive me, you might be overthinking some of this a bit too much. I did the same thing when pre-planning automation.
Just set your pump run time (scheduling) to clean/filter your pool. Lower speeds/longer run times works best in the interest of energy savings (IF, you have a high efficiency (vs) pump).
Once that is determined, set your IC at say 30-50% to begin with (depending on the total pump run time per day). Then just test FC and adjust up or down from there to maintain the correct FC. Keep doing that until you "hit the FC target".

Once you get it "dialed-in", small % adjustments may be necessary depending on many variables to include: pool use, atmospheric/weather changes, etc. Then just test FC on a regular basis (recommend at least twice a week at first and then weekly once you get the IC set at the correct % ouput). As the temperature changes throughout the seasons, adjustments to FC output % will be required until it's time to winterize (IC off) (in your case, I guess). Remember, adjustments to the chlorine output can be made at the control panel, from the Web-Client or from your mobile device app.
r.
 
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MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
732
Arizona
mitch08
Also, if I might offer up a bit of friendly advice.
Try to digest the following documents as best you can. They are NOT good reads, are conflicting here and there and many times are confusing and raises more questions then they answer at times. But all the same, the more that you can understand how your IntelliCenter works, how it is connected, how it integrates with your pumps, heaters, IC etc etc, the more you will be able to realize its full potential. Then when you have questions that you want to pose here on TFP, the answers will make a lot more sense to you. You can also use these documents to fall right to sleep at night. Believe me, I know. :p

IntelliCenter Installation Guide
IntelliCenter User's Guide
IntelliCenter Quick Reference Guide
IntelliCenter Control System Web Application Guide
IntelliChlor Owners Manual V3
And if you decide on the IntelliFlo, that manual as well.

These docs are all online in PDF format.

All-the-best!!
r.
 
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mitch08

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2008
408
Suffolk County, NY
mitch08
Also, if I might offer up a bit of friendly advice.
Try to digest the following documents as best you can. They are NOT good reads, are conflicting here and there and many times are confusing and raises more questions then they answer. But all the same, the more that you can understand how your IntelliCenter works, how it is connected, how it integrates with your pumps, heaters, IC etc etc, the more you will be able to realize it's full potential. Then when you have questions that you want to pose here on TFP, the answers will make a lot more sense to you. You can also use these documents to fall right to sleep at night. Believe me, I know. :p

IntelliCenter Installation Guide
IntelliCenter User's Guide
IntelliCenter Quick Reference Guide
IntelliCenter Control System Web Application Guide
IntelliChlor Owners Manual V3
And if you decide on the IntelliFlo, that manual as well.

These docs are all online in PDF format.

All-the-best!!
r.
Excellent thank you. I will begin reading and sleeping right now :)
You guys are the best! Appreciate all of it.