Making the IntelliChlor Work in a mild Winter

Dirk

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Jim - If you add manually, and the IC cell is up and running, the manual addition resets the timer but the ipH will continue additions every 60 minutes. If you add manually and the IC cell is cold water or low salt cutoff, the ipH will not continue on its normal time cycle as it has been halted by the low cutoffs on the IC cell. I think I explained that clearly. If not, let me know.
I don't think that's right, and not what I'm seeing here. What I'm seeing is that in cold water, in normal operation or after a manual addition, the IpH displays the count down to the next injection, regardless if that latest injection attempt failed or not. All subsequent scheduled injections would still be attempted. And this actually makes sense. The IpH continues to schedule its injections, regardless of what just transpired, presumably to resume injections should the offending error correct itself. Cold water would take a while, because the IC doesn't test that but a couple times a day. But if the water did eventually get warmer, eventually the IpH would resume (as would the IC). Another example, the IpH would skip a scheduled injection due to low flow, as it should, but if a minute later the low flow corrects itself, then the next injection will occur correctly, as scheduled. So in that regard, the Pentair engineers have it right. 👍
 

Dirk

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Dirk - When I try to dose manually, it always stops on the first try, then I do it a second time, and it takes.
So let me get that straight. You are also seeing some unexpected behavior? Do you first see that same "STOPPED" warning, and then when you go again it works? We'll there goes the one point I just gave the Pentair engineers! 👎

Edit: Oh wait, that was @Turbo1Ton, not @MyAZPool. So there is some weirdness going on. Can we each post our startup screens somehow, to see if this might be a firmware issue?

Can we also each post the System Status LED color. Mine is green at startup, but then turns red later, presumably because the IC reports cold water.
 
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MyAZPool

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I'm 100% correct. If I override, it will dose. Did it all winter...
 

MyAZPool

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I'll go check mine BRB.

EDIT... 2.11
 

Turbo1Ton

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So let me get that straight. You are also seeing some unexpected behavior? Do you first see that same "STOPPED" warning, and then when you go again it works? We'll there goes the one point I just gave the Pentair engineers!
You got it. That is exactly what I see. And I also think they lock it out so you can't do consecutive manual doses. I was trying to add about 3 oz of acid the other day so I calc'd out the time based on the volume it dispenses and I think a minute was a little over 1 oz. So I needed about 3 minutes. IIRC, I got through 2 minutes and it wouldn't let me do another.

I don't think that's right, and not what I'm seeing here.
Hmmm... I am going to have to go check on this. Yup - You are correct, sir. I forgot I had set mine to off when I started having low salt/cold water cutoffs, so that I would know that I wasn't putting any acid in. 🤦‍♂️

--Jeff
 

MyAZPool

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Honestly, I don't ever remember seeing a stopped warning like your referring to. Can't test it, coz water temp is still 56 degrees and cell is still operating and IpH is still dosing in auto mode.
EDIT, can't remember if I have ever tried to do 3 manual dosings, one right after the other. But certainly 2 for sure with no issues.
 

Dirk

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OK, thanks r for checking. 2.11 same-same. So you got a good one and me and Jeff... not so much.
Honestly, I don't ever remember seeing a stopped warning like your referring to. Can't test it, coz water temp is still 56 degrees and cell is still operating and IpH is still dosing in auto mode.
If you think about it next month, report back about the status lights when in cold mode. The ones on the IC and the one on the IpH controller. When you are able to dose in cold water, what lights are on and what color? Thx!

This is mostly academic. As I mentioned, regular manual dosing in the winter is not in the cards. Throwing in a cup or two of acid once a week is faster and just as easy. I'll either continue to do that, or build out the voltage regulator gizmo I detailed earlier.
 
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MyAZPool

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OK, thanks r for checking. 2.11 same-same. So you got a good one and me and Jeff... not so much.

If you think about it next month, report back about the status lights when in cold mode. The ones on the IC and the one on the IpH controller. When you are able to dose in cold water, what lights are on and what color? Thx!

This is mostly academic. As I mentioned, regular manual dosing in the winter is not in the cards. Throwing in a cup or two of acid once a week is faster and just as easy. I'll either continue to do that, or build out the voltage regulator gizmo I detailed earlier.
I'll do it coz I like this kind of stuff (I know, it's a sickness). :p
@Jimrahbe I would have to agree with you and if I were to do it all over again, I would certainly go that route for sure. (y)
r.
 

Turbo1Ton

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@Dirk - I just went and manually added. IC is cold (Cold light is RED), IpH status light is RED, timer was @ 10 minutes remaining. I had to punch the enter button 4 times and finally on the 5th time, it added. Each time prior I got a quick bump of the pump, and the STOPPED command showed on the display. Manually added for about 3 seconds, timer reset to 60 minutes.

@Jimrahbe - I agree with Ron as well. I liked the idea of the IpH, and the plug and play was very tempting, but Pentair's execution of it leaves a lot to be desired.

--Jeff
 
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MyAZPool

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@Dirk - I just went and manually added. IC is cold (Cold light is RED), IpH status light is RED, timer was @ 10 minutes remaining. I had to punch the enter button 4 times and finally on the 5th time, it added. Each time prior I got a quick bump of the pump, and the STOPPED command showed on the display. Manually added for about 3 seconds, timer reset to 60 minutes.
Jeff, how bizarre. I swear, I can never recall that same scenario occurring with mine. Trust me. I would have been all over that like a banshee, screaming, hollering and having to put my entire wallet in the cuss jar... :p

@Jimrahbe - I agree with Ron as well. I liked the idea of the IpH, and the plug and play was very tempting, but Pentair's execution of it leaves a lot to be desired.
Well put Sir... Same here.
I'll never fall for those sales brochures and fancy looking ads and graphics on Pentair's website ever again. :laughblue:
 

Dirk

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Well, I can't argue that the IpH controller is everything it should be, or could be, especially after today. But it's doing for me what it's supposed to. If we discovered a bug today, it's one that won't affect me. I still like its many built-in safety protocols, some of which you won't get with a Stenner system. Conversely, it's inexcusable that it doesn't communicate with Pentair automation (and likely never will). But neither will a Stenner.

That said, if you are thinking of going another way, or wish you had, I would recommend you at least consider the IpH hopper and pump, sans controller. It's got a lot going for it:

- It's 100% o-ring sealed, to minimize or maybe even eliminate stray fumes from impacting surrounding equipment.

- It has a venting port that allows you to route expanding/contracting acid fumes to a distant location. Works along with the o-ring seals to protect surrounding gear.

- It has a nice, small footprint and height, and holds four gallons. For me, that's the right amount. Not too small that I have to fill it very often. And not too big that a catastrophic failure wouldn't send 15 gallons of acid into my smallish pool. Do consider that. A giant Stenner tank sounds convenient, but at what risk?

- It has a brilliant acid-adding mechanism. You remove an acid jug's cap while leaving the seal in place. Invert the jug and place it into a well atop the IpH (it's under the IpH's lid). As you finish lowering it inside this well, the seal runs into a piercing blade that releases the acid into the tank. Glug, glug, glug. Very safe and easy way to pour in acid. How do you fill a Stenner tank?

- If the IpH's pump isn't a Stenner, it is virtually identical to one, so you're not gaining or losing anything there.

- It's got a good base with holes that allow you to bolt it to the pad. An important safety feature, IMO.

- It's got a clear hopper, so you can see the acid level at a glance.

So consider that solution and compare it to the Stenner solution.

That all said, I'm not sure what you're gaining with Stenner. You still have to DIY a timer and power supply, right? Or does Stenner come with that? How does that tie into your Pentair automation? And what safeties are built in, and how many would you have to DIY to mimic those that come with an IpH?

I've never used, or even seen, a Stenner setup, but if I had to do it again, I'd buy the IpH again. It's looking like I can add all the advantages of a Stenner system (which for me is just being able to run it year-round) for about $20. So I'll be able to run like a Stenner, or like an IpH, or both.

So there! :pth:
 
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Dirk

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Each time prior I got a quick bump of the pump
Now that you mention it, I had that too. I didn't recognize it for what it was until you mentioned it. I heard a little "zzzt" each time it didn't work. So looks like we have the same bug...
 

MyAZPool

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Well, I can't argue that the IpH controller is everything is should be, or could be, especially after today. But it's doing for me what it's supposed to. If we discovered a bug today, it's one that won't affect me. I still like its many built-in safety protocols, some of which you won't get with a Stenner system. Conversely, it's inexcusable that it doesn't communicate with Pentair automation (and likely never will). But neither will a Stenner.

That said, if you are thinking of going another way, or wish you had, I would recommend you at least consider the IpH hopper and pump, sans controller. It's got a lot going for it:

- It's 100% o-ring sealed, to minimize or maybe even eliminate stray fumes from impacting surrounding equipment.

- It has a venting port that allows you to route expanding/contracting acid fumes to a distant location. Works along with the o-ring seals to protect surrounding gear.

- It has a nice, small footprint and height, and holds four gallons. For me, that's the right amount. Not too small that I have to fill it very often. And not too big that a catastrophic failure wouldn't send 15 gallons of acid into my smallish pool. Do consider that. A giant Stenner tank sounds convenient, but at what risk?

- It has a brilliant acid-adding mechanism. You remove an acid jug's cap while leaving the seal in place. Invert the jug and place it into a well atop the IpH (it's under the IpH's lid). As you finish lowering it inside this well, the seal runs into a piercing blade that releases the acid into the tank. Glug, glug, slug. Very safe and easy way to pour in acid.

- If the IpH's pump isn't a Stenner, it is virtually identical to one, so you're not gaining or losing anything there.

- It's got a good base with holes that allow you to bolt it to the pad. An important safety feature, IMO.

- It's got a clear hopper, so you can see the acid level at a glance.

So consider that solution and compare it to the Stenner solution.

That all said, I'm not sure what you're gaining with Stenner. You still have to DIY a timer and power supply, right? Or does Stenner come with that? How does that tie into your Pentair automation? And what safeties are built in, and how many would you have to DIY to mimic those that come with an IpH?

I've never used, or even seen, a Stenner setup, but if I had to do it again, I'd buy the IpH again. It's looking like I can add all the advantages of a Stenner system (which for me is just being able to run it year-round) for about $20. So I'll be able to run like a Stenner, or like an IpH, or both.

So there! :pth:
Love it LOL.... No, I'm keeping the tank. I like the design as well. But I am going to retire the pump just because there are "smart" pumps out there now (one that I really have my eye on) that WILL play nice with the automation. And of course the IpH controller is going bye-bye.
So, if you ever need a spare part, controller card etc. You know where to find me. :thumleft:
 

mgtfp

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your statement above, we both know that the IntelliChlor (and then consequently) the IpH will not work after H2O temp falls below 52F +/- 3F
Not sure if there are options in the US, but most Aussie SWGs don't seem to shut off at lower temperatures. Last winter, water temps went down to about 46F, the year before to about 42F, my 15 year old Hurlcon (now Astralpool) never stopped producing chlorine. I guess it's just very unusual for most locations in Australia for water to get close to freezing, so they don't implement a cold temp shutdown feature.
 

Jimrahbe

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mg,
Most of your SWCG's are also different in how they produce chlorine.. When you set the output to 50% the cell just makes less chlorine per hour.. In the US our cell's still run at 100%, but only run for 50% of the time..

Jim R.
 

Turbo1Ton

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If the IpH's pump isn't a Stenner, it is virtually identical to one, so you're not gaining or losing anything there.
I don't remember the changeover date but the newer IpH pumps are Stenner Econ pumps. So can buy parts from Stenner instead of Pentair and save a few bucks.

I agree, the tank is great, for all the reasons you mention, Dirk.

--Jeff
 

JamesW

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Mar 2, 2011
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my 15 year old Hurlcon (now Astralpool) never stopped producing chlorine.
Australian SWGs usually run higher salinity, which offsets the lower temperatures.

Also, I don't think that your SWG measures temperature, flow or salinity. It just measures amps to detect if the salinity or temperature are too low and then give a generic low salinity warning.
 

Dirk

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I don't remember the changeover date but the newer IpH pumps are Stenner Econ pumps. So can buy parts from Stenner instead of Pentair and save a few bucks.
Good to know, I figured as much. So all I need now to complete my IntellipH Doctoral Thesis, "Everything You Never Ask To Know About an IntellipH," is a price comparison between an IpH tank and pump (without controller) and a comparable Stenner setup.

Pentair
The tank is on sale now at PoolSupply for $279.00
The pump looks to be about $173 from PoolWeb.
So $452 total.
The PoolGuyStore lists a new IntellipH with controller for $519.

Stenner
???

Come on Jim, early Christmas present? If any part of the acid injection system you've been threatening to buy ends up even looking like a Pentair IpH part, I'll claim victory and will lord it over you for years to come! ;)

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