MasterTemp vs Raypak and IntelliCenter


Bronze Supporter
Apr 22, 2021
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Hi All,

I’m partial towards the Raypak 406k BTU heater over the MasterTemp 400 mostly owing to simpler design of the unit making it a little easier/cheaper to repair. From my TFP reading, I see the MasterTemp does connect to the IntelliCenter automation but not through the RS-485 COM port. It uses the same 2 wire connection just like any other heater (is my understanding). Any automation benefits to use the MasterTemp heater with IntelliCenter? Will the MasterTemp get the RS-485 connectivity in the future (upgrade control board)? Or from an IntelliCenter perspective it makes no difference which has heater is used?

any guidance would be much appreciated.
Last edited:


TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
From the Wiki -

(Heater Control with Automation - Further Reading)

RS485 Heater Control​

Some heaters have a digital 2, 3 or 4 wire control circuit that can allows the automation system from the same manufacturer to control the heater. RS485 control is more often used in Heat Pumps that can run in both heat or chiller modes. Using the RS485 connection can display more information and give more controls depending on the automation system.

Some automation panels require specific firmware levels to connect to a heater via RS485.

In general using the "fireman's switch" is the preferred simple method of heater control unless you require some automation features that only come with the RS485 controls.

I don’t believe there’s any real benefit to hooking up an “old school” thermostatically controlled gas heater to an automation panel using RS485. So if you like Raypak for its simplicity of design, then go for it. I don’t think using rs485 is really going to add on enough benefit to be worth the hassle.
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