New Automation Conversion Project

setsailsoon

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
1,461
Stuart/FL
Folks,

A while back I finished my swg installation and borate addition. At that time I said this was the last major project for my pool. Somebody replied with a comment that questioned that. Said something like "there's always a new pool project". He was right! I was more and more frustrated with Jandy's policy for DIY. I spent thousand's of $ on their stuff and did about half of it DIY. After all that , they decided they don't want customers like me. So I had planned to gradually switch to Pentair and 3rd party. Then came a lightning strike with Hurricane Dorian. Knocked out my iAqualink. I spent almost another $400 on a new antenna and now need a chip upgrade... I'm done with it. No more $ to a provider that doesn't want me anymore.

I've done a lot of investigation on options. I'd like to start a self-developed esp32 system but Sr Management (my wife) shot this down because it would "take forever and be a mess for months", she's right. So next option was Hayward or Intellicenter. The latter won hands down on technology, price, DIY policy, and customer ratings. I had a 12 channel system but it was over-kill since I only use 5 channels now. So I went for the 8 channel kit IPS8, ordered it from Polytec Pools a few minutes ago. If I ever need more channels there's an upgrade. I already have a Circupool chlorinator that has 5+ years left on the warranty.

One question I have already. I'd like to switch to a VS pump but I'm $ constrained with the Intellicenter purchase so the best price I see is to use a v-green motor to replace the motor on my Jandy Flo Pro 2-speed one horsepower. Not perfect but at least it gets me most of the savings. I have a solar heater on the roof that requires high speed and is high operating cost even with my $.12/KW power. Any guidance out there on how to hook it up? I can program it locally and use the 3 speeds to cut power costs tremendously but I'd rather do it from the IPS8. The only way I know will work for sure is to use 3 relays. Any other ideas on this.

I've read some great posts on here that will be invaluable for me on this project. I'll keep you posted. Any comments and suggestions are always much appreciated.

Chris
 

ogdento

Bronze Supporter
Mar 30, 2015
355
Chico, CA
Hey Chris, I can't offer any advice regarding the cost/benefit of the v-green versus an intelliflo... but the v-green has 4 digital inputs to control the speed from an external system. If I'm reading the manual right, it looks like you can use 18-30 volts AC or 9-30 volts DC as input?? An easytouch or intellitouch could probably drive that with the aux circuits (24vdc) and function macros without needing any relays. (the v-green's got a rs-485 interface too which might be useful)
 

setsailsoon

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
1,461
Stuart/FL
Hey Chris, I can't offer any advice regarding the cost/benefit of the v-green versus an intelliflo... but the v-green has 4 digital inputs to control the speed from an external system. If I'm reading the manual right, it looks like you can use 18-30 volts AC or 9-30 volts DC as input?? An easytouch or intellitouch could probably drive that with the aux circuits (24vdc) and function macros without needing any relays. (the v-green's got a rs-485 interface too which might be useful)
Tom,
Thanks, that's very helpful. I should be able to control it that way. All I want to do is to have the pump switch to the speed required to get flow to the roof while the solar valve is open, probably around 2500 rpm. I may be able to do this from the Goldline controller or the valve actuator. Or it may be better to get rid of the Goldline and use Intellicenter's solar control which could also change the pump speed as you suggest.

On v-green, it's simply a cash issue. I think in the long run the Intelliflow makes more sense.

Chris
 

ogdento

Bronze Supporter
Mar 30, 2015
355
Chico, CA
Funny thing... I saw an older post asking about controlling Century motors that mentioned the serial interface, but nobody could find any details for using it.

Century has something called a "v-link" that uses the rs485 interface (at first-glance it seems to have a pretty cool mobile-app). Anyway, I checked out the manual and at the very end it mentions licensing for Microchip MPLAB and the open source software it uses, so I wonder if you might be able to find anything useful if you were to install the software.

 

setsailsoon

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
1,461
Stuart/FL
Funny thing... I saw an older post asking about controlling Century motors that mentioned the serial interface, but nobody could find any details for using it.

Century has something called a "v-link" that uses the rs485 interface (at first-glance it seems to have a pretty cool mobile-app). Anyway, I checked out the manual and at the very end it mentions licensing for Microchip MPLAB and the open source software it uses, so I wonder if you might be able to find anything useful if you were to install the software.

Another good idea, thanks. I did watch their video but didn't dig in to the details to see if it's RS485. Thanks for helping with all these comments.
 

setsailsoon

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
1,461
Stuart/FL
Question for NEC code experts. I am changing out my Jandy RS 12 sub panel for the Pentair IPS8 box. I'm hoping to install such that I can just reuse the supply line that is installed in conduit back to the main breaker about 30 feet away and inside my garage. If I don't have enough wire to do this I plan to install a 60 amp disconnect on the outside wall near the pool panel and just run new wire from the disconnect to the sub-panel. The original install did not have the disconnect (was done by the electrical sub-contractor that did the house wiring for the builder). It does have a 60 amp breaker inside at the main panel for the pool sub panel.

This seems like the right way to go to me, what say you experts?

Chris
 

setsailsoon

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
1,461
Stuart/FL
Folks,

Finally making some progress on the new Intellicenter. I was planning to start to dismantle the old Jandy panel on Friday or Saturday. Sr management had other plans so I got to start today after lunch. Dismantlement went easier than I thought even though I tried to retain all the existing wiring instead of cutting it all off. I'll still have to run some new conductors since the layout of the Pentair is different and the box is 4" taller. Ran out of daylight so I had to wrap it up with some rain protection. Hopefully I finish the wiring tomorrow... then the fun starts!

Photos of progress below.

Chriss



Here's the old:
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A lot of old wiring to undo and save...
1569797752018.png

1569797909131.png

In S Florida, even for a night wire needs protection from the inevitable drenching rainstorm:
1569798184592.png


And finally the new, nice to see the new Pentair logo!
1569798254663.png

1569798353822.png
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,206
Bedford, TX
Chris,

I have that same Drill and Impact Driver set.. I have had it for five years, maybe longer, and it was one of the best tools that I have ever bought. What a workhorse!!..

So far so good on your install.

I would think that the "pull out" type of disconnect would work just fine as a junction box with the old wires.. Not sure that I would ever use it to actually shut off the IntelliCenter unless it was already shut down.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

setsailsoon

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
1,461
Stuart/FL
Jim,

Thanks for the input on the disconnect, I was able to re-route the supply and get plenty of wire to make the connections inside the power center. And yes it's a dynamite hammer drill great for doing the Tap-con fasteners in our standard cinder block construction here in Florida,

Here's what I got done today and thoughts so far:
  • Now that power's to the unit I installed the pump and swg wiring so I can at least run some of the time at night to avoid any problems in the pool. Powered up and went through the setup wizard... very cool and easy!
  • Next I installed the new firmware. Easy peasy.
  • Got started with all the re-wiring and am finding that I'm needing to pull a lot of new conductors from the junction boxes at equipment. Not hard, just time consuming. 5 trips to HD so far!
  • I started with the more critical functions: filter pump and swg. With this installed I went through the setup
  • At first the system insisted on going to the spa in the home screen. And it ran the pump continuously since it was in freeze protection mode. Spa mode disappeared in the home page after I installed the new firmware. The I realized I didn't have the temp sensors connected so I did this and the freeze mode disappeared. Makes sense that it defaults to freeze mode if air temp is not sensed.
This system is light years ahead of my previous Jandy. So easy to set up and I'm amazed at how well the temp sensors work. Instead of using the new transducers it was easy just to connect the existing ones instead of re-running new and they're both just standard 10K thermisters on the inside. My temp readings using the previous system were just never right and you could only calibrate a degree or two. With the Intellicenter I had no problem calibrating 10 deg on one of them (admittedly it may be on it's last lap with that much calibration required). And having the color touch pad to interface directly to the board is a huge improvement. Anytime there's something I'm not sure about I press the question mark and get an excerpt from the manual that explains the screen. Wow!

Also, it is just so nice being able to do as much of this myself as I want to. True, my warranty is clipped to 60 days but in reality my experience with electronics is that they run for decades if they make it through the first 30. Most people won't want to do this themselves, but it just doesn't seem right that they'd have to pay a call out fee for a tech to just update the firmware. And there are a lot of additional things an average DIY'er should be able to do.

I have a full day to work on this tomorrow so I'm hopeful I'll finish. I can't wait to play around with the wifi remote, schedules, and all the other fun things I can do with this new system. I might even be tempted to bring my solar control in from the original Gold Line Hayward control.

Chris
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,206
Bedford, TX
Chris,

Sounds like things are coming along just great!!!

I am envious, but have this "need" vs. "want" problem.. I really want to upgrade my EasyTouch to the IntelliCenter, but I don't really need to do it. My ET does everything that I need it to do... :confused: For now anyway, I will just have to be happy to live vicariously through your posts... :)

Please keep us up to date on your progress..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

setsailsoon

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
1,461
Stuart/FL
Here's today's update:
  • I wanted to spend the day wrapping up the pool controls but Sr Management had other ideas. She was concerned that the well pump and sprinklers had been down since this project started so irrigation had to be finished today. Power for all this is supplied out of the Pool sub panel. I had to agree the yard is getting a little brown So I had to spend a lot of time pulling new wire from the junction box that supplies power for the well pump and Rachio smart controller. Like most wire pulling it wasn't hard but took a long time.
  • I did get a half day on the pool. So the temp wiring on the Circupool swg was made permanent with a new flexible conduit to the Pentair box.
  • Intake and return valve wiring was installed using the existing Jandy, and Intermatic valve actuator. I was pleasantly surprised that the connectors must be universal for valve actuators. They fit perfectly and all I had to do was reverse the polarity of the intake valve. Then I set up the valves in the Intellicenter. Onboard help info make this simple. It is really helpful to be able to press the question mark and get relevant information straight from the installation manual.
  • While I was re-routing the actuator wiring I got rid of some of the original split corrugated wiring harness that had been destroyed by Florida sun in just a couple of years. Replaced it with new PVC conduit and while at it the water temp sensor was replaced with the new Pentair sensor supplied with my bundle.
  • Another nice discovery that I failed to mention yesterday is the breakers from my old Jandy are compatible with the Pentair power center. The 240v 20 amp gfci breakers are almost $100 each!
I've got about 1/2 day left to finish and should be able to do this tomorrow. Heater, spa booster pump, and the WiFi antenna, and final wiring cleanup. Then I finally get to play with all the cool features. More photo's tomorrow...

Chris
 

setsailsoon

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
1,461
Stuart/FL
Mid-day update:
  • Solar heater wires were too short so I re-pulled. Now it's working! Still hooked up to my legacy Hayward Goldline controller which has worked flawlessly but I'll move control over to the Intellicenter after I get everything else running. Hopefully the pool will warm up to minimums for a nice rewarding swim tonight
  • I've been thrilled with the Intellicenter so far. But I am noticing a couple of items they could do better with. The installation section of the manual is very good. But the operation part could be better. A short description of the setup for a standard pool and pool/spa would be a big improvement. Also, an explanation of the difference between an aux circuit and a feature circuit plus an example of each would be helpful.
As I'm getting close to complete with the install I tried to set up a schedule for my filter pump and the pump doesn't show up on the list of items to select... not sure why and most likely newbie operator error. I did set up the pump in the startup screen. I'll try a reset and any advice on this would be much appreciated.

Photo of wiring so far is shown below. Still a little messy and I'll neaten it up when everything is wired up.

Chris

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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
9,756
Northern NJ
Nice. I am following along and will likely replace by Jandy RS8 with an Intellicenter when I open my pool in the Spring. So far your install looks like what I expected.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,206
Bedford, TX
Chris,

The difference between an Aux Circuit and a Feature Circuit is that the Aux Circuit has a relay and the Feature Circuit does not.. Pretty simple actually.... If you want to control something that uses 120/220 volts to run, then you will need a relay (aux circuit).. If you want to control something that does not need 120/220 volts, you can use a Feature circuit. Features circuits can be used to control pump speeds or turn valves on/off... Both Aux circuits and Feature circuits can be turned on manually or can be scheduled.

You don't "schedule" a pump.. You scheduled a Circuit and then assign the Circuit name to the pump.. As in... Schedule "Pool" circuit from 8 am until 8 pm and then assign "Pool" circuit to the list of speeds for your pump.. Here is a ScreenLogic shot of my set up. Your set up pages will be different, but the basic idea is the same.. You can see where I have a minimum speed for Pool and then can change the speed based upon which other circuits are on, such as skim low or waterfall circuits..


Once you understand Pentair's logic it really is pretty simple..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

setsailsoon

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
1,461
Stuart/FL
Ok, getting very close. Installed the gas heater and wifi control. Here's my comments for today:

  • My problem getting the pool to show up in the items to schedule seems to have fixed itself after I installed the WiFi and set up an account. Not sure if this is even what fixed it but it now works.
  • Speaking of WiFi, boy was that easy! Found my house network and setup was simple. Then set up an account right there from the touch screen! That's all that was needed to make the app work on my phone.
  • Just started playing with the app. Its layout is very easy and looks like I have total control. Cool!
Only problem I'm having so far is getting the heater to work. It works on manual and the controller appears to be sending the 24v signal so I must have the configuration wrong in the Jandy. At least that's my best guess right now. Any ideas would be much appreciated.

Chris