Northern California remodel

scchan1w

Active member
Mar 6, 2019
34
Fremont, CA
Merged several threads into this one. TFP Mod
The junction box for my pool lights is 200-300 feet away from the pad/Intellicenter install location. That junction box has a manual switch for the pool light on/off and also feeds a GFI outlet that I use for my basketball court lights.

Obviously, I would like that GFI outlet to be on constant power. Hence at the pad, I'd like to generally keep that Intellicenter relay constantly on. However, since there is a manual switch for the pool light at the junctdion box, I won't be able to control the pool light through Intellicenter unless there is some sort of 3rd party wireless relay that I can add at the light junction box. I can use a 3rd party relay and 3rd party app to control it, but it would be nice to have the relay some how tied into the Intellicenter app or software so it can be controlled from one "cockpit"

Anyone rig up such a wireless 3rd party relay? Or is there a way to get this working in Intellicenter? Thanks
 
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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
22,146
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Welcome to TFP.

No way to get external wireless controls to work with the IntelliCenter.

You can provide continuous power to that line then use a WiFi switch for your lights. It depends how the line is wired, particularly the neutral wire. WiFi switches and GFCI outlets often don’t work together and you have to maintain the GFCI for safety on your pool light. This will take someone with an electrical understanding to explore your setup.
 

ImpalaSS

Well-known member
May 5, 2020
55
Southern Maryland
I'm guessing that you have a conduit from your Intellicenter to the pool light J-box... If you do you can can just pull an additional wire in that conduit to power your constant GFCI and use the existing wire to operate your lighting via the Intellicenter relay.
 

scchan1w

Active member
Mar 6, 2019
34
Fremont, CA
Thanks guys for the suggestions. Regarding pulling new wire. The pool is old (~80s) and the conduit is buried unground and is small, I don't want to mess with it.

It seems I could install an RF controlled relay in series with the pool lights circuit. Something like this:

But instead of the push button, I would like to rig an electronically controlled low voltage switch that would trigger the RF signal using one of the Intellicenter relays (hook up the relay to low voltage instead of line voltage).
 

scchan1w

Active member
Mar 6, 2019
34
Fremont, CA
Hello,

We bought a house with an older pool/spa (from maybe the late 80s or 90s). We are replastering and retiling this month. The returns to both the pool and spa have no fittings. It's just bare PVC pipe that terminates at the plaster surface of the pool/spa. I'm thinking when the plaster is removed, it should be fairly easy to add eye ball type return fittings to these returns. Am I correct? I think that would help with circulation and heating. Is there any recommended fittings for the pool and spa?

Here's a close up of the spa returns.

I'm replacing lights with LED lights and replacing one cracked skimmer. The floor drain covers will be replaced as well. There are two drains in the spa and one in the pool. The contractor says for remodel, dual drains aren't required, so the pool will retain only 1 main drain. I'm not too worried about entrapment as there isn't really a suction from the main drain as it's plumbed into the skimmer nearest the pad. The far skimmer is also plumbed into the skimmer nearest the pad via the same main drain line, so it's suction isn't very good either from the far skimmer either. My plumping is pretty old, so the max flow rate I can achieve is around 65 GPM.

Thanks for any suggestions on my remodel.
 

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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,388
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Adding "eyeball" returns is totally possible. I know because I had that very thing done. I also had them "delete" my main drains, by filling them with concrete and plaster. That made my pool safer. No more stubbing toes and tripping up the vac. And it looks so much better that way. Like yours, my main drain was plumbed to my skimmer and was never active, so getting rid of it caused no negative issues. You might consider that. You can't get rid of the drains in the spa, you need those.

I'm not sure where your contractor got the notion only one drain is required. There are some types of drains where that is true, those that are elognated rectangles. But to my knowledge, if they are the typical round drains, you need two. Perhaps I'm missing some facts on that. Or perhaps that only pertains to public pools? Maybe it's not required to retrofit an older single-drain pool to dual drains? That might be it. No matter, you'd be better off just getting rid of the drain.

You can even reshape your pool to some degree, if you like: add a bench or steps, or a "Baja shelf."

Best of luck with the remodel. Oh, welcome to TFP! Glad you found us. Stick around after the remodel and learn all about the TFP method of pool maintenance.
 
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MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,768
Arizona
Pool Size
20500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
@scchan1w
I'm not sure that this will work for you but this is how I have my Wi-Fi switch connected in conjunction with an IntelliCenter power relay for the pool light.
This setup works really good for me. I can turn my pool lights on via the IntelliCenter or via a Lutron Caseta smart switch (wireless Wi-Fi).
Just to be safe, I originally ran this by my commercial electrician friend and he didn't see any problem with it.
I find the smart switch works much better at setting the different colors or scenes than using the IntelliCenter for that function, although that's really not applicable in your case.
Please try not to laugh.. I've never claimed to be an artist or an electrical draftsman. ;)
r.
2020-12-12_07-22-06.jpg
 
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randytsuch

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 29, 2008
283
Los Angeles, Ca
I use a shelly 1l to control a flood light in my backyard. Its wifi, and has an app to setup.

I installed in a metal box and reception wasn't great, so I changed to a plastic box and it works fine.

They also make a no neutral version, but its new and not on amazon yet
 

scchan1w

Active member
Mar 6, 2019
34
Fremont, CA
Thank you Dirk. The contractor said retrofits don't require converting single main drains to dual drains. Let me think about whether or not I want to keep the main drain.
 

scchan1w

Active member
Mar 6, 2019
34
Fremont, CA
@scchan1w
I'm not sure that this will work for you but this is how I have my Wi-Fi switch connected in conjunction with an IntelliCenter power relay for the pool light.
This setup works really good for me. I can turn my pool lights on via the IntelliCenter or via a Lutron Caseta smart switch (wireless Wi-Fi).
Just to be safe, I originally ran this by my commercial electrician friend and he didn't see any problem with it.
I find the smart switch works much better at setting the different colors or scenes than using the IntelliCenter for that function, although that's really not applicable in your case.
Please try not to laugh.. I've never claimed to be an artist or an electrical draftsman. ;)
r.
View attachment 170732
Hi MyAZPool - I'm not sure I understand what the white/orange objects are... could you explain? Thank you
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,768
Arizona
Pool Size
20500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Hi MyAZPool - I'm not sure I understand what the white/orange objects are... could you explain? Thank you
They're WAGO connectors. Nothing more than fancy wire nuts.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
22,146
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Thank you Dirk. The contractor said retrofits don't require converting single main drains to dual drains. Let me think about whether or not I want to keep the main drain.
While your contractor is correct that your remodel is grandfathered from having to install VGBA safety drains it is not safe. This is a big enough safety and drowning risk to have Federal legislation to prevent bather entrapment.

There are various ways of making suction drains safe. One is with dual drains. Another is having a SVRS release in the pump.

Either way you should make your pool and spa as safe as possible for your family and your guests.

I will not comment about a contractor who cuts corners on safety.

 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,388
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
At the very least I believe the drain cover has to be upgraded to be compliant. As I said, I would ditch the drain altogether. If code required one, I'd go with one of these and "hide" it in my pool. If you can't let go of yours, maybe this would be a palatable compromise. They become near invisible and are flush with the finish:

 

scchan1w

Active member
Mar 6, 2019
34
Fremont, CA
I say no main drain at all. This will make your skimmers work even better so it is a win-win!
Good point. The suction in my far skimmer is very weak. My hesitation is mainly I don't want someone to screw it up and block off the connection from the main drain to the far skimmer while sealing off the main drain.
 

scchan1w

Active member
Mar 6, 2019
34
Fremont, CA
While your contractor is correct that your remodel is grandfathered from having to install VGBA safety drains it is not safe. This is a big enough safety and drowning risk to have Federal legislation to prevent bather entrapment.
Got your point. I already SVRS in my VS pump and would be installing a complaint cover if I decide to keep the main drain.
 

scchan1w

Active member
Mar 6, 2019
34
Fremont, CA
At the very least I believe the drain cover has to be upgraded to be compliant. As I said, I would ditch the drain altogether. If code required one, I'd go with one of these and "hide" it in my pool. If you can't let go of yours, maybe this would be a palatable compromise. They become near invisible and are flush with the finish:

Nice covers! I'll use them for my spa.
 
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scchan1w

Active member
Mar 6, 2019
34
Fremont, CA
Hello

I'm new to TFP and am about to start a remodel next week. I posted a couple of questions this week w/o realizing that maybe it would be better to create a single thread regarding my remodel. So here goes... a description and some pictures of my existing pool.

Pool is 50x20 and about 30 year old. Plumbing was pressure tested a couple of years ago and no leaks found, but there are a lot of cracks in the tile and plaster and we lose a lot of water. About 5 inches per week. So we are in desperate need of retiling and replastering. I had wanted to replace the brick coping and brick wall, but the bids were in the range of $8K and my entire budget is around $20K (will be closer to $25-26K in the end), so coping/deck replacement is out of the question for now. I also wanted to replumb because my flow rate is limited to around 60 GPM for combined pool/spa, and around 35-40 GPM for spa mode, but again, it would be costly and unsightly to do it without redoing the deck.

So here is what I'm doing:

1) New mini-pebble and tile
2) Replace 3 lights with Intellibrite LED
3) Replace 1 cracked skimmer
4) A variety of step, spa, and pool bottom mosaics
5) Coping brick repair
6) Replace various fittings/drain covers
6) Intellicenter i8PS kit (DIY) - I had debated a lot on whether to convert to salt and get a i8PS w/ IC60, but given the fragile and old brick coping and wall, I decided to stay with chlorine tabs and install an offline chlorinator lest the brick degrade and give my wife an excuse to spend another $15-20K to redo the deck and coping :)
7) Hayward offline chlorinator (DIY)

I had replaced almost all of my equipment in the past 5 years or so. New heater was just installed this summer. I'm looking forward to the automation combined with the newer equipment and non-leaking pool. I recently connected the sprinkler valve that controls the pool filling with my Rainbird Wifi controller, so it's nice to have a way to do a timed fill, but I'm hoping to not to need to do that much anymore after the cracks are repaired. Some bids included $1500-2000 in staple repairs for cracks, but I'm hoping I don't need to do that as the water drop stops at about 3-4 inches below the skimmer. I'm hoping that means the cracks are mostly at the tile line level and slightly below, and that new tiles/plaster would resolve the leaks.

_DSC1572-2.jpg


There is calcium build up on both the bricks and tile. I had someone sand blast the bricks last week. They didn't do the tile since those are going to be replaced.

Before:
_DSC1569-2.jpg

After:

_DSC1571.jpg

Cracked skimmer:

_DSC1573.jpg

Mostly new equipment except for the air blower, which we don't really use. I replaced the check valve flapper on the spa return and the diverter in the Jandy diverter on the spa/pool intake. There's still a small leak I think in the diverter causing the spa level to drop. It's much better after I replaced the check valve flapper, as I didn't realize the water could return through the spa jets. I plan to add a check valve and an off-line chlorinator.

_DSC1577-2.jpg

Spa needs new return fittings and drain covers

_DSC1576-2.jpg

Placement of mosaics and step markers

Screen Shot 2020-12-15 at 7.29.20 PM.png
 
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