There are really two main controllers for easy automation the IntelliTouch & the Easy Touch. Both do basically the same and offer the same pool & spa remote control features. The IntelliTouch is needed if you are planning on the Intelliflo VF pump as it requires the IntelliTouch only. The Intelliflo does have PC & PDA remote control feature and various lighting and dimming control whereas the Easy Touch does not. The Easy Touch however, will remotely control the lights to turn on & off. Bottom line, the Easy Touch has much more value for the money as it has all the features 95% of us use and the price is hundreds less than the IntelliTouch controller and you will only be paying for features you will never use. I am currently a happy Easy Touch owner. Whatever you decide, definitely get the wireless remote, it is a luxury, but once you have it you will wonder what you would have done without it!
Yes, the pump is programmable by itself, but the controllers purpose is to create an automated environment, scheduling, and operating your filtration, heating, pool and landscape lighting, sanitizing, waterfalls and fountainsâ€¦all for convenience so you won't have to worry about them or manually turn them off and on. It also saves money by turning on/off features when you might forget to. Don't know what pool features you have or are planning, but the more you have, the more you will want the automation.
There really is a distinct difference between the two. On the main issue with the IntelliFlo, it comes down to the IntelliTouch (IT) being a direct plug in for the 3.2 pump. You have all of the access to the pump that you would on the LED screen. You do not have that with the EasyTouch (ET). Now there is one thing that few know. IF you plug in a 3.2 into your ET, the controller will recognize it as a 4x160 and control it as that. You can pre-set speeds but like any ET/3.2 combo, you do not have access to reading,setting the advanced features of the 3.2 unless you go to the pump.
The IT is way more advanced than the ET. If you're a techy, you'd like the IT. Macro features, advanced lighting features and valve features on the +3 options are not available on the ET. My personal opinion is that the IT is a great option in the i5+3 or i7+3 models as they are pretty competitive with other similar products and deliver more if you have a 3.2 pump. The added cost is usually about $500. Companies like to charge more if you want the IT but in reality, that's the difference.
If you have a large system and it's got a lot to do, the IT is it. The simpler system works great on the the ET but I would not buy the ET4, I'd go with the ET8. It has room for future expansion and both come salt ready if you want that. I say avoid the ET 4 as if you're just looking for some simple automation, the Pentair SunTouch is the absolute cheapest way in. It's basically a dumbed down ET4 but allows the addition of a QuickTouch simple wireless remote.
On remotes, the IT requires an interface. You will need to buy an indoor controller, or the super expensive MobileTouch. ET allows you to install without any interface as it has a screen onboard where IT does not. But, why would you want to go over there every time to do something. I suggest the wireless controller with the ET over the indoor controller as it keeps installation costs down.
My sales to customers go that way. If they truly want a wireless system and they have a need for more than simple automation, they have two choices. ET or IT. If they cannot afford $1200 for the IT unit, they are now ET shoppers. Then we go from there. Yes, IT has some pretty cool things you can do with your computer but few are in that market. You could be out of town and get a call from you family that they heard a noise in the yard. The IT would allow you to dial in, turn on a light, turn on a camera, see the issue, and automatically open a gate to release the hounds! Can't to that with an ET. But, who really wants to?
I do plan on installing a spa, lighting,couple of water features,and SWCG, and solar heating in a planned pool remodel in about a year or two after i finish a current kitchen remodel.
This all started when my current 1972 pool pump was getting a bearing noise and i walked into the pool store one day looking for a pump. I then found out about the SC Edison $400 rebate.
This brought me to buying an Intelliflo 3.2 pump and Quad 60 per your recomendations Repair Guy.
Then when i pick up the Quad 60 i'm told that if i buy one more piece of Pentair equipment i can get a 3 year warranty.
Jeeeezzzz! I seem to be taken it hook ...line....and sinker!!
I was looking at Intellichlor SWCG but the repacement modules are about 50% higher than Aquarite which a friend has and is very happy with it.
I was thinking to maybe just get the Aquarite and maybe a Pentair Sam or Intellibrite for now and am in the middle of that decision.
Didn't you say you bought the pump in 2007 and were going to install by Feb? Maybe that was somebody else. If you bought in 2008, your rebate is now $200. You can get the $400 for a 2007 install if you have it submitted like now but the funds are not guaranteed.
Without a heater, I would not worry about a purchase to qualify a 3 year rebate. Most pool stuff breaks down right at 4 years. HA.
You could get a Kreepy with a $50 rebate and that would qualify you too. It will run on a low flow and that will save you more.