Pentair IntelliCenter Review and Information

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,202
Arizona
I've got an EasyTouch 8 and use Screen Logic and Alexa. I've had not any problems. Had Alexa just check the temp of the pool, and I turned Wifi off on my iPhone and it connected back to my system through Pentair with no issues.

Just FYI - Historically over the last few years Alexa would lose access to Pentair and I'd have to log in again at the Skill level, however, it has been pretty solid the last several months and stayed connected.
Greg,
Good to know, thanks for sharing that.
It was about the same with the IntelliCenter for over a year. There were a few times that I had to disable the Alexa skill and then re-enable and everything would be fine for a while.
But lately, it has been progressively worse and now will not work even when disabling and re-enabling the skill.

Last month, I even had a Pentair employee admit to me that the software engineering and development team were aware that the Alexa skill and the Apple Watch App was inop.

I sure would like to know what they are doing about it. I understand it's difficult to accomplish many tasks during our pandemic shutdown and I'm understanding that things like this are not high on the overall priority list given our current situation, but if there is one skill that I would think, shouldn't have an issue with tele-working, it should be folks related to the software engineering and development field. ;)
Who knows......

Thanks again for the feedback,
Stay safe...
r.
 
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dianedebuda

Gold Supporter
Jan 2, 2018
166
Austin TX
Tried to read this thread when I started researching the IntelliCenter and didn't make it past the first couple of pages - no pool automation background. 😔:D Now, after many hours of IntelliCenter reading, have come back & read all of it, probably with 20% comprehension, but love all of the details. Thank you for taking the time. (y)

I want local pc access, not via the web. So as I understand the current situation, this is not possible with the native Pentair software but is doable with Android (and iOS). You can use an Android emulator to use the Android app on a PC. The Pentair web software currently has a major glich - is it usable at all? There's some user-created software for PC control in the works, but not ready yet. That a valid summary?
 
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MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,202
Arizona
dianedebuda

The following reply is just my own personal thoughts regarding some of your questions and based upon my own experiences. Others' may have different experiences because no two pool owners set their equipment up in exactly the same manner typically and most have varying degrees of requirements from thier automation systems.

I want local pc access, not via the web. So as I understand the current situation, this is not possible with the native Pentair software but is doable with Android (and iOS). You can use an Android emulator to use the Android app on a PC. The Pentair web software currently has a major glich - is it usable at all? There's some user-created software for PC control in the works, but not ready yet. That a valid summary?
Currently, you can have local access if utilizing an iOS or Android device (it's an option when you open the app). This is because those are applications (apps) which reside on the device.

But when using a PC/MAC/Laptop computer, you must access the IntelliCenter via the web client (there is no app that resides on the computer unlike ScreenLogic). And there in lies the rub for many of us (not all). Using the web and consequently the Pentair web servers tends to be "glitchy" in some areas of operation if you know what I mean. There are obviously issues at the web server level. The web client is about 80-90% usable for my requirements. Other's have no problems at all with it but they will have different requirements then I may have.

I liken it to two Jeep owners. One owner drives their Jeep just around town and the other takes their Jeep on extreme off-road excursions and tours. When the off-roading Jeep owner complains that they are having some minor issue with the suspension that is not quite right, the owner that drives his/her Jeep to the market and back, replies "I'm not having any issues with my Jeep" Well of course your not. Some are looking to have their automation do EVERYTHING that it was designed to do without encountering "buggy" or "goofy" results.

At one end of the scale, some IntelliCenter users just want to control a pump, have 2 or 3 different schedules and turn on a light. At the other end of the scale, others desire or have a need for varying complexities of macros and scheduling requirements while controlling several pumps, heat pumps combined with solar, complex lighted water features with spas, complex equipment pad plumbing etc. etc. and like me, many users are just somewhere in between, and want to automate what ever they possibly can, do a little manual water testing and then swim, swim, swim. :swim:
Hope that makes sense.

Yes, there are many projects and efforts in the works currently, to use either "home-brew" software and/or existing add-on hardware in combination with their IntelliCenter in order to eliminate the need for the Pentair web servers. Some are trying to possibly emulate the "ScreenLogic" concept with the IntelliCenter such as the Pentair EasyTouch and IntelliTouch automation systems incorporate (I'm currently focusing my efforts here at the moment). In my opinion this is where these two other automation systems are far better than the IntelliCenter. A desktop client versus a web client.

Thanks for the questions and please stay safe.
r.
 
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dianedebuda

Gold Supporter
Jan 2, 2018
166
Austin TX
Yes, it does makes sense. Funny how someone on the thread had mentioned that web-centric was the modern approach. When I started out in IT years and years ago, most everything was mainframe with terminals until minis & PCs came along. Everything old is new again. :D Was almost set on getting an IntelliCenter, but think I'm going to at least look at the older versions first. Thanks!
 
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MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,202
Arizona
Yes, it does makes sense. Funny how someone on the thread had mentioned that web-centric was the modern approach. When I started out in IT years and years ago, most everything was mainframe with terminals until minis & PCs came along. Everything old is new again. :D Was almost set on getting an IntelliCenter, but think I'm going to at least look at the older versions first. Thanks!
That's fine and the two other mainstream Pentair automation systems are good and work really well for their user's, but here are some things to keep in mind before you "pull the trigger".

The IntelliCenter allows for many more schedules and has the ability to allow for macros. The IntelliTouch features a smaller number of macros available but the EasyTouch allows none.
Macros' is a must for me.

Also, the big advantage to IntelliCenter is the way that it allows for firmware updates. Much more user friendly than the other two. That really is a biggie in my mind.
There are also smaller advantages to IntelliCenter but you can sort out the differences. Modularity is also a big plus.

The only real big disadvantage to IntelliCenter in my mind anyway, is just those god awful web servers. And that is just due I believe, to the incompetence or apathy (or both) of the Pentair software development and engineering teams or their contractors (if applicable). I expect to never be able to connect to my control panel remotely again after making that statement. ;)

Sorry if that hurts someone's feelings but that is my opinion. I would say to them (not that I think they care frankly), that if you don't like that, please make the necessary corrections to the web server code/API and let's make it a pleasureable experience for the user and not a "hair pulling" one.

After that rant, I will say however that I personally have no other complaints with the IntelliCenter except just that one. :p
r.
 
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Katodude

Silver Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
744
West Palm Beach/Florida
If I did not build my own controller I would have bought an Intellicenter. In fact I almost did, there was one for sale on this forum, and if I was not 90% finished I would have bought it. The issues that are mentioned here are minor compared to the functionality it gives you.
 
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Feb 3, 2020
15
South Africa
I saw that there was an Intellicenter iOS update available today and I was excited, because it says bug fixes and refers to schedules... but when I try to connect it fails totally. Is it just me or are the Pentair servers playing up again?
 

dianedebuda

Gold Supporter
Jan 2, 2018
166
Austin TX
That's fine and the two other mainstream Pentair automation systems are good and work really well for their user's, but here are some things to keep in mind before you "pull the trigger"... the big advantage to IntelliCenter is the way that it allows for firmware updates.
I saw that there was an Intellicenter iOS update available today and I was excited, because it says bug fixes and refers to schedules... but when I try to connect it fails totally. Is it just me or are the Pentair servers playing up again?
Exactly why I'm resistant to web-based client ... and pushed updates. :LOL: I do know you can stay off-line and download updates.

Funny that after all of my years in software development & chasing the latest & greatest, in my coot years I've become a if it ain't broke don't fix it type. :ROFLMAO: Still have multiple (aged by today's standards) computers that I actively use, but no, don't have home automation nor carry a SmartPhone - which amuses my kids to no end. Too many years of being on call, I guess. :sneaky:

After that rant, I will say however that I personally have no other complaints with the IntelliCenter except just that one [web client].
I looked at the other 2 and think functionally they would work just as well for me. The biggest benefit of looking at them was that because of their age, there's a lot of videos & posts for 'em - which actually were really helpful in understanding some listed (but unexplained for the pool automation neophyte) terms/actions/relationships that I see in the IntelliCenter.

IIRC, you said that using mobile devices were great for operating the system, but schedule maintenance was a pain and that you preferred a PC for that. Although I don't expect that I'll have nearly the number of schedules as you, I can see that I would have the same mobile/PC viewpoint. Still heavily leaning towards getting an IntelliCenter with high hopes there will be a non-web client for PC control in the near future.
 
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MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,202
Arizona
I saw that there was an Intellicenter iOS update available today and I was excited, because it says bug fixes and refers to schedules... but when I try to connect it fails totally. Is it just me or are the Pentair servers playing up again?
SA Pentair User
Nothing new on my end at the moment. iOS Version: 1.9.128. The panel is still running firmware version 1.042 with no new updates available and the Web Client version remains at 1.046 unfortunately.
Where did you see the notice? Maybe they accidentally loaded an update to the the public server instead of the test server and you just happened to be online right at the moment and then they realized what they did and reverted back. Maybe they're working on it. We can only hope. Right?
Thanks.
r.
 
Feb 3, 2020
15
South Africa
As far as I can see, my iOS version is 2.0.133 While the panel is 1.040. After not working at all for 24 hours, the iOS app is back to working with the same issue that one cannot save changes to the schedule although there are new (or maybe I just missed them previously?) save and cancel buttons in the schedule editor.
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,202
Arizona
As far as I can see, my iOS version is 2.0.133 While the panel is 1.040. After not working at all for 24 hours, the iOS app is back to working with the same issue that one cannot save changes to the schedule although there are new (or maybe I just missed them previously?) save and cancel buttons in the schedule editor.
SA Pentair User
Yes sir. I am now seeing 2.0.133. Like you, I'll scan and see what I can see as far as diffs.
I made a mistake on my last post. 1.040 is the latest "publicly released" update. I'm running beta 1.042. You can get the beta if you so desire by calling Tech Support. Here are the release notes for beta 1.042 in order to help you determine if it is worth it or not.
  • Do not turn on 2SPD Relay During Freeze Protect.
  • Sync Log Enable/Disable across all panel.
  • Support: Remove Email Address and change web site URL.
  • Wrong Error message upon Web Login Failure.
  • Web Email Validation fix.
  • SPACMD Heater Set Temperature override disallows manual heat setpoint changes.
  • OTA: Remaining subpanels are rebooting several times when OCP stuck on subpanel due to timeout.
  • Save circuit Configuration (On/Off/Ignore) only when Return button hit.
  • Circuits may Randomly Turn On after being Toggled On and then Off.
  • Heater Creation fails intermittently following delete operation.
  • Heat Source and Set Point Changes Not Displayed Correctly on other Panels.
  • On/Off/Ignore Circuit Group Configuration edit control.
  • 485Process: Support for Log Start/Stop Synching
  • 485Process: Suppport for OTA: Remaining subpanels are rebooting.
  • 485uic: Install Posix Handler earlier to prevent 485 crash on startup.
  • 485uic: Support for Log Start/Stop Synching
  • Wizard: Fix scrolling issue on scheduled, chemistry, Aux Circuits, Heaters and Pumps.
  • Wizard: Current pump address not saved.
  • Wizard: Creating hyprid after gas and ultratemp causes heater list corruption.
  • Fixed Light Group Window crashes upon selecting group edit button.
  • Fixed IntelliChem ORP/pH Set Point Adjust buttons on other panels.
  • Fixed IntelliChem Tank Level Adjust buttons on other panels.
  • Custom pool/spa body names do not appear on home screen.
  • Added button to clear out saved config files on local file system.
  • Last Pool Temp should not include custom body name.
  • Pool/Spa window formatting issue with long body name.
  • Schedule screen scrolling issue fixed.
  • Latitude/Longitude changes
  • Schedule list on subpanels do not update when changes made on another panel
  • On/Off/Ignore Feature created.
  • Updated Group Circuit Configuration window.
  • Changes Shared Memory configuration for MAPSET_group_circuits.
  • Pool cover settings window issue with long body names.
  • Zip code and Latitude/Longitude and default values fixed from earlier change.
  • Change for multiple XCP panels for icweb and WebApp.
  • Fixed Overlay Text Blinking Issue due to earlier development.
  • Clear user password after successful entry.
  • Subpanels did not display timeout Mode (Service Mode).
  • XCP firmware update failure timeout and error message added.
  • Add logs to track Circuit, Schedule and Relay Status.
  • Added Log function start/stop interface.
  • 485/485uic: Support for Multiple Expansion Panels in OTA.
  • Icweb: Support for On/Off/Ignore feature.
  • Icweb: Provide interface for Start/Stop Logging in IC and 485.
  • Wizard: Fixed Duplicate Pump Names upon Creation issue.
  • Wizard: Fixed Unable to set a schedule to run at midnight.
  • Wizard: Heater Creation Rules Do Not Follow ic.
  • Wizard: Time Zone Translation constant fixed from earlier.
  • Wizard: Restore Current Groups Configuration (from IC) when the wizared is saved. Needed to support On/Off/Ignore feature in ic.
  • Wizard: Fixed heater creation can press next without selecting heater type.
  • Wizard: Fixed pump naming not consistent with multiple pumps of same type.
  • Wizard: Support Circuit Groups implemented.
  • Wizard: Support Groups in Schedule Circuit Selection.
r.
 
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MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,202
Arizona
As far as I can see, my iOS version is 2.0.133 While the panel is 1.040. After not working at all for 24 hours, the iOS app is back to working with the same issue that one cannot save changes to the schedule although there are new (or maybe I just missed them previously?) save and cancel buttons in the schedule editor.
Yes, you are correct. Those SAVE and CANCEL buttons are new. This was one of my bullet points that I sent Tech Support who said they would forward to the software development team. I complained that there was no way to save newly created schedules in the iOS app.

And you're also right. After clicking save, the changes revert back to what was there prior. OMG. :mad:

If that's all they fixed, I'm not exactly impressed lol... I wish they would concentrate their efforts on the major items and not the small ones. Seems like they are so busy trying to kill the ants, they're letting the elephants run over them. :p
Stay safe there!
r.
 
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joepaiii

Well-known member
May 16, 2013
165
Allen, TX
Brian,
BTW, I just realized that I'm now "tapped out" on relays. If you keep coming up with new ideas, I'm going to find myself having to replace my i5PS daughter card with either an i8PS or i10PS daughter card and adding in some additional relays. :p....
r.
How hard it is to do that? My builder has my intellicenter ordered with the i5PS only and I don't think I can get them to switch to the 8 as install is happening very soon. Just want to be sure that with the same load center and everything it won't be hard to add the i8PS with three additional relays or the i10PS with 5 additional relays. Where do the relays go? Are they in the high voltage section or in the low voltage section on the daughter board expansion modules?
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,202
Arizona
How hard it is to do that? My builder has my intellicenter ordered with the i5PS only and I don't think I can get them to switch to the 8 as install is happening very soon. Just want to be sure that with the same load center and everything it won't be hard to add the i8PS with three additional relays or the i10PS with 5 additional relays.
joepaiii
Since you have a "PS" model, you have a daughter card. Your i5PS daughter card will need to be swapped with an i8PS or i10PS and three or five additional relays purchased and installed.
Hard? no...
Expensive? yes... Well, I guess that's relative. It will be pricey. Lot less expensive to get the i8PS or i10PS initially. Trust me, I know. lol...

Call
and get a quote on the i8PS or i10PS daughter card + 3 or 5 relays as applicable.

Where do the relays go? Are they in the high voltage section or in the low voltage section on the daughter board expansion modules?
Power Relays are mounted in the high voltage area of the Load Center. See this thread (posts #1 thru #6). All things IntelliCenter and should answer those questions for you (see Power Relays).
Thanks...
r.

p.s. Additional thought. If it were me, I might try everything short of a temper tantrum to try to persuade your builder to exchange the i5PS with an i8PS (or i10PS) (you making up the diff in price of course), rather than refitting the unit after the fact. Your pocket book will thank you. :p
 
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Turbo1Ton

Gold Supporter
Dec 26, 2019
109
NE Oklahoma
Mine quit working about a month ago and I have not been able to get it back yet. Also, this morning, apparently the Pentair servers are having issues, because I get an error saying that my username and password do not match their records. When I attempted to use the forgot password link (I didn't forget, but was going to give it a shot), it said they didn't have an account associated with that email address. 🤦‍♂️

--Jeff
 

Turbo1Ton

Gold Supporter
Dec 26, 2019
109
NE Oklahoma
Interesting... I'm still not able to log in. They seem to have lost my account.

At least I have the local connection option. Just can't see/control anything away from the house.