Pentair IntelliCenter Review and Information

scottts

Gold Supporter
Nov 13, 2019
67
Gilbert, AZ
They seem to have come back up about 30 minutes ago. I'm not at the pool I monitor so i'm always remote. I was thinking about trying to use a VPN connection to the pool locations router to be "local" when I need to be. I don't know if anybody has tried that.
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,202
Arizona
They seem to have come back up about 30 minutes ago. I'm not at the pool I monitor so i'm always remote. I was thinking about trying to use a VPN connection to the pool locations router to be "local" when I need to be. I don't know if anybody has tried that.
Yes,
A VPN tunnel connection DOES work. Servers were down for a while earlier this A.M. I would like to think that it was due to server improvements/maintenance or correcting the many issues with the web client, iOS and Apple Watch Apps, etc, etc. But, no such luck... The servers probably went down due to "lack of maintenance". :(
r.
 

Turbo1Ton

Gold Supporter
Dec 26, 2019
109
NE Oklahoma
It does appear that they corrected the pool temperature setpoint issue, where the pool temp setpoint would reset to 78 degrees. I heated the pool yesterday to 84, and this morning when I woke up and checked through the web client, the pool heater setpoint was still set to 84. It had not reset as it was doing previously.

Although after thinking about this longer, I think I might have made the adjustment using the Bluestacks Android workaround for the desktop client, since the intellicenter web service was not working for me yesterday. So not totally sure if it is fixed, or if it just works ok with the Android option.

--Jeff
 
  • Like
Reactions: MyAZPool

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,202
Arizona
It does appear that they corrected the pool temperature setpoint issue, where the pool temp setpoint would reset to 78 degrees. I heated the pool yesterday to 84, and this morning when I woke up and checked through the web client, the pool heater setpoint was still set to 84. It had not reset as it was doing previously.

Although after thinking about this longer, I think I might have made the adjustment using the Bluestacks Android workaround for the desktop client, since the intellicenter web service was not working for me yesterday. So not totally sure if it is fixed, or if it just works ok with the Android option.

--Jeff
Jeff,
Glad to see that the bluestacks is working out for you. I use it myself as well. Takes it slightly longer to open initially, but I find it to be a bit more user-friendly and more responsive especially when it comes to opening schedules. When I click on SETTINGS to go to the schedules menu in the web client (where I can no longer open or edit existing schedules any more :mad:), It seems like forever before the schedules menu finally opens. Yikes.....
Thanks and take care...
r.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Turbo1Ton

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,202
Arizona
Hi Everyone,

Here is a bit of an update on all of the various software issues being experienced by many IntelliCenter users, regarding the web client, iOS/Android Apps, Alexa Skill, Apple WatchOS app etc.

Myself and a few others have explored some new portals or venues in an attempt to air complaints regarding these software issues.

1. You can try posting complaints on the iOS (like I and others did here):
or the Google Play Store (Android app). NO response from Pentair as of this writing.

2. You can post a comment on the Pentair Pool IntelliCenter video on YouTube (some of us, have done this as well). NO response from Pentair as of yet.

3. Or lastly, you can create a post on the Pentair Pool Equipment Facebook page and send them a message on FB messenger. Now, that action by me, actually garnered a response just now. Here is what I posted and the resulting response:

Intellicenter Software Issues
First, I consider myself somewhat of a Pentair IntelliCenter subject matter expert or “aficionado”. I was one of the first to begin using this new automation system and I must admit that I extremely familiar with the system and all of the user interfaces. I was initially impressed by all of the sales hype and features touted and decided in late 2018 to “jump right in”.

In my opinion, the IntelliCenter itself is far superior to any other pool automation system currently on the market. I also wish to point out that in my opinion, the Pentair IntelliCenter Technical Support Team is top notch!

But unfortunately, that is where my praise must end for now. There are many ongoing issues (some very serious), with not only the iOS and Android apps, but also with the watchOS app and definitely, the IntelliCenter Web Client.

I am just going to list some of the ongoing issues here and hopefully the right person in the Pentair software Development and Engineering group, might see this review and get the message since Pentair does not allow the software teams to speak directly to the customers. I have pestered tech support enough about some of these issues, so I’ll try this venue and see if I can get someone to start addressing the issues.

If anyone from Pentair Pools management happens to see this. PLEASE HELP US IF YOU CAN. There are so many IntelliCenter users out here, who are so frustrated with the lack of competence from software development and engineering.

NOTE: I am assured by tech support that all of the following issues have been brought to the attention of the software development and engineering teams in North Carolina.

1. WatchOS and Alexa Skill - Currently the watchOS app does not work (Server Error)! The IntelliCenter software teams have confirmed to tech support that not only is the watch OS app currently down but the Alexa skill as well. In addition the ScreenLogic Alexa skill for the Pentair EasyTouch and IntelliTouch automation systems are down and have been for a while now!

2. iOS App - The latest version of the iOS app (1.9.128) fixed the dark mode compatibility but now the ability to save scheduling edits are non-existent. When the user navigates to the schedules menu and edits a time or date on an existing schedule, there is no way to save that edit. If you just use the back button, the edit does not change or save. And since there is currently no way to edit an existing schedule in the web client, existing schedules cannot be edited in either the iOS app or the web client now.

3. Web Client – Existing schedules will not expand when clicked on which completely prohibits the ability for the user to edit an existing schedule. This issue began with the release of web client update (1.044 b1 January 30, 2020). There have been two additional updates since then and this issue has NOT been corrected. In fact, I really can’t find any improvement to the web client in those last two updates. Does Pentair really expect user’s to have to delete schedules and then create new ones in their web client? Why won’t Pentair allow users to modify existing schedules in the web client? Come on…

4. Web Client – Schedule names revert to SPECIALCIRC 1, 2, 3 ETC: This occurs when a user creates a CIRCUIT GROUP and then creates a new schedule. No problem creating the new group. But then, the user navigates to the SCHEDULES page > ADD PROGRAM, and then uses the pull-down to select that new CIRCUIT GROUP. Then the user configures days and times and then clicks SAVE. Once the new schedule is saved, the Circuit name in the scheduling page renames itself to SPECIALCIRC1, 2, 3. ETC. I even tried do the exact same thing at the panel and everything works fine there. The schedule name is the name of the circuit selected from the pull-down. But once I come back in and open the web client and navigate to the SCHEDULES page, it has renamed. The name is correct on the panel but not on the Web Client. Really?

5. Web Client – The SUNSET, SUNRISE and associated offset option buttons are missing on the SCHEDULES page. They are there on the Android app. Kind of, on the iOS app (although not spelled out or indicated very well).

6. Web Client, iOS and Android Apps – The Pentair lighting HOLD/RECALL feature is missing on the web client, iOS and Android Apps.

7. Web Client, iOS / Android Apps and Control Panel - There is absolutely no way to sort or move entries with regards to Feature Circuits, Circuit Groups or the schedules. Not at the control panel and not in any of the user interfaces to include the web client, the iOS or android apps, etc. This fact is extremely frustrating. Especially when it comes to schedules.

8. Google Home - Currently, Google Home Integration is unavailable. The Pentair website says that IntelliCenter is supposed to work with Google Home. Pentair Tech Support was notified of this problem and passed it to an IntelliCenter product manager but as of this review, there has not been any resolution to the issue.

9. IntelliCenter software will not allow a midnight transition in the schedule and the schedules will not allow for advanced features (like most other product scheduling features), a sunset +30 or sunrise -30 etc. Honeywell can do it. Toro can do it. Hunter can do it. Why can’t Pentair do it? Do you really not care that much about customer satisfaction? How about those like myself, where every piece of equipment on my equipment pad has the name “Pentair” on it. Don’t customers like myself count for anything?

10. And lastly (and so importantly) is the issue of the IntelliValve RS-485 communications capability. When I first spoke with various Pentair employees, I discovered that Pentair would release a firmware update that would allow the IntelliValves to be placed on the RS-485 bus of the IntelliCenter. I was informed that this particular update would allow five preset positions on the IntelliValve. I was told that this firmware update would be publicly released in the second quarter of 2019.

Myself and others that I know who operate the IntelliCenter, have been in contact with Pentair Tech Support many times inquiring about this issue. It seems that the topic has now went cold and nobody now seems to know anything about it. This is very disconcerting. I have already installed the Serial COM Expansion board within the IntelliCenter panel, in anticipation of this firmware release but still nothing.

It would be great if the Pentair IntelliCenter Software Development and Engineering teams would begin to work on the issues outlined above. I would be happy to amend this, once some of the necessary fixes have been implemented.

THANK YOU!


This was the response when I sent the above in an "FB messenger" message...

1589914858118.png

My reply: Thank You Patrick. I really appreciate it. I feel so bad for Tech Support. Every time I call them about the above issues, I get the feeling that they are frustrated because they cannot help the customer(s) with any of these issues. All they can do is submit to the software teams and then nothing gets done. It's like these software teams could not give a rats (you know what) about the many IntelliCenter users software issues. We all bought in to the IntelliCenter hype and we are so frustrated now. I am speaking for a good many IntelliCenter user's that I know. I wish management would please bring some needed "horsepower" to these concerns. Thanks again Patrick... RT

1589915003468.png


Anyway, I just thought that I would share some of my experiences with attempting to get some of these ongoing issues addressed by Pentair. Hopefully, something may happen (but I'm not holding out much hope)...
Take care and be safe....
r.

p.s. My complaints were also posted on the Pentair Pools FB timeline. It's still there, but I suspect that they may delete that post to their timeline. It doesn't look good for them and certainly won't contribute to their ability to sell more IntelliCenters. Who knows...
 
Last edited:

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,202
Arizona
Update on post #285 above.
It appears, that my post on the Pentair FB page (nope, they haven't deleted it yet), has garnered further attention from Pentair.
2020-05-19_15-25-56.jpg
They messaged me on messenger as well.
Hi there -- the product team leader would like to chat with you about this, if you're willing. Can I get an email address and phone number? - Patrick C.

I provided my contact info and I'm waiting now to be contacted. Now that they have my phone number and email address, I guess that they can use that info to cross-reference to my IntelliCenter/Pentair account, I assume. I'm now waiting on my IntelliCenter panel to start smoking soon or never being allowed to log in to the IntelliCenter servers ever again. lol.... :p Oh well.. The Raspberry pi is now connected to the IntelliCenter bus and communicating, so at least I have somewhat of a "backup" at this point lol....

We'll see what transpires. More to follow (maybe)... ;)
r.
 
Last edited:

rmontgomery

Well-known member
Oct 14, 2019
98
Rockwall, TX
Update on post #285 above.
It appears, that my post on the Pentair FB page (nope, they haven't deleted it yet), has garnered further attention from Pentair.
View attachment 140178
They messaged me on messenger as well.
Hi there -- the product team leader would like to chat with you about this, if you're willing. Can I get an email address and phone number? - Patrick C.

I provided my contact info and I'm now waiting now to be contacted. Now that they have my phone number and email address, I guess that they can use that info to cross-reference to my IntelliCenter/Pentair account, I assume. I'm now waiting on my IntelliCenter panel to start smoking soon or never being allowed to log in to the IntelliCenter servers ever again. lol.... :p Oh well.. The Raspberry pi is now connected to the IntelliCenter bus and communicating, so at least I have somewhat of a "backup" at this point lol....

We'll see what transpires. More to follow (maybe)... ;)
r.
Happy to help test anything on my end if they need additional testing help.

Ryan
 

Neoex

Member
Jun 18, 2019
12
Tulsa
I got this response from submitting a contact now via pentair.com this Monday 5/18/2020 at 3:09

Max,

At this moment Pentair product are not on Alexa skill set. Our team is working on restoring the service with Alexa. It is projected to return in about two weeks.



In order to receive a response in a timely manner, please reply directly to this email. Reference case number TS01978080 in all correspondence.



Thank you,

David Malave

Pentair Water Pool and Spa Inc



Your problem description:

What happened to the Alexa integration for IntelliCenter... How disappointing!!!

ref:_00D70J0Ur._5000g2H8Lyy:ref
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,202
Arizona
Good afternoon IntelliCenter users.
Here is a bit of an update to post #285 above.

I received a conference call today from a couple of Pentair middle management IntelliCenter software guys, that may be able to affect some changes (hopefully), to some of the UI/software issues with the IntelliCenter .
I'll try to give a rundown on some of contents of the lengthy discussion we had regarding IntelliCenter.

1. The Amazon Skill should be back up in about two weeks. They are waiting on Amazon skill testing approval.

2. We went through the list and they got several clarifications on the issues from me. I think they understand now, the real level of frustration of many of the IntelliCenter users and the severity of some of the issues plaguing our automation systems.

3. They were not even aware of the issues regarding the IntelliCenter Apple WatchOS app. They agreed that there seems to be a "communication breakdown" somewhere between the Tech Support Reps and them. They didn't sound exactly pleased of this fact. No manager likes to get "blindsided" with issues they are not aware exist.

4. Here is the bad news for some of us. They do not project a software update to allow inclusion of the IntelliValve on the RS-485 bus until "Q2, 2021" now. Yep, 2021. Their excuse is that there are so many bugs (extensive bug list), with the web-client/servers etc, that they believe, they need to do much more "platform hardening", before they can get to that project. Because of the bug list, they do not anticipate any further new item list development until Q1, 2021.

5. A new firmware update for the IntelliCenter panel is expected to be released in August, 2020. (1.048). Several improvements to include enhanced "Circuit Grouping" and other features will be introduced apparently.

6. Lastly, I have agreed to work directly with the IntelliCenter software folks to allow my IntelliCenter to be utilized as a "Pre-Commercial" release beta platform. :unsure:... There is an IntelliCenter "bug list" meeting in another week and a half. I was told that I would then receive a phone call after that and then I should be able to begin working with the IC Product Manager lead and his techs, where I will be directly accessible to them in order to help start ironing out some of the issues listed in post #285 above..

We'll see what happens and maybe we'll have some good news as time goes on. One of the manager's stated "IntelliCenter is our flagship automation system, we need to start getting this right" Ya think? ;)

All I got for now. Stay safe...
r.
 
Last edited:

Katodude

Silver Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
744
West Palm Beach/Florida
4. Here is the bad news for some of us. They do not project a software update to allow inclusion of the IntelliValve on the RS-485 bus until "Q2, 2021" now. Yep, 2021. Their excuse is that there are so many bugs (extensive bug list), with the web-client/servers etc, that they believe, they need to do much more "platform hardening", before they can get to that project. Because of the bug list, they do not anticipate any further new item list development until Q1, 2021.
Are you kidding me. AGGGGHHHHHH. I paid extra for those crazy valves. Ok, we will just have to figure out a way to hack them
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,202
Arizona
Are you kidding me. AGGGGHHHHHH. I paid extra for those crazy valves. Ok, we will just have to figure out a way to hack them
lol.... I'm all in brother... Let's go. I just saw the comments over on the PM side regarding the pi. I'm making my way over to that side soon. Just trying to slay some of these easy "dragons" first... Thanks A...
 

dianedebuda

Gold Supporter
Jan 2, 2018
166
Austin TX
MyAZPool: our poster child and Don Quixote combined. :kim: Hope you don't need a constant supply of Valium. :LOL:

Was it mentioned that a number of us would much prefer to have local PC control and not have to go through the Pentair web servers?
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,202
Arizona
MyAZPool: our poster child and Don Quixote combined. :kim: Hope you don't need a constant supply of Valium. :LOL:

Was it mentioned that a number of us would much prefer to have local PC control and not have to go through the Pentair web servers?
That can only happen with an application. Like a mobile app (a feature which is currently available with the IntelliCenter iOS and Android apps), or a desktop app, but not a web client obviously.

A desktop application would need to be developed (such as the method employed by ScreenLogic for the EasyTouch and IntelliTouch). Pentair wanted to completely get away from that methodology and hence, we have the web client. Not only would a desktop application need to be developed but you would need an interface so that your computer could talk the same language as the machine language that the IntelliCenter uses.

I didn't even bring up that possibility at this point because it is completely counter to the Pentair IntelliCenter desktop UI philosophy. Doing so, may have given me less credibility with the other issues I believe.
r.
 
Last edited:

GDN

Bronze Supporter
Oct 17, 2016
373
Dallas, TX
That can only happen with an application. Like a mobile app (a feature which is currently available with the iOS and Android apps) But not a web client obviously.

A desktop application would need to be developed (such as the method employed by ScreenLogic for the EasyTouch and IntelliTouch). Pentair wanted to completely get away from that methodology and hence, we have the web client. Not only would a desktop application need to be developed but you would need an interface so that your computer could talk the same language as the machine language that the IntelliCenter uses.

I didn't even bring up that possibility at this point because it is completely counter to the Pentair IntelliCenter desktop UI philosophy.
r.
This system is out of my league because I don't have it and only been reading about it the last month. However depending on the board inside the Intellicenter couldn't they easily embed a web engine and load the web pages right to the Intellicenter? They wouldn't have to reach out to their servers. Just serve the web pages and all controls right from the Intellicenter. This is the way they should have done it up front. Every cheap $70 printer on the market today has a web engine and pages built in so that you get all printer information right from your browser - regardless of platform.

Too bad Pentair doesn't open a beta program to 10 to 15 of you more powerful users and get some real world feedback. It's not hard, it's just how much do they want to truly improve this system quickly.
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,202
Arizona
This system is out of my league because I don't have it and only been reading about it the last month. However depending on the board inside the Intellicenter couldn't they easily embed a web engine and load the web pages right to the Intellicenter? They wouldn't have to reach out to their servers. Just serve the web pages and all controls right from the Intellicenter. This is the way they should have done it up front. Every cheap $70 printer on the market today has a web engine and pages built in so that you get all printer information right from your browser - regardless of platform.

Too bad Pentair doesn't open a beta program to 10 to 15 of you more powerful users and get some real world feedback. It's not hard, it's just how much do they want to truly improve this system quickly.
Greg,
Yup, lots of good ideas, no doubt. And I certainly hear what you are saying.. But Pentair will not be open to something like in my honest opinion, because they are dead set on the "web client" method of a desktop user interface so they don't have to issue updates to the UI.

Now, along those lines, a few folks are starting to use a Raspberry Pi to host (the pi is connected to the RS-485 bus of the IntelliCenter). I am barely just starting to scratch the surface utilizing this method). But I can see that the road will be long and arduous (for me anyway). Some of these guys are "smarter than the average bear" with some of these advanced methods.

Keep in mind that most IntelliCenter users, just want their automation systems to turn on a schedule (pump, heater, switch to spa mode, etc.) and then go swimming. But they do at least want it to operate the way it was designed and then "set it and forget it" (sorry George Foreman for steeling your line).

Heck, they (Pentair) can't even write code to allow an existing schedule to be edited in the web client or saved in the iOS app. They will need to first learn to crawl, long before they are able to go out and run a marathon, if you know what I mean. ;)
Thanks...
r.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: GDN