Pentair IntelliCenter Review - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

jonpcar

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2016
412
Gilbert, AZ
r, thx for the info about seasonal scheduling, your plan sounds well thought out...another question...do you see yourself using the run-once scheduling option made available on the intellicenter? I’m wondering what kind of things people use this type of option for...maybe scheduling an activity that won’t have the constraint of an egg timer on a “do-it-now type activity” (ex lights/waterfall during a planned party)? I am fooling around (having fun) with a diy pool controller and am considering the use models for an option like that. Thanks.
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
732
Arizona
r, thx for the info about seasonal scheduling, your plan sounds well thought out...another question...do you see yourself using the run-once scheduling option made available on the intellicenter? I’m wondering what kind of things people use this type of option for...maybe scheduling an activity that won’t have the constraint of an egg timer on a “do-it-now type activity” (ex lights/waterfall during a planned party)? I am fooling around (having fun) with a diy pool controller and am considering the use models for an option like that. Thanks.
Hi jonpcar,
Good question. The example that you gave is the only reason that I could think of as well, where one might want to click the the "OCCURANCE - Once" radio button in the IntelliCenter scheduling options. I'm sure there may be other examples as well but I just can't think of any. You can setup a schedule to run a CIRCUIT GROUP, where you can specify many activities to occur. I will tell you though, that I have experienced some "glitches" when attempting to schedule CIRCUIT GROUPS that contain various functions. Pentair is aware, so I can only assume that they are looking into it and may include a "fix" soon on a future OTA update.
Thanks much!
r.

2019-01-11_10-58-34.jpg
CLARIFICATION: Just to give a bit more detail on this "glitch" that I found regarding CIRCUIT GROUPS. When scheduling or activating a CIRCUIT GROUP that contains a POOL or SPA CIRCUIT inbedded within the CIRCUIT GROUP, I have experienced that activating the the CIRCUIT GROUP will not always turn a pump on or change the INTAKE or the RETURN valve actuator settings. I am waiting to hear from an IntelliCenter Tech Rep to get a further "read" on this issue. In the meantime, I have found a bit of a workaround by scheduling EACH activity or function "separately" on the SCHEDULES page. This is pretty "clunky" but seems to work okay for the time being.

UPDATE: This issue was resolved with a simple system "reset" and reloading the *CFG file.
 
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MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
732
Arizona
Earlier in this thread, there was some confusion regarding the motherboards and what one might need to do if they had lets say the "5 circuit" card and later they found themselves needing more circuits. I was speaking with Pentair Tech Support today about some ongoing tweaks to my configuration file (while wearing my guinea pig hat :)). We sort of just brushed across this issue by chance and then I was able to get the full "lowdown" regarding this topic.

So, here is the deal which should clear up the confusion.
Every IntelliCenter system has a "base" or "mother" card. That is the i5P (521909). That is essentially a "one body of water and 5 circuit" card.

Any other configuration (shared bodies of water (pool & spa)) or more than 5 circuits, then you will need one of the optional "daughter" cards.
For example, if you had a shared pool and spa and needed 5 circuits, then you would order the i5PS. That would get you the 521909 base (mother) card along with the i5PS, Shared Equipment (521912) daughter card.

Now, lets say you have the i5PS and everything is fine, but at some point you require more than 5 circuits but less than 9, then you would just need to purchase the i8PS, Shared Equipment (521913) daughter card and the additional relays and you would be in business. You would just replace your older daughter card with the new daughter card. No need to replace the "base" card (which is the expensive one).

Same principle holds true if you needed 9 or 10 circuits later. You would just buy the i10PS, Shared Equipment (521914) daughter card and the additional relays.

All of the optional personality cards just "slide connect" to the base card.

2019-01-22_17-43-39.jpg

Hope this helps.
r.
 
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GregSS

Gold Supporter
Jul 30, 2013
109
I have finally had a chance to begin programing my Intellicenter. MyAZPool is correct in that Pentair needs to work on the Intellicenter website. Saving changes is a real chore. Sometimes the saves do not take. I am currently experiencing issues programming my Hybrid Heater. The Intellicenter phone app does not even show Hybrid as a type of heater, and the Intellicenter website does not let you make changes to a Hybrid heater or even save a Hybrid heater as a type of heater. (I am able to select Hybrid on the Intellicenter unit as my heater.) I will need to call Pentair to discuss. My Intellicenter was hardwired so I cannot comment on the reliability of the wireless, but the responsiveness of the Intellicenter via my Iphone app is impressive.

The programing options of the Intellicenter seems to be decent, but I am not totally sure that I will be able to fully automate everything in the manner that I wish. I will update more as I continue programming and begin using my Intellicenter.
 
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MyAZPool

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Jul 3, 2018
732
Arizona
I have finally had a chance to begin programing my Intellicenter. MyAZPool is correct in that Pentair needs to work on the Intellicenter website. Saving changes is a real chore. Sometimes the saves do not take. I am currently experiencing issues programming my Hybrid Heater. The Intellicenter phone app does not even show Hybrid as a type of heater, and the Intellicenter website does not let you make changes to a Hybrid heater or even save a Hybrid heater as a type of heater. (I am able to select Hybrid on the Intellicenter unit as my heater.) I will need to call Pentair to discuss. My Intellicenter was hardwired so I cannot comment on the reliability of the wireless, but the responsiveness of the Intellicenter via my Iphone app is impressive.

The programing options of the Intellicenter seems to be decent, but I am not totally sure that I will be able to fully automate everything in the manner that I wish. I will update more as I continue programming and begin using my Intellicenter.
GregSS,
Congrats on getting your IntelliCenter up and running. That's great. I hope we can share information that will help both of us and provide useful info to others who make the move to IntelliCenter. I have been extensively combing through all of the various functionality possibilities, limitations, issues and options that I can test with my current setup and equipment. Pentair Tech Support has been nothing short of outstanding in their responsiveness and assistance. I have already passed many "issue" items on to my contact at Pentair and continue to do so.

First of all, when you contact Pentair Tech Support, tell them that you have "IntelliCenter" issues and ask to speak with a IntelliCenter "guru" :). There is a Tech Support Rep that seems to be taking the Tech Support "reigns" there on IntelliCenter when it comes to "involved" issues. PM me and I will give you his name. I just don't want to put his name out there to the world. I am in regular contact with him via phone and email. He receives and compiles the IntelliCenter "issues" and sends those issues up to the correct department for action. My feedback to him has resulted in several current "fixes" and some temporary "work-arounds" and many other items being currently worked on by the engineers. They have been great so far. They definitely need to hear from you. I have discovered that the more that you are willing to assist them in "trying different things, etc", the better the assistance and resolutions will be.

I have "discovered" a lot of various operational information about the IntelliCenter that I will continue to update here. Please keep me informed on your experiences as I am very interested in learning as much as I can about the system. From what I have learned, IntelliCenter has only "scratched the surface" on what it is actually capable of. There will be several very interesting OTA's that are planned for 2019 from what I have heard.

I agree with you about the programming issues regarding the Web App. The app actually does save the change to the system but doesn't indicate the saved change in "real-time". Instead you have to navigate out of SETTINGS back to your HOME page and then navigate back to SETTINGS to actually see the change. Ridiculous!!! Soon, I will be publishing an updated Discrepancy or "Punch List" on this thread, so we IntelliCenter users can share info about bugs or glitches and be able to keep those issues on Pentair's "radar".

Can I please make one recommendation. Can you please post your current pool and equipment information in your signature. It's very helpful to see how your pool and your various equipment is integrated.

Good luck with your heater programming in the iPhone app and I'm sure you can get it worked out with Pentair Tech Support.
r.
 
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MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
732
Arizona
Interesting information:unsure:. Wouldn't you think the i8 and 10 cards would also have additional valve sockets???
Brian,
Yea, wouldn't that have been great. But then they wouldn't be able to sell the "Valve Expansion Card" :p.
I have learned that the IntelliCenter is a very "modularized" system. Everything is an expansion, optional, or personality card, which when you think about it, can be beneficial to the end user.
 
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MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
732
Arizona
The following may be a bit of useful information regarding the IntelliCenter that I have just learned recently.

1. First, anytime you make any considerable or substantial changes to your settings/configurations (schedules, system configs), It's always a good idea to back it up. Take a dedicated USB flash or "thumb" drive out to the control panel, plug it in and download your latest configuration file (*.cfg) to the flash drive. Always try to save at least your last two *.cfg files.

If you then goof something up, you can always revert back to the last saved config file and start over.

2. If something doesn't work quite right after you create a new SCHEDULE or CIRCUIT GROUP (macro), you may need to perform a "RESET" or "RESTORE TO FACTORY SETTINGS" at the Control Panel. This procedure will not change the latest firmware that is downloaded on the system but only the configuration file (*.cfg). After you perform the "reset", then upload your latest configuration file (SETTINGS > ADVANCED SYSTEM CONFIGURATION > IMPORT/EXPORT > IMPORT SYSTEM CONFIGURATION) from your flash drive. Select the correct configuration file and press the YES button. The system will reboot. This procedure may correct the issue. I experienced this yesterday. I found that a "CIRCUIT GROUP” (macro) that I had created was not moving the INTAKE or the RETURN valve actuators. After I performed the above procedure, the macro then worked perfectly and those valve actuators moved to their alternate positions like they were supposed to.

Hope this info is useful to someone in the future.
r.

UPDATE: I have indicated to Pentair, that in the future, they should program the Web Interface (Web Client) to allow configuration file saves, directly to a user's desktop instead of only allowing it at the Control Panel. It has been noted but I don't think it will be very high on their priority list, but we’ll see.
 
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MyAZPool

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Jul 3, 2018
732
Arizona
Updated IntelliCenter "Punch" or Discrepancy List -

I am posting my latest and UPDATED IntelliCenter Discrepancy List. These are problems that I have personally encountered while testing various functions and using the IntelliCenter Automation System. This list has been communicated to Pentair and I'm optimistic that they will work on these issues to effect some resolutions. Some of these issues are items that I originally reported on that have not been corrected as of this date and some are new. I will keep this list updated as OTA's are released to the public that correct the issues or if new issues arise that I personally discover. NOTE: I will need to break this list up into two parts (posts) due to a "1000 word" limitation now.
r.
LAST UPDATED: June 19, 2019

1. Area of Concern: IntelliCenter System/iOS App. Problem: Embedding the "SPA" Circuit or command within a CIRCUIT GROUP, will NOT trigger the rotation of the INTAKE or RETURN valve actuators to the 2nd or "SPA" position.

Additional Information: If the "SPA" Circuit is activated by itself, the INTAKE and RETURN valve actuators will move to their 2nd or SPA setting and this is the way the system is designed and works fine at both the control panel and the iOS App. However, if you imbed the "SPA" circuit within a CIRCUIT GROUP, then the INTAKE or RETURN valves will not rotate to their 2nd or SPA position. Everything else embedded in the CIRCUIT GROUP will work as expected, just not the two valve actuator rotations. This occurs when activating the CIRCUIT GROUP from either the control panel or the iOS app. The work-around for this discrepancy is to create FEATURE CIRCUITS for the INTAKE and RETURN valve actuators and then embed those FEATURE CIRCUITS within the CIRCUIT GROUP, HOWEVER, this work-around will not work in the iOS app but only at the control panel. I have attempted to reset the system and reload the configuration file to see if that would correct the issue but it does not.​
Status: None at this time.​
NOTE: My work-around is that I removed the INTAKE and RETURN valve actuators and placed them on Valve E. and Valve F on the Valve Expansion Board respectively. Not only does it solve this issue but also allows me to independently control those valves for other purposes. I actually like this work-around better than having to switch to SPA in order to control the valves. This will even be a greater advantage when Pentair releases the update that allows RS-485 connectivity to the IntelliValve valve actuators.​
2. Area of Concern: Web Interface Application. Problem: Saving changes within the Web Interface App does not work in "Real-Time".
Additional Information: Every time I attempt to create or modify a Feature Circuit, Circuit Group (macro) or sometimes a schedule and click SAVE, in the Web app, the change will not appear in real-time. If I redo it, then it will create a duplicate on the second go-around and then the web app seems to get “confused”. Most times, you have to exit the SYSTEM CONFIGURATION page first by clicking on the HOME button and then navigate back to the SYSTEM CONFIGURATION page to see what happened. In other words, the Web App does not update the user's additions or changes to the configurations in "REAL-TIME". It is very frustrating to have to continually exit the SYSTEM CONFIGURATION page and then come back to the SYSTEM CONFIGURATION page to see if the changes made by the user was actually saved or not.
Status: Pentair is aware of this issue and it is in "work".​
UPDATE: (3/8/19) I think this issue has been improved in Web Client version 1.023. Still Testing!
3. Area of Concern: Web Interface Application/System Control Panel/iOS App. Problem: Inability to SORT Schedules, Aux Circuits, Feature Circuits, Circuit Groups, Pumps, Circuits listed on the Pump Page and Lights.

Additional Information: This issue is very frustrating to the user. The user should be able to sort these items based on any normal criteria (i.e. Common use, or by time-of-day, or by any other criteria the user might want to define. Just a simple "drag and drop" or a sort criteria drop down menu, would be great.​
Status: Pentair is aware of this issue and there may be more information to follow.​
4. Area of Concern: Web Interface Application. Problem: When a FEATURE CIRCUIT(S) is deleted from a CIRCUIT GROUP and then is attempted to be "re-selected", the FEATURE CIRCUIT(S) are then not available to be "re-selected".

Additional Information: When a user makes deletions in a CIRCUIT GROUP because he wants to rearrange the FEATURE CIRCUITS within the CIRCUIT GROUP, those FEATURE CIRCUITS are no longer available in the ADD CIRCUIT > Select A Circuit pull-down menu for "re-selection", even after SAVE is clicked. The user has to SAVE, completely exit SETTINGS and then navigate back to SETTINGS > SYSTEM CONFIGURATION > CIRCUITS > CIRCUIT GROUPS > {CIRCUIT GROUP that was being worked on} in order for those FEATURE CIRCUITS to then be available for selection in the pull-down menu.​
Status: Pentair is aware. No further status.​
5. Area of Concern: Web Interface Application. Problem: No “CIRCUITS GROUPS” on the “HOME” or “FEATURES” tab.
Additional Information: When you click the HOME tab or the FEATURES tab from the HOME PAGE, it only lists the individual FEATURE CIRCUITS and not the CIRCUIT GROUPS (macros). Hence, you cannot activate a CIRCUIT GROUP from the web application. NO, instead you have to click each and every individual FEATURE CIRCUIT that you want activated “separately” if you want to activate them from the Web Application. HOWEVER, if you go to the FEATURES > GROUPS tab in the iOS app or use the Outdoor Control Panel, you CAN select or activate a CIRCUITS GROUP from the FEATURES tab.
Status: THIS ISSUE HAS BEEN CORRECTED. IN WEB CLIENT UPDATE 1.023.
6. Area of Concern: Amazon Echo (Alexa) App. Problem: Amazon Echo (Alexa) app does not support the use and activation of CIRCUITS GROUPS (macros).

Additional Information: This is a "BIG TIME" problem. The whole idea of advanced automation systems is to be able to push or activate one button and have several items actuate or turn on. That is the whole reason for "CIRCUITS GROUPS" (macros). I can activate every AUX-CIRCUIT and FEATURE CIRCUIT utilizing the Alexa app but NOT CIRCUIT GROUPS. HOWEVER, if you query Alexa "what the pool status is", it will report any CIRCUIT GROUP(S) that are on. This makes no sense. Alexa recognizes the the CIRCUIT GROUPS in "Pool Status Reporting" but will not activate them in an Alexa command.​
Status: Confirmed. "CIRCUIT GROUPS" have not been added to the code presently. Planning an integration. Pentair is aware of this issue and is working on the Alexa code.​
 
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MyAZPool

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Jul 3, 2018
732
Arizona
- CONTINUATION -

7. Area of Concern: Web Interface Application/iOS App. Problem: Schedule Time Configurations

Additional Information: Schedules have to be at the half hour ONLY when creating or modifying schedules in both the Web and the iOS app. It will let you type in something else (such as 10:15), but when you click SAVE, the scheduled time always defaults to the closest half hour. Also, if you want to have a schedule that goes past midnight, it cannot be a continuation of a particular schedule (i.e. 11:00pm to 2:00 am). You have to create two schedules (i.e. 11:00pm to 12:00pm and then 12:00am to 2:00 am). HOWEVER, YOU CAN set schedules that are NOT restricted to the half hour, when programming from the Control Panel.​
Status: Pentair is aware of this issue. No further status.​
8. Area of Concern: Air and Water Sensor Calibration Errors. Problem: I cannot seem to get the Water and Air Temperature Sensor readings to stabilize within the IntelliCenter. I keep adjusting the adjusted values to match the true readouts but it will not take long before the adjusted value gets "out-of-sync" with the true values. This is a consistent and frustrating issue.
Additional Information: I have insulated the Water Sensor from the sun and the Air Sensor is mounted in the normal location at the bottom of the Load Center, so it is also shielded from the sun.
Status: Pentair is aware. I recently tested the resistance of both sensors and they were okay. I am preparing to perform some further testing with 0.1uF Microfarad capacitors to determine if that fixes the problem. More to follow.
UPDATE: (3/8/19) I think this issue has been improved by adding the 0.1uF Microfarad capacitors. I don't think this was an IntelliCenter issue now. I just think the sensors are just not that accurate!
9. Area of Concern: Web Interface Application. Problem: Configuration file saves are not allowed from the Web App Desktop Interface. Only at the Control Panel.
Additional Information: Configuration or *.CFG files cannot currently be saved onto a user's desktop.​
Status: Pentair is aware. No further status.​
10. Area of Concern: Control Panel. Problem: Capacitive TouchScreen is very hard to see when the sun is bright.

Additional Information: The Capacitive Touch Screen is a bit hard to see in the bright Arizona sunlight. I turned up the brightness to 100 but there is no contrast control to adjust. It is very good on a cloudy day or at night however. This would be no problem if the Load/Power Center is mounted undercover or shielded from the sun. I have found a temporary"MacGyver" fix that improves this problem. I set a clipboard on top of the Load Center when utilizing the control panel during a sunny day and that is an improvement. I am attempting to devise a more "aesthetic" permanent solution. Maybe Pentair or a third party can release a "good looking" accessory that can be mounted to the Load Center for a permanent solution to this issue. Or possibly Pentair can create a "Contrast Control" within the IntelliCenter software for the TouchScreen.​
Status: Pentair is aware but this is low priority and possibly no action will be taken on this issue.​
11. Area of Concern: Valve Delay. Problem: The Valve Delay feature does not work for all valve actuators.

Additional Information: Some valve actuators have not completed their set "assignment" (rotation) before the Pump Circuit is activated during POOL/SPA mode switchover or other CIRCUIT GROUP configurations as well. This problem seems to only affect all other valves except the INTAKE and RETURN valve actuators.​
Status: Pentair is aware of this issue. This may be addressed in a future OTA firmware update that allows for RS-485 communication between the IntelliValves and IntelliCenter. Not sure for now.​
12. Area of Concern: Web Interface Application. Problem: Local Access - There is no ability to access my IntelliCenter Control Panel “locally” when using the Web Application.

Additional Information: I have attempted to access my IntelliCenter Control panel locally utilizing both its IP address and using a program that will utilize its mac address from my desktop. I have tried both http: and https: It DOES NOT work. I can access just about every other device I own, that utilizes user-defined configurations, locally (by IP address). And get this. All the while, I CAN access my IntelliCenter control panel locally through the iOS app, (which uses the IP address assigned to the IntelliCenter Control Panel) The iOS app will actually give you the option of accessing it locally or though the Pentair portal.​
Status:
13. Area of Concern: iOS App. Problem: Valve Delay and Heater Cool Down Delay is "checked" on the Web App Interface and at the Control Panel but is not checked on the iOS App.​
Additional Information: After attempting to "check" these items on the iOS app and leaving the advanced settings page, once you come back to that advanced settings page, those two items are unchecked again.​
Status: Pentair is aware of this issue. No further status.​
14. Area of Concern: Web Interface Application User's Guide. Problem: Web Application User's Guide is not helpful.​
Additional Information: This user’s guide is very lacking and does not answer many questions, it is not very specific and does not contain enough detail to be useful.​
Status: No further information.​
15. Area of Concern: iOS App. Problem: Spa Temperature is not shown when the Spa Circuit is ON.
Additional Information: On the iOS app “Pools” screen, “SPA TEMP” is not shown when the spa circuit is on. It is shown on the iOS home or “splash” page of the app, but not on the app Pools screen. There is a place mark for it but no temp indication. It does show correctly on the web app and at the control panel but just not on the pools screen of the iOS app.
Status: Pentair is aware of this issue and it may be fixed in an upcoming iOS update.
UPDATE: (3/9/19) THIS ISSUE WAS CORRECTED IN THE iOS Version: 1.4.105
16. Area of Concern: IntelliCenter System/Web Interface Application/iOS App. Problem: No method to suspend a schedule when a user has another temporary FEATURE CIRCUIT or CIRCUIT GROUP running or activated.
Additional Information: There is no option to suspend any upcoming schedules. This is a problem when using any other FEATURE CIRCUIT or CIRCUIT GROUP and then the schedule kicks in (i.e. using the spa, using a water feature etc.). I recommend that a “SUSPEND SCHEDULE BUTTON” or whatever name Pentair comes up with, be programmed in to the Web Interface app, the iOS app and the control panel. I know this can be done because I have this feature available to me on my HUNTER “Hydrawise” Irrigation automation system. This automation system allows for the temporary suspension of a scheduled program from it's control panel, web app and their iOS app.​
Status: Pentair is aware of this issue and will address it in the future.​
17. Area of Concern: IntelliCenter Error Reporting. Problem: The IntelliCenter Error reporting feature is generating error emails (Cold Water Cutoff, Low Salt and Clean & Inspect Cell) when IntelliChlor and IntelliCenter Chemistry Page(s) all report normal IntelliChlor Operation.
Additional Information: See Post #37 for additional information.​
Status: Pentair is aware of this issue and looking into the root cause.​
UPDATE: 6/21/19 - This appears to have significantly improved. Since 6/4/19, I only receive two errors at startup only, but the errors are blank. Appears Pentair is still addressing this issue but making improvements.
18. Area of Concern: Only one Spa temperature can be set at a time. Problem: Pentair should consider offering more than one temperature setpoint for spa use. That way a user could establish multiple SPA USE CIRCUIT GROUPS, each with multiple temperature set points for multiple family members.
Status: None.​
19. Area of Concern: Non-Standard Light colors can not be saved. Problem: Currently there are only eight (8) standard light colors that are available through the automation. There is no easy way to save the non-standard colors (colors that are available in some of the light shows).
Status: None.​
 
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mhosborn

Well-known member
Jul 2, 2011
313
Broken Arrow, OK (Tulsa)
Excellent writeup of your experiences with the Intellicenter....many thanks!
A couple of thoughts came to mind after reading this:

  • Pentair announced this almost 2 years ago (might be longer than that, actually). I'm a bit disappointed that, after all this time, the Intellicenter upgrade still seems like a pre-beta product.
  • I've got an Easytouch 8 w/Intellichlor, and included the wireless kit when I purchased it several years ago. It's not clear to me if Intellicenter has built-in WiFi or if I'd have to hang on to the wireless kit?
    • The ScreenLogic/Wireless kits included with my Easytouch require 2 external "boxes" near my router. The white ScreenLogic 2 box connects via Cat5 to my router, and has wires that run from it to the Wireless kit. Both boxes require power, and certainly don't look like a sleek, finished product. The result looks like something someone created in their garage. Would Intellicenter negate the need for these two boxes, by any chance?
  • Also not clear to me is what functionality is gained with Intellicenter that's not available in the Easytouch I have now?
LOL...is it just me, or does it seem like technology advances in pool automation move glacially slow?
 
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MyAZPool

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Jul 3, 2018
732
Arizona
Pentair announced this almost 2 years ago (might be longer than that, actually). I'm a bit disappointed that, after all this time, the Intellicenter upgrade still seems like a pre-beta product.
mhosborn,
Thanks for the comments. Yea, I get ya, but I also don't want to give the impression that this system is a "non-starter", its not. 95% of what it is currently able to do and what it was originally designed to do, works extremely well. It is very streamlined and Pentair has made quite a bit of improvements IMO over the screenlogic based systems (EasyTouch and IntelliTouch). The real beauty with IntellliCenter is that when Pentair discovers a glitch, they can just issue an "over-the-air" (OTA) firmware update and the problem is corrected. Please see my "GOOD" list in post #1 of this thread. I am very happy with the IntelliCenter all-in-all and very pleased I chose this system versus the other automation systems currently available. The items that I have identified is "everything" that I can find, regardless of how trivial or minor those issues may be. In my discussions with Pentair, I learned that the IntelliTouch and EasyTouch automation systems had many problems when first released. A lot of issues I have identified I believe, were probably not even thought of or identified by the engineers upon release. Only when users begin putting the system "through their paces" and seriously "test drives" the systems, will some of these issues be identified and then corrected. I am really looking forward to some of the planned OTA's scheduled to be released in 2019 (RS-485 support for IntelliValves and possibly even limited RS-485 support for IntellipH).

I've got an Easytouch 8 w/Intellichlor, and included the wireless kit when I purchased it several years ago. It's not clear to me if Intellicenter has built-in WiFi or if I'd have to hang on to the wireless kit?

The ScreenLogic/Wireless kits included with my Easytouch require 2 external "boxes" near my router. The white ScreenLogic 2 box connects via Cat5 to my router, and has wires that run from it to the Wireless kit. Both boxes require power, and certainly don't look like a sleek, finished product. The result looks like something someone created in their garage. Would Intellicenter negate the need for these two boxes, by any chance?
IntelliCenter has a built-in ethernet port. If you don't have the ability to run a cat-5/6 to your load center location, they have a new and revised wireless system for the IntelliCenter. "No more external boxes" that have to be connected to your router.

Also not clear to me is what functionality is gained with Intellicenter that's not available in the Easytouch I have now?
If you read my first post in the thread, you might be able to judge for yourself if the upgrade would be worth it. That will be kind of a "personal preference" IMO. For users like me, that had no automation, the move to IntelliCenter made sense for me. If I had already installed an ET or IT, then maybe I would not have made the move to IntelliCenter.

LOL...is it just me, or does it seem like technology advances in pool automation move glacially slow?
I certainly agree with you on this point :). Thanks again for the comments and sharing your perspectives. Take care... r.
 
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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
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LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
13,086
Bedford, TX
If I had a new pool, that needed an automation system, then the IntelliCenter would win hands down.. In fact when I just think about upgrading from my current EasyTouch -8 to the new IntelliCenter, I start slobbering all over myself.. :mrgreen: Then reality kicks in.. What would I gain vs. the cost...

I believe that for most IntelliTouch and EasyTouch owners, there is really not much of a benefit to upgrading. For some with really complex pool systems or the need to control the unusual, it would make sense, but for the run of the mill pool owner, it just does not make sense... Darn it!!!!

Jim R.
 
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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
6,829
Northern NJ
@MyAZPool thanks for all the intel on the Intellicenter. I am wathcing it closely.

I have an 18 year old Jandy RS6 panel. That does basic pool/spa, cleaner, and light automation. I keep on waiting for it to fry so I have a reason to upgrade.

I have a SS pump and an IC40 SWG. What I lack is the ability to control the spa spillover independently of spa mode and automatically turning down the IC40 % when in spa mode.

I think the natural upgrade path for me is the Intellicenter, Intelliflo VS pump, and maybe the smart actuators. Not sure I will pull the trigger in 2019 but as Pentair enhances the Intellicenter and gets the smart valves working it becomes more compelling.
 
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MyAZPool

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Jul 3, 2018
732
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@MyAZPool thanks for all the intel on the Intellicenter. I am wathcing it closely.

I have an 18 year old Jandy RS6 panel. That does basic pool/spa, cleaner, and light automation. I keep on waiting for it to fry so I have a reason to upgrade.

I have a SS pump and an IC40 SWG. What I lack is the ability to control the spa spillover independently of spa mode and automatically turning down the IC40 % when in spa mode.

I think the natural upgrade path for me is the Intellicenter, Intelliflo VS pump, and maybe the smart actuators. Not sure I will pull the trigger in 2019 but as Pentair enhances the Intellicenter and gets the smart valves working it becomes more compelling.
Allen,
Nice! And thanks! I'm pretty sure that the IntelliCenter will be a big improvement in the way that you control the spa spillover, as well as controlling the IntelliChlor in 1% increments. If you wait a bit, I'm pretty confident by that time, the OTA firmware update will be released that allows for the RS-485 communications for the IntelliValves and I'm hopeful that some of these minor but frustrating programming glitches will be all smoothed out. I wondering if I am being too optimistic? :unsure:. It's sort of a flaw in my character. :p
r.
 
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MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
732
Arizona
IntelliCenter and the Amazon Echo (Alexa) app

Now that I have my AUX and Feature Circuits, Circuit Groups, Schedules and other system configurations pretty much set for my purposes in the Control Panel/Web Interface App/iOS App, I have been doing a lot of playing around with the Amazon Echo (Alexa) app lately. I have made some discoveries and I have developed a few "work-arounds" regarding some of the limitations and restrictions of using "Alexa" that I thought I would share since quite a bit of this detailed information is not found in any documentation as of yet.

BACKGROUND: The Pentair IntelliCenter Amazon Echo (Alexa) app is available for free through Amazon. You can turn on or off your various circuits (except for CIRCUIT GROUPS presently (Please see my comments in #6 of post #29 above) like pool, spa, waterfall, lights, etc with your voice.

1. I found that naming your pool “PENTAIR” in the GENERAL SETTINGS > PERSONAL INFO will get a response from Alexa that makes sense to me anyway (“Your Pentair Pool”). Or in another example you could also name your pool “Beautiful” and then Alexa would respond with “Your Beautiful Pool ______” etc, etc.

2. At this time, you cannot activate any CIRCUIT GROUPS with Alexa. For example: “Alexa, ask/tell MyPool to turn On/Off “SPA USE” (Please see my comments in #6 of post #29 above).

3. Naming conventions used for AUX-CIRCUITS and FEATURE CIRCUITS are very important here to prevent “Alexa” confusion. DON’T USE ANY CONFLICTING NAMES in your Aux or Feature Circuits or it will confuse Alexa. Below are some examples.

I had my Spa Jet Pump named “Spa Jet Pump”. That did not work because I had “Spa” in the name. Once, I named it “Jet Pump”, Alexa recognized it appropriately and then the command worked. Same with my Filter Pump. I had to rename it from “Pool Pump” to “IntelliFlo”.

I also had to rename an AUX CIRCUIT from “iPH/IC-60” to “Sanitation”. This is a circuit relay that I use to provide power to my IntelliChlor and IntellipH when the Filter Pump Circuit is ON. Try saying "iPH/IC-60 to Alexa". That didn’t work out so well. :confused: “Sanitation” works well now.

I had to rename my Spa Heater from “SPA HEATER” to “HEATER”, again because SPA was conflicting.

4. Here are examples of how you can use the Alexa Skills. Please note that these are Skills are configured for my particular setup and the names that I have given the various AUX-CIRCUITS and FEATURE CIRCUITS are based on my personal preferences, requirements and my particular configurations and they will not apply to all pools and/or various pool equipment configurations. Some of them kind of show why you have to experiment with your particular names to get them to be “Alexa Friendly”:

“Alexa, ask MyPool what my pool status is” (Since I only have an IntelliChlor and not an IntelliChem, the response for my configuration is: “Your “Pentair” (or whatever you named your pool) Pool is currently ___ degrees and your salt level is ______ppm”. Then Alexa will list any AUX-CIRCUITS, FEATURE CIRCUITS or CIRCUIT GROUPS that are on or “running”. If no AUX-CIRCUITS, FEATURE CIRCUITS or CIRCUIT GROUPS have been activated, then Alexa will respond with “No circuits are currently running”.

“Alexa, ask MyPool what the Pool temperature is” NOTE: I found that this request will only provide the actual pool temp when the pool circuit is activated.

“Alexa, ask MyPool what the Spa temperature is” NOTE: I found that this request will only provide the actual spa temp when the spa circuit is activated.

“Alexa, ask/tell MyPool to turn On/Off the Pool” (This command will activate the Pool Circuit and turn off the Spa Circuit (if it is on). It will also rotate the “INTAKE” and “RETURN” valve actuators to their “Home” (Pool) position), if they are in the 2nd (Spa) position).

“Alexa, ask/tell MyPool to turn On/Off the Spa” (This command will activate the Spa Circuit and turn off the Spa Circuit (if it is on). It will also rotate the “INTAKE” and “RETURN” valve actuators to their “2nd programmed” (Spa) position), if they are in the “Home” (Pool) position). Or if your command is OFF, then it will rotate them back to the Pool (Home) position.

“Alexa, ask/tell MyPool to turn On/Off the Pool Light

“Alexa, ask/tell MyPool to turn On/Off the Heater

“Alexa, ask/tell MyPool to turn On/Off the Jet Pump” (This command is for my Spa Jet Pump).

“Alexa, ask/tell MyPool to turn On/Off Sanitation” (This command is for the AUX-CIRCUIT relay that I use to energize the IntelliChlor and the IntellipH).

“Alexa, ask/tell MyPool to turn On/Off [Speed 1000] or [Speed 1600] or [Speed 2500]” (These are my configured IntelliFlo Pump Speed settings).

“Alexa, ask/tell MyPool to turn On/Off [Pump 20] or [Pump 50] or [Pump 80]” (These are my configured IntelliFlo Pump Flow settings).

“Alexa, ask/tell MyPool to turn ON Sprays” This command rotates the Pool Return Jets/Water Feature Valve to the configured Water Feature setting.

“Alexa, ask/tell MyPool to turn OFF Sprays” This command rotates the Pool Return Jets/Water Feature Valve to the configured Pool Return Jets setting.

“Alexa, ask/tell MyPool to turn ON Skim Only” This command rotates the Skimmer/Pool Cleaner Valve to the configured Skim Only setting.

“Alexa, ask/tell MyPool to turn OFF Skim Only” This command rotates the Skimmer/Pool Cleaner Valve to the configured Pool Cleaner 80%-Pool Skimmer 20% setting.

“Alexa, ask/tell MyPool to turn ON Heat By” This command rotates the Heater Bypass Valve allowing water flow to pass through the Spa Heater.

“Alexa, ask/tell MyPool to turn OFF Heat By” This command rotates the Heater Bypass Valve, causing the water flow to bypass the Spa Heater.

“Alexa, ask/tell MyPool to turn ON Filter By” This command rotates the Filter Bypass Valve diverting all water flow directly from the pump to the Pool or Spa directly (as applicable) and bypasses the Filter, Heater, IntellipH Injection Port and the IntelliChlor.

“Alexa, ask/tell MyPool to turn OFF Filter By” This command rotates the Filter Bypass Valve allowing all water to flow through the Filter, Heater (if applicable), IntellipH Injection Port and the IntelliChlor before returning back to the Pool/Spa.

NOTE 1: If you only have an IntelliChem, the following is applicable.
Alexa, ask MyPool what the pH level is
Alexa, ask MyPool what the ORP level is
The above requests, depending on your installed equipment, will return for those with the IntelliChem pH/ORP system only (as checked in the IntelliCenter configuration):
Your <alias> pool is currently 87 degrees, pH is 7.35 and ORP is 725. The pool, chlorinator, etc., circuits are currently running.

For those with IntelliChem and IntelliChlor (as checked in the IntelliCenter configuration):
Your <alias> pool is currently 87 degrees, pH is 7.35 and ORP is 725. Your salt level is 3200 ppm. The pool, chlorinator, etc., circuits are currently running.

NOTE 2: If you ever have to reset your IntelliCenter Control Panel, you will have to go into the Amazon Alexa App and Skills & Games >Your Skills > Click on the Pentair IntelliCenter App on your "smart device and click “Disable Skill” > Disable. Then you will need to “Enable” the skill which re-links your account after you input your Username and Password {sigh}. If you don't do this and try to use Alexa to access IntelliCenter, the response from Alexa will be " SOMETHING BAD HAS HAPPENED" :oops:

However a somewhat easier way to perform this task is to go to Amazon on your desktop. Type in Intellicenter in the Amazon search bar. Click on the “Pentair IntelliCenter” link. Then click on the “Disable Skill” button and confirm “Disable Skill”. Then click on the “Enable” button, confirm that you authorize IntelliCenter Alexa Skill to access your devices?, by clicking the “YES” button. Then enter your email address and your IntelliCenter password to re-link your account, another {sigh}.. :rolleyes:

Below are screenshots of my current AUX-CIRCUITS and FEATURE CIRCUITS that I had to revise in order to make them "Alexa-Friendly". I also included my CIRCUIT GROUPS just for kicks but remember that Alexa does NOT currently support CIRCUIT GROUPS.

2019-01-25_19-53-24.jpg

2019-01-25_19-53-54.jpg

2019-01-25_19-54-22.jpg


That’s about all the info that I have regarding the IntelliCenter Alexa Skill that I have been able to discover at this time. If Pentair releases an OTA that changes any of this or Amazon changes or improves their app, I will try to report on those at that time.
 
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MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
732
Arizona
Pentair IntelliCenter Alerts
I have discovered a new discrepancy with IntelliCenter that I thought I would report on. This is NOT a major issue. Pentair Tech Support has been notified of this issue and I am told that they are looking into it, in order to find the cause.

Background: Now that my water temp is consistently above the minimum required for IntelliChlor (and IntellipH auto operation), I added the "Circuit" (titled "Sanitation") that controls power to my IntelliChlor (and IntellipH) to my daily schedules by adding that AUX CIRCUIT to the applicable CIRCUITS GROUPS (macros). That has caused me to discover a new discrepancy with IntelliCenter. Before I list the issue, the following should be noted:
  1. The IntelliChlor is working perfectly. SALT LEVEL - SOLID GREEN / STATUS - COLD WATER LIGHT OFF / CELL - SOLID GREEN, FLOW - SOLID GREEN.
  2. No IntelliChlor errors are being reported on the IntellipH Control Panel Screen ("CELL IS GOOD").
  3. The Chemistry Pages on the Web Interface App, iPhone App and on the Control Panel Touch Screen, all report the salt level at: 3950, and no errors are shown on the Chemistry pages.
  4. Manual testing of the salt level is: 3700 ppm
  5. Clorine IS being generated by the SWCG as indicated by my manual FC tests.
Here is the issue.
I am receiving three separate emails on the hour, every hour (when the "Circuit" titled "Sanitation" is energized). The emails are titled in the subject line: Pentair IntelliCenter Alert.

(1) Error: IntelliChlor 1: Cold Water Cutoff
Note: IntelliChlor can be damaged by two things: water temperatures below 52F degrees and salt levels below 2,650ppm. That’s why InelliChlor (their spelling :)) doesn’t allow the cell to generate chlorine below 52F and when the salt level is low.​
Time & Date of Alert: 3/3/2019 1:00:00 PM Eastern Standard Time​
(2) Warning: IntelliChlor 1: Low Salt
Note: IntelliChlor’s optimum salt level is 3,450ppm. IntelliChlor will warn of a low salt level at 2,850 (let’s confirm this level). Typically, this indicates you need to add at least one bag of pool salt to your pool to increase the salinity level. Tip: Always add one bag and wait several days for the salt level to stabilize before adding another bag..​
Time & Date of Alert: 3/3/2019 1:00:00 PM Eastern Standard Time.​
(3) Warning: IntelliChlor 1: Clean & Inspect Cell
Note: IntelliChlor has indicated that it senses buildup on its chlorine generating cell blades which is hampering its ability to make chlorine. This is a normal occurrence that happens over time. This calcium buildup can be eliminated by turning off your filter pump, removing your salt cell from the plumbing, and spraying a garden hose on the jet setting to remove the excess calcium buildup inside the cell. You can also do an acid wash per the instructions in the IntelliChlor manual.​
Time & Date of Alert: 3/3/2019 1:00:00 PM Eastern Standard Time.​

So, kind of obvious that IntelliChlor is working good and reporting the correct information through the IntellipH to IntelliCenter and IntelliCenter is processing that information correctly. But something appears to be "goofy" with IntelliCenter's "Error Reporting" scripts. In other-words, It is reporting that there are IntelliChlor errors when obviously there are none.

As I stated, Pentair is looking into this minor glitch. In the meantime, I will just create a temporary "rule" in my email client using some of those key words, in order to move these erroneous email messages to a temp folder, so I am not bothered by them.
Also, I will add this minor issue to the "living" Discrepancy List located in post #29/30 of this thread, until Pentair comes up with a fix.

NOTE: In all fairness to Pentair Tech Support (who by the way, continues to be extremely supportive with IntelliCenter issues), I reported another error that I had discovered related to the time stamp that was indicated on the above referenced emails (time stamp off by 7 hours). Within a day, they had corrected the problem. Very Responsive!!
r.

UPDATE: 6/21/19 - This appears to have significantly improved. Since 6/4/19, I only receive two errors at startup only (versus the original five), but the errors are blank. Appears Pentair is still addressing this issue but making improvements.
 
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MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
732
Arizona
IntelliCenter Updates
Pentair has released updates to the IntelliCenter System, Web Client and the iOS App (not sure about the Android app, as I don't "fly that route", so I can only assume that they did).

System Update
The latest "over-the-air (OTA)" update or "push" is version: 1.023. Here are the release notes:
- Fixed Display Issues with Pool Cover Enable. Also fixed bug causing crash when Pool Cover affected Circuits, Configure button is pressed when IntelliChlor Active button is OFF.
- Fixed Circuit and Light Group button issues when Pool Cover is closed.
- Hide Daylight Savings button in Internet Mode.
- Set Valid Vacation Start/Stop Dates when Vacation Duration is turned ON.
- Turn ON Spa Relay when Group containing Spa is turned ON.
- Fixed Heat Source Menu Scrolling Issue where Ultra Temp Only becomes Ultra Temp Preferred. This also fixes similar issues on this screen
- Fixed Heater Cool Down Issues. One caused On/Off pump that would not stay On during Cool Down.
- Fixed issue where IntelliFlo pump running Freeze Circuit but the bodies were not freeze protected. IntelliFlo pump runs but filter pump relay did not nor did "Freeze Protect Active" appear on main screen. IntelliChlor did not run either.

Web Client
The latest Web Client is version 1.023b4. Here are the improvements that I have noticed
- Placed PUMP information on the HOME Screen beneath the CIRCUITS (FEATURES and LIGHTS) boxes (as illustrated below).
2019-03-08_11-27-01.jpg


- Placed CIRCUIT GROUPS (macros) control on the FEATURES page (as illustrated below). This updated feature is a welcomed addition for me anyway.:whoot: I can control CIRCUIT GROUPS from the Web Client now.
2019-03-08_11-35-16.jpg

- It also appears that configuration changes made by the user, are being updated in a "real-time" manner now rather than having to "reload" the web page in order to see the affected changes on the screen.

iOS App
The latest iOS app version is 1.4.105.
- The app has been updated but I don't see any significant changes. Just some color and design improvements. There may be some "backside" improvements that I don't necessarily see.

I will make the applicable amendments in the "living" Discrepancy List located in post #29/30 of this thread as some of these updates have affected the list.
r.
 
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miles267

Bronze Supporter
Sep 5, 2016
477
Arkansas
TLDR; seems the new Intellicenter is coming along but still a ways to go. Glad to at least see Pentair trying to evolve their products.

The EasyTouch and ScreenLogic 2 are bulletproof. Is there a simple upgrade kit/path for converting existing ET4 panel and ScreenLogic WiFi kit to this in future? Vs a new install of everything?
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
732
Arizona
The EasyTouch and ScreenLogic 2 are bulletproof.
@miles267,
I agree that the ET, IT and SL are bulletproof and they are good systems (I almost went with the IntelliTouch myself).

TLDR; seems the new Intellicenter is coming along but still a ways to go.
However, having probably the most advanced experience with the IntelliCenter (according to Pentair) to date, I probably wouldn't summarize the current status of IntelliCenter quite that way.
The IntelliCenter does have a few minor bugs in what it is "capable of doing", but nothing of any major consequence at all. And it does just about everything that it is supposed to do. The biggest advantage is when I notify Pentair of a minor "glitch" or a "bug", they start working on it. When I have notified them of what we both (Pentair and I) agree is anything of any consequence, they (engineers, software design folks, etc.) are "all-over-it" and they (Pentair) have issued "over-the-air" (OTA) firmware upgrades or "pushes" in record time. Two in the last two months to be exact and IntelliCenter is only four months old now.

There are some pretty exciting firmware upgrades expected in 2019 that will seriously enhance the IntelliCenter's capabilities. Just to name three:
1. RS-485 communications with Pentair IntelliValve Actuators.​
2. RS-485 communications with Pentair IntellipH (similar to what it already does with the IntelliChlor).​
3. Enhanced RS-485 communications with various Pentair Heaters.​

There are three very big advantages to the IntelliCenter in my honest opinion.
1. Capacity and capability for further and greater enhancements and to add new products to the list of supported equipment and accessories.​
2. Timely and responsive capability to fix or enhance any issue that might arise with the System, Web Client (ScreenLogic replacement) or the System Remotes, iOS or Android app's. All without either - a) a costly Flash Upgrade Kit, or b) having to call an authorized Pentair Service Representative, to have the system upgraded.​
3. Hardware upgrades are simple and comparatively inexpensive due to the IntelliCenter hardware modular type design (see post #23 of this thread).​
Is there a simple upgrade kit/path for converting existing ET4 panel and ScreenLogic WiFi kit to this in future? Vs a new install of everything?
YES. There will be a complete upgrade "kit" coming in 2019 for EasyTouch and IntelliTouch users (if one so desires). I'm just really not sure if it is worth the cost just to upgrade at this point anyway, but hey, everyone has their own "point of diminishing returns".

However, an ET or IT user CAN upgrade presently if they wish. I upgraded an IntelliTouch Load Center myself (I only had the Load Center at the time). It is not difficult, provided one has the "skill sets" necessary to do that type of work. Otherwise, it would best be left to the professionals to do it (provided you can find the "right" type). They are out there to be sure.

If you check out out Post #1 of this thread, you can find detailed information on how I converted a Pentair IntelliTouch Load Center in order to accommodate the IntelliCenter System. Please feel free to ask any specific questions that you may have and I will be happy to assist. Thanks for the post and take care.
r.
 
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