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

dw886

Gold Supporter
Sep 19, 2016
220
ND
I have an ET8 that I plan on upgrading. Primary reason for upgrading is that I want the Pool Cover functionality of disabling things when the pool is closed (like the slide - yikes!) which will also allow me to deactivate circuits (like remembering to turn off the lights) when the cover is closed. It looks like there's an expansion module that makes the Intellicenter aware of the pool cover state with a sensor which I can easily add.

That being said, I'm wondering how you determined what you needed to order? I have a single body of water, and I already have the relays in my load center, so I basically just need the transformer, circuit boards (enough to get me control of the 8 existing relays and a single valve), control panel, and the AtoD Pool Cover expansion module. I'm guessing that you got your relays with whatever IntelliCenter components that you ordered, so you were OK with purchasing these then. I don't want to re-purchase the relays if I don't have to...
 
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mitch08

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2008
401
Suffolk County, NY
Excellent review and information. Thank you for starting this thread.

Thanks to the help of many people on this board, I am going to be getting the intellicenter / ic60 combo in about a month. This post will be a very good reference :)
 
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cr0ntab

Gold Supporter
Nov 27, 2017
6
Corona, CA
@MyAZPool you inspired me to give this a shot. I didn't have any automation for my pool but I'm a tech guy and always like the "newest" stuff.

You first post spoke volumes to me.

So I placed my order and got it in the mail.

I replaced my old load center and rewired everything myself this past weekend. So far the basics are all working great and I'm at "feature parity" with what I had before.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around "Features" and "Circuit Groups" but a lot of your example screenshots have helped tremendously.

There are a few wonky things I'm working through with valve switches and stuff, but I'll try your steps of dumping the config, resetting defaults and reloading. Hopefully that helps things out.

Lastly, unlike you I'm using only Android devices and I DO use the wifi gateway that came with it.

The wifi gateway seems to be working great! The antenna's are quite strong and I've had zero access issues at all.

All in all, happy with the purchase and I look forward to being a slightly different colored (android + wifi) guinea pig to push the product forward!

Thanks again for all the early information!
 
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MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
505
Arizona
I have an ET8 that I plan on upgrading. Primary reason for upgrading is that I want the Pool Cover functionality of disabling things when the pool is closed (like the slide - yikes!) which will also allow me to deactivate circuits (like remembering to turn off the lights) when the cover is closed. It looks like there's an expansion module that makes the Intellicenter aware of the pool cover state with a sensor which I can easily add.

That being said, I'm wondering how you determined what you needed to order? I have a single body of water, and I already have the relays in my load center, so I basically just need the transformer, circuit boards (enough to get me control of the 8 existing relays and a single valve), control panel, and the AtoD Pool Cover expansion module. I'm guessing that you got your relays with whatever IntelliCenter components that you ordered, so you were OK with purchasing these then. I don't want to re-purchase the relays if I don't have to...
dw886
Cool,
I agree about the relays.
You should really like the IntelliCenter. You should see a great deal of differences.
Yes, the IntelliCenter Pool Cover Expansion Module is Part #522039Z.

I'm pretty sure all you would need is the following since you already have the Load Center and the relays:
1. 523050 - IntelliCenter i5P Mother Card. Includes: Faceplate for Common Load Center
2. 521977Z - IntelliCenter i8P Daughter Card. (no spa)
3. 522102Z - IntelliCenter System Transformer. Includes IntelliCenter low voltage relays. See my post #1 of this thread "Converting the IntelliTouch/EasyTouch Load or Power Center for IntelliCenter" for additional information.
If you are planning on hard wiring to the Ethernet port on the Mother Card, then that should be it I would think. Otherwise you would need the Wireless Kit.
You should confirm this list with your Pentair Rep or with Pentair Tech Support, but I'm pretty sure it is correct.
r.
 
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MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
505
Arizona
@MyAZPool you inspired me to give this a shot. I didn't have any automation for my pool but I'm a tech guy and always like the "newest" stuff.
You first post spoke volumes to me.
So I placed my order and got it in the mail.
I replaced my old load center and rewired everything myself this past weekend. So far the basics are all working great and I'm at "feature parity" with what I had before.
I'm still trying to wrap my head around "Features" and "Circuit Groups" but a lot of your example screenshots have helped tremendously.
There are a few wonky things I'm working through with valve switches and stuff, but I'll try your steps of dumping the config, resetting defaults and reloading. Hopefully that helps things out.
Lastly, unlike you I'm using only Android devices and I DO use the wifi gateway that came with it.
The wifi gateway seems to be working great! The antenna's are quite strong and I've had zero access issues at all.
All in all, happy with the purchase and I look forward to being a slightly different colored (android + wifi) guinea pig to push the product forward!
Thanks again for all the early information!
cr0ntab,
So glad to hear that things are going good with IntelliCenter. Great job making the conversion! Also good info to know about the WiFi!!
If you are still having issues, let me know about those "wonky things" regarding the valves, and I'll see if I can "jump in there" with you and we'll see if we can work it out!
Thanks for the comments. Really appreciate it!!
r.
 

dw886

Gold Supporter
Sep 19, 2016
220
ND
dw886
Cool,
I agree about the relays.
You should really like the IntelliCenter. You should see a great deal of differences.
Yes, the IntelliCenter Pool Cover Expansion Module is Part #522039Z.

I'm pretty sure all you would need is the following since you already have the Load Center and the relays:
1. 523050 - IntelliCenter i5P Mother Card. Includes: Faceplate for Common Load Center
2. 521977Z - IntelliCenter i8P Daughter Card. (no spa)
3. 522102Z - IntelliCenter System Transformer. Includes IntelliCenter low voltage relays. See my post #1 of this thread "Converting the IntelliTouch/EasyTouch Load or Power Center for IntelliCenter" for additional information.
If you are planning on hard wiring to the Ethernet port on the Mother Card, then that should be it I would think. Otherwise you would need the Wireless Kit.
You should confirm this list with your Pentair Rep or with Pentair Tech Support, but I'm pretty sure it is correct.
r.
Is everything else the same in terms of the transformer for the IC60 that I have? My ET8 load center has the salt cell transformer - I'd assume that stays unchanged and updating to the IC transformer only changes the power going to the IC circuit cards...
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
505
Arizona
Is everything else the same in terms of the transformer for the IC60 that I have? My ET8 load center has the salt cell transformer - I'd assume that stays unchanged and updating to the IC transformer only changes the power going to the IC circuit cards...
SWCG Transformer is the same.
IntelliCenter System Transformer IS different. Spec wise, I don't exactly know. Looks different and feels heavier than the IntelliTouch transformer. Wiring harness from the transformer that connects to the system low voltage circuit breakers are different. Low voltage circuit breakers are different. That is why they are included with the IntelliCenter System Transformer, I assume.
r.
 
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dw886

Gold Supporter
Sep 19, 2016
220
ND
SWCG Transformer is the same.
IntelliCenter System Transformer IS different. Spec wise, I don't exactly know. Looks different and feels heavier than the IntelliTouch transformer. Wiring harness from the transformer to the system low voltage circuit breakers are different. Low voltage circuit breakers are different. That is why they are included with the IntelliCenter System Transformer, I assume.
r.
Thank you - very helpful! Now I just need to order some parts, and then wait for a little bit (actually a lot) of snow to clear so I can start swapping things out. :)
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
505
Arizona
Thank you - very helpful! Now I just need to order some parts, and then wait for a little bit (actually a lot) of snow to clear so I can start swapping things out. :)
dw886
Snow in March? Yikes. oh yea, ND. ;)
NP. Glad to help! Not sure if you already have a vendor but you might try PolyTec Pools. Myself and others have found them to be very helpful, great prices, free shipping, no taxes and outstanding customer service. Disclaimer: I have no interest or affiliation with them.

When you have your parts in hand and are ready to make the switch, be sure to check out my description of converting an IntelliTouch Load Center to IntelliCenter in Post #1 of this thread ("Converting the IntelliTouch/EasyTouch Load or Power Center for IntelliCenter" ). You might find it helpful.

Let me know if you have any questions regarding the conversion. Looking forward to having you join the few of us in the IntelliCenter galaxy.
r.
 
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MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
505
Arizona
IntelliCenter Web-Client Update
Pentair has released an update to the IntelliCenter Web-Client.
The latest Web-Client version is: 1.023b5. No features or anything significant in the way the Web-Clint works or has been changed as far as I can tell. No changes in the settings page(s) have been changed. Again, as far as I can tell. (I'll do some more testing and experimentation.)

The only thing I can see which has been changed/improved is some color and design improvements in the HOME, POOL's, FEATURES, LIGHTS, CHEMISTRY and PUMP page(s). Again, there may be some "backside" improvements that I don't necessarily see.
Below are screenshots of the pages which have had color/design changes/improvements and how those changes now look in the Web-Client.
r.

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sandman2001

New member
Jan 21, 2019
3
Bargersville, IN
Quick question from someone who is currently building a pool with the Intellicenter system. I have (4) intellivalves that are to be used for feature circuits., One is on a 3 way valve to modulate the return line, and the other 3 are on deck jets/slide/bench returns. Do I need to get the expansion card for valves, or can I reconfigure the one valve control that is labeled "Intake", and make it used for a feature circuit? I am thinking I would like what has been described as far as the RS485 com for the valves, so I might just wait for it and not get the valve expansion module, if I won't need it.

Also as far as the pool cover module, is there anything to prevent this from working with any kind of pool cover? I have an APC 365 pool cover and was wanting to be sure it would work with it before I ordered the module.

Thanks in advance!
Andrew
 

dotbombjoe

Silver Supporter
Aug 9, 2017
111
Rancho Mission Viejo, CA
Pool cover module? Do you mean to open/close an automatic cover? Wouldn't that be a safety hazard? Sorry, I answered my own question and it's kind of funny. The manual has a big caution saying not to install it to control automatic covers but then later in the manual it has a reference not just to being able to control covers, but to a specific module they sell to serve that purpose (as you highlighted). I wonder which one they actually mean. ;-)

I'm pretty surprised they have the guts to sell a cover module though -- seems quite a liability risk, I mean, how much can they really hide behind that caution statement saying not to use the device for a purpose if they sell a specific add-on to use it for that very purpose!?! Not that I'm judging them -- apparently some people on this planet think adults should be able to weigh pros and cons and make their own decisions.

From a convenience standpoint, I love the idea of being able to control the cover from my phone or alexa or have it scheduled and whatnot but the builder had talked me out of it because of the safety issues.
 

sandman2001

New member
Jan 21, 2019
3
Bargersville, IN
From what I have read the cover module is just to monitor if the cover is open or closed. From there you can disable slides and deck jets and lights if the cover is closed. Anything you don’t want on when the cover is closed you can program on the IntelliCenter. Still have to use a keypad or key to open and close. (Although I would bet it is possible using another output on the IntelliCenter, probably not the best idea as you could potential close with people in pool)
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
505
Arizona
Quick question from someone who is currently building a pool with the Intellicenter system. I have (4) intellivalves that are to be used for feature circuits., One is on a 3 way valve to modulate the return line, and the other 3 are on deck jets/slide/bench returns. Do I need to get the expansion card for valves, or can I reconfigure the one valve control that is labeled "Intake", and make it used for a feature circuit? I am thinking I would like what has been described as far as the RS485 com for the valves, so I might just wait for it and not get the valve expansion module, if I won't need it.

Also as far as the pool cover module, is there anything to prevent this from working with any kind of pool cover? I have an APC 365 pool cover and was wanting to be sure it would work with it before I ordered the module.

Thanks in advance!
Andrew
sandman2001
Andrew,
I would be happy to answer your question but I need some more information first. I need to know which daughter card you are planning to have installed. Will you have a pool/spa combo or just a pool (single body).
If just a pool, then you will only require the i5 (or 8) P personality kit.
if a pool/spa combo, then the i5 (or 8)PS mother card and i5PS daughter card.

The reason this matters is due to the number of valve sockets on the various cards. The intake and return valve sockets only operate when you switch from pool to spa and back to pool.
It appears that you are getting the functions of the Valve Expansion Module (522038Z) confused with the functions of the Serial COM Expansion Module (520818).
The valve expansion module allows for a greater number of valve actuators, the Serial COM Expansion Module will allow for RS-485 communications with the IntelliValves when that feature is available.

Tell me what bodies of water Pool, Spa you are planning for and how many circuits (pumps, lighting etc.) you think you will need and I can answer your question more accurately and will be happy to help you with the correct personality kit.

In reference to the IntelliCenter Pool Cover Expansion Module (522039Z) being compatible with the APC 365 pool cover, I'm really not sure if it is or not. Just to be sure, give Pentair Tech Support a call and lay that one on them. They should be able to look at a compatibility chart and let you know for sure. But the information you provided in your last post is all correct.

All-the-best...
r.
 
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dotbombjoe

Silver Supporter
Aug 9, 2017
111
Rancho Mission Viejo, CA
From what I have read the cover module is just to monitor if the cover is open or closed. From there you can disable slides and deck jets and lights if the cover is closed. Anything you don’t want on when the cover is closed you can program on the IntelliCenter. Still have to use a keypad or key to open and close. (Although I would bet it is possible using another output on the IntelliCenter, probably not the best idea as you could potential close with people in pool)
Gotcha, that makes a ton more sense! lol...and I can see how awareness of the open/close state makes sense for the overall system to understand. Good to know as I'm having an automated cover put on my pool -- thanks for the input!
 

sandman2001

New member
Jan 21, 2019
3
Bargersville, IN
Thanks for the reply. I have a single body pool system. The IntelliCenter that I ordered was the pool-spa version, because it was slightly cheaper than ordering all the intellivalves separately.

The circuits I have connected to motorized valves are:
Magicstream laminars
Slide
Massaging jet returns in pool
3 way valve to redirect flow to feature manifold and restrict main returns when any of the feature circuits are active.

I have an Intelliflo 011056 pump
IC40 SWG

Relays outputs connected to:
IC40
Intellibright lights
Magicstream lights
? Raypak pool heat pump heat ?
? Raypak pool heat pump cool ?

I am not certain I will use the relay contacts for activating heat and cool. I will probably have the heat hooked up to the IntelliCenter for now, and might play with it to see if I need to use a separate output to activate cooling. I have not gotten too far into that, just had a brief conversation with a Raypak tech who said I would need a separate relay for heat and cool. Looking at the manual briefly I thought it looked like I might be able to get around that, but I will cross that bridge once everything else is in place.

I am not sure of the function of the comm module vs the valve expansion module. It sounds like you are saying I need the valve expansion module first, then add the comm onto it to be able to have more control over the position of the valves, correct? Or can I just get the comm module and it will have connection points for the valves to plug into?

Thanks for your help,
Andrew
 

dw886

Gold Supporter
Sep 19, 2016
220
ND
From what I've read about the pool cover module, it's just N/C sensor inputs like where available on the IntelliTouch. You then hook up a sensor on the cover (coverstar has one that counts rotations to know the exact extent to which the cover is open, but you could also use a magnetic contact sensor). The module adds some sensors to detect cover state, and then in the IntelliCenter setup, you can define different things that happen (or don't happen) when the cover is open. For example, you wouldn't want your slide to turn on when your cover is closed, or you'd pump water from below (creating a void below) the cover onto the top of the cover (creating weight), and wreck everything.

I don't have the IntelliCenter (yet), but I'd also guess that you'd be able to change the way the pump is running, etc if the pool is open vs closed. For example, it would be nice to be able to increase the SWG % when the cover is open, and then dial it back when closed.
 

Reed Kadavy

Silver Supporter
Nov 22, 2015
149
Gilbert AZ
Having just read, or stumbled through the Pentair Intellicenter Review, is this system realistic for the little guy? After around with three pool builders, I’m within a day or two of pulling the trigger on a 10,000 gal salt pool, no spa. Our bid does include the Intellicenter and Intelliflo VSF pump. I had ScreenLogic on my last pool. It worked great and I loved it. I am not tech savvy in the least so would be relying on the builder to get me up and running. Actually this particular builder, not one of the nationwide giants, is active in the Phoenix area and in Tennessee. They built our last pool although we didn’t contract for the build. I certainly believe in staying up with technology while not getting in over my head. I basically want to be able to run my salt system, which will be new for me, and have the ability to add acid injection if deemed necessary.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
5,956
Northern NJ
The Intellicenter seems to be very modular and scalable. It can do the basics for you of controlling the pump, SWG, lights, and Pentair has the Intelliph for acid injection. The Intelliph works with the Intellichlor SWG.
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
505
Arizona
Having just read, or stumbled through the Pentair Intellicenter Review, is this system realistic for the little guy? After around with three pool builders, I’m within a day or two of pulling the trigger on a 10,000 gal salt pool, no spa. Our bid does include the Intellicenter and Intelliflo VSF pump. I had ScreenLogic on my last pool. It worked great and I loved it. I am not tech savvy in the least so would be relying on the builder to get me up and running. Actually this particular builder, not one of the nationwide giants, is active in the Phoenix area and in Tennessee. They built our last pool although we didn’t contract for the build. I certainly believe in staying up with technology while not getting in over my head. I basically want to be able to run my salt system, which will be new for me, and have the ability to add acid injection if deemed necessary.
Reed Kadavy
Hi Neighbor :) (I'm down the street in Chandler).
You should be much happier with the IntelliCenter versus a ScreenLogic based system. You will not be in over your head, in fact in some ways, the IntelliCenter is more user-friendly. They both do the same basic things, but the IntelliCenter has some new features that the ScreenLogic systems do not have. You do not have to have five waterfalls, a spillover spa, eight firewater bowls and ten laminars to enjoy the advantages of the IntelliCenter. With your basic setup, an i5P should be just fine.

See Post #1 of this thread for a list of IntelliCenter advantages over the screelogic systems. The two biggest advantages are:
1. Automatic software and firmware update “pushes” versus the older screenlogic “flash-upgrade” style updates that require an expensive Pentair Automation Flash Programming Kit.
2. Connectivity (on-board ethernet port).

And in your case, IntelliCenter offers built-in integration for the VSF pump. (Nice pump selection btw. I have one and I love the flexibility it offers (variable speed and variable flow and I use both in my IntelliCenter programming!)

IntelliCenter integrates very well with the IntelliChlor and I also use the IntellipH acid dosing system. Rumor has it that in a future IntelliCenter update, IntellipH will be integrated with the IntelliCenter automation. I'm just not holding my breath yet (you know how rumors are). I still can't get a confirmed yes or no out of Pentair. It's like it's a trade secret or something. :p...

If you have any other questions regarding IntelliCenter or the integration of your future equipment, feel free to tag me or shoot me a PM and I will be happy to help if I can.
If you want to see the IntelliCenter in "action", PM me and I will be happy to give you a "demo test drive" if you are still on the "fence". ;)
Hope this helps you out a bit.
All-the-best....
r.
 
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