Pentair Intelliflo II VST Pump Questions

Macauley86

Well-known member
Feb 1, 2017
70
Wildomar, CA
#1
Hi everyone,
I have a Pentair Intelliflo II VST pump. The pool guys that set it up told me that it's set up to run on speed 1 (1750 rpm) from 9 am to 5 pm (for pool solar panel heating), and on speed 2 (2500 rpm) from 11 am to 1 pm (for the pool vacuum). Speeds 3 and 4 are set as egg timers (2 hours and 4 hours respectively at around 3150 rpm, for the spa). Speeds 5-8 are disabled.

Questions:
  • For the past few days, the pump has not followed the above schedule; it does run from 9 am to 5 pm, but the pump's LCD display shows "running program 2" at 2350 rpm the whole time. Where does this "program 2" come from? I've read the pump's manual, googled around, and watched YouTube videos on the pump, but I've never come across any mentions of "programs," nor have I seen them as an option while going through the pump's menu.
  • This morning the pump is not running "program 2." Instead, the pump's LCD reports running speed 1 at 1750 rpm, but Pentair SolarTouch panel reports Solar Heating Off (even though water temp is 69° and it's supposed to heat it to 85°). Why would the solar heating be off if it's set to heat to 85°? And why would it be running speed 1 today but program 2 for the past few days?

I'm totally confused. Any insights? Thank you much.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
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Jul 7, 2014
10,535
Bedford, TX
#2
M,

I don't have a SolarTouch but I'm also confused... :p

If I understand correctly the pump should be programmed to run a normal filter schedule at whatever speeds and times you have selected.

When the SolarTouch wants to turn on the water to the solar panels, it sends a signal to the pump telling it to turn on External Control Program #2.

This ramps the pump up to whatever speed you have set up for External Control Program #2. The default speed is 1500.

So, here is what I would do if this were my system...

1. Confirm what the pool guy set up for Speeds 1 - 4... On the pump's control panel, under "Settings" then up/dn to scroll to "Speed 1-8" then "Speed 1".. you should be able to see what speed, and start and stop times. (Do all four speeds)

2. See what is set up under External Control menu... On the pump's control panel, under "Settings" then up/dn to scroll to "EXT Ctrl", then Program 1 thru 4.. Should be able to set them to what you want.

Seems like it is somewhat working... When you had a solar demand, the pump said it was running Ext Control #2, just not the speed you wanted..

When solar was off (not sure why it was off) but when off, the pump was running at 1750 and not Ext Control #2.

I think your pool guy is just more confused than us and has the thing programmed wrong.. :p

Run those two tests and see what you get. Write down the results and report back and we'll see where to go from there.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Macauley86

Well-known member
Feb 1, 2017
70
Wildomar, CA
#3
I think you are right. I hadn't checked the pump's Settings > Ext Ctrl programs, but what you said is happening makes sense.

I confirmed that the pump's speeds are set up as above
1 = 1750 rpm 9 am - 5 pm
2 = 2500 rpm 11 am - 1 pm
3 = egg timer two hours at 3150 rpm
4 = egg timer four hours ac 3150 rpm
5-8 = disabled

I'll check the settings > Ext Ctrl tomorrow morning.

Thank you.
 

Macauley86

Well-known member
Feb 1, 2017
70
Wildomar, CA
#4
Settings > Ext Ctrl is set up as following:

Program 1: 1750 rpm, stop delay 0:00
Program 2: 2350 rpm, stop delay 0:00
Program 3: 2350 rpm, stop delay 0:00
Program 4: 2800 rpm, stop delay 0:00

It seems that the way it's set up is to turn on at 9 am on speed 1 (1750 rpm, solar off), then around 10 am or so it switches to running program 2 at 2350 rpm (solar turns on) and stays there till it switches off at 5 pm.

What I think the pool guys wanted to accomplish is pump on at 9 am on speed 1 (solar on), switch to speed 2 between 11 am and 1 pm, then back to speed 1 till 5 pm.

Also, how does the pump pick program 2 out of the four programs?
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
10,535
Bedford, TX
#5
M,

The pump is used by a number of different controllers. Your SolarTouch only uses program 2 for solar and program 3 for freeze protection.

You can't program the pump to run solar, you can only have your SolarTouch tell the pump to run at whatever speed you have program 2 set to be, when the SolarTouch calls for solar to be on.

At least that is how it appears to me... I need to read more, but I don't thing the SolarTouch turns solar on/off based upon time, but rather by temperature.

I'll see what else I can find.

Jim R.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
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Jul 7, 2014
10,535
Bedford, TX
#6
M,

What I said above seems to be correct.. The only thing I'm not sure about is... If the pump is off, as in your example at say after 5 PM, and the SolarTouch wanted to turn on the solar, would the pump come on or does it already have to be running and then it just increases speed.

I'm also not sure if the pump is running between 11 AM and 1 PM at 2500 RPM... and the SolarTouch calls for solar, will the pump switch to "Ext Crtl Speed 2" or will it continue to run at the higher speed, which is what it does when using the EasyTouch.. it will always default to the higher speed.

But something you could experiment with a see...

As far as I can tell, your only option is to program your normal schedule via the pump's controller and then let the SolarTouch tell the pump when it wants solar on.

If me... I'd schedule the vacuum to be on when I was pretty sure that solar heat would never be on, like at 4 am or so...

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

pooldv

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Aug 10, 2012
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DFW, TX
#7
I think that with the pump off it won't do anything. I know for sure that when the pump is on any speed when solar turns on it will select ext speed 2 and when solar turns off it will return to the speed it was previously on.

Mine works this way.

Normal solar standby pump turns on at 8a on speed 1 at 1100 rpm, solar turns on and switches to ext speed 2 1950 rpm, solar turns off returns to speed 1, pump turns off at 10p

When I am running the heat pump I manually put the pump on speed 3 1500 rpm, solar turns on and switches to ext speed 2 1950 rpm, solar off and returns to speed 3 1500 rpm.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
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Jul 7, 2014
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Bedford, TX
#8
Thanks Danny,

I like your on/off times.. Seems to me that if I had solar, I'd want it on the maximum hours possible to capture as much heat as possible. Turning it off at 5 PM seems to be way too early..

Thanks for the update,

Jim R.
 

pooldv

Mod Squad
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Aug 10, 2012
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DFW, TX
#9
Yes, we have solar heat until about 7p right now. The sun drops behind a treeline around 7.
 

Macauley86

Well-known member
Feb 1, 2017
70
Wildomar, CA
#10
I was working around the yard between 9-11, so I got a chance to see what the system was doing.

9:00 am: pump turns on, running (Ext Ctrl) program 4 (2800 rpm), SolarTouch shows water temp at 71°, target temp 85°, solar heating off
9:30 am: program 4, SolarTouch shows heating hold
9:35 am: pump switches to (ext ctrl) program 2 (2350 rpm), SolarTouch shows solar heating on

And it's been running like that ever since, presumably till 5 pm, when it shuts off.

So it's never running speed 1 or 2, it's either Ext Ctrl program 4 or 2.

Questions:
:: what schedule is the pump following to select these two Ext Ctrl programs?
:: where do I change this schedule (extend it to 6 pm or 7 pm)?
:: why 2800 and 2350 rpm for programs 4 and 2? May I run a lower speed for program 2 for roof solar panel heating? What's the optimal speed?
:: How do I program a vacuum run at night? Do I use speed 2 schedule for that (say 4 am to 6 am)? What pump rpm should I select for optimal vacuum efficiency?

The SolarTouch seems to have a pretty basic interface (solar heating on/off and target temperature, cooling on/off and target temperature). It does not seem to be doing anything else besides sending that information to the pump.
 

pooldv

Mod Squad
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Aug 10, 2012
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#11
Your pump is on a timer that turns on speed 4 at 9a and off at 5. To change the speed or time on or time off reprogram pm the schedule at the pump control. The Solartouch is selecting speed 2 when it turns solar on.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
10,535
Bedford, TX
#12
M,

I hate to do this, but I suggest you either call your pool guy back, or talk with Pentair tech support. I say this because what you describe is not what the manual says.

The SolarTouch manual specifically calls out which IntelliFlo's work and which ones do not, so since your pump is a recent design, it might not be approved to work with the SolarTouch or it might have features not in the manual???

You can change the speeds for the Ext Programs in the same menu you found the original settings. So, if nothing else, you should be able to program the Ext program speeds to do what you want or close to it.

Jim R.
 

Macauley86

Well-known member
Feb 1, 2017
70
Wildomar, CA
#13
Jim,
I came to the same conclusion. I can't seem to figure out how the Ext Ctrl feature works. I'll call the pool company tomorrow to ask for info.
Thank you for your help.