Pentair vs Jandy automation system?

FLPoolC

Member
Aug 15, 2021
11
Orlando, FL
Hi, I’m new to this forum and will try to keep this as brief as possible...

We are doing a refresh on our pool/spa and that includes having an automation system installed. We were originally supposed to receive a Pentair PSL4 Easy Touch Pool/Spa Automation System with WiFi and 2 automatic actuator valves but the pool company is telling us those are now on backorder for the foreseeable future and they are offering to install a Jandy Aqualink System (they didn’t specify which model) since they can get that this week. We also recently installed a new Pentair SuperMax VS pump to replace the single speed one we had. Our heater is an older Hayward H-series that was here when we bought the house, since we live in Florida we usually only use it to heat the spa and I’m not even certain it is compatible with an automation system. We plan to replace it soon but were hoping it would get through the winter.

I‘m looking for recommendations as to which system is a better choice given my other equipment. Should I continue to wait for the Pentair system or will the Jandy be compatible? We are already 6 months into this project that should have taken less than half of that (a story for another post) and I just want to be done but I don’t want to settle either.

The hope is that the automation system will allow us to operate the pump, valves, heater and lights through an app or web interface.

Any advice or guidance would be much appreciated - thank you! 🙂
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
2,549
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I have the iAquaLink RS automation system which controls a Pentair VS pump, 2 jandy actuators on valves, a Pentair Heater, 2 lights, a water feature pump, a cleaner booster pump and a blower (for the spa). Jandy makes a system that has a controller on your wall inside your home or you can get the web version which links to your phone. The latter is what I have. I do not have any direct link to a wall controller. I am pleased with the connection to my internet via wifi and the controls in the software for all of my equipment.

From what I read on the forum the Pentair EasyTouch PSL means Pool Spa "light" version which means you have limited capability. It is best to get the standard unit and also get the screenlogic which is the web version software. I don't have that but I did consider to convert to the EasyTouch PS with ScreenLogic but opted to just upgrade my existing older Jandy AquaLink to the newer iAquaLink controlled by phone app and web access on PC (or phone). Others may chime in that have more knowledge on the Pentair automation.

You do not mention how you chlorinate your pool. If you are using a SWCG (salt water), it may be best to have the same mfg. for both the automation and SWCG to optimize the controls. I use liquid chlorine so I was not as concerned about that at this time.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
22,854
Bedford, TX
FLP.

I would want to make sure your VS pump can be controlled by the automation... I believe that the SuperMax VS can be controlled by RS-485 cable.. The Pentair system can control the SuperMax, but I'd want to make sure that the Jandy system can, before buying the Jandy system. I know that some Jandy systems can control the IntelliFlo pumps, but that does not mean they can control the SuperMax..

That said, I would never, ever recommend the "lite" version of the EasyTouch... It is a cheap imitation of the real thing. A max of 4 programs, no load center for your circuit breakers and only two feature circuits.. If I were a pool builder, I would be ashamed to sell one..

If your only choice is the lite EasyTouch, I would go with the Jandy system if the pool builder can guarantee that the Jandy system can control the speeds via the RS-485 cable. If he can't make that guarantee, I would buy a real EasyTouch.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

MSchutzer

Silver Supporter
Jan 15, 2021
143
Redwood City, Ca
Pool Size
10000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
If you decide to go with the Jandy system skip the indoor hardware control panels, they are expensive and limited what they can do.

Go with the iAqualink 3.0 transciever and use the web interface and your phone to control the system. If you like a Interface device that’s a little bigger a Fire 8” tablet is hard to beat as they are cheap ($60 dollars) and can be loaded with Google playstore and to allow access to the Aqualink app. They make for a nice dedicated pool controller and also can be used as pool / spa side remote.
3E0B2143-2A99-4EF3-8CC9-B0BAF95FD5B0.jpeg

As pool equipment goes it’s cheap enough to replace if it should happen to fall in the pool at some point.
 

FLPoolC

Member
Aug 15, 2021
11
Orlando, FL
I have the iAquaLink RS automation system which controls a Pentair VS pump, 2 jandy actuators on valves, a Pentair Heater, 2 lights, a water feature pump, a cleaner booster pump and a blower (for the spa). Jandy makes a system that has a controller on your wall inside your home or you can get the web version which links to your phone. The latter is what I have. I do not have any direct link to a wall controller. I am pleased with the connection to my internet via wifi and the controls in the software for all of my equipment.

From what I read on the forum the Pentair EasyTouch PSL means Pool Spa "light" version which means you have limited capability. It is best to get the standard unit and also get the screenlogic which is the web version software. I don't have that but I did consider to convert to the EasyTouch PS with ScreenLogic but opted to just upgrade my existing older Jandy AquaLink to the newer iAquaLink controlled by phone app and web access on PC (or phone). Others may chime in that have more knowledge on the Pentair automation.

You do not mention how you chlorinate your pool. If you are using a SWCG (salt water), it may be best to have the same mfg. for both the automation and SWCG to optimize the controls. I use liquid chlorine so I was not as concerned about that at this time.
Thank you HermanTX! I do not have a salt system. We recently installed an in-line chlorine feeder for the tabs so we don’t have the use a floater any longer and also add liquid chlorine as needed.
 

FLPoolC

Member
Aug 15, 2021
11
Orlando, FL
FLP.

I would want to make sure your VS pump can be controlled by the automation... I believe that the SuperMax VS can be controlled by RS-485 cable.. The Pentair system can control the SuperMax, but I'd want to make sure that the Jandy system can, before buying the Jandy system. I know that some Jandy systems can control the IntelliFlo pumps, but that does not mean they can control the SuperMax..

That said, I would never, ever recommend the "lite" version of the EasyTouch... It is a cheap imitation of the real thing. A max of 4 programs, no load center for your circuit breakers and only two feature circuits.. If I were a pool builder, I would be ashamed to sell one..

If your only choice is the lite EasyTouch, I would go with the Jandy system if the pool builder can guarantee that the Jandy system can control the speeds via the RS-485 cable. If he can't make that guarantee, I would buy a real EasyTouch.

Thanks,

Jim R.
Thank you Jim, with all the other issues we’ve had with this PB I guess I’m not surprised that they are trying to sell us a lite version of the automation system. (Sigh) I’ve asked them to confirm what model the Jandy is and if it includes the iAqualink 3.0 transceiver and that it can control our pump Speeds via the RS-485 cable.
 

FLPoolC

Member
Aug 15, 2021
11
Orlando, FL
If you decide to go with the Jandy system skip the indoor hardware control panels, they are expensive and limited what they can do.

Go with the iAqualink 3.0 transciever and use the web interface and your phone to control the system. If you like a Interface device that’s a little bigger a Fire 8” tablet is hard to beat as they are cheap ($60 dollars) and can be loaded with Google playstore and to allow access to the Aqualink app. They make for a nice dedicated pool controller and also can be used as pool / spa side remote.
View attachment 370676

As pool equipment goes it’s cheap enough to replace if it should happen to fall in the pool at some point.
Thank you Mark, I have an iPhone and an iPad so hopefully will be able to control it with either but I like the Fire tablet suggestion as a dedicated controller too!
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
28,590
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
I would take an Aqualink over an EasyTouch PSL4.

I would take a Pentair IntelliCenter over an Aqualink.
 

setsailsoon

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
4,226
Palm City/FL
Pool Size
12800
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-30 Plus
FL,

A part of your answer depends on what you ultimately want to do with your automation system. Whatever you think you want to do now will very likely increase over time. I started with a plain Jane Jandy system controlled by timers. Then I added remote control for LED lighting, solar, salt, VS pump, gas heater and would eventually have added a remote controlled cover. And my wife started talking about how nice some added features like fountains et al would look. If I had switched the the super cheap "something/4" system I would have had to completely replace it. Another factor is warranty. If you use authorized installers this doesn't matter much initially. If you do the install and/or want to maintain it yourself warranty matters a lot. With Jandy you have no warranty. The others severely limit it to a couple months (check as this changes often). But at least it's long enough to be sure there are no manufacturing defects in your expensive equipment. I much prefer the Pentair Intellicenter automation but it is a couple hundred more to buy and you could argue that most people won't really use the advanced features and they won't really benefit from the modular design that makes future upgrades easier/cheaper. Also very important as Jim indicates is to make sure the system you buy can control your VS pump. In most cases mixed systems can be accomplished with adapters but not always. For equipment other than the pump such as heaters, swg, solar it's usually easy to mix brands.

I hope this helps.

Chris
 

FLPoolC

Member
Aug 15, 2021
11
Orlando, FL
My PB just replied that the Aqualink unit comes with the iAqualink 2.0 and is compatible with the Pentair pump I have. The Pentair pump is a variable speed pump but not smart pump, it is relay run and will work with the smartphone app. They didn’t specify the model # so I’ve asked for that again and also if upgrading to the 3.0 is possible.
 

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
22,854
Bedford, TX
FLP,

Is this a new pump or one you have had for a while? If new and manufactured this year, it should have RS-485 control..

If an old pump, then it will take external voltage inputs to select a speed.. Each speed will require a relay in your automation system.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

FLPoolC

Member
Aug 15, 2021
11
Orlando, FL
FLP,

Is this a new pump or one you have had for a while? If new and manufactured this year, it should have RS-485 control..

If an old pump, then it will take external voltage inputs to select a speed.. Each speed will require a relay in your automation system.

Thanks,

Jim R.
It’s brand new, just installed August 17.
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
2,549
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
It’s brand new, just installed August 17.
I did some further research. I reviewed manual HO433600 which is the operating manual for iAquaLink 2.0 This is what I used to program my new iAquaLink PCB which has software revision T.2. The iAquaLink 3.0 is really about the new antenna as the PCB appears to be the same for either the 2.0 or 3.0 kit.
In this manual it states you can program a Pentair IntelliFlo VS, Pentair IntelliFlo VF or IntelliPro VS (which uses the IntelliFlo VS settings). I have the IntelliFlo VSF (speed or flow capability) so I used the IntelliFlo VS selection on the setup. I could have also selected the IntelliFlo VF option but you cannot select both - you have to pick one or the other.

See the screen shot of the available pumps to select on the iAquaLink software.
So I would want to double check that the Pentair SuperMax VS pump can be programed under iAquaLink. I am not saying it can't but the software tends to point to IntelliFlo models and not the SuperMax model. Maybe someone else has more info on this.
VSP Pump Setup.PNG
 

FLPoolC

Member
Aug 15, 2021
11
Orlando, FL
I did some further research. I reviewed manual HO433600 which is the operating manual for iAquaLink 2.0 This is what I used to program my new iAquaLink PCB which has software revision T.2. The iAquaLink 3.0 is really about the new antenna as the PCB appears to be the same for either the 2.0 or 3.0 kit.
In this manual it states you can program a Pentair IntelliFlo VS, Pentair IntelliFlo VF or IntelliPro VS (which uses the IntelliFlo VS settings). I have the IntelliFlo VSF (speed or flow capability) so I used the IntelliFlo VS selection on the setup. I could have also selected the IntelliFlo VF option but you cannot select both - you have to pick one or the other.

See the screen shot of the available pumps to select on the iAquaLink software.
So I would want to double check that the Pentair SuperMax VS pump can be programed under iAquaLink. I am not saying it can't but the software tends to point to IntelliFlo models and not the SuperMax model. Maybe someone else has more info on this.
View attachment 370888
I looked in the manual and saw the attached regarding selecting the pump type. It also says the pump can be controlled externally using either the RS-485 or “Digital Inputs”. Hopefully this means it will work one way or the other. It was raining tonight so I was unable to take pictures of the front and back but will try tomorrow morning.

E9933ADA-E92D-45E7-B764-8B518DC313E7.jpeg
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
2,549
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I looked in the manual and saw the attached regarding selecting the pump type. It also says the pump can be controlled externally using either the RS-485 or “Digital Inputs”. Hopefully this means it will work one way or the other. It was raining tonight so I was unable to take pictures of the front and back but will try tomorrow morning.

View attachment 370905
So if the SuperMax VS pump manual states it can be programed using the IntelliFlo VS settings then it should work with the RS-485 cable. That is a good find for future knowledge. So going to the iAquaLink automation should provide you all the necessary controls for your equipment. I agree with others, the AquaLink is probably better than the EasyTouch Lite version.
Just request that the PB provide the 3.0 Antenna so you have no issue with connection to a Mesh network.
Also, it should come with 2 actuators to operate on the suction and return valves. The heater control will be an on-off and possibly allow adjustment to temperature (not sure how Hayward Heater works assuming it is old as you indicate) and the lights will be on-off control if you have the older versions.
Keep us posted and add some photos of both the pool and equipment pad with specifics on pump, heater and lights.
 

MSchutzer

Silver Supporter
Jan 15, 2021
143
Redwood City, Ca
Pool Size
10000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
If you do go with the Aqualink system I would recommend that you get the RS-PS6 or RS-PS8 version. While the RS-PS4 theoretically gives you four functions and relays some functions have dedicated output assignments (like spa spillover) and you can quickly find yourself out of output controls. The PS8 version gives you 8 relays and outputs to allow for future expansion of your system if needed.

The RS-PS4 is sort of like the “lite” Jandy system, you are better off planning for expansion rather than getting a limited system and finding that you need to upgrade later.
 

setsailsoon

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
4,226
Palm City/FL
Pool Size
12800
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-30 Plus
I had digital inputs on my previous VS motor, not the brand you have but they are incredibly easy to use and very flexible. I would look to see how many different speeds can be set. You would usually want at least 3, 4-5 are much better. These should correspond to the different operations you would expect such as:
  • Minimum speed, usually speed required to support swg operation
  • Speed required to run features such as fountain or spillover
  • Speed required for filter and/or heater operation
  • Roof mounted solar heater
A very nice thing about digital inputs is they don't consume relays in your automation system. They are triggered by a the same signal used to start the feature. The signal required is usually very flexible, usually anything from 9-30 v ac or dc. You just split that signal and run it to the appropriate digital input connector. You can use relays also but it's not necessary.

I hope this helps.

Chris
 

FLPoolC

Member
Aug 15, 2021
11
Orlando, FL
First off, a huge thank you to everyone who has been kind enough to reply. I truly appreciate the insight and advice and feel like I’m learning so much that I wouldn’t have understood otherwise.
My PB just replied that the system they are offering is the Jandy IQ904-PS and the upgrade to the 3.0 isn't available at this time with their suppliers.
From what I could see online that will include
  • iAquaLink 2.0, IQ20A Web Connect Device
  • 6612F Power Center Enclosure
  • RS-PS4 Power Center Electronics
  • 4424 Jandy Valve® Actuators (2)
  • Four 3 Hp Relays
If they connect the pump using the digital inputs as Chris suggested then would that leave all 4 relays available and I could run the heater and lights and have two additional ones for other things? I have a spa spillover so don’t anticipate adding a fountain. The only other thing I may look into is if we end up hardwiring some landscape lighting (we currently use solar string lights strung across our pool cage and it’s just the right amount of light we are looking for). I understand the theory of future expansion but we also like to keep things simple so not sure I really need more.

I’m including the pictures of the pump as requested and in reference to the lights we had a new Pentair Intellibrite 5G white and color light installed in the pool and spa (1 in each).
18347AC3-E408-48F4-B307-B99F170267B6.jpegBD8638F7-B6A2-4D68-A06B-73E3270630E4.jpeg2476D566-D9D9-4300-92B3-80F32CF66238.jpegF8DECD6E-3578-4AEC-9659-5FC6CF3A60E8.jpeg
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
28,590
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
If they connect the pump using the digital inputs as Chris suggested then would that leave all 4 relays available and I could run the heater and lights and have two additional ones for other things? I have a spa spillover so don’t anticipate adding a fountain. The only other thing I may look into is if we end up hardwiring some landscape lighting (we currently use solar string lights strung across our pool cage and it’s just the right amount of light we are looking for). I understand the theory of future expansion but we also like to keep things simple so not sure I really need more.


View attachment 370984View attachment 370985View attachment 370986View attachment 370987

The first relay is dedicated to the filter/pump whether you use it or not.

Aux3 will be taken by your SPILLOVER function.

So you effectively have 2 relays. One will be used by your lights.

That leaves you with one available relay for future expansion.

Expect that with the Aqualink you will be compromised in how you can control the SuperMax pump and the color changing of the IntelliBrite lights.
 

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support