Plumbing Help (IC40 Placement)

eh1159

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Sep 15, 2020
15
Austin TX
Pool Size
29000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Hi everyone. I am moving along on a pool build in central Texas and have been lurking this forum nightly for a good 6 months. I've hit a point where I need some assistance.

My builder is old school and lacks experience with Salt Water, Robot Cleaners, and the Intelli-Center. I only mention this because I have a couple questions regarding the recently installed plumbing and I don't know that he has the answers.

That's where I could use the communities assistance: (Note, I'll be meeting the pool builder this week to discuss plumbing among other things)

• Question 1: (picture attached below) I've dug into the IC40 manual and believe the plumbing can be optimized per Pentair's recommendations:
  1. Adding a Bypass Loop WITH a Flow Control Valve. I have a 3HP Intellipro VSF. The pool is roughly 20,000 gallons w/ a built in SPA and tanning Ledge. The Pentair manual calls for a bypass loop if the pump has potential of greater than 80GPM which I believe the 3HP Pump is more than capable of.
  2. Adding 18" of straight pipe before the IC40 per manual
  3. Vertical Installation per manual
  4. Thoughts on the placement in the pictures below? In this setup the SPA Returns bypass the IC40
• Question 2: Should I request they replumb the pump to have 5x the pipe diameter of straight pipe before the pump, per Pentair's manual?
 

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Jimrahbe

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Jul 7, 2014
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Bedford, TX
1159,

There is just no need for a SWG by-pass.. the whole point of having a VS pump is to run slowly..

There is no need to run the SWCG vertically..

The SWCG will work fine right where it is.. In the current position, the SWCG will not provide chlorine directly to the Spa, but the spa overflow will do that.

That said, if you some concerns, talk with your pool builder and let him know what they are...

Even if he makes the changes you want, I really doubt that you would ever be able to tell the difference in actual pool operation.

Heater by-passes are optional, but the question is when would you use it?

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

ajw22

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Jul 21, 2013
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From Heater Bypass - Further Reading

In summary, times the heater should be bypassed include when:
  • the heater is leaking or needs repairs
  • opening the pool in the Spring and balancing the water chemistry
  • the pH may fall below 7.0
  • using any algaecide that may lower the pH below 7.0
  • the heater is not being used for periods of time
 

Dirk

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Nov 12, 2017
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Central California
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Plaster
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Salt Water Generator
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Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
1.1. No bypass is necessary for the SWG. That applies more to single-speed pumps that have no way to dial down their flow.

1.2. Yes, be sure the straight pipe precedes the IC40.

1.3. Can go vertical or horizontal.

1.4. The PB chose the location of the IC based on sending chlorinated water only to the pool. But there's not enough clear pipe before it, IMO. He could have put the IC elsewhere, like on that pipe behind the heat pump, so that IC output could go to either pool or spa, because the IntelliCenter can vary the output of the IC separately for pool and spa. In other words, when in Pool mode, the IC can be set 0-100% output, and separately when in Spa mode 0-100%. The way it's plumbed now, you don't have a choice to send chlorinated water to the spa. You might never need to, or you might want to. I'd want to have the option.

2.1. I would want equipment installed as per Pentair recommendations, including that straight run before the pump. You'll hear others say it's not necessary, but why not do it like Pentair specs, especially because you have plenty of room?

There is some thought here that bypassing the heaters improves flow, so could technically save some energy cost when not using either heater. But the other camp claims that some flow through the heaters keeps water circulating to avoid stagnant water? I don't really know which it true or best. I don't have a heater bypass. Plenty of pools don't. If it's plumbed in and never used, then that's fine. But if it's missing and you need it, you won't have it. If a heater breaks down or starts leaking, and needs work or replacement, it might be handy to have a bypass. But for day-to-day use, I'm not sure there is much benefit.
 
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HermanTX

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May 20, 2020
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Katy TX
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I am of the same thought as Dirk. The SWCG can be put before the 2 way valve thus you can chlorinate in either Pool or Spa mode. You have the room along that back side so seems logical to me.

In your picture, the SPA pipe to the left is on one side of the 2 way valve, so that is the return to the spa when in SPA mode. So you would have spa suction as input to the pump and spa return. Then when you turn on heater, you are only heating the spa.

The 2 pipes marked spa on the pool return side of the 2 way valve. One is for the spa spillover. So when in Pool Mode, you have flow to the spa that causes it to rise and spillover to the pool. You would have suction from pool only (main drain and skimmer)
I am not sure the purpose of the second pipe to the spa on the pool return plumbing. May want to ask about that. Are you sure it is going to the spa?

I see the pipe marked Suction Clean (Suction Cleaner). Is that connected with a valve. Cannot tell in that picture. You may want to have the capability to isolate that if you have the cleaner out of the pool. Just a thought.

Note - something to research. I remember reading in another post that there is a certain way to hook up a chiller and a heater. I cannot remember if it is in series or separate in/out flows. You may want to research that to ensure that your hookup in series is correct. I will try to search for that other thread or maybe others on this thread can confirm one way or the other. Thus all flow from the filter is through the chiller and through heater in one continuous loop back to the pool or spa.
 

eh1159

Member
Sep 15, 2020
15
Austin TX
Pool Size
29000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Great info everyone, I really appreciate it. My approach to installations (I’m an electrical contractor) aligns with Dirk on following manufacturer recommendations.

I’ll have them add the straight pipe runs and move the IC40 to before the pool and spa. Pentair actually calls for this placement in the manual.
 

ajw22

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Jul 21, 2013
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Northern NJ
Pool Size
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Chlorine
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Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Note - something to research. I remember reading in another post that there is a certain way to hook up a chiller and a heater. I cannot remember if it is in series or separate in/out flows. You may want to research that to ensure that your hookup in series is correct. I will try to search for that other thread or maybe others on this thread can confirm one way or the other. Thus all flow from the filter is through the chiller and through heater in one continuous loop back to the pool or spa.

It is a Pentair Heat Pump, not a chiller, and it is installed in series as specified in the installation manual.

 
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Dirk

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Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
It looks like there is a bubbler in the first step. One of the pipes/valves is probably for that.
 
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eh1159

Member
Sep 15, 2020
15
Austin TX
Pool Size
29000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
The IC40 manual recommends removing the unit for the first 30 days of operation as it can be harmful to the SCG. I bought the dummy housing online.

How common is this? I feel like I rarely see it mentioned.
 

Dirk

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Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
You shouldn't put salt in a new plaster-based pool anyway, so you can't use the SWG for thirty days. I've never read about not using an SWG in a new plaster pool to save the SWG, but maybe there is a concern about plaster dust getting into it? It's located after the filter, so I'm not sure what you read or what it means or why. Doesn't matter. No salt so no SWG for 30 days...
 

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Dirk

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Yep, there it is. I've corrected the text:

  • For a newly plastered pool use a spacer cell (P/N 520588) for 30 days to ensure all pool debris has been filtered out, avoiding damage to the IntelliChlor Pentair's bottom line.
It's crazy what they get for that hunk of PVC. Pentair uses proprietary threads on their IC unions, so ya got no choice... Same for the IC cleaner kit they'd love for you to buy, too! :rant:

Some PBs just don't install them and come back in a month to put them in...
 
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Dirk

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Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
Pool Size
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Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
When you do add the salt, let it mix in for at least a day before you turn on the SWG. Run the pump all day/night. Several days if you're not in a hurry. You don't want patches of more and less salinity passing through the active cell, as that can be bad for the IC. Same goes for adding a bag or two later. Always let the salt dissolve and mix in real well before energizing the cell.
 
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