Pump, heater and control panel replacement choices

Trespassers W

Member
May 26, 2014
18
Frisco, TX
Hi All, love this forum, tremendous source of information! Been reading for a couple of years and now need collective wisdom on damaged equipment replacement options.

Original pool configuration: In ground pool, 32,000 gallons with attached spa and waterfall, 400,000 BTU Hayward heater, Hayward 2HP, 2 speed filter pump, single speed waterfall pump, air blower, lights. Everything is controlled by older Hayward Aqua Logic PL-PS4 control panel. Pool and all equipment are about 8 years old.

A couple of weeks ago the heater (which hasn't been used since last winter) caught fire, which melted heater side panel, overheated and blew up filter motor run capacitor and went up on adjacent fence. :shock: Luckily, my neighbors noticed it early enough and called 911. After opening the heater I discovered that rats build a nest inside the heater and chewed on wires causing the fire. :mad:

The damage is: heater, control board (seems to be fried by electric short) and possibly the pump motor. Since I need to replace all those, I thought I might as well get some upgrades (VS pump, newer control panel). I am technically savvy and have no problems working with electric and plumbing components, so I am going to do all repairs myself. I've been doing some online research in the past few days and I think I narrowed it down to a couple of combinations:

option A: Hayward EcoStar SP3400 pump, OmniLogic control panel, Hayward H400FDN heater.
option B: Pentair IntelliFLow pump, IntelliTouch controls, MasterTemp 400,000 BTU heater.

My questions:
1) Are there any caveats with configurations listed above? Any known problems with components reliability, compatibility and configuring issues I should be aware of?
2) It is probably a good idea to stay with the same vendor for all components, but if I decide to use different brand components, say Pentair control board and Hayward heater, am I looking for any trouble or are they generally compatible?
3) Hayward seems to be the only company that gives 1 year warranty on owner installed equipment, but being a home automation geek I really like Pentair automation controls better (based on their description and home automation integration options). I would like however, to hear first hand user experiences with Hayward OmniLogic vs. Pentair IntelliTouch. Trying to decide for myself whether it is worth losing warranty coverage on Pentair equipment due to self installation :)

Thank you all for reading the story and for your comments! :)
 

wikihowto

In The Industry
Sep 25, 2017
22
San Diego California
The intellitouch system is for multi-features. You can go with a Pentair easy touch 8 system with screen logic for we enabled remote control. It's far more reliable than the Hayward Omni logic automation system. I do not recommend cross breeding Hayward and Pentair equipment. It can be done, but it's best to keep it all in the same field. Pentair tech support is more knowledgeable than Hayward. I do not recommend self-installing. A certified California pool contractor should do the installation so everything is to code and he gets a three-year warranty if you buy multiple pieces of equipment. [/FONT]

Hope that helps.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
18,726
Bedford, TX
TW,

The number one rule for automation is that the Automation System, any VS pumps, and any Salt-cells are all the same brand of equipment... All Pentair, all Jandy or all Hayward... This is so that they can all 'talk' the same language and be controlled by the automation system.

I am a highly biased Pentair kind of guy and like to say "All the others are almost as good"... :cool:

I live in the DFW area and would be willing to show you my EasyTouch automation setup, just so you can get a feel for what it can do.. Send me a PM if interested.

Below is my overused and standard answer to general automation questions...

**********
Many people have pools without automation and they work just fine. I do, however, think it is important to know the advantages and the disadvantages of having an automation system.

1. Automation will help you with pool maintenance, but it will not replace the need for you to test your water, understand what you are looking at, and then making sure your water is balanced. (Another reason you need the accuracy of the TF100 test kit.)

2. The main downside to automation is cost. So before going too far down this path, you might ask your PB what it's going to cost. That said, the best time to install automation is when the pool is being built, because all the connections to the system can be made without having to figure out how you are to get power across 50' of new deck. Also, the additional cost, when compared to the cost of the pool, will be miniscule.

3. Automation systems work best when the same brand is used because then the pieces can "talk" to together. So, in your case I would recommend the EasyTouch 4 (or 8) that has a built in power supply for the SWG and generally comes with the SWG and two valves. ScreenLogic2 is an absolute requirement if you want to be able to control things from your PC or Phone.

Here is a list of what I think the advantages are:

1. Appearance. Instead of having a bunch of different boxes hanging on your wall you have one, professional looking enclosure.

2. Circuit Breaker Panel. The bottom half of the enclosure is a circuit-breaker panel where the breakers for your pool equipment (Pumps, Heater, etc.) are located. This panel is also an excellent place to add surge protector, which is an absolute must if you have the Intelliflo pump. Even if you do not get the automation, make sure your PB includes a surge protector for the pump.

3. SWG Control. Without automation, your SWG will have to have a timer, synced to the pump timer so that it does not run when the pump is off. This function is built into the EasyTouch.

4. Spa mode and SWG output. Normally all the water flows through the SWG, so when in the Spa mode, the EasyTouch reduces the amount of chlorine the SWG produces, so that the Spa users are not subjected to high levels of chlorine.

5. Pool Lighting. The EasyTouch allows you to control your pool lighting from your PC and/or from a schedule. This is another reason to add the EasyTouch now. Once your pool light is wired to switches inside your house, it might be very difficult to get the wiring to any automation system.

6. Control of Spill-over and bubblers. Right now I'm sure you are thinking I want that spillover running 24-hours a day because it is so beautiful.. Well, after a few weeks of having your pH go through the roof, you'll appreciate the ability to only turn it on, when you want it on. The same with the bubblers. With the Easytouch, you can program them to run on a schedule for a few minutes a day to keep the everything properly chlorinated or when you want to "show off" to your guests..

7. Relay Control. The EasyTouch 4 has four (really three) relays that can be used to control other things, such as landscape lights. (The EasyTouch has 8 (really 7) relays.

8. Built in Valve controls. The EasyTouch has the ability to control 4 valves. Two work for switching between the Pool and Spa modes, while two others can be programmed to do whatever you might want, like bubbler control. I would note that a lot of bubblers are controlled by manual valves that cannot be automated. You need to be sure to tell your PB that you want Jandy style valves for your bubbler control.

9. Heater Control. The EasyTouch can control your heater.. So, you can be inside and tell your PC what temperature you want the Spa to be and it will tell you when it is ready.

10. ScreenLogic. ScreenLogic allows you to program the EasyTouch with various schedules. It lets you see most all of the inputs and output to the EasyTouch and lets you decide what you want on/off and in the case of your SWG, lets you adjust the % of output on the fly.

11. Pool pump speed... The EasyTouch can be programmed to adjust your pumps speed. So when running just the pool, it can run slow, but when running your waterfall, it will automatically increase the speed to make your waterfall or other water features look exactly how you want them to look.

Thanks for posting,

Jim R.
 

Trespassers W

Member
May 26, 2014
18
Frisco, TX
Jimrahbe, thank you for the detailed answer! I will definitely be installing automated controls. My old Aqua Logic control board was linked to my ISY home controller via Autelis interface, it worked OK without any glitches, but I always wished the user interface was more polished. So, for the new upgrade I will probably go with Pentair system.

Couple more questions:
1. What is the main difference between EasyTouch and IntellyTouch? If I understand it correctly, the PC/iPhone/iPad/Android interface is the same, as it is provided by ScreenLogic. If so, what is the difference between control boards, is it merely the number of devices it could control or IntelliTouch has more other options?

2. IntelliFlow pumps. I see few different options, like VS, VSF. My question is: would it make sense to pay more for VSF pump with variable flow, considering that my pool setup is relatively simple - connected pool and spa with spillover option (1 main drain, 2 skimmers 1 cleaning port). I have separate single speed pump for waterfall.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
18,726
Bedford, TX
tw,

The EasyTouch is more a less an Off-the-Shelf unit that is designed to work with about 90% of pools. It has a couple of options, like an internal salt system power supply, but not much else. The EasyTouch costs less...

The IntelliTouch is really a bunch of subassemblies that get put together in a single enclosure to make a system that is designed for the needs of your specific pool. Generally used for larger more complicated pools. It does have more programming capabilities, but at the same time is more complicated for the average pool owner to understand. The IntelliTouch costs more..

The best way to determine which system you need is to list all the things you want your system to do for you and then see if the EasyTouch can do what you want. If not, then you have to move up to the IntelliTouch.

If you are at all familiar with programing, you will need to forget anything you have learned since about 1980. :p Almost all of the current systems use simple turn it on/off commands. There is not a lot of "If this, do that", type of programming.

We almost always recommend VS pumps vs. the VF pumps.. The decision on which pump(s) to buy is really a cost and warranty issue.

The VSF, which is both a VS and VF pump, is the latest IntelliFlo from Pentair. Pentair uses their warranty policy to entice users to buy the latest units. The newer equipment, the longer the warranty. Pentair also tries to protect their distributors by requiring a "qualified installer" in order to qualify for the longer warranty, as pointed out in post #2.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Trespassers W

Member
May 26, 2014
18
Frisco, TX
tw,

The EasyTouch is more a less an Off-the-Shelf unit that is designed to work with about 90% of pools. It has a couple of options, like an internal salt system power supply, but not much else. The EasyTouch cost less...

The IntelliTouch is really a bunch of subassemblies that get put together in a single enclosure to make a system that is designed for the needs of your specific pool. Generally used for larger more completed pools. It does have more programming capabilities, but at the same time is more complicated for the average pool owner to understand. The IntelliTouch costs more..

The best way to determine which system you need is to list all the things you want your system to do for you and then see if the EasyTouch can do what you want. If not, then you have to move up to the IntelliTouch.
Got it. I will read EasyTouch and IntelliTouch system specs with my current and future pool/backyard control needs in mind before making final decision.

If you are at all familiar with programing, you will need to forget anything you have learned since about 1980. :p Almost all of the current systems use simple turn it on/off commands. There is not a lot of "If this, do that", type of programming.
Yes, that was the main reason why I wanted to connect it to my ISY Insteon controller, where I can create more complicated scenarios. :)

We almost always recommend VS pumps vs. the VF pumps.. The decision on which pump(s) to buy is really a cost and warranty issue.

The VSF, which is both a VS and VF pump, is the latest IntelliFlo from Pentair. Pentair uses their warranty policy to entice users to buy the latest units. The newer equipment, the longer the warranty. Pentair also tries to protect their distributors by requiring a "qualified installer" in order to qualify for the longer warranty, as pointed out in post #2.

Thanks,

Jim R.
Given that I will lose extended warranty by doing self install, it wouldn't be a deciding factor. :) I think VS pump should be enough for my needs.

Thank you, Jim!
 

Trespassers W

Member
May 26, 2014
18
Frisco, TX
Just wanted to report back - I installed new Pentair MasterTemp 400K BTU heater, IntelliFlo VS pump and IntelliTouch control panel with i5+3 personality board and ScreenLogic2 interface. Had to rearrange some plumbing, but that was an easy part. It took me about a day to understand the logic of IntelliTouch programming, even after reading all the manuals. :) It is all done now, I have scheduled equipment runs, tested different scenarios - all works fine, I am happy with the setup.

Big thanks to all for advice!
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
18,726
Bedford, TX
tw,

Thanks for the feedback and glad everything is up and running...

Just curious what features did you get with the IntelliTouch that is not included in the EasyTouch? Just trying to understand so that I might be able to answer the next question better...

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Trespassers W

Member
May 26, 2014
18
Frisco, TX
tw,

Thanks for the feedback and glad everything is up and running...

Just curious what features did you get with the IntelliTouch that is not included in the EasyTouch? Just trying to understand so that I might be able to answer the next question better...

Thanks,

Jim R.
Thank you, Jim!

For my current setup EasyTouch 4 probably would be enough, but when I compared the systems I realized that I can get IntelliTouch for about the same price: the IntelliTouch load panel with personality board (including valve actuators and temp sensors) came to $1060. ScreenLogic2 was $360, but I had to buy it anyway. So, I thought it would be nice to have more recent system with one extra relay, plus I liked the modular system idea - I can easily swap personality board in the future if I need more controls.

As far as I understand, the programming logic for EasyTouch and IntelliTouch is exactly the same, but that you cannot program IntelliTouch directly from the panel, it has to be done via interface (ScreenLogic, indoor panel or wireless touchpad).