What is an actuator used for? Pentair 522352 and 520538

norcalpool1

Silver Supporter
Sep 16, 2017
48
Silicon Valley,CA
#1
I am totally confused. What is an actuator used for? I am looking at Pentair Easy Touch systems. Only the systems that have Pool and Spa (Easy Touch PSL4) include 2 actuators. The pool only systems (Easy Touch PL4) do not include actuators.

My pool has solar-heat collectors (FAFCO black plastic panels) installed. Do I need Pentair Easy Touch PL4 part number 522352 or 520538? Does a 522352 (which does not have any actuator) need additional components to control that solar valve (turn the valve or open/clo

Another difference I notice just by looking at the pictures: 520538 seems to have an electrical subpanel with space for 4 breakers (breakers would have to be purchased separately?) and so it is not necessary to have an external circuit breaker box. 522352 does not have that subpanel. If one is always going to have circuit breakers, wouldn't 520538 be more convenient than 522352?

Also: what is a "Load Center"? The manual glossary page does not describe it and I am not able to see any picture anywhere.
I tried to read the manuals online for these different models and it is still confusing.

Can one add circuit breakers to 522352 inside the enclosure? or does the breaker box have to be on the outside? Extra breakers are required for a waterfall feature.
 
Last edited:

chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,220
Tucson
#2
Actuators are used by automation systems to open and close the valves. I’m no expert on automation. The only automation I have is a SolarTouch panel which opens and closes my solar valves based on reading from water and solar sensors.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 13, 2017
4,375
Central California
#3
Whatever you do, do not buy a Pentair EasyTouch model with an "L" in it, unless you clearly understand its Limitations, and that you're sure it is going to meet your needs, now and in the future. The "L" stands for "lite" and I curse my PB often for dumping that woefully inadequate model on me. It is the economy version of the ET, in every sense of the word, except that it is not particularly cheap! My PSL4 only allows four schedules, which is what you use to control the time things go on and off. I have a very simple pool with solar and no other features. I could easily make use of eight schedules, or more. "S" stands for SPA and while I don't have one, I use the SPA component of that controller to do a couple of interesting things I presume the "non-S" version would not do. So if I bought a new model, I would get the "S" again, but not the "L".

Sorry, I didn't look up those model numbers to give you further guidance. There's a Jim here that is a genius with the Pentair stuff. He helped me figure out my ET and to overcome some of its many limitations. Hopefully he'll be by to better address your questions...
 

MinerJason

Bronze Supporter
Jan 30, 2018
150
Tucson, AZ
#4
I am totally confused. What is an actuator used for? I am looking at Pentair Easy Touch systems. Only the systems that have Pool and Spa (Easy Touch PSL4) include 2 actuators. The pool only systems (Easy Touch PL4) do not include actuators.

My pool has solar-heat collectors (FAFCO black plastic panels) installed. Do I need Pentair Easy Touch PL4 part number 522352 or 520538? Does a 522352 (which does not have any actuator) need additional components to control that solar valve (turn the valve or open/clo

Another difference I notice just by looking at the pictures: 520538 seems to have an electrical subpanel with space for 4 breakers (breakers would have to be purchased separately?) and so it is not necessary to have an external circuit breaker box. 522352 does not have that subpanel. If one is always going to have circuit breakers, wouldn't 520538 be more convenient than 522352?

Also: what is a "Load Center"? The manual glossary page does not describe it and I am not able to see any picture anywhere.
I tried to read the manuals online for these different models and it is still confusing.

Can one add circuit breakers to 522352 inside the enclosure? or does the breaker box have to be on the outside? Extra breakers are required for a waterfall feature.
Actuators are the motors that turn the valves when they receive power from the controller. You need an actuator for every valve you want to control.

Load center is another way of saying electrical panel, breaker box, etc. The enclosures that house many pool automation systems act as a subpanel/breaker box.

I don't know much about the easy touch systems, but it appears the 522352 model is the PL4 "lite" model that is not highly regarded around here.

Hopefully Jim or another easy touch expert will be along shortly and can be more assistance.
 

norcalpool1

Silver Supporter
Sep 16, 2017
48
Silicon Valley,CA
#6
EasyTouch PL4/PSL4 Control Systems Model Part Numbers

522352 PL4 - Single Body / Base System (no Indoor Control Panel, no actuators)
522353 PL4 - Single Body / ScreenLogic® Bundle (no Indoor Control Panel, no actuators)
522354 PSL4 - Pool/Spa / Base System (no Indoor Control Panel, two actuators)
522355 PSL4 - Pool/Spa / ScreenLogic® Bundle (no Indoor Control Panel, two actuators)





EasyTouch Control System Model Part Numbers

EASYTOUCH CONTROL SYSTEMS WITHOUT INTELLICHLOR TRANSFORMER BUILT-IN
520591 EasyTouch 4P - Single Body (base system - no ICP, no actuators)
520703 EasyTouch 8P - Single Body (base system - no ICP, no actuators)
520538 EasyTouch 4 - Pool/Spa (base system - no ICP, 2 actuators)
520540 EasyTouch 8 - Pool/Spa (base system - no ICP, 2 actuators)


EASYTOUCH CONTROL SYSTEMS WITH INTELLICHLOR TRANSFORMER AND INTELLICHLOR CELL
520592 EasyTouch 4PSC-IC20 - Single Body (includes SCG integration & IC20 cell)
520593 EasyTouch 4PSC-IC40 - Single Body (includes SCG integration & IC40 cell)
520704 EasyTouch 8PSC-IC20 - Single Body (includes SCG integration & IC20 cell)
520705 EasyTouch 8PSC-IC40 - Single Body (includes SCG integration & IC40 cell)
520542 EasyTouch 4SC-IC20 - Pool/Spa (includes SCG integration & IC20 cell, 2 actuators)
520543 EasyTouch 4SC-IC40 - Pool/Spa (includes SCG integration & IC40 cell, 2 actuators)
520544 EasyTouch 8SC-IC20 - Pool/Spa (includes SCG integration & IC20 cell, 2 actuators)
520545 EasyTouch 8SC-IC40 - Pool/Spa (includes SCG integration & IC40 cell, 2 actuators)
521150 EasyTouch 8SC-IC60 - Pool/Spa (includes SCG integration & IC60 cell, 2 actuators)


CANADIAN EASYTOUCH SYSTEMS
520914 EasyTouch 4P-C - Single Body (salt ready system, cell must be ordered separately)
520915 EasyTouch 8-C - Pool/Spa (salt ready system, cell must be ordered separately)
520911 ntelliChlor SCG IC20 cell for Canada
520912 IntelliChlor SCG IC40 cell for Canada
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
10,218
Bedford, TX
#7
ncp,

As the others have already said, you do not want an EasyTouch "Lite" model... If it have an "L" in the model number, you do not want it... As in PL4 or PSL4...

If you can tell us what you want your EasyTouch to do, we can get you pointed to the right one...

All of the non-lite versions of the EasyTouch come with a load center.. Meaning you do not need a separate circuit breaker box at the equipment pad.

Since you do not have an integrated Spa, my gut says you most likely do not need any valve actuators... ?

How do you currently turn on your waterfall? Just turn on a pump or do you have to turn a valve?

I assume your Polaris is a pressure side cleaner and to turn it on you just turn on your booster pump.. (No valves involved..) Is this true?

The EasyTouch comes with a built in Solar controller... What controls your current solar system? Most solar systems have an automated valve that opens and closes based upon the water temperature. Does your system currently use an automated valve ?

An EasyTouch 4 has only three relays that you can actually use.. each relay can control something that uses electrical power such as... Pool light(s), single speed pump(s), landscape lights, Pad Light, etc.

It appears to me that you already have at least three things you need to control with a relay... Booster pump, Waterfall pump, Pool Light.. This means that you have no ability to control anything else if you decided to do so in the future... This is why I always recommend an ET 8.. because I have the ET 4 and ran out of relays the day it was installed.. :(

At this point, here is what I think are the best two options for you...

The single body ET 8.. https://sunplay.com/collections/pentair-easytouch-control-systems/products/pentair-easy-touch-control-system-520703

The single body ET 4.. https://sunplay.com/collections/pentair-easytouch-control-systems/products/pentair-easy-touch-control-system-520591

In either case it is almost a must to have ScreenLogic2 which allows the pool to be controlled by your PC, Tablet or phone... https://sunplay.com/collections/pentair-easytouch-control-systems/products/pentair-screenlogic-interface-and-wireless-522104

If you can answer the above questions, it will help to make sure we are on the right track...

Thanks for posting,

Jim R.

- - - Updated - - -

Do you ever plan on going with a saltwater pool??
 

norcalpool1

Silver Supporter
Sep 16, 2017
48
Silicon Valley,CA
#8
>> Since you do not have an integrated Spa, my gut says you most likely do not need any valve actuators... ?
My spa is not integrated. It is separate, has its own electrical input, circuit breakers (a breaker in the garage, and a breaker about 7 ft from spa) and plumbing.

>> Since you do not have an integrated Spa, my gut says you most likely do not need any valve actuators... ?
I thought EasyTouch model has to have an actuator, if one has the solar thermal heat collectors installed, rather than only just a relay. My current equipment is a compool LX220 system with a valve that has a motor in it.
If these actuators in Easytouch models are used only for the integrated spa, then, true, I won't need those. This pool only needs the model that has

>> Number of breakers
There is a waterfall feature with its pump.

The set up needs at least four breakers
1. Waterfall
2. Pool Light (12V, Pentair Intellibrite 5G, LED)
3. Booster Pump
4. Intelliflo VSF pump

So, for spares and for future, it is clear that an 8-breaker set up is the one to go for.

>> Do you ever plan on going with a saltwater pool??
YES! There are some family members that are insisting on it. Needs to be included in the budget for next one or two years.

>> How do you currently turn on your waterfall? Just turn on a pump or do you have to turn a valve?
Right now there is no valve to it. There is an on-off switch. That in turn is connected to another switch box closer to the pool, which has two switches, one for the waterfall pump itself, and another for a little light, above the pool deck, behind the falling water, mounted on the rock providing a very light glow to the falling water.


> I assume your Polaris is a pressure side cleaner and to turn it on you just turn on your booster pump.. (No valves involved..) Is this true?
Yes. It is a pressure-side cleaner and when the booster pump is turned on, the pressure cleaner starts moving under water. There is no valve involved. If the booster pump is not on, the cleaner stops moving under water.
 

norcalpool1

Silver Supporter
Sep 16, 2017
48
Silicon Valley,CA
#9
In summary, here are the things the automated system would have to control:

1. Waterfall pump and a light above water, (both are on the same breaker. It is ok if the light is not separately controlled.)
2. Pool Light (12V, Pentair Intellibrite 5G, LED)
3. Booster Pump (PB4-60, on/off for a Polaris 380 pressure cleaner)
4. Intelliflo VSF pump
5. Whatever is required for automating a solar-thermal (FAFCO) heat collector system mounted on the roof.. (black plastic panels)
6. Future: salt chlorinator system
7. Future: some kind of system that can autofill and auto-drain to maintain a pool level This is really a very distant future as it requires some more plumping work to get water off into the city sewer, right now, whenever it rains excessively, I run a garden hose with a submersible pump to prevent the pool water running into the lawn and garden..
 

norcalpool1

Silver Supporter
Sep 16, 2017
48
Silicon Valley,CA
#10
EASYTOUCH CONTROL SYSTEMS WITHOUT INTELLICHLOR TRANSFORMER BUILT-IN
520703 EasyTouch 8P - Single Body (base system - no ICP, no actuators)
520540 EasyTouch 8 - Pool/Spa (base system - no ICP, 2 actuators)

EASYTOUCH CONTROL SYSTEMS WITH INTELLICHLOR TRANSFORMER AND INTELLICHLOR CELL
520705 EasyTouch 8PSC-IC40 - Single Body (includes SCG integration & IC40 cell)
520545 EasyTouch 8SC-IC40 - Pool/Spa (includes SCG integration & IC40 cell, 2 actuators)

It sounds like a pool that does not have an integrated spa does not need actuators. In that case, 520703 is the one to go for. Is it possible to upgrade this with the Intellichlor transformer later, when the IC40 cell is purchased and installed? If an extra expense, it seems good to finish the transformer installation now, so that the easytouch device does not have to be opened again when salt-cell is added in the future.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
10,218
Bedford, TX
#11
ncp,

See my answers below in red...

In summary, here are the things the automated system would have to control:

1. Waterfall pump and a light above water, (both are on the same breaker. It is ok if the light is not separately controlled.) Will use up one relay..
2. Pool Light (12V, Pentair Intellibrite 5G, LED) Will use up one relay..
3. Booster Pump (PB4-60, on/off for a Polaris 380 pressure cleaner) Will use one relay..
4. Intelliflo VSF pump Is controlled by a serial cable, no relay needed..
5. Whatever is required for automating a solar-thermal (FAFCO) heat collector system mounted on the roof.. (black plastic panels) If your current system has a automated valve the ET most likely can operate it.. How about a picture of the solar valve ??
6. Future: salt chlorinator system I would suggest buying now so that you can get the ET with built-in SWCG power supply.. It comes with the IC40 Cell...
7. Future: some kind of system that can autofill and auto-drain to maintain a pool level This is really a very distant future as it requires some more plumping work to get water off into the city sewer, right now, whenever it rains excessively, I run a garden hose with a submersible pump to prevent the pool water running into the lawn and garden.. Not really anything that the ET does...

So although the ET 4 will work, I recommend the ET 8... If you are planning on saltwater then I would go with one of the following two units, plus ScreenLogic..

https://sunplay.com/collections/pentair-easytouch-control-systems/products/pentair-easy-touch-control-system-520593

https://sunplay.com/collections/pentair-easytouch-control-systems/products/pentair-easy-touch-control-system-520705

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
10,218
Bedford, TX
#13
ncp,

What you have is actual two things... On the bottom, and connected to the plumbing, is a Jandy style valve.. and on top is a valve actuator.. this is the type of actuator that the ET can control.

The valve is most likely not bad but the actuator could be bad, but maybe not... It could be that the voltage going to the actuator is bad, or that someone has just set the little toggle switch on the actuator to the off position.. the switch has the thee positions... ON - OFF - ON... it is on the back side and you will have to look for it...

Thanks,

Jim R.