Pentair Intelliflo Pump - can it replace 2 existing pumps?

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Pentair Intelliflo Pump - can it replace 2 existing pumps?

Postby Guest » Sun 21 Nov, 2010 02:34

actually I wonder if may be actually almost as cost effective to get two separate Intelliflow pumps that use the existing solar & filter/chlorinator controllers, as opposed to trying to buy the new values/actuator/smart controller to allow the one Intelliflow to be used for both filter & solar heating?


dalehileman
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Pentair Intelliflo Pump - can it replace 2 existing pumps?

Postby dalehileman » Sun 21 Nov, 2010 11:43

You think you're mixed-up? For days before and during my installation and for a week afterward while I stood on the sidelines observing the results did I exist in a state of utmost confusion and anxiety

Also, if you plan to go it alone, I would recommend TFP as a very good source of information.

Mix, it's probably Mas' very good advice in this day and age of vast complexity. Without the auspices of our good buddy Ike we would never have undertaken the switch to vf which proved far more involved than I ever would have guessed. However I'd suggest similarly eliciting the help of, say, a highly qualified hardware/software engineer perhaps from the Aerospace Industry to resolve forthcoming problems you could never have anticipated

And possibly also a second software genius such as my No. 1 Son Rhee Zalot

If I believed in its efficacy I'd pray for you're success


....actually I wonder if may be actually almost as cost effective to get two separate Intelliflow pumps.....

I hope User is wrong. As I had mentioned, the Intelliflow has control capabilities for auxiliary equipment independently timed. In my case with separate booster as I had mentioned no additional equipment was required though with solar etc, especially on a roof distant from the pool I'll concede your obstacles are far greater than mine were

My installation will have paid for itself in 1 to 4 years depending on contingencies like the cost of electricity but if yours turns out as complex as you imagine you might double that estimate

....while I do hope and plan to live past 88
chem geek
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Pentair Intelliflo Pump - can it replace 2 existing pumps?

Postby chem geek » Mon 22 Nov, 2010 02:21

The IntelliFlo is not an inexpensive pump so getting two would be overkill. It's not expensive to plumb in a valve and connect it to a controller, though the IntelliTouch is more expensive than the EasyTouch. I replaced two pumps I had with an IntelliFlow, but my second pump was a booster pump used for a Letro Legend pool cleaner on a dedicated line. I had already had a valve for the solar which was driven from the main pump. Now I have the IntelliFlow running with several different scenarios as follows where you can set the flow rates for each independently.

Normal filtration -- 26 GPM -- very low cost operating mode
Solar On -- 48 GPM -- higher cost due to higher flow and long runs -- 12 solar panels (4 GPM each)
Pool Cleaner -- 15 GPM -- The Pool Cleaner on a dedicated line run a couple of hours at night
Gas Heat -- 40 GPM -- for gas assist in spring and fall

Unfortunately, one can't run the gas heater and the solar at the same time (except in manual service mode) -- the IntelliTouch treats solar as a special program from the gas heater -- both are special in that they are controlled by temperature sensors.

I had no problems with my installation nor operation since getting the IntelliFlo in June, 2007. I've cut my total pool pump electricity costs in half and with the expensive marginal electricity rates in my area at 32 cents per kilowatt-hour, I'm at $750 per season whereas I used to be at $1500. Definitely worth it in my situation.
mixedup
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Pentair Intelliflo Pump - can it replace 2 existing pumps?

Postby mixedup » Mon 22 Nov, 2010 02:35

thanks chem geek,

I'm be interested in understanding what are the different components you have then in your system? e.g. like a break down of what items you needed to make it all work (well even just for pool filter & solar). For example:
- Intelliflo pump
- controller - eg IntelliTouch
- valve(s) - i.e. which the controller would trigger to open/close when required
- suction side check valve or a 2-way valve
- etc

BY THE WAY - Re replacing my existing filter/chlorinator controller (which comes with the chlorinatorcell), I remember now it actually has a means to say how much chlorine should be produced. How would the IntelliTouch replace this functionality here for the chlorine cell?
chem geek
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Pentair Intelliflo Pump - can it replace 2 existing pumps?

Postby chem geek » Mon 22 Nov, 2010 13:45

My pool is 16,000 gallons and is shown here and here . I have two floor drains connected together to a 1.5" pipe going to the pump. I have one skimmer connected to a separate 1.5" pipe going to the pump. Each has a manual 2-way valve so that they can be turned on/off independently (not usually needed to be done -- I shut both off with the pump off before cleaning the filter -- one can be on when the pump starts up if there is air in the lines to increase suction in one line for priming, but I haven't needed to do this since it was installed). I have 3 returns coming from a single 2" line from the pump that splits into 3 1.5" lines (one to each return). I have a separate dedicated 1.5" line from the pump for the pool cleaner that is switched by an automatic valve (more on valves later).

Most plumbing at the pad is 2" piping. The two separate suction lines tee together to a 2" pipe that goes into the suction side of the pump through a visible check valve (has a clear plastic window with a red indicator when there is flow). The input side of the IntelliFlo pump has a pump basket with a clear plastic window top for viewing. The output of the pump goes to my Jandy CL340 oversized 4-cart cartridge filter. The output of the filter goes to an axial spring check valve I'm likely to replace in the future with a swing check valve that should have far less resistance. The pipe then goes to an electrically selectable Jandy 3-way valve (1 input, selecting between 2 outputs) that with one of the outputs goes to the solar system (there's a manual 2-way valve as well just before going into the ground that may also be a check valve). Pipe comes back from the solar system and joins the main pipe in a tee (with another manual 2-way valve that may also be a check valve in the solar line combing back close to the tee). The pipe then goes to the gas heater and the output from the gas heater goes to another electrically selectable Jandy 3-way valve that can optionally go to the dedicated 1.5" line to the pool cleaner -- normally it goes to the 2" line to the returns.

Most of what I described was already there before the IntelliFlo. The main change was to add the Jandy 3-way valve to selectively go to the pool cleaner. Before the IntelliFlo, the line from the main pump was split with flow able to go to the booster pump for the cleaner which in practice was blocked unless the booster pump was on. Of course, in the new setup, the booster pump was removed. I had a wired control panel for the IntelliTouch added to be in the house which is really convenient.

There are some quirks with the IntelliTouch system which I workaround. The main one is that I run the pool cleaner at night after the sun is off the solar panels to ensure that the cleaner only gets 15 GPM. Otherwise, if the solar went on, the pool cleaner would get the solar rate of 48 GPM which is way too high. The solar and the gas heater are separate "automatic" programs in that they are temperature controlled and while each can have its own flow rate, for any of these special programs the highest flow rate wins. Also, one cannot have the gas and solar on at the same time, unfortunately, except in manual service mode. The IntelliTouch accepts temperature sensors for the water temp in the pipe near the pump and for the water temp at the solar. We just wired that existing solar temp sensor to the IntelliTouch replacing the previous solar controller.

I don't have a saltwater chlorine generator, but the IntelliTouch is able to monitor and control most such systems. It can also control lights, waterfalls and other features. You can read more about the IntelliTouch here .

Richard
mixedup
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Pentair Intelliflo Pump - can it replace 2 existing pumps?

Postby mixedup » Mon 22 Nov, 2010 22:45

Thanks Richard - thats helped clarified some of the possibilities.

Few follow up questions if I may:

a) risk of all values being off - if I assume there would be times when my pump might have "only solar" / "only filter" / "both" does this imply I would typically have an on/off value for both the filter/solar inputs? In this case is there a risk that if something went wrong with the values you might have no water to suck in when the pump turns on? How is this typically handled? Is there a way to plumb values together so this is never an issue?

b) also would I want to still stick with the separate input pipes for the solar & filter - currently there is one main return from the pool for the filter (from the skimmer box). For the solar there are 2 separate points on the pool side walls that lead back to the existing dedicated solar pump. If you wanted to have the solar & filter on at the same time for example would the new pump be sucking from all these inputs?

c) following on from a) would you in fact not want to have the filter on at the same time as the solar generally? I have a creepy attached at most times to my skimmer box.

d) I've heard you need about 25 gallons/minute to run a creepy - sound right?
mixedup
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My Pool: 50,000L
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Pentair Intelliflo Pump - can it replace 2 existing pumps?

Postby mixedup » Tue 23 Nov, 2010 00:22

oh - I've taken up the advice of a couple of people here re leveraging the troublefreepool site. I've posted a more encompassing request for clarification
chem geek
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Pentair Intelliflo Pump - can it replace 2 existing pumps?

Postby chem geek » Tue 23 Nov, 2010 02:11

a) There is only one 3-way valve for the choice of solar off (i.e. filter only) vs. solar on (i.e. filter and solar). The valve merely chooses whether or not to send water to the solar or not. It is impossible for it to shut of flow to both -- even half-way it will send half the water each way. You don't ever have an "only solar" without filtration -- you always go from the pump to the filter (well, you can have a separate valve for the filter for bypass or backwash if one has a sand filter, but that's a manual valve and not an automatic one).

b) so the 2 separate points on the pool side walls you are talking about are suction points for bringing water to the dedicated solar pump? So yes, I think instead of this setup you would take water in from all three -- the skimmer and these two other points -- all going to the single IntelliFlo pump that would then go to the filter (always) and optionally go to the solar. Now MAYBE you'll want more skimmer action at lower speeds in which case you'll want just the skimmer to be active when the solar is off. That's what you've got today. If you want to keep that, then you'll want an automatic 2-way valve that turns on and off the suction input from the 2 separate points on the pool side walls -- the skimmer would always be active. This valve would open when the solar was on so would open at the same time the 3-way valve switched to have pump output go to solar.

c) Yes, you normally want filtration on at all times. With the Kreepy connected to the skimmer box, that's probably why they have all the flow coming from the skimmer when the solar is off. That makes the flow rate higher which the Kreepy probably needs.

d) I don't know the minimum flow rate needed for the Kreepy to operate.

I'll respond to your other post on the other forum as well.

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