Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Pentair Intellicomm 2

This is a write-up on the Pentair Intellicomm 2 interface adapter (Manufacturer’s part number 521109, and our part number COM-30-1109). Written by Wine Country Pools and Supplies in Temecula Cailfornia.
This is not a how-to for installing a Intellicomm, this will show how two units were installed by us in these two specific cases.
This will include pictures of two installations and comments on two different automated controller systems. A Pentair IntelliFlo VS SVRS pump was used in both cases. For the automated controllers a Jandy RS and Hayward Goldline automated control system was used.

When installing a new variable speed pump into an existing pool equipment setup with an automated controller, the new pump might not be compatible with the existing controller. The old automated controllers can only send simple on/off messages to equipment (usually power/ no power). The variable speed pumps contain computers to control the motors and need a data signal to tell them what to do. One fix is to use the Intellicomm 2 adaptor in between the pump and controller.  When the controller wants to turn on the pump, it will send a standard on/off signal to the Intellicomm, and the Intellicomm sends the translated data signal to the pump to start the appropriate preprogrammed speed.

The Pentair Intellicomm 2 box contains the following items:
• Intellicomm II Interface Adapter
• Two mounting screws
• Mounting tape
• One Terminal Connector (RS-485 and Intellicomm II power connection)
• Compool RJ12 Adapter
• Four AUX cables (22 AWG)
• Installation and User’s Guide

The first installation was on a Jandy Aqualink RS Control System.

A cable was cut to use as the power cable from the RS to the Intellicomm.

This cut cable is now wired to the Jandy RS red terminal power bar. There were already 3 wires connected to this same connection and the Intellicomm was added as the 4th item to be powered by the board.

Next the variable speed pump needs to be wired so it is always on. The pump relay should be located, the pump removed, and then wired directly into its breaker.

Using the data cable that came with the variable speed pump, two wires from the pump go into the Intellicomm RS-485’s middle two connections.

Now, using the cable that you cut for power (already connected to the Jandy RS power terminal), connect this to the Intellicomm RS-485’s two outer connections.

Connect program 1 from the Intellicomm to relay 1 in the Jandy RS using one of the four AUX provided cables.

Do the same with program 2 and the next open relay on the Jandy RS board.

The Intellicomm board can be mounted anywhere within the Jandy RS box.

The second installation was on a Hayward Goldline.

The setup is similar to the Jandy RS steps above, but there are a few differences that will be highlighted below.

The picture below shows the inside of the Goldline with the power terminal marked as “1” and the relay bar marked as “2”.

Connecting the power is the same process as above.

Since the relay bar is solid on the Hayward Goldline, then the relay connected to it has to be altered to connect the Intellicomm.

The two screws holding the wire from the Goldline board connecting to the relay need to be removed. Now two wires from the AUX cable need to be cut, stripped, and connected to them.

For programming on and off times for either system, Set timers for any relay connected to the Intellicomm for on/off times as if it were a normal pump.

All speeds for each program are programmed on the pump itself under “Ext Control”. In the “Ext Control” option there are 4 programs available.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Piranha Power Pole Review Update

This is an update to a previous post on the Piranha PowerPole found here. This write-up will compare a Power Pole used for 10 months to a new never used Power Pole to see how they hold up over time with regular use.  Over the ten months, the pole was used for a swimming pool maintenance route that included at least 4 days a week of use, with 10-14 pools cleaned each day. Written by

The two main reasons for replacing a swimming pool pole are that the end of the pole where you connect attachments becomes cracked and/or thinned, so that the attachments are too loose or they will not connect at all. Or the mechanism that locks the inner pole to the outer pole (to extend the length) wears out so the inner pole no longer locks in place.

To start, here is a general comparison picture of the two poles next to each other. The used pole is scratched, scuffed, and dented around the entire pole.

Most swimming pool poles have two holes at the far end of the handle where you can attach cleaning tools. Since the Piranha Power Poles have two sets of the two holes, each set gets used about half as much over the same amount of time as a regular pool pole. This is meant to reduce wear and tear.
As seen in the picture, so far this has worked exactly as intended. The holes in the used pole are about the same size as the holes in the new pole, and still hold attachments firmly in place.
Even when viewed from the inside, these two sets of holes look to be in good condition. (Used on top and new bottom)

 One more view of the outside of both.

The locking mechanism for the inner and outer pole is a different story.
The Power Pole locks the inner pole to the outer pole using round indents along one side of the inner pole. This the first time I have seen this type of locking mechanism used on a swimming pool pole. A twist type lock is what every other pole uses.
On the used Power Pole, the indents are no longer round, they are oval shape from repeated use.

This means there is a chance that while pushing or pulling on the extended pole, the inner pole may collapse into or pull out of the outer pole. Currently, this is an issue that occurs with the used pole about 1 out of 10 times.

Another issue with other poles is over time the handles become loose, fall off, or just move around the end of the pole. Piranha did something to prevent this problem, and used two bolts through the handle to hold it in place.
This has worked as intended, at least so far, since one bolt has already broken loose, leaving a single bolt to hold the handle in place.
The far end of the handle has worn off, which is normal with these types of poles and, the power pole was no different.

It seems that the Piranha Power Pole was made to address certain common problems with swimming pool poles. Overall, it has held up with continued use, considering the amount of punishment it was subjected to.  For the average home pool owner who is cleaning his or her own pool once a week, the power pole would make for a good one-time purchase because of its durability. 

I have noticed even after 10 months, these poles are still not widely available for purchase, I can only assume it is because of the extra cost (2 to 3 times more) for these compared to budget swimming pool poles.  These are definitely worth the cost for anyone looking for quality swimming pool pole.   

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Changing Turbine and Flaps on a Pool Cleaner

This write-up was created by Wine Country Pools and Supplies a pool service company located in Temecula California (Our website can be found here at It will cover changing the turbine and flaps on a Pool Cleaner by Poolverbnuegen. The version of Pool Cleaner does not matter, the steps shown here would be the same for all models. Over time, the connectors holding the flaps can become loose, causing the flaps to stop the turbine from moving. The replacement part number is 896584000-365 (SCP part number PVN-201-1004), and includes no instructions. This guide will show how we changed the turbine and flaps on one of these cleaners.

Parts needed:
1) Poolvergnuegen Turbine Hub and Vane Kit #896584000-365
2) Hammer
3) Allen wrench (5/32) also known as hex key or allen key
4) Phillips head screw driver (hopefully it is small enough to fit though the center rod of the pool cleaner, that step will be seen later, otherwise a small screwdriver will also be needed)
5) Needle nose pliers

To begin, remove the 3 Phillips head screws holding the top shell of the Pool Cleaner on.

Once the screws are removed, the top shell can be pulled up and off of the cleaner.

Pull the center cone up and off of the cleaner, the turbine is just under this.

The turbine flaps need to be removed.  The top flap can be slid out, then turn the turbine and remove each flap as it reaches the top position.

Both wheels need to be removed to expose the rod holding the turbine in place. Use the Allen wrench to remove the single screw holding each wheel to the cleaner.

The rod holding the turbine needs to be pushed though the pool cleaner.  This will be the most difficult part of the install. The rod will come out on the side with four small gears in a single line. Depending on the age of the unit, this rod might have rusted in place.

In this specific case, as shown a hammer and screwdriver were used to force the rod out of position, freeing the center turbine. Once the rod is out, the turbine can be pulled out of the cleaner.

A picture of the old and new turbines for comparison.

The new turbine is placed into the old turbine’s position with the flaps falling towards the front of the cleaner.

The rod now needs to be pushed into the cleaner from the opposite direction from which it was removed. When the rod gets to the turbine, the turbine will need to be held up to line up the rod with the turbine’s center hole.

This rod also holds the back 3 gears in place, so as the rod gets to each one, they will need to be held up in position for the rod to pass though them. Needle nose pliers can be used to help grab and hold these up one at a time.

To get the rod completely in, it was hammered back into place. Once it is fully inserted, the rod should not be visible when viewed from above.

Both wheels were reattached to the cleaner.

The center cone is placed back over the turbine (it will only fit on one way)

The top shell is placed back on the cleaner, and the three Phillips head screws are placed back in to secure it down.