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.