EasyTouch vs. IntelliTouch

chakrJune 8, 2011


I posted earlier but did not do a good job of describing the situation. So, here is a second try. I am trying to decide between two bids - one with EasyTouch, one pump and a bunch of actuated valved and another with IntelliTouch. The bids are very far apart one about 10K and the other about 20K and I would rather go with the 10K option if it works.

Here are some details:

- The pool is 16'x27' and approx 14,500 gallons.

- The pool does not have a skimmer

- The negative ege is about 11' wide.

- The negative edge spillway is designed to have an auto-leveller

- The spa is 5'x7'. There are 6 jets in the spa

- The spa is be heated with gas

- There is small waterfall - the water has to go up about 8' but the flow is out of a 3/4" feeder so not high power by any stretch. I am guessing a 1/2 hp kind of pump would be more than sufficient

- the pool and spa are fully tiled (not plaster) and apparently that makes a difference to the cleaner so have not picked a cleaner yet.

- lighting: pool-2; spa-1; spillway-2, bench-2 (savi melody type)

- Equipment is right next to the pool - about 4' below pool water level. So, the plumbing is all right there. The longest pipe is probably 30'

- In-deck solar heating heats the pool and spa water during daytime and is right next to the pool but at the same level as equipment - about 4' below pool water level.

One equipment guy says everything is closeby and can be run off with EasyTouch, one pump using valves. Another guy quoted IntelliTouch, with 4 pumps. The bids are wide apart so I called Pentair and they said either one would work depending on the hydraulic calcs (which i do not have)


- I can easily schedule so that cleaning and solar heating is happening when the pool is not being used

- I do see the spa, waterfall, and negative edge all running at the same time.

- I can see negative edge, waterfall and deck jets running at other times.

For automation what I want is a simple system that anyone can use with minimum hassle(at least start/stop the functions needed)

Any thoughts? EasyTOuch or IntelliTouch? Can this really be done with one pump or will that too much of a compromise.


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My $.02

If you are going to automate, then automate the whole deal.

Why add automation if you have to choose what features to run at what times? I want my clients to have TOTAL control. Any or all features running at anytime without any compromise.

The Easytouch is my favorite in terms of simplicity and ease of use, but your system is too complex (ie has too many functions to control) for the Easytouch. It maxes out at 8 relays, so unless you piggy back functions (like tying all the lights on one circuit) you are gonna run out of relays fast.

If I was your builder, I would be recommending the four pump system with the Intellitouch. You can add multiple subfeed panels and gain as many relays as you want. Again, TOTAL control.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 7:03PM
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The pool does not have a skimmer .


    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 8:20PM
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kspoolman, I have no problem going all the way with automation but the difference between 10k and 20k is hard to ignore. Am I really getting that much more with a more flexible system? From what I understand so far the only compromises I would be making with the cheaper bid are:
1. Lighting options are fewer
2. When the spa is running the pump will be constantly pumping hot water even if the other functions do not need hot water.

Other than that I am being told there is not much of a significant difference between the bids.

Is there any other functionality I would be missing by going with just one pump?

I have no idea right now how the 8 relay limitation you mention affects me. What are these 8 relays being used for? What is the limitation? Can additional relays be added on? Are there any expansion modules?

Outside of relays, would I be missing any thing by going with EasyTouch?

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 9:06PM
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You'll want the IntelliTouch and multiple pumps. Each function (i.e. light, cleaner, solar, waterfall) will use a function. With the EasyTouch you will definitely not get the ability to do all that your pool can do. With a one pump system your waterfall will not work while the spa is in use. Four pumps seems like quite a few for the pool, but one for the water-feature and one variable speed pump for the pool and spa should suffice. A third pump would be nice to run the vanishing edge when the spa is in use. I imagine the fourth pump spec'd is for the spa jets, but if you don't have 10 or more jets the VS pump should do the job. 10K for more lights, 3 extra pumps, and the control system is not excessive in cost.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 10:12AM
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goyom, yes there is no skimmer. Apparently not needed for negative edge pools.

poolmanchuck, thanks for the insight. I agree with you that the $10K is justified for the additional equipment but just asking myself if there is enough value to it.

I am thinking about how I am likely to use this thing and it looks to me like a two pump solution may be a good compromise. Run pool jets off one pump and everything else of another pump. When pool jets run they are cirulating hot water and it is a waste of energy to supply hot water to other functions (some of which will very likely be in use when the spa is running). By seperating the pool jet pump the problem is solved. That also means that both the high flow requirements are on two different pumps. Does that make sense?

I am still undecided about EasyTouch vs. Intellitouch. Looking for any inputs on if there is way to use EasyTouch and get the flexibility with lighting at the same time without having to pay the 1k or 2k premium for Intellitouch.


    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 9:22PM
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If you put your second pump on the spa jets then your heater will be tied into your pool and water-features if you try to use them while in the spa. Inground spas cool off quickly and you would notice the heat drop during a typical spa session. You would actually want to run the spa jets on the filter pump, which is tied into the heater, and run any additional water-features which SPILL INTO THE POOL on a separate dedicated pump. If a feature spills into the spa then it goes on whatever pump is running the spa jets or the filter/heater pump if you have a dedicated pump for all the pool water-features. If you run a VS pump for the filter pump, which will save you electrical energy in the long run, you will be able to have strong jets in spa mode and efficient filtration in pool mode.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 11:17AM
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