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Pentair Intellivalve Review

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pentair intellivalve
New from Pentair is a motorized valve actuator (MVA) that provides complete control over two port and three port diverter valve settings. Instead of the traditional valve actuators these new MVA's from Pentair allow you to program the exact diverter settings that you need to accommodate for specific flow. In total there are 46 possible setting locations which allows you to dial in the exact flow volume that you need.

These MVA's are sized to be able to fit and replace any industry standard compatible diverter valves for both two port and three port valves. These actuators also fit on "Y" valves in addition to "T" shaped valves. The Intellivalve operates on 24 volts and is compatible with any standard 24 volt (AC) pool and spa control or automation panel. Each intellivalve comes with a 20' power cord so as long as the valve is located within 20' of your control panel then you can adapt it anywhere on your plumbing system.

Advantages Of The Intellivalve

The intellivalve is an intelligent redesign of an integral pool and spa component. All automation systems require the use of motorized valve actuators in order to control valve functions and flow in the system. Traditionally the valve actuators that were available were analog with no digital output, indicator lights or any position orientation indicator other than the "off" notation embossed on the actuator handle.

The intellivalve offers a much higher level of control and system monitoring with 24 LED lights that light up to indicated current valve positioning. This makes it easy at a glance to see where the valve is set to currently, and also easy to program in new actuator orientation settings. Installation of the intellivalve is the same as with any MVA in that you remove four screws from the diverter valve and reinstall them through the actuator.

The limitation of traditional motorized valve actuators is that they are really only designed to have two operating positions. This is the primary function of the intellivalve, as with digitally controlled valves outside of the pool and spa industry - this allows for much greater levels of control over flow. While traditional valve actuators allow for only 12 degree setting increments, the new intellivalve allows a much more useful 3.75 degree increment scale which allows for almost four times as much control of flow rates through the diverter. It is also vastly easier to set the valve positioning with the intellivalve as opposed to adjusting the cams manually with traditional motorized valve actuators.

Another advantage of the intellivalve worth mentioning is that it is much smaller than traditional motorized valve actuators which makes these MVA's ideal for tight plumbing configurations. Digitally controlled valve actuators are something that has existing outside of the pool and spa industry for a few years now - it is about time that one of the major equipment manufacturers developed this technology for pool systems.

How To Program The Pentair Intellivalve

Programming the intellivalve is fairly straight forward. Instead of manually adjusting cams as with older style valves you simply need to assign both the home position as well as the secondary position for the valve. This is done through the 13 LED lights which indicate the valve position along a 180 degree plane. The default home, or resting position, is at the "0" position and the second default position is 180 degrees away at the "24" position, just as you would have with a traditional valve actuator. You can leave the home position at "0" and assign the second position anywhere along the 180 degree rotation, or you can set both the home and secondary positions if your installation requires this.

Setting Points
Press the mode button until the blue LED lights up over the "set" indicator. Use the red and yellow arrow buttons to move the location of the first point (the point that is closest to "0"). Once you have the first point LED in the correct location, press the save button to store this point. Now use the red or yellow arrow button again to find the desired location for the second point and then press the save button again. If you have correctly completed this step then all of the LED lights along the path you have just set will blink 5 times. Once these points are established and saved the valve will automatically change over to service mode.

If you accidentally reverse the settings for your home position and secondary point then you can reverse these by holding down both the red and the yellow buttons. This will cause the home point and the secondary point to switch making the old secondary point the new home point

Service Mode
To enter service mode with the intellivalve push the mode button until the yellow service mode LED turns on. While in service mode the preprogrammed auto positions are disabled and you can control the valve positioning manually by pressing the red and yellow arrow buttons. Any points that you set manually while in service mode are only temporary and the valve will return to normal programmed points once it is returned to "auto" mode. The service mode function will not time out on its own. To exit service mode, press the mode button and change to either "set" or "auto" mode.

Intellivalve Specifications

The cost of this intellivalve is almost twice as much as this Jandy valve actuator which you could consider as the current industry standard when it comes to motorized valve actuators. Despite this cost difference I expect to see many of the new intellivalves in the field soon, and likely other manufacturers releasing similar products shortly. Outside of the swimming pool industry the use of digitally controlled MVA's is commonplace so it was just a matter of time before the technology bridged over to this industry.

Features & Specifications
- The intellivalve can operate from 1.5" to 3" valves
- The intellivalve can communicate with any 24 volt output controller or automation system
- Adjustable in 3.5 degree increments (which is over 3 times the accuracy of standard MVA's)
- Much easier to program custom start and end points for valve function over standard MVA's
- Service mode for easy manual valve control

Digital valves such as the intellivalve are very likely to become the new standard for high end pool installations, shared pool and spa systems and automated solar heater controls. As with any new product the first concern will be the potential longevity of the product, but with a completely waterproof design, as well as being backed by arguably the best name in the pool equipment manufacturing business, digital MVA's like this one are the way of the future. This is just the first step in that direction for the mainstream pool and spa industry.

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