The SunTouch Controller is a lemon!
Pentair has a well-earned reputation for designing and manufacturing the finest swimming pool products in the industry but they struck out with the SunTouch controller (and they know it…)
You can’t win ‘em all and the SunTouch is the red-headed step child of their lineup. Fortunately (and to their credit), they have developed excellent replacement controllers.
Pool controllers/ automation are SUPPOSED to make life easier for the homeowner not more difficult!!
A controller is suppose to be easy to use for the homeowner Its purpose is to regulate the water temperature by turning a valve actuator when there is a call for heat and sending water to the roof-top solar panels while ramping up the variable speed pump at the same time. When the pool reaches temperature the valve closes and the pump ramps down (saving energy) while the flow of water bypasses the solar until the sensors detect that the pool has cooled off and needs to be reheated (and sends water to the roof gain until it reaches temperature again).
While the Sun Touch is well-intentioned at controlling solar heat for your pool, it is EXTREMELY difficult to program
So… what good is automation if the homeowner can’t make changes or control it?? In my experience, homeowners are forced to hire a service company to make the simplest changes on the controller which defeats the whole purpose of having a controller in the first place!! And, what I don’t understand is why some pool solar installation companies continue to install it on new solar systems. My only guess is because it has a good price point and because they are almost guaranteed to get income producing repeat service calls to reprogram the system because the homeowner is unable to.
I detest the SunTouch so much that I eliminated every one of them from my weekly pool service route!
That’s right, I lost money just to rid myself of the SunTouch headache. I would regularly receive calls from customers who couldn’t figure it out (for even the simplest of changes) so I would go over and reprogram the controller. Soon after I would get a call that they pushed a couple buttons on the controller and knocked the settings out of whack (to no fault of their own). I gave customers an option: change out the SunTouch with an effective an easy to program controller or find another pool service- half converted and half left but ALL of my SunTouch issues went away :) !!!
The solution is to replace the SunTouch
It’s a tough pill to $wallow after paying for a dud controller but if you want to be done with the Sun Touch and actually be able to (easily) control your system, there are new products that are reliable, built well and easy to use. For more information contact me and I can consult with you on what is the most cost effective solution for your specific backyard situation.
Mike the Poolman
Thank you to all the customers’ who encouraged me to write this after we successfully updated their systems.