The SunTouch is one step up from its little brother, the SolarTouch. It is a surprisingly capable complete pool automation controller for the money, featuring the ability to control a pool and spa combination, an auxiliary heater (gas or heat pump), and other pool functions. In fact, even if you don’t have a solar pool heater, the SunTouch is something you should consider for total pool automation. The controller uses a roof and water sensor to check when solar heating is both needed and available, and turns a motorized valve on automatically when that is the case.
The one common complaint is the interface. Because the controller is so capable, and the interface is so basic, the menu structure is pretty complex and tends to confuse some users and pool service professionals alike. While the end user generally needs only to select the desired pool water temperature, going into the wrong menu can happen, and settings can be changed accidentally. A little practice, and the menu structure starts to make logical sense, but it was definitely designed by technical people, for technical people.
The SunTouch has complete timer/schedule functions and can accept up to four relays (three high voltage and one low voltage) for auxiliary functions like lights. It controls up to three valve controls for spas or features. That means you can control two valves for a pool/spa combo plus the solar valve, or the solar valve plus two features like waterfalls and fountains. I have my SunTouch controlling my pool lights and my landscape lighting, each with their own daily schedule, and can turn those features on and off by demand with the optional QuickTouch remote.
The other features of this controller are freeze protection for solar panels (with optional air sensor), nocturnal pool cooling, and the SunTouch can natively control a Pentair Intelliflo Variable Speed Pump. The controller takes over all timer functions for your pump and auxiliary features, and can control pumps speeds on a variety of variable speed and two-speed pumps. As always, it is best to match brands of equipment, so the Intelliflo works the most seamlessly. It also frees up an available relay because the pump control is via digital low voltage cabling.
There is no remote interface, so all functions need to be controlled and changed on the SunTouch itself. There is a remote option, but there is no display. It just has buttons that allow you to turn features on and off.
Bottom Line: If you are looking for an extremely capable 4-circuit controller with or without pool/spa control and demand a digital interface with variable speed pump control (now or future), and are willing to learn the complex menu structure and deal with some quirks with the interface, the SunTouch is a great option at a low price.