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Thread: Pentair VS and 2-speed pump reliability

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    pool_pirate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Bradenton, FL

    Pentair VS and 2-speed pump reliability

    Strongly considering a Pentair VS (Intelliflo) or 2 speed (Whisperflo) pump to replace my current 2 pump setup for pool (1hp) and spa (2hp). The local service guy is self-proclaimed "Old School" and recommends staying with a single speed pump claiming the VS and 2-speed are unreliable. He recommends a single 1.5hp pump which just doesnt make logical sense to me.

    Is the relibility there in the VS or 2 speed Pentair's?

    10K gal plaster pool + 600 gal attached hot hub, 3HP Pentair Intelliflo variable speed pump,
    Pentair CC100 cartridge filter, Hayward Aquarite T-Cell-9 (25000 gal) SWG, Pentair Ultratemp 140 Heat Pump

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Columbia, SC

    Re: Pentair VS and 2-speed pump reliability

    Welcome to TFP!!

    Sorry it took a while for your welcome, but to be honest after I retired I don't see 5:24 very often

    I think your logic is well founded. You already have identified the major problem, his self-proclaimed "Old School" attitude. Many people in the pool industry keep doing what they have always done, even though things change.

    Yes, the VS and 2 speed pumps have been around long enough that there is stability in their reliability. Now, with that being said, will you have a problem if you buy one - maybe. Being mechanical devices some are going to fail. As you look at reviews, most people with problems and negative thoughts make their voices heard while happy customers tend to go about their lives without commenting.

    Now, the key question is - Do you need a added expense of a VS pump? My gut feeling is probably not. When it comes to pools people tend to get too large a pump (I'm guessing your 2HP is overkill), too small a filter and run the pump too many hours. Unless your area has very high electric rates the payback time on the VS is probably going to be long.

    A little more information might be helpful, such as how often do you use the hot tub portion, how often do you swim, do you have a pool cleaner to deal with (pump speed) and just for future reference, do you have a screen enclosure over your pool like most in Florida have (add the screen enclosure & pool cleaner to your signature if you have them).

    Understand, you have fallen with a group of renegades who tend to buck "traditional" pool industry advice in favor of what we know works.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Mod Squad
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    DFW, TX

    Re: Pentair VS and 2-speed pump reliability

    Welcome to TFP!

    There are lots of people here who love their Intelliflo VS pumps, including me. It is great to be able to dial in the water flow to exactly what you want. I run my pump 24x7 during spring and fall because we have lots of trees. It keeps the debris in the skimmers and off the bottom. It runs at 1100 rpm which is great for skimming, filtering and making chlorine. Best of all it only uses 150 watts and costs less than 12 bucks a month to run at 10.25c/kwh.

    It is too much pump for my pool, I never run it above 2500 rpm, max is 3450. I am 3-1/2 years on this pump and the day it dies I will get another one.

    At the very least get a 2 speed pump will move half the water for a quarter of the electricity. I don't understand why he would think a 2 speed pump is less reliable, the only difference is the switch. Old school logic. At least the VS pumps have an electronic control panel that can fail (rarely). A surge protector will help prevent that.

    Another option is the Superflo smaller VS pump, Pentair SuperFlo VS Pump 342001 | Pentair 342001
    TFP Moderator
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Jimrahbe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Bedford, TX

    Re: Pentair VS and 2-speed pump reliability


    I'm on the VS speed side of this debate. While it probably is true that a 2-speed pump is the most cost effective option, I believe that the functionally of a VS speed pump outweighs the cost benefits.
    With a 2 speed pump you get, well… two speeds.. If the high speed is too high or the low speed is too low, too bad, what you got, is what you get.

    With a VS speed pump you can adjust the speed to exactly what you want the pump to do for that specific application. A good example would be a waterfall, where you might want to adjust the output to match the noise you want the waterfall to make.

    I believe that you can’t have too big of a VS speed pump. Just because the pump is labeled as a 3 HP pump does not mean you are ever going to use 3 HP. In my case I run about 1200 RPM most of time which uses about 200 Watts. That would be hp or less.

    The downside to a VS pump is that it has to have additional electronics to control the speed of the motor. With additional electronics comes additional chances for failures, although, based on the failures reported on this site, it does not seem to be a major issue.

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP5200 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2.

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    mas985's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Pleasanton, CA

    Re: Pentair VS and 2-speed pump reliability

    Since a VS has a lot of sensitive (and expensive) electronic components, you need to treat it like you would any piece of expensive electronic equipment and make sure you have good surge protection. The one thing that seems to kill these pumps in short order is line voltage spikes. However, a two speed is not vulnerable to line fluctuations.
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater, ThePoolCleaner

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