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Thread: Pentair intelliflo problems

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Pentair intelliflo problems

    I wanted to share my experience with a Pentair intelliflo.
    I bought my house with a 20 year old pool last year, shortly after the purchase the pump failed due to a cracked pump housing. I believe the pump was a Sta-rite. It was 2 HP, going through a Triton II sand filter. My pool is a 16X32 and only about 5.5 ft deep at the most. I figured it to be about 17,000 gal. The pool is in need of a replaster job, but due to lack of funds it wont happen anytime soon. After much contemplation and research and due to the fact that Im a miser I decided to buy an intelliflo pump to circulate the water slowly 24/7 and save money on the electric bills. The up front cost was painful, but I reasoned that I would save more money in the long run. I elected to pay $150 more buying it through a local pool supply store (as opposed to the net) so if there were any problems right off the bat I could return it. They have a 2 week return policy. Total cost was about $1050. I installed it myself, Im good with electronics and had no problem getting it up and running, much to my family's delight (pool was closed for months) I was pretty happy with its performance other than the fact I was essentially losing prime every 1.5 days (though it NEVER ran dry).
    One afternoon (2 weeks after installation) we had a lot of debris in the pool, my wife wanted to swim but wanted to clear the surface quickly so she turned the pump up to level 3. We were sitting outside about an hour later and I noticed the pump wasnt running. I asked my wife if she had turned it down or off and she said she hadnt. I checked the pump and it was off. I tried to turn it back on and didnt get any response, no lights no sounds, nothing. I checked the breaker and it was OK, so I tested the wires to the pump and they were live/ground etc... The pump was dead after just 2 weeks!
    It was just past my 2 week return policy from the store I bought it from so I had to go through Pentair for a warranty. After calling them (spending 30min on hold) I was told someone would come take a look at the pump. I was impressed someone was going to come to my house to help fix my pump! Apparently, they dont come to fix the pump, they look for things you may have done "wrong" to void the warranty. Needless to say, he apparently reported to Pentair that it was wired wrong (it probably wasn't code...but the wiring didn't lead to pump failure, I assure you).
    I have spent numerous hours on hold (30min-1hr each call) trying to sort this out with them, on one occasion after the recording said I had a 5-10min hold time... I spent 35 min. on hold, the phone was picked up and they hung up on me without a word said. I cant believe that a company that charges so much for a product wont stand behind it when it fails, and I cannot believe how poor their customer service is. Ive never felt more taken, frustrated and ripped off as I do about this pump. Im considering filing a lawsuit, but Im unsure of the logistics of suing a company that is based out of state.
    At any rate, my advice to anyone thinking of buying this pump... first consider if you could handle throwing that amount of money away if you are faced with a similar situation. Second, I dont care how handy you are, dont install one yourself. If the pump fails and the installation is blamed, you can always go after the installer (should be a Pentair dealer of course) Third, dont let the pump get wet...keep it covered. There was a rain storm the day it failed and the drive may have gotten wet. The pump was sheltered, but not covered. That is my best guess as to its failure...whos heard of a pool pump that cant handle a little rain? Fourth...If you really must buy one of these pumps...I have a wonderful barely used mint condition VS-3050 that I would be willing to part with, its only been used for 2 weeks!

    If anyone else has a similar story, Id love to hear about it.

    BTW, I had to go buy a used worn out Hayward Super II 1HP pump off craigslist for $140 (due to lack of funds). The thing has to be over 5 years old. I did my same "incorrect" wiring job on installation. Its been working (though a little louder than I would want) for 2 months now without a hitch. Ive had 4 times longer service with it than the $1050 intelliflo. "Things that make you go Hmmmmm."
    I hope none of you are faced with this situation...and sorry for the long rant.
    18k Inground Plaster pool / TriStar Variable Speed Pump and Controller
    48sq ft Hayward DE filter/ Swim pure Plus 40k cell / Kreepy Krauly
    Solaxx Ph-Tek

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Re: Pentair intelliflo problems

    So sorry you had such terrible luck.

    Boy, you are right in being careful about installing something like that yourself or having someone inexperienced install it for you. Let me tell you my saga about a pump wired wrong.

    Last year, I had a young guy who was just starting out with his new pool business come have a look at my multiport valve - it was stuck on backwash even though the lever was positioned on filter and I was losing water. I discussed it with him on the phone and he said it was probably the spider gasket. I had researched it and that is what my research showed, too. Well, he stopped by the next morning to "fix" it while I was at work and called me and said everything is working fine, he was on his way to pick up a pressure gauge I asked him to change out, as well. I asked him if it was indeed the spider gasket, and he hemmed and hawed and said he didn't check it, that everything was working fine. I said, "you better turn right around and check my pool because it is probably emptying." I didn't hear anything further from him and at 6 p.m. I arrived home to find his truck was still there (my stomach then turned, I knew it couldn't be good) and indeed, I had an empty pool!!! Then, after 2 days of filling it back up, he was to stop by and finish up the rest of the work and I get a call at work that my pump went out, so I foolishly had him replace it, when I should have known better from his last faux pas.

    Well, it seemed okay, nice and quiet and seemed to run fine. Ran it for just a little over a year and suddenly it was really noisy. It also would shut itself off for a while, maybe 5 minutes, and then start back up. During the same timeframe, I also had a power supply to a piece of equipment stop working and my garage door opener started acting wonky.

    I had a different service person come out from a long established pool repair place and it was discovered that the pump had been wired wrong. Some of the wires were actually melted at the pump motor. Now, I could never explain exactly how it was wired wrong, but the service person said it was wired such that all the current was being pulled from 1 breaker instead of the supposedly normal 2 breakers. The one breaker was very hot and the other was not. According to an electrician I had stop by, this caused a problem across my entire service panel and caused a spike to my garage door opener and to the power supply. Come to think of it, a few weeks before, my refrigerator/freezer also went out and I now wonder if there was another spike that could have taken it out. I now have everything plugged into surge suppressors. This was a very costly problem for me.

    14,000 gallon, in ground, plaster, free form, play pool.
    Sta-Rite Max-E-Glass with a 1.5 hp Emerson motor
    WaterCo Micron High Rate sand filter S750 490 lb, 4883 sq ft - using ZeoBest
    In floor Polaris cleaning system
    Blue Diamond robot for those after storm days when I can't wait overnight for the in floor to clean it.

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    San Rafael, CA USA

    Re: Pentair intelliflo problems

    Welcome to TFP!

    I'm sorry you had such a bad situation with the Pentair Intelliflo pump and service. I have one and love it, but it was installed by my pool builder (as an upgrade I did about 5 year after he installed the pool with a one-speed Jandy 1 HP pump). Nevertheless, I had a bit of a runaround regarding the IntelliTouch electronics as the pool builder wasn't as familiar with the Intelliflo -- I believe I was his first install for it. Pentair ultimately sent out a technical guy and with the feedback I gave him I got essentially a free upgrade from a i5s to an i9s that did what I had originally requested and called Pentair about before getting the pump.

    So I would say that the corporate service was poor -- took quite a while to get back -- but that field service when initiated by a pool builder was good.

    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

  4. Back To Top    #4

    follow up

    Ok, in fairness to Pentair, I need to make an update on my ordeal with them. I went back and forth with Pentair for months, they kept saying they would send somebody else out, and nobody would call or show. I finally gave up. About 6 months after the pump went out, I decided to shoot pentair another message, I got a reply that I would be contacted by a guy to come take another look. The guy called, came by and told me I had to re-install the pump for him to fix it. He said my wiring job on my Hayward looked fine. So I re-installed it and they guy came and fixed it the next week. Its been a few weeks now and it continues to work fine.... of course its winter and I only run it for 1 hour per day, and I keep the pool covered. The fact that its winter may have played a part in getting it resolved. Im sure business is slowed
    So I feel a little better about the whole ordeal. Would I buy from Pentair again? Maybe, only if I was desperate. But I dont feel the surge of rage every time I see their logo...which is a good thing. And I dont feel like smearing their name in **** to everyone I meet.
    I do have to say, I wouldn't buy the pump again. Im only using it on level 3 now. The old ancient Hayward I bought worked great the whole time the pentair was down... >6 months. it was only 1HP, and I thought it did a great job. My only complaint is that it was louder than the pentair...but Im sure the bearings where getting pretty old and worn. But I appreciated the simplicity, reliability and low cost of it. Thats what I will buy next time around...maybe not exactly that, but a simple quality pump of a good brand.

    just thought I would do an update just in case anyone wonders what eventually happened.
    18k Inground Plaster pool / TriStar Variable Speed Pump and Controller
    48sq ft Hayward DE filter/ Swim pure Plus 40k cell / Kreepy Krauly
    Solaxx Ph-Tek

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Pentair intelliflo problems

    I purchased a Pentair IC40 Chlorinator from a local dealer for my in-ground pool. After about 6 months I started to have problems with my Chlorinator. The Chlorinator was no longer producing chlorine. I called the dealer several times that installed it and each time he gave me a chemistry lesson on the chlorinator. This "lesson" never fixed my Chlorinator. Finally, after no help from the dealer, I finally called Pentair directly. This was about 14 months after purchase (took that long for me to figure out that the dealer was not willing to help me even with numerous calls!!). When I called Pentair a customer rep took my information and gave me conflicting information that the owner's manual stated. After a few calls to this guy (of not helping me), I spoke to someone else. Come to find out, the Pentair rep never put my information into the computer. The second Pentair rep was helpful and informed me that a warranty man will come to my home. I did receive a call and the repair man did show up only to tell me that I had a one-year warranty and that I would have to purchase another one (the cell went out). I informed him that I started having problems with it 6 months after I purchased it. It did not matter since the original pool company that I called several times never contacted Pentair and open a warranty ticket for me. Anyway, I will never buy anther Pentair product EVER or recommend this to anyone. Sales, services, and customer representative were all useless! For what I paid for this and the problems I had almost since the beginning, they should have worked with me a little better. I have purchased a Hayward Goldline.......will see how that works......stay away from Pentair!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    May 2007
    South Central NJ

    Re: Pentair intelliflo problems

    Hmm, it took you 6 months to figure out the dealer was louse and Pentair gets the blame? Did you have any documentation back up the calls to the dealer? How did you chlorinate the water in the time the cell was crapped out?

    Pentair, when show evidence if an ongoing issue within the warranty period and dealer involvement normally makes good. Without that documentation, not unlike the position any other manufacturer, you have no claim.

    If the dealer showed you how and what to test for, did you show him evidence that that was done? Did they show you deficiencies? Did you do anything about them?

    There are a lot of missing pieces here.

    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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