I have had a pool for over 10 years. Last season I purchased a brand new Pentair Intellflow Variable Speed Pump Part # 011018 which was just new on the market at that time.
I installed it in my existing plumbing and almost immediately had a problem with sporatic priming alarms.
I use the programming function on the pump to run the pump during the day over a range of cycles and then keep it off overnight. Usually (but not 100% of the time) when the pump starts up for the first time the next morning it faults out with a priming alarm different than what the manual says is the way the alarm should function.
I think the main problem is that the pump leaks at the lid causing air to suck in very slowly when the pump is off. I have tried new seals, tighter clamping but I cannot stop this from happening.
So after being off all night, the pump starts up at 1800 RPM for 3 seconds as stated in the manual. It then ramps up to Max Speed and immediatly faults out on a Priming Dry Alarm. Somtmes this happens immediately when the speed ramps up, while other times it takes up to 5 or 10 seconds to alarm out. I then hit the alarm reset, retart the pump and it goes through the priming cycle again just fine starting up with full flow within 10 to 15 seconds. Note that the pump never ran the entire 5 minutes of the maximum primng time setting when it faults out.
If i disable the prime feature, the pump starts up just fine in high speed, however since I want the speed to run slow (ie 1500 rpm) you cant start up at 1500 RPM and expect it to prime so the system is kind of f**d.
I have talked to pentair, and talked, and talked, and service man came to the house. Their service is the most insulting I have ever seen:
1st insult - what do you expect when you buy the pump from an online pool store instead of from a store front place ! They made it sound like they shouldnt honour the warranty even though their service management said that the warrently is totaly valid. Idiots!
2nd insult - the pump has too many restrictions on the suction side - namely 4 x 90 degree elbows. Even though the pump can start and run without cavitation.
3rd insult - one of the 3 lines coming from the pool to the pump is 2" above the pump inlet because of the space a 3 way valve needs - they claim that this causes air to be in this line even though there is a check valve behind this.
I suspect that there is a sensitivity problem in how their software detects a dry prime condition. I mean it shuts off in just a few seconds after trying to start the pump - not minutes later. No pump can possibly be always up to prime in 3 seconds.
Has anyone seen this problem? Any ideas? Im about to throw this $1000 piece of **** out the door.