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.