Advice on Intelliflo V/S

Valdeselad

Well-known member
Dec 25, 2014
68
Houston, Texas
Hello Everyone,

I am leaning towards replacing our current pump, which is a Whisperflo single speed 2.5HP model (see pic), with a variable speed intelliflo 3HP model, such as the one below:

Amazon.com : Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo Variable Speed High Performance Pool Pump, 3 Horsepower, 230 Volt, 1 Phase - Energy Star Certified : Swimming Pool Water Pumps : Patio, Lawn Garden

Using back of the envelope calcs, I figure my energy savings would be roughly $20/month (depending on how it's ultimately setup of course), but would provide other benefits such as being quieter, having freeze protection, and being able to run the pump longer at a lower speeds in order to keep the water moving. So it's not all about immediate financial payback as I know that will take some time given the purchase price.

Would there be any issue replacing my current model (2.5HP) with this one (3HP)? My old model is 230V so I think in terms of electrical it's no problem (assuming I don't electrocute myself). Also, the pump today is hooked up to the intermatic timers so could I bypass those with the new pump?

Thanks for everyone's help.

Pump.jpg
 

JVTrain

TFP Expert
Feb 3, 2014
5,081
Central Minnesota
Do you have solar heating panels, water features or other plumbing items that make that much HP in a pump necessary? Some more details on your pool would help in that area. Your current pump may be oversized already and you might be able to save even more on your electric bill going with a lower HP VS or two speed pump.
 

Valdeselad

Well-known member
Dec 25, 2014
68
Houston, Texas
Do you have solar heating panels, water features or other plumbing items that make that much HP in a pump necessary? Some more details on your pool would help in that area. Your current pump may be oversized already and you might be able to save even more on your electric bill going with a lower HP VS or two speed pump.
@JVTrain - Thanks for your response - I do have a spa attached the pool which this pump would need to power, but that's it. I think the 3HP is the only model intelliflo has. Obviously being V/S you can dial it down to the needed rate so not sure the max power is that important - perhaps I'm wrong here.
 

mas985

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There are several VS models from Pentair including the Intelliflo i1 which is a lower HP version. But instead of that, I would consider the SuperFlo VS at a much lower price point.

But a two speed would likely save you just as much if not more over the life of the pump since the up front costs are much less.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
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May 19, 2010
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You don't think the Superflo VS will be too weak for the spa?

I would think you would want to stick with a 2-speed version of a similar Whisperflo that you have ... anything wrong with the pump? Might just need a new 2-speed motor.
Or get the Intelliflo VS, but that seems a little overkill for your needs.
 

Killer95Stang

Well-known member
Aug 17, 2012
882
Sunny SoCal
Personally, I think this is a perfect application for the intelliflo pump. Also, I'm pretty sure you will save a lot more money than you think. By only running your schedules during off peak hours, it helps you save in energy costs. Also, cash in on the rebates offered by your utility.

I recently replaced an old power hog 2.5hp pump at my brothers house. With better scheduling and reduced speeds on the pump , he says he saves about $80- $100 per month... But his is an extreme case.
 

mas985

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You don't think the Superflo VS will be too weak for the spa?
Yes it would. I missed the comment about the spa. But I would agree that a VS is overkill. I would just replace your current motor with a two speed.
 

JVTrain

TFP Expert
Feb 3, 2014
5,081
Central Minnesota
Yes it would. I missed the comment about the spa. But I would agree that a VS is overkill. I would just replace your current motor with a two speed.
Trying to learn myself in this thread. So a 2.5 HP WhisperFlo 2-speed motor end might be the ticket? Lower upfront cost for 2-speed, electricity savings?
 

Valdeselad

Well-known member
Dec 25, 2014
68
Houston, Texas
You don't think the Superflo VS will be too weak for the spa?

I would think you would want to stick with a 2-speed version of a similar Whisperflo that you have ... anything wrong with the pump? Might just need a new 2-speed motor.
Or get the Intelliflo VS, but that seems a little overkill for your needs.
@jblizzle - there is nothing wrong with the current pump, but it seems like if I'm going to invest in a new pump ($400), I might as well spend a few hundred more and get some of the features I want with the new pump (i.e. freeze protection - believe it or not it does freeze in Houston and it can create problems).
 

Valdeselad

Well-known member
Dec 25, 2014
68
Houston, Texas
Yes it would. I missed the comment about the spa. But I would agree that a VS is overkill. I would just replace your current motor with a two speed.
Maybe this is a dumb question, but if I just replaced the motor on my current pump with a 2 speed motor, how do I actually control the speed? Doesn't it need the higher speed when it is first turned on, but can then run at a lower speed to keep the water moving? Do you have to go to the pump every time and manually adjust the motor speed?
 

mas985

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how do I actually control the speed?
Manual switch OR two speed timer OR electronic controller.

Doesn't it need the higher speed when it is first turned on,
No unless the pump loses prime which it shouldn't.

Do you have to go to the pump every time and manually adjust the motor speed?
Not if you get a two speed timer. But given the size of the pump, you shouldn't really need high speed unless you are running the spa. You can just run on low speed all the time and then switch manually to high speed for the spa. You have to change the valves anyway, right?
 

Valdeselad

Well-known member
Dec 25, 2014
68
Houston, Texas
You have to change the valves anyway, right?
Honestly, I'm not sure. I don't have any experience with this so trying to learn as much as I can and figure out what is the best long-term solution.

I should also point out the existing pump is probably 8-10 years old at this point (not sure what the typical lifespan is).
 

mas985

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Motors last upwards of 10 years but the wet end (actual pump) lasts much longer. There is not much to go wrong with a pump other than a cracked housing which is usually because of freezing. Everything else can be replaced.
 

pooldv

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Aug 10, 2012
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I love my 3hp VS pump. It is way more pump than I need. It can also do everything I have ever wanted it to do. And it has save me tons of money.

My pump runs solar, filter, skimmers and waterfall.

1100 rpm gives me good skimmer action and runs my SWG. The pump draws 150 watts at 1100 rpm. So, during spring and fall I can run it 24x7 to keep leaves, pollen and tree stuff skimmed and off the pool floor.
It runs my solar panels at 1950 rpm and 550 watts.
It runs my waterfall and skimmers at 1500 rpm.
And solar plus waterfall at 2500 rpm.
I also use 2500 rpm and all main drains to brush the pool.

I never get close to the max rpm of 3450.

I will buy another when this one fails without hesitation.
 

thepoolman

In The Industry
Jan 24, 2012
340
I love my 3hp VS pump. It is way more pump than I need. It can also do everything I have ever wanted it to do. And it has save me tons of money.

My pump runs solar, filter, skimmers and waterfall.

1100 rpm gives me good skimmer action and runs my SWG. The pump draws 150 watts at 1100 rpm. So, during spring and fall I can run it 24x7 to keep leaves, pollen and tree stuff skimmed and off the pool floor.
It runs my solar panels at 1950 rpm and 550 watts.
It runs my waterfall and skimmers at 1500 rpm.
And solar plus waterfall at 2500 rpm.
I also use 2500 rpm and all main drains to brush the pool.

I never get close to the max rpm of 3450.

I will buy another when this one fails without hesitation.
This.

You're not looking at too much more money to go to the Intelliflo versus a 2 speed, not including the extra money/effort you'll put into a 2-speed switch.

- Ability to vary your speeds anywhere in the RPM range(not just full speed and half speed)
- Much quieter motor at all RPMs
- You are probably WAY underestimating your power savings
- Sealed, aluminum construction motor
- Freeze protect (although this is to protect electronic components, not prevent frozen pipes)
- Simple automation integration if you upgrade to controls in the future.

This is a no brainer. Get a couple high temp unions to install the new pump and you're golden.
 

prs

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I too love my 3HP VS pump, and feel the versatility of this pump is well worth the few extra bucks. The OP may want to consider the IntelliPro rather than the IntelliFlo. I think there was a recent thread on the differences between the two pumps but if I recall correctly you set a given water flow rate on the IntelliFlo and the pump then adjusts the rpm to maintain that flowrate. The drawback to this is that as the filter gets dirty and back pressure increases; the pump automatically increases rpm to maintain flow and power consumption increases accordingly. On the IntelliPro you just set the speed and that's it.
 

mas985

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The Intelliflo VS and Intellipro VS drives are identical except for color. What you are describing is the difference between the VF and VS. VF is variable flow (set GPM) and the VS is variable speed (set RPM).
 

Divin Dave

TFP Expert
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Oct 2, 2013
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I agree that the intelliflo would be way overkill, but I have an intelliflo and its way way overkill for my small pool.
Its an awesome pump. Man its just so versatile. If you arent worried so much about the upfront cost vs recovering your investment in a reasonable amount of time, then certainly consider it.

Im with pooldv, in that if mine died tonight, I would put another one in.
 

thepoolman

In The Industry
Jan 24, 2012
340
Intellipro VS and Intelliflo VS are different pump designs. Intellipro is based off the Max-E-Pro platform.

Newer pump design, built in unions, less prone to seal plate issues, but why hassle with the re-plumb when an Intelliflo will drop right in.
 

Valdeselad

Well-known member
Dec 25, 2014
68
Houston, Texas
Intellipro VS and Intelliflo VS are different pump designs. Intellipro is based off the Max-E-Pro platform.

Newer pump design, built in unions, less prone to seal plate issues, but why hassle with the re-plumb when an Intelliflo will drop right in.
OP here...appreciate everyone's feedback. Very interesting to me that there are two distinct schools of thought on the topic. Honestly not sure what to do at this point. The people that have the Intelliflo clearly love it, while if I just switched out the existing motor it would still cost me over $400.

Assuming we went with the new pump, how difficult is it to swap out? I'm somewhat handy but not great. Existing setup seems pretty straightforward, although we are currently hooked up to the timers as I originally pointed out.

Thanks again everyone.