Hayward TriStar Variable Flo vs. Pentar Intelliflo

pauster1

Member
Feb 16, 2008
13
Princeton, NJ
All,

I am trying to make up my mind between a Pentair IntelliFlo and a TriStar Variable Speed (http://www.haywardnet.com/pdfs/TriStarE ... SESB07.pdf)

Cost is similar ... and I have read many good reviews on the IntelliFlo, nothing on the Hayward.

Most importantly - how does their efficiency compare ?

If I pick the IntelliFlo I should take the IntelliChlor, IntelliTouch, IntelliBrite and IntelliThisThatAndEverything,
and if it's Tristar, it would be AquaLogic with SWG, ColorLogic and WhateverOtherLogic.

Which begs the other question - are both the Pentair and Hayward automation systems well suited for tying
in solar heating ?

I prefer the Hayward PDA wireless remotes over the clunky Pentair ones, but reliability, efficiency of the pump and solar control capabilities are what really matter to me ...

Thanks !

Patrick
 

kirbinster

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2007
293
NJ
Have you actually seen a store that carries these pumps here in NJ? I am in Morris County and can't seem to find any, I am leaning towards an Inteliflow and look to make a purchase shortly.
 

induce

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 13, 2007
100
Murfreesboro, TN
Patrick,

I can't speak for these variable speed pumps. i looked at the Inteliflow last year when we built. I settled on the hayward northstar 1.5 hp 2 sp after looking at the costs. It has been an excellent pump, very quiet and it moves some water!! Couple this with 2" homerun piping to the pool and i think it rivals or exceeds the vari flow pumps.
I bought an aqualogic ps-8 with a wireless remote and all flawless and really easy. I only run the pump on high 4-6 hrs a day. the rest of the time it runs on low @ .25 hp. , so quiet you really have to put your hand on it to see if it is running (on low) all the pump time switching and cleaner function controlled by the aqualogic.
Being an old guy, i also worry about vari-speed pumps being over-teched. Too many boards and sensors to go bad.
just my 2 cents.
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
I have heard of some failures of early IntelliFlo units. All the ones I know of were eventually fixed by Pentair for free. There was initially some confusion in their repair department because the pump was new. All of that appears to have been taken care of now that they have some experience with building and repairing the pump. It will be some time before we can get a sense of their long term reliability.
 

repair_guy

Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Dec 18, 2007
56
Murrieta, CA
As an installer, you go with where the support is. Pentair rolled out their product and gathered people to learn it. Some took it to heart, some walked away. If you truly get it and "it" is what the future is in terms of energy usage, you need to embrace this technology.

Hayward was late to the party and as they don't even market the thing short of a few print ads in trade papers, they can't be too confident with it. I'm not a big fan of the Tristar as a pump in general. It's not proven, the motors are failing under heavy load and you can't buy a part for it without a special order.

The IntelliFlo is built on a proven, time tested pump. If you actually take time to learn about it, you cannot make an argument against its longevity. Everything that kills a motor under normal operating conditions is addressed and controlled by this pump. For someone to say they are not sure it can live up to the cost, is ignorance. Any other choice in a standard pump is going to expose you to the very things that this pump protects itself from. ie, water damage, overheating, over/under voltage and current.

I saw a post in this thread about a 1.5 Northstar on 2" plumbing rivaling a variable flow. That's impossible. A Northstar is dying for 2.5" plumbing at that horsepower. It is certainly consuming 10x the watts a comparable variable flow pump would consume.

Study more. The Tristar variable flow is a 6 speed, and does not offer anything close to the IntelliFlo. They are billing it as a non-complicated system. sure, the IntelliFlo has a huge learning curve, but properly installed and supported, it's a no brainer.

Most complaints come from owners who had to twist the arm of a builder to put it in. That builder ususally knows nothing about the pump. Others have got a good deal online and it is extremenly tough to program to where it needs to be when you do it yourself. Find a good installer.
 

pauster1

Member
Feb 16, 2008
13
Princeton, NJ
Thanks for the feedback ! As a software engineer, I am comfortable with figuring out the programming ...

But I'll probably have to make it work on a Hayward/Goldline automation system. Allegedly it is possible but with limited features. That's just fine with me ... as long as I can program different speeds for slow filtration only, for solar, for skimming and for backwashing and let the automation choose that program, all should be fine. Worst case, the IntelliComm should be able to interface between te IntelliFlo and the Goldline in the old-fashioned way, or I'll go Pentair for everything. Decision decision decisions.

Oh and I have asked my builders to include ugraded plumbing (2 1/2" inidividual lines) on a 30K gal pool. They gave me the cost reluctantly. Just looking at a head vs flow table by pipe diameter makes it easy to pay $300 extra for larger plumbing :-D

Now the PB absolutely recommends a Hayward Phantom. I am sure it is a decent robot, but I have a hard time running a 6.5 amp booster pump for a few hours per day when the main pump consumes a fraction of that. I guess I'll ask him to put the plumbing in while he is at it though - you never know.
 

induce

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 13, 2007
100
Murfreesboro, TN
repair_guy,

Of course you are correct. I incorrectly stated that the northstar 1.5 2 sp. was comparable to the vari sp pumps.
The science and physics behind these pumps are quite superior to traditional pool pumps. However, the simplicity of a traditional pump and the improved efficiency of a 2 speed motor was a better choice for me. The Northstar pump is a vast improvment over any pool pumps i have used in the past, esp running on low speed.
I guess my clouded judgement also stems from the fact that the local and regional market does not have the training and support in place to install and service these products. I had fits just getting the aqualogic installed correctly.
As a 20+ year anesthesia provider, I love new technology. As I age, I crave simplicity.
I stand corrected.
 
G

Guest

The Phantom is another Hayward product that had a very rocky start. We don't even stock them! If people want an Hayward pressure cleaner we steer them toward the Viper or toward a Polaris. I have been told that Hayward has solved most of the problems with the unit but the design is just a bit too complicated. As far a cleaning goes you want a booster pump pressure cleaner. They just work better than the non booster models (and pressure side is MUCH better than suction side, IMHO). Polaris and Letro are proven designs and if you can find a Zodiac Mars HP (they just discontinued it since I guess it was cutting into Polaris sales and they own Polaris) grab it! Very simple booster pump prssure cleaner that works exceptionally well. I own one.
 

kirbinster

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2007
293
NJ
What is the difficulty in setting up the Intelliflow yourself? I was thinking of buying one and installing it myself - I have installed pumps, electrical and piping before with no problems.
 

repair_guy

Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Dec 18, 2007
56
Murrieta, CA
The 3.2 is more than plumbing and electrical. That's a piece of cake. To get the efficiency, the manuals will not do a thing to steer you in the right direction. They show you how to work through the various menus but it is meaningless unless you know what you are trying to accomplish. Each application is different. It certainly can be done but don't rely on a manual to teach you. It won't.

If you IntelliCom, it's worse. It's pretty well known that Pentair is not up to speed in conveying what you need to know when putting in an IntelliFlo, their automation and an IntelliCom. right when you think you have it, the manual refers you to the manual of the next product. However, once you get it, it's really fairly easy which is a far cry from Goldline, etc.

The real trick is getting the 3.2 tied into an non-Pentair product with an IntelliCom. One has to get pretty creative at times but if you enjoy the challenge, it's a rewarding time when you're done to see that thing kick on and not actually blow up the entire board. That said from experience.
 

kirbinster

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2007
293
NJ
I'm not really looked to hook the pump up to any other control system. I have a DE filter and a heatpump, but also have a slipstream going through some solar panels. Does not seem that complex.
 

carlos31

Well-known member
Oct 18, 2007
104
Central Texas
4x160 instruction manual

The 4x160 doesn't have an instruction manual link on its webpage. Does this this mean the other manual applies to both pumps? I would like to understand the differences between the two. For instance, does the 4x160 provide true freeze protection by starting the pump at a configurable air or water temperature? Does it have timer based features?

Thanks.
 

carlos31

Well-known member
Oct 18, 2007
104
Central Texas
thanks jason

Thanks Jason.

My intention is run an Intelliflow (not sure which model yet) at about 40 GPM to turnover my 45K gallon pool every 18.75 hours. Do you think letting the pump rest for 5 hours every day is beneficial or should I just let the unit run continuously. If it runs continuously I get more water turnover and eliminate the need for freeze protection and eliminate the need for a timer. It sounds like a great idea unless it significantly lowers pump life.

Of course, if I use this strategy I wonder if using an inexpensive 1/2 hp single speed pump would be effective? Just a thought.
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
Running 24/7 is better. It won't make much different to the motor lifetime at all, might actually improve it ever so slightly. Meanwhile running slower will save electricity, improve filtration (just a tiny bit), and eliminate the need for a timer.

Getting an inexpensive small pump is cheaper up front, but it will use more electricity (the IntelliFlo has a different kind of motor that is inherently more efficient). There can also be advantages to having a higher speed available in some situations.
 

carlos31

Well-known member
Oct 18, 2007
104
Central Texas
thanks

Thanks Jason.

I intend to apply everything I have learned here to my pool build. I am waiting for tile/coping at this time.

When I get to the end I will report on how things seem to be operating.