Is this pump adequate for solar?


New member
Mar 22, 2021
Bay Area, California
In the process to return a pool that has been neglected into working conditions, I want to add a solar heating system and perform a number of enhancements. For good or for worse, the way it was made, plumbing is very accessible. Note: there are no water features, no spa, no waterfalls etc.

Long story short, I would like to change the current pump that is an old (230V) single speed. The following pump:

Pentair IntelliFlo VSF Variable Speed / Flow Pool Pump - 011056​

looks like a good candidate. However I read somewhere that solar systems (mine will be installed on the second story roof) need a "high head pressure" pump. Will this pump satisfy the requirements? I see that the following pump:

Pentair IntelliFloXF VSF Variable Speed Pump - 022056

has more flow, and the price is almost identical. I'll have to re-do a good part of the plumbing for solar anyway and the cost for 2.5" or even 3" pipe is negligible, all things considered.

Can bigger pipes and pump be harmful and should be avoided? Again, the price for these is so close that I wonder why getting a smaller one.

Note: I also plan to get a new high flow cartridge filter, so that shouldn't be a concern. Obviously I'd like to save as much electricity as possible and I need to find the right compromise for the solar heater to work and for filtration to be effective.


In The Industry
Apr 1, 2018
Bangor Maine
Solar has 2” headers and footers normally, so 3” run to them imo is a waste, just use 2”

Either of those pumps are fine, with the variable speed you can set the flow rate easier to match your panels.