Pentair Intelliflo rebuild/restoration

lukash

Bronze Supporter
May 14, 2021
4
Las Vegas, NV
Hey everyone,

I spent my holiday weekend rebuilding my Pentair IntelliFlo pump (PN: 011018). I figured I'd share some takeaways as it was not hard to do and these pumps are not the cheapest, so I think repair should be the way to go (if possible). My pump was manufactured in 2014, I do not know how many years was it in use, it came with the house. It does not appear much service was put into it.

Disclaimer
I went all the way to disassembling the motor, cleaning it and repainting. You might need some not quite common tools along the way, so read the whole thing before you start.
Also, if you want to ask about how to not get shocked by electricity or not lose your fingers to the motor magnets, you might want to rethink if you want to do this.
I will be glad to answer questions but please do not come to me with "I followed your post and ruined my pump, I somehow think it is your fault" :)

You might as well follow Pentair's video here for the gasket/seal replacement, if that is the only thing you are about to be doing, you can check some images below for IntelliFlo as their pump is WhisperFlo I think (definitely not the same as my IntelliFlo). I am mostly posting it as "it's not that hard" post so people can see what a difference a bit of care can make. The video provides a bit more detail though.



I personally used this kit: Amazon.com: BadAss Pool Supply O-Ring Rebuild Repair Kit for Pentair WhisperFlo/IntelliFlo, Black Gasket, fits Years 2/08 and Later, Go kit 32.: Garden & Outdoor, there are cheaper ones but they had it nicely marked based on Pump's manufacture date. I am in no way associated with the vendor and only share this for reference because this worked for my specific pump model/year.

Assessing damage
As you can see on the photos, the pump definitely is/has been leaking, there is a ton of calcium build up, paint if flaking off, this will need some serious TLC.

initial1.jpeginitial2.jpeg

Disconnecting the pump
First, verify you have a way of disconnecting and reconnecting the pump from both inlet and outlet plumbing, while some repairs can probably be done in-place I would recommend against this, it would be a horrible experience at best :)
I had to first install 2" unions on both inlet and outlet of the pump (not displayed in all pictures, some pre-date the union install). There is nothing worse than realizing you have no way of re-installing the pump without parts that might take some days to get.

1. Turn the pump off at the control panel
2. Turn the breaker to the pump off
3. Disconnect inlet/outlet plumbing
4. Disconnect the electrical wiring

The pump should now be free to take to your bench or somewhere where you can comfortably work on it.

Before you take it anywhere, do not forget to drain the pump completely. Give it time, you really do not want a gallon of water all around your table/shop.

drain_the_pump.jpeg

Disassembly
Start by removing the control panel, this will make it quite a bit easier to maneuver around. If the pump was running recently the control board heatsink and the motor will likely be hot, so keep that in mind.
Once the 3 screws are out pull upward as straight as possible.

control_board.jpegcontrol_board_gone.jpeg

Now proceed to remove the 6 bolts (9/16") that hold the basket assembly to the pump assembly. 2 of them have nuts - keep those together as they are longer. Mark your parts, there are other bolts of different lengths, you do not want to mix them up. Also remove the motor fan cover, it has 3 screws, the photo only shows 2, last one is on the very bottom. Be careful not to break the fan during the whole process!

Once the basket assembly is removed, remove the 2 hex screws to release the diffuser, you'll have to guess, I do not remember the hex key size :)

remove_basket.jpegdiffuser.jpeg

While holding the motor fan (or use a big flat head screwdriver to hold the shaft itself) unscrew the set screw that holds the impeller, this screw is reverse threaded so righty-loosey, lefty-tighty. Once the screw is removed you can unscrew the impeller off the shaft while still holding the motor fan (regular thread, lefty-loosy). This is the removed impeller and its seal:

impeller.jpeg

Now you can remove the seal plate held by the 4 screws.

motor_removal.jpeg

As you can see the motor has a LOT of calcium deposits and paint that has started flaking off all over the place.

motor_deposits.jpeg

At this point you are done disassembling the pump and can replace all the seals. Do not forget about the little one that is under the impeller set screw, it is pretty well hidden (ask me how I know :D).
The PS-1000 seal (two-part seal separating the impeller and the seal plate) is trickier than just a gasket, I recommend referring to the video, it has nice and detailed instructions. You want to use silicone sealant (NOT lubricant) on the metal part of the seal that is pressed into the seal plate. The impeller seal can be pushed in just using soapy water. I used some pool silicone-based lube on the rest of the o-rings and gaskets just to be sure.

Then just reverse the steps to re-assemble. You should clean everything well and remove calcium buildup, at least I recommend that to prevent it from building further.

I went ahead and disassembled the motor as my pump was pretty bad and it needed some TLC as well. There are 4 torx screws on the back cover and 4 torx screws holding the front cover, you might need an extension to actually unscrew the ones holding the front cover because they are really close to the motor body.

Continues below (unable to attach more files).
 
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lukash

Bronze Supporter
May 14, 2021
4
Las Vegas, NV
Cleaning & Painting
If it is a hot summer day I recommend using a pressure washer to clean the calcium buildups from all the plastic parts, you will likely end up all wet but you have to scrub it that much less. Also, vinegar is your friend, just be careful to not soak things in it for too long, it does not play nice with aluminum if you leave it there for a long time. Here are some before/after pictures:

motor_cleaning1.jpegmotor_cleaning2.jpegmotor_cleaning3.jpegmotor_cleaning4.jpeg

I cleaned and degreased it well with Mineral Spirits and spray-painted it using the "Krylon COLORmaxx Satin Almond Spray Paint and Primer In One" from Lowes. Definitely NOT the best color match at all but.. it's a pump :) Don't forget to mask all the parts that are not supposed to be painted.

painting.jpeg

And here it is, assembled and ready to go. I hate how that color mismatches the original color :LOL: The paint job is far from perfect, but I really did not want to mess with removing the paint that was still sticking good, just sanded it down a little bit to rough it up so the new coat sticks better. The parts of the motor that were not constantly exposed to leaking pool water actually held paint well and it would be quite a bit more work to remove it.

reassembled_motor.jpeg

Bearings
For reference, there are 2 bearings: NSK 6205DU and NSK 6304DU - hopefully this helps someone pre-order the parts. You will definitely need a bearing puller, a press (or something else to put them on) and retaining ring pliers, the rings are pretty big, I had quite some trouble with them using Channellock 927s, I would recommend Channellock 929s (or similar size).

bearing1.jpegbearing2.jpeg

The End
Hopefully this motivates some people to fix their pump before spending thousand(s) on new ones, it is not that hard, if you do not let your pump get as bad as this one was you are fine just spending $20 on the gasket/seal kit every few years and it will run just fine for a lot longer ;)
 
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MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
2,006
Arizona
@lukash
Wow, incredible work here.. Very detailed.
Looks as though you took a poor old IntelliFlo that was ready for the graveyard practically and breathed several more years of life into that ole boy.
Nice Job... Thanks for posting!! :goodjob:
r.
 
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