Starite/Pentair VS pump priming not right-just an annoyance I can't cure


Gold Supporter
May 2, 2014
Inverness Fl
I have had 2 discussions with pentair about this to no avail, so I have to live with it, but it just bugs me when something does not run like it says it should.

This is a Starite/Pentair VS programmable Intellipro pump.

Here are 2 quotes from the manual

"The priming feature ramps the pump to 1800 RPM and pauses for three (3) seconds. If there is sufficient water flow in the pump basket, the pump will go out of priming mode and run its commanded speed."

"Priming sensitivity can be set from 1 - 100%. 1% means the pump is the most sensitive to sensing if pump has attained prime. Increasing % will decrease amount of flow needed for pump to sense prime. Increase the % if the pump clearly has water in the basket but is having trouble coming out of priming mode. Setting this number too high can cause the pump to think it has
attained a prime when it has not."

Am I reading these wrong or does the pump not work right, because neither of these functions seem to do anything. If I have my pump and valves set to sent water to the returns at 1500 rpm, the pump basket is full of water, no bubbles anywhere, even after the pump is turned on, which says the system is air tight, and drawing nothing but water, it is primed, it will pause for the 3 seconds, then run at the max (3450) rpm for the default of 20 secs. to prime, before dropping back to the selected 1500 rpm run.

It shouldn't do this. It is primed when it pauses for the 3 seconds,you can tell and see it. And setting the sensitivity does nothing, it still tries to run it's guts out at max rpm, for the default 20 seconds, before running the selected rpm range I have selected. This is just annoying, or I'm reading this material wrong, that says it will do something it won't.

Am I?


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2012
FL panhandle
Not sure what the issue may be but on my Intelliflo you can lower the priming RPM. Maybe lowering that will at least make it quieter and less annoying. :)


Gold Supporter
May 2, 2014
Inverness Fl
What do you have the priming sensitivity set for and have you tried raising it?
I have it set right now at 1. I have tried 20-25-50-75 on the sensitivity, with no difference in the ramp up of the pump. I don't understand when it is already primed, why it won't go to the designated (1500rpm) speed without trying to prime itself all over again, after the 3 second pause. There is 100% total volume of water moving thru the pump, it is primed.


LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
I have a Pentair Intelliflo 011018 and regardless of what the manual says, every time is starts it goes directly to the max speed for at least 20 seconds before switching to the preset run speed. I have never seen it go through the 1800 rpm sequence as described in the manual, even when it was fully primed and was just stopped for a few seconds.


In The Industry
Dec 18, 2014
Houston, Texas
How about disabling the prime feature? I do this all the time as its function isn't geared toward our installs involving in-floor cleaner systems.


LifeTime Supporter
Sep 22, 2011
Santa Rosa, CA
I think I have the same VS pump as the OP. It behaves exactly the same way. I messed with the settings a little to no effect. I decided not to bother about it, every day when the pump comes on, it spends a few seconds at 1800, then ramps up to the max RPM for priming (for no reason since the system is already primed), then eventually drops down to the RPM I set it to (1200). Oh well. Doesn't seem to hurt anything as far as I can tell.


Gold Supporter
May 2, 2014
Inverness Fl
I would try 100.
I tried raising the sensitivity today to 100, with no difference

What is your filter pressure at full speed?
My filter pressure at 3450 is about 22 psi, just put in new material in DE filter about 3 weeks ago.

How about disabling the prime feature?
I did this today.l

Thanks to everybody for there opinion. As a couple of you have said, I believe that these 2 settings don't do anything. I have told Pentair this on the phone twice, and that this should be removed from the manual. Today, i spent an equal amount of time as before, trying different settings on the pump program, with different settings also with my pool valves, to try different water flow pressure, as in the water going thru the heater, the infloor cleaners, the returns. Made no difference at all. I turned the primer off, the pump now goes to set speed. If it needs priming, I'll prime it.