The Industry Leader Gets Better
Pentair has combined the features of its variable speed (VS) and variable flow (VF) pumps into one model that does both. The new model is the Intelliflo VSF. This is the first swimming pool pump on the market that can perform variable speed and flow functions in a single unit.
We previously recommended the Pentair Intelliflo VS and later the VST 2 to solar pool heating owners. The combination of efficiency, capabilities, and automation compatibility made the Intelliflo the go-to pump for the solar pool heating industry. And it still is!
We didn’t recommend the variable flow version of this pump. This was because the pressure changes that occur with solar pool heaters turning on and off confused previous versions. A variable speed pump is perfectly adequate for effective solar pool heating performance. We can dial in a speed that accounts for filters getting dirty and achieve an adequate flow rate. This maintains energy efficiency, a key feature of a variable speed pump.
Best of Both Worlds
Having both variable speed and flow options means that you can program a variable speed for pool heating and variable flow for other pool functions as needed.
We are not big fans of variable flow settings because they can mask inefficiencies caused by dirty filters and improperly set valves. As filters get dirty, variable flow pumps just increase speed to achieve the desired flow, which wastes energy. We prefer to set a variable speed. When your filter gets dirty the flow rate will decrease (and pressure increases), prompting you to clean your filter. But it will not use more energy while you figure out what’s going on.
Regardless, it’s nice to have the option of both variable speed and variable flow in a single unit. Whether you have solar pool heating or not, we can wholeheartedly recommend the Pentair Intelliflo VSF. It has the same connectivity options and the previous models. Better yet, the price has not changed.
If you have pool features that are very sensitive to flow rate like laminar deck jets, spillovers, or waterfalls, you may want to explore the variable flow features of the Pentair Intelliflo VSF. Otherwise, we recommend you use this pump just like the previous VS And VST 2 models.