We introduce you to one of the best variable speed pool pumps on the market — the Pentair 011028 IntelliFlo VS, which was updated from the 011018 a few years ago. The changes are minor but substantial. For example, the keypad can now be rotated in any direction, making it easy to access no matter where you install the pump. Next, the conduit connector can be easily threaded thanks to an improved design, and finally, the electrical components, under the display unit, are fully accessible now, making installation far easier.
Pentair 011028 : Classic Variable Speed Pump
Why would you want a Pentair 011028 IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pump for your swimming pool? Well, it’s quite simple. — to drastically reduce your energy usage and save money. The Pentair 011018 variable speed pump has 8 different speed settings, allowing you to perform tasks at the optimal speed in order to deliver the appropriate amount of flow, depending on your specific needs. You can set speeds between 400 and 3,450 RPM.
For example, it takes far less energy to filter water than it does to run a pool cleaner. A single speed pool pump can’t address the difference, whereas the Pentair 011028 variable speed pump can operate at a speed appropriate to the task its performing. If you own an inground pool and you’re not running a Pentair variable speed pump then it’s time to make the switch.
Bottom line: You can save up to 90% on energy costs, but likely closer to 75%. Either way, your savings will quickly pay for the cost of buying the Pentair 011028 IntelliFlow variable speed pump. The advantages of the Pentair 011018 are numerous, including the fact that it’s ultra quiet — as low as 45 decibels at lower speeds. You’ll hardly notice it running; which is unlikely the case with a traditional single speed pool pump.
To learn more, read our article : Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 vs SuperFlo 342001
Pentair 011018 vs 011028 : What’s the Difference?
Advantages / Pentair 011028 — Variable Speed Pump
You see, the problem with single or even two speed pool pumps is that they use more energy than necessary, depending on your demands. As your pool tasks change throughout the day (and week) your single stage pump ends up wasting a lot energy because its energy usage rate is constant.
IntelliFlo is a self-adjusting pool pump able to maintain the best flow rates and conserving energy. Technology is a wonderful thing when it makes your life easier and more cost effective. Typically, pool pumps are energy hogs, but not anymore if you opt for a variable speed pump.
I know the Pentair 011028 is more expensive than a single speed pump, and if your perspective is only short-term then you’re right — it’s quite expensive, but if you look at the numbers over time you’ll realize that it’s a very smart decision to make. If you’re finding it hard to justify buying a Pentair variable speed pump then you might be interested in the facts.
Pentair 011018 Energy Savings
A single-speed pump may cost around $900 per year to run. In five years the cost of operating your pump will be about $4500. On the other hand, if you own a Pentair 011028 variable speed pump the comparable operational costs will be around $300 per year. If you do the math, at the end of five years, the actual money spent running your Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo will be about $1500. In 5 years you’ll save around $3000, based on this particular example.
The longer you operate your Pentair 011028, the greater your cost savings. (View the brochure)
I highly recommend that you watch the informational videos on the Pentair 011028/011018 at the end of this article. You’ll learn a lot by seeing it up close and personal and hearing other professional talk about it. I think it’s important to learn as much as you can before making a final buying decision but I think you’ll quickly realize the a variable speed pump is the only way to go for your swimming pool.
Video | How to Program the Pentair IntellifFlo 011028
The Pentair 011018 can be programmed to operate at 8 different set speeds allowing it to deliver the correct flow for each task. For example, running a side pool cleaner, filtering, waterfalls or spa jets — all of these jobs require different speeds and energy demands. A single speed pump has one speed — very fast and wasteful. A variable speed pump matches your task with an appropriate amount of energy.
Utility Company Rebates
You may not know this, but utility companies in the USA often provide rebates specifically for homeowners who buy the Pentair 011028 or other variable speed pool pumps.
For example, if (at the time of this writing) you live in New Orleans, you’re eligible for a $400 rebate when you purchase your Pentair 011028. In Hawaii the rebate is $150, in Tallahassee its $200. Either way, please check if you’re eligible for a rebate in the area you live by visiting the Pentair REBATE page.
Just so you know, the rebates may come and go.
Electric Motor Technology
The motor powering the Pentair 011028 is highly advanced, in fact it uses the Same technology as deployed in hybrid electric vehicles. The specific type of motor used is called a Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor (PMSM) which can be described as: a synchronous motor that uses permanent magnets rather than windings in the rotor. Traditional one speed pool pumps are powered by less efficient induction motors.
One of the main reasons why the Pentair 011028 is more expensive is because of the high cost of the neodymium iron boron (NdFeB) magnets used in the pump — these magnets are also the reason why the Pentair 011028 is so efficient.
The advantages of a Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor are numerous, they include: Compact design, high torque density, lightweight, higher continuous torque over a wide range of speeds, lower rotor inertia, higher dynamic performance under load, and absence of heat due to current in the rotor, to name a few.
I know that most people don’t care about what’s inside of the products they buy but it’s important to know why the Pentair 011028 is superior to other pool pumps. I know, you probably just want to know about the benefits that you can measure, so let’s talk about that next.
Features — Pentair 011028 (011018)
The advantage of the Pentair 011028 variable speed pump is actually quite simple to explain and so I won’t make it any more complicated than it needs to be. The main difference between this variable speed pump and a single speed pump is the fact that you control how fast the pump operates for the task at hand. You can set the speed between 400 and 3,450 RPM.
The advantage of the Pentair 011018 is that whether you’re filtering your pool, running a waterfall or powering your pool cleaner you are able to select the minimum amount of energy used by the pump to perform that task — no more or less. And because of that, you don’t waste energy thus saving you a lot of money over time.
I’m not sure I can be any clearer than that. Honestly, the rest of the information in this article doesn’t really matter once you understand the bigger picture and how this variable speed pump will make operating your pool more efficient, but I will give you more details to help you decide if this is the right buying decision for you.
Noise Level | Pentair IntelliFlo
See graph below on IntelliFlo decibel levels based on distances from the pump.
Testing was performed on a typical inground pool system. The background noise was 42 dB and has already been subtracted out. The tested pool system included a cartridge filter, heat pump, valves, tees and elbows. The noise values includes all of the piping noise; not just the IntelliFlo pump. The Pentair IntelliFlo pump was measured at 3 feet and the other distances are projected by noise formulas.
Noise Level Graph | Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo
Use the Pentair pool pump savings calculator to see how much money you can save.
Also, everything you want to know can be found in this official report by the US Department of energy entitled: Measure Guideline: Replacing Single-Speed Pool Pumps with Variable Speed Pumps for Energy Savings (PDF – View or download).
I apologize if I sound like a broken record, but a variable speed pump will make a significant difference in your energy bills, and it’s also important in saving energy across the entire USA. It really does matter.
Here’s one of the big updates for the Pentair 011028 — a rotatable control panel. You can position it to any side so you can easily operate it no matter where you position it.
The IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pump can be programmed in three different modes: Manual, Schedule, and Egg Timer. Speeds 1-4 can be programmed in all three modes. Speeds 5-8 can only be programmed in Schedule mode since there are no buttons on the control panel for Speeds 5-8.
The pump comes programmed with four default speeds of 750, 1500, 2350 and 3110 RPM, but you can set your own speeds as well. You have total control over your presets and schedule, allowing you to start and stop at a specific time during a 24 hour period.
It also has a useful Quick Clean function that ramps up the pump to a higher RPM for vacuuming, cleaning, adding chemicals, and after a storm for extra skimmer power.
Speeds 1-4 can be programmed to run for a duration of time once a speed button is pressed. To operate in Egg Timer mode, press a speed button and then press Start/Stop. The pump will run that speed for the set amount of time and then turn off.
I highly suggest you look at the MANUAL for the Pentair 011028 to understand all of its functions. It seems complicated at first but it’s quite straightforward once you read through it.
Programming Modes Explained
- Egg Timer: Speeds 1-4 can be programmed to run for a set amount of time once a speed button is pressed.
- Manual: Assigns a speed to one of the four Speed buttons on the control panel. This mode can only be used for speeds 1-4.
- Schedule: Program speeds 1-8 start and stop at a specific time during a 24 hour period. Speeds that you program in
schedule mode will override any manually selected speed.
Some customers complain that they find the control panel confusing but like anything new, it just takes getting used to. I’m sure a lot of people were confused when they bought their first iPhone but they quickly learned how it worked and quickly adapted. Same thing goes for the Pentair 011018 variable speed pump. You’ll learn how to use it. Don’t worry. Just think of the money you’ll save!
Maybe one day Apple will design swimming pool pumps for consumer. Wouldn’t that something? Wishful thinking, I know.
How will you install your Pentair 011018? Well, if you want the full 3 year warranty then I highly recommend that you hire a qualified plumbing professional to install your IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pump. If you decide to install it yourself with the hope of saving a few dollars then you’ll only have a 60 day warranty.
This is a complicated piece of equipment that is quite expensive. Why risk it by installing it yourself? I know there are many of you out there who are comfortable installing your own pool pump but just make sure you understand the risk.
For those of you who are not mechanically inclined, don’t even attempt your own installation. It’s not worth the risk. For a few hundred dollars you can get a professional to install the Pentair 011018 for you and you’ll have a 3 year warranty. In my opinion it’s well worth the cost, but the choice is ultimately yours.
Read the disclaimer on the Pentair website:
Pentair offers a three (3) year extended warranty on the following products when they are installed by a qualified installer and registered within sixty (60) days from the date of installation:Pentair
- Energy-saving IntelliFlo and IntelliPro Variable Speed Pumps.
- SunTouch® Solar and SolarTouch Control Systems.
- Bundles of three (3) or more products from three (3) different product groups including inground pumps, filters, heaters, heat pumps, control systems, automatic cleaners, lighting, and salt chlorine generators.
To register your variable speed pump visit the Pentair registration page.
If you have any questions about the Pentair 011018 Variable Speed Pump then I suggest that you call Pentair directly and talk to their customer service department: Tel: 1-800-831-7133. Or visit the Pentair contact page.
View or download the MANUAL for the Pentair 011018 Variable Speed Pump.
View or download the BROCHURE for the Pentair 011018 Variable Speed Pump.
If you want a variable speed pump but want to spend a little less money then you should also consider the BLACK+DECKER variable speed pump.
- ENERGY STAR Certified: Complies with strict parameters set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.
- Save up to 90% of your energy compared to standard pumps.
- 8 speed settings that you can program. Built-in timer. Optimal functions at your control.
- Permanent magnet motor = less noise, vibration and longer pump life.
- Whisper quiet. As low as 45 decibels (4x quieter than other pumps).
- Totally enclosed fan-cooled (TEFC) design and lower average operation speed.
- Compatible with IntelliTouch, EasyTouch, SunTouch, Pool Control Systems and other brands of digital pool/spa controls for managing pump, heating, lighting, spa jets and water features.
- Integrated diagnostics system.
- Improves filter and chlorinator performance.
- Helps reduce algae build-up.
- Lets you add pool features without reducing pump efficiency.
- Designed to withstand outdoor environment.
- Totally enclosed fan cooled.
- Three-phase motor. High effiiency (3450 RPM 92% and 1000 RPM 90%)
- Includes: RS-485 commincation cable.
- Weight: 45 lbs.
- Full load Amps: 16
- 230V, 3.2kW
- Service factor: 1.32
- Port size: 2