The Pentair WhisperFlo is one of the most popular pool pumps you can buy, and for good reason. It’s ultra-quiet, made with high-quality components designed to last for years of exposure to the weather and chemicals. It’s also compatible with all cleaning systems.
This article covers all of the Pentair WhisperFlo models so you can decide which pool pump is right for you.
Pentair WhisperFlo | Pool Pumps
There’s little that can compare to long summer days spent beside the pool. It’s one of life’s simple pleasures. Whether enjoying fun times with family and friends or simply relaxing in the warm summer sun, we love our pools.
Though, a swimming pool is not without its headaches. One of these is the cost of owning a pool. Swimming pool pumps are essential to keeping them clean and hygienic but they can use an extraordinary amount of electricity. Not only this, but the noise generated by some pool pumps can really disturb the tranquility of a summer day. Who wants to while away their leisure time listening to the drone of a noisy pump, while birds are chirping merrily and a soft breeze whispers through the air? Surely you’d rather listen to the beautiful sounds of suburban bliss, rather than the mechanical grind of a pool pump.
Now you can’t get away without the pump but you can do away with the unpleasant noise and high electricity costs of running them. The Pentair WhisperFlo offers an excellent solution to these problems. Investing in one of these pumps will pay dividends in the long run, based purely on the electricity savings alone. Then there’s an added bonus as these are some of the quietest pumps available.
They have an excellent range that includes pumps of various sizes, suitable for small spas up to large pools. This article is going dive into the world of pool pump technology and explore the benefits of this pool pump series.
Common Features of Pentair WhisperFlow Models:
- Lower HP’s deliver higher performance than industry standard
- Rust-proof, stainless steel motor shaft and sealed bearings
- Compatible with all cleaning systems, various filters and jet-action spas
- Heavy-duty/durable construction is designed for long life
- Designed for residential and commercial applications
- Specially-engineered design assures whisper-quiet operation.
- Oversized strainer basket extends time between cleanings.
- See-through lid makes inspection fast and easy—engineered polymer remains clear and strong for years.
- The user-friendly Cam and Ramp Lid is easy to remove and quickly locks in place with a quarter-turn.
- Advanced FunnelFlo Diffuser and high-efficiency impeller maximize water flow and energy efficiency while minimizing turbulence and noise.
- Energy-efficient motor with commercial-grade frame, rustproof stainless steel shaft and permanently lubricated, sealed bearings for long life.
- Ideal for pool and spa combinations and for operating in-floor cleaning systems.
Pentair 011512 ¾ hp | Pentair WhisperFlow
— ¾ hp model
This is a ¾ hp single speed pump, suitable for most swimming pool and spa combinations. The superior performance of this little pump means that it can replace a 1HP pool pump and will probably do a better job than the larger pump. Less electricity, more power – who can argue with that?
Being able to run on 115V; 208V or 230V (11.2A; 6A or 5.6A respectively at full load). This means there’s no need to change the electrical supply to the pool pump housing when installing the Pentair 011512. It’s designed for maximum durability and this makes it well worth the investment. The thermoplastic housing will resist extreme heat and there is absolutely no corrosion. A stainless steel motor shaft has been fitted to the commercial grade motor which means no rust and it has sealed bearings that eliminate the need for lubrication. You should have virtually no maintenance costs or hassles for many years to come.
The Pentair WhisperFlo utilizes an advanced hydraulic design which increases its power, reduces its energy consumption and significantly reduces the noise levels. This is achieved by their Funnel-Flo diffuser (unique to the Pentair WhisperFlo brand) and an ingenious impeller design. In addition to this, the oversized debris basket means that you won’t need to empty it very often. A clear lid allows for easy inspection of how full the basket is. The lid has an easy to use cam and ramp, so it’s no hassle cleaning out the basket and it will seal perfectly without worrying about lining up the thread or over-tightening it.
Peformance Chart for the Pentair WhisperFlo
It’s a single unit that’s quick and easy to install. It should comfortably into your existing pool pump housing and will probably take up less space than your current pool pump, measuring 15.25” X 12.25” X 27.5”.
The Pentair WhisperFlo is designed to easily replace your existing pool pump and is compatible for use with all cleaning systems, jet action spas, and filters. It is designed to offer a lifetime of easy operation with minimal maintenance and extremely low running costs. The Pentair 011512 WhisperFlo pump comes with a 1-year limited warranty. Though, beware of installing it yourself. If the pump is not installed by a professional pool technician you’ll only be covered by the warranty for 60 days. So be sure to keep the installation invoice as part of warranty documentation.
Pentair 011513 — 1-hp | Pentair WhisperFlo
— 1 hp model
The Pentair 011513 is the next model in the WhisperFlo range and is more powerful. It uses the same technology and design as the smaller model so it’s also exceptionally quiet and offers great power. It should easily accomplish the same job as a regular 1¼ – 1½ HP pump.
Like its smaller brother, the Pentair 011513 will run on 115V (14.8A); 208V (7.8A) or 230V (7.4A). It uses the same housing as the ¾ HP model. Though, if you look at measurement specs on the Amazon website, it seems a little confusing because they differ by half an inch on some of the dimensions. It looks like someone made a mistake somewhere – then again what’s half an inch difference in the size of the pump?
So, essentially the Pentair 011513 is a slightly more powerful version of the 011512 and the same warranty applies.
Pentair 011514 — 1.5 hp | Pentair WhisperFlo
— 1.5 hp model
The Pentair WhisperFlo 011514 is a 1½ HP version of the same pump. It has the same dimensions as the other models. The only difference with this, more powerful unit is that it won’t run on standard 115V household power. It needs either 208V (9.6A) or 230V (8.8A).
For the rest it’s the same, being a very quiet and powerful pump, able to replace any pump that has an HP rating that is 20%-30% higher than this one. It will be fine to use this pump if you’re currently using a 2 HP – 2½ HP pump.
The standard 1-year or 60-day Pentair warranty conditions also apply to this model.
Pentair 011515 — 2 hp | Pentair WhisperFlo
— 2 hp model
The 2HP Pentair WhisperFlo pool pump is one step up from the previous one and all the specs, including dimensions, are the same. Except, of course, that the amp rating increases to 11A for 208V and 10.2A for 230V. Other than the more powerful motor, it’s the same design as the others.
Pentair 011516 — 3 hp | Pentair WhisperFlo
The Pentair WhisperFlo 011516 is the big boy in this range of single speed pumps. It matches the others in all respects excepting that this model delivers 3 HP. The more powerful motor is designed to run on 230V and though I couldn’t get an official spec for the current rating for this model, I calculate it to be 11.44A.
In conclusion, I can say that all of these pumps can be considered as among the best-designed pool pumps currently available. Their low noise levels are a great advantage and the fact that they deliver superior performance compared to similar pumps, translates into an electricity saving that will reap great rewards in the years to come. I estimate that these pumps should save around 25%-30% of the power costs compared to running a conventional pool pump that delivers the same amount of suction power.
Caring for Your Pool Pump
Most modern pool pumps are designed to be maintenance free with sealed bearings that are lubricated for life. It may happen that some of the seals or O-rings will need to be replaced over the lifetime of the pump but this would only be over a period of many years. So, essentially, you’ll install the pump and let it run for years with your only concern being to empty the intake basket when needed.
While there’s no need to perform routine maintenance on your pump, there are some factors that you should consider to ensure that the pump doesn’t sustain any damage and keeps functioning well for many years.
Let’s start by taking a look at how a pool pump works.
Swimming pool pumps, in fact, most water circulation pumps are impeller pumps. These pumps use centrifugal motion, forcing the water to flow in a particular direction.
They use an impeller which is a flat disc, usually made from strong plastic. The impeller is connected to an electric motor by means of a shaft – the motor causes it to spin. The impeller has channels that run from the center to the outer diameter of the disc. Water enters the pump and is drawn into the center of the disc. As it rotates, the impeller forces the water along the channels to the outer reaches of the disc where there will be an outlet. So the water is quite literally flung from the center outward.
This is the principle of centrifugal force – pushing from the center outward. It’s a very simple and effective principle. The faster the disc turns the more force it will create and, therefore move more water with greater pressure. This means that the same pump can deliver increased water flow and pressure, simply by attaching it to a more powerful motor that spins the impeller faster.
Sta-Rite P6E6VS4H-209L IntelliPro | Variable Speed Pump
In order for the pump to function, there needs to be a vacuum surrounding the impeller. This means that it is a totally sealed environment. The suction created by centrifugal force requires that the incoming water needs to replace the water that is being flung outward. If the pump chamber isn’t 100% sealed, air will be sucked in instead of water. Air is less dense than water so it will be sucked in easier and therefore prevent the incoming water to enter the impeller.
The pump chamber, in other words, the area around the impeller is usually sealed with a gasket unless it is a completely molded unit that cannot be opened. A single molded unit is great for zero maintenance but it means that the pump can never be repaired. All inlets and outlets for the water flow are sealed with rubber seals or O-rings.
Apart from electrical damage to the motor, the only other damage that can affect the running of the pump is damage to the impeller or the rubber seals and gaskets inside the pump. The most common way that an impeller pump can be damaged is by running dry. The water flowing through the pump cools it. Heat generated by the motor and the friction of moving parts will, otherwise, cause damage to the rubber seals inside the pump and can cause the impeller to melt in extreme situations. This means that the pump needs to have water flowing through it whenever the motor is running.
Taking in air for a short period of time won’t damage the pump because this won’t be long enough for the heat to build up to any substantial level. However, over an extended period, the heat build-up will cause damage which is often irreparable. This means that the water level of your pool needs to always cover the outlet that’s connected to your pump. There must be water flowing to the pump and not air. All the pipes and connections leading to the pump must be properly sealed at all times. A partial air intake will cause the air to be mixed with the water flowing through the pump. This will reduce both the amount of water being circulated and the water pressure will drop.
The impeller can also be damaged if hard objects like stones are drawn into the impeller. These objects will be thrown by the motion of the impeller into its side walls of the inner channels, causing them to crack. The shaft of the impeller can also become entangled if long grass, flexible twigs or string are sucked into the pump.
Flexible items will wrap around the shaft as the impeller rotates. It can also happen that the impeller channels can become blocked by debris becoming trapped inside them. To prevent any unwanted matter from entering the pump, it always has a basket at the water intake. This basket not only helps to clean the pool water of debris but also traps it and prevents it from harming your pump. It’s important to keep this basket in good condition. Cracks or holes in the basket will allow harmful objects to pass through and damage the pump.
If the basket is not emptied regularly, the debris will build up to a point where it restricts the flow of water to the pump, causing it to overheat. A regular part of pool maintenance is to check and empty the basket before it becomes a problem. If you’re using a suction pool cleaner that uses the pool pump as its power source, you’ll need to check the basket more regularly because all the debris that you remove from the pool is held in the basket.
When you open the basket enclosure to empty the basket, it’s very important to close it correctly afterward. It often happens that the lid isn’t replaced properly causing air to be sucked in. It helps to apply waterproof grease or petroleum jelly to the inside rim of the basket lid (where it makes contact with the body of the enclosure). This will help to seal the lid more easily.
Keeping Your Pool Clean and Hygienic
Keeping the pool sparkling clean and the water clear doesn’t only make the pool more attractive but ensures that you, your family and guests remain healthy. There are many waterborne bacteria that can cause all kinds of ailments, most commonly diarrhea.
The pool filtration system uses a sand filter to remove microparticles from the water and chlorine is used as a disinfectant. The most common method of chlorinating a swimming pool is to add granular chlorine on a regular basis, often daily. The only tip to doing this is to add the chlorine in the evening as it is affected by sunlight – I usually add one cup every evening just before sunset and then test the PH level once a week to see if I need to add any acid.
Not everyone wants the hassle of adding chlorine to the pool every day or two. For these people, a pool chlorinator is just the answer. An automatic pool chlorinator uses chlorine tablets or sticks and is connected to the filtration system. As the water flows to the pump it flows through the chlorinator and this disinfects the water. The amount of chlorine that is added to the water can be controlled by limiting the flow of water through the chlorinator. These devices have control knob to adjust the water flow.
The only issue with chlorine is that it can cause irritation to the skin and burning of the eyes. Because there are many people who want to avoid the negative effects of chlorine, there are many chlorine-free pool disinfectants on the market. Despite the many benefits of using these products, chlorine remains the most popular method of keeping the pool hygienic. It’s not too expensive and very effective.
The PH level of the swimming pools tends to rise from time to time. To adjust the PH level of the pool we normally add hydrochloric acid to adjust the PH. Though, there are more sophisticated products available that maintain a healthy PH level for swimming pools. The water in your swimming pool should have a PH level of between 7.2 and 7.6. Regular testing of the pool’s PH level will ensure that you have healthy water with the least effect on your skin and eyes. Testing the PH of your pool the old-fashioned way requires a PH testing kit.
The kit consists of a sample receptacle (a clear plastic container with two tubes for measuring the water sample) and two bottles of testing drops (red and yellow). It’s not complicated using the testing kit and doesn’t take much time. You only need to pay attention to the level of your water sample (there’s a line on the sample tube to indicate this) and add the correct amount of red and yellow fluid to the correct tube in the sample tester. You then match the color of the sample to a color chart to see what the PH level is. Of course, there’s no need to go through this entire process anymore because electronic PH meters are very cheap and easy to use. You just need to touch a probe to the water and you’ll get an instant reading of the PH level on the LCD screen.
If you neglect your pool for a long period or sometimes after a heavy storm, the water may turn green or become cloudy. To rectify this, the pool will require a shock treatment to restore the balance and return it to being crystal blue. One can add a high dose of chlorine and then monitor the PH level for a few days adding acid and then more chlorine until the water clears. A simpler way of restoring the pool to its former glory is to add a liquid shock treatment that will correct the problem within a few hours, it can take up to a day before the water clears completely.
Cleaning the pool properly assists in maintaining a good water condition, keeping it hygienic and just looking good. Most people use an automatic pool cleaner these days and they will do almost all the work for you. A suction side pool cleaner is very affordable and cleans the pool relatively well – albeit quite slowly. The main problem with suction side pool cleaners is that they require a fair deal of regular maintenance. They can become blocked quite easily, the pipes can become entangled or the pipes can sometimes pull loose. So, while these pool cleaners do a pretty good job most of the time, you will be required to put some effort into keeping them working properly.
Robotic pool cleaners are becoming ever-more popular, despite being quite expensive. They provide the most hassle-free and effective way to clean the pool – doing a very thorough job with none of the hassles associated with suction side pool cleaners. Robotic pool cleaners also have the added advantage of improved hygiene. They have internal micro filters that aid the water filtration process as they clean.
Controlling algae can be a big headache for many pool owners. I recommend regular brushing of the sides of the pool (though a robotic pool cleaner does this for you). At least once a year, add an algae treatment to your pool water. Keeping the side walls clean and treating the water for algae, should mean that your pool remains free of both black and green algae.
Keeping your pool skimmed is another important job. A skimming net is essential for removing floating debris from the pool. An automatic pool skimmer will help a lot for the daily maintenance of the pool. However, with all the automated products in the world, you’ll always need two basic hand tools for your pool – a skimming net and a pool brush. An automatic pool skimmer and robotic pool cleaner will do almost everything for you, but there will be times when you’re going to have to do a bit of the work yourself.
After a storm or just some strong wind, your pool is going to have a lot of extra floating debris that you’ll need to remove manually. When it comes keeping the walls of your pool clean, a robotic pool cleaner is excellent, but there will parts that are occasionally missed by the pool cleaner and you’ll need to use a pool brush occasionally to ensure that walls and steps in your pool are cleaned properly.
Learn more about Pentair WhisperFlo on the Pentair site.