Note: The information contained in this periodical weblog may be outdated. This was my personal weblog published before January 1, 2015. Since then I have been the co-owner and Principal Solar Designer at Florida Solar Design Group.


  1. Thank you for the very good advice on variable speed vs. variable flow pool pumps for solar applications. You saved me a lot of trouble. Thank you.

    Can you tell me the difference between an IntelliFlo Pentair pump, vs. an IntelliPro?

    1. Author

      Excellent Question, Rob. This has been a source of confusion, even for pool professionals. It doesn’t help that these pumps previously came without LCD screens and were quite different. There is also confusion about whether each is variable speed, or variable flow.

      The current IntelliPro® Variable Speed Pump is a Sta-Rite branded pump. The IntelliFlo® Variable Speed Pump is a Pentair branded pump. They are both variable speed pumps, even though the Pentair brand pump has the confusing reference to “Flo.” The Sta-Rite pump is black. The Pentair is cream colored. The motor and drive is identical on these pumps, but the pump housing is different. The Sta-Rite basket is slightly larger. The Sta-Rite pump uses a steel ring to attach to the motor, much like other Sta-Rite pumps. The Pentair pump housing is bolted to the motor.

      Both pumps are programmed the same way, have the same external control features, and the same warranty. The pump performance curves and energy efficiency are very similar. These two pumps are functionally the same, and your choice is probably a matter of preference rather than performance.

      Both brands come in a SVRS version (safety vacuum release system).

      Do not confuse either of these with the Pentair IntelliFlo VF High Performance Pump. This pump is a variable flow pump that adjust the speed as necessary to meet a steady flow requirement. There are some real disadvantages to this pump compared to variable speed, especially with solar pool heating.

      There is one more set of variable speed pumps in the Pentair family: the INTELLIPROXF™ and INTELLIFLOXF™. These are Sta-Rite and Pentair branded, respectively. They feature larger plumbing sizes and increased pump performance and longevity, and are intended for commercial or very large residential applications. They are not much more costly than the non-XF variable speed pumps, so I would recommend that you consider them.

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