Ultimate Pentair 011018 Intelliflo Review - The Most Efficient Pool Pump?

Preface - is the Pentair 011018 the cheapest running pool pump on the market? Find out below.

If you have been looking for a quiet, durable, cheap to run and reliable pool pump, you have no doubt come across the Pentair Intelliflo during your research. This is not surprising because this pump is extremely popular. It is well thought of by engineers as well as pool owners, and has been installed in hundreds of thousands of residential swimming pools.

This is an affordable pump that uses very little electric yet still cleans your pool water properly. Whether you are a pool owner looking to replace your old unit or someone who is buying their first pool pump the Pentair 011018 is for you. It can easily be incorporated into an old pump house, or built into a new swimming pool.

However, it would be great if you hung around here for a bit to read my review. I am sure you will find it interesting and that it will help you to decide if this Pentair model is the perfect fit for your pool.

For over 20 years, I have been lucky enough to own properties with pools, so have used a range of different pumps and cleaning systems. During that time, I learnt, the hard way, just how vital a good pump is.

I’ll never forget the first time my pool went cloudy. My heart sank; I could not believe that despite all my hard work my pool looked dirty. It took me ages to work out that it was my pump that was the problem. Something had gone wrong with it, and it was no longer working efficiently.

Finding a replacement was a daunting task, but after a fair amount of research, I did end up buying the right one for my pool. Over the years, I ended up helping several friends and neighbours to do the same. So, I soon discovered how to buy the best model for the job, and I am here to help you to do the same.

Read on to find out what you need to know about this Pentair swimming pool pump or skip to any point that sticks out in the menu below.


Will the Pentair Intelliflo variable speed pool pump reduce my electricity bills?

One of the biggest issues pool owners face is the cost of running their pools. Every year, it gets more expensive to keep your pool clean and safe to use. Over the years, the cost of the chemicals has gone up, but that is nothing compared to the rise in the cost of electric.

Your pump needs to be run every day, for an average of 8 hours. If you live in a particularly hot climate, have a large pool, or there is a lot of dust or pollen in the air, you may have to run it for 11 hours or more. This means you can go through a lot of electric per day, not mentioning per rest of the month & the year, and it is the pump that burns most of it. For that reason, it is important that you buy one that uses as little electric as possible.

The Pentair Intelliflo is a variable speed pump. That means that you can decide how fast it runs, which in turn means that you can potentially save a lot of electricity by switching to it. How much you will save varies, it depends on several factors including the flow rate of your pool, it’s size and what time of the day you need to run the pump.

What is clear from my experience of single speed pumps and from the hundreds of reviews that I combed through is that most people save a significant amount on their fuel bills. Reviewers stated savings of up to 60%, with several saying that the fact they had lower electric bills meant that the pump had paid for itself within a couple of years. Those who had previously owned a single speed model made the biggest savings, in some cases, as much as 60%. Some retailers claim that you can save 90% on your bill, but I did not find any actual owners that reported that level of saving.

Importantly, for US buyers, this is also an Energy star certified product.


Horrendous Running Costs of Single Speed Pool Pumps


The costs of single speed pool pumps are horrendous. Official government stats put it as the second highest energy consumer in a home. If all pool owners switched to a energy star rated variable speed pump they would prevent about 3 billion pounds of greenhouse gases damaging the environment each year. Shockingly they would also save $165 million in energy costs.


How noisy is the Pentair pool pump?

If, like me, you have your pool located near the house, the last thing you need is a noisy pump. The electricity deal we have means that the cheapest time to run the pump is between 10pm and noon. We live in a very hot climate and have trees located near the pool, so the pump has to run for around 10 or 11 hours a day to keep the pool clean. That means having it on from the early hours of the morning, so I know that the amount of noise that the pump makes is an important consideration.

Fortunately, the Pentair Intelliflo 011018 is very quiet. It is well built, and is fan cooled, so it runs smoothly and is not prone to overheating. Even at full speed, it only puts out around 45 decibels, which is 4 times quieter than the noisier pumps on the market.


Fewer problems with bugs and insects

The casing is designed to stop bugs and insects from making their home inside the pump. This is actually a very important feature, because these little critters can do a lot of damage.

Because high quality materials are used for the casing, it is not prone to drying and cracking open. If you live somewhere where it gets very hot in the summer or very cold in the winter this is an important consideration. The casing will only be watertight if it remains intact and structurally sound.


Does the Pentair Intelliflo come with a warranty?

Within the industry, Pentair has a good reputation, which is why so many people buy this company’s pumps and pool systems. They also offer excellent aftercare, customer support, and warranties.

At the time of writing this page, when you buy the Pentair Intelliflo pump, you get a 2-year warranty. However, it is important to note that you only get that warranty if you have your pump installed by a qualified technician. Before, contracting an installer it is well worth verifying that they are actually properly qualified rather than just taking their word for it.

In addition, you need to register your pump on the Pentair site, and do so within 60 days of installation. To do this you will need a proper receipt from the installer.

If you do decide to install the pump yourself, you only get a 60-day warranty.

Please bear in mind that manufacturers periodically change the terms and conditions of their guarantees and warranties. Therefore, before buying your pump it is wise to double-check the conditions, and length, of the warranty.


Can I use my existing pipes and electrics with this Pentair Pump?

If you buy a good quality pool pump, it will work flawlessly, and do so for many years. This is great because it means that you are not constantly shelling out money to buy new bits and pieces for your pump, but, strangely, it can also be bad news. Let me explain...

Over the past decade, the design of swimming pools has evolved. For example, most modern pools now use 2-inch pipes to carry water into and out of the pool during the filtering process, but older systems are made of 1.5-inch pipes. In addition, over the past ten years or so, electrical and wiring standards have changed drastically.

This means that some makes and models of modern pool pumps are not compatible with the old pipes and electrics. Fortunately, you rarely have this problem with the Pentair Intelliflo pump.

It can usually be incorporated into your existing pump house, easily and be connected to your pipes and electrics. However, you should never assume that this is the case. Therefore, before buying new swimming pool cleaning components you need to get a professional fitter to check that your current installation will be compatible with your new pump. They are going to visit your property to give you a quote anyway, so most fitters are happy to assess compatibility while they are there.

Your fitter may have to adjust the spacing of the pipes a bit, but they will factor that in when they give you a quote. It is also important to note that connectors are not included with this pump, so your fitter will have to provide them and include them in their quote.

That probably seems like a strange omission on the part of Pentair, but in reality, it is actually a sensible approach. This is because which connectors you need depends on the size, and type of pipes, that the new pump will be connected to.

If you are handy though you can buy reducer bushings from your local hardware store and connect the pipes yourself, plus your fitter will have them anyway if you are getting it professionally installed.


Good customer support and aftercare service

Pentair customer support is very good. You can ask them any question and get a prompt response, so if you have any questions just drop them a line.


Can Pentair pool pumps be used with Kreepy Kraulys?

While we are on the subject of compatibility, I am going to answer one of the most common questions people keep asking when researching pool pumps online.

Naturally, people want to automate their pool cleaning process as much as possible. One of the most popular items is a vacuum cleaner device that crawls along the base, and sometimes the walls, of the pool sucking up dust and dirt. These are fondly known as Kreepy Kraulys or creepy crawlies.

These fantastic automatic pool vacuums take care of the hoovering of your pool for you, while you chill out and relax on a sun bed. If you don’t have one, I highly recommend your taking a look at them.

About 15 years ago, I was given one of these devices, but I could not get it to work properly. At that point, I gave up on the dream of never having to clean my pool again. But, a couple of years ago a friend showed me his, and it worked, so I bought one. The new one worked like a dream. It was the best money I ever spent, and I highly recommend anyone with a pool do the same. You can read my Kreepy Krauly reviews here.

Anyway, I digress, one of the things I liked the most about the Pentair 011018 is the fact that you can use most Kreepy Kraulys with it, and, importantly, you do not need to buy, and install, a booster pump to be able to do so. However, to be on the safe side you should always check that the creepy crawly model that you already own is actually compatible with this pump.

If you have a heated pool, use solar blankets or have a salt-water pool your choice of pump is limited. This is because many pumps do not work properly with these systems. Therefore, you need to double check with your fitter that the 011018 will work properly with all of the components of your existing pool installation. The fact that it is a variable speed pump means that it should do so, but it is always wise to double-check.


Do Pentair swimming pool pumps come with a timer?

This is an interesting, and important question. To keep your water clean your pump needs to come on at the right time of the day. In theory, you can run it at night, but in reality, it is far better to run it during daylight hours, when you can.

As you know, the biggest enemy for pool owners is algae. You need to keep these organisms at bay. If you don’t you will quickly end up with a toxic puddle, instead of a lovely swimming pool. Let me explain why that is.

Algae, and other bacteria, love warm water, they breed like crazy in that environment. So, when the sun is shining down on your pool you need to make sure that the chlorine is circulating through your water. That way any algae and bacteria that are living in your pool are exposed to the chlorine-laden water, and killed.

It is the pump that makes the water and chemicals circulate. Therefore, the most effective time to have it running is when the sun is shining. Doing so ensures algae and bacteria are killed before they have a chance to breed and multiply.

Tip - A good pool cleaner will also help you prevent your pool from getting in a dire state. Check out our articles on  Polaris pool cleaners to see how they help.

A timer makes sure that this happens, like clockwork (no pun intended). The timer ensures that your pool still gets the attention it needs when you are out. When it comes to keeping your pool algae free, you really cannot afford to miss a day. If you do so, the algae and bacteria will get a toehold and multiply fast.

All Pentair pool pumps are programmable. This is great, but it can be a bit fiddly, or even a lot! Quite a few users seemed to struggle with setting up the programmer. Most did manage it in the end, but you still need to be aware of this potential issue, especially if you are not very tech minded.

To aid with this set up here’s a video on YouTube explaining the process:



Tip- Run Your Speed Pump During The Day

This is a very efficient pool pump so don’t be afraid to run it during the day. Don’t run it at night just because electricity is cheaper. This is not the best way to keep your pool clean.

Bacteria and algae multiply a lot faster during the hottest part of the day especially more so if the water is not circulating. You can run it at a lower speed during the day to reduce the costs, a pump running at low speed during the day is better than no pump running at all or a pump running at high speed from the night until the early morning.

If you have in floor cleaning heads or an automatic pool vac you can reduce the speed rate after the pool water has been turned over a few times.
OK, well that covers the main questions and queries, but there is one important question that really needs to be answered.....


Is the Pentair 011018 right for you?

If you are the owner of a residential pool, the Intelliflo variable speed pump is likely to be a good choice. It is reliable and cheap to run, so is well worth considering. Just be careful to check that it is compatible with your existing equipment, and make sure that there is a qualified installer working in your area who can fit the pump, so that you can get the full warranty.


Where to buy the Pentair Intelliflo pool pump

If you think that a Pentair Intelliflo, is right for you, or just want a bit more information, you can find out more from the merchants below. Doing so will take you to a pool supply that has been selling these pumps for several years.


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