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Thread: Switching to a electric pool heater in San Diego & need advice!

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    Switching to a electric pool heater in San Diego & need advice!

    I have a decent sized pool (about 20' x 35' x 5' avg depth) and I'm replacing an old solar heating system. We live in the San Diego area and it's usually nice and warm here in the summers (80-100+ deg) and around 60-75 deg in the winters. I'm thinking I just need a relatively small heater to bump the pool temps to around 80 deg year round, but I'm not really sure. I'm about to replace an older 1HP pump with a Hayward SP2602VSP Super Pump Variable Speed. I'm getting a solar PV system installed, so I'm not as electrical usage sensitive. I'm very mechanically inclined but don't have much pool experience. Your advice on what I should do is much appreciated!

    Post edited for font type/size correction. Patrick B

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Switching to a electric pool heater in San Diego & need advice!

    Welcome to the forum!

    A heat pump might do the job in your situation.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Switching to a electric pool heater in San Diego & need advice!

    Hi Shawnworst! I'm up the road north around Temecula. I don't know of any customers around here that uses heat pumps. They don't work well in SoCal at all due to the time it tales to bring the temp up to speed. The electric heaters I know about aren't that great either because of Flo issues but with solar electric, at least cost wouldn't be an issue.

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    Re: Switching to a electric pool heater in San Diego & need advice!

    I'm getting conflicting information. Some people say that a heat pump is the way to go and others say they don't work well here due to low humidity. I called Leslie's and they're recommending a 70,000 BTU Heat pump. I go the impression they were trying to just push a sale, though, as the guy on the phone didn't know much.

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    Re: Switching to a electric pool heater in San Diego & need advice!

    What does PV mean?
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    Re: Switching to a electric pool heater in San Diego & need advice!

    Photo voltaic


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    Re: Switching to a electric pool heater in San Diego & need advice!

    Solar Electric panels

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    Re: Switching to a electric pool heater in San Diego & need advice!

    I to live in San Diego (El Cajon). Electric heat elements do not last long and will need to be replaced every 3 to 5 years. I would not do a heat pump as they are not 100% efficient and will not work very well in the winter in Lakeside gets to cold( below 50 degrees they do not work very well). How big of a PV system are you installing? You would need an 18KW (77 AMP) to 24KW ( 102 AMP) heater for the you size pool taking into account the heat loss because of outside temps. Unless you are putting in 22-28 KW PV system SDGE will love you for every time your heater turns on. I would go with a Raypak MVB WH7-503A modulating boiler can be converted over to propane if that is what is at you house.
    IG, pebble tech, 25K gallons, grotto, SPA that spills into pool, water slide, two other water falls. Equipment Pentair, filter FNS + 60, pool pump 1.5HP single speed wisperflo, spa 3 HP single speed wisperflo, grotto/ slide 3HP single speed wisperflo, waterfall 2HP single speed wisperflo, minimax NT 400K btu, Hayward XL pool vac, SWG IC60, compool 3800 automation, built 2007.

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    Re: Switching to a electric pool heater in San Diego & need advice!

    Thanks for your suggestion. Realistically, during the winter we probably wont be using it too much, but I'd like to bump up the temp a bit anyway and don't expect it to be 85 deg. I'm not sure as to the cost of the Raypak boiler, but if possible, I'd like to keep my budget for a heater under or close to $2k. I don't know if that's realistic or not.

    As to the PV system, It'll be a 11,730 Watt system which is about 15-20% over our current electrical usage. I planned in the headroom to allow for a pool heater. Hopefully I planned enough!

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    Re: Switching to a electric pool heater in San Diego & need advice!

    If you stay wit NG or Popane you willl be fine. With electric heat no way.

    IG, pebble tech, 25K gallons, grotto, SPA that spills into pool, water slide, two other water falls. Equipment Pentair, filter FNS + 60, pool pump 1.5HP single speed wisperflo, spa 3 HP single speed wisperflo, grotto/ slide 3HP single speed wisperflo, waterfall 2HP single speed wisperflo, minimax NT 400K btu, Hayward XL pool vac, SWG IC60, compool 3800 automation, built 2007.

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    Re: Switching to a electric pool heater in San Diego & need advice!

    I'm with bacr619. A natural gas heater, if you have NG, would be your best option since the PV system will not provide enough electricity to offset the cost to run an electric heater. Any non-solar heater will be expensive to run during the winter months. A solar cover would help out a lot if you don't have one already.
    16k gal plaster with raised spa, Jandy DEV60 filter, 2 HP 2-speed SHPF Jandy Stealth pump
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    Re: Switching to a electric pool heater in San Diego & need advice!

    Thanks for the advice. I think I'm going to go with a hybrid system of sorts. I still have room on my roof to accommodate a large section of the existing solar heating I already have, plus I'll be putting in a heater. I don't have NG at the property, plus getting propane over there would be very difficult as it's on the opposite side of our property, so I think I'm stuck with an electric option. Maybe I can make the solar panels more efficient too by putting a black sheet of steel below them. The solar system we currently have was put in before I owned the property, at least 10 years ago. Maybe there's a better option still? It's the kind with many parallel small black flexible tubes. Any suggestions??

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    Re: Switching to a electric pool heater in San Diego & need advice!

    Trying to do what you want within the $2000.00 range will be hard. I would look at two 125 lb propane bottles at the heater with a Raythem 400,000 BTU boiler outdoor rated. With the boiler at high fire the bottles will run the boiler for about 10 hours. They will last longer because it will not be at high fire all of the time. More like 2 to 4 weeks depending on heat loss. Whole sale cost of the boiler is above you budget at $2700.00 to $3000.00 wholesale. That would be my best recommendation for you situation. The solar pool heating will not do what you want in the winter unless you go with the type of system that is used for domestic hot water. The problem with that will be the copper heat exchangers that are used in those systems. Sorry to I could not help and stay with in the budget but the Raytherm would be your best option form the standpoint of operational cost and desired results for pool heating.
    IG, pebble tech, 25K gallons, grotto, SPA that spills into pool, water slide, two other water falls. Equipment Pentair, filter FNS + 60, pool pump 1.5HP single speed wisperflo, spa 3 HP single speed wisperflo, grotto/ slide 3HP single speed wisperflo, waterfall 2HP single speed wisperflo, minimax NT 400K btu, Hayward XL pool vac, SWG IC60, compool 3800 automation, built 2007.

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    Re: Switching to a electric pool heater in San Diego & need advice!

    Thank you. Has anyone used the Duda Solar Pool Collectors?? This looked pretty interesting, given it's a solar heat exchanger that's been made for pool use. Duda Solar Pool Collector [DS-SC58P-30T] | DudaDiesel Biodiesel Supplies

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    Re: Switching to a electric pool heater in San Diego & need advice!

    I looked st them and I kike the idea of being able to replace tubes and or headers when needed. Also being made from stainless as well. A quick look at the capacity of these panels you would need 8 at a very minimum. I think you will need more like 12 to 16 of them.

    IG, pebble tech, 25K gallons, grotto, SPA that spills into pool, water slide, two other water falls. Equipment Pentair, filter FNS + 60, pool pump 1.5HP single speed wisperflo, spa 3 HP single speed wisperflo, grotto/ slide 3HP single speed wisperflo, waterfall 2HP single speed wisperflo, minimax NT 400K btu, Hayward XL pool vac, SWG IC60, compool 3800 automation, built 2007.

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