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Thread: Heat pump in Houston???

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    Heat pump in Houston???

    Hello!

    Reaching out to the forum to get some advice. Our little pool (8k gallons see sig for link) has one flaw...no heater! I had assumed since this is Houston and it's hot as, well, you know what during the summer and we have no spa that we didn't need a heater. So when we built the pool not only did we opt out of a heater, but we didn't run gas! And the gas line is on the other side of the house from the pool. Running a line would mean one of two things: killing our path on the side of the house and then having to run it around the back of the pool. Oh, and of course killing the irrigation in the process. Or two, boring under 16' of concrete driveway and then ruining the front yard grass, which is not quite as bad as the back. And irrigation as well.

    So we're thinking of heat pumps. The pool is plenty hot in the summer and actually might benefit from a bit of cooling, as it can get in the low 90's some days. But mainly, of course, we are looking to extend the season, and use it when the temp jumps up. For instance, we had a few days this week that were in the high 70's, low 80's, and it would have been nice to swim some laps. And in March, early April when the weather is warm-ish, (consistent 60's to 70's) and late into October it would be nice to be able to continue to use the pool.

    I understand from searching that the heat pump takes a longer time to heat up. And that it's more expensive. But if I can avoid the cost of landscaping repairs and / or boring under the driveway, that might make up for it in part. I don't have a cover, but seems like we'll need to get one if we are going to get serious about keeping the pool warm and keeping it up to temperature.

    Thoughts are appreciated!
    8,000 gallon in-ground gunnite geometric. Wet Edge Satin Matrix. Triple overflow water feature.
    Hayward - TCell 15 SWG; TriStar VS Main Pump; SwimClear 425 Cartridge Filter; ProLogic 4 Automation, SuperII Water Feature Pump; Polaris 280 w/ Booster
    Link to my Build

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    Re: Heat pump in Houston???

    We had a gas line ran from our attic ( t'd off line for gas water heater ) to our outdoor kitchen fireplace and pit. They used that flexible yellow pipe. Do you have the same situation so they can run from your attic to your equipment pad?
    8500 gallon IG Pebble Sheen with Spa. 3hp Pentair VS Intelliflo ( pool ), 3/4 hp WhisperFlo ( water feature ),Pentair Racer, 400K Pentair heater, Pentair 500sqft Cartridge filter, EasyTouch 8, Stenner 45mp2 15gallon wired to ET8

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Heat pump in Houston???

    A heat pump is more efficient for maintaining temperature than gas is. Gas is better for quick spot heating. So, for your situation you are probably better off with a heat pump anyway and you get the benefit of cooling. Pentair has a pretty good comparison page comparing different heaters types. With a smallish pool it shouldn't take take much to maintain temp, especially with a thin solar cover.
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Heat pump in Houston???

    Well, I can't find the Pentair comparison page. Given that you will be heating your pool when air temps are in the upper 60s and 70s and the climate in Houston your heat pump will be operating in the maximum efficiency range for heat pumps.

    Another option is solar panels. We use solar to supplement our pool temp, we like it warm. The panels do a great job of taking the chill off of cool nights or recovering from rain. But, we don't have enough room for more panels to get a meaningful extension of the swim season. We also use our solar panels to cool the pool when needed by running the panels at night.
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Heat pump in Houston???

    You need to consider power requirements for a heat pump. Most require 50 amps and it's unlikely that your pool sub panel was installed with a large enough wire run to support this. If the heat pump is close to the main panel, then this isn't so much of an issue.

    Your pool is small enough that a heat pump would probably do the job just fine.
    -Brian-
    33K Pool/Spa, Pentair Equipment
    POOL BUILD
    Davis Custom Construction - Home Page

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    Re: Heat pump in Houston???

    Quote Originally Posted by bdavis466 View Post
    You need to consider power requirements for a heat pump. Most require 50 amps and it's unlikely that your pool sub panel was installed with a large enough wire run to support this. If the heat pump is close to the main panel, the this isn't so much of an issue.

    Your pool is small enough that a heat pump would probably do the job just fine.
    Good point. It's not an issue, it's close to the panel and we can run another circuit.


    8,000 gallon in-ground gunnite geometric. Wet Edge Satin Matrix. Triple overflow water feature.
    Hayward - TCell 15 SWG; TriStar VS Main Pump; SwimClear 425 Cartridge Filter; ProLogic 4 Automation, SuperII Water Feature Pump; Polaris 280 w/ Booster
    Link to my Build

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    Re: Heat pump in Houston???

    Quote Originally Posted by rphpool View Post
    We had a gas line ran from our attic ( t'd off line for gas water heater ) to our outdoor kitchen fireplace and pit. They used that flexible yellow pipe. Do you have the same situation so they can run from your attic to your equipment pad?
    How big of a gas line do you need? Our cooktop is nearby but I thought that the size needed to be 1/2" or larger....

    Edit...looks like 3/4" or 1" line is needed, and our line run in the wall is 1/2". Bummer!


    8,000 gallon in-ground gunnite geometric. Wet Edge Satin Matrix. Triple overflow water feature.
    Hayward - TCell 15 SWG; TriStar VS Main Pump; SwimClear 425 Cartridge Filter; ProLogic 4 Automation, SuperII Water Feature Pump; Polaris 280 w/ Booster
    Link to my Build

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    Re: Heat pump in Houston???

    So Hayward introduced a smaller heat pump for pools under 15k gallons at a reasonable price of $1,400 to $1,600. Hmmmm....

    HP50HA Heat Pump | Heaters | In Ground Pool Heaters - Hayward Pool Products
    8,000 gallon in-ground gunnite geometric. Wet Edge Satin Matrix. Triple overflow water feature.
    Hayward - TCell 15 SWG; TriStar VS Main Pump; SwimClear 425 Cartridge Filter; ProLogic 4 Automation, SuperII Water Feature Pump; Polaris 280 w/ Booster
    Link to my Build

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Heat pump in Houston???

    Ooh, that has my attention too. I have been sitting on the heat pump fence for a couple of years. Neither of us needs a lot of heat to get the pool temp from a little chilly to just right. A small heat pump might be just the ticket. Guess I'm going to reading about heat pumps tonight. Again.
    TFP Moderator
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Administrator Leebo's Avatar
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    Re: Heat pump in Houston???

    As mentioned, any owner that wishes to heat their pool without spending thousands of dollars greatly needs a cover. Maybe not as much during the hot summer months, but desperately during the cooler spring and fall months.

    Another option to look at is maybe a solar system as PoolDV mentioned. A few panels from eBay will likely handle a large amount of your heating needs for cheap. Last year we installed a heat pump last year as natural gas or solar wasn't an option. Our pool is in the middle of a HEAVLY wooded area with no natural gas lines anywhere. Only two options for us were propane or a heat pump. Our heat pump is able to increase the water temps about 1 per hour in the summer months and takes just a hair longer than that last fall. The unit increased our power bill about $100 a month to increase the water temp an average of 8 In our 25k gallon pool, although we have VERY cheap power rates. The one downfall however is when temps are below 50 (Or 60, I cannot remember now) the unit shuts itself off which means no winter swimming likely.

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