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Thread: How much propane should we buy?

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    How much propane should we buy?

    I've Googled and found lots of information on formulas for how much it costs and how much propane to heat your pools, spas, etc. to a certain degree. This is our first pool so I have no idea how long we will need to run the heater daily to keep the pool/spa at a certain tempature, so these don't really help me. We need a gas company to come out and install a gas line and a tank and I need to figure out how much I would like them to fill the tank with initially as we are now very tight in our budget. We have a medium sized pool with spa. I only want to heat the spa, but there is spillover into the pool, so we will be loosing energy there. Since it gets pretty hot in NC, I only want to keep the spa around 99. I don't think we will have a cover on the pool during the summer, but can get a solar one if it really makes a big difference. Any clue how much I should start with to get us through just this pool season? 100 gal, 200 gal, 300 gal???

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    pabeader's Avatar
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    Re: How much propane should we buy?

    I hate to ask, but why are you having to add new propane for your heater?
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: How much propane should we buy?

    Our house is only on electric but we wanted a gas heater for the pool, so we are having a propane tank installed. We figured it is worth it, as we may switch to propane for the house when we eventually buy a new stove anyway.

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    kcindc's Avatar
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    Re: How much propane should we buy?

    It really depends on many gallons your pool is, how much sunlight hits the pool, how warm you want the water, how often you want it warm, etc.

    I have a pool/spa combo and I can go through $200 a month and that is just heating the pool one or two weekends a month. The cost of the propane is important to consider. Also, the bigger the propane tank the cheaper your gas will cost. For example, if I buy 100 gallons, it is more expensive per gallon vs filling my empty 500 gallon tank. The bigger the tank the better. It also will allow you to buy propane in bulk when the prices are low.

    I have a neighbor who uses natural gas and she can heat her pool 24/7 for the entire season with less than 75 per month. It would cost me around 400-800 per month for me to do the same.

    Absolutely use a solar cover. Solar covers do not heat water, but they help retain heat by reducing the amount of evaporation. Generally folks leave their pool uncovered during the day and covered at night. Get the cheapest, lightest solar cover... trust me!
    Karen
    33K IG w spa plaster, Pentair 1HP Whisperflo, DE Filter, SWG CircuPool RJ-60, Dolphin Triton Plus, Raypak Dig 336K BTU, TF-100.
    Pool Math Chlorine / CYA Chart SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain
    2017 replaster/retile

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    Pool Tool's Avatar
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    Re: How much propane should we buy?

    You will need to ask the propane company their opinion as well since the heater actually burns propane gas as it vaporizes from the bulk liquid in the tank. This is not a big deal and I unfortunately don't know how to calculate, but you will need a tank with enough surface area to store/convert propane from liquid to gas faster than the heater burns it. All this being said, I wouldn't put a whole lot of thought in it. But just in case the propane company says you will need a minimum size tank of xx gallons to run a heater you'll have a little background knowledge.

    Fortunately, where I live there is little difference between the cost of heating with propane vs. gas at the current pricing.
    16' x 32' (21100 gal), vinyl, 1.5 hp Hayward SuperPump,
    Tagelus TA60/60D Sand Filter, Raypak 399K Digital Heater, TF-100

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    Re: How much propane should we buy?

    Thanks all, sounds like it is all just guessing the first couple of times to see how much we really use? I'm assuming we wouldn't be using too much since we are only trying to heat the spa itself, do not want it very hot, and live in a warmer climate. I'll also purchase a solar cover, at least for the spa portion of our pool to help. I guess I'll start with 200 gal and just see how long that lasts us. I would love to get a big tank and fill 500 gal at once, but since we are already nearing the end of our pool budget, that is just not possible at this time. We'll have to see what size tanks our local gas companies lease.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: How much propane should we buy?

    Note, you can NOT maintain the heated spa unless it in completely isolated and has its own pump/filter/etc. Likely you have a typical setup with 1 pump and filter and the some water from the spa spills into the pool constantly.

    The normal thing to do is only turn on the heater and the valves to spa mode right before you are going to use it. Then you turn off the heater and go back to normal pool circulation/filtration mode.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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