Greetings! Our pool was installed in Spring 2006 and we are now planning to purchase a heater for the 2017 season. This year I'm doing my homework to plan what seems like a huge project. Here's a list of my research so far, with many questions!
1. Pool Heater Selection: Based on some numbers, we've selected a 400,000 BTU Gas Heater with Cupronickel heating coils. I've yet to select a specific model. Any recommendations?
2. Natural Gas Service: I've learned that pool heaters have specific pressure/flow requirements from the utility company. Once I choose a model, I will need to contact the utility to determine if their current installation will support the pool heater requirements. If it doesn't, they will have to upgrade their existing equipment. Are there any other aspects of this of which I should be aware?
3. Running Natural Gas to the pool equipment pad: We currently have a natural gas heating unit and hot water heater which are located in the attic. Our natural gas meter and pool equipment pad are on the opposite sides of the house. For gas to reach my pool equipment pad, trenching or running a line through the attic will be required. The attic option seems to be cheaper. Is there any advice to be had, or will I have to take this up with whomever I hire to do this work?
4. Pool Equipment Pad Redesign: The equipment pad from the original pool build will not accomodate a heater. It will have to be enlarged and redesigned. I have a TON of questions about this that may be best left for a dedicated forum thread. My pool builder took a ton of shortcuts (surprise) and this would be a perfect opportunity to correct those.
5. Heater installation: I'm not sure how to coordinate purchasing the heater along with the equipment pad redesign/rebuild. Is it possible the redesign/rebuild of the equipment pad could have a "placeholder" for the heater? It seems like valves could be used to implement a heater bypass line which might also be useful if ever the heater were out of service.
6. Water Chemistry: I posted in another thread about water balancing, in preparation for getting a heater: Water Chemistry Balance - Can I do better? Are there any specific "never-let-this-happen" pitfalls I should be aware of?