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Thread: Preparing for New Heater

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    Apr 2008
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    Suffolk, VA, US
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    Preparing for New Heater

    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?


    Thanks,

    Kelly
    Rectangular Vinyl 20' x 40', 3.5' shallow end, 8' deep end, approx 33,000gal
    1.5 HP Pentair WhisperFlo / 60 gal DE Filter / 2 returns - 1 shallow end wall, 1 deep end floor
    SC-60 SWG / Autopilot Digital Pool Pilot v.4.2 / Polaris 280 w/ Booster Pump
    TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Preparing for New Heater

    1. Why the Cupronickel unit? Residential pools do not need this and is extra money spent that really is unnecessary.

    2. You would need to make sure your current meter will support the extra load requirement.

    3. The company you hire to do the gas should provide you the best option on how/where to run the line.

    4. There are preformed concrete pads that can be added to accommodate the heater and is the way most new installs like yours goes. Unless of course you really need to redesign the entire pad which is lots of work.

    5. Keep in mind that most manufacturers ask/require that the unit be installed by a professionally licensed company in order for them to honor the warranty.

    6. Never NOT check your water on a regular basis to make sure you are keeping it balanced.

    I hope this helps you a bit.
    Paul
    http://www.gastekservices.com A word of caution: When working with gas and electrical you might want to consider a licensed contractor. Consider the value of your life and others around you. If you would like to provide a review of the help I provided, please use the following link to leave a review. gastek - Google Search,

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    Re: Preparing for New Heater

    +1 with Paul.

    Water chemistry is the important thing here. A cupronickle heat exchanger is kind of like buying all the add-on services a car dealer tries to sell you when you get a new car. They sound good but really do nothing for you accept deplete your wallet faster.
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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    Re: Preparing for New Heater

    Thanks guys.

    1. My initial research found sources claiming cupronickel exchangers had a longevity advantage over copper, and held up better in the salt environment of a SWG setup. User JoyfulNoise also recommended one in another thread. I really appreciate the car add-ons analogy! Sounds like additional research is needed.

    4. I suppose a picture of my current pad setup would produce better advice here. In a nutshell, there is no space in the piping segment between the filter and SWG manifold where plumbing for the heater could be inserted. At a minimum, the SWG manifold would need to be re-oriented and re-plumbed to the return lines. Also, I have a polaris booster pump plumbed in that needs to be removed. (Replacing my 280 with a robot soon) Also, my multiport is extremely weather worn and probably needs replacement or rebuilding. Also, my pump is above water level, and the PB didn't install a check valve on the pump intake line - makes priming the pump difficult. So, it seems like making room for the heater creates an excuse to re-do the whole pad. I would want to have this done professionally, but to have input with the designer on specific parts to use. As stated, I probably need a dedicated thread to this aspect with pictures.

    5. I would definitely not do the installation myself. I'd make use of the same professional as for #4.

    6. Water Chemistry - I do test my water frequently, but rarely have to make any adjustments - save at opening. I linked to a thread about my pool chemistry: In summary, experience has shown my pool naturally tends from pH 7.2 at opening to 7.8 at closing. So, I've never bothered adjusting it. The consensus seems to be: adjust starting pH to 7.5 and maintain a range of 7.5 to 7.8.
    Rectangular Vinyl 20' x 40', 3.5' shallow end, 8' deep end, approx 33,000gal
    1.5 HP Pentair WhisperFlo / 60 gal DE Filter / 2 returns - 1 shallow end wall, 1 deep end floor
    SC-60 SWG / Autopilot Digital Pool Pilot v.4.2 / Polaris 280 w/ Booster Pump
    TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Preparing for New Heater

    Quote Originally Posted by YesRushGen View Post
    Thanks guys.

    1. My initial research found sources claiming cupronickel exchangers had a longevity advantage over copper, and held up better in the salt environment of a SWG setup. User JoyfulNoise also recommended one in another thread. I really appreciate the car add-ons analogy! Sounds like additional research is needed.
    The amount of salt in a salt chlorinated pool is very low. I only work on gas pool heaters and a copper heat exchanger on a residential salt pool are just fine. Now don't pay attention to your water chemistry and you will ruin a copper heat exchanger as well as a cupronickle one. It will just take a little longer for the curponickel one to be damaged.

    Ultimately the choice is yours but you do have people such as me that are in the industry and we see lots of things every day and wouldn't steer you wrong.
    Paul
    http://www.gastekservices.com A word of caution: When working with gas and electrical you might want to consider a licensed contractor. Consider the value of your life and others around you. If you would like to provide a review of the help I provided, please use the following link to leave a review. gastek - Google Search,

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