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Thread: Heat Pump Recommendations: Southern WI

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    Heat Pump Recommendations: Southern WI

    Hello all,

    My wife and I are thinking of adding a heater to our 27ft round above ground pool with a deck surround. I want to say it's probably 4ft deep with a flat bottom (in case there are other depths/bottoms for AGP's).

    I have read numerous opinions on this and they vary enough to hit the forums...

    I have heard that just buying a 50k btu and leaving it run all the time will suffice and I've also heard I'll need a min of 100+btus (and anywhere in between those numbers as well). I also don't know about brand reputation/customer service, as opinions on that seem to vary based on whatever brand a company carries (Dealer A: Brand B is the best and Brand C is turrible; Dealer B: Brand C is the best and Brand B is turrible).

    Ultimately, while not thrilled with the thought of dropping 3k+ on a heat pump alone (before replumb and electric work), I also don't want to spend half that on something that won't work at all.

    I am also looking for a realistic estimate on utility cost increase (knowing there are many variables). Running pump 23hrs a day or just 8 hours or...what can I expect for increase in operating costs? I've heard $15/month to $400/month more...which has me ready to throw in the towel and just swim in the usual 75degree water haha.

    Any advice for me would be greatly appreciated!!

    Thank you,
    Robert

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    Re: Heat Pump Recommendations: Southern WI

    Move to Florida

    Sorry, I just HAD to make that reply. I'm from Kenosha originally and just moved to FL from the Appleton area about a year and a half ago.

    No idea on costs, even for my own because I made to many other changes at the same time and not yet tried to track the cost of JUST the heater. Also, are you looking to extend your swimming season at all, or just keep it a little warmer during the months you would have been using it regardless? It will help others answer more helpfully.

    LOL, when I moved a house with an existing enclosed pool was a requirement. My Mom says "Really? You didn't use our pool much even when you were a kid". Duh!!! It was always 75-76 tops, and I was too young to just float with a beer and book in hand!
    Scott
    15,000 Gallons vinyl in-ground screen enclosed, Hayward Eco-star SP3400VSP, Hayward Aqua Logic PL-Plus, Hayward T-15 Salt Cell, Hayward S244T Sand Filter, Polaris 380 with booster pump, Hayward heat pump HP50HA. K-2006 kit.

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    Re: Heat Pump Recommendations: Southern WI

    Haha. I was going to put something in my post about FL too. A lot of what I've read was people in FL talking about adding heaters and whatnot...which is apples to oranges to Wisconsin. Or would it be oranges to FL...

    I think, ultimately to justify the expense, we'd be looking to extend the swim season a little bit. nothing crazy like thanksgiving dinner on a floating buffet platter, but having it open earlier and closed later would be nice. Given how unstable our temps are here, however, I feel getting a constant warm temp throughout the peak non-winter month we have is crucial.

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    Re: Heat Pump Recommendations: Southern WI

    I have a 75kBTU heat pump with about 13000 gal of water. With my solar cover on the heat pump got the pool from 70 to 83 in one sunny day. Just food for thought they do work. I cant speak for other brands but mine is also very quiet running. It wasn't the cheapest up front cost wise but my only other option was propane and that just costs way too much to run.
    Chuck-
    15x30 Above ground, Pentair Superflo VS, 19" sand filter, TF-100 test kit
    Aqua Comfort ACT750 heat pump / 6x20 ground mount solar panel / DIY automation

    Photos of 2016 Build, Inside Your Breaker Panel, Free Copy of 2017 NEC code
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    Re: Heat Pump Recommendations: Southern WI

    This has been noted in the forum, HP50HA; HP50HA Heat Pump | Heaters | In Ground Pool Heaters - Hayward Pool Products , but I don't know if efficient enough in cooler climates. CT might be close, i don't know.
    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: Heat Pump Recommendations: Southern WI

    Quote Originally Posted by Pool Tool View Post
    This has been noted in the forum, HP50HA; HP50HA Heat Pump | Heaters | In Ground Pool Heaters - Hayward Pool Products , but I don't know if efficient enough in cooler climates. CT might be close, i don't know.
    I did see that one, but I feel the variables are too much to draw conclusions to in regards to my situation. Thank you, regardless!

    EDIT: I guess I should clarify that; I saw the oft recommended HP50HA/TA but really don't know if it will work for my situation (pool size, climate). Lots of good reviews on it for other climates though...just want to be sure I don't spent 1700 on something that doesn't work for me. Again, dealers all recommend higher btu(price) but was hoping to find some regional opinions on the matter...

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    Re: Heat Pump Recommendations: Southern WI



    would the 50k btu manage to keep temp with or without cover in a ~19000 gallon pool or should I up the ante and buy a 75k-100k+btu heater? Calling all wisconsinites! haha

    I guess the backside of that is, if I went with such a small heater, it would need to be running 24/7 to maintain temp...whereas if I went to a higher btu, I could actually shut my pump off once in a while...right?

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    Re: Heat Pump Recommendations: Southern WI

    I would say for your pool 50k would be too small, 75k would be ok, 100k would probably be best. Heat pumps are slow to heat a pool when compaired compared to their gas fired cousins. A solar cover will help significantly when heating the pool by preventing evaporation. With regular use during the season the cover will reduce energy used to heat the pool by 50% or more when compared to no solar cover used at all (this applies to any type of heat system). Living on the coast in New England is colder and windier than you might think.
    Chuck-
    15x30 Above ground, Pentair Superflo VS, 19" sand filter, TF-100 test kit
    Aqua Comfort ACT750 heat pump / 6x20 ground mount solar panel / DIY automation

    Photos of 2016 Build, Inside Your Breaker Panel, Free Copy of 2017 NEC code
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    Re: Heat Pump Recommendations: Southern WI

    Without any personal ability to do all those average temperature, desired water temperature, and BTU calculations I don't think I'd try the 50k up there. I have that heater and it works just fine for my limited needs. However, I need less, pool is smaller, is in ground, and in FL. It was a nice deal online for $1,300 and self-installed, but if discounting just that model the difference between most other 50k to a 75 or 100k would have had me even go larger. Since 50k seemed like it should do it the deal was just too good to pass up.

    I'd agree with CJadamec. I had hoped we would had one of the occasional HVAC type scientists around here now and then come by with their handy little calculator though, hehe.
    Scott
    15,000 Gallons vinyl in-ground screen enclosed, Hayward Eco-star SP3400VSP, Hayward Aqua Logic PL-Plus, Hayward T-15 Salt Cell, Hayward S244T Sand Filter, Polaris 380 with booster pump, Hayward heat pump HP50HA. K-2006 kit.

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    Re: Heat Pump Recommendations: Southern WI

    Thanks CJ. when do you usually open/close your pool in CT?

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    Re: Heat Pump Recommendations: Southern WI

    Its been open for 3 weeks now and I will winterize it some time in late Oct before the weather gets below freezing for too long.

    If you were looking for a mathy way to explain it well...

    19k gals = 155800 lbs of water
    1BTU heats lbs of water 1 degree.
    Assuming your water is starting off around 50*F when you open and you are looking for 80*F to go swimming:

    155800/50000 = 3.1 hrs per degree temp rise with a 50k heat pump your initial delta T is 30 so under ideal conditions it will take 90 hrs to get to 80F.

    155800/75000 = 2.07 hrs/degree or 60hrs to reach 80*

    155800/100000 = 1.55 hrs/degree or 45 hours to reach 80*

    Heat pumps don't have fixed BTU output because they rely on the outside air temp to get their heat. Most heat pumps will run at air temps down into the 40's. At that temp you will get about 50% max BTU output of the pump if you are lucky. At ambient temps 65 and higher you will get closer to max output. So the best time to run your heat pump is during the day while the sun is shining and to locate in a sunny warm spot in your yard if you can. That's why a solar cover is so important because at the beginning of the season when you are trying to get the pool up to temp your pool can lose all the heat you pump into it during the day from evaporation during the cold nights. So you could in theory go from a dead cold pool in the end of May / beginning of June to a pool you can swim in, in about a week of warm weather with a 100kBTU heat pump. Once you get it up to temp the pump should only run a couple hours a day to maintain the set temp.

    - - - Updated - - -

    edit sorry 1 BTU heat 1lb of water 1 degree
    Chuck-
    15x30 Above ground, Pentair Superflo VS, 19" sand filter, TF-100 test kit
    Aqua Comfort ACT750 heat pump / 6x20 ground mount solar panel / DIY automation

    Photos of 2016 Build, Inside Your Breaker Panel, Free Copy of 2017 NEC code
    TFP is funded by member support click here to help

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    Re: Heat Pump Recommendations: Southern WI

    Great info^ thank you very much

    EDIT: also thank you, NeedMoreSun. I somehow missed your post

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    Re: Heat Pump Recommendations: Southern WI

    Hey, and we got some math!!!! That's another way I break the rules with mine. I run it "mostly" at night. However, I have time of use billing and those are the dirt cheap hours so it makes up for some loss of efficiency. Most of my pump run time, SWG, and pressure cleaner also all run in that window. It also then runs at night so "in my head" it makes sense since I'm trying to slow over-night loss so the sun can just pick up where it left off the next day However, I also didn't intend to turn it on until overnight lows were at least nearing 65. Family coming to visit in early April made me turn it on sooner than planned as soon as I had it running, but that won't be the norm. I did notice one night that got down to 47 it JUST managed to maintain, I may have lost a degree or two.

    Again different scenario.
    Scott
    15,000 Gallons vinyl in-ground screen enclosed, Hayward Eco-star SP3400VSP, Hayward Aqua Logic PL-Plus, Hayward T-15 Salt Cell, Hayward S244T Sand Filter, Polaris 380 with booster pump, Hayward heat pump HP50HA. K-2006 kit.

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    Re: Heat Pump Recommendations: Southern WI

    with that, i think math wins the day here.

    Got a decent quote on the AquaCal T115...I may be pulling the trigger on that one. I'll save some $$ by plumbing everything myself (should just be one more hose, really) and having my in-law electrician run the electric for it.

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    Re: Heat Pump Recommendations: Southern WI

    Don't forget to put the heat pump on a gfci breaker that heat pump requires a 50 amp service if I remember correctly from when I was shopping for them.
    Chuck-
    15x30 Above ground, Pentair Superflo VS, 19" sand filter, TF-100 test kit
    Aqua Comfort ACT750 heat pump / 6x20 ground mount solar panel / DIY automation

    Photos of 2016 Build, Inside Your Breaker Panel, Free Copy of 2017 NEC code
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