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Thread: Heating options

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    Peteparker's Avatar
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    Heating options

    The TFP method says you really need to look at the pool every day, but taking the solar blanket off and putting it back on is such a pain. Plus, they're ugly.

    So what do you all do to heat your pool?

    I have a solar heater, but my pump is too powerful and the resulting flow is too fast to really provide any heat.

    I'm looking for more options as the family is complaining about the 76 degree pool...
    Albuquerque, New Mexico - 17k gal, IG vinyl, 3/4 Hayward Super Pump, 18" Hayward sand filter with zeo, Dolphin Diagnostic cleaning robot, TF-100

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Heating options

    Well, you just knocked the top 2 options off the list.

    A solar cover will make a big difference in heat retention at night. If you never tried one then give it a try. I thought the same thing for years. I even bought a heat pump and may not need it because the solar cover did such a great job this spring. And it isn't nearly as much trouble as I thought it would be. But, it is ugly.

    What is your solar set up? Hard to imagine that a 3/4 hp pump moves water through it too fast to pick up some heat.

    Anyway, more options are a heat pump or a gas heater.
    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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    TFP Guide

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    Re: Heating options

    In terms of operation you can't move water thru a solar collector "too fast". The more water you move thru the cell the better. You shouldn't be able to notice the water getting warmer on the return from the cell. If your solar system is undersized for your pool you may be loosing all your heat gain during the day at night to evaporation because you aren't using a cover. Also if you are running your solar cells at night they are acting as giant radiators cooling your pool back down. If you could give more details about the size of your solar system and how you run it your system it would help give you a better answer.

    Gas heaters and heat pumps are options and will work but again without a cover to retain heat at night your fuel/electrical bills will get high very fast.
    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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    Peteparker's Avatar
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    Re: Heating options

    Ah, putting the blanket on at night makes a lot of sense.

    Here's a picture of the basic piping that goes to the solar collector.


    The valve in the middle is a ball valve that typically stays open, but the more it is shut, the more water goes up to the panel on the roof.

    I'm not completely certain about the way the panel is working, but my best guess is that there is a radiator style of piping inside the box on the roof and the copper piping goes straight up there and straight back down. I did think that because I couldn't feel the difference in heating when I diverted more water into the system, it wasn't working.

    My filter pressure goes up significantly as I close the diversion valve. I believe that is because the lines are on the outlet of the filter, before the return to the pool, and I'm forcing water down from 1.5" pvc into 0.75" copper. What is a reasonable max pressure to allow the filter to get to? I have a Hayward Pro Series S270T2.
    Albuquerque, New Mexico - 17k gal, IG vinyl, 3/4 Hayward Super Pump, 18" Hayward sand filter with zeo, Dolphin Diagnostic cleaning robot, TF-100

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    TFP Guide

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    Re: Heating options

    You have it right about the way the system is valved in. You should only close the ball valve enough so that the water coming back from the panels is about 1 degree warmer (better yet there should be no temp difference but 1 degree is a more reasonable target) than the water going to them. You should get a thermometer to read the pipe temps and not use your hand to judge water in and water out. A human hand is very poor at gauging small temperature differences. You should set that up on a very sunny day at the time of the day the panels get their best sun. The idea being that if you are cooling the panels down to the temperature of the pool you are absorbing every last bit of energy you can get out of them. Depending on what your normal clean system pressure is I wouldn't think a 10 psi pressure increase would be unreasonable (ideally staying under 30psi). Solar panels are a slow way to heat your pool. It will take days to get your pool up to temp or weeks. Being in New Mexico I'm sure you have very low humidity and cool night temps so your night time evaporative heat loss is probably very high. A solar cover while they are a big PIA will drastically reduce the heat loss in your pool at night. Using a cover and the solar panels you could probably have your pool in the upper 80s in a couple days.

    Also only running your pump/solar cells when the sun is shining on them will stop the panels from turning into large radiators cooling your pool instead of heating it.
    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: Heating options

    Most solar panels specify an optimum flow rate to achieve the most effective heat transfer. If you know who made them, you can go to their website and get the specs then calculate what is the actual flow using your pump's pumping curve and head pressure.

    In my case I have 10 vortex panels and they are set up to flow 4 gpm through each. Water coming into the pool is about 6 degrees warmer than than existing pool water. Two or three warm days is all it takes to get our pool into the mid 80s.
    18,000 gunite pool/spa combo. Pebble tec, iaqualink rs8, cl580 filter, aquapure 1400, 400k btu lx heater, 10 solar panels, jandy 1hp, 1 1/2hp, and 2hp stealth pumps for circ, spa, waterfall

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    Re: Heating options

    Anyone use the fish to retain heat in their pool. Our builder gave us a bunch, but I've been reticent to use them. I know they add something to the water to increase surface tension so evaporation is diminished at night, and our builder has clients that swear by them, but I'm leary of adding anything to my water I don't know about
    18' x 38' Pool, 3' to 8' Depth
    Vinyl Liner
    SWG
    Variable Speed Pump
    Sand Filter

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    TFP Guide

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    Re: Heating options

    In general the feelings around here are that liquid covers/fish are a waste of money and are made of an unknown substance. Lots of claims but very little in the way of verifiable results.
    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: Heating options

    If you decide to use a solar cover I recommend a clear one. Trim to fit the pool and it does not look too bad. I cover mine at night and uncover about 11 in morning. Heat pump barely used. Heat pump would work great in your climate
    16'x34' Kidney 17000 Gallon IG Vinyl liner. Pentair IntelliXF vs pump, Sta-Rite System 3 DE filter. Liquidator, TF-100 Test kit w/ speed stir. Aqua Comfort heat pump, Dolphin Apollo robot, clear solar cover, stamped concrete deck.

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    Re: Heating options

    Here in northern New Jersey, I can keep my pool in the 78-83 range with just the sun by day cover by night method. My wife and I have it to a science. About 10am the cover comes off, about 7:30pm it goes back on, unless there's a night swim. We have no heater or roof panels.


    25.5K gal vinyl IGP 3.5' - 8' depth. 1.5HP single speed A.O. Smith C48L2N134B1 motor on a Hayward SP2610X15 Pump. 40 ft2 D.E. Filter Hayward model EC75A. Hayward Chlorinator model CL200. single skimmer, 2 Returns. TF100 Test Kit/Speed Stir.

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