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Thread: Buying gas heater online....yay or nay???

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    Sparker's Avatar
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    Buying gas heater online....yay or nay???

    I'm in the process of starting my build. My pump and filter will be Pentair. My pool is around 13,600 gallons. I'm thinking of buying a gas heater. My PB said it would be around $1800 for the heater. I have found Pentair Mastertemps 125K BTU gas heaters for around $1000 online.

    Should I stay away from buying online??

    If not, then would that size heater be enough?

    And, to get the extended 3 year warranty on equipment.....does it all have to be ordered through the pool builder? I'm assuming so....
    15x30 rectangle vinyl IG, Sta-Rite Cristal-Flo II 19" sand filter, Sta-Rite Super Max .75 HP 2 speed, 1 skimmer, 3 returns, 2 bench jets, 2" plumbing, TF-100 kit, Latham Gold Pebble liner.

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Buying gas heater online....yay or nay???

    125kBTU/hr is a tiny heater for a pool. It might be ok for a spa but it will take a long time to heat your pool even a few degrees. 400kBTU/hr are the highest rated ones you can get and are typically used for pool heating.

    Ordering online yourself might be ok for bundling a warranty but your PB certainly isn't going to like it and may ask you to pay extra for the installation cost.

    The most widely recommended heater here on TFP is Raypack. If you want the extended warranty from bundling then you'll need to get a Pentair MasterTemp.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Sparker's Avatar
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    Re: Buying gas heater online....yay or nay???

    Thanks for the advice I don't have gas at my house, but gas runs about 4 feet away from my property and the gas company said it wouldn't be hard at all to connect to it. I only planned on using it here and there....maybe just weekends in May.....then again, late September. It makes me nervous to have/use gas. My neighbors house blew up when I was little (from a gas leak) and I have a fear of it. Electric heater....I can't afford the extra cost upfront. I'll look into the Raypack as well. I'm still debating on if I really want to mess with one or not.
    15x30 rectangle vinyl IG, Sta-Rite Cristal-Flo II 19" sand filter, Sta-Rite Super Max .75 HP 2 speed, 1 skimmer, 3 returns, 2 bench jets, 2" plumbing, TF-100 kit, Latham Gold Pebble liner.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Buying gas heater online....yay or nay???

    A thin, 8mil solar cover on the pool at night will go a long way toward keeping your pool warmer. You could try that first and add a heater later if needed. Solar is another option if you have a south facing roof.
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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Buying gas heater online....yay or nay???

    You want to be pretty sure if you're going to want to go with gas upfront before the build. Running gas line is not cheap and it's way more expensive & destructive to take a "wait till later" approach. If you waited, then I'd say you're likely going to lock yourself into an electric heat pump that could be a lot more expensive to operate if your utility rates are high.

    And, to ease your fears, gas appliances are much more safe these days than even 20 years ago. A giant above ground propane tank is a much bigger hazard than a low pressure, residential gas line.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Buying gas heater online....yay or nay???

    Yeah, I read 4' away and thought equipment pad. If it isn't near the equipment pad then it could be messy to do later.
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    Re: Buying gas heater online....yay or nay???

    "Not hard" doesn't equal cheap... Get a quote in writing from the gasco. What our utility charged 10 years ago to run service from the street has gone up 10x or more, and that only gets you to a meter on the front corner of the house.

    Also, I can't speak for pool contractors, but most reputable hvac outfits will not install customer provided equipment. Much of their bottom line is dependent on sales.

    Also also... warranty issues would be between you and the online retailer (good luck) or you and the manufacturer (good luck). Even if they did cough up parts, you would still be out diagnostic and labor charges.

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    Sparker's Avatar
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    Re: Buying gas heater online....yay or nay???

    If I decide to get one...it will be gas. Even though turning on my gas grill freaks me out lol. I know.... irrational fear.....like my fear of spiders I have a couple more weeks to decide.
    I will definitely use a solar cover. My build was suppose to start yesterday, but my PB said he had a lot of customers wanting their pool closed now. Which I dont understand. Its been high 80's SUNNY for almost two weeks now. Would have been great building a pool weather...ugh, oh well. I guess it gives me time to make my mind up
    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    You want to be pretty sure if you're going to want to go with gas upfront before the build. Running gas line is not cheap and it's way more expensive & destructive to take a "wait till later" approach. If you waited, then I'd say you're likely going to lock yourself into an electric heat pump that could be a lot more expensive to operate if your utility rates are high.

    And, to ease your fears, gas appliances are much more safe these days than even 20 years ago. A giant above ground propane tank is a much bigger hazard than a low pressure, residential gas line.
    15x30 rectangle vinyl IG, Sta-Rite Cristal-Flo II 19" sand filter, Sta-Rite Super Max .75 HP 2 speed, 1 skimmer, 3 returns, 2 bench jets, 2" plumbing, TF-100 kit, Latham Gold Pebble liner.

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    Sparker's Avatar
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    Re: Buying gas heater online....yay or nay???

    And all that makes me not want to mess with it....
    Quote Originally Posted by cjpwalker View Post
    "Not hard" doesn't equal cheap... Get a quote in writing from the gasco. What our utility charged 10 years ago to run service from the street has gone up 10x or more, and that only gets you to a meter on the front corner of the house.

    Also, I can't speak for pool contractors, but most reputable hvac outfits will not install customer provided equipment. Much of their bottom line is dependent on sales.

    Also also... warranty issues would be between you and the online retailer (good luck) or you and the manufacturer (good luck). Even if they did cough up parts, you would still be out diagnostic and labor charges.
    15x30 rectangle vinyl IG, Sta-Rite Cristal-Flo II 19" sand filter, Sta-Rite Super Max .75 HP 2 speed, 1 skimmer, 3 returns, 2 bench jets, 2" plumbing, TF-100 kit, Latham Gold Pebble liner.

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    Re: Buying gas heater online....yay or nay???

    I believe the warranty comes from the installation and not where you purchased it. I bought my heater from INYO pool, rapypak 336k btu for a 13k gallon pool and had a pool company install it. Honestly I think you're wasting your money if you go with 125k btu. Especially if you have to install a gas meter and line.
    19K IG Pebbletec with attached spa. 60sqft Cartridge filter, Intelliflow VS, 399k BTU Gas Heater, Pentair IC40. Phoenix, AZ, full sun.

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    Re: Buying gas heater online....yay or nay???

    Warranties.

    When you buy a heater (or anything else for that matter) you get a series of warranties. You get the common law warranty of title and the two UCC statutory implied warranties of "merchantability" and fitness for a particular purpose. Any or all of these warranties may be disclaimed or limited. The merchant may also add additional warranties or conditions for exercise of such warranties. From a legal standpoint the word "Raisins" on a box of raisins is a warranty that the box contains raisins and not a pool heater.

    When you hire someone to install the raisins, excuse me pool heater, in California, and many other states you get some additional implied warranties, such as the installer will install according to plans and in a good workmanlike manner. Again the installer may add to, disclaim, modify or limit the warranty. If the installer sold you the part, he may in some instances also be responsible for the manufacturers warranty.

    So while you may receive a warranty from the installer, generally the main warranty on something like a pool heater comes from the manufacturer.
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    Re: Buying gas heater online....yay or nay???

    Where ever you buy your heater, please consider a Raypak. I had my Raypak for 23 years before I replaced it with another Raypak last year. Save yourself some grief down the road.
    38000 Gal, IG, Plaster, 20' x 40' x 10', Attached Raised Spa, Intelliflo VS 3 HP (011018), Pentair Quad DE 60 Filter, Raypak (Rheem) 400,000 BTU (407a low Nox), Easy Touch 8 upgrade, Screenlogic 2 with wireless, IS-4 Spa Side Remote, Stenner 45MPHP10 w/15 gal tank, Intellibrite 5g (3), Dolphin Triton Plus robot with PRO remote, Water Tech Catfish handheld vacuum for spa, TF100 with SpeedStir.

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    Re: Buying gas heater online....yay or nay???

    Keep in mind the manufacture can void your warranty if it wasnt installed by a licensed pool contractor, so they claim.
    19K IG Pebbletec with attached spa. 60sqft Cartridge filter, Intelliflow VS, 399k BTU Gas Heater, Pentair IC40. Phoenix, AZ, full sun.

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Buying gas heater online....yay or nay???

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparker
    It makes me nervous to have/use gas. My neighbors house blew up when I was little (from a gas leak) and I have a fear of it.
    I understand that what you witnessed to your neighbor's house is very difficult to get over. However, to help put your mind at ease, consider the big picture of how many houses/buildings around the world have natural gas appliances (furnaces, cooktops, ovens, etc.). If natural gas were that hazardous, market demand would not support this large installed base of gas appliances and/or they would be regulated out of existence. Plus, natural gas appliances (and propane appliances for that matter) are much safer than they were many years ago. Many gas explosions that occurred over 30 years ago were due to pilot lights that somehow went out. Meanwhile, the gas would continue to flow. Without a pilot flame to safely burn this gas off, the raw gas would accumulate. Eventually, an electrical spark elsewhere in the house would ignite it. I'm not sure when your neighbors house blew up, but if it was over 30 or so years ago or was an old house built prior to the 1970's, this would be my first guess as to how it happened. My second guess would be it was due to old copper tubing that developed a series of pinhole leaks. Copper is no longer used for residential gas lines, at least not in this area. Plus, the cleaning and distribution of natural gas has improved greatly over the years, especially with the development of regulations strictly limiting the amount of hydrogen sulfide and other contaminants that contributed to corrosion.

    Pilot lights are largely non-existent now, having been replaced with electronic igniters in most cases. Regardless of whether an appliance has an electronic igniter or pilot, most all indoor gas/propane appliances sold in the last 20 years or so have a gas control valve that will shut off the supply of gas if the pilot should ever go out or if the electronic igniter or hot-surface igniter (glow bar) failed. These features did not exist many decades ago.

    Natural gas, like all gases, will ignite only in the presence of a specific air/fuel ratio and an ignition source. An example: I have a friend that had a gas leak due to copper gas lines (his house is 60-70 years old). The first time I went to his house, I smelled gas near the stove, which was the original one that came with the house. He didn't smell anything that night but mentioned that he did several months back (he had since gone "nose-blind" to it). We checked the burner valves and they were all off. Then, I opened the cabinets beneath the stove and saw some pinhole leaks in the copper tubing. Of course, we got it replaced with black iron piping. However, there is no telling how long this condition had existed. Since he had gone "nose-blind" to it, I suspect it was quite some time - we know it was at least several months, but it could have been even a year or more. The point is that his house is still standing today, even though this condition existed for quite some time, because the air/fuel ratio never got within the range required to cause ignition. Of course, he should have addressed this situation the first time he smelled gas and verified that the stove burners were all off.

    I have worked around natural gas and propane appliances all my life (but no, I do not work for a gas company, refiner, or distributor) and have never had an incident. To put it in perspective, I would be much more concerned about storing gasoline (for the car or lawnmower) in a portable gasoline container in an attached garage than I would be about a natural gas-related malfunction. Fumes can easily escape those containers and gasoline fumes will ignite down to -44F! Those gasoline containers are not built to anything near the standard of the gas tank in your car. I actually had a shed built with adequate ventilation that is detached from the house. One of the primary reasons for having it built was so that I can store gasoline containers there instead of in the garage.

    Hope this puts your mind at ease about using natural gas.

    BTW, a quick tip that is especially useful for lighting a gas grill or fireplace...light a long-stemmed lighter or matchstick and place it near the burner. At the same time, slowly open the gas valve. The lighted match/lighter will ignite the burner without a "whooosh". If I had penny for every time I saw someone open the gas valve and then stumble around for a lighter or match while raw gas is accumulating, I would be on my private yacht right now. In the case of BBQ grills, the igniters are the weakest link - even on high-end grills. It can take multiple attempts to light the burner using the grill igniter all while raw gas is flowing out.
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    Buying gas heater online....yay or nay???

    Quote Originally Posted by BoDarville View Post

    BTW, a quick tip that is especially useful for lighting a gas grill or fireplace...light a long-stemmed lighter or matchstick and place it near the burner. At the same time, slowly open the gas valve. The lighted match/lighter will ignite the burner without a "whooosh".....
    But where's the fun in that?!?! (says the guy with singed eyebrows)
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Buying gas heater online....yay or nay???

    My mom is scared of Gas also and there is just no way of talking her out of it. I guess it's just what you're used to.
    19K IG Pebbletec with attached spa. 60sqft Cartridge filter, Intelliflow VS, 399k BTU Gas Heater, Pentair IC40. Phoenix, AZ, full sun.

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    Sparker's Avatar
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    Re: Buying gas heater online....yay or nay???

    BoDarville......thanks for that lengthy reply!! And to everyone else as well

    I have decided to wait on a heater. I know it would get me in the pool sooner, but extending it into the fall....no biggie. Fall is my favorite season and I can't wait for it to arrive. So, I think Ill be fine with closing it in September. Heck it was 90 today!! That's not the norm though. I have a very limited budget, and I'd rather invest in a safety cover over a heater for now Thanks again for everyone's advice!
    15x30 rectangle vinyl IG, Sta-Rite Cristal-Flo II 19" sand filter, Sta-Rite Super Max .75 HP 2 speed, 1 skimmer, 3 returns, 2 bench jets, 2" plumbing, TF-100 kit, Latham Gold Pebble liner.

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