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Thread: Enormous pool heating costs

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    Enormous pool heating costs

    I am brand new to TFP and hope you all can help us because the sales people sure did not. My husband and I just put in a 10' by 14' Endless Pool (vinyl pool-4400 gal) and spent $600.00 on heating for the first month. I have been looking on the site and it looks like I need to check into the solar panels. Any specific links of where to buy items or great products would be greatly appreciated. We simply cannot afford those costs and are so disappointed. We live in Southern CA and plan to swim year round to train for triathlon perhaps in our wetsuits. Thank you in advance for any advice!
    Anne-Marie

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Enormous pool heating costs

    Welcome to TFP!

    Can you fill us in on some details? What kind of heater? Indoor or outdoor? Do you use a cover? Pool used daily?
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Enormous pool heating costs

    Trying to heat an outdoor pool in even slightly cool temps is going to be cost prohibitive, as you've already found out. Solar will help but I'm not sure it's going to be the entire answer if you want to heat it year round. You might be looking at an enclosure as well. Someone with more experience in your climate will be along soon to comment.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Enormous pool heating costs

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    Welcome to TFP!

    Can you fill us in on some details? What kind of heater? Indoor or outdoor? Do you use a cover? Pool used daily?
    Yes, more detail. Specifics include:

    1) type of fuel used for heater. Is it natural gas, propane, heat pump?
    2) heater size is important for us to know (i.e. how many BTU's is it rated for)?
    3) what temp do you like to heat to?
    4) do/did you run the heater 24/7 or only during the day?
    5) So you use a solor cover
    6) Whats been the average air temps at night and durig the day?
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Guest

    Re: Enormous pool heating costs

    Where in Southern California??

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    Re: Enormous pool heating costs

    Are you using a Solar Blanket on the pool when it is not in use? From the high bill, I assume you have a gas heater?

    If you truly want to swim all year you can but it will take an investment. I live in Georgia which is much colder then Socal. So if we can do it, you can do it. The investment is two part. First is using a Heat Siphon Pool Heat Pump and second buying an Ameri-Dome pool dome. With a Heat Siphon, for every dollar you spend in energy to put heat in the pool, one gets 6 to 7 dollars of heat into the pool. If the outside air temperatures allow it (I would think so in California) the Heat Pump is the most bang for the buck on Active Pool Heating. The best gas heaters only put 80 cents out of each dollar you spend into the pool. Next the Dome is a one time purchase every 10 to 12 years. It holds the heat in and you will not need wetsuits. It helps reduce evaporation when used with a solar blanket over the pool when not in use. In winter, the largest loss of pool heat is through evaporation between the warm pool water and the cold outside air.

    Using only our Dome, Heat Siphon, and solar blanket, we have kept our pool above 78 degrees all year. It is normally between 80 and 82 except when it gets really cold and the heat pump will not run when its below 38 outside and we drop down to 78. One has to watch the weather more carefully so some extra heat can be put into the pool the week before there is going to be a week of below 38 degree days so one can coast over the days the heat pump will not run. If one has a gas heater also, this doesn't apply. Only use gas when the heat pump will not run due to low outside temperatures.

    I do not work or sell for either of these companies. I use their products and would recommend them to anybody looking for a year round swim where a heat pump can be used most of the year. I actually have two of the Heat Siphons as I am that impressed with them. We used to have $800 a month gas bills at our beach rental from pool and spa heating in the winter. With the Heat Siphon we keep the pool heated all winter and no longer charge the guests a pool heating fee which keeps our place rented more then when we had to charge a pool heating fee. Its about $100 a month to heat our uncovered beach house pool. The huge Georgia pool is about $175 a month but it has to have the Dome which was $3900. So divide 3900 by 10 years and get $390 and divide that by 5 months with the Dome up and get $78, so we end up with it costing about $255 a month to swim all winter. The bonus is I have NOT had to close or open a pool in the last 8 years!
    Pool #1 IG 24k Diamond Brite plaster with spill-over spa. Jandy Aqua Link RS One Touch with built into pool floor cleaner. Jacuzzi Magnum pump/basket feeding Hayward top mount Zeosand filter. Jacuzzi Magnum pump/basket for Spa Jets. Heat Siphon pool heat pump. Dolphin Robotic pool cleaner.

    Pool #2 IG 35K 20X40 Vinyl. Hayward top mount Zeosand filter with Pentair 3 HP IntelliFlo VS+SVRS. Chemical Free pool using Water Doctor Copper Ion Generator, PoolSkim, Polaris 9300 Sport robotic pool cleaner, Heat Siphon pool heat pump, solar blanket, Ameri-Dome 50X30 dome enclosure during Winter.

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    Guest

    Re: Enormous pool heating costs

    Quote Originally Posted by iPhone
    Are you using a Solar Blanket on the pool when it is not in use? From the high bill, I assume you have a gas heater?

    If you truly want to swim all year you can but it will take an investment. I live in Georgia which is much colder then Socal. So if we can do it, you can do it. The investment is two part. First is using a Heat Siphon Pool Heat Pump and second buying an Ameri-Dome pool dome. With a Heat Siphon, for every dollar you spend in energy to put heat in the pool, one gets 6 to 7 dollars of heat into the pool. If the outside air temperatures allow it (I would think so in California) the Heat Pump is the most bang for the buck on Active Pool Heating. The best gas heaters only put 80 cents out of each dollar you spend into the pool. Next the Dome is a one time purchase every 10 to 12 years. It holds the heat in and you will not need wetsuits. It helps reduce evaporation when used with a solar blanket over the pool when not in use. In winter, the largest loss of pool heat is through evaporation between the warm pool water and the cold outside air.

    Using only our Dome, Heat Siphon, and solar blanket, we have kept our pool above 78 degrees all year. It is normally between 80 and 82 except when it gets really cold and the heat pump will not run when its below 38 outside and we drop down to 78. One has to watch the weather more carefully so some extra heat can be put into the pool the week before there is going to be a week of below 38 degree days so one can coast over the days the heat pump will not run. If one has a gas heater also, this doesn't apply. Only use gas when the heat pump will not run due to low outside temperatures.

    I do not work or sell for either of these companies. I use their products and would recommend them to anybody looking for a year round swim where a heat pump can be used most of the year. I actually have two of the Heat Siphons as I am that impressed with them. We used to have $800 a month gas bills at our beach rental from pool and spa heating in the winter. With the Heat Siphon we keep the pool heated all winter and no longer charge the guests a pool heating fee which keeps our place rented more then when we had to charge a pool heating fee. Its about $100 a month to heat our uncovered beach house pool. The huge Georgia pool is about $175 a month but it has to have the Dome which was $3900. So divide 3900 by 10 years and get $390 and divide that by 5 months with the Dome up and get $78, so we end up with it costing about $255 a month to swim all winter. The bonus is I have NOT had to close or open a pool in the last 8 years!

    But you could!

    I could be wrong, but I would think the Amer-Dome is probably out of the question, its a pretty small pool. Not sure about the Heat Siphon. Maybe a couple solar panels and a pool cover would work just fine.

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    Re: Enormous pool heating costs

    Quote Originally Posted by salp

    But you could!
    Me thinks they might
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Enormous pool heating costs

    You could use the $3900 to install solar panels rather than the ameridome. I suspect some communities would not allow it anyway. Then have a heat pump to boost the temp when its cold. There is nothing special about the Heat-Siphon, its just a heat pump - basically an A/C in reverse. Many of us here in Florida run our A/C's in reverse heat pump mode in order to heat our homes instead of oil or electric strips.
    25' x 13' Roman, 12000 gal IGP, Plaster, with 500 gal Spa
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    Re: Enormous pool heating costs

    We really need more info as I outlined above. But to really heat a pool in the winter time, you need gas heat, period. A heat pump only works down to about 55 degrees. Even then, it wont heat the water to greater than 75 degrees or so, I dont care what the manual and company says. Maybe on a 4400 gallon pool you might do a bit better than 80 degrees, but, IMO, you need gas for winter heat.

    Get back with the answers to the above questions and I can give you an idea if the $600 is out of line.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Enormous pool heating costs

    Quote Originally Posted by lborne
    You could use the $3900 to install solar panels rather than the ameridome. I suspect some communities would not allow it anyway. Then have a heat pump to boost the temp when its cold. There is nothing special about the Heat-Siphon, its just a heat pump - basically an A/C in reverse. Many of us here in Florida run our A/C's in reverse heat pump mode in order to heat our homes instead of oil or electric strips.
    The Dome for their size pool would be around $2400. As for the Heat Siphon, IMHO its the best bang for the buck in Pool Heat Pumps. And yes it is just a over grown home heat pump designed to heat water instead of air. If you buy the right unit, it will cool your pool in the summer because all heat pumps cool running one way and heat running the opposite way just like a home heat pump heats in winter and cools in summer.

    I have had no issues with either of the two I own. My neighbor has had nothing but problems with is expensive AquaPro.

    Just relating what we did and how we did it.
    Pool #1 IG 24k Diamond Brite plaster with spill-over spa. Jandy Aqua Link RS One Touch with built into pool floor cleaner. Jacuzzi Magnum pump/basket feeding Hayward top mount Zeosand filter. Jacuzzi Magnum pump/basket for Spa Jets. Heat Siphon pool heat pump. Dolphin Robotic pool cleaner.

    Pool #2 IG 35K 20X40 Vinyl. Hayward top mount Zeosand filter with Pentair 3 HP IntelliFlo VS+SVRS. Chemical Free pool using Water Doctor Copper Ion Generator, PoolSkim, Polaris 9300 Sport robotic pool cleaner, Heat Siphon pool heat pump, solar blanket, Ameri-Dome 50X30 dome enclosure during Winter.

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    Re: Enormous pool heating costs

    Quote Originally Posted by bk406
    We really need more info as I outlined above. But to really heat a pool in the winter time, you need gas heat, period. A heat pump only works down to about 55 degrees. Even then, it wont heat the water to greater than 75 degrees or so, I dont care what the manual and company says. Maybe on a 4400 gallon pool you might do a bit better than 80 degrees, but, IMO, you need gas for winter heat.

    Get back with the answers to the above questions and I can give you an idea if the $600 is out of line.
    I have to completely disagree with you. I have 8 years of actual experience using a heat pump. And I can tell you its easy to keep a pool at 80 with a heat pump in the dead of winter if you have a Dome and it gets above 45 degrees during the day (low humidity helps). And it really depends on where one lives. People in south Florida can get way with roof solar heating and a solar pool blanket which is all my Uncle is using. Most people in Southern California should be able to get away with a solar blanket and heat pump. The high of 63 today would put as much heat as they would want in the pool today. We are proof that in North Georgia, one can get away with using only a Dome, Heat Pump, and Solar Pool Blanket. We have had our pool at 90 degrees in late January without using a gas heater (we don't own one)!

    Yes a gas heater is the quickest way to raise a pools temperature and is a must for those living up north. Our Heat Pump works down to 40 degrees and cuts off at 38 degrees because it starts to make ice on the coils. We have 33,000 gallons and have had the pool at 88 degrees when the day's high was 50 degrees outside. I think you are confusing taking a large pool in the middle of winter that is 40 degrees and trying to bring it up to 80 degrees with a heat pump, can't be done. I am not talking about doing that. Depending on the weather (Indian Summer or early Fall), the Dome goes up in late September/early October, the solar blanket has been on since the first cool night (well before the Dome goes up), and the Heat Pump is set to maintain 82 degrees. We are not heating the pool up everyday from 40 degrees, we are maintaining/holding a temperature. Additionally, when the water is already warm, its easier for the heat pump to put heat into the pool because the water's temperature can't pull the heat exchanger below efficiency as 40 degree water would.

    I do agree we need much more information from the OP. The OP has some kind of heater (most likely Gas from the bill). If this is the case, adding a heat pump and solar blanket should be enough. The gas heater being used only when needed. If not, then add a Dome. Their problem is fairly easy to solve by taking one step at a time until they get the results they want.

    1) Find out what they are using and doing now. Equipment and procedures.
    2) If not using a Solar Blanket, add that first. If that doesn't help reduce the heater run time, then look at roof solar and/or heat pump.
    3) Check heat pump option small 2.25HP unit.
    4) As last option, add a Dome.

    With a solar blanket, heat pump, gas heater, and Dome anybody not living above the snow line in California can swim all year long. And even those above the snow line if they don't mind the gas bill!

    Lastly, due to size of their pool, a 2.25HP Heat Siphon would put their pool to 88 degrees easily. Our 3.25HP Heat Siphon puts our Spa to 104 in three hours from 70 and its 5 by 7, uncovered, and has water going back into the pool via the waterfall (meaning we are heating more then just the spa).
    Pool #1 IG 24k Diamond Brite plaster with spill-over spa. Jandy Aqua Link RS One Touch with built into pool floor cleaner. Jacuzzi Magnum pump/basket feeding Hayward top mount Zeosand filter. Jacuzzi Magnum pump/basket for Spa Jets. Heat Siphon pool heat pump. Dolphin Robotic pool cleaner.

    Pool #2 IG 35K 20X40 Vinyl. Hayward top mount Zeosand filter with Pentair 3 HP IntelliFlo VS+SVRS. Chemical Free pool using Water Doctor Copper Ion Generator, PoolSkim, Polaris 9300 Sport robotic pool cleaner, Heat Siphon pool heat pump, solar blanket, Ameri-Dome 50X30 dome enclosure during Winter.

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    Re: Enormous pool heating costs

    Quote Originally Posted by iPhone

    And I can tell you its easy to keep a pool at 80 with a heat pump in the dead of winter if you have a Dome and it gets above 45 degrees during the day (low humidity helps).
    Key word is DOME. But, in the dead of winter, 80 degree water is really cold.

    Quote Originally Posted by iPhone

    And it really depends on where one lives. People in south Florida can get way with roof solar heating and a solar pool blanket which is all my Uncle is using. Most people in Southern California should be able to get away with a solar blanket and heat pump. The high of 63 today would put as much heat as they would want in the pool today.
    Define as much heat as you would want. A high temp of 63 will put minimal heat in a pool. Again, it depends on the size. If it is 63 and raining, no way.



    Quote Originally Posted by iPhone
    Yes a gas heater is the quickest way to raise a pools temperature and is a must for those living up north.
    It's the fastest way to put heat in a pool anywhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by iPhone
    Our Heat Pump works down to 40 degrees
    How many BTU's does it put out at 40 degrees?

    Quote Originally Posted by iPhone
    I think you are confusing taking a large pool in the middle of winter that is 40 degrees and trying to bring it up to 80 degrees with a heat pump, can't be done.
    I am not talking about doing that.
    I'm not talking abou that either. I know exactly what your saying.

    With highs in the mid 60's, and trying to raise the pool temp 5 degrees, a 20,000 gallon pool would take ~10 hours if you figure 80,000 BTU output from a heat pump. Thats about all you can get out of one at an ambient temp of 63-65 degrees with short winter days, I dont care what the company says. And at $.040 a kwh, thats ~$25.
    So lets take the OP's situation. He has a 4400 gallon pool. Thats 36,520 pounds of water. So for a 10 degree rise at 80,000 BTU, it will take ~ 4.5-5 hours of run time to get that pool up 10 degrees, and thats to get it there, not hold it. At California rates of $0.40 per kwh, that almost $11.00 to get that 10 degrees. Using NG, a 400,000 BTU heater can do that 10 degrees in about 1 hr. At $1.50 a therm, it would cost around $5 to get that same 10 degrees. If you use propane, it would heat the pool in the same amount of time as the NG, and cost about $10-$11, about the same as the Heat pump, but do it in 20% of the time.

    I have heat pump, I know what they can do. They are very good when the air temps are above 65 degrees for 10 hours a day and the nights are above 50-55 AND you use a solar cover. Below that, most of what they do is make the electric meter spin. I still maintain that if you live in california, or any other state with high electric rates, a NG heater is more economical and user friendly than a heat pump. If you only have propane, then its probably close to a wash in price, but much faster. And, that $3600 for a dome will buy a lot of gas!

    I'm all for heat pumps. I just dont think, (i know actually) they wont do everything you say they will.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Enormous pool heating costs

    iPhone,

    Your key component is your DOME. If you enclose your pool, keeping your pool temps up is not a problem. But I must say, living in Socal, having a DOME is not an option. Unless you have lots of land and there is no homeowner association. We are limited to solar panels, covers and gas heaters. Here is my example, I have a 25,000 igp. I have 13 solar panels and no solar cover (I hate how it looks and my dogs still go in during the winter months). From December - January, my pool temp is around 60 - 65 degees, on a hot stretch during those months, my temps will climb to 65 - 70. But it is to cold to hold that temp overnight (Without a cover). From February - November my pool temps range from 70 - 90 (Where I limit it and shut off solar heating) My panels would heat the pool over 100 if I let it. Pump times, during Nov-Dec, is 4 hours, the rest of the year is 6 - 8 hours.

    Just my two cents

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    Re: Enormous pool heating costs

    Quote Originally Posted by salp
    iPhone,

    Your key component is your DOME.
    Yep, I'll agree with that. Without your indoor pool (and thats basically what it is) your heat pump wouldnt work in the winter either. While that dome is interesting, it's not too practical in most areas as Sal said.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Enormous pool heating costs

    Quote Originally Posted by iPhone

    low humidity helps
    Actually its just the opposite. Higher humidity actually makes it work more efficiently. All those COP ratings you see for heat pumps are based on 80 degree ambient temp and 80% humidity. So to me those COP ratings are a bit misleading, IMO. Most of the time, when a HP is needed and is operating, the ambient temp and humidity are not that high. So the BTU rating isnt anywhere near what is actually being generated.
    As I said before, I'm not bashing HP's. I have one and love it. But, they have their limitations and absolutely will not do what dealers say they will do except under ideal conditions, which is rare.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Enormous pool heating costs

    Hi Sal,

    I'm looking into solar heating for my pool; sounds like you're pretty happy with yours, what kind do you have? And how about Bruce, does he have the same?

    thanks,
    Terri
    10,000 gallon Pebble Fina Grigio, Pentair FNS Plus 60 sq ft DE filter, WhisperFlo Dual Speed 3/4 HP pump, IntelliBrite LED Light, The PoolCleaner, 8 gal Liquidator

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    Re: Enormous pool heating costs

    Terri, we actually both have it, he bought his from Performance Solar and I got mine from Natural Energy. Not sure if either of those are in Orange County! I can ask Bruce about The OC, he seems to know everyone in the industry!!

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    Re: Enormous pool heating costs

    Thank you all so much for the help. A few additional details about our pool;the heater is a 4 kw electrical heater. We live Long Beach where the temperatures have ranged from the low 40's at night to high 70's in the day. We are using a solar cover but I am not too sure how good of one it is. We were heating the pool to 82 degrees and running it 24/7. I thought that the heater only kicked on when the pool was losing heat.
    Thank you and still learning!
    Anne-Marie
    4400 gal., vinyl, AGP

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    Re: Enormous pool heating costs

    Quote Originally Posted by amsharp
    Thank you all so much for the help. A few additional details about our pool;the heater is a 4 kw electrical heater. We live Long Beach where the temperatures have ranged from the low 40's at night to high 70's in the day. We are using a solar cover but I am not too sure how good of one it is. We were heating the pool to 82 degrees and running it 24/7. I thought that the heater only kicked on when the pool was losing heat.
    Thank you and still learning!
    Anne-Marie
    4400 gal., vinyl, AGP
    Being pedanditic, pools loose heat 24/7.
    The heater will therefore kick in all the time when you are heating to 82 deg and the outside temp 40-70 deg unless the pool thermal cover is particularly good. Maybe that is the area to address first before looking at other heating kit, you'll probably re-coup the cost of a good cover at your current heating rates.

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