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Thread: Natural Gas Heater Requires Dedicated Electric Line?

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    Natural Gas Heater Requires Dedicated Electric Line?

    Hey folks,

    I just called Hayward to confirm that if I were to purchase one of their In Ground 400K BTU Natural Gas Heaters, that I would be able to wire the electric to my existing 20 amp line that currently powers my pump and my salt water system. To my surprise though (maybe not to yours), I was told that their Natural Gas Heaters actually require their own sole dedicated 15 amp line (nothing else can go on it), because there is an initial power draw that would exceed what the 20 amp line was capable of if it was shared with items like the pump. He said the only want to protect the equipment was to give it it's own line.

    So, my question is, is this true for all natural gas heaters? Or is this just the Hayward line?

    Thanks!
    18 X 36 In-Ground Vinyl Pool, Hayward 1 HP SuperPump, Hayward SP270T 350lb Sand Filter, CompuPool CPSC48 Salt Chlorine Generator, Hayward H400FDN 400 BTU Natural Gas Heater, 2 returns, 1 skimmer, No Main Drain

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Natural Gas Heater Requires Dedicated Electric Line?

    If the heater has a blower it will have a motor startup spike. Many heaters don't have a blower, but most of the Haywards do. Even so you can sometimes share a breaker if there is enough current available, which depends on the rating of the pump, heater, and breaker.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Natural Gas Heater Requires Dedicated Electric Line?

    Good to hear that not all require it. I hand dug my current electrical line, and don't have it in me to hand dig another one I'll start calling the manufacturers to see if they require it. Was gonna start with Pentair, but they require a Fireman's switch, which I don't think I currently have. Worst case, I can always switch out the timer though.
    18 X 36 In-Ground Vinyl Pool, Hayward 1 HP SuperPump, Hayward SP270T 350lb Sand Filter, CompuPool CPSC48 Salt Chlorine Generator, Hayward H400FDN 400 BTU Natural Gas Heater, 2 returns, 1 skimmer, No Main Drain

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    Re: Natural Gas Heater Requires Dedicated Electric Line?

    I'm trying to figure out your electrical situation. You say you hand-dug the line, which I assume means the line you use for the pump at the equipment pad. Was this a 20 amp circuit (e.g. 10-12 gauge) with the breaker in the main panel? What is currently connected to this at the equipment pad? Did you run conduit, and if so, what diameter? You could do as I did and run a larger set of wires through the conduit and set up a sub-panel at the equipment pad. BTW, how long is the run between the main panel and the equipment pad? Is this wired for 220V?

    I do find it a bit strange that you have to use a second circuit to the heater. Is the heater 220V or 120V, and what about the pump. In our case, I'm using a Pentair heater and Pentair pump, both on the same 220V/20A circuit. And both are switched on/off by a standard Intermatic timer. This way, it is not possible to turn the heater on if the pump is not also on. When we replace the timer with an EasyTouch, I will probably run a separate 15A circuit to the heater and 20A circuit to the filter pump, since the EasyTouch will take care to coordinate the pump and heater functions.
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

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    Re: Natural Gas Heater Requires Dedicated Electric Line?

    Hi,

    Everything is 120. Basically I go from my panel in the basement to the timer right next to it. The line comes out of it and goes outside underground. It's in conduit. Either 3/4" or 1"...can't remember. It's a 20 amp line. About 80' from the house it comes above ground and into a junction box. There is a switch there. There the 1HP Hayward Superpump and CompuPool saltwater system connects to it. In the same conduit, there's also a 15 amp line (not connected to the timer) that also goes into the junction box and goes to a pair of outlets so that I can plug things in (like my Dolphin Robot Cleaner for example).

    I could run all new lines but it's big bucks (around $800 minimum) and there's no guarantee for success to get the lines through the conduit.

    I called Pentair. They wanted a separate 15 amp line also. What a bummer... Really didn't think this would be an issue.
    18 X 36 In-Ground Vinyl Pool, Hayward 1 HP SuperPump, Hayward SP270T 350lb Sand Filter, CompuPool CPSC48 Salt Chlorine Generator, Hayward H400FDN 400 BTU Natural Gas Heater, 2 returns, 1 skimmer, No Main Drain

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Natural Gas Heater Requires Dedicated Electric Line?

    Your case is the biggest reason I always suggest running a fairly large sub feed to the equipment pad. You always want to add something else.
    You could possibly use the convienience receptacle power for the heater but it might be a problem if something else is plugged in there while using the heater.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Re: Natural Gas Heater Requires Dedicated Electric Line?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    You could possibly use the convienience receptacle power for the heater but it might be a problem if something else is plugged in there while using the heater.
    That's what I'm thinking too. I mean, we're weekend warriors, so I plan to only to the heater on, on like a Saturday morning and Sunday morning for 4 hours each time. So, I think I could coordinate it. Just wouldn't want to screw up and potentially damage anything. I think it should just make the breaker trip if it overdraws though, right?
    18 X 36 In-Ground Vinyl Pool, Hayward 1 HP SuperPump, Hayward SP270T 350lb Sand Filter, CompuPool CPSC48 Salt Chlorine Generator, Hayward H400FDN 400 BTU Natural Gas Heater, 2 returns, 1 skimmer, No Main Drain

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Natural Gas Heater Requires Dedicated Electric Line?

    Right, the breaker would trip.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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