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Thread: Questions on Whole New Suite of Equipment

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    Questions on Whole New Suite of Equipment

    Well, I am finally ready to take the scary step of buying expensive, "real" equipment to pimp my Intex. Some of you may be rolling your eyes, as I have made similar posts in the past. I am actually going to do it this time!

    My set up:
    24' x 40' concrete pad pool will go on
    20' x 48" Intex Ultra pool

    The plan is to have the Intex pool up for June, July, August. I have two six year olds, and they aren't really looking to extend the swim season, so much as ensure toasty warm water on demand during the regular season. Then remove the pool for basketball, rollerskating, tennis, Big Wheels, etc. So I am having a local pool guy help out and he thinks he can plumb it all so everything can disappear seasonally and leave the concrete empty.

    * Will have pool guy cut liner and put in a skimmer (he'll buy that)
    * I want to heat the pool, which necessitates getting a big pump (don't think even the Intex sand filter/pump will be enough for the heater -- feel free to tell me if that is incorrect since I have a NIB sand filter I got free last year on their Walmart mess-up

    Here is the equipment I want to buy:

    1. RayPak or Pentair Natural Gas Heater -- 400,000 btu; electronic ignition; cupro-nickel
    2. Pentair Clean and Clear Cartridge Filter -- 200 sq. ft
    3. Appropriate pump -- I am thinking of buying an Intelliflo, but mostly because of the automatic shut-off thing in the event a kids' hair is getting sucked into the pump - feel free to tell me if I just need really good grates of some sort over the returns. Another option is a regular pump and a Stingl or similar device, but by the time I buy the Stingl switch and new pump, I'll have already spent almost as much as an Intelliflo
    4. Intex SWG (already own it, but have not used it in past years)

    QUESTIONS:

    1. Am I right that the Intex sand pump/filter won't be powerful enough to use with a 400,000 btu heater?

    2. My preference is for a RayPak heater because it seems like a lot of people regard them as excellent. I am strongly considering the Pentair heater, however, for the sole reason that if I buy a Pentair heater, pump, and filter all at once, I get a 3 year warranty instead of a 1 year warranty. Is the Pentair heater close enough in quality/durability/user-friendliness to the RayPak to buy it to gain the extra 2 years of warranty, or should I snub the extra warranty and buy the RayPak anyway?

    3. Anyone want to suggest the right pump to buy? Prefer a cord. Prefer 2 speeds. Prefer 1 HP -- unless someone is sure a 1 sp 3/4 HP is sufficient.

    4. Anyone have any input on the need for an anti-entrapment type shut off device either on the pump or purchased separately. Even with my Intex pump of last year, if I took of the port cover (sorry, not into the pool lingo yet this year) there was enough suction that pulling my hand away took effort -- it scared me that my girls' very long hair could get swept in -- tell me I'm crazy and to buy a normal pump or tell me I am correct and to spend the money for the ultra-safe Intelliflo, Stingl, or other such safety device.

    5. I am planning to buy the equipment on-line due to substantial cost savings. I have finally found a guy with pool smarts to do the plumbing, skimmer, and teach me how to use and winterize these things, but he is freelance. My other option is to spend way more money and buy the equipment suite from a pool store -- according to the pool store it is worth that money because, they say, buying on-line will negatively impact my ability to get the equipment serviced -- of course, the on-line provider says it will have no effect and I'll be well taken care of by the manufacturer. Thoughts on this?

    6. The on-line vendor I'm likely to use is PoolSupplyUnlimited -- any positive or negative experiences with them by any of you??

    THANKS for those of you who have offered thoughts on similar posts of mine in the past - I promise (my fingers are only slightly crossed) that if you help me again this year I won't make a similar post next year.
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Questions on Whole New Suite of Equipment

    1) The Intex pump will be marginal at best with a 400,000 BTU heater. It could handle a smaller heater without problems, but the 400,000 BTU heaters generally require significant minimum flow rates.

    2) The heaters are fairly similar. The increased warranty is worth more than the difference between the two heaters from most peoples point of view.

    3) Unless your electric rates are above $0.20/kwh, I recommend getting a 3/4 HP or 1 HP two speed. Which size is required is fairly complex, mas985 might have an opinion on that. The two speed feature will save you a significant amount of money when you are not running the heater.

    4) If you only have a single suction port, be it a single skimmer or single drain, it is nice to have an SVRS system to prevent entrapment. However, be aware that they will false trigger now and then, which is a pain. My preferred solution is to split your suction so you have two suction ports, and then no one can become entrapped.

    5) Buying the equipment from a good installer does indeed make getting service easier, but good installers are rare. Buying from a random local pool store tends to not improve the odds at all. The only serious issue is warranty repairs. The manufacturer doesn't do warranty repairs themselves, only through authorized dealers. Many authorized dealers will not do warranty repairs on equipment they did not install. If you are paying for the repair, it is easy to find someone to do it.

    Keep in mind that running a gas heater can be fantastically expensive. Pools need tremendous amounts of heat.
    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: Questions on Whole New Suite of Equipment

    ´╗┐Thanks, Jason. If I am doing the all-Pentair suite to get the extended warranty, and if I am going to skip on the Intelliflo (my pool guy has already said he wanted to add a suction port to help disperse the suction (?)), here is my proposed purchase:

    Pentair Master Temp cupro-nickel Natural Gas 400,000 LoNOx (LoNox appears to be only option for Pentair at this seller)
    Pentair Clean and Clear Cartridge 200 sq ft
    Pentair 347992 OptiFlo 1.5 HP, 2 SPD, VERTICAL discharge, 3ft Cord

    Look okay? Look great? Any input on if the Vertical discharge seems appropriate?

    Or, Jason - would you think for my application I should just use the Intex sand filter/pump I already have (not sure on specs - it is in storage having never even been un-boxed after getting it very late last season) and get a smaller heater? I got it in a two-pack purchase with the Intex SWG if that prompts anyone's memory as to what the specs are on the pump. I'll try to find the specs tomorrow and post to see if anyone can say what btu heater it could handle. I'm okay buying the other stuff, but if the Intex is the better or equal route, I might as well do it since I already own it. Jason likes to remind me how much it will cost to heat my pool, so I better save all the money I can I'll still have a good set-up. (I'm sure you are correct Jason, it just remains to be seen how much I'll have to shell out to heat the pool - no real feel for it, so will be interesting).
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Questions on Whole New Suite of Equipment

    Vertical vs horizontal discharge is purely a matter of plumbing convince. The difference is minimal and either way will always work, but you can gain a tiny bit of efficiency by getting the style that allows you to have the shortest possible pipes/hoses.

    There are two ways you could go here, both acceptable but with different pros and cons. The approach you outlined seems reasonable (give or take the pump size). The alternative would be to save lots of up front money by getting a smaller heater that would work with your existing pump/filter. That will give you noticeably slower water heating and cost much less up front. The difference is a personal taste/budget issue, not a technical one, so I can't really recommend one approach over the other. One way to think about it is: if you want to heat the pool for only a day or two once in a while (say a warmer than average weekend comes up in the early spring) then you get a significant benefit from the larger heater. One the other hand, if you are going to keep the pool at swimming temperature all the time, you probably won't notice a difference between the larger and smaller heaters except for a few days right after you start heating.

    Also, you will want to add a solar cover to the list things to buy.
    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: Questions on Whole New Suite of Equipment

    Not sure if it would help but have you read this thread?

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/post281990.html#p281990
    18' x 42" Intex (4786 Gal @ 80% capacity) Intex 8110 SWCG, 2000 GPH cartridge filter.
    Full Sun, Well Water, Borates at approx. 50
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    Re: Questions on Whole New Suite of Equipment

    Thanks, Jason and George. I'll take a closer look at the link George provided tomorrow - looks like a good road map for one option. Looks tempting all of a sudden to use the Intex filter/pump and dumb down the heater -- need to explore if that means 100,000 btu is my max, or I could increase above that and still be okay. Thanks again.
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

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    Re: Questions on Whole New Suite of Equipment

    crek31,

    I am sure you thought about it but don't forget you will need a thermal cover for your pool. Trying to heat a pool without one, regardless of heater size, is amazingly expensive.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Questions on Whole New Suite of Equipment

    Well, it looks like I have the smaller Intex sand filter - mine is SF 15110, which I think has a flow rate (?) of 1600 gallons per hour. If I am correctly reading the specs on pool heaters, even the Pentair 100,000 needs a minimum of 20 gph. So, looks like I'm back to the more expensive, but maybe ultimately better solution of buying the heater, pump, and filter from scratch. If anyone thinks I'm wrong on that, please let me know.
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

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    Re: Questions on Whole New Suite of Equipment

    Oh, and I do have a solar cover (clear). Thanks to those of you who pointed out that requirement to keep a pool heated.
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Questions on Whole New Suite of Equipment

    I think buying the pump, heater and filter is the correct choice. If you have the stand alone swcg go ahead and use it.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/╝hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    mcoonan's Avatar
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    Re: Questions on Whole New Suite of Equipment

    I think that a 400,000 BTU heater is a little large (meaning costs more), unless you are trying to bring your pool temp up super fast (or are wanting a 20' hot tub).
    here is a basic chart:
    http://www.poolcenter.com/heaters_what_size.htm
    Intex Ultra 18' x 52" AG 6,981 Gal.
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    Re: Questions on Whole New Suite of Equipment

    While I cannot comment on your equipment choices (as I have similar questions), I will say I think your heater is oversized.

    Here is my experience. My sister has a 15000 gal pool she keeps at 92 degrees from may to September. She has a 400,000btu raypak heater. It can heat the water up in just a few hours, which is nice when they want a late fall swim (when the rest of us have shut down). We are in MN so the temps don't get that high during the day and it is chilly most nights.

    We thought we needed that big too. But we got a free used raypack that is 333. The gas installer said that is better because 1. We didn't need the bigger line to the heater, but we did have to get a new meter on the house. 2. He said it was overkill for that big of a heater.

    We have a 24' round and I can say that we easily brought the temp up 10 degrees in about 6 hours (that's from 82 to 92). The downside is the gas bill. It cost us over 400 per month just for pool heat. So if your not shooting for hot tub temps and you live where it is warm, I would consider saving some $ and going lower on the heater. Maybe not a 100k, but I don't think you need 400k...unless you like it really warm, fast and you live in the northern climates.

    My 2 cents, based only on personal experience, not anything professional or researched.
    24' Round Diamond Star, 54" wall height, 200sq ft sta-rite cartridge filter
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