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Thread: Advice on heating my water

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    Advice on heating my water

    I'm drowning (no pun intended ) in heating information and could use some advice; preferably in terms the newbie pool owner can understand!

    Here's my current situation: I live in central Alabama and have a light sand colored fiberglass pool, approx. 15' x 34'; 10,000 gallon. In the summer, even though temps are in the mid to high 90's, my water has never been above 91. Now that it's started getting a little cooler, my water temp has dropped to 82. At the beginning of the summer, it has to be in the 90's for a long time before it's warm enough for me to swim. It is rarely below freezing outside for very long in the winter, but I don't know how cold my water gets then.

    My first objective is to extend my swimming season. I would like my water temp to be in the mid 80's around the same time it's that temp outside. However, what I'd REALLY like to do is keep it warm enough to swim in year-round or at least most of the year.

    I've read about gas, electric, and solar heaters, but so far all that's done is confuse me. I have natural gas available for about $1.41 per 1000ft3, my electricity costs about $.12 per kWh, and it's mostly sunny here. Maybe my expectations are a little too high, but I'd at least like to know what is practically possible and to learn what I need to know how to calculate an expected operating cost.

    Anybody have thoughts or suggestions?
    10K gal Trilogy Equinox Fiberglass IGP, Hayward S244T Pro-Series Sand Filter, Hayward 1hp Pump, Hayward CL200 chlorine feeder, Polaris 380 Vacuum

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Mesa Arizona
    Posts
    190

    Re: Advice on heating my water

    Well, I'm not expert but last year when I decided to check out how to heat my pool, it was startling. I would pay far more in electricity to heat my pool than I pay for everything else concerning my house.
    I settled on a solar heater and a home made one at that. I have about $200.00 or so into it, maybe 12 to 15 hours labor and it works surprisingly well in conjunction with a solar cover. I had my pool into the 80's in March. As an added bonus, this summer I used the solar heaters to cool my pool as well. It's a win-win situation for me. I was getting almost free heat. I was running my pump during the day vs. night and I would run it a few hours longer but that's a small price to pay for extending the swim season so much.
    The down side is that the solar heaters just can't do the job all year. December, January and into February, there just isn't enough sunlight (even here in Arizona) to heat the pool into the 80's where I like it but other than that, I'm thrilled with solar.
    Mesa Arizona. Old school 26,000 gallon in ground plaster pool with sand filter built in 1984.

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    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    92

    Re: Advice on heating my water

    I'm in NY and bought a pretty efficient heat pump and have to tell you that the increase in my electric have been pretty negligible. I bought the pump because my wife refuses to swim unless the pool is 88 degrees! My pool gets full sun all day and we cover it every night so I rarely have to run the heat pump during the season to keep temp....maybe an hr or two here or there. I'm hoping that I can get close to the end of October here with the heat pump but it will be a stretch since outside temps will get cold enough that the water temp wont matter anymore as its just too cold outside To enjoy the pool. Obviously the up front costs are significantly more for a heat pump but may be worth it if you have above 55 degree temps year round. If not then probably not worth it.
    25K Gallon IG Vinyl Liner w/ concrete walls True "L" 16X32X16, Hayward EcoStar VS pump, Hayward Swimclear C4030 Filter, Hayward 21104T Heat Pro Titanium Heat Pump, Hayward Aqua Plus SWG + Automation, 2 Hayward Color Logic 4.0 LED lights, Polaris 9300 cleaner. TF-100 test kit.

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: Advice on heating my water

    Thanks mesamav & NYunderground! I think I might have to talk to the pool stores around here as this looks to be a project that I probably couldn't do myself. Solar looks to be a good option for me; especially if I can get a tax rebate on it for being "green". I'll keep researching - thanks for your input!!
    10K gal Trilogy Equinox Fiberglass IGP, Hayward S244T Pro-Series Sand Filter, Hayward 1hp Pump, Hayward CL200 chlorine feeder, Polaris 380 Vacuum

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    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    326

    Re: Advice on heating my water

    Every gov't solar rebate that I've ever seen specifically states that it does NOT cover pool heaters. It's OK for pool owners to PAY taxes but we aren't allowed to benefit from them...
    26,000 Gallon Gunnite IGP
    2 HP Challenger High Head Pump
    60sf Nautilus DE filter
    Polaris 280

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    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Southern MA
    Posts
    71

    Re: Advice on heating my water

    I have heated my pool with solar for 6-7 years...original cost was just over $500
    I rebuilt my cabana roof this year & I'm putting up new "better" panels...another maybe $375 but the panels will face due South instead of East & West
    By Memorial day I used to have the pool around 76...not bad for New England....I'm going from 4 2'x20' panels to 6 panels on new setup
    That is basically heating the water from 50-55 up to 76 degrees....with cold nights over the course of 1 month
    It would top off around 88 in the summer, last year hit a record of 92
    I'm hoping for warmer temps earlier & keeping the pool warmer thru the summer & into September
    Up here we only have a 6 month swim season at best, I see no point in going for swim when the air temp is in the 60's......that's hot tub weather
    30 yr old 16x32' IG pool, ~16,600g, Hayward DE 4820 filter w/1.5hp pump, Solar heat

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    chiefwej's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Tucson
    Posts
    2,853

    Re: Advice on heating my water

    I got a $1,000 energy tax credit when I put in my solar pool heating system, so in some states, there are credits available. With a solar system that is about 85% of my pool area and a cover, I can use the pool until the air temp makes me quit. My pool season is from mid April until Thanksgiving. The key to heating any pool during cool weather is keeping it covered when not in use.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Advice on heating my water

    Have all of you installed your solar system yourself, or have you had it done by someone else? I'm relatively handy, but that just seems like a pretty big project.
    10K gal Trilogy Equinox Fiberglass IGP, Hayward S244T Pro-Series Sand Filter, Hayward 1hp Pump, Hayward CL200 chlorine feeder, Polaris 380 Vacuum

  9. Back To Top    #9
    gullzway's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Tulsa,OK
    Posts
    103

    Re: Advice on heating my water

    Quote Originally Posted by Mesamav
    Well, I'm not expert but last year when I decided to check out how to heat my pool, it was startling. I would pay far more in electricity to heat my pool than I pay for everything else concerning my house.
    I settled on a solar heater and a home made one at that. I have about $200.00 or so into it, maybe 12 to 15 hours labor and it works surprisingly well in conjunction with a solar cover. I had my pool into the 80's in March. As an added bonus, this summer I used the solar heaters to cool my pool as well. It's a win-win situation for me. I was getting almost free heat. I was running my pump during the day vs. night and I would run it a few hours longer but that's a small price to pay for extending the swim season so much.
    The down side is that the solar heaters just can't do the job all year. December, January and into February, there just isn't enough sunlight (even here in Arizona) to heat the pool into the 80's where I like it but other than that, I'm thrilled with solar.
    Can you give a quick summary of the parts you used/where you bought them for that price? Id love to build one for that price, my pool never gets over 82 due to the trees, that's with a solar cover.
    17,500 gallon 18x36 gunite pool
    Hayward super II 1.5 hp pump, Hayward cartridge filter
    Jandy AquaPure Ei SWG 35K, Raypak R6350TI-E HeatPump
    Solar cover, Loop Lok winter Cover
    Artisian Antigua hot tub, Polk Atrium 4's

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