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Thread: Questions about heating our pool once - is it worth it?

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    AaronGo's Avatar
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    Questions about heating our pool once - is it worth it?

    I was thinking about giving my friends and their kids (more for their kids) a little treat by heating our pool one weekend day this month. While the cost is a factor, I am curious if it would even be enjoyable? Let's say we heat the pool to 85* and the outside temp is 50*. Would that even be enjoyable if there was a slight breeze? I am curious what others have done and experienced. What is a good temp to raise to so it's enjoyable?

    I live in Houston TX so who knows what the temperature would be like on any given day. One day it can be 80* and the next 40*, esp as we get close to Jan.

    As far as cost goes, it seems pretty reasonable to heat our pool for a one-time use. We have a 400,000 btu heater that runs on natural gas (not sure it matters too much except for the efficiency). Our pool is 18k gallons. Let's assume I raise the temp by 20*. At 8.3 lb/gal, I get ~3mm btu to raise the pool by the desired amount (18,000 gal * 20 degrees * 8.3 lb/gal). Assume nat gas costs of $0.70/therm (or /ccf) right now in Houston. 1 ccf = 102,000 btu. 3,000,000 btu * $0.70 per 102,000 btu = $20.50. Obviously the cost will be higher than that since the heater is not 100% efficient, so we can assume $25-30 based on my math. Does this seem reasonable?
    18,000 gallon in ground, plaster - completed 6/29/12
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    Re: Questions about heating our pool once - is it worth it?

    I treated my kids to a final pool day at the end of this season. Can't recall exact temps, but I know I heated to 93 degrees. I think it was sixty or so out. It was awesome. Totally worth it. Keep the solar cover on (I hope you have one) for as long as possible to maximize the warm-up process. We actually had a fog-like effect right over our water at times. Kids loved it. If you do it, commit to it and don't stress about the cost -- just enjoy.
    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 about heating our pool once - is it worth it?

    Oh yeah, if you do have a solar cover, heat it Saturday, put the cover on right after last one gets out of the pool for good, and you'll be surprised at how much heat you'll keep -- you'll be able to enjoy it again Sunday with much less gas because you'll start way warmer.
    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 about heating our pool once - is it worth it?

    Hey there!

    1st post for bzerk86, thought I'd contribute to this awesome forum

    I heated my pool in winter for my birthday. We were experiencing close to 2c (35F) nights and 12c (54F) days.

    I started early as my pool was at 11c (52F), 4 days before I heated it to 20c, then 25c the next day and so on until the morning of my party, I cranked the heater up to 36c (97F). My 400,000 btu heater had no issues. It raised the temp of my pool (70,000L / 18,500 gal) about 1c per hour.

    It was amazing. We were lucky, and didn't have a breezy night.

    To help make things as efficient as possible, I kept the filter and leaf baskets clean. This exercise added about $150 to my gas bill. Worth it!

    Cheers,

    Brian - Adelaide, Australia
    In ground 70,000L tiled pool with 8 person spa, spill over into pool with cabana hut.
    1x 1hp Monarch Typhoon Pump - filter / 1x 1hp Monarch Typhoon pump - spa jets / SpaQuip Blower / Monarch Eco Pure F32 sand filter / Raypack RP2100 400Mj natural gas heater / Rola Chem RC 25-7 Chlorine and Acid Pump / Baracuda Suction Cleaner with Leaf Canister

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Questions about heating our pool once - is it worth it?

    I did that once. We had great weather for weeks, and the day of our party it got grey and windy. All that gas burned to heat it and the idea of going outside without a jacket, let alone in only a swimsuit, was unthinkable.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    Join Date
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    Re: Questions about heating our pool once - is it worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by AaronGo
    I was thinking about giving my friends and their kids (more for their kids) a little treat by heating our pool one weekend day this month. While the cost is a factor, I am curious if it would even be enjoyable? Let's say we heat the pool to 85* and the outside temp is 50*. Would that even be enjoyable if there was a slight breeze? I am curious what others have done and experienced. What is a good temp to raise to so it's enjoyable?

    I live in Houston TX so who knows what the temperature would be like on any given day. One day it can be 80* and the next 40*, esp as we get close to Jan.

    As far as cost goes, it seems pretty reasonable to heat our pool for a one-time use. We have a 400,000 btu heater that runs on natural gas (not sure it matters too much except for the efficiency). Our pool is 18k gallons. Let's assume I raise the temp by 20*. At 8.3 lb/gal, I get ~3mm btu to raise the pool by the desired amount (18,000 gal * 20 degrees * 8.3 lb/gal). Assume nat gas costs of $0.70/therm (or /ccf) right now in Houston. 1 ccf = 102,000 btu. 3,000,000 btu * $0.70 per 102,000 btu = $20.50. Obviously the cost will be higher than that since the heater is not 100% efficient, so we can assume $25-30 based on my math. Does this seem reasonable?

    We do it occasionally, but we always wait for the warm days like we are having today. It also helps if the wind is not blowing as it makes it that much more comfortable. So yes it is worth it to me and cost hasn't ever been that outrageous. I think it was costing me 4 dollars an hour to run the heater (400BTU) 2 years back. I think it should be cheaper now.
    Approx 11K Gal. 10'X30' Semi free-form IG - 6 ' raised spa w/6 jets - 10' circle sun shelf with 1 bubbler - Waterfall - 3 / 1.5 HP pumps - Polaris 280 Cleaner - 3 Pentair Color LED Intellibrite Lights - Pentair 400K Master Temp - 2 Valve Actuators - 5 Fiberstar Mini Laminars - 1 Fiberstars 2004 Illuminator - 2 Skimmers - 6 Returns - Caribbean Blue Pebble Tech - 600+ sq ft kool decK - Auto Fill - 2 Boston Acoustics VOYA RK5 Outdoor Rock Speakers - 2 TIC Corporation TFS5CN 6.5-Inch 150-Watt Terra-Forms Rock Speakers - Apple Airport Express - 1 Awesome View.

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    AaronGo's Avatar
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    Re: Questions about heating our pool once - is it worth it?

    thanks for the input guys - the game plan is to do this on Sat Jan 5, weather permitting of course. While weather forecasts are kind of useless outside of a few days, Houston weather is forecast to be sunny with highs in the low 60s that day. I will know Friday if this is going to be do-able or not. Since we have a 400k btu heater, we can get it warm relatively quickly.

    I treated my kids to a final pool day at the end of this season. Can't recall exact temps, but I know I heated to 93 degrees. I think it was sixty or so out. It was awesome. Totally worth it. Keep the solar cover on (I hope you have one) for as long as possible to maximize the warm-up process. We actually had a fog-like effect right over our water at times. Kids loved it. If you do it, commit to it and don't stress about the cost -- just enjoy.
    Nope, no solar cover, I did not think we would make a habit out of heating our pool in the winter so that thought did not cross our mind. I will consider it however for down the road. I agree with you about just doing it, it's one of those treats we wanted to give our friends' kids.
    18,000 gallon in ground, plaster - completed 6/29/12
    Jandy 340 sq ft cartridge filter
    Jandy variable-speed 2 HP pump
    Jandy LXi 400 heater
    Jandy Aqualink PDA-PS4

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    Re: Questions about heating our pool once - is it worth it?

    Your cost calculation doesn't account for the heat that is being lost to the ground and air during the heating process. My sister has a 13K gallon pool just outside Austin. Her gas bill goes up by about $50 for heating the pool for one day. But yes, the kids love it!
    26,000 Gallon Gunnite IGP
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Questions about heating our pool once - is it worth it?

    For most families, swimming is more fun than going to a movie, and going to a movie could easily cost as much as running the pool heater. Of course, anything involving questions of "worth it" always depends on your personal attitude towards money, which we can't answer for you.

    We often heat the pool for a day when the spring/fall weather is a little warmer than average, and for us it is totally worth it.
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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Questions about heating our pool once - is it worth it?

    I am having pool withdrawal here in snowy Michigan. Can I come to the party? I'm a kid at heart
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    Re: Questions about heating our pool once - is it worth it?

    If your family is one that true loves to swim pool used 3 or more times per week in season I would say it is worth it. I would suggest getting a solar cover before the 5th because if it gets windy and cold it will take a lot of gas to get and maintain the temp with solar cover iwould make it a full weekend event cost to maintain 1 extra day not much compared to intial startup

    For what it's worth here is a thread of what I did for a weekend swim in November in pa much more work and cost but for me and my family and friends it was really a fun and very much worth it weekend
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