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Thread: Heater recommendations

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    Heater recommendations

    We have used solar mats since purchasing our pool in 2007, they've been great with no complaints however we feel our mats are coming to thier end and are considering a gas heater this year. We'd also like to be able to extend our season and maintain water temp of 88-90. We have a 27 foot round, approximately 17000 gallons. We are shopping now and would like some recommendations on size/manufacturer etc. and what we can expect in performance. We are in southern Wisconsin so really only get to use the pool the first week of June until labor day. I look forward to your input.
    27 ft round 52" wall
    Cartridge filter
    Above Ground
    2 hp Hayward pump
    Using 2 2x20 solar panels

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    Re: Heater recommendations

    Not an expert here, but we installed a Ray-Pak 266000 BTU Heater last September on the recommendation of the pool folks and TFP. We normally close the pool in mid-September in Missouri and were able use the pool up to the first of November. Could have used longer but with low temps overnight in the 30s it would have been too expensive. It was about an extra $100 per month to maintain 84-85 degrees basically heating as needed. We're shooting for March 15 or so to open depending on weather. Also, we cover the pool when not in use with a solar cover so the pool temp only drop about 5 degrees overnight depending on temps.

    Installed price was $2100 for the heater and $550 to run new gas line about 50 feet. My understanding is that for warranty purposes you have use a licensed/certified installer.

    Gary R
    18 X 32 Oval Inground Gunite Pool 20,000 Gallons Epoxy Painted in 2012
    Tagelus Sand Filter TA 60 D/TA 60-Hayward Super Pumps 1 H.P.
    Ray-Pac Heater 266,000 BTU, KLeen Machine Pool Cleaner
    Solar Cover-Rocky's Pool Cover Reel-Intermatic T104R Timer
    TF-100 Test Kit-PoolSkim Skimmer

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    In the Industry

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Moberly,MO
    Posts
    978

    Re: Heater recommendations

    For an abg pool bigger is better. Unless you had some sort of insulating wall foam on the wall of your pool. You will radiate heat off of the sidewall of the pool as temps cool outside. A larger heater will heat faster and maintain a little easier your desired temp.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
    We build vinyl, fiberglass, stainless steel pools
    Certified in Hydraulics

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    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Yukon, Oklahoma
    Posts
    220

    Re: Heater recommendations

    I had a small Intex metal frame pool that had 1/2 inch of blue foam board on the walls and 1 inch hard foam (stuff with aluminum on one side) for the floor and had two layers of 1/2 inch blue basically floating on the top underneath the stock Intex cheap cover and with an 11KW electric heater. Once it was heated (I was iin the 89 to 91 degree point) it took nothing to keep it heated because I had insulation saving my butt.

    Using non contact thermometer, the 1/2 wall insulation seemed adequate. Very little heat loss from walls once insulated. An overwhelming amount of heat was comming off the top of the pool when heated. 1/2 made a huge difference, and another 1/2 inch on top of that made heat loss a non issue. I cut my 4' x 8' sheets into sizes the wife could easily lift out and either lay on the patio or put into a holder I built specifically to hold them.

    I would like to address size. If it was cool to cold outside, my little 11KW heater would not keep up with the heat loss on a little 12' Intex pool once uncovered. But it was only noticable with temps below 50 degress or if there was a good wind, pretty much anything below 60, may 65 it could become noticeable if you stayed outside for say over an hour in the pool. I would recommend getting as big a heater as you can afford ESPECIALLY if you think you are going to get a bigger pool in the future. Keep the chemistry in the pool as in the middle as you can so you can get as much life as you can out of heater components. And yes, I use salt too.....testing is cheap......repairing can be expensive. I also insulated almost all surfaces of my plumbing too to keep heat loss to the minimum possible. Other than the initial heat up, since the wife didn't yell at me for electricity used, I cost me maybe 20-40 dollars a month to heat my pool. The key point is here, I was keeping eye on rates and usage and other than the first month that we turned the thing on, I could for sure see any "real" difference in our electricity bill. I think my heater was under $400 and was good option for me as I may only have two more years at the most of pools in the backyard as kids get older.

    Bob

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    Re: Heater recommendations

    I think you'd be happiest with a 400,000 btu gas heater. I have about the same season as you and it performed great last year. While you might be able to get away with fewer btus, the prices don't go up all that much to get to 400,000. I will say, however, that the cost of the heater did not end up being my biggest financial concern. Cost us a ton to get gas and electrical to the part of the yard with the pool (and we just have a normal suburban lot). Had to run gas through the house to the side with the pool and had to upgrade our electrical panel. I had factored some install cost into my plan to get a heater, but it nearly tripled! So check all of that out before you fall in love with the idea of getting a warm pool for five years for a one=time investment of the cost of the pool heater. Still worth it for my family, but had I fully understood what the total year-one cost would be, I may not have done it at all.
    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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    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Yukon, Oklahoma
    Posts
    220

    Re: Heater recommendations

    Crek31, you make a great point, the cost of installation can routinely be more than the equipment you are installing. I made my decision to go with an expensive to operate 11KW heater for my small AGP based on the fact that I only intended to have a pool for 3 seasons at the most, and like you I would have had to install gas to that location which would have been a total pain for me to dig or hire to dig, electrical was something I could and can do (with oversite by real electrician) so cost was much less. So even if it costs me $200 a year to operate my electric heater for the season I am still a couple thousand ahead of gas, gas heater, ect, ect.

    If I was to purchase an expensive AGP or put in an in-ground pool, I would have that gas heater and all the goodies installed. Even my cheap little Intex pools have added hours of fun for the kids which of course makes the wife happy which of course ends up making my life happy.

    It's hard NOT to have fun in ANY sized pool!! Sure wish I had done this earlier!!

    Bob

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