I just wanted to write down some of my first impressions on the AquaCal HeatWave 100k that I recently hooked up. I have an AGP using 10K of water. I run a cartridge filter, 2 speed pump and have an Aqua-Rite Salt system. It was going to be difficult to run a gas lone to the pool for heat. My back yard is mostly shaded, I live in Joliet, Il (south of Chicago) and have always struggled keeping my water temps up. I have had solar heaters with poor results.
I am on a Com-Ed pricing plan that charges real-time hourly rates. While the price will fluctuate, daily prices are usually between 3.3 cents and 4.8 cents per kWh. Price does fluctuate though, and sometimes prices go above 10cent kWh...but it is not often, and you can usually plan on the two (1 hour) time periods this happens on during the week. I took a snap shot of today's pricing, which was 2.9cent per kWh...it's not always this good...but this isn't uncommon either. It's also common to have reverse prices in the early am hours (I've seen it as much as -4.8 cents per kWh).
So I've been looking at heatpumps and AquaCal is the brand that my research had led me to. I was looking at new units, but they were a bit out of my price range. While saving up money for one (was thinking maybe next year) I noticed an AquaCal HeatWave 100k on Craigslist for a real good price. I took a big risk buying a used unit but the unit seems to be working just fine, but new was just too much money.
I reworked all the soft lines with schedule 40 PVC...then ran the single phase 220Vac line. The first day the air temp had a high of 70f and water temp was at 68f. First day water temp came up to 82f. Night time air temps were getting down in the low 40's...so I turned the heater off in the pm. The next day I set the temp for 85f and it easily achieved this and then cycled off...I'm just leaving it set now and plan to raise the temp by 2 degrees or so. We are using a solar cover.
Overall first impressions...I'm impressed. Granted the heater may be a little over sized for the pool, but I wanted to go this way if I went with a heat pump. I plan to put my pump on it's timer and have 2 sets of on/off tabs...this way I can have the pump on low, yet turn the pump (and subsequently the heatpump also) off during 7am and 5pm...taking the two higher hours for electricity during the week.
I was a little curious if the heat pump would do the job this far north...for my pool...in my short experience so far...it has met my higher expectations. Tonight is the first night that we will have in the upper 50's...so it has still been pretty cold at night...I suspect the performance should just get better.
(I'll also add...you guys have always been so great. The threads here have helped tremendously...PoolSean was also a wonderful help. Thank you all so much!)