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Thread: AquaCal HeatWave 100k - first impressions

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    gonefishin's Avatar
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    AquaCal HeatWave 100k - first impressions

    Hello All!

    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.

    Dan

    (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!)
    33' Aqua-Leader AGP
    Hayward cartridge filter and IntelliFlo VS pump.
    Solar Heat coming ; used to own Aqua-Cal HeatWave 100k (HeatPump)
    Aqua-Rite t-15 SWG

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    gonefishin's Avatar
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    Re: AquaCal HeatWave 100k - first impressions

    Well, today I bumped the thermostat up to 88f. Air temp was high 80, low of 59...little humidity. The unit has been set and forget, I'm not sure how long the thing is even running to keep it up to temperature...every time I go outside the unit is off. Even at these temps high 70's to 80 and cool nights I get the feeling I could go quite a bit higher than 88f water temperature...but 88 is good enough for me
    33' Aqua-Leader AGP
    Hayward cartridge filter and IntelliFlo VS pump.
    Solar Heat coming ; used to own Aqua-Cal HeatWave 100k (HeatPump)
    Aqua-Rite t-15 SWG

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    Re: AquaCal HeatWave 100k - first impressions

    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
    National Accounts and Commercial Products Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps www.aquacal.com
    AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generators www.autopilot.com

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    gonefishin's Avatar
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    Re: AquaCal HeatWave 100k - first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Poolsean

    Thanks PoolSean!

    I'm really interested to see how it will do for the rest of the year. I know it'll do fine giving us the little bit of temperature we needed in summer, but I'm curious what it will do for us in fall and next spring. I'm still a little surprised at the heating with 67-70f high and low 50's as a low.

    Thanks again!
    33' Aqua-Leader AGP
    Hayward cartridge filter and IntelliFlo VS pump.
    Solar Heat coming ; used to own Aqua-Cal HeatWave 100k (HeatPump)
    Aqua-Rite t-15 SWG

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    gonefishin's Avatar
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    Re: AquaCal HeatWave 100k - first impressions

    Okay, we've been going through the Midwest summer and everything has been operating well. During the hotter days the heater only needed to run minimally to not at all. I bypassed the heater during our hottest periods and then had forgotten about it. We got an incredible cold snap and the water temp dropped to 82f. The temperature has been in the low 60's to 50's during the day and as low as the high 40's and low 50's at night. The heatpump is still doing great with this COLD rainy summer weather in the northern midwest...water temp 88f as set (I turned the temp back up with this colder weather )

    So far...I'm still impressed with my first heatpump

    Dan
    33' Aqua-Leader AGP
    Hayward cartridge filter and IntelliFlo VS pump.
    Solar Heat coming ; used to own Aqua-Cal HeatWave 100k (HeatPump)
    Aqua-Rite t-15 SWG

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    Re: AquaCal HeatWave 100k - first impressions

    I have a similar unit to yours and I am equally as impressed...everyone told me I was a fool for doing a HP vs. a Gas Heater, but man the unit I have rocks. I think the key is getting one oversized for the size pool you have and then being smart about when it runs...meaning if you can run during day when warmer vs. all night/early AM.

    Have fun!
    14,750 GAL IG Fiberglass (16 x 33) NE Ohio || Jandy 1HP 2 speed Pump || Waterco MultiCyclone 16 Centrifugal pre-filter (removed due to not working with sand filter) || 30" 575 Lb. Sand Filter || AquaCal 140K BTU Heat Pump || Solar Cover || Inter-fab Adrenaline Slide || GLI Monsoon Solar Cover Reel || K-2006C Test Kit || BBB with Liquid Chlorine Stenner Injection || Rayner Mighty Mesh Winter Cover

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    gonefishin's Avatar
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    Re: AquaCal HeatWave 100k - first impressions

    I agree that the key may be in oversizing the unit. The H.P. would no doubt be more efficient running during the heat of the day. But we're on an Real Rate (Hourly) Pricing plan with our electric company. While rates are still low during the day, at night they're even lower...sometimes even reverse. Ours usually comes on at night (using the low rates) and is always up to temperature (88f) before I wake up in the early morning.

    This is our first year with the H.P, we tried solar for a few years before this. It will be interesting to see how the water temps are at the end of the season.

    Thanks for the input!

    Dan
    33' Aqua-Leader AGP
    Hayward cartridge filter and IntelliFlo VS pump.
    Solar Heat coming ; used to own Aqua-Cal HeatWave 100k (HeatPump)
    Aqua-Rite t-15 SWG

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    Re: AquaCal HeatWave 100k - first impressions

    Keep us posted, and let me know if there are any challenges.
    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
    National Accounts and Commercial Products Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps www.aquacal.com
    AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generators www.autopilot.com

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    gonefishin's Avatar
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    Re: AquaCal HeatWave 100k - first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Poolsean
    Keep us posted, and let me know if there are any challenges.

    Will do, PoolSean (thanks!)
    33' Aqua-Leader AGP
    Hayward cartridge filter and IntelliFlo VS pump.
    Solar Heat coming ; used to own Aqua-Cal HeatWave 100k (HeatPump)
    Aqua-Rite t-15 SWG

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    Re: AquaCal HeatWave 100k - first impressions

    Okay, south of Chicago has been pretty cold for the majority of spring and summer. Lately we've had nights in the very low 50's. I still have our heat pump set for 88f. Sometimes when I get up in the morning it's running...but most times it's been off, and heated, when I wake up (we do use a solar cover). I plan to keep the temp set the same and see how far we can extend the temperature (within reason). As I stated before, we are on a real time pricing plan with our electric provider. The electrical prices fluctuate hour to hour to reflect real prices. Which has made our prices very cheap...especially at night time. Sometimes we have reverse rates during the night/early morning.

    I'm really surprised so far. We've had a very cool summer and now very cool nights, but the waters still nice and warm!

    woohoo

    Dan
    33' Aqua-Leader AGP
    Hayward cartridge filter and IntelliFlo VS pump.
    Solar Heat coming ; used to own Aqua-Cal HeatWave 100k (HeatPump)
    Aqua-Rite t-15 SWG

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    Re: AquaCal HeatWave 100k - first impressions

    Last night we were going out to eat in Chicago. Before we left I set the temperature for 94f. Air temperature that day was in the very low 70's. Temperature was 86f when we left, when we came home the temp was a toasty 92f (maybe gone seven to eight hours).

    Dan
    33' Aqua-Leader AGP
    Hayward cartridge filter and IntelliFlo VS pump.
    Solar Heat coming ; used to own Aqua-Cal HeatWave 100k (HeatPump)
    Aqua-Rite t-15 SWG

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    Re: AquaCal HeatWave 100k - first impressions

    We're into the beginning of September now, it has been a pretty cool year. Lately nights have been in the very low 50's and days in the 70's. The heater is still set for 88f. It normally runs some time at night but it off by the time we get up in the morning.

    10,000 gallon pool, solar cover when it's chilly, 100k AquaCal Heatpump...so far it's really doing it's job well
    33' Aqua-Leader AGP
    Hayward cartridge filter and IntelliFlo VS pump.
    Solar Heat coming ; used to own Aqua-Cal HeatWave 100k (HeatPump)
    Aqua-Rite t-15 SWG

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    AquaCal HeatWave 100k - first impressions

    Wow. Those are great prices per KW. I'm on Long Island and we pay $.21 per kwh.
    25k IG vinyl SWG Haywood 4830de 1.5hp TF-100

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    Re: AquaCal HeatWave 100k - first impressions

    Yeh, I'm shocked at the prices. We pay about $.14/kwh (Third-party supplier) but that's fixed 24x7.

    I'm curious what kind of bills you guys are seeing in terms of an increase since putting the HP in?
    Leisure Pools Riv 30, 8500 gal, IG fiberglass, 200 sqft cart filter (Clean & Clear 200), Intelliflo 3HP variable speed pump, Aqua Rite SWG, auto cover, installed 5/2013
    Aquacal Superquiet 110, installed 6/2014
    TFT 100

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    Re: AquaCal HeatWave 100k - first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by TroubleFreePat
    Yeh, I'm shocked at the prices. We pay about $.14/kwh (Third-party supplier) but that's fixed 24x7.

    I'm curious what kind of bills you guys are seeing in terms of an increase since putting the HP in?


    It's hard to tell, last year we didn't have the heat pump...and we changed over to the real time pricing about the same time the heat pump was hooked up. Regular electric rates, like we paid last year, were around 8 cents per k/Wh. So far we've saved a good deal on our electric supply charges. Each month our bill has been lower than last year with the heat pump running.

    Below is September's average rates...

    33' Aqua-Leader AGP
    Hayward cartridge filter and IntelliFlo VS pump.
    Solar Heat coming ; used to own Aqua-Cal HeatWave 100k (HeatPump)
    Aqua-Rite t-15 SWG

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    Re: AquaCal HeatWave 100k - first impressions

    It's now at the end of September. (Water is) Still 88f by the time I wake up in the morning...I am on a new (cheaper) electrical rate plan...but even with the Heatpump running (just south of Chicago) the bills are cheaper than previous. Think of the heatpump heating your pool like your A/C cools the house. If you let your house get to 95f, then turned the A/C on it'll have quite a bit of work to do. But if you set your A/C for 70f, when the house temp is at 70f...the A/C just has to maintain the temperature...much easier...and much more effective.

    Dan
    33' Aqua-Leader AGP
    Hayward cartridge filter and IntelliFlo VS pump.
    Solar Heat coming ; used to own Aqua-Cal HeatWave 100k (HeatPump)
    Aqua-Rite t-15 SWG

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    Re: AquaCal HeatWave 100k - first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by gonefishin
    It's now at the end of September. Still 88f by the time I wake up in the morning...I am on a new (cheaper) electrical rate plan...but even with the Heatpump running (just south of Chicago) the bills are cheaper than previous. Think of the heatpump heating your pool like your A/C cools the house. If you let your house get to 95f, then turned the A/C on it'll have quite a bit of work to do. But if you set your A/C for 70f, when the house temp is at 70f...the A/C just has to maintain the temperature...much easier...and much more effective.

    Dan
    Not to start a debate - BUT.

    Say without a heat pump you ambient water temp is 72 degrees. With cool evenings....every night the pool will drop to whatever and the HP will keep it at 80. It may run 14 hours in a week to maintain 80 degrees. If you only swim once a week....you could let the pool drop to 72 degrees, then run the HP for 6 hours to get to 80 and you would save 8 hours of run time? Is that solid logic ?

    Based on my setup....that is what is working for me. If the air temps stay hot enough to swim, I would keep pumps running.
    14,750 GAL IG Fiberglass (16 x 33) NE Ohio || Jandy 1HP 2 speed Pump || Waterco MultiCyclone 16 Centrifugal pre-filter (removed due to not working with sand filter) || 30" 575 Lb. Sand Filter || AquaCal 140K BTU Heat Pump || Solar Cover || Inter-fab Adrenaline Slide || GLI Monsoon Solar Cover Reel || K-2006C Test Kit || BBB with Liquid Chlorine Stenner Injection || Rayner Mighty Mesh Winter Cover

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    Re: AquaCal HeatWave 100k - first impressions

    that would vary and depend on the volume of water and if it's covered. Larger pools will take longer to get up to temperatures, in which case it may be more cost effective to maintain the temps everyday. The benefit is that you can use the pool whenever you want and expect the temps to keep it comfortable, rather than spot heating the day before you want to use the pool... I guess just a matter of convenience.
    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
    National Accounts and Commercial Products Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps www.aquacal.com
    AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generators www.autopilot.com

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    Re: AquaCal HeatWave 100k - first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by toofast
    Quote Originally Posted by gonefishin
    It's now at the end of September. Still 88f by the time I wake up in the morning...I am on a new (cheaper) electrical rate plan...but even with the Heatpump running (just south of Chicago) the bills are cheaper than previous. Think of the heatpump heating your pool like your A/C cools the house. If you let your house get to 95f, then turned the A/C on it'll have quite a bit of work to do. But if you set your A/C for 70f, when the house temp is at 70f...the A/C just has to maintain the temperature...much easier...and much more effective.

    Dan
    Not to start a debate - BUT.

    Say without a heat pump you ambient water temp is 72 degrees. With cool evenings....every night the pool will drop to whatever and the HP will keep it at 80. It may run 14 hours in a week to maintain 80 degrees. If you only swim once a week....you could let the pool drop to 72 degrees, then run the HP for 6 hours to get to 80 and you would save 8 hours of run time? Is that solid logic ?

    Based on my setup....that is what is working for me. If the air temps stay hot enough to swim, I would keep pumps running.
    Hi Toofast!

    Right now most of our weather has had a high in the low 70's and lows in the mid/low 40's. Especially when it's cooler like this, we like to keep our water at 88f. The kids still go in the pool a few time during the week, no set days...just when they get done with homework and feel like going in.

    Running the heater would be more efficient during the day. Just letting the heater be on it's own cycle, of heating, it usually doesn't run at all during the day. then, sometime at night the heater comes on and runs into the morning. Usually it is done before I get up for work (before six am). But when the really cool weather started it is sometimes running until seven in the morning.

    leave my pump run, on low, 24/7. I had thought about running the heater only during the day...thinking it would have trouble maintaining the temperature into the cool night...but it had been fine. I also thought about running the heater only during the day to take advantage of the quicker heat times. But because it seemed to be heating the water fine (on it's own schedule) and because our electrical rates are usually very low (sometimes negative rates $$$) at night I decided to see how it went.

    Gaining the advantage of swimming whenever we want, and taking advantage of the low electrical rates during the nighttime seems to suit us pretty good. We've never been a family that plans when they swim...just doesn't suit us.

    But yes, your scenario would work as well!

    Dan
    33' Aqua-Leader AGP
    Hayward cartridge filter and IntelliFlo VS pump.
    Solar Heat coming ; used to own Aqua-Cal HeatWave 100k (HeatPump)
    Aqua-Rite t-15 SWG

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    Re: AquaCal HeatWave 100k - first impressions

    Okay, everything had been really good...when it comes to heating the pool. As the temperature dropped a little more, I even turned the temp up to 90f and the heater did fine. Most times it was done running before I got up, or shortly after. Everything was going good until...we had a few days in a row where the high was upper 50's and the lows in the low 40's. The heater was running from the night into the day...and though the water coming out of the discharge was a good deal warmer...it wasn't enough to keep the pool up to the set temperature of 88f.

    So, after hooking up the heatpump this year my pool temperature was a solid 88f all year, despite an overall cool spring and summer. t was able to keep the pool at this temperature with minimal effort, running during the more inefficient nighttime. I may run the heater during the next two day, it's going to be in the low 70's. I want to heat the water up a little bit to take the steps out.

    To conclude, I'm incredibly happy with the temperature stability I had for the year. It even worked good into October...this year...up to October 6th! I think that's incredible

    Now I have to look into winterizing this thing


    Dan
    33' Aqua-Leader AGP
    Hayward cartridge filter and IntelliFlo VS pump.
    Solar Heat coming ; used to own Aqua-Cal HeatWave 100k (HeatPump)
    Aqua-Rite t-15 SWG

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