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Thread: Relocating from Wisconsin; Pool heater in Austin, Texas?

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    Relocating from Wisconsin; Pool heater in Austin, Texas?

    Howdy friends!

    I'm writing because I have a serious question about whether or not purchasing a pool heater is as expensive as everyone warns that it is. I have relocated from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Austin, Texas and purchased an older home with a 1960's pool that is in wonderful shape. Problem is, there is no heater. I hate cold water as a legacy of growing up in the north, where everything is freezing all the time and going in an outdoor pool or lake was traumatizing for me. Both my realtor and inspector told me a heater is crazy expensive to not only purchase but to use. Part of their argument is that because it's so hot, the pool stays warm as it is without the heater. The inspector said to save my money and get a hot tub instead.

    I have been living here for two years at a complex with a pool that is heated to 80 degrees all year round. I have used the pool through November and then as early as February because of the warm temperature. I worry I may not use my own pool as much if it's too cool. Any well-seasoned advice on the topic anyone has to offer would be much appreciated.

    Thanks so much!
    TheWiscoKid

    EDIT: I just found out the pool is 20k gallons-ish.
    20k gallon IG fiberglass sand-filtered chlorine system. 1 HP single speed AO Smith pump. Pool built in 1965, fiberglass repaired in 2007, 2013 fiberglass and deck repaired.

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    Re: Relocating from Wisconsin; Pool heater in Austin, Texas?

    We're building our pool right now so can't tell you from personal experience, but all most of the neighbors pools we swim in have heaters and it allows them to extend their season. However, they also have built-in spas so that plays a big role. I'm sure others may have input based on personal experience. We're mid way through the year. You could always swim while its warm and then see what happens come October/Nov and make the decision in late fall or spring.
    35'x16' IG geometric with 8'x6' spa (16.5K gallons); White Diamond Pebblesheen w/Abalone Shells; Jandy 460 cartridge filter; Jandy 2HP E pump; Jandy 400K heater; Water Tech Blue Diamond Pro; TF-100 w/SpeedStir

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    Re: Relocating from Wisconsin; Pool heater in Austin, Texas?

    Awesome, thanks for the advice! I am still waiting to hear back from the realtor on gallonage, too.
    20k gallon IG fiberglass sand-filtered chlorine system. 1 HP single speed AO Smith pump. Pool built in 1965, fiberglass repaired in 2007, 2013 fiberglass and deck repaired.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Relocating from Wisconsin; Pool heater in Austin, Texas?

    Solar is an option as well that can help extend the season combined with a cover. There is a higher upfront cost, but after that the heating is free ... this might be a better option if you do not have a spa that you would want to heat.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Relocating from Wisconsin; Pool heater in Austin, Texas?

    I just wanted to second the thought of solar, assuming you have an appropriate area with generally southern exposure where solar panels could be placed (roof top, mounting rack, etc.) Appropriately sized solar along with a solar cover can extend your swim season to 9-10 months of the year in this region.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Re: Relocating from Wisconsin; Pool heater in Austin, Texas?

    It really depends on how big the pool is and if it is electric or natural gas heater. Also how much do you want to swim? All year? There is also thermal heat pump heaters which you may want to check into.
    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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    Re: Relocating from Wisconsin; Pool heater in Austin, Texas?

    Not trying to hi-jack the thread, but I have a buddy here in Austin that had solar installed with his new pool build 2-3 years ago by one of the more reputable pool builders in the area. He says its the biggest waste of money on the entire build. I haven't had a detailed discussion with him yet to determine exactly why he doesn't like it, how many sqft he has, etc. He does have a south western exposure. I would agree in theory it is very appealing.
    35'x16' IG geometric with 8'x6' spa (16.5K gallons); White Diamond Pebblesheen w/Abalone Shells; Jandy 460 cartridge filter; Jandy 2HP E pump; Jandy 400K heater; Water Tech Blue Diamond Pro; TF-100 w/SpeedStir

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    Re: Relocating from Wisconsin; Pool heater in Austin, Texas?

    Another option would be to purchase a used pool heater. I've found at least 2-3 over the last 2 months that were for sale. You could purchase on the cheap that way if you could verify working condition.
    35'x16' IG geometric with 8'x6' spa (16.5K gallons); White Diamond Pebblesheen w/Abalone Shells; Jandy 460 cartridge filter; Jandy 2HP E pump; Jandy 400K heater; Water Tech Blue Diamond Pro; TF-100 w/SpeedStir

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Relocating from Wisconsin; Pool heater in Austin, Texas?

    It is a little hard to swallow the intial $5k ... that I why I installed the panels myself on my second house for < $1500.

    You just need realistic expectations ... and maybe your buddy does not.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: Relocating from Wisconsin; Pool heater in Austin, Texas?

    I hear lots of people here in FL saw what a waste solar was. They all wish they had gone another route. When it's cool out and rainy or just cloudy for a few days, you don't get any heat. Plus lets say you decide, hey lets heat the pool up for this weekend and it's in December or January, solar isn't going to help.

    I look at it like getting grass for your yard. You can seed for real cheap, water it, wait for it to grown and then spend some extra filling in patches that didn't do so well. Or, you can shell out a few more $$ and get sod. Slap it down, water and you have a instant yard. No waiting. So you can either add solar and wait it out or install gas and have heat whenever you want it no matter when.
    Paul
    http://www.gastekservices.com A word of caution: When working with gas and electrical you might want to consider a licensed contractor. Consider the value of your life and others around you. If you would like to provide a review of the help I provided, please use the following link to leave a review. gastek - Google Search,

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Relocating from Wisconsin; Pool heater in Austin, Texas?

    Let me phrase it this way, solar is like a sailboat, and gas is well like a gasoline powered motor boat and heating your pool is like an ocean. The sailboat only moves when the wind blows (sun is out), but can cross vast distances with no fuel expense, the gasoline powered boat may go faster and not care if there is no wind (sun), but the fuel consumption to cross an ocean will be tremendous. The question them is which way do you prefer to travel and can you afford the fuel, at the moment natural gas prices are at some of their lowest points in decades (inflation adjusted). Of course there is always the best of both worlds, a sailboat that also has a small engine to help it along when the wind does not blow. In this case that would be solar to do the bulk of the heating and a relatively small gas or electric heater to supplement when the sun is not out or in the coldest months.

    Ike
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
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    Re: Relocating from Wisconsin; Pool heater in Austin, Texas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1
    Let me phrase it this way, solar is like a sailboat, and gas is well like a gasoline powered motor boat and heating your pool is like an ocean. The sailboat only moves when the wind blows (sun is out), but can cross vast distances with no fuel expense, the gasoline powered boat may go faster and not care if there is no wind (sun), but the fuel consumption to cross an ocean will be tremendous. The question them is which way do you prefer to travel and can you afford the fuel, at the moment natural gas prices are at some of their lowest points in decades (inflation adjusted). Of course there is always the best of both worlds, a sailboat that also has a small engine to help it along when the wind does not blow. In this case that would be solar to do the bulk of the heating and a relatively small gas or electric heater to supplement when the sun is not out or in the coldest months.

    Ike
    VERY NICE. Analogy! I will be stealing that for use in many other situations. Thank you very much
    Ron
    Ron- Kansas. IG fiberglass, Riviera 30 Freeform 13600 gallons,
    EasyTouch 4 w/IC20 SWCG, Pentair Whisperflo 1hp, 2 speed 220 pump, Hayward ProGrid 4820 DE filter using Eco Klean instead of DE, 2 Savi Melody 12v 5 color LEDs, Raypack 266k btu millivolt heater, Arctic Armour Mesh custom safety cover (Total self Install) TF-100 test kit w/Magic stir.

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    Re: Relocating from Wisconsin; Pool heater in Austin, Texas?

    Thank you all for the advice, I have an unattached garage that has solar panels that have big surfaces that have direct sunlight in all hours of the day, so it's certainly an option. I live in a "working class" neighborhood (by working class I mean that the neighborhood association wouldn't flip out if I put "ugly" panels on my roof!). I like the analogy, but I do also want to swim in February I think I will price out used pool motors. I think the electricity month-to-month is what the realtor and the inspector were most worried about since I am young and probably need to save my pennies!
    20k gallon IG fiberglass sand-filtered chlorine system. 1 HP single speed AO Smith pump. Pool built in 1965, fiberglass repaired in 2007, 2013 fiberglass and deck repaired.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Relocating from Wisconsin; Pool heater in Austin, Texas?

    Pretty sure federal law prevents the HOA from stopping you from installing solar panels, just like they can not prevent you from installing a satellite dish.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Re: Relocating from Wisconsin; Pool heater in Austin, Texas?

    Depending on the size of the pool, it probably won't be too bad to heat it every so often. My neighbor is a chemical engineer and calculated the theoretical cost of heating his pool and then also correlated that to his gas bill increase. He claims it costs him about $40 bucks per instance to completely heat his pool to around 90 degrees in the winter (20K gallons). Its probably not something you would want to do continuously, but that should give you a rough idea if its worth it.
    35'x16' IG geometric with 8'x6' spa (16.5K gallons); White Diamond Pebblesheen w/Abalone Shells; Jandy 460 cartridge filter; Jandy 2HP E pump; Jandy 400K heater; Water Tech Blue Diamond Pro; TF-100 w/SpeedStir

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Relocating from Wisconsin; Pool heater in Austin, Texas?

    I think the question really becomes one of do you want to swim one or two weekends in Feb, or do you want to swim every day
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

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    Re: Relocating from Wisconsin; Pool heater in Austin, Texas?

    I want to swim every day, and thank you all for the replies and advice!
    20k gallon IG fiberglass sand-filtered chlorine system. 1 HP single speed AO Smith pump. Pool built in 1965, fiberglass repaired in 2007, 2013 fiberglass and deck repaired.

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    hookem's Avatar
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    Re: Relocating from Wisconsin; Pool heater in Austin, Texas?

    We are also in the Austin area and we had a heat pump installed with our pool last year. Well worth it for us. We did it so we can swim earlier and and later in the seasons.
    16,400 gallons, Pentair 30" sand filter, IG plaster, Pentair 2 HP Pump, Pentair Model 120 Heatpump, Rainbow 320 Chlorinator (no longer used), Polaris 280 Cleaning System, Doheny's Discovery Robotic Cleaner, WPC2 Controller

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