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Thread: Heater after pool install??

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    Heater after pool install??

    Hello Everyone,

    Does anyone know for sure if I can wait to install a gas heater for my 14,000 gallon IG pool? I am in the middle of construction and plumbing is next. My project manager says I can do it afterwards, the salesman says no, and a "trusted" other builder says now is the time to do it.

    My main issue is it looks like I will have to upgrade my gas service and I can't get to the bottom of it. My gas supplier tells me the builder needs to tell me what the pressure requirement is for the heater and my project manager is puzzled on this. I know my neighbor, who used the same builder, got a smaller heater so she didn't have to upgrade the service....hers is just for a Jacuzzi....mine would be for the pool for May and September. I'd hate to rush into a decision and pay $3,100 for the heater and install.....and then find out that I have to shell out another 3k for upgrading the service. The builder is not being helpful here and it's like they have never done this before!?

    So, at this point, I'd rather wait.....can a heater be install after the pool is built??

    Thanks,
    Doug
    13,500 Gallon Gunite Aggregate Finish, DE, SWG, 2.0 HP pump, 1.0 HP pump for 3 Sheer Descents

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Heater after pool install??

    I am sure you could always do it later, however there may be factors we don't know about that would make it cheaper to do now. There are just too many things we don't know like the size of your current gas supply, its current operating pressure, size and length of supply line needed, size of pool heater under consideration, etc. This does not include things like limited yard space, location picked for pool plumbing pad (it might need to go in a different place if your going to add a gas heater) etc. Maybe you should ask them WHY, they say you have to decide now.

    Ike
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    Re: Heater after pool install??

    A heater can be installed at ANY time. The only thing that may benefit you doing it before everything is done is the final look. What I mean is the plumbing may look more uniform if the heater is in place when everything is being plumbed. Same thing goes for the gas line, you don't want to have to dig up fresh concrete to run a line. The manufacturer of the heater can tell you (as should the gas company for that matter) how many inches of columns of water (measurement for gas pressure) is required.
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    Re: Heater after pool install??

    Just like X-Pert says a heater can be installed at anytime.

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    Re: Heater after pool install??

    You might think about a heat pump instead? That way you wouldn't have to be concerned about running a gas line just another electrical line. Heat pumps are very efficient as well. It also depends on how much you pay for electricity.
    20000 Gallon, Sand Filter, IG Plaster, Hayward Aqua Rite 40k SWG, TF-100 Test Kit, Taylor SpeedStir

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    Re: Heater after pool install??

    I would pour the pad for the heater, run the plumbing lines to/from the heater with shutoff valves. Then when the time is right, set the heater and connect the plumbing. I did just this with my install, did everything as if I had a heat pump installed with the exception of actually buying the heat pump. Was planning on putting that in next year, but the fact its October and im still swimming without the HP, I may not get one afterall!
    DIY 18x36 IG Vinyl Rectangle with 2 foot radius; Steel Walls. 8' steps w/t 2 step jets; 2 MD, 1 Skimmer, 2 returns; Hayward Pro Series 24 Inch 300# Sand Pool ; Hayward color logic 4.0 LED light; 2" PVC pipe 4 Jandy Valves, Hayward PL-P-4, SWCG

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    Re: Heater after pool install??

    Hello everyone. Well, the plumber showed up today without a heater after I told the builder Friday that I'll go with the heater when I learned my builder will swap out for a lower btu heater to avoid upgrading my service. Love my salesman! LOL!! I spoke with the plumber and he showed me first hand and said I can put it in at anytime.....just wanted to provide some feedback. Thanks to all.
    13,500 Gallon Gunite Aggregate Finish, DE, SWG, 2.0 HP pump, 1.0 HP pump for 3 Sheer Descents

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    Re: Heater after pool install??

    Not sure what size BTU heater they are installing but, you go to small on BTU it will take longer to heat the pool over using a 400 BTU heater.. It could possible take days to heat the pool which possible could get you mad and you will never hear it again. I see this happen at least couple times a month.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Heater after pool install??

    What Keven said, generally you are better off going with the largest BTU heater you can afford as it will use the same amount of gas to heat the water but will just do it faster. Of course the bigger you go, the larger the gas pipe and service. Around here, the gas company upgrades the meter size for free ... since it indicates that you will likely use more gas that you will then be paying for.

    Did you ask you gas company about that?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Heater after pool install??

    I had to upgrade my meter, but coincidentally I received a postcard in the mail at about the same time saying my meter was due for replacement so I'm not sure if it would have been free otherwise. The tech from the gas company was cool. He installed a tee in the line right after the meter so that my plumber could tap right in for the heater. Very cool.
    DIY 28x38x18 Full L, 26,000 gallons, Pentair VS Pump, SWG, CCP 420 Filter, Sta-Rite Max-E-Therm SR400HD Heater, EasyTouch Controller

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    Re: Heater after pool install??

    jblizzle,

    I've been in contact with my gas supplier and they just confirmed that I will need a larger meter. What they are still questioning and wanting to know is the pressure requirement of the heater. The gas supplier rep is saying if the heater requires more pressure then what is currently supplied, then I'll need to upgrade my service. My project manager for pool construction is new to this and asked his "gas man". He called me today and his gas man says I'm fine, but PECO (gas supplier) needs to tell us if the line from the street to the meter is adequate.....this is a cluster <beep>!!

    Question for you....Are you sure about a smaller heater using the same amount of gas as a larger heater?? I told my project manager this who just asked is gas man and he said basically, "For a given time period, a smaller heater will use less gas than a larger heater, but in that same time, the larger heater will raise the temp more.....so, to raise the pool five degrees, for example, the larger heater will do it quicker time wise as compared to the smaller heater and they will BOTH use about the same amount of gas and the COST will be about the same."
    13,500 Gallon Gunite Aggregate Finish, DE, SWG, 2.0 HP pump, 1.0 HP pump for 3 Sheer Descents

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    Re: Heater after pool install??

    The gas pressure required by the heater is low and should not be relevant to the meter or the supply to the meter. What matters is the btu per hour requirements. A smaller heater will use the same amount gas to raise the water by one degree as long as it is the same efficiency as the larger heater, it will just take longer.

    The manufacturer lists the efficiency, btu per hour and gas supply requirements of their heaters.

    Note: A smaller heater (of the same efficiency) will take more gas due to heat lost while waiting for the water to heat up.

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Heater after pool install??

    Natural gas service works at fairly low pressures, as a result things like length of pipes both from the mains to the meter and from the meter to the heater can effect flow. Without knowing both the required pressure at the heater (likely 7 inches of water column, but may be higher) as wells as the gas consumption in CU FT as well as your other gas demands it is hard to determine the size of meter you will need, or if the supply line going from the curb to your meter is large enough.

    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
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  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: Heater after pool install??

    The gas has to go through a regulator before going into the heater to step down the pressure. Therefore, the gas pressure at the heater does not matter to the meter or the pipe going to the meter, only the btus per hour matter.

    Supply from the meter to the heater can be one stage low pressure or two stage high-to-low pressure. Pipe size from the meter to the heater does matter.

    Note: I don't know of any pool heater requirements that would exceed the pressure of any supply. The supplier should know the typical pressure requirements of pool heaters. You can look up the pressure requirements of typical heaters and let them know.

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    Re: Heater after pool install??

    It is difficult for anyone on here to answer your question about your service line upgrade requirements. Whether you need a new service line depends on the gas system in your area.

    What James W said is correct for a medium a pressure system. A medium pressure gas system delivers a medium level of pressure up to your meter and a regulator steps that pressure down to a lower pressure that is acceptable for home consumption. If you are on a medium pressure system you will see a regulator at the meter. It is normally a disc shaped object on the inlet side of the meter. The regulator will open and close to maintain a constant state of pressure on your system as your consumption increases or decreases. If your heater has a high demand it is possible that you will need an upgraded higher capacity meter but highly unlikely that your service line feeding the meter would need to be upgraded. Medium pressure systems are the standard today when gas utilities pipe new developments.

    What Isaac-1 said is also correct but for low pressure systems. Homes connected to a low pressure system receive gas through their service line at the standard household pressure and often a regulator is not present at the meter. The amount of gas that can be delivered to a residence is dependent on the demand at the residence relative to the service line feeding the meter. If a residence is going to dramatically increase their demand a larger service line to the meter may be needed to maintain the overall pressure at the residence. Many residences on low pressure systems do not have regulators at their meter and you would not find the disc shaped object described above. Low pressure systems are generally not installed today. Existing low pressure systems are generally found in areas developed or built many years (decades) ago. I personally know of several low pressure systems in Louisiana which Isaac's signature indicates he lives.

    The complicating thing is that some cities have pockets of low pressure mixed in among medium pressure depending on how the city/town developed and the timing of when it developed.

    The long and short of it is, if you are on a low pressure system an upgrade to your service line may be necessary. A gas co would typically charge for this. If you are on a medium pressure system an upgrade to the service line probably isn't necessary but you might need a new meter. Normally they don't charge for an upgraded meter. No offense to any of the responses on here but I wouldn't put much stock in them since we don't know whether you are low vs medium. I also wouldn't put a lot of stock in the pool builder's "gas man". Especially if he hasn't been out and looked to see if you are on a low or medium pressure system. Your best option is to get the specs for your proposed heater and talk to your gas company. They know what their system is and what it can and can not do.
    22K Gal, Chlorine, IG, Pebble Sheen Plaster, Jandy 60Sq Ft DE Filter, Intelliflo 3HP VS pump with SVRS, Rainbow 320 Chlorine Dispenser
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  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: Heater after pool install??

    Bevostein, since you seem to understand this fairly well, does the heater pressure requirements matter to the gas company, or is it just the Btu per hour?

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    Re: Heater after pool install??

    I am not 100% certain on this but I think for figuring out whether or not to increase your service line they may need to know both. I am not a engineer and can't be certain about what they exactly need.

    DISCLAIMER: I work in finance for a gas co so while I am very familiar with the gas utility industry at a high level something as detailed as your question or the original poster, I would defer to your local utility co representative.
    22K Gal, Chlorine, IG, Pebble Sheen Plaster, Jandy 60Sq Ft DE Filter, Intelliflo 3HP VS pump with SVRS, Rainbow 320 Chlorine Dispenser
    Other Equip - Jandy PDA PS6, Jandy LRZ400 Heater, Polaris 280 vacuum
    Features - Spa with fountain that empties into pool over waterfall spillway and separate table rock waterfall, Pool gets full sun until later afternoon and then partial sun
    Pool completed and filled 6/28/13

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: Heater after pool install??

    I just went through this process for my pool. I gave them the BTU requirements of the heater and all of the other gas appliances in my house and they selected the meter size based on that. Interestingly, my furnace, range and dryer combined used less than 200,000 btu's and my new pool heater uses 399,000.
    DIY 28x38x18 Full L, 26,000 gallons, Pentair VS Pump, SWG, CCP 420 Filter, Sta-Rite Max-E-Therm SR400HD Heater, EasyTouch Controller

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Heater after pool install??

    Quote Originally Posted by diyindux
    I just went through this process for my pool. I gave them the BTU requirements of the heater and all of the other gas appliances in my house and they selected the meter size based on that. Interestingly, my furnace, range and dryer combined used less than 200,000 btu's and my new pool heater uses 399,000.
    YUP, heating water takes a LOT of BTUs and a pool heater could easily have the largest gas need. This is also why little DIY "fire-pit" pool water heaters generally are not very effective because you do not get a lot of BTU out of wood.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Heater after pool install??

    Yes, it does take a good deal of energy to heat water. Also, my pool heater is on the larger size but that just allows me to spend money on fuel that much quicker. I was just posting the numbers so that people could get a sense of what type of increase in demand you are looking at. My maximum potential gas flow requirement tripled because of the pool heater.
    DIY 28x38x18 Full L, 26,000 gallons, Pentair VS Pump, SWG, CCP 420 Filter, Sta-Rite Max-E-Therm SR400HD Heater, EasyTouch Controller

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