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Thread: Insulating extern of AG pool?

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    Insulating extern of AG pool?

    Has any one any experience with applying insulation to the exterior of their AG pool?

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Insulating extern of AG pool?

    Welcome to tfp, deep_diver

    I am curious why you want to insulate the outside?

    The majority of heat is lost through top of a pool and this is exasperated if you do not have a cover on, since heat lost to evaporation will be the biggest factor.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Insulating extern of AG pool?

    Thanks for the reply.

    I have a cover and a service person at my pool store told me that once nighttime temps dip below 55, there is significant heat loss out the sides. I have no trouble keeping the pool in the 74-80 degree range (without heat) in the summer, but once evenings get cool, that changes.

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Insulating extern of AG pool?

    Where do you live?

    What is the average temperature now?

    I would guess that insulating the walls will likely not change things much to make the pool warm enough to swim. Most likely you will need a heater.

    Are you using a "solar cover" type cover that rests on the water?
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Insulating extern of AG pool?

    I assume I am one of the only "nuts" out there who have a fully insulated AGP. Yes, it is an Intex Ultra frame but I have done two others over the years in a similar method.

    First let's take care of some myths. There is a significant loss of heat from the sides of an AGP with the vinyl of an Intex being very easy to see by feeling with your hand or by non contact thermometer. It is absolutely true that the most heat within a pool does come from the top surface of the water since heat does rise.

    I have 1" foam board under the pool to minimize heat loss/transfer from the ground, next, I applied 1/2" blue insulation in two layers to the sides of my pool inbetween the upright posts. 1/2" alone kills most of the heat loss, but two layers pretty much eliminates all heat loss from the sides. I used just a little duct tape to hold the pieces in place before placing an outdoor cloth material on top that is stretched accross the uprights that is kept in place with zip strips.

    The top of the pool I use the same blue 1/2" insulation in two layers. I had to lay 8 pieces out on the driveway and make a big circle and cut the top so it would fit nicely. Again, one layer cuts most of the loss out, 2 pretty much eliminates it. I also made a PVC stand to hold the 8 pieces as in past years the pieces would fly around the yard with our lovely Oklahoma wind. Everything is now manageable.

    Let's talk about why I did this. First, years back, it was to keep what little solar heat I could make into the small Intex pools I had as the kid was young......really young. Seeing that she wanted to swim and splash about all year long I went through a couple different DIY heating methods and finally settled on a resistance based heater (Swimmax 11KW) unit. Expensive to operate but I didn't want to do the heat pump or put new gas line in due to the fact that we didn't know (and still don't) how long this pool thing will last at the house.

    Can I tell you now much it costs me to operate this pool and heater? Nope, I cannot specifically tell you other than there is a slight increase in our electricity bill but not way above what it was pre pool and heater. When the pool is not in use, it's covered. You can see on our new "electricty" monitoring program from the electric company that when the pool is open, there is a definate rise in electrical usage but some of that is due to the "I am here, I am a girl, I am going to leave EVERY light and TV on that touches my world". If you have smaller kids you know what I mean. Recently due to the fact I am tired of replacing inexpensive intex pumps, I have put my pump (with heater) on a timer and have gone from 24/7 down to around 5 to 6 hours a day operation.

    Since I now have temperature monitors on the inlet and return lines to/from the pool, I can tell you even with the nights getting down to low 50's into 40's, the pipes to pump cool down, but as soon as the pump gets started, I can quickly tell all the heat in the pool is still there and the pool has not cooled much at all if any. I know, that surprised me too.

    This will be the first full winter I leave a pool up. Every pipe and connection to the pool except for the filter/pump and the heater themselves has insulation around it. Yes, the heat loss on particularly Intex hoses is massive.....one of the reasons I went hard plumbing was the ability to easily insulate PVC piping. So basically I have a 5,000 gallon hot tub.

    I cannot tell you how "fun" it is to show off when it's cool outside and we can go open the pool up, and jump on in. Nice and warm (I keep it around 92 degress). Wind is the biggest player. Get your head wet and that wind really can get you. Fortunately you simply dip back under the water and instantly warm back up. I think I discussed this before a month or so ago, with the venturi inlets, am able to keep the pool equally warm from front to back and it takes it about 30 maybe 45 minutes before you can notice the heat loss with the coolest we have jumped in being around 60 degrees.

    Bob E.

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