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Thread: Has anyone used a KStar 10 heater to heat a soft sided pool

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    Has anyone used a KStar 10 heater to heat a soft sided pool

    We just recently 'upgraded' from a 15' by 42" Intex to a 12x24x52" SteelPro (Bestway). We used our last pool for two seasons, using only a solar blanket and relying on Mother Nature to keep it warm. Huge fail. We have been shopping around for pool heating options, and one of the pool stores has suggested we use the KStar 10. Any websites I have visited have warned against using this product on any soft sided pool. When I contacted the pool supply company to discuss it, he assured me that the only reason this was a no-no, was because the flow from manufacturer supplied pumps would not be sufficient enough, subsequently affecting the efficiency and eventually the heater would "burn" out. We are switching out our smaller pump with a higher velocity sand filter/ pump, and he assures me that with the new pump, we shouldn't have any issues. I just cant see the pump being the only reason for the KStar manufacturer warning against it's use on soft sided pools wouldn't they suggest a different pump if this was the issue?). I am very skeptical... I am concerned that there may be other issues with this set up. Does anyone have any more information about this product? Anyone has success or failures they would be willing to share or any other recommendations for (electric) heating? Solar heating is really not an option for us. TIA for all of your help

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Has anyone used a KStar 10 heater to heat a soft sided pool

    The KStar 10 is a resistive electric heater, far less energy efficient than the other options. Heating a pool can get very expensive very quickly, and resistive electrical heat is the most expensive approach.

    You will want heat tolerant pipe on either side of the heater for 18-24 inches, but other than that there shouldn't be any problem using that heater with a soft sided pool and a suitably large pump
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Has anyone used a KStar 10 heater to heat a soft sided pool

    Thank you for your reply. We have a new pool/ hot tub supplier having their Grand Opening this weekend, so I am hoping to explore other options for heating as well. I am just not completely sold on the KStar 10 approach. Our investment isn't limited to the $1000 we originally spent on the pool. We are planning to excavate down 42" with a two foot 'trench' around the perimeter. We have the added costs of building a timber retaining wall, as well we are adding a treated deck which will encompass one end of the pool and extend to wrap around both sides a quarter of its running length (approx. 270 sq ft in total)...so with costs of labor and materials, we are investing another $5000 minimum. It is extremely important for us to ensure we have adequate heating, without risking the integrity of our pool. Our goal is to get a minimum of 2 yrs out of this (temporary) pool, before eventually investing in a more permanent AGP option down the road. Thanks again for your reply. Fingers crossed that our plans turn out as well in reality as they look on paper LOL

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    Re: Has anyone used a KStar 10 heater to heat a soft sided pool

    Now after reading through several other threads, I am concerned over what precautions we need to take concerning "bonding". I understand that most times a temporary pool that will be torn down each season would not normally require it, my guess is, provided the manufacturer supplied pumps, etc are used. But now the risks of having the electric heater...not designed for soft sided pools...are playing on my mind. Now it is more of an issue of questioning the safety of such a product. We are having the electrician come to wire in a 50amp GFCI box and outlet, but now I am unsure what other steps we need to take to ensure everyone's safety. How far away from the pool should the box be located? What additional steps do we need to take? Again, all of your help and advice is most appreciated. I am really at my wit's end and wondering if all of the headaches and worries are going to be worth it.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Has anyone used a KStar 10 heater to heat a soft sided pool

    It is unlikely that bonding is required for a temporary pool by code in your area, although the exact dividing line between a permanent and temporary pool does vary somewhat from place to place.

    Of the usual permanent pool rules, the ones that are closest to applying would be to bond the pump, water, and heater together. The pump and heater will probably have bonding connectors already, but you usually need to purchase a special fitting to bond the water. Anything else metal within 5 feet of the water should also be bonded, though in many cases there won't be anything metal in that range with a soft sided pool.

    The rules in Canada are mostly the same, but definitely a little different than the US rules. My knowledge is almost all US based, so it would be a good idea to consult with someone more familiar with the Canadian rules as a double check.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Has anyone used a KStar 10 heater to heat a soft sided pool

    I am completely about to have a meltdown (pardon the pun) over this electric heater situation. I am just not sure what direction we should take now. I thought we had received accurate information from a trusted source (our local pool supply retailer). Of course I am not one to let sleeping dogs lie, so I emailed another distributor in Canada, who then contacted the manufacturer on our behalf and this was his response....

    Good morning

    The K-Star Heaters are only for SOLID WALL pools (like your regular above-ground pools, spas, small inground pools). DO NOT use on soft sided pools. Never mind the flow rates for pump hook-ups etc. .

    The problem is that these pools have not solid walls. Soft-sided pools (just like blow-up pools) are too risky to add an electric pool heater. Should there be a problem with the heater, for example, the thermostat fails and temperature might keep on going up to higher temperatures, a soft-sided pool could get tears or even melt. Even with the HI-Limit Thermostat on our K-Star Heaters, which is set to a max. of 116 degr. F. the change of the plumbing connections melting from the excessive heat on a soft-sided pool, is far too great to allow install of our K-Star heaters on such pools.

    This is why we ALWAYS ask the question and always make sure our electric heaters are only being used on PROPER above-ground pools, spas or small inground pools.

    Please make sure it is understood, that we will NOT TAKE ANY responsibility or liabilty for installations of our K-Star Heaters on any king of soft-sided or blow-up pools. ALL Warranty will be voided as well

    We understand that we cannot control what the customer does or where customers might use our heaters for. We can only recommend, advise and of course refer to our installation manual for our K-Star Heaters (above applies to ALL K-Star MODELS).

    Hope this will explain it to be understood.

    Any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

    Thank you

    Consolidated Pool & Spa Industries Inc


    Now I am really at a loss. Hearing from someone who has personal experience with just such a situation would go much farther to put our minds at ease

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    Re: Has anyone used a KStar 10 heater to heat a soft sided pool

    Here is my take on all of this...

    Sometime in the past, someone put one of these heaters on a softside pool, let it get too hot, had a problem of some sort, what ever. They contacted the heater manufacturer and tried to get some kind of settlement for the damage the heater caused to their pool. Probably was not even the heater manufacturers fault. Maybe manufacturer did not ever test the heater on a softside or maybe think that anyone would even use one on one so they never had anything in writing. A couple of lawyers got together after reviewing some research that the company did and wrote a boilerplate statement that you should not/ can not use one on a softside. Since the manufacturer now has that in their literature as a CYA (cover your ***)statement, no supplier of that heater is going to say anything to go against that recommendation as they would assume all liability.

    Now, maybe the statement about the low flow pumps may be accurate as the water temp at a slower flow rate can/will be higher and depending on how plugged up the filter is could allow the water to reach temps that would cause damage to the liner. Since they can not control what type of pump is on these pools they need to cover their butts somehow.

    Edit:
    I am not sure you will be happy with that heater once you get your first power bill. You are trying to heat 70,000lbs+ of water with what is roughly a 35,000 BTU heater. Best case scenario, 1/2 deg/hr

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    Re: Has anyone used a KStar 10 heater to heat a soft sided pool

    Thank you for your reply danpik. Its is in fact our local pool supplier/ distributor who recommended this heater a viable option for us. I suppose I am the eternal skeptic, and over analyze everything to the point of exhaustion. We have made a huge investment in our 'upgrade' with plans to install a more permanent option in a couple of years. While it is really important to me to ensure our investment is protected, most importantly, I want to ensure the safety of everyone who swims in it.

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    Re: Has anyone used a KStar 10 heater to heat a soft sided pool

    Ariel, can I ask why you are choosing electric heat over gas?
    13 x 24' x52" ultra frame pool (still in the box)
    Going to be set in 2.5' hole with deck at rail height sourounding entirely
    Cartridge filter ( we will see how that goes for one season)
    Natural gas heater and solar cover
    Plan to use bbb method! Yay!!

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    Re: Has anyone used a KStar 10 heater to heat a soft sided pool

    Quote Originally Posted by kshuf View Post
    Ariel, can I ask why you are choosing electric heat over gas?
    I suppose for us, kshuf, our first consideration was the initial cost, as well as the availability of natural gas and the associated costs of having it run to our property. When we decided to embark on our project we sought the advice of a rep from a pool store close by. The KStar10 heater was the most fitting (electric heating) option based on his suggestions, and the initial investment to purchase was attractive considering our (ever increasing) budget. I realize that in the long run, the operating costs of the electric heater we chose will far exceed the costs of a gas heater. We since have had natural gas run to our property (just recently installed gas furnace), and may consider switching to another heating option next year, depending on how successful we are at maintaining the current pool this season

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    Re: Has anyone used a KStar 10 heater to heat a soft sided pool

    Well now that we have had a few days to evaluate our KStar 10 heater I have to say so far I am pleased (although I wont exactly know how pleased until we actually receive our first Hydro bill LOL). We started out Sat around noon at 53 degrees, and having the heater set between 50 and 75%, we have seen a 30 degree increase in temps in less than 3 days all without the benefit of any sort of solar blanket or cover (not even at night). Our daytime temp has been between 15 and twenty degrees Celsius, and has been dropping to as low as 9 degrees Celsius at night, with fairly high winds and rain. We finally received our solar blanket today and once we figure out which type of reel will work best for our set up then we will lower the heater temp until we find "our happy medium". On a side note, the pumps, filter and heater were professionally installed and so far we have encountered no issues that we had been concerned about previously.

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    Re: Has anyone used a KStar 10 heater to heat a soft sided pool

    Any update on how the electric heater is working out? I have been looking at the same idea for ours too, but ran into the same "warnings" as you.
    Ultra 16', Intex Sand filter/pump combo, 8' x 20' solar panels, solar blanket w/roll tube, 1" extruded foam floor with Gorilla pad, Liquid chlorine and stabilizer.

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    Re: Has anyone used a KStar 10 heater to heat a soft sided pool

    I'm guessing the OP has been forced to remove their computer and all other electronic devices after having received their first utility bill with the KStar, thus the lack of updates! Seriously, as much as 63 amps max for 20,000 gallons?! http://www.consolidatedpool.com/inde...starparts.html I guess if it works for them or anybody else who decides it makes more sense than NG, or if NG just isn't an option, more power to them. Enjoy the warm water!
    18'x4' AG Intex Ultra Frame, 6,700 gal., assembled new 2013; Mods: Hayward EC50C90 Perflex filter & 1 h.p. PowerFlo Matrix pump, Fiber Clear cellulose D.E. substitute, Hayward H100ID1 100,000 BTU NG heater, a pair of 2'x20' Sungrabber solar heaters via the original Intex 635T pump, grey Hydro Tools through-the-wall skimmer, Confer steps/ladder system & Cover Free chemical pool cover. The Summer of Mods!

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    Re: Has anyone used a KStar 10 heater to heat a soft sided pool

    That Kstar 10 is a 10 K watt heater. That requires a 50 amp 220 volt supply. I wouldn't feel safe with that connected to my pool. I can't even imagine the electric bill.

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    Re: Has anyone used a KStar 10 heater to heat a soft sided pool

    Quote Originally Posted by CeeElGee View Post
    I'm guessing the OP has been forced to remove their computer and all other electronic devices after having received their first utility bill with the KStar, thus the lack of updates! Seriously, as much as 63 amps max for 20,000 gallons?! http://www.consolidatedpool.com/inde...starparts.html I guess if it works for them or anybody else who decides it makes more sense than NG, or if NG just isn't an option, more power to them. Enjoy the warm water!
    LOL Actually we were far too busy enjoying our pool for updates (at a balmy 90 degrees every day thanks to our kstar I might add) Yes, CeeElGee, admittedly our Hydro bills were atrocious (500+ per month), but that was our ENTIRE usage for our entire house, not just the pool (our reg summer monthly bill can be upwards of 150 to 200 any given year). Central air in the house, pool pumps and heater ran continuously 24 per hours a day. Need to also mention that we have learned from our first season and are making modifications to reduce our (heating) costs this year. We did not have the benefit of a solar blanket (that is another long story) at all last year,which would have provided us with tremendous cost savings in itself. We ran the heater every day, even when the pool went long periods without being used...and with the benefit of the solar blanket we hope that this will allow us to reduce heat loss, helping to maintain our temps as well. The whole process is trial and error, as with anything. I have to say our first year was very successful, albeit expensive, but we are already realizing the benefits of the extra time, effort and expense we invested last year. Our pool is up, full and should be ready to enjoy in a couple of days, and yes at a balmy 90 degrees LOL
    Our "Backyard Oasis" 2014 12x24x52" Steel Pro Hydro Force (Bestway) 7725 gallons; Jacuzzi 1LRC-5-S1/B 1HP Pump: Jacuzzi L192-7C 19" Laser Series Sand Filter; KStar 10 10KW Electric Pool/ Spa Heater; Jacuzzi wall mounted skimmer

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    Re: Has anyone used a KStar 10 heater to heat a soft sided pool

    Electricity in Manitoba is quite a bit cheaper than other parts of North America, so that helps us immensely. Not saying we are the cheapest, but close to it. Like arile68, I live in rural area, so everything uses electric here. Water, stove, sewage pumps, heat, ac, etc. No gas here. My electric bill monthly with factoring in AC, and a hot tub that we use all year round, is $250 per month, but that is for EVERYTHING...........
    I am looking at putting in an heater later, but it has to either electric or propane.
    Ultra 16', Intex Sand filter/pump combo, 8' x 20' solar panels, solar blanket w/roll tube, 1" extruded foam floor with Gorilla pad, Liquid chlorine and stabilizer.

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    Re: Has anyone used a KStar 10 heater to heat a soft sided pool

    Quote Originally Posted by ariel68 View Post
    LOL Actually we were far too busy enjoying our pool for updates (at a balmy 90 degrees every day thanks to our kstar I might add) Yes, CeeElGee, admittedly our Hydro bills were atrocious (500+ per month), but that was our ENTIRE usage for our entire house, not just the pool (our reg summer monthly bill can be upwards of 150 to 200 any given year). Central air in the house, pool pumps and heater ran continuously 24 per hours a day. Need to also mention that we have learned from our first season and are making modifications to reduce our (heating) costs this year. We did not have the benefit of a solar blanket (that is another long story) at all last year,which would have provided us with tremendous cost savings in itself. We ran the heater every day, even when the pool went long periods without being used...and with the benefit of the solar blanket we hope that this will allow us to reduce heat loss, helping to maintain our temps as well. The whole process is trial and error, as with anything. I have to say our first year was very successful, albeit expensive, but we are already realizing the benefits of the extra time, effort and expense we invested last year. Our pool is up, full and should be ready to enjoy in a couple of days, and yes at a balmy 90 degrees LOL
    I am in Florida and last summer I had our pool at 96. This summer, I have promised the kids to only go to 94. Lol
    Sharkline Reprieve 15x52 (3/14). Still using Intex 2650 Sand Filter with Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 3/4 HP pump (6/15). Solar Cover cut into strips for easy removal, (2) 2*10 Space Saver solar panels. Swim Jet HD Robot (by Aquabot) (3/15). Chlorine Liquidator (4 gal). 4 person hot tub. Hard pipe is the way to go for improved flow! Retired Lil Shark (3/15). Starite Max E Therm 333k BTU Propane Heater w/ 24 gal tank (7/15).

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    Re: Has anyone used a KStar 10 heater to heat a soft sided pool

    Just Finished Hooking mine up. Had to use a sub. Pump from local Store for the inlet side for the psi needed in the heater. On the outlet side i had to install a ball valve to slow down the volume. It doesn't seem to be generating too much heat that it would damage the pool.
    Above ground pool,10000 litres

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    Re: Has anyone used a KStar 10 heater to heat a soft sided pool

    For the best heat exchange rate you need to have as much water flow as possible thru the heater. Don't throttle the flow down with the valve. It seems counter intuitive but the physics support it
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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    MirellaJoe's Avatar
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    Re: Has anyone used a KStar 10 heater to heat a soft sided pool

    ok i'm jealous lol i want my pool to be THAT hot too!! lol
    Intex Ultra Frame 16'x48" sand filter w/intex SWG.
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    3rd year with Intex and no problems
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