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Thread: Heat Pump and Propane Heater combo???

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    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Heat Pump and Propane Heater combo???

    Hello everyone,

    This may sound crazy, but has anyone installed both a heat pump and a propane heater to heat their pool? We live in Ontario, Canada, and will be installing a 20X40 rectangular inground vinyl pool with an 8ft deep end. We are planning on installing a Titan IV heat pump, for it will be the most cost effective mode to heat the pool, and will use a solar blanket to help retain heat at night. From what I've learned (from this excellent site), is that heat pumps are slow to heat but once you reach your ideal temp they can maintain it at a decent cost. As for propane heaters, they can reach your ideal temperature very quickly but will cost alot in propane to maintain that temperature.

    So I was wondering why not use both systems? Why not use the propane heater to quickly reach the desired temperature and then have the heat pump maintain it? Especially in the early summer & early fall months when the temperature in the air can drop quite low and cool the pool off.

    Does this make sense??

    Thanks.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Heat Pump and Propane Heater combo???

    That combination makes sense for some people. It isn't commonly done because it costs more up front and requires more maintenance, but it does get you the best properties of both kinds of heaters.
    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

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Heat Pump and Propane Heater combo???

    Thanks for the quick response! You mention more maintenance, what do you mean by that? Would it be that we manually start up the propane heater, and then have to go and switch it off (a couple off hours later) and then manually start the heat pump once the temp is reached? I'm thinking we would only need to use the "combo" in May-June and Sep. July and August would be hot enough at night to get by with just the heat pump.
    Thanks for your input!

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    elwood58's Avatar
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    Re: Heat Pump and Propane Heater combo???

    There is a chance that you could use both Heaters at the same time while getting into target range, and then shut off the propane heater. That is if outside temperatures are well above 45 F. It would depend on how things are plumbed of course.

    The more maintenance comment is relative to cleaning, and potential repairs over time. Most heaters have enough smarts to run fairly automatically these days.
    19204 Gallon L Shape with a 10X10 2nd Step Baja Ledge. Intellichlor IC-40, IntellipH, Cartridge Filter, Pentair Heater/Chiller (Heat Pump). Tons of Deck with Deck Jets. Construction Complete 6/5/17.

    "If you don't measure it, you can't manage it!"

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Ontario, Canada
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    Re: Heat Pump and Propane Heater combo???

    If we were to install just the heat pump for now and wait a summer or two to find out if it provides adequate heating, but then decide later we would like to add a propane heater as well, is there anything we should do/install now to make the retrofit easy later?

    Thanks

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Heat Pump and Propane Heater combo???

    The simplest thing you can do is to leave room on the equipment pad.
    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: Heat Pump and Propane Heater combo???

    Thanks, I'll run it by our pool builder also.

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: Heat Pump and Propane Heater combo???

    Stick with the gas heater. And with that size pool, you'll need a 400K BTU minimum. The heatpump will be a waste of time.

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    Re: Heat Pump and Propane Heater combo???

    Hi Bugman,
    Unfortunately for us in Ontario, our propane fees are now being increased by 40%. Thank goodness we went geothermal for our house a few years ago!!

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Central MA
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    Re: Heat Pump and Propane Heater combo???

    We have both. The propane is primarily used for the hot tub. It took two weeks of mid 50s weather to warm the pool to 80 degrees F (26.6 C) this Spring. Most pools in the area are just now opening and we're swimming in the mid 80s.

    We bought the house with this setup. If it had been me I would have the pool with the heat pump and a stand alone hot tub for year round use.

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