Finally had time to finish the plumbing and wiring on the Aquacal this weekend. In case anyone else tackles this themselves, here's what I learned -
1. Anyone who is handy and has knowledge of plumbing and electrical can absolutely do this themselves. Take the time to figure out the plumbing routes and come here to ask for help. Best way I found to tackle the plumbing was to draw everything out on graphing paper, scan it in, and play with it in paint (My paint skills are horrible, so if I can do it, you can do it.)
2. Electrical was also simple, but it helps that when we put the pool in, we made provisions for a heat pump then, not later. All I had to do was run ~20' of #8 wire to the subpanel and put a breaker in. Also make sure you understand bonding vs grounding. LOTS of good threads on here if you don't.
3. The O rings on the Aquacal need to be removed and lubed. It was almost like there was a dab of glue on each one and they wouldn't seal properly. Once I removed them, then I realized. . . I think I counted 18 PVC glue joints, and the only thing that leaked (Ultimately) were both o rings.
4. Make SURE you're getting schedule 40 union, elbows, joints, etc. I had two unions that were DWV and I didn't know it. Luckily one leaked a little and then I found out! Lowes did have everything I needed.
5. Based on #4 above, you CAN remove PVC from glue joints. Lots of patience and you can reuse things. It's not that I'm cheap, but I also didn't want to have to cut out a jandy 3 way and replumb with a new one.
6. They do make clear PVC primer (Instead of the purple.) Keeps things pretty!
7. Keep the out union disconnected on the Aquacal and flush it before completing the hook-up. Had this yellow greasy junk come out. . .
8. Super quiet indeed! Can't hear it run, even standing next to it!
9. It DOES suck up electricity though. I used one of the power calculators on the Aquacal site. I'll be shocked if I'm anywhere near those numbers. I had the unit on just for testing and it appears to be using somewhere around 6000 watts. We have some expensive electricity around here - $.116/kwh. Fixed rate, no variable, no changes for offpeak. At that rate, I'm looking at about $.70/hour. Let's hope this thing doesn't have to run a lot!
10. If you run a variable speed pump (I do), figure on additional electrical costs there too. I run mine at a pretty low speed (About 20 GPM for six hours; need to bump to eight.) This nets about 300 watts of electric at this speed. The Aquacal requests 50 GPM; that will push me to around 2500 watts I believe. That's an increase of about $.25/hour. So we'll be around $1/hr to heat the pool.
11. Amazon had an amazing price on the unit with free shipping! I called two different local pool places that do HP installs. Never could get someone out, so I figured I'd do it myself. Glad I did, I imagine I saved a boat load of money. I enjoy doing this kind of stuff, so my time spent with a non-issue for me. Probably have ~10 hours into the job with some of my flubs. Most expensive thing I bought was electrical wire ($.52/foot and I bought 25 feet = $52 (Four conductors.) Otherwise, I probably have no more than $100 into the job material-wise. If you had to run new electric to the sub-panel, well. . . That's a whole different ball of wax!
12. Sean from Aquacal (Here on the forums) rocks! Very helpful!
Anyway. . . We spent a lot of money putting the pool in. If we spend a $1/hr to heat it, but can get an additional ~2-3 months added to our pool season, it will be worth it.
I'll post up some pictures later. If anyone is thinking about doing this themselves, feel free to ask questions!