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Thread: On the fence deciding on inground pool or above ground...with questions

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    On the fence deciding on inground pool or above ground...with questions

    Hey guys and gals!

    We're looking into possibly installing a 18x36 or 20x40 kidney vinyl pool!

    We are in sticker shock mode right now! That being said... A few questions for you...

    In an effort to help lower build costs and heating costs, Would it be reasonable to just rely only on solar panels to heat the pool along with a solar cover? There is an option to add insulation to the metal walls on install! The PB suggests that I buy a propane heater to get the pool up to temperature (we don't have access to natural gas). He suggests a 300,000 btu heater at a cost of 3k. My neighbour has a 20x40 pool and use to use a propane heater but called the cost to heat the pool "crushing" and no longer use it! They use solar to heat their hot water tank and their pool, so it's a different solar system to what we would have. We live in the Pacific North West and previously owned a 16ft Intex Ultra frame with just solar heat and it worked awesome!

    Any thoughts or opinions?

    Cheers!
    41x25x18 Humpback Haven
    Graduated from 16ft Intex

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    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    2,769

    Re: On the fence deciding on inground pool or above ground...with questions

    Whether or not solar is effective as a sole pool heat source depends upon you and your site.

    In the Pacific Northwest your season will be shorter because the sun is lower in the sky for much of the year. So if you want a pool that can be heated in the fall, winter or spring a solar heating system will probably not work for you. Solar won't heat a spa. You generally need to keep the cover on the pool to retain the heat.

    Regarding your location. Do you have a spot that gets full direct sun six hours per day in swim season? If no then solar is probably not for you. The more hours of direct sun the better. Do you have an area large enough for the panels?

    I would call two or three of the local pool solar installers and have them come out and tell you about their products and evaluate your situation. Have more than one come out so you can hear more than one perspective. Ask a lot of questions. I would try to talk to all three.

    All the major manufactures will tell you their system is the best and they all attach to roofs differently, but the performance differences are not that huge. The main determinate of solar efficiency is your setup and how you run it.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Re: On the fence deciding on inground pool or above ground...with questions

    Thanks Gwegan!

    We do have sunlight that would last 6 hours per day from the late spring to the early fall. I don't think the plan would be to use the pool other than late spring to early fall anyway. That is what were use to anyway! If you were to buy a heater, I thought a heat pump would be the answer not propane like the PB is telling me? Were sitting on the fence right now as far as the decision to go ahead. Maybe a good quality above ground will fill the need for a lot less? We just want to make the right decision and not regret it!
    41x25x18 Humpback Haven
    Graduated from 16ft Intex

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    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    2,769

    Re: On the fence deciding on inground pool or above ground...with questions

    A heat pump would probably be a good choice. With both a heat pump and solar you need to understand that they heat up slowly. You need to take that into consideration. That also means you need to be using a cover or the pool will lose all the heat gained. Search through this form there are many threads on heat pumps and their efficiency.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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