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Thread: Pool/Spa-No Heater other problems/Considerations

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    ARIZONACK's Avatar
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    Pool/Spa-No Heater other problems/Considerations

    My wife and I are in the final stages of purchasing a home with a pool, still under inspection period. This would be our first swimming pool, but somewhat familiar with how they operate.

    We are still in our inspection period and upon inspection, the pool equipment doesn't jive with the pool setup. Background: The house was torn down to the foundation and re-built, along with existing pool/refinished, but they added a built in spa. Upon inspection, the inspector determined that the equipment has the following missing/needs attention:

    Circulation Pump- Operating
    Motor working properly
    Filter-Needs to be fixed/leaking, having seller fix this
    No booster motor? (Inspector)
    No Spa Heater
    There are several plumbed pipes sticking out by the equipment with caps on them.

    I will have pictures tomorrow, but my main question is the configuration and cost to getting it fully functional.

    Should there be two recirculation units installed, one for the pool and one for the spa?
    What's a heater going to cost including labor? Estimate
    Do I need another circulation pump for spa, if so, cost and labor? Estimate

    From what I've described without pictures and suggestions or things I need to consider. I'm having a pool person come out tomorrow, but wanting additional input.

    These findings may result in us accepting/rejecting the offer, as we don't want to be out another $5K out of pocket to get this pool/spa working correctly.

    I'll post pictures tomorrow of the whole setup.

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Pool/Spa-No Heater other problems/Considerations

    Welcome to TFP!
    Pictures would help immensely. That will determine whether you need more than one pump.

    A heater will run maybe $3000? I think 5k to get it running properly is probably a reasonable guess.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    Re: Pool/Spa-No Heater other problems/Considerations

    As promised here are the pictures: I had the pool guys out today, says to add a heater about 3K. He's opting for Heatpump, to avoid running gas line, since I have 220v 110v box right in pool equipment area. The beat up looking pump/motor (get rid of it), says to transfer the Pool Pump over to that location and buy a new digital pump for the pool?

    Filter, needs some loving as well

    Thoughts on current setup and next steps to getting this working correctly?

    Pool is approx 20,000gal








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    Re: Pool/Spa-No Heater other problems/Considerations

    Any input would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pool/Spa-No Heater other problems/Considerations

    I am not seeing all of the valves I would expect to see, and those blue handled valves are very low quality.

    Some of the electrical conduit is not properly sealed with loose wires showing.

    I wouldn't expect to see a setup like that one without some clear evidence of where the heater used to be.

    Does your spa spill-over into the pool? Or is it a completely separate setup? The plumbing looks to be completely independent, but there are also hints that it might have been some other way in the past.

    One of those pumps looks reasonable, the other looks to be 50 years old, with a motor of some intermediate age. Metal strainer basket lids haven't been sold for a very long time.

    I would guess $5K if you cut some corners, $10K for new everything new and top quality.

    I would never consider a heat pump for a spa. They take forever to bring the spa up to temperature, so you end up heating the spa all the time, which gets expensive.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Pool/Spa-No Heater other problems/Considerations

    Appreciate it feedback-

    The spa is separate and doesn't flow over to the pool and is not that big. I agree with replacing most of the equipment, pipes fixing the conduit, however somewhat under a budget at the moment. If I transfer the existing newer motor to the spa and purchase a new motor for the pool, I'm thinking this may be a better option at the moment? What are some recommendation for a newer motor, digital most likely?

    Regarding the heater, since the spa is independent and small, you still think I should bring in a gas line and go with a gas heater over heat pump?

    Thanks

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    Re: Pool/Spa-No Heater other problems/Considerations

    Living in Scottsdale, it seems you would be in the ideal location for a heat pump. Not only does it warm the water, but there are certain kinds of heat pump systems that can cool the water as well, if that's ever been a problem for you. The heat pumps are usually at least double in start-up costs as compared to a gas heater, but can quickly recover those costs through gas savings. But that leaves you with the spa issue JasonLion so rightly pointed out. You could decide to just use the spa area as a small kiddie pool and heat it just the same as the rest of the pool. You could purchase a freestanding spa if you are really into "tubbing." At the end of the day, you have to decide what works best for your current budget, tomorrow's budget and how you want to use your pool. I guess another option, probably not cost effective or practical, but would be to plumb the pool for a heat pump and get a small heater plumbed for the spa. Most costly option, but may give you what you're looking for.
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    Re: Pool/Spa-No Heater other problems/Considerations

    Yeah I guess I'll need to figure it out. My plan is not to be able to heat the pool, as Arizona sun does that and we wouldn't use it during the winter. Just need to find the most cost effective way to heat the spa.

    I may look at bringing in a gas line. Pool guys says, should be under $1500 for install and getting pavers back in. So additional cost of gas heater on top of that along with plumbing it. What heats up faster, gas heater or pump heater?

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    Re: Pool/Spa-No Heater other problems/Considerations

    Gas heats up way quicker. Heat pumps max out at roughly 120,000-150,000 BTU, while gas heaters go all the way up to 400,000 BTU. That means initial heat up take 1/3 the time. Plus heat pumps are expensive up front, so even with the gas line the gas heater might be price competitive on the initial install. Heat pumps are more economical if you are maintaining temperature 24/7 (unless electricity is really expensive), but using gas it is easy to only heat when you are actually using the spa, which saves lots and lots of money.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Pool/Spa-No Heater other problems/Considerations

    Any recommendation on new pump for the pool, either non digital or digital? I'll be plumbing the existing (newer) pump to the spa and than purchasing a new pump for the pool.

    Just need some options and best place to purchase on-line.
    Also recommendation on Spa heater. I've decided to run the gas line to the equipment area, also need some recommendation for gas heater. This will be for spa only, as I will not be heating the pool.

    Thanks

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    Re: Pool/Spa-No Heater other problems/Considerations

    Raypak heaters are well thought of.
    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: Pool/Spa-No Heater other problems/Considerations

    Thanks JL, appreciate the input and responses!

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    Re: Pool/Spa-No Heater other problems/Considerations

    Need a bit more help with some selections. I've decided to swap out the, the old motor, filter and replace the valves.

    Need some help on the following:

    Replacement variable speed pump (1/2 or 2hp?), leaning towards Pentair.Looking for Energy Efficient, low operational cost. Few model recommendations?

    What filter is a good option and how many Sq ft is needed. I see cartridge and Sand are good options (Approx pool size 18-20K)

    Positive Seal Valves, good choice?
    Possibly add auto chlorinator

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pool/Spa-No Heater other problems/Considerations

    For the pool the Pentair SuperFlo VS is probably a good choice. For the spa you are likely to need more power than that, so the IntelliFlo Variable Speed makes sense.

    For filters, the main thing is to get a filter that is larger than you think you will need. Larger filters can go longer between cleaning/backwashing and are also just slightly more efficient.

    The very best valves are Jandy Never-Lube, though several other companies make similar valves these days. Look for the better pool valves that are lube-free valve.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Pool/Spa-No Heater other problems/Considerations

    AZ Nack,

    I am a new pool owner and have no experience w operating pool equipment yet and have had little time to read any manuals. However, I have owned and operated a 100 acre ranch for 20 yrs in addition to a primary city home and rent homes. So, I will share some brief philosophies w you.

    Whatever you put into the front end to meet spec and hi-quality, it saves you TONS on the back end, as long as maintained properly. Better quality makes/models tend to be lower mainteance as well.

    Do the math on how much time you plan on spending in/around your pool compared to what can/want to spend. I, went w the best equipment for everything and a cartridge filter bc its easier to maintain buts gives the best micron filtration ratio for the buck and maintenance. [See web-site comparison on the 3 filter types].

    By far, the 400,000 gas BTU heater is the most common and effective spa heater installation today, operated by gas. If you plan on using this a lot, then do the math. You might be surprised how often you would use your spa in winter if you could. Personal decision you have to make.

    Bottom line, you get what you bascially pay for and I always look at maintenance costs and efficiencies. Also, how long do you plan on being in the house? If over 5-10 yrs, go w a quality solution. Don't have the regrets later on when something does not operate well or efficiently and think to yourself, "I should have gone w the more X make/model". Backtracking and retrofitting is always more expensive, as you can see for yourself now.

    Good luck,
    tstex

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    ARIZONACK's Avatar
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    Re: Pool/Spa-No Heater other problems/Considerations

    As I stated above, I'm not sure how old the filter is. What determines if I should completely replace the filter/housing? Does anyone know the type of filter is pictured? I can't seem to locate any information on it. Could I get away with jus replacing the cartridge if the sqft for the filter is sufficient?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pool/Spa-No Heater other problems/Considerations

    Can you read anything on the plaque on the filter? I don't recognize it from the shape.

    Filters can often last a very long time. Unless it has a metal shell, I would not be in a hurry to replace it unless it is broken in some obvious way. Metal filters haven't been sold in some time and tend to rust through, so those are worth replacing at this point.
    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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