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Thread: Portable Gas Pool Heater? Is it possible?

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    Portable Gas Pool Heater? Is it possible?

    Would I be able to set up a portable propane pool heater setup? I'm thinking I only need to heat my pool on special occasions here in Arizona and can keep it out of the elements most of the year and keep it in pristine condition.

    I'd like to use a Propane pool heater, and a separate pool pump powered on a 110 circuit, and plug in a large propane tank. 100lb tank?

    I'd mount it all on a cart...

    Any ideas if this would work? I could also heat friends pools too...

    Thanks,

    Ryan

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    Re: Portable Gas Pool Heater? Is it possible?

    Of course it depends on if your pool is 2 gallons or 2,000,000 but the answer is, esentially, "No".

    You would need FAR more than a 100 gallon tank so that's a deal breaker.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Portable Gas Pool Heater? Is it possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    Of course it depends on if your pool is 2 gallons or 2,000,000 but the answer is, esentially, "No".

    You would need FAR more than a 100 gallon tank so that's a deal breaker.

    100 gallon? I was referring to a 100lb (pound) tank of propane. Would this not be sufficient? 15k gallon pool...

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    ComputerGuyInNOLA's Avatar
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    Re: Portable Gas Pool Heater? Is it possible?

    I wished there was a service that did this. Maybe a flatbed truck with a massive pump and some type of heater that would come to your house and help jumpstart the season. I don't think it is feasible though. Even when it gets warm down here it seems like forever for that last ten degrees to warm up enough to swim.
    Gunite/Plaster pool at 13k gallons. All Jandy with CL340 series cartridge filter, 1.5 HP Jandy Stealth pump. Jandy 1400 SWCG and PDA4 controller. Dual waterfalls. Polaris 280. Pool installed August 2012. Southern Louisiana. And lets not forget my trusty TF100 test kit!

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    Re: Portable Gas Pool Heater? Is it possible?

    The only mobile pool heating service I can find is Cox pool heating in Florida. I think most people use their pool heater just a few times a year and most of the time the equipment just sits there degrading in the elements. At least my friends. A portable system would be ideal.

    I'd like to roll the heater out. Plug in a big sump pump. Hook up the propane and let it run overnight for nice warm pool water the next day for a pool party. Then pack the system back up for storage (Or rent it out). Great for occasional guests or parties.

    Just need advice from the experts here. Does not seem complicated... My concerns are the size of the pump needed, and volume of propane.

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    Re: Portable Gas Pool Heater? Is it possible?

    Yes you could rig something up but I can tell you it won't really be worth it, in my opinion. Just hook the heater up with an external bypass so you can shut the water flow off to it when not in use. Then you could also, I don't recommend it, use a grill cover to keep things out of it.

    I did see some guy a few years back trying to sell a setup, as a franchise, to go around and heat peoples pools for kids parties. However I would think there are some liability issues involved.
    Paul
    http://www.gastekservices.com A word of caution: When working with gas and electrical you might want to consider a licensed contractor. Consider the value of your life and others around you. If you would like to provide a review of the help I provided, please use the following link to leave a review. gastek - Google Search,

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    Re: Portable Gas Pool Heater? Is it possible?

    I'd love to hear exactly why it would not be 'worth it'... I don't see the cost or difficulty to be much at all from what I'm thinking... Would really like to hear where it get more complicated by below...

    A. Roll out heater.
    B. Drop pump in pool.
    C. Hook pump to heater, and hose to outlet of heater back to pool.
    D. Plug in propane, plug in heater / pump.
    E. Turn on.

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    Re: Portable Gas Pool Heater? Is it possible?

    Okay... just some quick math...

    water vol (lbs) * temp rise = btu/(lb/deg F)

    There's 21,951 btu in 1lb of propane. So that's 2,195,100 btu for your 100lb tank. You have a 15k gallon pool. At 8.33 gal/lb, that's 124,950 lbs water. Not sure the water temp you're aiming for, but let's say heating from 60 to 80 degrees F... a 20 degree rise.

    124,950 * 20 = 2,499,000 btu

    So that's a little more than a single 100lb tank can provide. These are all ideal conditions of course (100% efficiency... I'm guessing most modern heaters are probably in the 80% range). I'm thinking you could probably do it with 1 1/2 - 100 lb tanks. Then you have a 100,000 BTU 120VAC heater like this one. I can't speak for the feasibility, but I'd say it's technically possible. My guess is the cost would get you though. Not sure what it costs to refill a 100lb tank are in AZ, but a 20lb tank in CA costs about $15. So if you're going to refill (almost) 2 - 100lb tanks everytime, you're looking at $100 (or more) everytime you want to heat up the pool.

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    Re: Portable Gas Pool Heater? Is it possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by bigglesworth View Post
    Okay... just some quick math...

    water vol (lbs) * temp rise = btu/(lb/deg F)

    There's 21,951 btu in 1lb of propane. So that's 2,195,100 btu for your 100lb tank. You have a 15k gallon pool. At 8.33 gal/lb, that's 124,950 lbs water. Not sure the water temp you're aiming for, but let's say heating from 60 to 80 degrees F... a 20 degree rise.

    124,950 * 20 = 2,499,000 btu

    So that's a little more than a single 100lb tank can provide. These are all ideal conditions of course (100% efficiency... I'm guessing most modern heaters are probably in the 80% range). I'm thinking you could probably do it with 1 1/2 - 100 lb tanks. Then you have a 100,000 BTU 120VAC heater like this one. I can't speak for the feasibility, but I'd say it's technically possible. My guess is the cost would get you though. Not sure what it costs to refill a 100lb tank are in AZ, but a 20lb tank in CA costs about $15. So if you're going to refill (almost) 2 - 100lb tanks everytime, you're looking at $100 (or more) everytime you want to heat up the pool.
    Thanks for the info!

    Yes propane cost would be the same if it was a permanent vs. portable system. My house runs on Propane so I fill these tanks about once a year.

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Portable Gas Pool Heater? Is it possible?

    I say..............go for the gusto if that's your thing! We will require pics of course!
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
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    Re: Portable Gas Pool Heater? Is it possible?

    I don't think the calcs above take heat loss into consideration. It is very significant.

    Depending on a thousand variables, but I would guess you would use twice the amount of propane mentioned above. If so, changing the propane tank 3 times to get your goal would certainly hurt the "portability" of your unit.

    Nevertheless, most everyone here is a DIY person to one degree or another and always like to see and hear of others projects. Go for it and send us pics.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Portable Gas Pool Heater? Is it possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    I don't think the calcs above take heat loss into consideration. It is very significant.
    Great point and no I didn't take heat loss into account. It could be in the tens of thousands of btu per hour.

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    Re: Portable Gas Pool Heater? Is it possible?

    I still say hook the heater up and leave it. These things are made to be out in the elements just like your AC unit. There are several things you can do to extend the life of the unit like making sure your sprinklers are not hitting it when they are on. If it sits under your roof over hang, make sure you have gutters installed. If you have trees that shed their leaves and they get inside the heater, keep it cleaned out.

    Back in the day I used to keep my BBQ grill in the garage. I'd roll it out back to cook on it, wait for it to cool, and put in back in the garage. I did that for a while until I got tired of it. I bought a grill cover at one point and used to keep it covered as well.
    Paul
    http://www.gastekservices.com A word of caution: When working with gas and electrical you might want to consider a licensed contractor. Consider the value of your life and others around you. If you would like to provide a review of the help I provided, please use the following link to leave a review. gastek - Google Search,

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    Re: Portable Gas Pool Heater? Is it possible?

    I did something similar years back as a test. I had an old 150,000btu house boiler. I ran a 20lb bottle on it and it lasted about 2 hours. I then hooked up an old side arm water heater. (40,000btu) and got about 8 hours. On my 18' pool I got maybe a 4* temp rise with either system
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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