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Thread: Indoor Pool - Heater Recommendations

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    Indoor Pool - Heater Recommendations

    Hey Folks,

    I purchased a home with an indoor pool around 4 years ago. I'm unsure on it's history, but I have gathered that it has gone a series of different methods of heating it. At one time, it had a solar panel solution, which has since been removed. Some of the plumbing is still attached, and there's some sort of reservoir/heat exchanged underneath.

    The pool is roughly 32x16, and about 5' in the middle. I believe it's an 'on ground' style of pool with a deck built around it. Beneath the deck is a crawl space where all the plumbing, filter, pump and stuff resides. This where I discovered the old heat exchanger from the old solar system tucked away in the corner.

    Currently, the pool is being heated by a propane heater. There is a loop that runs from underneath the deck, out through a penetration in the wall, where it connects to the propane heater that lives in a small shed beside my house.

    The problem is, the winters are cold here, very cold. I don't run the pump all the time, and I had made the mistake, more than once, of forgetting to turn it on before a cold snap. Long story short, this had happened a few times... my bad.. but each time I was lucky enough for the heater to thaw, with no evident damage done.

    Well, my luck has run out, and now my heater is leaking water, no doubt from a crack(s) from the cold.

    Last year I purchased a variable speed pump in order to keep the water circulating just enough for the water to not freeze. This probably would have protected it from freezing solid, if I hadn't turned it off. But, by doing this I am actively cooling the pool.

    I'm sure I will be able to repair/replace the existing gas heater, but I am wondering if an electrical pool heater would be better, installed within the pool room itself to avoid the outside loop all together.

    Anyone with a similar situation here? Trying to keep a pool warm in VERY cold weather?

    pool.jpg

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    Re: Indoor Pool - Heater Recommendations

    You will not get very much heat from a heat pump, electric heater, in cool/cold temps. A gas heater can be installed indoors with the proper venting.
    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: Indoor Pool - Heater Recommendations

    Actually, what I meant was an electric element style heater.

    I know they're probably considered one of the more expensive types to run, but in this case I'm not so sure.

    I could explore the idea of trying to get the gas heater inside. I just assumed it was a no-no, or perhaps cost prohibitive to do it properly.

    I suppose I'd have to weigh the costs, running the electric heater during off peak hours, etc. I know I currently go through a tonne of propane to warm the thing in the winter.

    Thanks for the input.

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    Re: Indoor Pool - Heater Recommendations

    Not really any different than having a gas water heater or boiler inside. You just need to have the proper venting of combustion gasses to outside.

    What about running a heat pump inside? Don't know if that is OK or not. But, it would help dehumidify as well.
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    Re: Indoor Pool - Heater Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    Not really any different than having a gas water heater or boiler inside. You just need to have the proper venting of combustion gasses to outside.

    What about running a heat pump inside? Don't know if that is OK or not. But, it would help dehumidify as well.


    Now that's interesting... I suppose it would be a little noisy, if it's even possible, (by code).

    I feel like the cost of having to vent the gas heater properly would be quite a bit. I could be wrong.. I know that the model I currently have distinctly states that it is for outdoor installation only. I'm not sure if there is some code loop hole I can exploit with it, or not..

    Obviously, I need to at least repair it, if I choose to keep the one I have.

    I'm still hoping on someone with similar experience to me reads this.. but all advice is welcome.

    Still leaning towards the electric element heater... or perhaps a combo approach. Plumb it so that I have the option of internal electric for winter, and open the loop to the outside for the summer. I'm just not sure if using propane is any more cost effective than pure electric (no heat pump).

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Indoor Pool - Heater Recommendations

    I don't know where the heater experts are or when they might show up. Not a whole lot of indoor pools on here either, though.

    One thing is for sure, electric resistance heating is the least efficient way to heat anything. Heat pump is most efficient as far as energy in and energy out. But, heat pumps don't work well above 50*f (or some number around there).

    I have never seen or read about an electric resistance pool heater.
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    Re: Indoor Pool - Heater Recommendations

    My mom has a 20x40 indoor pool with a heat pump and a propane heater. Propane is so expensive she hardly ever uses it. The heat pump starts to really lose momentum as it gets below 70 outside. She can usually maintain a 10 degree temp rise at 70. I haven't seen a resistance heater for a pool. It would cost a fortune to run because it would have to be massive; requiring a 60 or 80 amp breaker and wiring at least. I vote to replace the current heater core, and insulate the lines.


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    Re: Indoor Pool - Heater Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    What about running a heat pump inside? Don't know if that is OK or not. But, it would help dehumidify as well.
    Running a heat pump indoors will not be too comfortable in the winter. It basically works like an air conditioner. It pulls heat from the air and puts it into the water. The output air is cold.
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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    Re: Indoor Pool - Heater Recommendations

    Resistive electric will cost about 4X to operate vs natural gas, and about 2-2.5X of what propane costs.

    You can heat the pool this way. We have a few pools that for one reason or another have this as their heat source (some markets we work in have $.03 per kWh power) Coates it the brand that most people use.

    You would probably want at least a 24KW heater which is 80,000 BTU's 24KW is 100amps @ 240V. You have to have a lot of extra power in your house just dedicated to the pool heating.. Most residential electrical systems do not have the capacity to run an extra 100A.

    If the propane heater freezing is the issue, why can't you just have a control set up with a freeze protection in it? Intermatic makes one for a little over $100.00 which will turn your pump on when the temperature is below freezing.
    20X40 30,000 gallon gunite pool

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