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Thread: Pool heating questions for Northeast (Long Island) people

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    Pool heating questions for Northeast (Long Island) people

    Hello all,

    I have been jumping back and forth on whether to purchase a Propane or Electric heating systems, the more a read the harder the choice seems to get. Let me give a little back ground and what I am looking to gain from the purchase of a heating system.

    Let me mention that as part of the heating system purchase a solar pool cover will also be purchased, I'm just trying to decide between a automatic or manual cover.

    I have a pool that spends most of the day in the shade, the water never seems to heat up pass 75 degrees. This has made the pool season almost none existing for me and my family, the pool has not been opened for the last 3 years because of this situation.

    We would be considered weekend and holiday pool users, and am looking to have the pool temperature between 85 and 90 degrees for these times.

    I have done most of the calculations between the cost of purchase and operating an electric vs propane system and am still confused on which one would meet my needs but not break the bank. I understand the concept of an electric heat pump being a system that will maintain heat from from day to day and a propane system being heat on demand.

    So let me pose the question the way I see it and why I find it confusing:

    If I go with the propane system, I would achieve my desired temperature much faster - This method has the potential to be very expensive, I still trying to understand how much heat I would lose Monday thru Friday with the solar cover on and running just the pump and filter during the day to circulate chemicals and clean the pool. If I lose 5 degrees during the overnight but regain it during the day with my solar cover come Saturday morning I would run the heater for a short time to achieve my desired heat. I am not sure of how much heat I would lose during use but I assume I would leave the heater running set on my desired temperature to maintain it, this is were I have heard/read horror stories of burning a lot of propane over a 3/4 day weekend.

    My thing about this one is that it could become a money pit but it would definitely do what I want it to do.

    If I go with the electric system, it would take me longer to achieve my desired temperature - The confusing thing about this option is if I don't have an issue let's say setting the heater to run the day before use or 2 days depending on outside temperature and weather conditions I don't see why this would not be my option. I could run it for most of the weekend during usage and if I have a solar cover I should not lose to much heat during the overnight.

    So this is why I ask for people in or around my area to share they experience, this is a big investment for me and my biggest fears are:

    1. Buying the propane and it costing a fortune while the electric would have worked for my needs

    2. Buying the electric and ending up disappointed and wishing i had bought the propane.

    Sorry for my long winded post .... but my mind has been going in circles over this .....

    Thanks for taking the time to read and offer an option
    Fatcat07
    In ground pool
    Vinyl Liner
    18 X 36 Pool size
    30,000 Gallons
    Hayward Filter DE2420 - 24 sq ft (I think)
    Hayward pump - Not sure of the model number
    Suffolk, long Island

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pool heating questions for Northeast (Long Island) people

    There is no easy answer, unless you have space for solar panels. I'm not sure i my comments will actually help, but here they are.

    Either approach mentioned is going to be expensive. Maintaining a 10+ degree temperature increase in 30,000 gallons is expensive. Only doing this two or three days a week helps, but it is still going to cost a great deal which ever kind of heater you get.

    An electric heat pump is not going to reach the desired temperature in a day, and probably will not even get there in two days, assuming a goal of a 10+ degree rise. You probably won't have to run it all week, but it is going to be on much of the week if you want a 10+ degree temp increase.
    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 heating questions for Northeast (Long Island) people

    Thanks Jason Lion .....

    So that kind of leads to what is confusion me .... Are you saying (and I understand we are just speaking in best case scenarios 80/70/80) when my pool initially gets to the target temperature and I use it all weekend running the heat pump to maintain temp and when the weekend is over, covering the pool with the solar cover during the week before the next weekend. I would lose heat to a degree where I would have to run the heat pump more than 2 days to reach that heat again .... wouldn't I maintain most of that heat just because I have a solar cover where I would gain during the day and lose at night.

    I mean I do expect to lose a couple of degrees ......

    I understand that during the extended weeks, end of April and end of September, it will take longer to reach my desired temperature because of the colder air and this might be were I would have preferred to have a propane heater. I guess my question at this point becomes, am I using just as much electricity as propane to achieve my temperature ? or would that never happen based of the cost of Kwh (0.10) to propane gal (2.69) ?
    Fatcat07
    In ground pool
    Vinyl Liner
    18 X 36 Pool size
    30,000 Gallons
    Hayward Filter DE2420 - 24 sq ft (I think)
    Hayward pump - Not sure of the model number
    Suffolk, long Island

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    Re: Pool heating questions for Northeast (Long Island) people

    I think you are going to have to lean towards the propane set-up due to the fact it will raise the desired water temp quicker. As far as cost goes, I would think the electric rate out in Long Island will hurt a little more. As mentioned, either way is going to be expensive, having said that, as I said, I would opt for propane as it would allow me to raise the water temp faster and perhaps not run the heater as long as you would have to with the electric unit. Just my thoughts here.

    http://www.a1poolparts.com/media/cat...series.jpg.jpg
    20X36 IG vinyl (18,000 gal), 3 sheer descents, Max-Flo 1.5hp VS 2300, Aquarite T15 SWG, C3030 filter, 250,000 BTU heater, Sharkvac XL (Hayward equip)

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pool heating questions for Northeast (Long Island) people

    You will lose heat even with a solar cover. You won't lose it as quickly, but you will still lose it fairly quickly. So, you will certainly need more than one day to get back to temperature. Taking more than two days is debatable, possible but far from certain. That starts to depend on things like night time air temperature (things are better if it is warm at night), and so on.

    The electric system is almost certain to cost less to operate, but it will cost more to install. Lifetime costs will still favor the electric system, but not as strongly as the cost to operate does.
    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 heating questions for Northeast (Long Island) people

    Thanks Donny ...

    So just so I make sure I'm understanding correctly, the operating cost of my pool heating needs may be cheaper with the electric heat pump but the savings are out weighed by the necessary running time of the electric unit.

    Sorry for so many questions but like I said very confused, the cost of running the electric heat pump so long is comparable to the cost of running a propane heater day of ? with the cost being maybe a couple of hundred (not thousands) more for the sake of convenience ?
    Fatcat07
    In ground pool
    Vinyl Liner
    18 X 36 Pool size
    30,000 Gallons
    Hayward Filter DE2420 - 24 sq ft (I think)
    Hayward pump - Not sure of the model number
    Suffolk, long Island

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Pool heating questions for Northeast (Long Island) people

    I'm just checking the assumption that you don't have aural gas available, right?

    I ask because I have a partly shaded pool too, in Michigan, and gas costs me between $200 to $300 ( shoulder season) mo extra.

    But I suspect propane rates might be another matter, so I don't know if that helps you at all.
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pool heating questions for Northeast (Long Island) people

    Perhaps this is a more useful way to say it:

    At your rates, electric heat is less expensive by perhaps 40% when the air temperature is 70+ degrees. The longer run time of the electric system means more heat loss, which eats of a bit of that advantage, but there is still a significant savings for electric. Some more of that advantage is used up by the somewhat higher up front costs. Also, the cost of electric heat rises dramatically as the air temperature goes down below 70. As long as you are running the heat when the air is 70+ degrees and use it enough to amortize those up front costs, electric will win on lifetime cost.

    However, there are some things you can do with gas heat that are simply impossible with electric, like heating for that one nice weekend in late fall or early spring.

    What many people find is that heat just costs too much, and they end up using it infrequently. And infrequent usage, or spring and fall usage, starts to heavily favor gas heat.
    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 heating questions for Northeast (Long Island) people

    My only two options are either electrical or propane ... I have been having so much trouble rapping my mind around this equation, it is the information given to me by a sales rep which at one point I thought I understood but been juggling numbers in my head for a couple of days know :

    1 Kwh = 100,000 BTU's = 0.10 cents
    1 gallon propane = 75,000 BTU's = $2.69

    Even if I run my electric heat pump 4 days 24/7 = 96 hrs

    vs

    A propane heat pump for let's say 3 hours on Saturday, 2 on Sunday and if it is a holiday 2 more on that day

    Are those totals comparable ?

    - - - Updated - - -

    It seem like I keep going further down the rabbit hole .....
    Fatcat07
    In ground pool
    Vinyl Liner
    18 X 36 Pool size
    30,000 Gallons
    Hayward Filter DE2420 - 24 sq ft (I think)
    Hayward pump - Not sure of the model number
    Suffolk, long Island

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pool heating questions for Northeast (Long Island) people

    With your rates, electric heat is going to cost about $12-15/million BTUs (with warm air temperatures), while gas heat is going to cost $30-35/million BTUs. Electric heat will require more BTUs because it heats more slowly, so there is more total time spent losing heat, thus more total loss. But that won't come close to canceling out the cost advantage of electric.

    All of this depends on air temperature being 70+ degrees when running the electric heat, and total heat used being large enough that the higher up front costs of electric are spread out enough to not matter.
    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 heating questions for Northeast (Long Island) people

    According to the Hayward chart (link above in post #4) , 1 gallon of propane is 92,000 BTU's, not 75,000. Just an FYI.
    20X36 IG vinyl (18,000 gal), 3 sheer descents, Max-Flo 1.5hp VS 2300, Aquarite T15 SWG, C3030 filter, 250,000 BTU heater, Sharkvac XL (Hayward equip)

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    Re: Pool heating questions for Northeast (Long Island) people

    Thank you very much JasonLion ...
    Fatcat07
    In ground pool
    Vinyl Liner
    18 X 36 Pool size
    30,000 Gallons
    Hayward Filter DE2420 - 24 sq ft (I think)
    Hayward pump - Not sure of the model number
    Suffolk, long Island

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    mitch08's Avatar
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    Re: Pool heating questions for Northeast (Long Island) people

    Im in suffolk as well. I use natural gas. A few of my neighbors use electric and seem happy with it.
    IMO, your comfort level will be happiest with propane and your bank account will be happiest with a heat pump

    We keep our pool heated most of the time. I would say between 85-87. What I love about gas (and my heater is a bit undersized for my pool) is that I can turn it up at 3pm and get the pool to 88-90 by nighttime for night swimming. And at night a few degrees makes a huge difference.

    Good luck
    18x38 Inground Liner (25k gal) Paver surround, multi-speed pump, DE Filter, Raised spill over spa, TF-100

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    Re: Pool heating questions for Northeast (Long Island) people

    Thanks mitch08 .......

    That is exactly some of the feed back I am looking for, has anybody out bought either the propane or electric heating system and than regretted not buying the other system ?
    Fatcat07
    In ground pool
    Vinyl Liner
    18 X 36 Pool size
    30,000 Gallons
    Hayward Filter DE2420 - 24 sq ft (I think)
    Hayward pump - Not sure of the model number
    Suffolk, long Island

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    steveg_nh's Avatar
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    Re: Pool heating questions for Northeast (Long Island) people

    I have a heat pump. Did all the research and decided on more of a "set it and forget it" type of setup. I have neighbors with propane or NG, and honestly, they don't use it. I use my heat pump. I don't see it raise my electric bill more than $75-100/mo, vs not using it. Of course it runs more in the edge months (may, september), but it keeps the pool consistent. I like the pool around 83. My pool is also in direct sunlight from sunrise till about 7pm in the summer. So the sun helps me A LOT. There are quite a few days where it only runs at pump startup to check the temp, and that's it, maybe 5 minutes. I've gone 2-3 weeks and never really seen it running during the day. Overall, there are times when I wish I had the heater for more spot heating, but using the 80/20 rule, 80% of the time I'm happy I went with the heat pump. Just keep in mind your shade issue, and your temps. Heat pumps are much less efficient at lower temps, and anything less than 55 degrees or so, and they do very little. When it's 60-65 out, I see about 1 degree per hour in temp rise on my pool, and on a cool night, it will hold the temp all night (no loss), and then start rising again as the air temps come up.
    24'x40' 25k gal Imperial Mountain Pond IGP, full 28 mil VynAll Ocean Breakers liner. All Hayward system: 140k BTU HeatPro heat pump, 3/4HP single speed TriStar 2" Pump, DE6020 filter, AquaPlus Automation/Salt Chlorination, remote controls, ColorLogic 4.0 lighting. Polaris 280 w/PB4-60 BP. TF100 & K1766 test kits. Rinox Palazzo pavers and Spherik coping. Pool installed 9/2013, project completed 6/16/14.

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    Re: Pool heating questions for Northeast (Long Island) people

    I live in Delaware. My pool is full sun, 24,000 gallons. I installed a heat pump two years ago. We ran it quite a bit last year all through the summer as my family likes the pool a little warmer (85) and it was a cool summer here in the mid-Atlantic. I think it raised our electric bill about $50 a month to run, a bit less in the summer months than in May and September. It really is set and forget. We put a solar cover on most nights if the temps are cool and the heat pump runs maybe an hour to two hours tops first thing in the morning to raise the pool temp back up three or four degrees.

    I agree with steveg_nh... my friends with gas don't use it. Costs WAY too much to run, even for weekend heat-ups. My suggestion is to look on Craigslist for a good used unit. I picked mine up that way for less than half of what a new one would cost. There is obviously a risk to that route, but it may be worth taking a chance. It's worked out exceedingly well for me. Then again, I might have just gotten lucky on this one...
    18'x40' free form 24,000 gal. IG white plaster pool, Pentair Intelliflow VS pump, Pentair FSN 60 DE Filter, Pentair UltraTemp 120 Heat Pump, Pentair Easy Touch control system w/IC40 SWG , Flo-Vis flow meter - built in 2000.

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    Re: Pool heating questions for Northeast (Long Island) people

    Thanks everyone ...... I have decided to go with the heat pump.... almost ready to pull the trigger on a Aqua cal SQ 175

    I'm currently getting estimates from electricians, funny thing I spoke to my neighbor who is a commercial electrician and he told me "the guy should be able to run the necessary wires down the existing pipe". Which sounded great to me, but the 1st guy I spoke to has me digging a trench. Granted my electric box is maybe 50 Ft from where my equipment is but this guy didn't even check to see if I had room in the existing box, maybe he just could tell from experience and he said if I dig the trench it would cost between $700 and $750 with a new box. Kind of took the wind out my sail, not the cost, the thought of having to dig a trench.

    Well, I setup 2 more quotes and my neighbor said he has a guy.

    Wish me luck, I'm hoping to have everything setup for a memorial day blow out BBQ...
    Fatcat07
    In ground pool
    Vinyl Liner
    18 X 36 Pool size
    30,000 Gallons
    Hayward Filter DE2420 - 24 sq ft (I think)
    Hayward pump - Not sure of the model number
    Suffolk, long Island

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Pool heating questions for Northeast (Long Island) people

    I have a Aquacal and I love it...same story as other folks. I can't do the FAST heat up, but then again I maintain a nice steady temp without the massive heating bills.

    Your have nearly double the volume of water that I have, so for sure get the bigger pump. (Although unless your pool is crazy deep, not sure how your volume is so much greater)
    14,750 GAL IG Fiberglass (16 x 33) NE Ohio || Jandy 1HP 2 speed Pump || Waterco MultiCyclone 16 Centrifugal pre-filter (removed due to not working with sand filter) || 30" 575 Lb. Sand Filter || AquaCal 140K BTU Heat Pump || Solar Cover || Inter-fab Adrenaline Slide || GLI Monsoon Solar Cover Reel || K-2006C Test Kit || BBB with Liquid Chlorine Stenner Injection || Rayner Mighty Mesh Winter Cover

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    MBG75's Avatar
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    Re: Pool heating questions for Northeast (Long Island) people

    Long Island electric rates are 22+ cents a kW with the surcharges added in.

    My neighbor has a heat pump and it runs most of the day to keep the pool in the high 80s.

    A good friend of mine has solar panels on his roof and his pool stays in the high 80s and doesn't cost them a dime.

    I think your best bet would be to run solar panels, and also have a heat pump or propane heater to supplement
    25k IG vinyl SWG Haywood 4830de 1.5hp TF-100

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Pool heating questions for Northeast (Long Island) people

    Quote Originally Posted by toofast View Post
    I have a Aquacal and I love it...same story as other folks. I can't do the FAST heat up, but then again I maintain a nice steady temp without the massive heating bills.

    Your have nearly double the volume of water that I have, so for sure get the bigger pump. (Although unless your pool is crazy deep, not sure how your volume is so much greater)
    3ft down to 8ft .... I actually got that number from the company that installed my liner ... I think I have a 20 x 40 not a 18 x 36

    And solar panels aren't really an option my roof is far from where my equipment is located, thinking about trying to get the pool water over there and back gives me a headache
    Fatcat07
    In ground pool
    Vinyl Liner
    18 X 36 Pool size
    30,000 Gallons
    Hayward Filter DE2420 - 24 sq ft (I think)
    Hayward pump - Not sure of the model number
    Suffolk, long Island

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