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Thread: Not optomistic for a warm pool this year

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    NWMNMom's Avatar
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    Not optomistic for a warm pool this year

    After a very dissappointing summer last year with many nights in the low 40s, I'm trying hard to figure out what we can do without huge investments to have swim friendly water this year. We have always been able to heat our pools nicely with solar for years but this last few years of abnormal weather has left us really struggling to keep our pool over 80 degrees. Last summer even with the great solar setup we just lost too much heat during those very cool nights. Even with the solar blanket/cover on and the pool warming up to mid-upper 80s during the hot days - 2 nights of that kind of 40-45 degree cool weather with winds from the north set us back again to 77-80 again and we yo-yo'd back and forth for a while and then just could not get it above that temp after the first weekend of August. I LIKE my pool water at 84-86 which I believe is perfect and I can easily get it there but I cannot keep it there when the nights are so darn cool - we litterally had 39 degree nights at the end of July last summer. 80 degree water seems cool to me but tolerable if I have to swim and less than 80 is too cool for comfort and relaxation for me to swim in.

    So, tell me this - short of buying and installing a heater or heat pump, which my husband has declared will not happen - any suggestions for keeping that heat in there better? I can get it heated up very nicely, but I lose my gains when the nights get so darn cool for more than a day and then we spend another couple of days trying to heat it back up - IF the nights aren't cool again. We have a solar blanket but that only goes so far. This is a vicious cycle that we just did not win last year and we are told that this summer looks even worse with a really late spring and forecasted cooler than normal temps for the months of May-June-July. I know this all goes in historical cycles but we are on the bad end of it these last few years. I want to swim more this year!!!
    18x33x52 Buttressfree Seaspray (Wilbar) AGP - 1.5hp Pentair Maxim w/22" Pentair Meteor Sand Filter, Aqua Rite SWG System, Biltmore Walk In Steps - 2/4x20 Solar Panel Setup - Doheny Jet Drive (RIP -Pool Rover Jr) - finally hard plumbed the whole darned thing -
    Beats Driving to the Lake!

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Not optomistic for a warm pool this year

    Any possibility of adding another panel or two to your setup? That would allow you to gain heat much more quickly.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Not optomistic for a warm pool this year

    Are you near Thief River Falls which has temperatures as shown here? This link for northwest Minnesota shows a reasonable > 5 kWh/m2/d solar radiation for May through August.

    Roughly speaking, the combination of a good solar system (> 75% of pool's surface area) with a good solar blanket (clear, well-insulating bubble-type) should let you get at least 25ºF hotter than the average day/night air temperature for an in-ground pool. In theory, that would give you a pool temp of around 78 in May, 87 in June, 92 in Jul, 91 in Aug and 81 in Sep. In many cases you can do even better than this.

    Your pool loses more heat because it's above-ground so insulating around the sides might help some. Your solar panel area is 2x4x20 / 18x33 = 27% which is quite low. Jason's advice is spot-on since adding panels would probably be the best thing to do in your situation, though that might mean having the pool be "too warm" by the end of the afternoon. To lessen the swing in temperature, look into insulating the outside of the AGP, especially if the pool sides feel warm to the touch. Also, consider a clear bubble-type cover if your current cover isn't letting sun shine into the pool.

    Richard
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    NWMNMom's Avatar
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    Re: Not optomistic for a warm pool this year

    There just isn't room for any more panels in that little cul de sac we put the pool in. The pool sits east to west in a spot dozed into the woods with the panels on the north side between pine trees and the pool (raised up so the bottom of the rack is parallel with the pool rail) and they run all the way to the woods. The east end is dedicated to the stand alone solar blanket reel with trees beyond that, the south side has shade right up into the pool edge with trees close to the side, the deck is on the west end and further west is a drive-through area.

    Getting it heated up usually is not the problem, keeping it is. So, insulating the outside - what would that involve?
    18x33x52 Buttressfree Seaspray (Wilbar) AGP - 1.5hp Pentair Maxim w/22" Pentair Meteor Sand Filter, Aqua Rite SWG System, Biltmore Walk In Steps - 2/4x20 Solar Panel Setup - Doheny Jet Drive (RIP -Pool Rover Jr) - finally hard plumbed the whole darned thing -
    Beats Driving to the Lake!

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Not optomistic for a warm pool this year

    I'm trying to picture that myself....

    I'm picturing a giant bottle-cozy around the pool...
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    NWMNMom's Avatar
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    Re: Not optomistic for a warm pool this year

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek
    Are you near Thief River Falls which has temperatures as shown here? This link for northwest Minnesota shows a reasonable > 5 kWh/m2/d solar radiation for May through August.
    Yep, that's what they guestimate it should be for here, however that's only IF we actually get what it should be. For example last year - June-July-Aug of 2008: We posted 43 days of partly cloudy, 18 days of mostly cloudy - 30 days of light rain, 16 days of heavy rain/thunderstorms and averaged below normal highs and lows for all three of the months. They are predicting that this summer will be cooler and wetter than last. Ugh!! Can I just pick my yard up and move it to Arizona???
    18x33x52 Buttressfree Seaspray (Wilbar) AGP - 1.5hp Pentair Maxim w/22" Pentair Meteor Sand Filter, Aqua Rite SWG System, Biltmore Walk In Steps - 2/4x20 Solar Panel Setup - Doheny Jet Drive (RIP -Pool Rover Jr) - finally hard plumbed the whole darned thing -
    Beats Driving to the Lake!

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Not optomistic for a warm pool this year

    Have you considered one of the bubble domes for AG pools? An outdoor wood furnace?
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    Re: Not optomistic for a warm pool this year

    Is it width or length that is problematic? The 4 X 12 foot FAFCO panels on a rack may be a more easily accommodated footprint than the 4 X 20 panels (are each of those comprised of 2, 2X20 panels?). I'm installing 5 of the 4X12 panels on a rack along the south side of my house and that configuration tucks in nicely. But, I may not be visualizing your space limitations appropriately. Is there space farther away from the pool? It would mean longer plumbing lines but within reason that won't cause problems.

    Kelly
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    Pisces's Avatar
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    Re: Not optomistic for a warm pool this year

    We need to start a "pool exchange" program . You could come down here in July or August when it's SOOOO hot...frying pan hot and stay in my house, and I'd gladly go to your part of the country (ahhhhh...so nice and cool) for a week (like 'The Holiday' movie..if only it were so easy...lol). I'd wholeheartedly give you some summer heat Come on down (the water's fine)! You just have to reason with Hurricane Season if you live here full time (maybe that makes you feel a little better)
    7,000 gal. IG gunite, SWG, PebbleSheen interior finish-Aqua Blue, 8' vanishing edge raised 16-jet overspill spa, 2 12" waterfalls, tan shelf with bubbler.
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    Pisces Pool Build

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    NWMNMom's Avatar
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    Re: Not optomistic for a warm pool this year

    width, length doesn't matter when there is no more area that gets sun period. We didn't have area to start with so this is why we went UP with the rack system to start with.

    So, I'm still waiting to hear about insulating the pool......
    18x33x52 Buttressfree Seaspray (Wilbar) AGP - 1.5hp Pentair Maxim w/22" Pentair Meteor Sand Filter, Aqua Rite SWG System, Biltmore Walk In Steps - 2/4x20 Solar Panel Setup - Doheny Jet Drive (RIP -Pool Rover Jr) - finally hard plumbed the whole darned thing -
    Beats Driving to the Lake!

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    Re: Not optomistic for a warm pool this year

    I just suggested it due to "theory". I don't have any experience with actual insulation and I don't know how much heat you are actually losing through the sides (again, if you can feel the water warmth on the sides, then it's likely losing heat, especially with wind).
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Kinguni's Avatar
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    Re: Not optomistic for a warm pool this year

    Last summer was terrible for pools up here. Without the gas heater our swimming would have been very limited, and 78°F is our bottom limit of comfort, but I'll get in down to 73°F or so. Right now there is still at least a foot of ice on the pool.

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    Re: Not optomistic for a warm pool this year

    MN SUCKS!!!!!!!!!! Oh wait....
    2003 Coleman MAAX Collection Model 706 - 400gal

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    seperate spa, with own pump, cartridge filter, Teledyne heater

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    Re: Not optomistic for a warm pool this year

    Well, gee, that really sucks if it's gonna be a cool summer, again. I probably was in the pool a dozen times last summer because it just wasn't warm enough, outside or the water. Took forever to warm up and then cool nights. I don't have any kind of heater so rely on the sun.

    (Okay, so if we remember when we didn't have a pool, a nice 70 - 80 deg summer was actually more to our liking)
    Mona SE MN
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    NWMNMom's Avatar
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    Re: Not optomistic for a warm pool this year

    Fellow tundra dwellers!!! Mine still has a Titanic version ice block in it yet too. I swear I would just go ahead and buy a heater if I knew it didn't require installing all kinds of electrical wiring and running gas lines. My DH has said point blank he isn't installing anymore stuff this year so unless I can set it up, I'm out of luck. Are we sure there aren't any AG pool heaters that can just be hooked up to an LP tank like a gas grill without all the buried lines, etc and electrical - none that can just be pluged in?

    When they make one like that I am SO there. BTW, I know heat pumps don't require the gas, but $2100+ is just TOO much for my budget.
    18x33x52 Buttressfree Seaspray (Wilbar) AGP - 1.5hp Pentair Maxim w/22" Pentair Meteor Sand Filter, Aqua Rite SWG System, Biltmore Walk In Steps - 2/4x20 Solar Panel Setup - Doheny Jet Drive (RIP -Pool Rover Jr) - finally hard plumbed the whole darned thing -
    Beats Driving to the Lake!

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    Re: Not optomistic for a warm pool this year

    Quote Originally Posted by NWMNMom
    Fellow tundra dwellers!!! Mine still has a Titanic version ice block in it yet too. I swear I would just go ahead and buy a heater if I knew it didn't require installing all kinds of electrical wiring and running gas lines. My DH has said point blank he isn't installing anymore stuff this year so unless I can set it up, I'm out of luck. Are we sure there aren't any AG pool heaters that can just be hooked up to an LP tank like a gas grill without all the buried lines, etc and electrical - none that can just be pluged in?

    When they make one like that I am SO there. BTW, I know heat pumps don't require the gas, but $2100+ is just TOO much for my budget.
    OK, how about this
    http://www.poolsinc.com/agheat.html

    You just have to plug it in to an outlet, and it says it can run off of tanks (although I am guessing they are not small tanks, but it depends how often you want to fill them ).

    Randy
    20,000 gal fiberglass pool, Raypak 266k BTU Lo Nox gas heater, Purex 2048 48 sq ft DE filter, 1.5hp pump. iWave wireless remote, Pulsafeeder chlorine pump, Safety cover on most of the time

    seperate spa, with own pump, cartridge filter, Teledyne heater

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    amjohn's Avatar
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    Re: Not optomistic for a warm pool this year

    Here is my solution for cool water days, which start in April in Texas.
    http://www.scuba.com/scuba-gear/Dive-Skins.html
    http://www.scuba.com/scuba-gear/Wet-Suits.html
    The skin is like a lycra jumpsuit, and does make a difference in warmth. It is supposed to fit snug but not cut off your circulation I also have a 2mm neoprene vest that I wear over the dive skin or just wear alone over my bathing suit for warmth. The thicker the neoprene, the warmer but the less stretch and the harder to move/put on/take off. 2mm is a good weight for the swimming pool.
    Are you going to get a great tan this way? No
    Are you going to get to enjoy your cool pool without a major cash outlay or DIY project? Yes.
    The best part is there are usually a few on e-bay used for under $20 or you can go new for $40-50 if you are not looking for designer colors. Mine is 20 years old and still going strong- very simple black and pink. You can start with the wetsuit vest, and if that is not enough warmth, add a skin.
    The skins size a little small, but if you are buying used and are not sure, you can always e-mail the seller and ask them what they weighed/what size they were when they wore the suit and if it felt tight/loose to them. They do stretch out some with age.
    28 ft round Doughboy Sand Dollar II AGP, Aug 2008: 4 ft shallow, 6ft deep end: 24K gal approx Hayward Power-Flo Matrix
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