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Thread: Heater Question

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    Heater Question

    We have a 30,000 gallon IG pool and like to keep the water around 88-90 degrees. Our current heater is 9 years old and uses a huge amount of electric. It is a Eco Energy heat pump. I have been looking at a tankless water heater made by Eco Smart. http://www.ecosmartus.com/products/deta ... t=8&page=2
    I did a search and could not find any info. Anyone had any dealings with this heater?
    24,000 gallon chlorine plaster in ground
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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Heater Question

    Welcome to TFP!

    If you think a heat pump uses a lot of electricity, you will be stunned at what a resistance heater like that one uses. Probably 3 to 4 times as much.

    If you have the right setup, solar is a cheap heating option. An area that gets sun most of the day of around 200-300 sq-ft. Preferably a south facing roof.
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    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
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    Re: Heater Question

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    Welcome to TFP!

    If you think a heat pump uses a lot of electricity, you will be stunned at what a resistance heater like that one uses. Probably 3 to 4 times as much. WOW!!! Right now we have to run our heater for about 24 hrs to raise it 10 degrees. According to their website I should be able to do the same in 7.5 to 10 hrs. But it looks like it still would not be worth it.

    If you have the right setup, solar is a cheap heating option. An area that gets sun most of the day of around 200-300 sq-ft. Preferably a south facing roof. Our roof faces east and west. I would have to come up with some sort of stand and according to my reseach I would have to have a big area of solar panels.
    24,000 gallon chlorine plaster in ground
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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Heater Question

    Quote Originally Posted by LT32
    Our roof faces east and west. I would have to come up with some sort of stand and according to my reseach I would have to have a big area of solar panels.[/color]
    IMO, the numbers that solar heating sites post aren't valid in areas with real winters. I think they size them to accommodate the spring and fall seasons when the sun is low in the sky but it is still warm. In the middle of the country, it gets too cold to swim, even when the water is warm, so sizing panels for that part of the year is not justified.

    I have a 20X36 IG in Indiana (About 1.5hrs north of the state line) with 192 sq-ft of panels mounted on a south facing roof. It makes a serious difference in pool temperature. I can easily stay in the 85-90 range, and late last summer during a cool spell, I accidentally ran the pool up to 96 when I didn't check the temperature for a few days when it was too cold to swim. I probably have $1500 total in the system. The installation is not a big deal.

    You could use your west-facing roof and still get good benefit, although performance would be better someplace that gets sun all day. You could even get by with a north facing roof. I know everybody says it doesn't work, but during most of the swimming season, the north side of my poolhouse is in direct sun almost all day, because the sun is north of us. The south facing roof only gets better sun than the north during the early and late part of the season.

    I built a screened pool house for equipment, storage and to have a bathroom by the pool, and I planned all along to use it as a rack for my solar panels. I'm very happy with it. You are well south of me and should see even better performance.
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    Re: Heater Question

    John,
    I would love to go the solar route. Here is the info on our pool.

    Our pool has 800 sq ft of service area. It is L shaped. When we had it built, they told us it was 24,900 gallons but according to our local pool place it is closer to 30,000. Using the standard system to figure gallons it is around 27,000 gallons.
    Given all this information it has been recommended that we have 400 sq ft of solar panels. I really don't have a place on the roof to put the panels. If I could get by with 200 sq ft I would make a portable stand and use it that way. Do you think that would work?

    Would you mind telling me more about your system?
    24,000 gallon chlorine plaster in ground
    Triton II Sand Filter
    Pentair Pool Sweep/Cleaner

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Heater Question

    Quote Originally Posted by LT32
    Would you mind telling me more about your system?
    I don't have time right now, but I will the next time I have a few minutes.

    John
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    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
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    Re: Heater Question

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    Quote Originally Posted by LT32
    Would you mind telling me more about your system?
    I don't have time right now, but I will the next time I have a few minutes.

    John
    Thanks! I would really appreciate it.
    24,000 gallon chlorine plaster in ground
    Triton II Sand Filter
    Pentair Pool Sweep/Cleaner

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    Re: Heater Question

    Even a couple of panels will help. The more panels you can fit in, the warmer the water will be. Do you know how many degrees warmer than it would otherwise be you are aiming for?
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Heater Question

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    Do you know how many degrees warmer than it would otherwise be you are aiming for?
    During the first part of the season we would need to warm it 10 to 15 degrees. During the summer we would not use it that often and when we do we would need to raise it 5 to 10 degrees. We keep solar covers on when not in use.

    Our big concern is if the water is cool and we need to raise the temp in a day or two.
    24,000 gallon chlorine plaster in ground
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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Heater Question

    Solar can be used in conjunction with another heat source. You run the solar as much as needed, and supplement with the other source as needed. Gas would probably be the best choice as a supplemental heat source if you are installing new, as it usually heats faster and has a lower initial cost. Since the solar runs at virtually no cost, you run it almost all the time.

    My system consists of 6 8'X4' Aquasol panels on the roof of my poolhouse. The poolhouse is about 6ft from the pool, which makes it ideal for both an equipment shed, a solar panel holder, and a place to get out of the sun while watching the kids swim. I chose the brand because they had 4'X8' panels that had reasonable performance, and the panel size was driven by the size of the poolhouse.

    I don't have an automation system. I run with a mechanical timer that turns on about the time the sun hits the roof in the morning, and shuts off about the time the sun drops behind my barn in the evening. I keep an eye on the forecast and pool temperature and set the valve for solar accordingly for the next day. I can usually get by without my solar blanket when the overnight lows are in the 70's. It's nice just to not need the blanket. If I automate, it will probably be to keep from overheating the pool as I did a few times last year. My personal "ideal" temperature is about 84. I had a few days last year that I picked up around 10 degrees in a day, so I went from too cool to too warm in one day. I use the blanket when I'm trying to increase the pool temperature, or if the forecast calls for cooler than normal temperatures or wind. No big deal, just a little bit of planning.

    The plumbing is simple, as is roof installation other than the scuffed hands and sore knees from the shingles. If it fits your plans and space, making your solar rack 8 or 10ft tall gives you a nice shaded patio with only a little bit of extra work and money. The panels can be mounted close to flat. A little tilt is handy to make them drain when you aren't using them or when winterizing the pool. You could go as simple as an area of pea gravel with the panels laid out flat on anchored sheets of outdoor plywood to see if you like the way they heat before investing more money in it.

    IMO the downsides to solar are the space they take up, which is mitigated with an elevated installation, and the fact that they can't heat well on cloudy or windy days. I'm thrilled with mine.
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    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Re: Heater Question

    Let me throw something out here and see what you all think.

    I had thought about building a portable rack to put solar panels on. I was going to put it on wheels and hook it up to one of the return jets. I could roll it close to the pool when I wanted to heat it up and roll it behind the house when not in use. During the winter I could take the panels off and hang them on the wall in my garage. (I have one big ***** garage)

    Any thoughts?
    24,000 gallon chlorine plaster in ground
    Triton II Sand Filter
    Pentair Pool Sweep/Cleaner

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