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Thread: Need pool heater advice

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    Need pool heater advice

    We have an 18 x 36 lagoon/kidney shaped sports pool (shallow on two sides, 6' deep in center) approx 19000 gallons. When we first moved to Kansas the summers were crazy hot, so when we installed the pool 3+ years ago we did not think we would need a heater so we ran no gas lines. As luck would have it , since we have had the pool, the summers have been very inconsistent and it feels like we are not getting full use of the pool because we may have one good month where it is hot enough to get the pool to a comfortable temperature. I would love a recommendation for a good heat pump.

    I also wondered if anyone was familiar with a couple of different things we found. The first is Coates heater http://www.coatesheater.com/ - a pool guy recommended the cph series 240v single phase kw 30. We have also looked at the Little Giant http://www.little-giant.com/pool_heating.html. Finally I have read some positive things on the Heat Siphon http://www.heatsiphon.com/. Does anyone have any thoughts on these options? I probably like the water temp to be about 85ish and as probably everyone would want - I do want to come up with the most efficient way to heat the pool.

    Another question I have is on solar pool covers. With that lagoon shaped pool and the winds in Kansas - our one try at a solar cover was pretty comical. Does anyone have any recommendations for a good cover and the best way to keep it from blowing, yet easy enough for a petite woman to remove?

    I appreciate any help you can give me.

    Thanks
    Julie

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    Re: Need pool heater advice

    As long as daytime highs are above 55, a heat pump like the Heat Siphon, will work well for you. There are many brands. Some are better than others. Aqua-Cal, Aqua-Therm and Pentair UltraTemp are the three I like.

    With free form shaped pools, many people use solar rings. They usually have velcro to attach to each other making it reasonably easy to put on and take off.

    Scott
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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Need pool heater advice

    I frequently have high winds, and the cheaper lighter solar covers tend to pose a problem for me. However, I have arthritis so heavy covers are also out.

    What I do is take my empty bleach jugs, fill them with pool water, and place them on top of the solar cover, about 1 foot in from the edge. I use about 3-4 around the perimeter of my pool, and it works very well and holds the cover in place. They/the cover do not sink, it just keeps the wind from getting under it and blowing it off. Give that a try and the solar cover will work wonders retaining the heat gained during the day.
    (forum members report little if any success with solar rings - blankets work much better.)
    When I remove my cover, I roll it up sort of like a giant egg roll and stash it off to the side in the shade. It goes back on easily with a little practice, much quicker of course if you have another set of hands to assist.
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    Brentr's Avatar
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    Re: Need pool heater advice

    I have Heat Siphon and we love it. Marcus was a great help explaining options and spend a great deal of time on the phone and by email. We are adding solar in a couple weeks and it will be used as our primary source of heating the pool. You need to use a solar pool cover when the night time temps drop as this will prevent most of the heat from escaping
    5,775 gal, IG free form, Beach Series Antigua by Marbletite Pebble finish, 2 swim out benches, Sheer Descent, IG Fountain, Dolphin / Mermaid Statues, StaRite Dura- Glas 1.5hp pump, Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter replaced with Hayward Pro-grid DE4820, Aqua Rite SWG with T-Cell 15, Polaris 360, Pentair 300w Light upgraded to Pentair IntelliBrite (OMG what a huge difference) , Heat Siphon Heat Pump DX 5.0 109,000 btu, Pool Cage, 1800sq ft Tremron Estate Pavers, solar cover, TF-100 test kit, Pentair Deck Jet, Apollo Magnetic Stirrer (Makes testing a breeze), Aquatherm Ecosun Solar Panels 192 sq ft with GL-235 Controller,Margarita Concoction Machine,
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    Re: Need pool heater advice

    Thank you so far to everyone who has responded. At this point doesn't look like anyone has experience with the little giant or coates - still holding out on some hope of hearing about those regardless of whether the feedback is positive or negative.

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    Re: Need pool heater advice

    Quote Originally Posted by jel3412
    . At this point doesn't look like anyone has experience with the little giant or coates - .
    Little giant is a brand of water pump that pumps water off winter pool covers. A google search didnt turn up a Little Giant heat pump.
    As far as a Coates, I dont think thats a heat pump either. Its just an electric heater.

    About all the heat pumps will work about equal, IMO. In fact, several are made by the same company, they just put different labels on them (e.g. My Blue Pool is made by the same company that makes Aquacomfort). Some are regional brands and have good service for that region, others not so much.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Need pool heater advice

    If I read their web sites correctly, the little giant and coates heaters are resistance heaters, rather than heat pumps. Resistance heaters are far far more expensive to operate than heat pumps, so much more that no one would normally use one with a pool.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    polyvue's Avatar
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    Re: Need pool heater advice

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    Resistance heaters are far far more expensive to operate than heat pumps, so much more that no one would normally use one with a pool.
    I looked at the Coates heater when drawing up the requirements for my pool. My notes:

    Coates Electric Swimming Pool Heater Model #60-079
    54 kw 240v 3-phase 132 Amp. 20-80 GPM
    [Draws more than my two-stage heat pump plus AC - it could undoubtedly heat the Mississippi in a bad winter.]
    MSRP (net) $2919.70 Higher AMP configurations avail.
    I ultimately decided on a 18kW Tankless electric heater.

    Let me underline the expense Jason spoke of in his post: An electric immersion heater can be most costly to operate. I do use it to heat my pool, but only to bring it up a few degrees near the beginning and end of the swimming season, with solar cover in place. I purchased this type because I had no gas option and had to have a heater for my spa that could operate in 30° F. weather, raising water temperatures of 40/50 up to 100+.

    DO NOT try to heat a 60 degree pool to 85 degrees with this type of heater unless you've been an investor with Berkshire Hathaway since the early 70s or your last name is Rockefeller... (and not Clark!) If you want to heat your pool throughout the swimming season, best options are solar, gas or electric heat pump. Forget about resistance heating.
    14,555 gal in-ground 16'x29' white plaster Pool w/spa (2007); Goldline Aqua Logic AQL-PS-8 control w/Aqua Cell 15 Salt Water Chlorination (SWCG); Hayward TriStar 1HP (1.85 SF) main / 1.5HP (1.60 SF) spa pumps; Hayward Swimclear cart filter C4025, ColorLogic LED lights; Tankless SP-18-4 electric heater; Polaris 280 cleaner.
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    Re: Need pool heater advice

    I did talk to the guys at poolheatpumps.com and I think we have decided to get the Rome Solarium heat pump. Hopefully this is a good choice. If anyone has info - good or bad on the Solarium heat pump let me know.

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    Re: Need pool heater advice

    I looked that heater up on poolheatpumps.com. Looks like it's actually an Aquacomfort heater. Aquacomfort is based out of Maryland and has made heat pumps for years. They manufacture HPs for other companies that just put their name on in. Rome doesnt make it, they just resell it.
    I have an Aquacomfort. I like it. As i've posted before, most HP work about the same. The bells, whistles, an outside might look a little different, but they all work the same. As long as you can get servce on it in your area, its a great heater. Which model are you looking at?
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Brentr's Avatar
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    Re: Need pool heater advice

    Quote Originally Posted by jel3412
    I did talk to the guys at poolheatpumps.com and I think we have decided to get the Rome Solarium heat pump. Hopefully this is a good choice. If anyone has info - good or bad on the Solarium heat pump let me know.
    Don't know much about the Rome. Marcus really recommended the Heat Siphon and we like it. It works very well.
    5,775 gal, IG free form, Beach Series Antigua by Marbletite Pebble finish, 2 swim out benches, Sheer Descent, IG Fountain, Dolphin / Mermaid Statues, StaRite Dura- Glas 1.5hp pump, Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter replaced with Hayward Pro-grid DE4820, Aqua Rite SWG with T-Cell 15, Polaris 360, Pentair 300w Light upgraded to Pentair IntelliBrite (OMG what a huge difference) , Heat Siphon Heat Pump DX 5.0 109,000 btu, Pool Cage, 1800sq ft Tremron Estate Pavers, solar cover, TF-100 test kit, Pentair Deck Jet, Apollo Magnetic Stirrer (Makes testing a breeze), Aquatherm Ecosun Solar Panels 192 sq ft with GL-235 Controller,Margarita Concoction Machine,
    Pics of our Spool ( Social Pool) being built Solar install Outdoor kitchen upgrade

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    Re: Need pool heater advice

    Problem with the heat siphon at this point is they dont make HP larger than 80,000 BTU. The bigger ones have been discontinued. Looks like at some point they wil make larger heaters, but right now ~80,000 is the largest you can get. IMO, you want one rated at 120,000 or so. HPs wont deliver the max BTU except under ideal conditions. So, you want a fairly large one to begin with. Even a 120,000 BTU HP might only deliver 80,000 if its colder outside or if the humidity is very low.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Need pool heater advice

    I did notice that the heat siphons were discontinued right now. I was looking at the 105000 btu solarium from rome.

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    Re: Need pool heater advice

    Quote Originally Posted by jel3412
    I did notice that the heat siphons were discontinued right now. I was looking at the 105000 btu solarium from rome.
    Thats probably a decent heat pump. Like I said, it's made by aquacomfort, so I know they are a good company. Who services them in your area? I have a factory service rep up here that takes care of mine. I had him out 2 times on a couple silly little things. Once from my own stupidity.

    Where do you live?
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Need pool heater advice

    Quote Originally Posted by bk406
    I looked that heater up on poolheatpumps.com. Looks like it's actually an Aquacomfort heater. Aquacomfort is based out of Maryland and has made heat pumps for years. They manufacture HPs for other companies that just put their name on in. Rome doesnt make it, they just resell it.
    I have an Aquacomfort. I like it. As i've posted before, most HP work about the same. The bells, whistles, an outside might look a little different, but they all work the same. As long as you can get servce on it in your area, its a great heater. Which model are you looking at?
    bk406, please don't take this as confrontational, but just to clarify your response:
    Aquacomfort is a marketing company. They do not manufacture anything. If you research the heat pump they offer, it is made in Ft Wayne, Indiana by a company, Water Furnace Int'l.
    They do support the heat pumps they sell. Keep in mind that since they only market products, rather than manufacture their own, they have gone through several different manufacturers. Ask them who's heat pump they sold 3 years ago, 6 years ago, and 10 years ago.

    All heat pumps are not equal. There are major differences in efficiencies and heat exchanger designs that allow systems to operate into cooler air temperatures, when others quit working.

    Edited for politeness. JasonLion
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    Re: Need pool heater advice

    Well, what you say is true, Aquacomfort heaters are made in Indiana. The HQ for Aquacomfort itself is in Maryland. You sell heatpumps, Aquacal. And..I often find those that sell or market a certain type push their brand. Its a fact. Thats ok, nothing wrong with it, it's how you make your living. But, i have no agenda. Not saying you do, but I stand by my opinion that these heat pumps are basically the same.

    The Rome, Aquacomfort, My Blue Pool, etc have the same guts and are made by the same maunufacturer. Whether they will heat down to an ambient temp of 52 or 60 is really irrelevant. Below 60 degrees, its uncomfortable to be outside anyway in the water, IMO. If you want to heat down to lower temps than that, get gas
    Sure, titanium heat exchangers vs copper, scroll vs piston compressors, different COP ratings. I get all that. But when you get right down to it, it takes heat from the air and puts in the pool. I've owned Trane, Ruud, Singer, and several other types of AC units. Same thing. No difference except marketing, really. I dont mean to offend anybody, but that's my opinion

    I've had no issues with my HP, works great. My neighbor has a Jandy, works the same as mine.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Need pool heater advice

    Please try to stay on topic.

    Thanks
    Jason
    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: Need pool heater advice

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    Please try to stay on topic.

    Thanks
    Jason
    You got it

    To the OP, I think the Rome is just fine. Like I said, it's the same manufacturer who makes the one i have regardless of where they are located. As long as you can get good service in your area. A lt of people have the Aquacomfort brand in new england because they work well and the service tech from the company is based out of connecticut and is usually here in a coule of days, give or take. Only problem I've had with it is the start capacitor went out on the fan motor and had to get it replaced. No biggy.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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