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Thread: Need your help!!! Pool Heat Equipment

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    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    OR - AZ
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    Need your help!!! Pool Heat Equipment

    I have solar heat but would like to move toward year round use of the pool. I am in Southern California, LA area, where winter is relatively mild. I'd like to have the water temp somewhere between 80 - 85 degrees and I'm trying to find a unit with decent energy efficiency. I have been reading about gas heat versus electric heat pump, but I'm concerned about the heat pump adding to my already high electric bill. SC Edison has penalties for going over the number of therms they say you should be using, so with the need (not want) for A/C during the summer months, lights, computers, etc. gas may be the least expensive way to go. My gas bill is very low, less than 50 dollars monthly, while the electric bill averages 200. Can anyone provide a little more insight? Any particular brands more reliable than others? Features to look for? Best time to buy (is there a typical seasonal sale time)?

    Thanks in advance for any help. 8)
    Neither a beaver nor a duck!

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    i have a solar system. only works when it is sunny.

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    mbar's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
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    Ashland PA
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    I live in PA. I have a gas heater, and solar heat. I very rarely need the gas heater - but the gas is fairly expensive now I have a 15,000 gal pool, and it heats about 3 degrees per hour with the gas heater alone, using about 5 lbs per hour. I use it along with the solar heater on sunny cold days, and just keep the gas heater on long enough to get it to a tolerable heat Then switch to just solar. So, what I guess I am trying to say is that it depends on how big your pool is, how warm you like the water, how cold the water gets overnight, and how much sun you expect to have. Even though the air may be cool, the solar heat still gets the pool warm. I lke the gas heater, but it does get expensive. I also only keep the pool open till the end of Sept. The pool can get really cold (I don;t use a solar cover), but it will go up about 10 degrees in a day with the solar heater alone. Hope this helps
    16x33 fiberglass pool sand filter

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    well. a solar blanket is also helpful to prevent the heat loss overnight.

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    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by jimjimracing2
    well. a solar blanket is also helpful to prevent the heat loss overnight.
    is there an alturnitave to solar blankets, i herd if you fell in you are preety much as good as dead because it sufficates you, is that true and if it is is there somting else, not as dangerous you can to.

  6. Back To Top    #6
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    There is some risk with solar covers, though nothing remotely like always dying if you fall in. You can get tangled in the cover if you fall in, or lose track of where the edge of the cover is if you get under it, so there is some risk but most people would be fine most of the time. The risk can be reduced by cutting the cover up into smaller pieces, but then it is somewhat more complex to get it on and off the pool (compared to a reel).

    Using a solar cover at night is by far the best thing you can do to keep the pool warm. Obviously if you have enough heat you don't have to have a cover, but the cover can save a substantial amount of money and/or extend the swim season dramatically.

    There are "liquid pool covers" but they tend to not work at all well in real world situations (even a slight wind will disrupt them).
    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

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Livinwell,

    I'm biased on this as the company I work for manufacturers Heat Pumps. However, I will be the first to say that it all depends on how you use your pool.

    If you're heating your pool only when it gets too cold for you, that's more of a job for a gas heater. They are able to generate more heat in a shorter period of time.
    If you're looking to maintain the temperature in your pool, that's a heat pump's job. It will maintain the heat more efficiently and cost effectively than a gas heater.
    Solar heating will do it for even less money, but is not as consistent, and you have to make sure you have the exposure and surface area to mount the solar panels.

    Overall, the cost to maintain the pool at your desired temperature, all the time, is about a 40 - 80% reduction in heating costs by going with a heat pump. The big difference in cost comparison is what you're paying for electricity (I believe there are two or three different utility companies that you can get your electricity from), and what you pay for gas (LP being more expensive than Natural gas).
    Again, if you're only interested in heating your pool when the water gets too cold, you should stick with a gas heater.

    One other thing, if your water gets too hot during the summer months, a heat pump with a reverse cycle, or heat and cool cycle, can cool off the water to get it to a more comfortable temperature.

    Hope this helps,
    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
    National Accounts and Commercial Products Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps www.aquacal.com
    AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generators www.autopilot.com

  8. Back To Top    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Rollin Thunder
    Quote Originally Posted by jimjimracing2
    well. a solar blanket is also helpful to prevent the heat loss overnight.
    is there an alturnitave to solar blankets, i herd if you fell in you are preety much as good as dead because it sufficates you, is that true and if it is is there somting else, not as dangerous you can to.
    the whole piece of blanket.. like a layer of bubble wrap... is pretty strong and with fairly good floating ability.. my dog ran on it and just like running on ground... maybe he is a small dog only..

    apart from heat loss.. it also prevent evaporation as well.. you know.. australia is very dry.. not allow to fill the pool at the moment.

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    Shelley N's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    I always made a BIG deal of never swimming under the solar cover, for fear it would kill someone, until we did a controlled experiment the other day using my 11 year old. She swam to the complete middle of the cover and stood up...it buckled the cover enough to the sides where there was plenty of fresh air to breath for as long as you would want to. We did it in the middle, on the long edge, short edge and finally upside down and it always allowed air to reach from the side of our 15 x 30 AGP. Granted I trimmed the edge of the blanket to only touch the sides of the pool, not drape over it. I admit it, I was wrong, in our situation it won't kill you. I think it's a good thing to test.
    Shelley
    Denver, CO

  10. Back To Top    #10
    Guest
    i dont mean under it, what if you fell in, wouldn't the water pressure close it in on you and, suffocate you.

  11. Back To Top    #11
    SeanB's Avatar
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    If you decide to go with a heatpump, make sure to check out this thread in the supporters only area to save $100. Also, Marcus will be happy to answer any questions you might have.

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/viewtopic.php?t=310
    TFP Founder

    My Pool: 13K gal IG gunite with 7' spa, Pentair Cartridge Filter, Intellichlor IC40 SWG, Polaris 280 Cleaner, TF-100 Test Kit w/ salt test.

  12. Back To Top    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Rollin Thunder
    i dont mean under it, what if you fell in, wouldn't the water pressure close it in on you and, suffocate you.
    My ~22 pound dog fell in the pool once when the cover was on. It held her up and she was laying on it the next morning when we found her--poor thing. I'm certain she would have drowned if it wasn't for the cover because she fell in during the night.

    A heavier body.... I don't know. I am not willing to put it to the test, but I do use a cover. Can't be more dangerous than driving in Florida...
    Sue

    18' round Sharkline Matrix AGP / 8600 Gal. / sand filter / Aqua Trol SWG
    Pool owner since 2001. Thanks to TFP for helping me convert off Baquacil after six years!

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